Posts for: May, 2019
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.
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.
Ingrown toenails are one of the most common podiatric conditions. At Family Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, Ashburn, McLean, and Reston, 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!