Got Claw Toe, Mallet Toe, or Hammer Toe Pain? We Talk About Options for Treatment

Posted by on Friday, January 29th, 2016

More than 200,000 people are professionally treated for hammer toe pain each year. Like bunions, hammer toes are a progressive foot problem that worsens over time without treatment. Usually the deformity is obvious because the toes appear visibly bent, but other symptoms include pain at the top of the toes, corns forming on the middle toe joints, redness, swelling, and pain on top and in the ball of the foot at the base of the toe. Some hammer toes are flexible and others are semi-rigid or rigid. Patients may experience no pain unless they are walking.

Here are some of the best ways to treat hammer toe pain at home, in addition to having your condition professionally addressed by our NYC podiatrists.

hammer toe pain
There are a number of non-invasive therapies that can help hammer toe before surgery is considered. Image source: Wikimedia CC user Hellerhoff

Healing Heels: An In-Depth Look at Pre-Surgical Plantar Fasciitis Treatments

Posted by on Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Plantar fasciitis is hard to escape these days. The most common cause of heel pain, it is easily the most common type of musculoskeletal sports injury I see in the office. Whether you’re Peyton Manning, an ultra-marathoner, or a weekend warrior, it seems to affect people of all age groups, activity levels, genders, races, sizes, and shapes. It can be a quite debilitating injury with long delays in returning to your activity of choice. It can many times be stubborn and resistant to conventional treatments. First line treatments often include targeted stretching and strengthening exercises, rest, icing, and support for the fascia (in terms of strappings or orthotics). Many times we will add anti-inflammatory measures such as oral medications, topical medications, or steroid injections. Often these methods go a long way toward relieving symptoms. In the past, when these treatment methods failed, the final resort would be surgery. However, more advanced pre-surgical plantar fasciitis treatments have become available including extracorporeal shockwave therapy, MLS laser therapy, PRP injections, and the FAST procedure.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

plantar fasciitis treatments
The plantar fascia is a wide band of tissue on the bottom of the foot. Image source: sportEX journals

Ask a NYC Sports Medicine Doctor: How to Nurse Your Injured Child Athlete Back to Health

Posted by on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Parents want their kids to grow up healthy, strong, confident, and sociable. Sports activities help in all these aspects, but they also put children at increased risk of getting hurt. Over 2.6 million kids visit emergency rooms for sports-related injuries each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC, the majority of youth sports injuries we see are run-of-the-mill sprains and strains. We’re always glad parents take the time to bring their kids in for evaluation, even if they suspect it’s nothing serious. Sometimes an injury with mild early symptoms can turn out to be a growth plate injury requiring more aggressive treatment or surgery to prevent future issues.

youth sports injuries
Sprains and strains may result from cleat use, overuse, training errors, or other causes. A NYC sports medicine doctor will help you get to the root of the problem. Image Source: FootHealthFacts.org

Here are some tips we give parents who are caring for youth sports injuries.

Harvard Review: Foot Sports Injuries More Likely to Occur in Women Than in Men

Posted by on Monday, January 25th, 2016

Women are more prone to the most common ankle and foot sports injuries, according to Robert Shmerling M.D., writing for the Harvard Health Publications blog last month.1http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-gender-gap-in-sports-injuries-201512038708#sthash.fVL2VOKj.dpuf Similar reports have been published recently, including an article on RunnersConnect.net, which claims women are 50% more likely to suffer Achilles tendinitis and other injuries.2http://runnersconnect.net/running-injury-prevention/running-injuries-in-women/ For sports medicine doctors, this opens up many questions. Why are women more likely to develop these types of injuries, and can anything be done about it? The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC works with a number of female athletes to diagnose, treat, and reduce injuries.

sports injuries in women
Sports injuries in women like ACL injuries, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and ankle sprains are commoner than in men. Image Source: AAOS.org

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1. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-gender-gap-in-sports-injuries-201512038708#sthash.fVL2VOKj.dpuf
2. http://runnersconnect.net/running-injury-prevention/running-injuries-in-women/

Can a Purple Foot Soak Cure Fungal Toenails? Podiatrists Discuss Alternative Toenail Fungus Treatments

Posted by on Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Yellowed toenails don’t always signify toenail fungus. Though they feel strong, nails are actually quite porous, so if you’ve been continuously coating your toenails with polish, they’ll need a break from aggressive pigmentation chemicals and exposure to oxygen to be healthy again. If you begin to notice your nails not only breaking, but crumbling like chalk, then that could be a tell-tale sign that your problem is, in fact, fungus-related. Fungal toenails often present with streaks or spots on the surface of the nail. In addition to being yellow, the nails often thicken as well. If you’re not too squeamish, you can view photos of toenail fungus posted on WebMD to compare.1http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/ss/slideshow-toenail-fungus Toenail fungus is one of the more minor conditions we are equipped to treat here at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in New York City.

