Thursday, December 5, 2019

Winter Boot Shopping

I posted a short video from a podiatrist in Michigan on my Facebook page today about winter boot shopping, and it made me think that a post might be in order. Now that it is cold (and the holiday season), many people are wondering what boots they should wear. Basically, we can think of boots as winter boots and fashion boots. When it is cold or wet, you should consider a winter boot that will keep your feet warm, has a good tread on the bottom to avoid slipping, and has stability around the heel and ankle. You should not be able to compress the heel or twist the boot excessively. Waterproof materials are best to keep the feet dry, along with socks that wick moisture away from the skin. It is important to keep feet dry for comfort but also to prevent infection, blisters, frostbite, warts, and other conditions. A large toe box that does not compress your toes will help to prevent too much friction on the toes. Your toes should be able to move in the boots to have adequate room. Generally, a good fitting boot is one thumb length longer than your longest toe. Fashionable boots are often not ideal for many winter activities. The tread may not be adequate for wet or icy surfaces. The material that the boots are made of may not keep the feet dry and warm. Finally, fashionable boots that have a heel or wedge may not stabilize the foot and ankle in the snow, rain, or ice and lead to sprains, tendon injuries, and fractures due to falls or twisting of the ankles. Happy Holidays, and Stay WARM!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Pain in the back of your Heel?

Do you have continued pain in the back of your heel? This is a common complaint, whether a runner, soccer player, or average person. The Achilles tendon attaches to the back of our heel bone, and irritation of this tendon can cause pain in the back of the heel or on the back of the ankle. In most cases, the inflamed tendon is called and treated as tendinitis. When inflamed, the area can feel tight, achy, or painful with movement or activity. Also, there may be swelling of the area or thickening of the tendon. Sometimes, there can be micro-tears in the tendon, which can cause symptoms that are similar to tendinitis. Achilles tendon injuries can be caused by trauma or injury, overuse, diabetes and other health conditions, obesity, foot/ankle structure, poor shoe choices, or the way the person walks. Initial treatment of Achilles tendinitis involves ice, rest, heel lifts, orthotics, strapping of the ankle, anti-inflammatory medication, rest, physical therapy, and immobilization. If patients are not improving with these conventional treatments, an MRI may be ordered to check for tears in the tendon. Tendon tears can require casting, walking boots, or surgery depending on the severity. Some patients also rupture the Achilles tendon, which involves tearing it apart horizontally. This is an emergency and requires surgical intervention in almost all cases. Do you have pain in your heel? Come in for a visit to discuss your pain! or 708-763-0580 By the way, I do not hire professional writers or marketers to write my blogs, email posts, or market my practice. I wrote this blog based on the types of patients I have seen this week. I hope you find it helpful!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Major League Baseball Player to have Neuroma Surgery

I was watching the news this morning and heard that Mike Trout, of the Los Angeles Angels, would be out for the remainder of the baseball season for surgery on a neuroma in his foot. Neuromas are something that I treat almost every day, but I know that many people have no idea what a Morton's Neuroma is and why it can cause such major foot pain. A Morton's Neuroma occurs when the nerve that passes between our metatarsal bones develops thick tissue around it and becomes painful. It often causes pain in the ball of the foot that can shoot to the toes. Additionally, many people say that it feels like they are walking on a pebble, scrunched up sock, or even a marble, but when they look, there is nothing in their shoe or on their foot. Diagnosis of this condition can often be made in the office with a clinical exam. Conventional X-Rays may also be used to look at the position of the metatarsal bones. If they are naturally close together, some patients are more likely to develop this condition. This condition is often successfully treated with shoe changes, as a wider toe box and thick, less flexible sole can help. Additionally, orthotic devices and steroid injections can manage this condition for most patients. Have burning, shooting, or aching pain in the ball of your foot? Have numbness to two of your toes? Are two of your toes starting to spread and look like a "V?" You may have a Neuroma, so please consider a podiatry appointment so that we can develop a plan to make your foot feel better! Dr. Bender 708-763-0580 By the way, I write my own blogs and do not hire professional writers! I try to write about things that are in the news or that I am seeing a lot of in the office!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Emergency Appointments and your FEET

Every day, I have patients trip over their pet, slip on a step or curb, slide too hard into first base, get stepped on while playing basketball, or suddenly wake up with a red, swollen foot. Certainly, you should get help right away! A clinical exam by a health care professional is very important, and x-rays, MRI/CT scans, lab work, or other tests may be needed. Additionally, you need to feel more comfortable quickly, and this can range from walking boots, soft casts, medication, injections, and more! A foot and ankle specialist can focus their attention on not only relieving or lessening your pain, but also starting to solve the foot or ankle problem. My office is not open all the time, but if you do need to be seen right away, give us a call! If we are in the office or near the office, we will try to get you an appointment right away! Sometimes we cannot help, but if we can, why not see a foot and ankle specialist right away! Give us a call- 708-763-0580! This blog is created each time based on whatever conditions or situations I have encountered around the time when I am writing it. I am not a professional writer and do not hire outside companies to write generic blog posts. My office is a local, community based practice and not owned by a huge company. Questions? Contact us at

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Dangers of Barefoot Fun in the Summer

