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November 2017

Monday, 27 November 2017 00:00

Everything to Know About Hammertoe

Weakened muscles in the foot and toes may make the development of a condition known as hammertoe more likely. Possible causes for hammertoe may include arthritis, ill-fitting shoes, or genetic conditions. Hammertoe usually occurs in the second or third toe, but can affect any toe on the foot. Symptoms include having a toe that bends in an improper position, usually downward. In some cases, hammertoe may cause blisters and calluses, which can result in further pain from walking. Inability to flex your feet or difficulty in moving your toes may also be a result of this condition. Wearing proper footwear and avoiding shoes like high heels can help prevent hammertoe. If you do decide to wear heels, choose a pair with a lower heel. It is advised to consult with a podiatrist if you are suffering from hammertoe.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Published in Blog
Monday, 20 November 2017 00:00

Why Are My Feet Cold?

The feet may feel cold when there are environmental stresses, such as the temperature dropping. This may cause oxygen deficiency and turn the feet blue in color, a condition called cyanosis. When the natural circulation is restored, this condition disappears. There are other causes of poor blood circulation, including the inability to produce normal levels of red blood cells, commonly known as anemia. Typically, improvement may be achieved through diet, in addition to taking nutritional supplements. Diabetes may be another cause, and this disease can have very serious effects on the feet. It may result in nerve damage, causing the feet to feel cold. If your feet feel cold a lot of the time, a consultation with a podiatrist may be advised.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
Published in Blog
Sunday, 12 November 2017 00:00

Thickened Toenails May Be Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus usually first appears as a yellow or white spot underneath the toenail. The moist environment of the shoes can cause the fungus to grow, and the nail may begin to thicken and possibly crumble, becoming extremely unsightly.  It typically comes from walking barefoot around a public pool, or from the showers in a locker room. Treatment of this fungus may include prescription oral medication, topical creams, or laser treatment. Some patients have tried drug-free remedies that contain antifungal ingredients, however, the efficacy of these treatments is highly contested. For a proper prognosis be sure to consult with a podiatrist.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Published in Blog

A painful condition caused by pressure in the area below the bony part of the ankle is called tarsal tunnel syndrome. Possible symptoms include burning pain and pins and needles sensation in the arch of the foot that may extend into the heel and possibly into the toes. It can occur when the tibial nerve becomes compressed or trapped. Some causes may include rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, running based sports, or a possible a cyst in the tarsal tunnel. Consulting a podiatrist is advised and treatment may include medication and cold therapy, while the ankle is inflamed. Stretching the calf muscles once the inflammation has lessened may also be helpful. Going forward, a rehabilitation program may be necessary for strengthening the foot.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Published in Blog
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