Every day our toes are subjected to tremendous stress when running, walking and even just standing! Toes are long and slender and prone to many different types of deformities and injuries.
Claw toe, or claw foot, is one such deformity when your toes - usually all 4 smaller toes - bend into a shape that looks like a claw, curling down towards the floor. This problem may be congenital - present from birth - or can happen in later years.
Tight shoes that force the toe muscles out of balance are a common cause of claw toe. Nerve damage including from diabetes can weaken foot muscles and cause an imbalance. Rheumatoid arthritis is another cause as the immune system can attack healthy joint tissue causing inflammation. Other causes include foot injury, cerebral palsy and stroke.
In many cases it is impossible to know the underlying cause of claw toe.
Claw toe is painless in many individuals. But in others, the toes are painful and the skin may also be irritated where it rubs against the inside of the shoes, forming corns, calluses and even ulcers.
Hammertoe is another toe deformity that looks similar to claw toe but is caused by an imbalance of different muscles.
How We Treat Claw Foot
If you observe that your toes are beginning to look curled, or if they are painful or irritated by friction against your shoes, please come see us at Foot Care Specialists, PC.
We'll give both feet and toes a careful examination. We'll assess the degree of flexibility in your toes to help determine the type of treatment that will work best.
If your toes are still somewhat flexible, conservative treatments like these may solve the problem:
- Splint or tape the toes into their correct positions.
- Switch footwear to shoes with plenty of room in the toe box and low heels such as supportive sandals and athletic shoes. Make sure that the shoes don't rub against sensitive areas.
- Use moleskin to cushion the toes and relieve the pain of calluses or corns.
- Custom fitted orthotics can take the pressure off the sore area.
- Try home exercises such as picking up objects with your toes to maintain flexibility.
If non-invasive methods don't work, or if your claw toes are fixed rather than flexible, we will discuss surgery with you.
Claw Toes Won't Heal By Themselves - We Can Help
Dr. Marshall L. Lukoff, DPM, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to diagnose and treat your claw toe or hammertoe as well as all other types of foot deformities and injuries. Please call us at 855-FIT-FEET (855-348-3338) to make an appointment at our Quincy or Dedham offices . You can also request an appointment at the website. Foot Care Specialists PC, the Laser Nail and Heel Pain Center, treating patients from Boston, Metro West and the South Shore for over 30 years.
In the middle of baseball season, it may seem odd to discuss NFL player injuries. But training camp begins next month and preseason games start in just a few weeks!
Atlanta Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones looked good during training minicamp. Although he didn't participate in practice, he completed a nice series of sprints. Jones had surgery in March to remove a bunion from his left foot.
Jones is no stranger to foot injuries. In recent years, he underwent surgery to repair multiple fractures to his right foot. Last season he missed 2 games because of this painful bunion. The team expects him to be fully healed and ready for training camp in July.
What Is a Bunion?
When the big toe moves out of place because of an enlargement of its joints, a bunion can form. Bunions are painful because they rub against footwear causing pressure and friction. Eventually, the big toe can angle in toward the next toe and the joint becomes inflamed and even more painful. It can hurt to walk and arthritis or bursitis can develop causing chronic pain.
Bunions are a type of toe deformity and can cause other problems like a hammertoe. The most common cause of bunions is wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow, but flat feet and a foot injury can also cause a bunion. Bunions also tend to run in families.
At Foot Care Specialists, PC, we urge you to come in for a visit if you have pain in your big toe or have a problem walking. Bunions will not heal on their own! We'll work with you to relieve the pain and pressure and hinder its growth. Some successful treatments include custom-fitted orthotics to stabilize the joint and relieve pressure; protective padding to reduce friction; removal of painful calluses and corns; changing to footwear that gives your feet and toes ample room; nighttime splints to realign the toes and joints.
Bunion Surgery Can Help Severe Cases
If other methods fail to relieve the pain and inflammation of a bunion, surgery may be indicated. The goal of bunion surgery, or bunionectomy, is to bring the big toe back to its correct position. This may involve realigning not only the bone but also tendons and ligaments. The type of surgery will be determined by the structural changes caused by the bunion and your individual circumstances.
Most bunionectomies are performed on a same-day or outpatient basis. Although this surgery will reduce pain and inflammation in most patients as well as reduce the deformity and improve foot function, the bunion may recur. There are long healing and recovery times and physical therapy may be required.
Get Help for Bunions Before They Progress Too Far
Dr. Marshall L. Lukoff, DPM, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to diagnose and treat your bunion as well as all other types of foot deformities and injuries. Please call us at 855-FIT-FEET (855-348-3338) to make an appointment at our Quincy or Dedham offices . You can also request an appointment at the website. Foot Care Specialists PC, the Laser Nail and Heel Pain Center, treating patients from Boston, Metro West and the South Shore for over 30 years.
If you or a family member has diabetes, you know that good foot care is a vital part of your overall health plan.
Individuals with diabetes often have 2 complications from this disease that, when appearing together, can cause serious foot problems. Neuropathy, or damage to delicate nerve fibers, can result from prolonged exposure to high blood sugar levels. Neuropathy can reduce feeling in the feet so you won't know if you have an injury like a cut, scrape, bruise or puncture.
The second complication is poor blood circulation. High blood glucose can lead to hardening of the arteries and also cause smaller blood vessels to leak, both of which cause poor blood circulation in the feet. Poor circulation means a slower healing process.
The combination of loss of sensation in the feet coupled with a slow healing process means that any small injury can escalate quickly into a dangerous foot ulcer. Untreated ulcers can cause severe foot damage and may even require amputation.
