DMFA Blog

Posts for tag: hammertoes

By Dr. Michelle Kim
September 10, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: hammertoes   Foot wear   Toes  


 

We rarely think about the importance of our toes, but without them, we would have a difficult time walking! These little body parts have six sets of muscles that control each toe and tendons on both the top and bottom. The toes give us stability.

At DM Foot & Ankle, we see many types of toe deformities, but by far the most common one is a hammertoe. A hammertoe is when the toe becomes bent or curled over time instead of laying straight. It can resemble a "hammer," hence the name "hammertoe." This can affect just one or all of the toes.

The most common cause of hammertoes is tendon imbalance. People with abnormally long toes, flat feet, or high arches have a greater tendency to develop these. Arthritis is another major cause of discomfort and deformity. Hammertoes can also be aggravated by poorly fitting footwear or if a fractured toe heals in a poor position.

Hammertoes usually start off as flexible and mild. Left untreated, hammertoes can become inflexible and can require surgery. People with hammertoes 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.

If you start to notice hammertoe developing , it is important to get your feet checked out and to start a treatment plan immediately. Call and schedule an appointment today!

 

 

Sparkly dresses, party hats, champagne, and glitter. It’s New Years Eve and it’s almost time to get all dressed up for the midnight festivities. Whether you will be attending a family party, downtown with your friends, or at Times Square waiting for the ball to drop, make sure that you are wearing the right shoes tonight!

 

We know that most women will go straight to the high heels and stilettos for special occasions like tonight, and while they may look good, those types of shoes can be very destructive for your feet.  Common problems that high heels cause are:

                   Bunions: High heels cause increased ball of foot pressure that can cause or further the

                                         development of bunions that are usually formed on the side of the big toe.

 

               Hammertoes: Narrow and pointy toe box found on high heeled shoes causes pressure    

                                         on the toes and push them into a bent position that may  become permanent

                                         and rigid over time.

 

               Corns/Calluses: Repeated friction or pressure against the skin and joints of the feet                                                             can cause corns and calluses which may become painful.

 

               Neuroma: Pointy heels can also lead to a thickening of nerve tissue between the third

                                         and fourth toes that can cause pain or numbness.

 

               The Calf: Wearing heels may cause the calf muscles to shorten and tighten, leading to  

                                         heel pain.

 

               Posture: Heels lean the body forward, pushing the hips and spine out of alignment and

                                         increased pressure across the ball of foot and lack of support across the arch.

           

Dr.Kim and I see many women that have one or more of the above problems due to years of wearing heels. Fortunately, we treat these conditions at DM Foot & Ankle Associates, but we try to educate our patients about these problems before they occur, in hopes of evading unnecessary pain, foot deformities, treatment, and surgeries. 

We advise women to avoid pulling out those six inch stilettos tonight, but we know that many are reluctant to give up the high heels and would rather live through the pain in the name of fashion. We’re women, we get it. So, instead of the super uncomfortable stiletto, we suggest going for a lower, chunkier heel or wedge tonight. This will help take some of the pressure off your feet and offer more stability while still looking stylish. Be sure to bring an extra pair of good-quality, oxford-type shoes that can be changed into later on so as to limit the amount of time wearing heels. After a night of high activity in high heels, wear more sensible shoes the following days to give your feet a break.

Be sure to start 2015 off in the right shoes! Happy New Year!

By Dr. Michelle Kim
December 10, 2014
Category: Uncategorized

 

 

A question kids may be asked in school is “Which objects can float?”  Immediately coming to mind may be answers such as a balloon, a boat, or a rubber ducky.  What has never probably crossed one’s mind would be aTOE!

 

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However in the podiatry world, we have seen numerous patients with a second toe that floats” up and won’t lie flat.  Causes of this floating toe are usually due to biomechanical and structural issues that have worsened over time.  Bunions, Hammertoes, and improper foot structure can cause the joint to dislocate over time.  This dislocation can cause weakening of the tissue under the joint known as the plantar plate.  Previously, this condition was extremely difficult to treat.  There was no consistent way to get this floating toe to stay flat and fix the plantar plate adequately.  The main reason was due to difficulty accessing the small joint space and lack of proper tools to do so.

In the last few years, different methods have been performed to repair this hard-to-reach plantar plate.  However, just a few months ago, Smith and Nephew released a trio of instrumentation dubbed their “Hat Trick” systems.  One of these techniques provides a way to fix this plantar plate consistently with stellar results.

 

Dr.Diana Emini and I had the privilege of being the first physicians in the Chicagoland area to use this new surgery technique!  We were excited to give this new surgery a try, and we were extremely happy with the results.  For the first time, we feel as though there is a true long-term solution to correct this problem.  If you suffer from this condition, also referred to as subluxation of the 2nd MTP joint or ruptured plantar plate, then there is an answer for you.  And the answer to “Which objects can float?” should not be a toe.


