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News & Announcements
What is a Morton’s Neuroma?
Do you feel tingling, burning, pain and numbness on your foot mostly between your third and fourth toes? These are the most common symptoms for a Morton’s Neuroma.
What is a Morton’s Neuroma?
It is a thickening of nerve tissue that may develop in between the third and fourth toes. It is caused by the compression or irritation of the nerve. One of the most common causes is wearing shoes that have a tapered toe box or high-heeled shoes that cause the toes to be forced into the box.
What are the symptoms?
- feeling of something inside the ball of foot
When should you see a doctor?
It is best to not ignore any pain, as that is a way for your body to tell you there is something wrong. If the pain lasts longer than a few days, or the burning pain in the ball of the foot is not improving, despite changing your footwear and modifying activities that cause stress to the foot.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, give our office a call so we can schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists!
As we mentioned in our last blog itchiness, dry, scaling skin can be a condition called Athlete’s foot due to a skin infection caused by fungus. However, sometimes patients tend to show other symptoms that most likely are not caused by Athlete’s foot but by Pitted Keratolysis.
Pitted Keratolysis is a skin infection that is caused by bacteria. It is associated with stinky feet and excessive sweatiness. Some other symptoms include:
- Bad odor coming from the soles of the feet
- Small holes or indentations on the soles of the feet, measuring around 0.5 mm to 7 mm in diameter.
- Excessive sweating not caused by exercise or heat
- Maceration, when the skin becomes lighter in color and wrinkly due to long exposure to moisture, such as sweat
- Pain or itching while walking
People who go barefoot and live in tropical areas are more common to develop this condition.
Some recommendations to avoid Pitted Keratolysis are:
- Avoid wearing tight shoes and socks
- Let your shoes air out regularly
- Use cotton socks that are absorbent
- Dry thoroughly your feet every time you shower
Schedule an appointment with one of our Podiatrists, so they can give you proper diagnosis and treatment. Silicon Valley Podiatry Group is here to help!
How to avoid Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot or tinea pedis is a skin infection caused by fungus that occurs on the foot. A fungal infection may occur on any part of the body; however, it commonly attacks the feet because it lives in a warm, moist, dark environments, such as your shoes.
Fungal infections are more common during the summer, hot months, when feet tend to sweat more. Fungus grows in damp areas, such as swimming pools, showers and locker rooms. Athletes often have sweaty feet and use the facilities where fungus is commonly found, thus the term “athlete’s foot.”
Athlete’s foot usually produces itchy, dry, scaling skin. It is commonly seen on the soles of the feet and in between the toes. In advanced cases, inflammation or redness, cracks and blisters may form; an infection caused by bacteria can also result. The fungus can spread to other areas of the body, including the toenails.
Here’s a list to remember to avoid Athlete’s feet:
- Avoiding walking barefoot combined with good foot hygiene can help reduce the spread of the fungus.
- Feet should be washed every day with soap and water and thoroughly dried, including between the toes. Feet should be kept as dry as possible.
- If your feet sweat a lot, you may need to change your socks during the day. Antifungal powders, sprays and/or creams are often used to treat athlete’s foot.
Come visit our doctors to get your feet evaluated and get recommendations for sweaty and/or itchy feet. You may also purchase, Fungifoam, on our website for treatment of tinea pedis. Ask your doctor before using if it’s the treatment of choice for you.
Warts This? A Quick Guide To Plantar Warts
A wart is a small growth on the skin that develops when the skin is infected by a virus. Warts can develop anywhere on the foot, but they typically appear on the bottom (plantar side) of the foot. Plantar warts most commonly occur in children, adolescents and the elderly.
There are two types of plantar warts:
- A solitary wart is a single wart. It often increases in size and may eventually multiply, forming additional satellite warts.
- Mosaic warts are a cluster of several small warts growing closely together in one area. Mosaic warts are more difficult to treat than solitary warts.
Plantar warts are caused by direct contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV). This is the same virus that causes warts on other areas of the body.
The symptoms of a plantar wart may include:
- Thickened skin. A plantar wart often resembles a callus because of its tough, thick tissue.
- Pain. Walking and standing may be painful. Squeezing the sides of the wart may also cause pain.
