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Tuesday, 08 August 2023 00:00

What Are Hammertoes?

Hammertoes are painful deformities that frequently form on the second, third, or fourth toe. The condition is often caused by an issue in foot mechanics. This can be caused by the person’s specific gait or the manner in which they walk, or by shoes that do not comfortably fit the deformity.  Hammertoes can be formed after wearing shoes that are too narrow or short for the foot or have excessively high heels. Shoes that are not properly sized will force the toes into a bent position for long periods of time. This can cause the muscles to shorten and toes to bend into the deformity of a hammertoe.

Hammertoe can also be caused by complications from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, trauma to the foot, heredity, or a cerebral vascular accident. Pain and difficult mobility of the toes, deformities, calluses, and corns are all symptoms of a hammertoe.

Someone who suspects they have the symptoms of a hammertoe should consult with a physician—particularly a podiatrist. Podiatrists diagnose and treat complications of the foot and ankle. If the podiatrist discovers that the affected toes are still flexible, treatment for the hammertoe may simply involve exercise, physical therapy, and better-fitting shoes. Treatment for hammertoes typically involves controlling foot mechanics, such as walking, through the use of customized orthotics.

For more serious cases in which the toes have become inflexible and rigid, surgery may be suggested. During the operation, the toe would receive an incision to relieve pressure on the tendons. A re-alignment of the tendons may then be performed by removing small pieces of bone to straighten the toe. In some cases, the insertion of pins is needed to keep the bones in the proper position as the toe heals. The patient is usually allowed to return home on the same day as the surgery.

If surgery is performed to repair a hammertoe, following the postoperative directions of your doctor is essential. Directions may include several stretches, picking up marbles with your toes, or attempting to crumple a towel placed flat against your feet. Wear shoes that have low heels and a wide amount of toe space to maintain comfort. Closed-toe shoes and high heels should be avoided. Shoes with laces allow the wearer to adjust how fitted he or she may want the shoes to be and also allow for greater comfort. To provide adequate space for your toes, select shoes that have a minimum of one-half inch of space between the tip of your longest toe and the inside of the shoe. This will also relieve pressure on your toes and prevent future hammertoes from forming.

Other preventative measures that can be taken include going shopping for new shoes in the middle of the day. Your feet are its smallest in the morning and swell as the day progresses. Trying on and purchasing new shoes midday will give you the most reliable size. Be sure to check that the shoes you purchase are both the same size. If possible, ask the store to stretch out the shoes at its painful points to allow for optimum comfort.  

Many athletes, such as runners, and dancers, experience a condition known as sesamoiditis. This is an inflammation of the tendons of two tiny sesamoid bones that lie under the big toe joint. Any activity that transfers weight to the ball of the foot can cause sesamoiditis. Runners with this condition may need help in finding the proper shoes to accommodate this overuse injury. Such a shoe would likely have a wide toe box that allows the toes to spread wider than the ball of the foot. Secondly, it would include what is termed by experts as a zero heel-to-toe drop. In effect, the ball of the foot and heel would be aligned on the same plane. Lastly, the shoe should not have an elevation of the toe box above the ground, which is termed a toe spring. The current industry toe spring standard is 15 degrees. This can increase pressure on the ball of the foot. While it may be difficult to adjust to this type of minimalist running shoe, some people may wish to ease into the change with transition shoes. If you have any questions on how to deal with sesamoiditis and find the shoe that can keep you running, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If you think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact Dr. Steven Shlonsky of Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Shlonsky will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

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

Read more about Sesamoiditis
Tuesday, 01 August 2023 00:00

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition in which the sesamoid bones in the forefoot become inflamed from physical activity. Sesamoid bones are bones that are not connected to other bones but are located in tendons or muscle. Two of these sesamoid bones are very small and located on the underside of the foot near the big toe. Athletes such as runners, baseball and football players, and dancers are likely to experience sesamoiditis. Those with high arched feet, flat feet, or runners who run on the ball of their foot are also prone to suffer from sesamoiditis.

Symptoms include pain or throbbing on the ball of the foot near the big toe. The pain generally starts with a mild throbbing but gradually builds up to shooting pain. Bruising, swelling, and redness are possible, but in most cases, these symptoms are not present. However, moving the big toe can result in pain and difficulty.

To conduct a diagnosis, the podiatrist will examine the ball of the foot and big toe. They will look for any outliers and check the movement of the toe. X-rays will be taken to rule out any other conditions and ensure that it is sesamoiditis.

Treatment for sesamoiditis is generally mild and includes rest, anti-inflammatory and pain medication, and ice treatments to deal with the swelling and pain. Orthotics may be needed with people who have flat or high arched feet to relieve pressure off the bones. In some cases the toe will be taped and immobilized to allow healing. The podiatrist may also decide to use a steroid injection to help with swelling as well. If you have sesamoiditis, you shouldn’t engage in any intensive activity, as it may inflame the area and worsen your pain. If the sesamoid bone has fractured, surgery may be required to remove the sesamoid bone.

