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Posts for category: Foot Condition

By Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialists
December 07, 2018
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Sesamoid   Sesamoiditis  

What is Sesamoiditis?

Sesamoids are small bones that are only connected to tendons or surrounded in muscle. This only appears in a few places in the body, one of which is the foot. Two very tiny sesamoids are found in the underside of the foot near the big toe. One is on the outer side of the foot and the other bone is close to the middle of the foot. This structure provides a smooth surface for the tendons to slide over, which helps the tendons move muscles. They help with weight bearing and also help to elevate the bones of the big toe. So now that you know what sesamoids are, you might be wondering what sesamoiditis is and what its symptoms are.

Sesamoiditis

Just like any other bone, sesamoids can unfortunately fracture. The tendons surrounding the sesamoids may also become irritated or inflamed and this is what sesamoiditis is. Sesamoiditis is also a form of tendonitis and is a common condition among ballerinas, runners, and baseball catchers due to the pressure that is constantly placed on their feet.

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis may include:

  • Pain under the big toe or ball of the foot
  • Swelling and/or bruising
  • Difficulty in bending and straightening the big toe

Treating Sesamoiditis

Treatments include:

  • Resting and stopping any activity that could be causing pain and inflammation
  • Anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and aspirin only after consulting your physician
  • Icing the sole of the foot
  • Wearing soft-soled and low-heeled shoes
  • Cushioning inserts in the shoes

If symptoms persist after treatments, you may need to wear a removable brace for 4-6 weeks to help the bones heal. Call your podiatrist today to ask any questions about sesamoiditis and get on your way to pain-free feet once again!

By Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialists
July 06, 2018
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Hammertoes  

When most people think about foot deformities they most often think about bunions; however, hammertoes are just as common. This unassuming deformity comes about gradually, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late. “What is a hammertoe?” You might be wondering. A hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe (often the smaller toes), causing the toe to bend downward. In severe cases, a hammertoe will look almost claw-like.

There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. As you might imagine, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can still straighten the toe out. If you aren’t able to straighten the affected toe then this is a rigid hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe isn’t as serious as a rigid one; however, it’s important that you take care of your hammertoe to make sure that it doesn’t get worse.

While there is no way to cure a hammertoe there are simple measures you can take to prevent it from progressing. First and foremost, you need to take a look at the shoes you are wearing and make sure that they aren’t too tight. When you slip your feet into your shoes, does it cause your toes to bunch up against one another? If so then this could make your hammertoe worse.

Instead, opt for shoes with an ample toe box, which will allow your toes to wiggle and move around freely. If you have a structural imbalance within the foot this can leave you prone to foot problems such as hammertoes and bunions. To correct this imbalance, talk to your foot doctor about getting custom orthotics (shoe inserts), which can be placed into your shoes to help provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption for your feet.

If pain or stiffness does rear its ugly head you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can tackle both pain and inflammation in one fell swoop, or you can place a towel-wrapped ice pack (never put ice directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns) over the area for several minutes.

Just as you can buy pads to cover a bunion or callus, you can also buy a non-medicated protective pad to cover over a hammertoe. Since the deformed toe joint juts out this can leave the toe prone to calluses, which can cause pain when wearing shoes. To prevent a callus from forming, you can apply a protective pad over the deformed toe joint before putting on shoes.

Of course, if you are dealing with significant or frequent pain, or if the hammertoe is rigid, then you will want to turn to a podiatric specialist. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the disfigured joint.

By Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialists
November 15, 2017
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Foot Pain   Turf Toe  

Turf toe is a sprain of the joint just below the big toe, also known as the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. This foot injury is particularly common among athletes who play on artificial turf, hence the name “turf” toe. When athletes play sports on turf or other hard surfaces, the foot can stick to the ground, resulting in jamming of the big toe joint.

Typically the injury is sudden, but it can also occur after sustaining multiple injuries, such as pushing off repeatedly when running or jumping. Although it’s a condition most commonly associated with dancers, soccer players, wrestlers, gymnasts and football players, you don’t have to be an athlete to get it.