- Tiny black dots. These often appear on the surface of the wart. The dots are actually dried blood contained in the capillaries (tiny blood vessels). Plantar warts grow deep into the skin. Usually, this growth occurs slowly with the wart starting small and becoming larger over time.
Diagnosis & Treatment
To diagnose a plantar wart, the foot and ankle surgeon will examine the patient’s foot and look for signs and symptoms of a wart.
Although plantar warts may eventually clear up on their own, most patients desire faster relief. The goal of treatment is to completely remove the wart.
The foot and ankle surgeon may use topical or oral treatments, laser therapy, cryotherapy (freezing), acid treatments or surgery to remove the wart.
Regardless of the treatment approaches undertaken, it is important that the patient follow the surgeon’s instructions, including all home care and medication that has been prescribed, as well as follow-up visits with the surgeon. Warts may return, requiring further treatment.
If there is no response to treatment, further diagnostic evaluation may be necessary. In such cases, the surgeon can perform a biopsy to rule out other potential causes for the growth.
Although many folk remedies for warts exist, patients should be aware that these remain unproven and may be dangerous. Patients should never try to remove warts themselves. This can do more harm than good.
If you are suffering from Plantar Warts don’t hesitate to contact us to Make an appointment!
Toenails: What your Toenails are Trying to Tell you by Their Color
Have you ever wondered what caused your toenail to become thick, black, white, yellow or any discoloration? Here’s the description of many causes that can cause your nail to be discolored. An evaluation by foot and ankle specialist is vital to establish the proper diagnosis. Visit our podiatrists for a complete evaluation of your toenails and treatment options.
Yellow discoloration in the toenails is commonly caused by fungal infection. The fungus often develops underneath the nail, resulting in it becoming thick, raised and yellow in color.
Other potential causes for yellow discoloration of the nail include diabetes mellitus and lymphedema (chronic leg swelling). Yellow staining of the nails can also occur in individuals who use nail polish. A stained nail may take several months to grow out.
Toenails will often become thick as an individual grows older. Thickening may also occur as a result of trauma to the toenail, such as when it repeatedly hits the end of a shoe that is too short. Sometimes when something is dropped on the toenail, the nail will fall off. When a new toenail grows back, it will often be thicker than it was previously.
Thick toenails can also be seen in individuals with nail fungus (onychomycosis), psoriasis and hypothyroidism.
White toenails can develop for several reasons. Trauma, such as when an object is dropped on a toenail, often causes bleeding under the nail because of broken blood vessels. This would cause a black toenail. If the trauma does not cause broken blood vessels, a white spot may appear under the nail. The spot will slowly grow out with the normal growth of the toenail.
Sometimes white lines appear within the toenail. These may be caused by recurring trauma, such as when a runner wears shoes that are too small and the toe hits the end of the shoe. White lines may also occur due to a medical illness or trauma that has occurred elsewhere in the body, causing protein to be deposited within the nail bed.
A fungal infection that affects the outermost layer of the toenail may cause a bright white discoloration of the toenail.
A white area close to the nail fold (the lunula) varies in size from one person to another. This is a normal aspect of the nail.
A black, purple or brownish discoloration under or involving a toenail is frequently due to trauma to the toenail, such as when something is dropped on the toe. The color results from a blood clot or bleeding under the nail and may involve the entire nail or just a small portion of it. This can be very painful when the entire nail is involved and may need medical attention to relieve the pressure caused by bleeding under the toenail.
When the second or third toenails are involved, it is commonly referred to as “runner’s toe.” This can be the result of the nail being slightly too long and the shoe being either too big or too tight. If the shoe is too big, when running down hill, the foot slips and the nail can get caught where the toe cap meets the toebox. If the shoes are too tight, the nail can get pinched and jammed, resulting in bleeding between the nail plate and nail bed.
Although it is very rare, a more serious cause of black toenails is malignant melanoma. Since early diagnosis and treatment of melanoma improves the chances for a good outcome, it is important that all black toenails be evaluated by a qualified foot and ankle surgeon to rule out this cause.
Other rare causes of black toenails include fungal infections, chronic ingrown nails or health problems affecting the rest of the body.