If you are suffering from sesamoiditis or are experiencing symptoms similar to sesamoiditis, you should stop all physical activity that puts strain on the area. Furthermore you should see a podiatrist for a diagnosis to see if you have sesamoiditis.

Tuesday, 25 July 2023 00:00

Causes of Big Toe Joint Pain

Big toe joint pain can be caused by various conditions, like arthritis, bunions, gout, sesamoiditis, or turf toe. These conditions can lead to stiffness, swelling, and a grinding sensation. Even though the toe joints are small, they support a significant amount of body weight and play a crucial role in foot function. The most common form of arthritis affecting the big toe is osteoarthritis, which results from tissue erosion between bones and joints. It makes it difficult to straighten the toe and causes pain while standing or walking. Bone spurs can also develop on the top of the big toe, leading to pain, particularly when wearing shoes. Bunions, characterized by a large bump on the joint of the big toe, are deformities that cause the toe to shift towards the smaller toes. They can be caused by things such as genetics, tight shoes, or rheumatoid arthritis. Finding comfortable shoes becomes challenging, and wearing them can be painful. Bunions result in redness, irritation, and swelling on the side of the big toe. Gout, another type of arthritis, occurs when uric acid builds up in the blood, forming crystals that deposit into a joint, often affecting the big toe joint. Uric acid is a waste product that accumulates when purines, found in certain foods like red meat, seafood, and alcohol, are broken down. Failure to eliminate uric acid through the kidneys can lead to gout, causing intense pain, swelling, redness, and heat in the joint. Since big toe pain can have various causes, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist for an examination, a diagnosis, and the appropriate treatment options.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Steven Shlonsky of Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Shlonsky can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking

Diagnosis

In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These 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

Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Louisville, KY . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Toe Pain
Tuesday, 04 July 2023 00:00

Ways to Strengthen Ankle Ligaments

Because ankle injuries are commonly caused by sprained ligaments, it is a good idea to know what to do when a sprain occurs. The importance of full recovery from an ankle sprain cannot be emphasized enough. Experts suggest a number of actions that can help to restore ankle strength and stability. Rest the injured ankle, keep it elevated at a 45-degree angle as much as possible, and stay off it until it heals. Wrap the ankle to keep it stabilized and to prevent swelling, but avoid making it so tight that it cuts off blood flow to the feet. After the ankle heals, performing a few simple exercises can help strengthen the injured ligament. Pointing and flexing your toes about five to 10 times is one such exercise, and another is performing heel raises. This should be done while holding onto a chair for balance. A third is slowly going up and down stairs, which has the added benefit of burning calories and strengthening the thigh muscles. Before starting any type of ankle exercise after being injured, it is suggested that you check in with a podiatrist for an evaluation and further guidance.  

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Steven Shlonsky from Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Shlonsky can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

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

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

Read more about Three Grades of Ankle Sprains
Tuesday, 04 July 2023 00:00

Three Grades of Ankle Sprains

An ankle sprain occurs when one or more ankle ligament gets overly stretched. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that bind and support the bones and other structures that make up the ankle. In more severe ankle sprains, the ligament(s) tear—either partially or completely—and there may be an audible popping noise at the moment of injury.

Ankle sprains are quite common and can occur when the ankle rolls outwardly (eversion) or inwardly (inversion), causing the ligament(s) to stretch beyond normal limits, or even tear. Falls, twists, or blows to the ankle during sports or other activities can cause this injury, as well as wearing improper footwear, running on uneven surfaces, or having weak ankles.

Depending on the injury’s severity, an ankle sprain will be classified as Grade I, Grade II, or Grade III. Grade I sprains involve ligament(s) being overly stretched but not torn, with symptoms of mild pain, swelling, and ankle instability. There may also be some difficulty bearing weight. A Grade II sprain usually involves a partial tear of the ligament which brings more intensity in these symptoms, along with possible bruising. With a Grade III sprain, the ligament is completely torn, the symptoms are severe, and it may not be possible to put weight on the affected foot at all. 

To diagnose and grade an ankle sprain, a podiatrist will perform a physical examination, checking for tenderness and range of motion in the ankle. For more severe sprains, X-rays or other imaging studies may be necessary. 

It is vitally important to have an ankle sprain treated properly as improper healing often leads to future ankle sprains and possibly even chronic ankle stability. Treatment for an ankle sprain will vary, depending on its severity, and may include the RICE method (Rest/Ice/Compression/Elevation), physical therapy, bracing, medications, and possibly even surgery to repair a torn ligament. Rehabilitation is very important for the sprain to heal properly and to restore functionality.

