Serving Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon and McLean /Great Falls VA.

Posts for category: Foot Condition

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
May 15, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Neuroma  

Are you dealing with pain, burning, tingling or numbness between your toes or in the ball of the foot? If you said “yes” then you could be dealing with a neuroma, a pinched nerve or benign tumor of the nerve that is often found between the third and fourth toes.

The classic symptom of a neuroma is pain, particularly when walking—a factor that leads many people to liken the condition to feeling like a pebble is in their shoe. You may find that the pain eases up whenever you aren’t walking or when you rub the pained area with your hands. While neuromas can happen to anyone, they are most commonly found in women.

Neuroma Causes

While the causes of a neuroma are still not clear, there are factors that can increase the likelihood of developing one, such as:

  • Extremely high arches
  • Flat feet
  • Trauma that leads to nerve damage in the feet
  • Improper footwear (high heels over two-inches tall; pointed toes)
  • Repeated stress placed on the foot

Treating a Neuroma

A neuroma will not go away on its own, so it’s important to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of the condition's symptoms. The type of treatment or treatments recommended to you will depend on the severity of the neuroma.

Those with minor neuromas may be able to lessen symptoms by wearing shoes that provide ample room for the toes and offer thick soles that provide more support and cushioning for the toes and balls of the feet. Sometimes a podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to place inside the shoes, as well.

Your podiatrist may also recommend padding or taping the ball of the foot to improve faulty biomechanics and reduce discomfort. While medication will not eliminate the problem, it can temporarily alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can often briefly reduce pain and swelling, but for those dealing with more severe pain, steroid injections may be necessary to ease symptoms.

Surgery for a Neuroma

Surgery only becomes necessary when conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief, or when the neuroma has progressed enough that conservative care won’t be enough. During surgery, the inflamed nerve is removed through a simple outpatient procedure. Afterward, there is a short recovery period of a couple of weeks before patients are able to move about pain-free once again!

Give us a Call!

If you are dealing with new or worsening foot pain it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist that can help give you the answers you need. Schedule an appointment today.

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
May 09, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Ingrown Toenails  

Ingrown toenails are one of the most common podiatric conditions. At Family Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, Ashburn, McLean, and ingrown-toenailReston, VA, your team of seven podiatrists have the experience and skills to help your nails be healthy and pain-free.

What causes ingrown toenails?

Occurring mostly with the big toes, ingrown toenails happen when the corners of a nail invade the surrounding skin, often becoming infected. They sometimes respond to home treatment, but more severe cases require intervention by your foot doctor.

In general, ingrown toenails are a mechanical issue. Constant friction from overly tight shoes and/or socks, trauma to the nail and simply cutting nails too short or at an angle are among the causes.

Ingrown toenails present with pain, redness and swelling. Additionally, many people have a co-existing fungal infection of the toenail or skin of the foot.

Finally, people inherit their foot structure, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. People with toes which tend to curve upward seem to develop nail fungus and ingrown toenails more easily.

Treating ingrown toenails

Of course, your Fairfax, Ashburn, McLean, and Reston, VA, podiatrist wants your feet to feel better quickly. They may recommend simple warm soaks at home (adding some Epsom salts to the water if you like) and massaging the sore area. Mild cases respond well to these simple interventions.

However, you should come to the Family Foot and Ankle Center for an examination and treatment if your ingrown toenail persists, gets worse, or shows signs of infection. In that case, your podiatrist may prescribe an oral antibiotic to clear the infection and as necessary may remove part of the toenail. This in-office procedure is called partial nail avulsion.

Preventing ingrown toenails

To keep your toenails healthy, trim them straight across with clean clippers. Wear well-fitting shoes and socks, and wash and dry your feet daily. These simple preventatives encourage healthy nail growth and fungus-free skin and nails.

We can help

If you have any concerns about the health or function of your feet and ankles, don't hesitate to call one of the four Family Foot and Ankle locations. We have ample office hours and a friendly, competent staff to help you. Call (703) 273-9818 for the Fairfax, VA, office, (703) 723-9267 for the Ashburn, VA, office, (703) 556-8637 for the McLean, VA, office or (703) 723-2719 for the Reston, VA, office to schedule an appointment today!

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
April 19, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Ingrown Nails  

Swelling, reddened flesh, shooting pain, and pus are just some of the incredibly uncomfortable symptoms of having an ingrown toenail. Although this condition can sometimes be successfully treated through home remedies, ingrown toenails often progress to the point of infection, a point that then requires professional treatment. Read on to learn what causes this problem, when it’s right to seek medical help, and how our podiatrists can help get your foot back to a healthy state!

