Can Hammertoe Be Cured?

Posted on April 26, 2021

Hammertoe is a foot condition that is considered to be a deformity. It can cause the toes to curl and remain in a downward position. This condition often develops because of genetic factors, or from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. A muscle imbalance is often responsible for the abnormal position of the toes and can gradually worsen. Patients have found mild relief when orthotics or shoe inserts are worn, and it may help to prevent this ailment when shoes that are worn fit correctly. If you have developed hammertoe, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can offer you correct treatment techniques. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to permanently straighten the toes. 

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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

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What Does the Acronym PAD Stand For?

Posted on April 19, 2021

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a restriction of blood flow to the muscles and organs due to the build-up of plaque on artery walls. PAD starves muscles and organs of the oxygen and nutrients they need to function properly—especially during physical activities. This lack of oxygen-rich blood to the extremities can make it difficult to walk and can also cause pain in the feet and legs. This pain from PAD can go undetected in people who also suffer from diabetes and neuropathy, possibly leading to foot sores which—when caused by severe blood flow reduction—can increase the risk of amputation. Individuals who are afflicted with PAD and/or diabetes should be under the care of a podiatrist who can help to manage these conditions and improve overall health.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

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

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Diagnosing and Treating a Broken Toe

Posted on April 12, 2021

Broken toes are often a result of something being dropped on it, stubbing it, or bending it the wrong way. Broken toes are often indicated by a snap or popping sound when the injury occurs, swelling, bruising, deformity, decreased movement, and worsening pain when the toe is moved or touched. Patients who believe that they have broken their toe should consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis. A podiatrist will check the toe and may need to take an x-ray. Once the broken toe has been diagnosed, the podiatrist will choose the treatment option that is best for the particular injury. Depending on the severity of the break, the toe may be “buddy-taped” to the uninjured toe next to it. A cast, splint, or brace may also be used to treat the toe, and in severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

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

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Having the Right Size Is Important for Running Shoes

Posted on April 5, 2021

If you are a runner, then you likely know how important it is to wear properly fitted shoes. The right shoes can lead to many comfortable, successful runs. The wrong shoes can lead to painful foot and ankle injuries. When shopping for running shoes, it is highly suggested that you have your feet measured. This is because our feet can change size as we age due to factors such as natural wear and tear, weight fluctuations, and pregnancy. Sometimes, one foot may be larger than the other, and this is not unusual. It is best to have your feet measured in the late afternoon, as our feet naturally swell throughout the day and are generally at their largest at this time. By knowing your current shoe size, you set yourself up for both shoe shopping and running success. To learn more about the importance of properly fitted running shoes, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.

  • When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
  • Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
  • Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
  • Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
  • If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes

As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without pain.

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

Read more about Getting the Right Shoe Size: To Keep Your Feet Happy

How Plantar Warts Spread

Posted on March 29, 2021

Plantar Warts, and warts in general, are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Plantar warts occur when the virus enters the skin through tiny cracks or weak spots in the skin on the soles of the feet and forms thick, flat warts—sometimes forming clusters. Plantar warts are painful and can make you feel like you are walking on pebbles. Although it is possible for plantar warts to go away on their own, they are hardy and may take years to disappear, if at all. If your plantar warts are causing you pain, discomfort, or embarrassment, contact a podiatrist. There are a variety of therapies and procedures they can use to get rid of plantar warts, including topical treatment, cryotherapy, and laser therapy. For a proper diagnosis please speak with a podiatrist.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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

Read more about What Are Plantar Warts?

What Should I Do for My Sweaty Feet?

Posted on March 22, 2021

Excessive and uncontrollable sweating can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. This is known as hyperhidrosis and can often affect the feet. Hyperhidrosis usually occurs when the sweat glands are activated longer than they should be, and issues such as soggy footwear, athletes foot, fungal nail infections and constantly cold feet can occur. Patients who are struggling with overly sweaty feet should consult with a podiatrist in order to find a proper treatment method. Treatment options that may be suggested for hyperhidrosis include prescriptions, surgery to remove sweat glands, or iontophoresis which involves the use of electrical currents. 

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment for you.

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

Read more about Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Posted on March 17, 2021

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

What Is Hyperkeratosis?

Posted on March 15, 2021

Keratin is a tough, fibrous protein that is found in the skin. When the skin is exposed to excessive pressure, or is inflamed or irritated, the skin responds by producing extra layers of keratin to protect the damaged area. This is known as hyperkeratosis, and often happens to the skin on the soles of the feet and between the toes, creating calluses and corns. Calluses are areas of thickened skin that are typically uniform in their thickness. Corns are small, hard bumps that usually have a hard center with an outer ring of hardened tissue that is slightly softer than the center. Both calluses and corns can cause discomfort. If you have painful calluses, corns, or otherwise thickened, hardened skin on your feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Corns can make walking very painful and should be treated immediately. If you have questions regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? And How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns are thickened areas on the skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure and friction on the skin. Corns press into the deeper layers of the skin and are usually round in shape.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as:

  • Wearing properly fitting shoes that have been measured by a professional
  • Wearing shoes that are not sharply pointed or have high heels
  • Wearing only shoes that offer support

Treating Corns

Although most corns slowly disappear when the friction or pressure stops, this isn’t always the case. Consult with your podiatrist to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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

Read more about Corns and Calluses

How to Care for Ankle Sprains and Strains

Posted on March 8, 2021

A sprained or strained ankle is a common injury. While full recovery can take between 6 to 8 weeks, there are steps that you can take at home to encourage healing. Wrapping the ankle with a bandage can support it during short, necessary activities, like walking from room to room. Applying ice to the injured area can reduce pain and swelling. Resting the ankle is important to avoid aggravating the injury, and the ankle should be elevated while you rest. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can also help reduce pain. For best results, it is important to follow the instructions of your doctor. If you have injured your ankle, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist for treatment.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

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

Read more about Ankle Sprains