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The medical condition known as hammertoe typically affects the second toe. It is defined as a bone deformity that causes the toe to bend in a downward position. The affected joint can become stiff and enlarge if it should rub against the shoes. A common reason why hammertoe would develop can include wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. The tendons in the toe may become shortened as a result of wearing these types of shoes, and the patient may experience muscle balance. Mild relief may be found when stretching exercises are frequently performed. This is beneficial in lengthening the tendons that may be tight. Some patients find it can help to wear orthotics, which aid in supporting the arch. If you have developed hammertoe, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can guide you in beginning the correct treatment.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. John Branwell of Kearny, New Jersey. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Kearny, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 20 May 2019 00:00

Ballet Dancers and Ingrown Toenails

Research has indicated many ballet dancers are afflicted with ingrown toenails. This is often the result of balancing on top of the toes, which can cause the corner of the nail to grow into the surrounding skin. An ingrown toenail typically causes pain and discomfort and may become infected if it is not treated promptly. Many ballet dancers may notice soreness while putting on ballet slippers and pointing the toes can cause extreme pain. Some of the symptoms associated with ingrown toenails can include swelling around the nail, or you may notice a discharge draining from the nail. Mild relief can be found when the toe is soaked in warm water and is helpful in softening the skin around the affected area. If you feel you have an ingrown toenail, consult with a podiatrist so proper treatment can begin.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. John Branwell of Kearny, New Jersey. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Kearny, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Published in Blog

Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bones of the feet. They occur as a result of participating in activities that cause the bones in the foot to weaken and crack faster than the healing process can begin. This can occur due to several reasons, including training in your chosen sport before adequate healing has been completed, increasing the amount of time training in a short period of time, or running on different surfaces. The symptoms that are associated with stress fractures often include swelling, burning pain, and difficulty walking on the affected foot. Effective treatment begins with staying off the foot for several weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. This can be accomplished by wearing a cast. If you have sustained a stress fracture, speak to a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. John Branwell from Kearny, New Jersey. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Kearny, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Published in Blog
Wednesday, 08 May 2019 00:00

Reminder: When was the last time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Published in Blog
Monday, 06 May 2019 00:00

What Causes Cracked Heels?

The condition that is known as cracked heels is characterized by tiny tears in the skin of the heels. Deep cracks are referred to as fissures, and can cause pain and discomfort. Severe cases can cause bleeding, and may be susceptible to infection. Cracked heels can develop for different reasons. These include having dry skin, which can be a result of cold weather. Additionally, patients who have existing medical conditions such as psoriasis or dermatitis may be prone to developing cracked heels. If backless shoes are worn, the fatty pad in the heel may not be adequately supported, and the risk may increase for getting cracked heels. Mild relief may be found if a good moisturizer is used on the heels daily. If your heels are severely cracked, it is advised to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. John Branwell from Kearny, New Jersey. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Kearny, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Published in Blog
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