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April 2020

Monday, 27 April 2020 00:00

How Did My Ingrown Toenail Develop?

Patients who have experienced an ingrown toenail are often aware of the discomfort this condition may cause. If you have an ingrown toenail, you will notice the nail grows into the side of the skin surrounding the toenail, and may become red and swollen. It is an ailment that is caused by possibly trimming the toenails incorrectly, or it may come from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. In severe cases, there can be a discharge coming from the impacted nail, and it may become infected. Mild relief may be found when the nail is soaked in warm water, as this may soften the skin enough to insert a small piece of cotton between the skin and the nail. It is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist if you are afflicted with an ingrown toenail.

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. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. 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 offices located in Chambersburg and Waynesboro, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Saturday, 25 April 2020 00:00

Reminder: When was the last time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Published in Blog
Monday, 20 April 2020 00:00

How Can I Tell If I Have a Hammertoe?

Research has found that the second toe, next to the big toe, is most likely to develop a hammertoe if an injury occurs, along with other causes. Hammertoes typically occur due to genetic factors, ill-fitting footwear, or from arthritis. This condition is most notably recognized by the appearance of the affected toe. Like its name suggests, a hammertoe will typically point downward, in a hammer-like fashion. Hammertoes can be incredibly uncomfortable and can make completing daily tasks difficult. To help ease the pain of mild hammertoes, a professional may suggest wearing custom orthotics. For more severe cases, it may be necessary to have surgery performed in order to correct this ailment. For more advice on how to treat and correct a hammertoe, please consult with a podiatrist.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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

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Published in Blog
Monday, 13 April 2020 00:00

Stress Fractures Develop Gradually

A stress fracture is often referred to as a hairline fracture, and typically develops gradually. It occurs as a result of a weakened bone in the foot, and this may  happen from frequently participating in walking and running activities. Additionally, it can become a common issue if the running surface changes, or possibly from starting to train too soon after an injury occurs. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition can include swelling on or around the affected area, and experiencing pain while walking. Effective treatment can begin by refraining from the activity that caused the injury, and elevating the affected foot to help reduce existing swelling. If you have a stress fracture, please schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can help you with exploring your treatment options.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Published in Blog

Patients who have the medical condition that is known as tarsal tunnel syndrome can experience several symptoms. These may include a numbing sensation on the inside of the ankle, pain and discomfort after walking for long periods of time, and the toes may feel weak. Having flat feet may play a significant role in developing tarsal tunnel syndrome, and it can gradually develop from conditions such as arthritis and varicose veins. If you are afflicted with this ailment, it is beneficial to elevate the affected foot as often as possible, in addition to strengthening the muscles and tendons by performing specific stretches. These can include circling your ankles from left to right for several seconds, followed by changing direction. It may feel good to raise and lower your toes throughout the day, and stretching the plantar fascia may help the foot to generally feel better. Please consult with a podiatrist to learn more about possible treatment techniques for tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. 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 offices located in Chambersburg and Waynesboro, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Published in Blog
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