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From routine checkups to treatments for surgery, Footcenters of Maryland is equipped to handle all your podiatric needs. To help you understand your options, we've included descriptions of some of our leading services on this page.

 
     
 
  • Achilles tendon
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    Achilles tendon

    The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body and can withstand forces of 1,000 pounds or more. But it also the most frequently ruptured tendon.

    Both professional and weekend athletes can suffer from Achilles tendonitis, a common overuse injury and inflammation of the tendon.

    Events that can cause Achilles tendonitis may include:

    • Hill running or stair climbing.
    • Overuse resulting from the natural lack of flexibility in the calf muscles.
    • Rapidly increasing mileage or speed.
    • Starting up too quickly after a layoff.
    • Trauma caused by sudden and/or hard contraction of the calf muscles when putting out extra effort such as in a final sprint.

    Achilles tendonitis often begins with mild pain after exercise or running that gradually worsens. Other symptoms include:

    • Recurring localized pain, sometimes severe, along the tendon during or a few hours after running.
    • Morning tenderness about an inch and a half above the point where the Achilles tendon is attached to the heel bone.
    • Sluggishness in your leg.
    • Mild or severe swelling.
    • Stiffness that generally diminishes as the tendon warms up with use.

    Treatment normally includes:

    • A bandage specifically designed to restrict motion of the tendon.
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
    • Orthoses, which are devices to help support the muscle and relieve stress on the tendon such as a heel pad or shoe insert.
    • Rest and switching to another exercise, such as swimming, that does not stress the tendon.
    • Stretching, massage, ultrasound and appropriate exercises to strengthen the weak muscle group in front of the leg and the upward foot flexors.

    In extreme cases, surgery is performed to remove the fibrous tissue and repair any tears.

  • Flat Feet
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    Flat Feet

    Flat feet are a common condition. In infants and toddlers, the longitudinal arch is not developed and flat feet are normal. Most feet are flexible and an arch appears when the person stands on his or her toes. The arch develops in childhood, and by adulthood most people have developed normal arches.

    Most flat feet usually do not cause pain or other problems. Flat feet may be associated with pronation, a leaning inward of the ankle bones toward the center line. Shoes of children who pronate, when placed side by side, will lean toward each other (after they have been worn long enough for the foot position to remodel their shape).

    Foot pain, ankle pain or lower leg pain, especially in children, may be a result of flat feet and should be evaluated.

    Painful progressive flatfoot, otherwise known as Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis, is caused by inflammation of the tendon of the tibialis posterior. The tendon then becomes inflamed, stretched or suffers a partial or total tear. If left untreated, this condition may lead to severe disability and chronic pain. Some people are predisposed to this condition if they have flatfeet or an abnormal attachment of the tendon to the bones in the midfoot.

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, ice, physical therapy, supportive taping and bracing, or orthotic devices are the common ways of treating painful progressive flatfoot. Contact your physician before taking any medication. In some cases, a surgical operation may need to be performed to repair the torn or damaged tendon and restore normal function. To prevent reinjury, orthotic devices may be recommended. In severe cases, surgery on the midfoot bones may be necessary to treat the associated flatfoot condition.

  • Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain
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    Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

    Chronic lateral ankle pain is recurring or chronic pain on the outside part of the ankle that often develops after an injury such as a sprained ankle. Other conditions, however, may also cause chronic ankle pain.

    Signs and symptoms include:

    • Ankle instability.
    • Difficulty walking on uneven ground or in high heels.
    • Pain, sometimes intense, on the outer side of the ankle.
    • Repeated ankle sprains.
    • Stiffness.
    • Swelling.
    • Tenderness.

    While ankle sprains are the most common cause of chronic lateral ankle pain, other causes may include:

    • A fracture in one of the bones that make up the ankle joint.
    • Arthritis of the ankle joint.
    • Inflammation of the joint lining.
    • Injury to the nerves that pass through the ankle. In this case, the nerves become stretched, torn, injured by a direct blow, or pinched under pressure.
    • Scar tissue in the ankle after a sprain. The scar tissue takes up space in the joint, putting pressure on the ligaments.
    • Torn or inflamed tendon.