The Best Golf Shoes for 2021, According to our Podiatrists
With California lifting masks regulations and many places opening up and returning to normal, many of us, our spouses, friends, and family are returning to normal activities. There is nothing best to enjoy the hot, sunny weather golfing! So, whether you are just starting out or play pro, the best golf shoes must provide comfort and stability. Here is a list of recommended golfing shoes for you!
For Beginners: Not looking to invest a lot in your shoes but some that are comfortable and lightweight.
Skecher’s Men’s Go Golf Max Cut Golf Shoes
Skecher’s Women’s Go Golf Max Cut Golf Shoes
For Intermediate Players: very light and comfortable
Adidas CodeChaos Golf Shoes
Footjoy Flex XP Women’s Golf Shoes
Nike Air Max 1G Men’s Golf Shoes
Nike Air Max 1G Women’s Golf Shoes
My Podiatrist Recommended Orthotics, But What exactly Are They?
Orthotics are devices that are often mass-produced and can help provide your feet with the extra
support, stability, and shock absorption that is required for optimal biomechanical function of the feet.
Custom orthotics are medical devices prescribed by a foot and ankle surgeon/podiatrist that are based
on a prescription specific to YOUR feet. They are custom made based on individual needs. There are two
types of custom orthotics: accommodative and functional.
Accommodative orthotics can be used to accommodate or offload a prominent area. They don’t change
the function of the foot; however; they support the structure of the foot as they reduce the amount of
pressure, shock, and shear on your bones, joints, and tissues when ambulating. They can be used to
offload painful calluses, bony prominences, bursitis and ulcers. Accommodative orthotics are widely
used as part of diabetic foot care. You can add soft spots to accommodate your deformity or even a toe
filler to fill the void of a missing toe in your shoes. There are many types of soft orthotic material that
can be used for the top cover of an accommodative orthotic; however, Plastazote is the material of
Functional orthotics help with the function of the foot. They help rebalance forces across your feet and
adjust the biomechanics so you don’t walk with pain anymore. They can control abnormal pronation,
support and protect the ankles, and allow your feet to move through the entire gait with the foot more
closer to its neutral/ideal position. They can be used to treat conditions such as tendonitis, fasciitis,
flexible flat feet etc. They tend to be made from more rigid or semi-rigid materials however the top
cover can be adjusted for your individual needs. Functional orthotics are great for heel pain, most sports
injuries, and can even help delay the need for surgery if it is not desired at a specific time or if a child
must wait for growth plates to close and for his or her skeleton to be more physically mature.
Your feet are the foundation of your entire body. And just like a crumbling foundation can cause
problems throughout your house, poor foot biomechanics can force knees, hips, and back to adjust and
compensate which can result in pain throughout the entire body. Orthotics help rebalance and adjust
those forces so you can enjoy that morning and evening walk pain free!
Ouch! What’s that pain on my heel?
Have you noticed that your heel is more painful since you’ve been home due to Covid? Did you stop wearing your shoes as you’ve been inside your home? There are many different reasons that can result in a painful heel such as stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation; however, the most common cause is Plantar Fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (plantar fascia ligament) that originates from the heel and extends to the toes. Irritation and inflammation of the fascia can result in heel pain.
The most common causes of plantar fasciitis are the biomechanics; structure and function, of your foot. For example, people who have either overly flat feet or high-arched feet are prone to develop this condition. Wearing Nonsupportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia and can result in plantar fasciitis. Obesity and overuse may also contribute to plantar fasciitis.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain on the bottom of the heel, pain in the arch of the foot, pain that is usually worse upon arising, pain that increases over a period of months, swelling on the bottom of the heel. People usually describe the pain as worse when they get up in the morning or after they have been sitting for long periods of time. Pain decreases after few minutes of walking because it stretches the fascia.
Visit our foot and ankle surgeons to arrive at a proper diagnosis. We will obtain your medical history and examine your foot to rule out all possible causes for your heel pain other than plantar fasciitis. In addition, further imaging, such as x-rays or other imaging modalities, such as ultrasound and MRI, may be used to distinguish the different types of heel pain.
