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Monday, 11 January 2021 00:00

Understanding Bunions

One of the most common forefoot issues is a bunion. This occurs when there is a bump on the inside of the foot near the big toe joint and the big toe begins moving towards, and potentially overlapping with, the smaller toes. Another type of bunion that can occur is a tailor’s bunion, also known as a bunionette. A tailor’s bunion occurs on the pinky toe. While bunions can form due to issues with foot function, such as arthritis, improperly fitting footwear tends to be the most common cause. Shoes that are too tight and squeeze the toes together generally lead the first metatarsal bone to protrude on the side of the foot. Because of this, wearing shoes with a wide toe box is usually recommended. Those who are suffering from a painful bunion should visit a podiatrist for proper treatment. Treatment options may include orthotics, and in severe cases, surgery may be suggested.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM of Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Saturday, 09 January 2021 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!

Because of the many bones in the foot, there are a variety of ways that the foot can become fractured. These can include toe fractures, metatarsal fractures (middle of the foot), sesamoid fractures, or fractures to bones at the back of the foot, like the heel bone. A fractured foot will be very painful, especially when putting weight on it, and walking will likely be difficult. In order to properly diagnose a foot fracture, a podiatrist may need to take X-rays. Once X-rays are taken and the fracture is diagnosed, your podiatrist will determine the treatment option that is best for you. Common options include splints, casts, rest, and physical therapy. Most likely, putting weight on the foot will be discouraged for a certain amount of time. If you believe that you have fractured a bone in your foot, make sure to consult with a podiatrist.

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM from Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

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

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot
Monday, 28 December 2020 00:00

Is Toenail Fungus Common?

A fungal infection of the toenails is known as onychomycosis, and it is considered to be contagious. Toenail fungus often affects up to ninety percent of elderly people. The type of fungus that causes this ailment lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These can consist of public swimming pools, shower room floors, and surrounding areas. It is beneficial to wear appropriate shoes while in these places, and this may help to control outbreaks of toenail fungus. Common symptoms that are typically associated with this condition can include a thickening and yellowing of the toenails, often starting with the big toe. In severe cases, the nail may become brittle and lift off of the nail bed. If you have toenail fungus, please confer with a podiatrist who can recommend correct treatment options for you.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM of Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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

 

Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus
Monday, 21 December 2020 00:00

Ingrown Toenails 101

An ingrown toenail occurs when the toenail curls and grows into the skin surrounding the nail. Ingrown toenails usually become painful, red and swollen, and if left untreated, they can become infected. Common situations that cause ingrown toenails include wearing tight fitting shoes, improperly cutting the toenails, having sweaty feet, or sustaining a toe injury. If you are struggling with an ingrown toenail, soaking the feet in warm water for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times a day is recommended. However, if the ingrown toenail persists, it is important to have it checked by a podiatrist in order to prevent an infection. In severe cases, a podiatrist may need to remove the nail via surgery.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM of Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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

Read more about Ingrown Toenails
Monday, 14 December 2020 00:00

Understanding Orthotics

Orthotics are shoe inserts that are designed to relieve pain that is caused by a foot condition. Orthotics can help to treat a variety of ailments, such as corns and calluses, tendonitis, bunions, heel pain, and recurring stress fractures. Orthotics may also be used to help correct posture and alignment issues as needed. Types of orthotics can include prefabricated or custom orthotics, cushioned orthotics to provide shock absorption, and pressure relief orthotics that redistribute body weight across the sole of the foot. When prescribing orthotics, a podiatrist will consider a variety of factors, including existing foot conditions, foot structure, biomechanics, the type of shoes normally worn, and lifestyle factors. If you believe that orthotics may be helpful for your foot-related issues, don’t hesitate to visit a podiatrist for more information.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM from Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Sun City West, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Orthotics
Thursday, 10 December 2020 00:00

Do You Suffer From Painful Feet?

Painful deformities, such as hammertoes, can be treated. Stop living with foot pain, and have beautiful feet again!

Monday, 07 December 2020 00:00

Morton’s Neuroma and Location of Pain

The foot condition that is known as Morton’s neuroma may also be referred to as Morton's syndrome. It is defined as a compressed nerve, and the pain that is felt is generally located between the third and fourth toes. Pain may also consist of a tingling sensation, similar to pins and needles, or numbness on the inside of the two toes. This condition can be caused from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or from participating in running and jumping activities. The healing process can bring mild relief, and this includes resting the affected foot as often as possible. It may be beneficial to wear protective pads inside the shoes as they can provide adequate support. If you have developed pain in this area of your foot it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat Morton’s neuroma.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM of Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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

Read more about What is Morton's Neuroma?
Monday, 30 November 2020 00:00

What Is Raynaud's Disease?

Raynaud’s disease is a disorder that causes temporarily reduced blood flow to the hands and feet. The reduction in blood flow is due to a contraction of the smooth muscles controlling the small arteries that supply blood to the hands and feet. This contraction is also known as a vasospasm. In people with Raynaud’s disease, vasospasms may be triggered by stress or cold temperatures. These can lead to the affected areas becoming numb, cool to the touch, and white or bluish in color. When blood flow returns to normal, the affected areas may throb, tingle, or turn red. If you have symptoms of Raynaud’s disease in your feet, a podiatrist can teach you how to manage this condition.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact Michael F. Esber, DPM from Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

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

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Foot
Monday, 23 November 2020 00:00

What Is Fat Pad Atrophy?

There is a portion of the foot that is known as the fat pad. It is located under the heel and ball of the foot and provides the necessary cushioning that is needed to perform daily activities. Additionally, the fat pad helps in shifting the body weight without damaging neighboring tissues and ligaments. The condition that is referred to as fat pad atrophy is characterized by gradual thinning of the fat pad on the bottom of the foot. This ailment can cause severe pain and discomfort and may become worse when high heels are worn. It can develop as a result of an injury that has occurred, or from medical conditions such as diabetes and arthritis. Patients who have this condition may find mild relief when insoles are worn in the shoes and low impact exercises are frequently performed. Please consult with a podiatrist if you suspect you have this condition.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with Michael F. Esber, DPM from Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

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

Read more about Foot Pain
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