Symptoms of turf toe range from mild to severe, and may gradually worsen with continued movement. The most common symptoms of turf toe include:

  • Swelling and pain at the joint of the big toe
  • Pain and tenderness when bending the toe
  • Stiffness and limited movement of the big toe joint

If your symptoms are indicative of turf toe, then you may be able to relieve the pain and swelling with the following self-treatment, including:

  • Ice the injury
  • Apply a compression bandage
  • Rest and temporarily discontinue any physical activity
  • Wear a brace to protect the toe and to limit bending

For more severe cases of turf toe, visit our office for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. A podiatrist can easily diagnose turf toe through an evaluation that includes a range of motion and joint stability tests.

Professional treatment may include exercises to strengthen the toe, modified footwear or splinting. With proper treatment, you can eliminate pain resulting from turf toe and return to your favorite sport or activity!

By Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialists
June 19, 2017
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Achilles Tendon  

Achilles TendonThe Achilles tendon is the strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. This lower leg tendon enables you to walk, jump, stand on your toes and climb stairs. You rely on it virtually every time you move your foot.

When the tendon is stretched beyond its normal capacity, a complete or partial tear may occur. Most Achilles tendon ruptures occur as a result of sport-related injuries when forceful jumping or sudden accelerations of running overstretch the tendon and cause a tear. Individuals with Achilles tendinitis -- weak and inflamed tendons -- are also more susceptible to tendon tears.

Signs of a torn Achilles tendon include:

  • Sudden, sharp pain in the back of the ankle and lower leg
  • Snapping or popping sensation at the time of the injury
  • Swelling down the back side of the leg or near the heel
  • Difficulty walking or rising up on the toes

The best treatment for a torn Achilles tendon is prevention. Avoiding this injury could save yourself months of rehab and extended time away from your game. Help prevent injury to your Achilles tendon by:

  • stretching your calf muscles regularly
  • limiting hill running and jumping activities that place excess stress on the Achilles tendons
  • resting during exercise when you experience pain
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • alternating high impact sports, such as running with low-impact sports, such as walking or biking
  • wearing appropriate, supportive shoes with proper heel cushioning

If you suspect a ruptured Achilles tendon, visit our practice as soon as possible. Until you can seek professional care, avoid walking on the injured tendon and keep it elevated. Ice the affected area to reduce pain and swelling and, if possible, wrap the injured foot and ankle. For partial tears, swelling and pain may be less severe, but prompt treatment should still be administered.

Treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture can be surgical or non-surgical. Surgery to reattach the tendon is generally recommended, followed by rehabilitation, especially for individuals who want to return to recreational sports. Our pracitce can evaluate the severity of your tear and suggest the best treatment plan. With proper care, most people return to their former level of performance within six months.

By Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialists
May 17, 2017
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Varicose Veins  

Varicose veins are very easy to spot, which is why patients usually want them to disappear. They're a cosmetic issue but also a potentially painful podiatric issue that can be treated by a foot doctor. Learn what causes varicose veins and how you may be able to reduce their appearance with a podiatrist's help.

About Varicose Veins
When the veins appear to pop out of the skin on your legs, thighs and feet, they are called varicose veins. They often look blue or dark in appearance and can cause pain in the legs. This is because the veins are swelling from too much blood. It’s a problem that’s related to poor circulation and vascular health. Because the legs and feet are furthest from the heart, it’s more difficult for blood to flow back up through the body. It’s a condition that occurs most often in older women.

What Causes Them?
The Chicago Vein Institute says that about half of people over the age of 50 have varicose veins. They can develop for a number of reasons:

  • Obesity (the extra weight affects your circulation and puts stress on your legs when walking)
  • Pregnancy (again, due to the added weight)
  • Standing for long periods of times at a job
  • Heredity (patients who have two parents with varicose veins are more likely to get them)

Reducing the Appearance of Varicose Veins
Consider making your podiatrist your first line of defense when trying to treat varicose veins. Here are a few possible ways your foot doctor can help reduce the appearance of dark, swollen veins:

  • Taking an ultrasound of the legs to check the flow of blood (ensure there are no blockages)
  • Physical therapy and exercises to get the blood circulating properly
  • Prescribing orthotic device to relieve pressure on your feet when standing or walking
  • Compression stocks to reduce swelling and stimulate circulation
  • Leg massage therapy
  • Surgery in certain cases (sclerotherapy, laser and endoscopic vein surgeries are options)

Get Help from a Podiatrist
Relief from unsightly varicose veins can be found at your podiatrist’s office. Contact a foot doctor in your area to discuss treatments that will help you feel more confident in the appearance and function of the veins in your legs and feet.



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