    Treatments for chronic lateral ankle pain include:

    • Over the counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling. Consult your physician before taking any medications.
    • Physical therapy, including tilt-board exercises, directed at strengthening the muscles, restoring range of motion, and increasing your perception of joint position.
    • Ankle braces or other supports.
    • Steroid medication.
    • Immobilization to allow the bone to heal (in cases of fractures).
  • Fungus Toenails
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    Fungus Toenails

    Athlete's foot and fungal nails are the most common types of foot fungus.

    Athlete's foot is a skin disease caused by a fungus, usually occurring between the toes. The fungus usually attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment which encourages fungus growth.

    The warmth and dampness of areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms, are also breeding grounds for fungi.

    Not all fungus conditions lead to Athlete's foot, however. Other conditions, such as malfunctions of the sweat mechanism, reaction to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema, and psoriasis, also may mimic Athlete's foot.

    Symptoms of athlete's feet include drying skin, itching scaling, inflammation, and blisters. Athlete's foot may spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails, and can spread to other parts of the body, including the groin and underarms.

    You can prevent Athlete's foot by:
    • Avoiding walking barefoot. Use shower shoes.
    • Reducing perspiration by using talcum powder.
    • Wearing light and airy shoes.
    • Wearing socks that keep your feet dry, and changing them frequently if you perspire heavily.
    While fungicidal and fungistatic chemicals are usually used to treat Athlete's foot problems, they often fail to contact the fungi in the horny layers of the skin. Instead, topical or oral antifungal drugs may need to be prescribed.

    Fungal toenail infections are a common foot health problem and can persist for years without ever causing pain. The disease, characterized by a change in a toenail's color, is often considered nothing more than a mere blemish, but it can present serious problems if left untreated.

    Also referred to as onychomycosis, fungal nail infections are an infection underneath the surface of the nail, which can also penetrate the nail. In addition to causing difficulty and pain when walking or running, fungal nail infections are often accompanied by a secondary bacterial and/or yeast infection in or about the nail plate.

    A group of fungi called dermophytes easily attack the nail, thriving off keratin, the nail's protein substance. When the tiny organisms take hold, the nail may become thicker, yellowish-brown or darker in color, and foul smelling. Debris may collect beneath the nail plate, white marks frequently appear on the nail plate, and the infection is capable of spreading to other toenails, the skin, or even the fingernails.

    Nail bed injury may make the nail more susceptible to all types of infection, including fungal infection. Those who suffer chronic diseases, such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or immune-deficiency conditions, are especially prone to fungal nails. Other contributory factors may be a history of Athlete's foot and excessive perspiration.

    You can prevent fungal nail infections by taking these simple precautions:
    • Exercise proper hygiene and regularly inspect your feet and toes.
    • Keep your feet clean and dry.
    • Wear shower shoes in public facilities whenever possible.
    • Clip your nails straight across so that the nail does not extend beyond the tip of the toe.
    • Use a quality foot powder - talcum, not cornstarch - in conjunction with shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe.
    • Avoid wearing excessively tight hosiery, which promotes moisture. Acrylic socks tend to \"wick\" away moisture faster than cotton or wool socks, especially for those with more active life styles.
    • Disinfect home pedicure tools and don't apply polish to nails suspected of infection.
    Over-the-counter liquid antifungal agents, while sometimes effective, may not prevent a fungal infection from recurring. I may prescribe a topical or oral medication, and removal of diseased nail matter and debris (debridement).

    In some cases, surgical treatment is prescribed, during which the infected nail is removed. Permanent removal of a chronically painful nail, which has not responded to any other treatment, permits the fungal infection to be cured, and prevents the return of a deformed nail.

  • Ankle Sprains
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    Ankle Sprains

    Ankle Sprains More than 25,000 people sprain their ankles every day, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.

    Ankle sprains are caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones of the foot, often resulting in one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle to be stretched or torn. If not properly treated, ankle sprains could develop into long-term problems.

    Treatment includes resting the ankle and applying ice to reduce swelling. Compressive bandages also may be used to immobilize and support the injury. More serious ankle sprains, particularly in competitive athletes, may require surgery to repair to tighten the ligaments.
  • Geriatric Foot Care
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    Geriatric Foot Care

    Foot Care For Seniors

    Experts say that problems with our feet can be the first sign of more serious medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and nerve and circulatory disorders.