The Causes and Symptoms

Before we cover how to treat ingrown toenails, let’s first review the core causes and symptoms that hallmark this condition…

Ingrown toenails initially develop due to a few different factors, including:

  • Cutting the toenail too short
  • Rounding the toenail during grooming
  • Wearing improperly fitting shoes
  • Experiencing toe trauma

If the flesh on the side of the toe has become red, swollen, and tender, you likely have an ingrown toenail. If you have caught this problem while it’s still in its early stages, you can try implementing some of the home remedies listed in the next section. However, if your toe is exhibiting some of the following signs of infection, you should seek professional podiatric help:

  • Pervasive shooting or throbbing toe pain
  • Regular bleeding
  • The presence of a pus-filled blister
  • The skin has started growing over the nail

Home Remedies

As mentioned above, if an ingrown toenail is caught before infection sets in, there are a few different methods that you can practice at home in order to clear up the issue. Some of these include:

  • Around 3 to 4 times a day, submerge your foot into warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Regularly doing this should reduce swelling and provide pain relief.
  • Following each soaking, use cotton to separate the ingrown toenail from the flesh that it is starting to grow under. This should allow the nail to grow above the skin again.
  • Avoid snug or constraining shoes.

If these actions fail to clear up the problem in 2 to 3 days, you should pursue professional treatment.

Professional Treatments

In the case of a severe or recurring infection, there are a few different procedures that your podiatrist can perform to make your toe healthy again. Depending on the specifics of your ingrown toenail, one of the following treatments may be recommended:

  • Partial Nail Removal: In the case of a severe ingrown toenail, your doctor can numb your toe before physically removing the ingrown portion of the nail.
  • Nail and Tissue Removal: If the same toe is repeatedly experiencing the same ingrown toenail problem, this procedure can be performed to prevent future recurrences. It entails your podiatrist removing a portion of the underlying nail bed, thus preventing the nail from become ingrown again.

Concerned About Your Toe? Give Us a Call!

If your ingrown toenail needs medical attention, call our podiatric office today!

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
March 07, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Diabetic Foot Care  

Your feet play a crucial role in your health when you have diabetes. Although you may have been able to ignore small scratches or burst Diabetic Foot Careblisters in the past, overlooking these seemingly minor foot issues can lead to serious infections if you've been diagnosed with diabetes. The podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, Ashburn, McLean, and Reston, VA, treat diabetes-related foot conditions and can help you minimize your risk of complications.


The importance of foot care

Daily self-exams can help you spot sores and injuries and prevent problems. For example, if you notice a red spot on the side of your foot, you can avoid a blister by choosing roomier shoes that don't rub against your feet.

It's particularly important to conduct self-exams if you have nerve damage due to diabetic neuropathy. When you can't feel your feet, you won't experience pain or discomfort and may not even realize that there's a problem until your foot is infected.

Diabetes slows healing time and makes it difficult to treat infections. If the infection doesn't respond well to antibiotics, you may even lose your foot or part of your leg. Practicing self-care and visiting your foot doctor in Fairfax, Ashburn, McLean, or Reston, VA, at the first sign of trouble can help you protect your feet and your health.


When should I call the podiatrist?

Make an appointment with your foot doctor if you notice any of these signs or symptoms:

  • Open sores
  • Red, swollen sores or cuts
  • Pus on your skin
  • Corns, calluses, and ingrown toenails (attempting to treat these conditions at home can lead to infections.)
  • Red streaks on your skin
  • Pain or numbness in your feet
  • Change in temperature (Your feet feel abnormally hot or cold.)
  • Blue, black or white skin

Prompt treatment of infections is crucial if you have diabetes, for swift attention can help you avoid hospital stays and any potentially deadly complications of the disease.


Concerned? Give us a call!

Have you noticed any of these signs and symptoms? Schedule an appointment with the podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center by calling (703) 273-9818 for the Fairfax, VA, office, (703) 723-9267 for the Ashburn office, (703) 556-8637 for the McLean office or (703) 723-2719 for the Reston office.

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
March 06, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Is heel pain keeping you down? Pain that occurs following an injury or early in an illness may play a protective role, warning us about the damage we have suffered. SoYour Heel Pain Could Be Plantar Fasciitis what causes heel pain?
Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition in which a band of tissue in the sole of the foot becomes inflamed, leading to severe heel pain. The pain can be so bad that it hurts to walk, much less exercise or perform daily activities. If one step causes shooting pain in your heel—especially when you first get out of bed in the morning or stand up after sitting for a long period of time—plantar fasciitis may be to blame. Contact your podiatrist immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment of your pain. 

Understanding Heel Pain with Help from Your Podiatrist

Plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, occurs when the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension. This causes the soft tissue fibers of the fascia to tear or stretch at points along its length, leading to inflammation, pain and possibly the growth of a bone spur where it attaches to the heel bone.
Inflammation may become irritated by shoes that lack appropriate support, mainly in the arch area and by the constant irritation associated with an athletic lifestyle. Resting may provide temporary relief, but when you resume walking you may experience a sudden elongation of the fascia band, which stretches and pulls on the heel. As you walk the pain may lessen or even disappear, but that may just be a false sense of relief, as the pain will often return after prolonged rest or extensive walking.  
You can take steps now to avoid heel pain, including:
  • Wear shoes that fit well
  • Wear proper shoes for each activity
  • Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
  • Prepare properly before exercising by stretching and warming up
  • Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities
  • Don’t underestimate your body’s need for rest and good nutrition
  • Lose excess weight
If pain and other symptoms of inflammation persist, you should limit your normal daily activities and contact your podiatrist immediately.  

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