What Is an Avulsion Fracture?

There are several types of fractures that can affect the feet and ankles, and an avulsion fracture is one such condition that more frequently affects younger athletes. This fracture is characterized by the fact that a small piece of bone tears away with an injured ligament, often striking the elbows, hips, and ankles.

The bones and ligaments of youngsters are still proceeding with the development process and are more prone to experiencing this type of fracture. Usually, with the less severe avulsion tears, they can often be treated with the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Severe injuries to the foot or ankle will require reattachment by a foot specialist using pins, screws, or other hardware.

Symptoms of a foot fracture include:

  • If you hear a popping or cracking sound, immediately followed by severe pain, you have broken your foot.
  • Swelling, bruising, and tenderness will increase greatly at the site of the pain.
  • You won’t be able to bear weight on the affected foot.
  • Taking your shoes off or putting them on will be painful and difficult.
  • Any protrusion and/or bleeding should be addressed immediately by your doctor.

Since soft tissue damage and hairline fractures may not be abundantly obvious, it is important to have your foot specialist perform imaging studies to see if there is any hidden damage. Immobilization of the foot with a rigid boot may be required for proper healing to occur. When the boot is no longer required, it will be very important to follow a program of physical therapy to slowly increase strength and flexibility without causing a reinjury.

If you suspect you may have complications from a foot fracture, the foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Plantar Warts Can Be a Hidden Cause of Foot Pain

When you get a wart on the bottom of your foot it can be one of the most painful experiences, but oftentimes the actual wart is hidden under a thick section of skin with only a bump to show its existence. This is especially true when the wart grows right on the ball of your foot or your heel, where a large portion of your weight lands on the wart every time you take a step. This extra weight forces the wart to grow into your foot, hiding from view and requiring the services of your foot doctor to detect and remove.

Symptoms of plantar warts

Some of the symptoms of plantar warts include the following:

  • A bumpy lump of hard skin usually on your heel or ball that indicates a wart may have grown inward.
  • Grainy and lumpy growths with small black dots in the middle called seeds. These are actually the remnants of clotted blood vessels.
  • Consistent, paralyzing discomfort upon weight bearing right at the location of the bump on the bottom of your foot is an indication of wart involvement.

Treatment

Plantar warts are not usually considered to be a major health issue, and these warts can often be treated successfully with home remedies. But severe cases may require more astute sleuthing and possible surgical removal by your foot surgeon.

Some of the treatments for plantar warts include:

  • Skin abrasion with a file or emery paper and then applying acid to gradually peel away layers of the wart until it lessens is an often used solution.
  • Stronger prescription acids from your foot doctor may be required.
  • Freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen is also an option and may be done in conjunction with acid peels by your foot care professional. Don’t try these at home.
  • A vaccine that treats the human papillomavirus, which is a known cause of warts, can often be very effective at wart removal.

To avoid getting warts, always keep your feet clean and dry. Wear shower shoes or sandals in public showers, locker rooms, and pool areas to minimize your contact with the virus that causes warts.

If you are suffering from plantar warts, make an appointment with your podiatrist for the best care. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Why Did My Foot Fall Asleep?

Having your foot fall asleep is often just a normal result of nerve compression that can be caused by the position of your body. But it can also happen when the blood source to your feet is compromised, causing inadequate blood circulation. While these issues will often subside after you change your position and remove the pressure from the affected nerves or blood vessels, if it happens repeatedly with no correspondence to your bodily position, than it may be the sign of a more serious problem.

Some of the more serious problems that can cause your feet to fall asleep include:

  • Nerve disorders—Many places exist in the body where a nerve can become pinched and cause a numbing or sleepy feeling in your extremities. Foot neuromas may require physical therapy, orthotic inserts, or surgery to treat properly.
  • Complications from diabetes—Peripheral nerve damage from diabetes can cause numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. One of the initial symptoms of diabetes is often foot numbness.
  • Vitamin deficiencies and poor nutrition—A poor diet and insufficient intake of B vitamins are associated with nerve issues that can cause numbness and tingling in the feet.
  • Other health problems—Liver, kidney, and thyroid problems can also result in nerve damage resulting in a loss of feeling in the feet.

If your feet fall asleep more often and don’t easily reawaken, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist for further evaluation to help determine the cause. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Why Does the Side of My Foot Hurt?

Peroneal tendonitis is an injury that causes severe pain on the outside of the foot involving the two peroneal tendons, the peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis. These run parallel to each other on the outside of the foot and eventually connect to the muscles of the lower leg. This condition can easily be misidentified as plantar fasciitis and, since the treatment is different, it is essential to see a foot care specialist.

The peroneal tendons work in unison to help roll your foot outwards and also assist your calf muscles in flexing the plantar fascia, which is the wide band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. They also increase ankle stability during weight-bearing exercises and activities.

Symptoms of peroneal tendonitis

 

  • Tenderness—along one or both of the tendons on the outer part of the foot
  • Severe pain—especially while doing sports and exercises
  • Stiffness—when you roll your foot outwards

 

Despite the considerable pain that is caused by this problem, peroneal tendonitis frequently responds very well to physical therapy and home treatments, so surgery is rarely needed.

