A day usually does not go by in the office when I do not see a patient who comes to me saying that there toenails are ugly. With spring here, and summer right around the corner, everyone is preparing for flip-flop season. What better way to prepare than by seeing your podiatrist to get your toenails into shape. Ugly toenails (thickened, discolored, crumbly nails) can be caused by many different things. Most commonly, this type of presentation is caused by a nail fungus. Nail fungus is contagious and is generally seen after walking barefoot on a pool deck, locker room, hotel room floor, etc. Treatment is important to not only prevent spreading on your feet but also to prevent yourself from sharing with your whole family.
This weather today makes me look forward to summer and kayaking- picture of Dr. Kaplan and his dog Barley!
As a practicing podiatrist, a week does not go by without a patient coming in for one issue and during the course of exam I find another issue that the patient did not know we treated. Commonly it’s a patient that comes in for foot pain and I notice a skin condition on their foot and right away they say they are going to make an appointment with their dermatologist. I am here today to tell you that podiatrists treat ALL conditions related to the feet whether it be pain or not.
“What can I use for the fungus in my nails?” This is a question that I get all day everyday from patients. My answer usually consists of a discussion of topical medications vs oral medications. I then always get asked the question “How effective is the topical medications?” I set out to write this blog to answer the burning question of how effective topical anti-fungals are for nail fungus.
I know that we are in the middle of winter, albeit a warm winter, but I thought today would be a great day to discuss malignant melanoma and the feet as the groundhog did not see his shadow meaning an early spring/summer. In our office, we have posters that show pictures of skin cancers of the feet and multiple times a day patients say to us “Wow, I didn’t know you can develop skin cancer on the feet.” I am here today to tell you, YES, you can develop skin cancer on the feet.
One of the most common foot conditions seen in the world are bunions. Bunions are best defined as bony prominence’s that occur at the joint at the base of the big toe. As a bunion develops, the toe deviates towards the outside of the foot and pain can develop. There are multiple causes of bunions but the most common cause is a flat foot type which tends to be inherited from your parents. Trauma and other systemic diseases can cause bunions although less commonly.
As you can see from the above picture, even celebrities have foot and ankle abnormalities. One example of this is a hammertoe. A hammertoe is most easily described as a contracture of the toe causing the top of the toe to be prominent. (usually due to abnormal muscle pull) There are many causes of hammertoes such as flat feet and high arch feet. They can also be seen after trauma. Symptoms can include pain in the top of the toes where they rub against the top of the shoe. Commonly calluses can be formed in the area on the top of the toes which become painful. Hammertoes can also lead to pain in the ball of the feet due to extra pressure in this area from the contracture. Depending on what caused the hammertoes, they tend to progress over time.
“You’re going to need surgery,” is a very disconcerting phrase that most people dread hearing from a medical professional, but when it comes to surgeries prescribed by your podiatrist, you can put your mind at rest. Foot and ankle procedures generally have a recovery period that is much shorter than that of many other types of surgery. A patient can resume regular everyday activities in relatively little time.
It’s that time of the year where everyone is trying to shed a few pounds from their holiday over eating. I tend to be a regular at the gym and in the last few days, as there are at the beginning of every year, there have been a lot of unfamiliar faces. What needs to be realized is that when you go from inactive to working out a lot, there is a high probability of injury to the foot and ankle.
Common injuries include stress fractures, sprains, and strains. A stress fracture is a type of fracture which cannot always be seen on x-ray that tends to occur in people that increase their activity level too quickly. Symptoms of this injury can include pin point tenderness over an area of bone (particularly seen in the metatarsals which are the long bones of the forefoot). Treatment can include special shoe gear as well as immobilization.
Sprains and strains of the foot and ankle are also seen in people who hit the gym after being sedentary for a long time. There are tons of muscles, tendons and ligaments in the foot and ankle that can easily be injured. Stretching before, during and after exercises is a great way to try and decrease the occurrence of these sprains and strains. Common symptoms of these include pain in the foot especially with range of motion (ie moving the toes/ ankle etc) Treatment of these include ice, elevation and possible immobilization of the affected body part. It is always important to have x-rays completed of the affected foot or ankle to rule out fracture or other causes of foot/ankle pain.
If you or anyone you know has any foot or ankle pain, contact Quality Foot Care at 215-230-9707 to schedule an appointment with your local podiatrists today!
A ganglion cyst is a fluid filled lesion that tends to be seen around joints and tendons in the body. It is especially common in the foot and ankle where it is commonly seen on the top of the foot and ankle. Although ganglion cysts are not cancerous, they can cause pain and discomfort in the affected areas.
Although the wrist is the most common location in the body for ganglion cysts, they are also commonly seen in the lower extremities. Most people only notice a visible lump in the affected area. Commonly people describe it as a fluid filled sac underneath the skin. Pain is sometimes seen associated with ganglion cysts as well.
Many times a podiatrist can have a good idea that a soft tissue mass is a ganglion cyst just by evaluating the area. Sometimes a light is used to look at the area to see if there is trans-illumination around the cyst. Commonly your podiatrist will numb the area around the cyst and aspirate the fluid and send to the lab for evaluation. Ganglion cyst fluid tends to be yellow in color and thick. Once a diagnosis is made, steroid can be injected into the cyst to help reduce recurrence. Unfortunately, ganglion cysts have a high recurrence rate with just aspiration and injection of steroid into the area. Surgical intervention can also be completed to remove the cyst and its walls in their entirety which leads to a lower recurrence rate.
If you have any concerns about the above, make an appointment with the doctors at Quality Foot Care in Doylestown at 215-230-9707.