 

BY: Michelle Kim

By Diana Emini
December 03, 2014
Category: bunions

Whether it’s because of those cute, unsupportive ballet flats or those 3 inch stilettos, you may become a victim to bunions! It is estimated that bunions occur in 33 percent of the population in Western countries. Even though bunions are a common foot deformity, there is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding them. Many people who have bunions may suffer unnecessary pain for years before seeking any kind of treatment. Bunions progressively get worse over time and eventually may need surgery, which is why at DM Foot & Ankle, Dr. Kim and I believe in educating our patients to be proactive about bunions so they can be halted in the early stages.

 

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a bone deformity caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe. Bunions form when the toe moves out of place.

 

How do you recognize a bunion?

The big toe joint appears enlarged and may stick out from the edge of the foot. It can be sensitive to shoes which may result in pain. The big toe usually leans in, and points towards your other toes, instead of pointing straight. In some cases, the big toe moves toward the second toe and rotates or twists, Bunions can also lead to other toe deformities such as hammertoes.

 

What causes bunions?

Bunions can be caused by several different factors. Wearing shoes that are too tight is the leading cause of bunions. Another cause is faulty foot structure, which tends to run in families. Foot injuries, neuromuscular problems, flat feet, and pronated feet can contribute to bunion formation as well.

 

How are bunions treated?

First, the pressure and pain from irritations must be relieved. Second, any progressive growth of the bunion must be stopped. Here are some common ways to treat bunions- keep in mind, these treatments may alleviate the pain, but will not correct the existing bunion:

 

  • Protective padding to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.
  • Removal of corns and calluses on the foot.
  • Changing to footwear that is designed to accommodate the bunion and not contribute toward its growth.
  • Orthotics—to help stabilize the joint and place the foot in a more optimal position for walking and standing.
  • Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis.
  • Toe Splints to help the toes and joint align properly while you sleep.
  • Surgery – removing the bunion surgically, aka a bunionectomy; this is the only way to correct an existing bunion.

                                                                      

At DM Foot & Ankle, we offer comprehensive and effective treatment for bunions. Dr. Kim and I find that many people wait too long to see a doctor about their bunions and end up having permanent damage by the time they get it checked out. We advise our patients to start treatment as soon as possible to avoid further enlargement and pain. If you or someone you know may have a bunion, Dr. Kim and I encourage you to stop by DM Foot & Ankle to see if we can start a treatment process that best suits your needs!

 

BY: Diana Emini

By Dr. Diana Emini
November 03, 2014
Category: footwear

Pumpkin Spice Lattes, football games, and piles of colorful leaves everywhere…Boot weather is finally upon us! Fall took a while to get here this year but winter is quickly on its tail. This means that it’s about time to go shopping for some new boots! Unfortunately, many people will be buying the wrong shoes this winter. Before you go out shopping for your new stylish booties or your heavy duty snow boots make sure you take a look at our six tips for finding the perfect boot for you!

 



1. Always buy for your bigger foot. I know ladies hate this one, but it’s important to have your feet measured to find shoes that will fit both of your feet comfortably. Nine out of ten women are currently wearing shoes that are too small for them. This can lead to a plethora of problems including bunions, hammertoes, calluses and more.

2. Make sure your foot has arch support. A cushioned-soled boot with sturdy support is important for your foot. A well built shoe normally has a removable liner that can be replaced by orthotics or arch supports.

3. Shop at the end of the day. Your feet will have swollen and measure more true to your size if you go boot shopping later in the day.

4. Don’t buy a flimsy shoe.  Invest in a good pair of boots that fits right and will last a long time. Only the front third should bend up. The rear two-thirds of the shoe should be strong and unable to bend or twist.

5. Wear the right socks. Make sure to wear the same type and thickness of socks that you normally wear when shopping at the store.

6. Don’t let your feet get wet! The material of your boot is just as important as the way it fits. If you are buying a snow boot make sure that it’s waterproof. Keeping your feet dry will ensure that there’s no room for fungus to grow.

At DM Foot & Ankle we focus on educating people on the prevention of foot problems, as well as treating feet that have been abused by years of unhealthy footwear.Dr. Kim and I can fit you for custom orthotics that will give your foot the support it needs. We also treat things such as Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis),Fungal Nails, Bunions, Hammertoes, and Calluses that can be caused by wearing improper shoe gear. Stop in to get your feet checked and to learn more about keeping your feet healthy! Now go pick out your perfect winter boot!

BY: Diana Emini