Treatment options for peroneal tendonitis include the following:

 

  • Resting and icing
  • Stretching the calf muscles
  • Ankle and foot strengthening exercises
  • Single leg balancing exercises
  • Ultrasound treatments
  • Custom orthotic inserts

If your tendons do not improve sufficiently after rest and physical therapy, a custom orthotic shoe insert may be recommended. Over-the-counter shoe inserts are not good for this particular injury since they tend to shift the stress to the outside of the foot, right where the sore tendons are located. It’s important to see your podiatrist for proper insert construction and placement.

 

The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

What Causes Pain in the Ball of Your Foot?

If you are experiencing a pain in the ball of your foot, you may have a condition called metatarsalgia which is a nerve problem that affects the nerves running along the metatarsal bones of the foot.

The symptoms of metatarsalgia may include:

  • Aching or burning pain—in the ball of your foot
  • Increased pain during activity—that significantly decreases during rest
  • Shooting pain—tingling, and numbness in your toes
  • A lump in your shoe—frequently the feeling caused by metatarsalgia is referred to as a sense that you have a pebble in your shoe

The causes of metatarsalgia

One or more of the following factors are usually involved:

  • Carrying extra pounds—A large amount of your weight is absorbed by the ball of your foot when you move, so losing those extra pounds will take some of the pressure off your metatarsal bones, and decrease the symptoms.
  • Stress fracturesThese hairline breaks in the metatarsal bones or bones in the toes can cause extreme pain. Stress fractures can also alter the way you walk, causing other difficulties further up your spine.
  • Foot deformities—Wearing tight fitting shoes or high heels can cause your foot to become misshapen, contributing to the formation of bunions and hammertoes that are often linked to metatarsalgia.
  • Training too hard—The front of the foot absorbs much of the pressure during activities such as high impact sports, increasing the risk of this problem occurring.
  • Flat feetArch abnormalities can increase pressure on the metatarsal bones, contributing to this condition.

Treatment for metatarsalgia:

Often, conservative treatments such as resting and wearing properly supported footwear with orthotic inserts will alleviate symptoms. If your metatarsalgia is accompanied by other foot problems such as a bunion or hammertoe, surgery may be necessary to realign the metatarsal bones.

Several conditions have symptoms similar to metatarsalgia, so it is important to see your foot specialist for a proper diagnosis. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Strengthening Weak Ankles

If your legs feel sore and tired at the end of the day on a regular basis, then you may be experiencing some of the symptoms of weak ankles. Weak ankles are usually easy to gradually improve by using strengthening exercises, stretching, and other methods that may be suggested by your foot doctor.

Some of the best methods for strengthening weak ankles include the following:

  • Custom orthotic insertsSpecially constructed ankle bands, rigid boots, and other stabilizing devices are often the preferred treatments for ankle sprains. Properly placed orthotic inserts restore proper gait mechanics and help increase ankle strength.
  • Calf raises—One of the easiest exercises to do to increase strength is the calf raise. You can execute calf raises just about anywhere in the home or office since all you have to do is stand on your toes and raise your ankles up and down. Do about 15 repetitions and try slowly adding weights for additional improvement.
  • Heel walking—This easy exercise consists of raising the front of your foot so you’re just walking on your heel. Even though it may look odd to your neighbors or others, go ahead and walk around the yard, house or office on your heels. Your ankles will improve in strength and flexibility.
  • The hop and leap exercise—Hopping and leaping up and down and back and forth will increase the strength in your entire lower body, and also increase your sense of awareness of where your feet and ankles are located which can increase balance and help avoid falls.
  • Stretching exercises—Dynamic stretching exercises for your feet and ankles are also an excellent way to improve ankle health. Your foot doctor can help you design an appropriate stretching and strengthening program to get your ankles in the best shape.

Your ankles and feet keep you moving and take a beating on a daily basis, so regular visits to your podiatrist are an excellent way to help you take good care of your feet. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Some Facts About Flat Feet

Some people have flat feet and don’t suffer any problems from them, but for others, untreated flat feet can cause a variety of foot and ankle issues and can also increase the likelihood of suffering injuries to the knees, hips, and back.

What causes flat feet?

Some of the causes of flat feet include the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Injured or torn tendons
  • Pregnancy
  • Diseases such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy

Some of the signs of flat feet

Wet your feet and then stand on a flat surface so that you can see your footprints. If you have a normal arch, you will see a blank area in the middle of your footprint. However, if your arches have fallen, almost the entire foot touches the ground.

Some other indications of flat feet include:

  • Your feet will appear to turn outward when you walk or stand
  • Uneven wear patterns on your shoes
  • Strain in your lower back and hips
  • Pain and discomfort in the arch area, on the inside of your ankles, or in the calf muscle
  • Pain in your feet upon standing or after walking

What should I do if my feet are flat?

Having your foot type determined with the help of your podiatrist is a great place to start if you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your feet and ankles. A variety of stretching exercises, arch supports, and physical therapies can be utilized to help stop the pain.

