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Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00

Causes of Bunions

If the joint on the bottom of the big toe is enlarged, this foot condition may be referred to as a bunion. There may be considerable inflammation, which can possibly lead to additional bone growth. Patients who experience bunions often have obvious symptoms including pain, redness and tenderness. If this condition is not treated promptly, arthritis may develop, and this may possibly cause a deformity. Common reasons for bunions to form may be from genetic traits or abnormal foot structures such as flat feet. Choosing to wear poorly fitting shoes may cause a preexisting case of bunions to become even worse. It’s important to speak with a podiatrist who can suggest specific exercises that may treat the symptoms of the bunion in addition to possible removal, which may require surgery.   

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 09 July 2018 00:00

Can Obesity Affect My Child’s Feet?

Research has shown that a correlation exists between obesity and specific foot conditions. The plantar fascia may become inflamed as a result of the additional weight, and this may lead to developing the painful condition known as plantar fasciitis. When obesity affects children, balance may be compromised, the walking pace may be slower, and the feet may become wider and longer. Children who are overweight may experience damage to the ligaments and joints, which may lead to abnormalities in the feet. Many times, the excess weight will keep obese children from participating in physical activities despite knowing that it is one of the key factors in losing additional pounds. If your child shows signs of becoming obese, please consult with a podiatrist to learn more about how obesity affects the feet.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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

Read more about How Obesity Affects Your Feet

Inflammation of the nerve, which runs along the inside of the foot and ankle, is often referred to as tarsal tunnel syndrome. It is typically a result of  overuse of the entire ankle and may often occur because walking or running is practiced for extended periods of time. Occasionally, a sudden injury may be a cause of this condition, often producing similar symptoms. These include pain and discomfort in the ankle and surrounding areas, and may be tender to the touch. To alleviate the pain, rest is typically suggested in addition to elevating the affected foot above heart level, which can help to reduce blood flow to the ankle. Recent research has suggested that when ankle exercises are performed, the foot generally becomes stronger when repeated frequently. These exercises may include gently rolling the ankle in a circular motion, and moving the ankle up and down. If you feel you are affected by tarsal tunnel syndrome, please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about how this condition is treated.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
- Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
- The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
- If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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

Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

The benefits of properly caring for your baby’s feet may last well into adulthood. A part of this includes trimming the toenails which may prevent a painful and uncomfortable condition from developing, often referred to as ingrown toenails. There are noticeable symptoms indicating that an ingrown toenail has formed, including skin that appears to be red and swollen which surrounds the affected toe, and this may possibly cause considerable pain when shoes are made to be worn. There are also several ways to prevent your child from developing this painful condition, such as choosing socks and shoes that fit properly, cutting the toenails in a timely fashion, and noticing any infected cuts near the toenail which may cause it to grow into the skin. Your child may find some relief when a warm compress is applied to the affected toe, in addition to walking barefoot until the toe has healed. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised if your child’s daily activities are hindered by ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

What is a Heel Spur?

The definition of a heel spur is a bony protrusion that comes from the heel of the foot and grows into the arch. This condition is often the result of tears in the plantar fasciitis which is a thick band of tissue that runs along the sole of the foot. General symptoms may include pain and discomfort under the heel which may be worse in the morning and experiencing a tender feeling when the heel is touched. There may be several causes for heel spurs to develop, including excess weight the heel endures from being obese, certain sporting activities that puts pressure on the heels, and wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Research has shown that reducing the activities that may cause this condition may aid in the treatment of heel spurs. Please consult with a podiatrist for treatment options which may include being fitted for custom made orthotics and night splints.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main conditions spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in Baltimore, MD. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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Monday, 11 June 2018 00:00

How to Properly Care for Elderly Feet

An important task that caregivers perform is to properly care for their elderly patients’ feet. This includes checking the feet daily for any cuts or cracks in the skin, in addition to trimming the toenails correctly. Infections may be common in older people, and this may generally be indicated by bleeding sores, discolored toenails, or blisters that are found on the feet. When the toenails are kept short by being trimmed properly, the risk of scratching the skin and breaking any nails may diminish. This can be achieved by using sterile nail clippers that are only used by one person. A warm foot bath or massage may provide relief from tired and achy feet and circulation may improve. Additionally, it’s beneficial to purchase shoes that fit correctly. This can be accomplished by trying both shoes on to confirm there is adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Consulting a podiatrist is strongly recommended to learn about how infections can be prevented in elders feet.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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

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Monday, 04 June 2018 00:00

What Causes Cracked Heels?

Heel fissures is another name for a condition referred to as cracked heels. The skin will typically appear dry and callused, and may generally be uncomfortable. Pain may be experienced by patients whose skin on their heels are severely cracked and infection may occur as a result of this. There are several reasons for this condition to develop, including standing for the duration of the day, the heels enduring additional weight from being obese, or shoes that do not fit correctly. For mild cases, relief may be found in soaking the feet in warm water, followed by applying a moisturizer which may help soften the skin.  For more severe cases, it’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist who may remove the dead skin and can recommend and provide appropriate shoe inserts.

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

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

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels

If you notice that your toenails are starting to thicken or change color, there is a chance you may have onychomycosis. Onychomycosis is the medical term for the condition commonly known as toenail fungus. If you are in the early stages of developing toenail fungus, you may notice a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. Afterward, you may notice that the fungus will travel deeper and start to discolor, thicken, or distort the edge of the nail. Nevertheless, there are items you likely have in your kitchen cabinet that can aid in fighting toenail fungus. Apple cider vinegar is a popular remedy for toenail fungus due to its antifungal properties. If you want to treat your fungus using ACV, you can soak your feet in a mixture of warm water and the vinegar for about 15 minutes, twice a day. When purchasing the ACV, you should make sure it is raw, unpasteurized, and organic. For further assistance with treating toenail fungus, please consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist.  

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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

 

Read more about Toenail Fungus
Monday, 21 May 2018 00:00

Have I Broken My Toe?

If you have ever experienced a broken toe, you may be familiar with the pain and inconvenience that’s often associated with this condition. The toes are an important element in maintaining the body’s balance and it’s suggested to seek treatment as soon as possible. There are several ways your toes can fracture. These may include dropping a heavy object on the foot, falling, or another condition such as arthritis or gout which can weaken the bones in the toes. There are obvious symptoms that accompany a broken toe, including bruising and swelling, in addition to pain that does not subside. To properly diagnose this condition, an X-ray is generally performed and the correct treatment is determined by the severity of the break. If the bone is protruding through the skin, surgery may be necessary to ensure proper healing by placing the bone back into place. Please speak to a podiatrist if you have concerns and would like additional information about broken toes.

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. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. 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 looked at every day, 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 Baltimore, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
Monday, 14 May 2018 00:00

Why Do Bunions Develop?

A bunion is an abnormal growth that forms on the bottom of the big toe. Typical symptoms include swelling, pain, and redness surrounding the area of the big toe, and the entire foot may change shape as a result of the bunion. Choosing to wear poorly fitting shoes may cause this condition to develop, in addition to having a family history of bunions. This ailment may be prevented by wearing shoes that have adequate room for the toes to move freely, and shoes with a lower heel are preferred. If you enjoy running or jogging, your feet should be properly supported in running shoes that fit correctly. It’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who is skilled in properly diagnosing this condition. Treatment options can be discussed, which may include custom-made orthotics for temporary relief or surgery for removal of the bunion.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about Bunions
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