Finally, we are enjoying Summer weather...picnics, hiking, swimming, Block Parties, gardening, and more! It is time for many of us to kick off our shoes and enjoy the feel of barefoot activities. Walking barefoot on safe surfaces certainly has the benefit of strengthening the tiny muscles in our feet, as we do not always use these when our feet are secure and supported in our shoes. However, the lack of protection and support from shoes, can also make barefoot walking very dangerous. Why? I will discuss two of the major ways kicking off your shoes can endanger your feet. 1. It is very easy to step on something when our feet are not protected by shoes. Pet hair, splinters, glass, pebbles, nails, and other objects hiding in the grass or sidewalk can easily penetrate our feet when we are barefoot. An injury from stepping on a foreign object can cause pain, swelling, an open sore or ulcer, infection, and inability to walk. Thus, it is essential to go to Urgent Care, the Emergency Room, or see a podiatrist depending on the situation. X-rays or MRI tests may be needed to locate the object if it cannot be seen or felt during an exam. Under the best circumstances, the foot can be anesthetized, and the object can be removed in the office, surgical center, or hospital. Sometimes, antibiotics, tetanus shots, and surgery are needed in more severe cases. Thus, it is important to protect your feet and limit barefoot walking during the Summer. 2. Running or playing without shoes can increase your risk of injury. The foot is less stable outside of a shoe, especially in the United States, where we start shoes at a very your age. Thus, if you are playing soccer, basketball, tag, or anything similar in the yard, protect your feet and wear your shoes. Already this summer, I have treated many stubbed toes and twists of the foot and ankle due to playing in the yard with no shoes. Do you have foot pain? Please visit my website, By the way, the purpose of this blog is just to give very basic information. I write the blogs myself based on what conditions I am seeing in the office at the time of writing the blog. I am not a professional writer, and I do not pay an outside company for fancy blog posts. I just want to get information out about the feet and keep people thinking about keeping their feet healthy!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Get Your Feet Ready for SUMMER!

As June rapidly approaches, most of us are thinking of getting outside and enjoying the weather. After months of having our feet warm and cozy in our socks, boots, and shoes, there are several things to think about before we put on our sandals and flip flops! Nail issues- One of the big things that people notice after not looking at their feet all winter, is that their toenails are thick, discolored, or irregular. This may be due to a fungus, and it is important to be seen by a podiatrist for this. One of the most common ways to get toenail fungus is from your own skin if you have had Athlete's Foot or a fungal infection of the skin. Our feet can get sweaty over the winter while in boots for many hours each day, and Athlete's foot can commonly develop as itchy, blistered, scaling skin. If you had this over the winter, and now have toenail issues, you have have developed fungal nails from this skin infection. Further, pedicures are another cause for fungal nails. I suggest that people keep nail polish off their nails for the cold weather months to prevent toenail dryness. However, many people keep the nails painted and are shocked when they finally look at them without polish. When the cuticle is cut or pushed back, small tears can occur in the cuticle that allow normal fungi that reside in our socks and shoes to invade the nail. Additionally, it is possible that nail polish may have fungus in it from being used to on so many different clients. Thus, it is good to use your own nail polish for the toenails rather than picking something off of the shelf at your local salon. Skin issues- As mentioned in the last section, Athlete's Foot is common in the cold weather months. Warts are a virus that also love warm sweaty feet that have been in socks and boots all winter. If you see raised bumps on your feet or callouses that have black or red dots inside them, it is important to get your feet checked and treated (warts can spread!). Conventional corns and callouses occur in areas of pressure or friction on the feet, so they can also be painful reminders of winter shoe and boot season. There are treatment, padding, and shoe gear changes that can help with these too. Finally, soft tissue aches and pains and bone injuries can occur during every season when people change their shoe gear or activities. Going from boots and supportive winter shoes to sandals can create new aches and pains. The levels of heel and tendon pain always increase in my office during this transition. Flip flops and sandals without support contribute to this increase in foot pain. Also, people get much more active outside when the weather improves. This leads to an increased number of stress fractures from running and similar sports, and heel pain with cleat use for soccer, baseball, and softball. Get your feet feeling and looking great for the summer!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Teenagers and Shoes

Many teenagers visit my office with their parents each day. No matter what has brought them into the office, whether warts, an ingrown nail, or an ankle sprain, our conversation almost always leads to shoes. Sometimes the reason the teen has foot pain is directly related to their shoes! Also, locally, many of our teens walk to school and then spend all day walking around their schools. Thus, a supportive and comfortable shoe is essential to keep the feet safe and pain-free! A supportive shoe is one that cannot be bent or twisted into a ball. Also, a solid heel is essential for stabilizing the foot. For example, supportive walking, cross training, or running shoes are good choices for everyday use by teens. The other important factor to consider is size, as the toes should not be hitting the end of the shoe. There should be one thumb length from the end of the longest toe to the end of the shoe. If your teen, has toe problems, a shoe with a wider toe box (square or round shaped) allows the toes to have more space. Many teens are still growing until they are 18, so it is important to make sure their shoes are the proper size! Even within one school year, a teen may need a new pair of larger shoes. Finally, make sure you check your teen's shoes to make sure the tread has not worn out on the bottom. This can cause falls or may increase pain since the sole is starting to break down. Because many teens walk so much during the day, their shoes may wear out sooner than when they were younger. Questions?