    Here are some foot care tips for older people:

    • Practice good foot care. Check your feet regularly, or have a member of your family check them.
    • It also helps to keep blood circulating to your feet as much as possible. Do this by putting your feet up when you are sitting or lying down, stretching if you've had to sit for a long while, walking, having a gentle foot massage, or taking a warm foot bath.
    • Avoid pressure from shoes that don't fit right.
    • Avoid exposing your feet to cold temperatures.
    • Don't sit for long periods of time (especially with your legs crossed).
    • Don't smoke because it decreases blood supply and increases the chance of swelling and other circulatory problems.
    • Wear comfortable shoes that fit well. This can prevent many foot problems.
  • Arthritic Foot & Ankle Care
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    Arthritic Foot & Ankle Care

    Arthritis

    Arthritis is a disabling and occasionally crippling disease afflicting almost 40 million Americans. In some forms, it appears to be hereditary. While the prevalence of arthritis increases with age, all people from infancy to middle age are potential victims. People over 50 are the primary targets.

    Arthritis is an inflammation and swelling of the cartilage and lining of the joints, generally accompanied by an increase in the fluid in the joints.

    It is often a part of complex diseases that may involve more than 100 disorders. If the feet seem more susceptible to arthritis than other parts of the body, it is because each foot has 33 joints that can be afflicted, and there is no way to avoid the pain of the tremendous weight-bearing load on the feet.

    Arthritic feet can result in loss of mobility and independence, but that may be avoided with early diagnosis and proper medical care.

    Symptoms:

    • Early morning stiffness.
    • Limitation in motion of joint.
    • Recurring pain or tenderness in any joint.
    • Redness or heat in a joint.
    • Skin changes, including rashes and growths.
    • Swelling in one or more joints.


    Forms of arthritis

    Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is frequently called degenerative joint disease or "wear and tear" arthritis. Aging usually brings on a breakdown in cartilage, and pain gets progressively more severe, although it can be relieved with rest. Dull, throbbing nighttime pain is characteristic, and it may be accompanied by muscle weakness or deterioration.

    Overweight people are particularly susceptible to osteoarthritis. The additional weight contributes to the deterioration of cartilage and the development of bone spurs.

    Rheumatoid arthritis is a major crippling disorder, and perhaps the most serious form of arthritis. It is a complex, chronic inflammatory group of diseases, often affecting more than a dozen smaller joints during its course, and frequently in both ankles, or the index fingers of both hands.

    Arthritis can be treated in many ways, including:

    • Physical therapy and exercise.
    • Medication.
    • Orthoses or specially prescribed shoes.
  • Hammertoes
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    Hammertoes

    Hammertoe is a deformity of the second, third or fourth toes. In this condition, the toe is bent at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. Left untreated, hammertoes can become inflexible and require surgery. People with hammertoe may have corns or calluses on the top of the middle joint of the toe or on the tip of the toe. They may also feel pain in their toes or feet and have difficulty finding comfortable shoes.

    Causes of hammertoe include improperly fitting shoes and muscle imbalance.

    Treatment for the condition typically involves shoes with soft, roomy toe boxes and toe exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles. Commercially available straps, cushions or non-medicated corn pads may also relieve symptoms.
  • Athlete's foot
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    Athlete's foot

    Athlete's foot is a skin disease caused by a fungus, usually occurring between the toes. The fungus usually attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment that encourages fungus growth.

    The warmth and dampness of areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms, are also breeding grounds for fungi. Not all fungus conditions lead to Athlete's foot, however. Other conditions, such as malfunctions of the sweat mechanism, reaction to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema, and psoriasis, also may mimic Athlete's foot.

    Symptoms of athlete's feet include drying skin, itching scaling, inflammation, and blisters. Athlete's foot may spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails, and can spread to other parts of the body, including the groin and underarms.

    You can prevent Athlete's foot by:
    • Avoiding walking barefoot. Use shower shoes.
    • Reducing perspiration by using talcum powder.
    • Wearing light and airy shoes.
    • Wearing socks that keep your feet dry, and changing them frequently if you perspire heavily.
    While fungicidal and fungistatic chemicals are usually used to treat Athlete's foot problems, they often fail to contact the fungi in the lower layers of the skin. Instead, our practice may prescribe topical or oral antifungal drugs.
  • Heel Spur
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    Heel Spur

    Plantar Fasciitis (heel spur syndrome)

    Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the connective tissue/ligament that stretches from heel bone, across the arch of the foot, to the the base of the toes.  Also called "heel spur syndrome," the condition can usually be successfully treated with conservative measures such as use of anti-inflammatory medications and ice packs, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, and physical therapy.