Some of the conditions that can arise in association with untreated flat feet may include:

If you are currently experiencing problems from having flat feet, the foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems and will be happy to assist. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Don’t Ignore These Foot Symptoms

A large number of people have a tendency to try and ignore the existence of foot pain and to discount changes in foot function or appearance. Not paying attention to the initial warning signs of foot issues puts you at risk for developing more serious problems at a later date.

 

Some preliminary signs of foot issues that may worsen if left untreated include the following:

  • Toenail discoloration—The appearance of a yellow or reddish spot under a toenail may be the sign of a fungal infection, or worse yet, cancer! Untreated, a toenail fungal infection can spread to your other toes, and in diabetic patients the infection may become problematic and require amputation of a toe, or even the whole foot. Melanoma is an aggressive type of cancer that can start under the nails and spread to the lymph nodes and throughout the body.
  • Heel and arch pain—Pain in the heel can happen when you step hard on a rock or other small object. If the pain in your heel doesn’t subside after a few days, it may be indicative of a more serious condition and you should schedule a visit with your foot doctor for proper evaluation and treatment.
  • Pain in the big toe—Pain from an ingrown toenail may be a sign of infection. Also, the sudden occurrence of big toe pain may be from gout, which is caused by painful uric acid crystals forming in the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis also may first appear in the big toe joint and in the joints of the smaller toes and fingers.
  • Foot and ankle swelling—Some minor swelling caused by a sprain, tight fitting shoes, or from standing on your feet all day, is usually nothing to worry about. If pain persists for several days or a week, it may be a sign of a more serious injury requiring immediate evaluation and treatment.

It is extremely important not to ignore what your feet are telling you! Always have a proper evaluation done by a podiatrist in order to help limit any future complications. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Why Do I Have Ingrown Toenails?

The pain and discomfort of an ingrown toenail is something many of us have experienced. The medical name for this condition is onychocryptosis, and it can become a debilitating problem when it affects several toes at once, creating a constant fight with the painful swelling and infections that accompany this ailment.

Since it is not always obvious that an inward growing toenail is the cause of toe pain, a careful inspection by your foot doctor is often needed. You may notice swelling and redness around the nail, and not be able to bear pressure on the edge of the nail. Yellowing, pus, and a warm sensation in the skin around the toe may be signs of an infection that needs to be treated quickly to avoid further complications.

The Causes of Ingrown Toenails

 

Some of the causes of ingrown toenails include the following:

  • Improper nail cutting technique—Probably the main cause of this condition is the nail growing into your skin due to improper cutting. The nail should be cut straight across and evenly so that it spans the entire width of your toe.
  • Injury to the toe—Trauma including stubbing the toe or dropping something heavy on it can cause the nail to grow into the skin.
  • Poorly fitting shoes—Shoes with narrow toe boxes can generate pressure on the toes causing this condition.
  • Fungal nail growth—A fungal nail infection can cause the nail to grow into the surrounding tissues.

 

Treating Ingrown Toenails

Treatments can range from conservative to a surgical resection of the entire nail plate. A less severe ingrown toenail may be treated with warm water soaking and antibacterial balms. You may try inserting a small piece of cotton under the edge of the nail to pull it away from the skin and to help it grow in the proper direction.

For chronic and painful ingrown nail conditions, your foot doctor may be able to correct the problem with a simple outpatient procedure that requires the numbing of the toe and surgical removal of the ingrown nail section.

If you are currently experiencing ingrown toenail trouble, the foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

What Are Sesamoid Bones?

An interesting fact about the sesamoid bones that separates them from others is that they are not directly connected to any other bone and float freely. They are surrounded by muscle or connected to tendons and ligaments. The largest sesamoid bone in your body is the kneecap. There are also two much smaller, pea-sized sesamoid bones located on the bottom of the forefoot right behind your big toe.

These bones help to bear the weight and stress of walking, and raise the bones of the big toe, while also helping the tendons to move efficiently. Not only can the sesamoid bones themselves break from stress, but also the soft tissue around them can become inflamed or bruised causing considerable pain and discomfort in a condition called sesamoiditis. Since sesamoiditis has similar symptoms to Morton’s neuroma, it’s important to see your foot doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms of sesamoid bone injury include:

  • Pain and discomfort in the ball of your foot
  • Pain and discomfort when trying to bend or straighten the big toe
  • Swelling and bruising

In diagnosing a problem with the sesamoid bones, your podiatrist will perform a physical exam to determine whether you can move your toe upwards without an increase in pain. A fractured sesamoid bone usually shows up on an x-ray, or your doctor may order an MRI bone scan. Surgery is rarely required, and may involve the complete removal of the sesamoid bone.

Treatments for sesamoid bone issues in the foot may include:

  • Rest and ice and elevate the foot to relieve swelling and pressure.
  • Take oral Ibuprofen or other Nsaids for pain.
  • Wear shoes with more cushioning in the sole.
  • Use pads for cushioning and isolation.
  • Our doctor may tape the big toe to isolate movement and to provide for better plantar fascia flexion.
  • Steroids may reduce inflammation.
  • Orthotic inserts can be used to decrease pressure points that are causing pain.

If you need help with a sesamoid bone issue, the foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems, and will be happy to assist. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).