Treatment of plantar fasciitis begins with first-line strategies, which can begin at home and include stretching exercises, calf stretches; avoid going barefoot; using an ice pack to reduce inflammation; limit activities; NSAIDs to reduce pain and inflammation; shoe modifications. Our doctors will provide you with a list of proper athletic shoe recommendations.
If the pain persists, see your foot and ankle surgeon, for orthotic devices, injection therapy, removable walking cast, physical therapy or to discuss surgical options if necessary, for chronic pain.
It does not matter what kind of treatment option you undergo for plantar fasciitis, the underlying cause of the condition, your foot type, may remain. Therefore, you will need to continue with preventative measures such as wearing supportive shoes, stretching, and using custom orthotic devices for the long-term treatment of plantar fasciitis.
What To Expect From Hammertoes & How to Treat Them
Have you ever wondered what caused your perfectly straight toes to bend? Why are your toes now rubbing against any shoe that you wear?
Hammertoe is a progressive deformity that results from contracture (bending) of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes. In the earlier stages, hammertoes are flexible, and symptoms can be managed with noninvasive measures. They can become rigid over time requiring surgical treatment. Hammertoes never get better without some kind of intervention.
The most common cause of hammertoes is a muscle/tendon imbalance. The imbalance can be a result of mechanical (structural) or neurological changes in the foot. The symptoms can be aggravated by wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. In some cases, hammertoes are inherited.
Common symptoms of hammer toes include pain or irritation of the affected toe in shoes, build-up of a callus or corn due to the constant friction against the shoe, toe contracture, inflammation, redness, or burning sensation. In severe cases, open wounds may form.
Although the deformity is readily apparent in most cases, proper diagnosis is required for adequate treatment. During the physical examination, your doctor may attempt to reproduce your symptoms by manipulating your foot and will study the contractures of the toes. In addition, the x-rays will be taken to determine the degree of the deformities and assess any changes that may have occurred.
There are a variety of different treatments for hammertoes depending upon the severity of the deformity. Your doctor will discuss the non-surgical and surgical treatments with you. You may use a pad to prevent friction such as moleskin, gel toe sleeves, crest pads, splints. Do not use any medicated pads. Wear shoes with wider and deeper toe box, make sure to get your foot measured before buying new shoes for proper sizing. A custom orthotic device placed in your shoe may help control the muscle/tendon imbalance. Corticosteroid injections are sometimes used to ease pain and inflammation caused by hammertoe.
If surgical treatment is warranted, your surgeon will discuss the appropriate procedure with you. At SVPG, we perform a minor surgical procedure in the office, flexor tenotomy and capsulotomy, and extensor tenotomy, that can provide immediate relief from the contracture with no significant downtime. Come visit us to get your toes fixed today!
What to Expect After Bunion Surgery?
After a consultation regarding Bunion Surgery, many patients wonder, well what should I expect after surgery? They receive all the information regarding the surgery and what should do before, yet many wonder what is expected after? Will I be in pain? Can I go back to normal activity right away? Well, we are here to give you some answers!
You should expect a Post-Operative consultation with your surgeon 3 days after your surgery. At this time, your dressing from the surgery will be removed and a new dressing will be applied. You are expected to continue to weight bear as tolerated and wear your post-surgery shoe for another 2 weeks. Rest, Ice, and Elevate your surgery foot.
Two weeks after surgery, your sutures will be removed, and a light bandage will be applied. You may start getting your foot wet in the shower; however, no soaking or swimming is advised. Compression socks will be recommended to wear, and you may gradually transition into approved athletic shoes over the next 2 weeks.
Four weeks after surgery, you will be advised to start physical therapy 1-2 times per week for a total of 4 weeks. You can now wear athletic shoes at all times when walking.
Eight weeks after surgery, you may gradually transition to other approved shoes at this time, Range of Motion exercises and stretching exercises are recommended.
Twelve weeks after surgery, this will be your final consultation! You may return to previous activities and shoes without any restrictions.
As you can see, bunion surgery takes time; however, the recovery process is not too complicated and in 3 months you can return to previous activities without restrictions.
For more information, schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists. They will be glad to give you more insight and diagnosis for your own situation.