  • Bunions
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    Bunions

    More than half the women in America have bunions, a common deformity often blamed on wearing tight, narrow shoes. Bunions cause the base of your big toe (Metatarsophalangeal Joint) to enlarge and protrude. The skin over it may be red and tender. This can be acquired through time or it can be congenital (family history)

    Wearing any type of shoe may be painful. This joint flexes with every step you take. The bigger your bunion gets, the more it hurts to walk. Bursitis may set in. Your big toe may angle towards your second toe, or even move all the way under or over it. The skin on the bottom of your foot may become thicker and painful.

    Pressure from your big toe may force your second toe out of alignment, sometimes causing it to overlap your big toe or  third toe. If your bunion gets too severe, it may cause be difficulty in walking. Your pain may become chronic and you may develop arthritis.

    Most bunions can be treated conservatively with wider & softer shoes, pads to relieve the pressure and/or medications. If this does not help then surgical treatment is indicated.

    Bunion surgery, or bunionectomy, realigns the bone, ligaments, tendons and nerves so your big toe can be brought back to its correct position and the bump on the inside of the joint removed. Many bunion surgeries are performed on a same-day basis (no hospital stays) using  IV Sediation. During your recovery it is common to have pain and swelling. This swelling and stiffness may be persistent for several months.

  • Ingrown toenails
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    Ingrown toenails

    Ingrown toenails often are the result of trimming your toenails too short, particularly on the sides of your big toes.

    While they are common, ingrown toenails can be painful. When trimming your nails, avoid tapering the corners so that the nail curves with the shape of your toe. The sides of the nail will curl down and dig into your skin. Shoes that are too tight or short also may cause ingrown toenails.

    Ingrown toenail start out hard, swollen and tender, and later, may become sore, red and infected. Your skin may start to grow over the ingrown toenail.

    Soaking your foot in warm, soapy water several times each day is usually a good way to treat an ingrown nail. Please contact our office to determine the best course of treatment for your condition.

    Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed if an infection is present. Part of your ingrown toenail (partial nail plate avulsion) may need to be surgically removed if an acute infection occurs. The procedure involves injecting the toe with an anesthetic and cutting out the ingrown part of the toenail.

    You can prevent ingrown toenails by:

    • Trimming your toenails straight across with no rounded corners.
    • Ensuring that your shoes and socks are not too tight.
    • Keeping your feet clean at all times.
  • Calluses
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    Calluses


    A callus is an area of hard, thickened skin that can occur across the ball of the foot, on the heel, or on the outer side of the big toe. While many consider them a skin problem, they actually are systemic of a problem with the bone.

    Calluses have painful nerves and bursal sacs (fluid-filled balloons that act as shock absorbers) beneath them, causing symptoms ranging from sharp, shooting pain to dull, aching soreness.

    Calluses form from repeated friction and pressure, as the shoe (or ground) rubs against a bony prominence (bone spur) on the toe or foot. The skin thickens in response to this pressure. Small amounts of friction or pressure over long periods of time cause a corn or callus. A great deal of friction or pressure over shorter periods of time can cause blisters or open sores. Calluses typically develop under a metatarsal head (the long bone that forms the ball of the foot) that is carrying more than its fair share of the body weight, usually due to it being dropped down or due to its longer length.

    Calluses can be treated with over-the-counter callus removers that have strong acids that peel this excess skin away after repeated application. You should be careful with these products as they can cause chemical burns when not used correctly. Begin by soaking your feet in warm soapy water and gently rubbing away any dead skin that loosens. A pumice stone or emery board is then used to "file" this thickened skin. Apply a good moisturizer to the hardened areas to keep them softer and relieve pain. Non-medicated corn pads or moleskin (a thin fuzzy sheet of fabric with an adhesive back) can relieve calluses, but should be removed carefully to avoid tearing the skin.

    If you need assistance relieving calluses, contact our office. Calluses can be trimmed and comfortable padding applied to these painful areas. In addition to medication to relieve inflammation, cortisone may be injected into the underlying bursal sac to rapidly reduce pain and swelling.

    A plantar callus forms when one metatarsal bone is longer or lower than the others, and it hits the ground first-and with more force than it is equipped to handle-at every step. As a result, the skin under this bone thickens like a rock in your shoe. Plantar calluses that are recurring are sometimes removed surgically in a procedure called an osteotomy, which relieves pressure on the bone.