Protect Your Feet With Proper Foot Care
- Inspect your feet carefully every day. Look for anything out of the ordinary like a blister, rash or cut. Check between the toes and the soles too with a mirror, or ask someone to do it for you.
- Never go barefoot, even around your home. Protect your feet from sharp objects indoors and outdoors including poolside and at the beach.
- Invest in your feet with sturdy, comfortable shoes. Diabetic shoes have a wider, deeper toe box to give your toes plenty of room so they don't get damaged by rubbing against each other. Their thick soles have special stabilizers with extra cushioning and are deeper to accommodate custom-fitted orthotics.
- Stay away from hot tubs. Because of neuropathy, you may not be able to recognize if the water is too hot so you may burn yourself or get blisters. When bathing, test the water with your elbow first.
- Continue your exercises with your doctor's permission. Choose low-impact workouts to help your heart while keeping your feet healthy.
Most importantly, if you notice any change in your feet or any type of injury - no matter how minor it may seem - please contact Foot Care Specialists, PC right away. By getting professional medical help right away, you may avoid a more severe injury.
We Can Help You Stay on Top of Diabetic Foot Problems
Dr. Marshall L. Lukoff, DPM, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience with all types of foot problems caused by diabetes as well as any other foot and ankle issues and injuries. Please call us at 855-FIT-FEET (855-348-3338) to make an appointment at our Quincy or Dedham offices . You can also request an appointment at the website. Foot Care Specialists PC, the Laser Nail and Heel Pain Center, treating patients from Boston, Metro West and the South Shore for over 30 years.
Know how to protect your healthy feet from this itchy, uncomfortable fungal infection.
Even though athlete’s foot isn’t harmful or serious, no one wants to put up with red, itchy, peeling and burning skin. You may not know it but you can protect yourself from athlete’s foot. Our Quincy and Dedham, MA, podiatrist, Dr. Marshall Lukoff, offers up precautions you should take to keep feet healthy.
Keep Sweat Under Control
If you are prone to sweaty feet you can purchase antifungal powder, which you can sprinkle on your feet and shoes (particularly if you’ve been walking around in those shoes all day) or, if you don’t have an antifungal powder handy, you can place a little cornstarch or baking soda in your shoes. This is an easy way to wick away moisture without having to run to the drugstore.
Know When to Let Them Breathe
Your feet aren’t meant to be in shoes all the time; they need to breathe, too. So when you are in the comfort of your own home then it’s time to let them free to hang out. Of course, if you are out in public you will want to protect your feet from fungi while also making sure your feet can breathe. This is the nice part about wearing flip-flops or sandals, as they can still provide the protection you need.
Fungal infections are contagious, so if someone in your family has been infected you’ll want to take the necessary precautions. You won’t want to share socks, shoes or towels with them. Make sure the shower is always immediately cleaned right after showering or bathing. Furthermore, swap out what shoes you wear every day and never re-wear the same socks twice.
Keep Feet Clean
While washing your feet every day with soap and warm water is certainly the best way to keep feet clean of bacteria and dirt, it’s also important to fully dry feet after you wash them. And don’t forget to dry between the toes as well, as this can make it a less hospitable and damp environment for fungus to grow.
Do you have questions about athlete’s foot? Wondering if your symptoms are due to this fungal infection? Then it’s time you turned to our Quincy and Dedham, MA, podiatry office for care. Don’t let fungal infection symptoms get the better of you.
Many of us and especially young people switch to flip flops as soon as summer weather arises. But wearing flip flops too much can cause overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis (heel pain) and tendonitis.
Flip flops are fine for beach and pool wear. They offer good protection from burning sand and sidewalks. Flip flops can also protect your feet from fungal infections and bacteria lurking at public areas like pools, spas and gyms.
But these flimsy sandals don't offer enough stability or support for good foot health. Here are some of the overuse problems that can develop:
- Heel pain or plantar fasciitis. With each step your heel strikes the ground with a substantial amount of force, and a flip flop doesn't offer much cushioning. Plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue along the bottom of your foot, is an overuse injury caused by repeated stress on the tissue. This problem causes heel pain that is worst first thing in the morning.
- Hammertoe. Wearing flip flops or other sandals with few straps causes your toes to work extra hard to keep the sandal on your foot. Repeated curling of your toes can result in hammertoe, a muscle tendon imbalance that leaves your toes bent, stiff and painful.
- Achilles tendonitis. Those with flat feet or a smaller foot arch will not get enough support from wearing flip flops. Instead, the joints all the way up the body will compensate and this can cause overuse injuries. One example is Achilles tendonitis, or an injury to the tendon connecting the heel bone to the calf muscle.
In addition to overuse injuries, wearing flip flops causes you to take shorter steps which can cause tripping accidents and sprained ankles too. Avoid playing sports in flip flops, even just a backyard ball toss, as they are meant for walking on flat surfaces and can cause fractures and ligament injuries.
If you have any type of foot pain, please call Foot Care Specialists, PC for an appointment. We'll carefully examine your feet and recommend treatment for any problem we find. Remember, save your flip flops for beach and poolside wear and stick to sturdier sandals for summer fun!
Come Visit Us With Any Concerns About Your Child's Feet
Dr. Marshall L. Lukoff, DPM, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to diagnose and treat all types of foot overuse and other injuries. Please call us at 855-FIT-FEET (855-348-3338) to make an appointment at our Quincy or Dedham offices . You can also request an appointment at the website. Foot Care Specialists PC, the Laser Nail and Heel Pain Center, treating patients from Boston, Metro West and the South Shore for over 30 years.
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