Tuesday, 20 June 2023 00:00

Why Your Feet Sweat and Smell Bad

If you notice that your feet smell bad, it is likely caused by having sweaty feet. When the skin stays damp it invites bacteria, which thrive in moist, warm environments. When the bacteria grow, they break down the sweat and produce chemicals with a foul odor. The main cause of the odor is sweating in your socks and shoes and not allowing your feet to dry out. Common causes of sweaty feet include standing on the feet for long periods of time, wearing tight shoes that do not breathe, and wearing shoes that have not completely dried out. Other causes can include not changing your socks or washing your feet daily, certain hormonal changes, and a condition called hyperhidrosis. This condition causes the sweat glands to overproduce moisture. If you have both sweaty and malodorous feet, it is suggested that you seek the help of a podiatrist who is trained to deal with such ailments.  

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. Steven Shlonsky of Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Shlonsky 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 Louisville, KY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Hyperhidrosis of the Feet
Tuesday, 06 June 2023 00:00

Various Branches of Podiatry

The field of medicine that is called podiatry treats conditions of the feet, ankles, and lower legs. The feet are considered to be the foundation of the body, and foot pain can wreak havoc on an individual’s quality of life. Foot pain can range from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly to enduring a traumatic or sudden foot injury. There are several branches of podiatry, consisting of sports medicine, forensic podiatry, and onco-podiatry, and qualified students can choose which one is best for them after completing an extensive education. This can begin with earning a bachelor’s degree, followed by pursuing a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) program that will take four years. A surgery residency program begins at this time, which typically takes place in a hospital or clinic setting. Podiatrists can choose to have a private or group practice, work in extended care facilities, or practice in various health departments. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a podiatrist, it is suggested that you speak to this type of doctor who can address any concerns and answer any questions you may have. 

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact Dr. Steven Shlonsky from Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Shlonsky can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drugs
  • Orthotic inserts or soles
  • Surgery on lower extremity fractures

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

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

Read more about What is a Podiatrist?
Tuesday, 06 June 2023 00:00

What is a Podiatrist?

The branch of medicine that is focused on the treatment, diagnosis, and study of disorders of the lower leg, ankle and foot is referred to as podiatry. Because people often spend a great deal of their time on their feet, many problems in this area can occur. A person seeks help from the field of podiatry when they need treatment for heel spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, infections, and problems with the foot that are related to diabetes and additional diseases.

To treat problems of the foot, ankle or lower leg, a podiatrist may prescribe physical therapy, drugs, perform surgery, or set fractures. Individuals may also be recommended to wear corrective shoe inserts, custom-made shoes, plaster casts and strappings in order to correct deformities.

When trying to gather information on a patient problem, a scanner or force plate may be used in order to design orthotics. During this procedure, patients are told to walk across a plate that is connected to a computer; the computer then takes a scan of the foot and indicates weight distribution and pressure points. The computer readouts will give the podiatrist information to help them determine the correct treatment plans.

Diagnosis is also provided through laboratory tests and x-rays. Through the foot, the first signs of serious problems such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis can show up. For example, individuals that have diabetes may frequently have problems such as infections and foot ulcers because they experience poor circulation in the foot area. A podiatrist can then have consultations with patients when symptoms arise. Referrals will then be made to specialists that handle the greater health problems.

Some podiatrists have their own independent, private practices or clinics where they have a small staff and administrative personnel. Many podiatrists work within group practices. They usually spend time performing surgery in ambulatory surgical centers or hospitals, or visit patients in nursing homes. Podiatrists typically spend between 30 to 60 hours of week working. Some podiatrists specialize in public health, orthopedics, surgery, or primary care. Other fields include specialties in geriatrics, dermatology, pediatrics, diabetic foot care and sports medicine.

Some podiatrist specialists complete extra training in the area of foot and ankle reconstruction that results from the effects of physical trauma or diabetes. There are also surgeons that perform surgery of a cosmetic nature to correct bunions and hammertoes.

Tuesday, 30 May 2023 00:00

Several Categories of Foot Bones

The foot bones are responsible for the mobility of the body, in addition to providing mechanical support for the soft tissues. This is necessary to support the body’s weight while standing and moving. Three categories of bones are in each foot. The tarsals consist of seven bones that are located in the ankle area. The bones in the toes are known as phalanges and connect to the metatarsals, the third group of bones. Additionally, the foot is divided into three areas referred to as the hindfoot, midfoot, and forefoot. Each part of the foot has different functions which work in unison to help you walk and run. The bones in the foot may break when enduring a stress fracture or from a sudden injury. If you would like additional information about the bones in the feet, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can provide you with the knowledge you are seeking.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Steven Shlonsky from Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Shlonsky can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

Read more about The Importance of Biomechanics in Podiatry
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Louisville Podiatry Office
149 Thierman Ln
Louisville, KY 40207

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