    A condition called Intractable Plantar Keratosis (IPK) is a deep callus directly under the ball of the foot. IPK is caused by a "dropped metatarsal," which happens when the metatarsal head drops to a lower level than the surrounding metatarsals and protrudes from the bottom of the foot. This results in more pressure being applied in this area and causes a thick callus to form.

    A "dropped metatarsal" can either be a congenital abnormality, a result of a metatarsal fracture, or a structural change that may have occurred over time.

    How to prevent calluses:

    • Switch to better shoes, or even an orthotic device.
    • Buy socks with double-thick toes and heels and nylon hose with a woven cotton sole on the bottom of the foot.
  • Corns
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    Corns

    Corns are calluses that form on the toes because the bones push up against the shoe and put pressure on the skin. The surface layer of the skin thickens and builds up, irritating the tissues underneath. Hard corns are usually located on the top of the toe or on the side of the small toe. Soft corns resemble open sores and develop between the toes as they rub against each other.

    Improperly fitting shoes are a leading cause of corns. Toe deformities, such as hammertoe or claw toe, also can lead to corns. In a visit to our office, your corns can be shaved with a scalpel. Self care includes soaking your feet regularly and using a pumice stone or callus file to soften and reduce the size of the corn. Special over-the-counter non-medicated donut-shaped foam pads also can help relieve the pressure.
  • Neuromas
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    Neuromas

    Neuromas are enlarged benign growths of nerves, most commonly between the third and fourth toes. They are caused by tissue rubbing against and irritating the nerves. Pressure from poorly-fitting shoes or abnormal bone structure can create the condition as well. Treatments include special shoes or inserts and/or cortisone injections, but surgical removal of the growth is sometimes necessary
  • Crush Injuries
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    Crush Injuries

    Nearly one-fourth of all the bones in your body are in your feet. A broken (fractured) bone in your forefoot or in one of your toes is often painful but rarely disabling. Most of the time, these injuries heal without operative treatment. Types of fractures include stress fractures and general bone fractures.

    Stress fractures frequently occur in the bones of the forefoot extending from your toes to the middle of your foot. Stress fractures are like tiny cracks in the bone surface. They can occur with sudden increases in training (such as running or walking for longer distances or times), improper training techniques or changes in training surfaces.

    Most other types of fractures extend through the bone. They may be stable, in which there is no shift in bone alignment, or displaced, in which the bone ends no longer line up properly. These fractures usually result from trauma, such as dropping a heavy object on your foot, or from a twisting injury. If the fractured bone does not break through the skin, it is called a closed fracture. Several types of fractures occur to the forefoot bone on the side of the little toe (fifth metatarsal).

    An ankle-twisting injury may tear the tendon that attaches to this bone and pull a small piece of the bone away. A more serious injury in the same area is a Jones fracture, which occurs near the base of the 5th metatarsal bone (outside mid foot region) and disrupting the blood supply to the bone. This injury may take longer to heal or require surgery. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and sometimes bruising.

  • Diabetic Foot
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    Diabetic Foot

    Diabetes And Your Feet:

    According to the American Diabetes Association, about 15.7 million people (5.9 percent of the United States population) have diabetes. Nervous system damage (also called neuropathy) affects about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes and is a major complication that may cause diabetics to lose feeling in their feet or hands.

    Foot problems are a big risk in diabetics. Diabetics must constantly monitor their feet or face severe consequences, including amputation.

    With a diabetic foot, a wound as small as a blister from wearing a shoe that's too tight can cause a lot of damage. Diabetes decreases blood flow, so injuries are slow to heal. When your wound is not healing, it's at risk for infection. As a diabetic, your infections spread quickly. If you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet every day. Look for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts and nail problems. Get someone to help you, or use a mirror.

