What troubles you? Click any of the following ailments to learn more. Please call Barking Dogs Foot and Ankle Care to schedule an appointment if you are experiencing any of these issues.
Most commonly, a bunion is an enlargement of the big toe joint. It can also be an enlargement of the joint on the outside by your 5th toe. These can worsen if not addressed leading to problems walking and trouble fitting in shoes. Bunions can be treated surgically and non-surgically depending on the severity. While it is important to treat the bunion, it also is important to determine its cause. Diagnosing and treating the cause prevents the bunion from recurring and/ or worsening.
In-toeing and out-toeing are common issues for children when they begin walking. In certain cases, intervention may be necessary to promote normal growth and avoid future problems. Treatments include shoe alterations, orthotics, braces, and surgical intervention.
Some genetic and/or environmental factors can cause deformities of the foot and ankle. These deformities can cause many limitations and related health problems. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to helping improve a patients’ quality of life. Some of the deformities of the foot and ankle include: juvenile hallux valgus (severe bunions,) clubfoot, skewfoot (C-shaped foot,) metatarsus adductus (forefoot points inward,) and tarsal coalitions (abnormal unions at joints.)
Diabetes is an epidemic in this country and in the world, affecting over 27 million Americans alone. Prevention of foot problems is essential to a healthy life with diabetes. To prevent problems, periodic podiatric visits and screenings are necessary to educate patients on foot health, shoe selection, as well as daily care and hygiene.
Dry and cracking skin can be very uncomfortable and if left untreated, can lead to serious wounds on the foot. Cracking can be caused by bacteria, a lack of moisture in the skin, and/or can have a hereditary component. Shaving of the area yourself can often result in larger wounds that can lead to infection. Medication and creams are very effective in the treatment of dry and cracked skin. Skin care has progressed tremendously in the last ten years, so much so that cracked heels should be a thing of your past.
Flat feet can cause poor alignment leading to pain in your feet, knees, lower back, shoulders, and neck. Flat feet can be diagnosed through a complete biomechanical examination and gait analysis. Appropriate shoes, orthotics, training techniques, and surgery are effective treatments for flat feet.
Foot and Ankle injuries
Foot and ankle injuries can be very serious and lead to future problems if not diagnosed and treated appropriately. If you ever roll or suffer any injury to your ankle it is important to treat it immediately and also to make sure there are no fractures. PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation) is a good way to remember how to treat this problem, but it is essential to visit your podiatrist.
Fractures/Did I break something?
If you suffer a blunt injury to your foot, a fall, or a twist, a fracture is always a possibility. Accurate diagnosis and immediate treatment can accelerate your healing process and prevent future problems like prolonged pain and arthritis. In certain situations, surgical intervention may be needed to realign the break.
Hammertoes are due to an imbalance of the muscles of your feet and legs. They lead to deformities of the toes that can be very painful. Hammertoes usually precede the formation of corns and calluses. Often just wearing your shoes can hurt. There are many treatments including shoe alteration, padding, and surgical intervention.
Heel pain is increasingly the most common foot problem seen in podiatry. It is an injury that requires a specific treatment plan. Pain in the back of your foot and arch in the morning or after resting during the day are common symptoms that can increase and intensify the longer they go without treatment. Heel fractures can often be the cause of this pain so it is important to get evaluated when you have these types of symptoms. If not serious, stretching, icing, arch supports, and rest can alleviate the issue.
Itchy, sweaty, and smelly feet
While embarrassing, it is extremely common to have itchy, smelly, and sweaty feet. These symptoms are often caused by underlying problems like Athletes foot, bacterial infections, and overactive sweat glands. Medication and adjustments to your daily care will ensure you are never worried about taking your shoes off again!
Any pain should not be ignored. Joint pain can have a multitude of causes, including injury, infection, arthritis, and other systemic diseases (i.e., gout.) It is very important to diagnose the cause in order to begin the proper treatment. Swelling, redness and difficulty walking requires immediate attention.
Numbness is caused by various factors including injury, disease, alcohol abuse, and hereditary problems. Proper diagnosis is essential to direct treatment. Medication, vitamin therapy, exercise, and surgical intervention to release the nerve are common treatments.
Pain in certain shoes
Foot shape is as unique as each individual and is extremely important when it comes to shoe selection. Make sure that your shoes are selected carefully for both their fit and function (what activities are you doing in them?) With appropriate knowledge of your foot, shopping for the correct shoe will not be a guessing game but a practice of good foot health. While it is important for some to LOOK good, it is always healthier to FEEL good.
Pain in the ball of my foot/Neuroma/Nerve Entrapment
Pressure on a nerve can create a numbing pain in the ball of the foot that can be treated conservatively. Simple adjustments to inserts and the use of injection therapy can be important steps in your treatment. Alternatively, the pain in the ball of your foot can be the result of an injury to a muscle or ligament. This can worsen into more severe problems like fractures.
Rashes can cause discomfort and spread to all areas of the body. A foot rash or skin problem should always be evaluated by a podiatrist in order to determine the cause and to take the appropriate steps for treatment. It is important to evaluate skin problems to rule out bigger concerns like infections and certain forms of skin cancer.
It is important to understand the needs and psyche of runners. Running injuries can be complex and often require a combination of treatments. Altered training, shoe adjustments, orthotic therapy, and stretching and strengthening regimens are often effective in treating and preventing further injuries. The goal with any runner is to keep them running.
Swelling can have many causes. The body’s natural response to an injury is to swell as it begins to heal itself. Feet and ankles can swell for other reasons, including poor circulation, infection, and other more serious conditions. To appropriately treat your swelling and identify the cause, a physical exam is necessary.
Thickened, discolored toenails are very common and can be due to many things: fungus, injury, and the way you walk are just a few. Ingrown toenails are another painful condition that can be disabling. Removal of part of the nail may be necessary to prevent the condition from worsening or creating an infection in your foot. Your toenails can also signal other systemic diseases like heart disease or skin conditions.
Warts are thickened callous like lesions on the foot that can be contagious. They are a virus that can occur in many different areas of the foot. The bottom of the foot can be a particularly painful spot. Most over-the-counter medications are ineffective at eliminating these nuisances and it’s often necessary for a podiatrist to treat them.