Patients who have uncontrolled diabetic symptoms and infections that affect the feet sometimes have to face the possibility of living with a missing toe. There are preventative therapies available to heal the feet before this happens, but in some unfortunate cases amputation of a toe is necessary. Here are some tips from podiatrists for how to adapt to a missing toe and still live a normal, active life.
Reasons for Missing Toes
One of the most common causes for complications related to the feet and toes is uncontrolled diabetes. Diabetic symptoms can cause foot ulcers, which are wounds that can become seriously infected and lead to the need for amputation of toes. Diabetes can also cause poor circulation, which starves the toes of the blood and oxygen needed to keep them healthy. The other common reason for a missing toe is a serious injury, such as a very heavy object falling on the foot.
Adapting to the Loss of a Toe
It’s true that you need your toes for balance and stability, but a missing toe is not the end of the world. Many people have learned to strengthen their other nine toes to walk and even run successfully. A podiatrist will likely recommend physical therapy and special exercises to help you to strengthen your muscles and adapt to a missing toe. Special shoes and toe fillers can be designed to provide you with the additional support you need. Prosthetics are also available to act as a toe replacement for athletes.
Protecting Your Feet and Toes
It’s important to take “steps” toward protecting your feet and toes to prevent future problems. Patients with diabetes must work closely with their doctor to get their blood glucose levels under control. That may include adopting a better diet, taking prescribed medication and checking blood sugar levels regularly. If you work at a job that puts your feet at risk, like construction or manufacturing, wear steeltoes boots or shoes at all times to protect your toes.
It is possible to live a normal life with a missing toe. Talk to your podiatrist if you have concerns about your feet—modern treatments and solutions are available to successfully relieve symptoms, strengthen your toes and bring your feet back to their full function.
Find out if a lateral ankle injury could be to blame for your constant ankle pain.
Q. What is a lateral ankle injury?
A. A lateral ankle injury is a sprain or tear of the lateral ligaments, or the ligaments found on the outer portion of the ankle.
Q. What are the symptoms of a lateral ankle injury?
A. The most common symptoms are: chronic pain in the ankle, reduced mobility and function in the foot, swelling and inflammation, a weakened ankle, and poor rangeofmotion. Some athletes with a lateral ankle injury may not be able to bear any weight on the foot, or they may feel as if the ankle is unstable and gives out when walking.
Q. What are the causes of a lateral ankle injury?
A. One of the primary causes is playing sports, especially spots that involve inversion movements or changing directions quickly, like basketball or tennis. Lateral ankle injuries occur when the athlete rolls the ankle inward, causing tears or strain on the lateral ligaments. Chronic lateral ankle pain can also be the result of an ankle sprain that never properly healed.
Q. How are lateral ankle injuries diagnosed?
A. We will discuss your medical history and then delve into the symptoms you are experiencing. We will ask if you’ve ever had any previous ankle injuries and what the treatment process was for your past injuries. Besides running a thorough physical examination to check for tender or swollen areas of the ankle, we may also run a series of Xrays to look at the health of your ankle joint.
Q. What kinds of treatments are available for lateral ankle injuries?
A. The initial treatment requires that patients stay off their injured foot and rest as much as possible to reduce pain and swelling. Icing the injury can also be helpful for the first couple days to reduce inflammation. It’s best to follow the RICE method when it comes to caring for your injury at home: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
You will also want to see your podiatrist for physical therapy, where we will perform a series of strengthening and stretching exercises that are meant to restrengthen damaged ligaments and improve rangeofmotion. Because those with lateral ankle injuries are also prone to future injuries, following routine strengthening exercises will help reduce your chances of reinjury. Expect to be in physical therapy for about six to 10 weeks.
There are some patients that don’t experience any relief from their symptoms even with these treatments. When this happens, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to repair the damaged ligaments and promote better healing.
Don’t let heel pain dictate your life. Stop it in its tracks and get back to what matters.
Heel pain can really put a damper on your life. Not only can it make getting out of bed a grueling and unpleasantly painful task but it can also rear its head at the worst of times like when you’re trying to work out or run errands. If your heel pain has affected your daily life then our Ashburn, Fairfax, McLean and Reston, VA podiatrists have some helpful solutions for you to try.
First and foremost, our Ashburn, Fairfax, McLean, and Reston VA foot doctors will want to determine the cause of your heel pain. The two most common causes are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. There are a variety of other foot ailments that can lead to heel pain. Of course, once we are able to pinpoint the cause then we can create an effective treatment plan.