    Here's some basic advice for taking care of your feet:

    • Always keep your feet warm.
    • Don't get your feet wet in snow or rain.
    • Don't put your feet on radiators or in front of the fireplace.
    • Don't smoke or sit cross-legged. Both decrease blood supply to your feet.
    • Don't soak your feet for periods longer than 5minutes
    • Don't use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your feet.
    • Trim your toenails straight across. Avoid cutting the corners. Use a nail file or emery board. If you find an ingrown toenail, contact our office.
    • Use quality lotion to keep the skin of your feet soft and moist, but don't put any lotion between your toes.
    • Wash your feet every day with mild soap and warm water.
    • Wear loose socks to bed.
    • Wear warm socks and shoes in winter.
    • When drying your feet, pat each foot with a towel and be careful between your toes.
    • Buy shoes that are comfortable without a "breaking in" period. Check how your shoe fits in width, length, back, bottom of heel, and sole. Avoid pointed-toe styles and high heels. Try to get shoes made with leather upper material and deep toe boxes. Wear new shoes for only two hours or less at a time. Don't wear the same pair everyday. Inspect the inside of each shoe before putting it on. Don't lace your shoes too tightly or loosely.
    • Choose socks and stockings carefully. Wear clean, dry socks every day. Avoid socks with holes or wrinkles. Thin cotton socks are more absorbent for summer wear. Square-toes socks will not squeeze your toes. Avoid stockings with elastic tops.

    When your feet become numb, they are at risk for becoming deformed. One way this happens is through ulcers. Open sores may become infected. Another way is the bone condition Charcot (pronounced "sharko") foot. This is one of the most serious foot problems you can face. It warps the shape of your foot when your bones fracture and disintegrate, and yet you continue to walk on it because it doesn't hurt. Diabetic foot ulcers and early phases of Charcot fractures can be treated with a total contact cast.

    The shape of your foot molds the cast. It lets your ulcer heal by distributing weight and relieving pressure. If you have Charcot foot, the cast controls your foot's movement and supports its contours if you don't put any weight on it. To use a total contact cast, you need good blood flow in your foot. The cast is changed every week or two until your foot heals. A custom-walking boot is another way to treat your Charcot foot. It supports the foot until all the swelling goes down, which can take as long as a year. You should keep from putting your weight on the Charcot foot. Surgery is considered if your deformity is too severe for a brace or shoe.

  • Warts
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    Warts

    Most foot warts are harmless, even though they may be painful. They are often mistaken for other conditions such as corns or calluses –[which are layers of dead skin that build up to protect an area which is being continuously irritated]. A wart, however, is a viral infection. Over 42 types of viruses are known to cause a wart.

    More serious foot lesions such as malignant (cancer) lesions can sometimes be mistaken as a wart. Children, especially teenagers, tend to be more susceptible to warts than adults while some people seem to be immune. The most common times for warts to occur are, puberty, emotional & physical stress, pregnancy and menopause.

    Warts can appear anywhere on the skin and those which are located on the sole of the foot are called plantar warts. The virus generally invades the skin through small or invisible cuts and abrasions. When they get large enough they can be quite painful.

    Plantar warts appear to be hard and flat, with a rough surface and well-defined boundaries but their true size is hidden because they are pushed into the skin. Warts are generally raised and fleshier when they appear on the top of the foot or on the toes. Plantar warts are often gray or brown (but the color may vary), with a center that appears as one or more pinpoints of black. It is important to note that warts can be very resistant to treatment and have a tendency to reoccur.

    The plantar wart is often contracted by walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces. The virus that causes plantar warts thrives in warm, moist environments, making infection a common occurrence in public bathing facilities, locker rooms and even can be transmitted when trying on a pair of shoes.

    If left untreated, warts can grow to an inch or more in circumference and can spread into clusters of warts. Like any other infectious lesion, plantar warts are spread by touching, scratching, or even by contact with skin shed from another wart. The wart may also bleed, another route for spreading.

    Occasionally, warts can spontaneously disappear after a short time, and, just as frequently, they can recur in the same location.


    Plantar warts that develop on the weight-bearing areas of the foot - the ball of the foot, under the big toe or the heel, can cause sharp, burning pain. Pain occurs when weight is brought to bear directly on the wart, although pressure on the side of a wart can create equally intense pain.

    Prevention:

    • Avoid direct contact with warts - from other persons or from other parts of the
    • body. Avoid walking barefoot, except on sandy beaches.
    • Change your shoes and socks daily.
    • Check yours & your children's feet periodically.
    • Keep your feet clean and dry.
    • When trying on new shoes always wear socks.


    Treatment:
    Over-the-counter foot wart treatments are usually the first course of treatment that a person will try. The acid used can kill some warts but usually by the time the wart is discovered it is larger and the Over-the-counter medication will be ineffective.

    Our practice can treat warts a variety of ways, including medication, speciality acids, cryo (freeze) treatments, laser,  and surgical removal.