toenail fungus treatments
Polish and fungus can both yellow your nails, but if your toenails are also crumbling and thickened, you likely have a fungus problem. Image Source: Wikimedia.org

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1. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/ss/slideshow-toenail-fungus

NBA News: Joe Harris Has Surgery for Accessory Navicular Syndrome

Posted by on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

We’ve followed a lot of professional athlete foot injuries over the past few years, with many repeat offenders showing up — torn Achilles, turf toe, and “Jones” metatarsal fractures, to name a few. Yet rarely do we find athletes undergoing foot surgery to remove extra bones. A condition called Accessory Navicular Syndrome that affects 4 – 14% of the population is just what necessitated surgery for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Joe Harris.1http://www.physio-pedia.com/Accessory_Navicular_Bone

accessory navicular syndrome
Some people have an extra navicular bone on the inside arch of the foot that must be surgically removed to relieve pain. Image Source: Wikimedia.org

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1. http://www.physio-pedia.com/Accessory_Navicular_Bone

MLB News: Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols Recovers from Plantar Plate Surgery

Posted by on Monday, January 18th, 2016

plantar plate surgery
Los Angeles Angels player Albert Pujols is taking a few months off the field to recover from plantar plate surgery. Image source: Flickr CC user socialtimes

Don’t expect to see Albert Pujols playing his usual first base post, according to a report from Real GM last month.1http://baseball.realgm.com/wiretap/44330/Angels-To-Play-Albert-Pujols-More-At-DH The Los Angeles Angels has slated Pujols as a Designated Hitter for the 2016 season following at least five months of recovery from plantar plate surgery. “The most we need from Albert is his 650 plate appearances and hitting in the middle of our lineup and being as productive as he is,” said team manager Mike Scioscia. “And if we can do that with him playing the Gold Glove-caliber first base that he can bring, great. But we definitely don’t want to jeopardize his ability in the batter’s box with what he does at first base.”

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1. http://baseball.realgm.com/wiretap/44330/Angels-To-Play-Albert-Pujols-More-At-DH

Having Lateral Heel Pain? It Could Be Your Abductor Digiti Minimi

Posted by on Friday, January 15th, 2016

It was the last few weeks of my second pregnancy when I noticed a slight ache and a strange twitching on the outside of my left heel, along the bottom edge. What part of my anatomy was acting up? The structure residing in this location is called the abductor digiti minimi. During a pregnancy, muscles, ligaments, and tendons alike tend to become more lax and stretch out. One has to be careful not to overdo it. Shortly after my first pregnancy, I strained my Achilles tendon pretty badly running around with my dogs in the yard. I asked NYC podiatrists at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine to shed some light on my lateral heel pain — before it’s too late and I injure myself!

lateral heel pain
If you have pain or twitching on the outer part of the heel or ankle, you could have an injury to your abductor digiti minimi. Image source: Flickr CC user Tony Alter

Peyton Manning’s Plantar Fasciitis: How Will Heel Pain Due to Plantar Fasciitis Affect Manning’s Career?

Posted by on Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Plantar fasciitis heel pain affects 2 million Americans every year. The good news is that it is a condition that generally improves over the course of two years, regardless of whether the intervention entails rest, orthoses, injections, shockwave therapy, ultrasound, laser treatment, stretching exercises, or surgery.1http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2907928/ The bad news is that it really, really hurts in the meantime! NYC podiatrists discuss this common condition, including its latest victim–Denver Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning.

peyton manning's plantar fasciitis
Denver Broncos fans are dismayed by Peyton Manning’s plantar fasciitis, which could spell the end of his career. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2907928/

Running in NYC After an Injury: Is Running With Foot Pain Okay, and When Is It Safe to Run Again?

Posted by on Monday, January 11th, 2016

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, doc…I know I’m injured…but when can I run again?” Runners are unique people. They love what they do! They recognize that running is not just about maintaining health or getting into better shape. For many, running is a sort of “high” and a vital form of stress relief. Participants of the NY Road Runners Club or the local race community also find running to be a highly anticipated social event, so it’s understandable that our patients are eager to resume their usual schedule. Of course, you don’t want to end up re-injuring yourself or landing yourself in the operating room, either. While every case is specific to the individual, here are a few general guidelines to consider when deciding when to get back into training.

running with foot pain
Running with foot pain is usually not a good idea. We give some tips on when it might be okay and when to let your body rest. Image Source: Flickr CC user tomsaint