Most of the time patients will receive a list of conservative treatment methods that they can perform from the comfort of their own home to eliminate their heel pain over time. Common treatment methods include:
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers and anti-inflammatories
- Wearing a splint or brace to support the arch of the foot and reduce pain
- Staying off the foot whenever possible to promote faster healing
- Avoiding high-impact exercises that could exacerbate your symptoms
- Performing daily stretching and strengthening exercises to improve muscles in the feet and to take pressure of certain aggravated tendons or ligaments
While the above treatments are often all that’s needed to tackle your heel pain, there are some people that have such severe cases that these options just aren’t enough to ease their symptoms for good. When this happens then it’s a good idea to talk to us about more aggressive options such as corticosteroid injections or shockwave therapy, which can both be great ways to combat severe or chronic forms of heel pain.
If you are dealing with heel pain in Ashburn, Fairfax, McLean and Reston, VA, isn’t it time you did something about it? Call the foot experts that are always here to help at Family Foot and Ankle Center.
Fairfax, VA - (703) 273-9818
Reston, VA - (703) 723-2719
McLean, VA - (703) 556-8637
Ashburn, VA - (703) 723-9267
Podiatrists diagnose and treat a wide variety of footrelated concerns that affect everything from the heels to the toes. One relatively rare yet concerning issue that a foot doctor can fix is clubfoot—it’s a condition that usually affects children. If you have concerns about the shape and function of your child’s feet, learn more about clubfoot, its causes and how it can be successfully treated by a podiatrist.
What Is Club Foot?
Club foot is a condition that causes the feet to look deformed. It is an issue that usually develops at birth and continues to develop through childhood. The foot looks twisted to the point where the child cannot walk properly or even place his foot down on the ground normally. In extreme cases, where the foot is almost upside down, the child can’t walk at all. If it goes untreated, it can cause problems in the calves and legs, so this is a problem that must be corrected as soon as it is noticed.
What Causes Club Foot?
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes clubfoot, but there is a theory that it may develop in the womb. The way that the baby is positioned in the mother’s womb could cause unnatural pressure on the stilldeveloping child’s skeletal system. Children who are diagnosed with musculoskeletal disorders are also more prone to this foot problem. Some doctors also believe that club foot runs in the family, or it can be caused by smoking or doing drugs during pregnancy.
Cures for Club Foot
Podiatrists can successfully correct most cases of club foot in children—the earlier that it’s addressed by a doctor, the better. The standard procedure to fix this condition is called the Ponseti treatment method. The podiatrist stretches the child’s feet to the proper position and then puts it in a secure cast. Regular appointments are necessary to readjust the position of the feet and monitor progress until they are properly aligned. Other solutions include taping the feet, and in advanced cases surgery may be needed.
Your child can be cured of club foot and have healthy, normally aligned feet. It’s important to see a podiatrist for a consultation as soon as the issue is noticed for the best results.
Women tend to experience the pain and disfigurement associated with bunions more often than men. Here we explain why:
It's been said that women often suffer for the sake of fashion. That seems to be especially true when it comes to their feet years of wearing narrow, highheeled, pointed shoes can wreak havoc on the structure of women's feet, particularly in the form of bunions. These deformities have become one of the most common afflictions podiatrists treat in their offices. But why does this problem tend to affect women over men, and what can be done to prevent it?
First, it's important to know what bunions are and how they develop. Bunions gradually develop on the outside of the big toes from pressure on their joints. As the big toe is constantly pushed inward toward the other toes, the bunion becomes more pronounced. They are not actually new growths; the deformity of the foot bones makes it appear that there is a lump under the skin. The results of this irregularity can be pain, swelling and limited range of motion, and its appearance can make people selfconscious about going barefoot or wearing opentoed shoes.
The cause of bunions is not completely known: they may be an inherited abnormality, or they may be caused by many years of wearing illfitting footwear. Either way, it is generally accepted that cheaply-made or tight-fitting shoes can worsen bunions over time. Given that women's shoes often require the foot to contort into an unnatural position, it is no wonder that more women suffer from bunions than men. Women also tend to be more arthritic, a condition that can exacerbate bunions as well.
Low-maintenance, non-surgical options are usually the first line of treatment for bunions. Shoes should be highquality and fitted by an expert to ensure proper sizing. Speciallydesigned foot pads or arch supports can be worn to alleviate some of the pressure and mild pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen can ease the pain. Surgeries involve removing some of the affected bone or surrounding tissue to correct the foot's position.
If you think your feet might be fashion victims, kick your shoes off and call your podiatrist to ask about your options.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.