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3885 S. Decatur Blvd Suite #1080
Las Vegas, NV 89103

May 2022

Tuesday, 31 May 2022 00:00

What Causes a Hammertoe?

A hammertoe is a common deformity where a toe bends upward at the middle joint and gets stuck in that position. The top of the toe bends forward so it looks like a hammer. As time passes, the joint may get more rigidly bent and it can be painful and possibly lead to difficulty in walking and maintaining balance. Hammertoes can be inherited, with those with flatter feet and longer metatarsals (or middle bones of the feet) being more at risk. They can also be associated with a medical condition, such as diabetes. However, most often hammertoes develop from an imbalance within the toe structure. Usually something that forces extra weight to be put on the forefoot and toes (like tight shoes or high heels) can lead to hammertoes. The small muscles on the bottom of the foot get weaker than the larger muscles on the top of the foot and the toe does not bend or flex. Early detection and conservative treatment can help prevent the need for hammertoe surgery. Such intervention can be as simple as changing footwear to providing extra room for the toes, avoiding narrow, tight, and heeled shoes, using custom orthotics to off-load extra weight and strain towards the forefoot.  If you suffer from a hammertoe, it is suggested you consult with a podiatrist to find the best treatment plan. 

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Loren Hansen, DPM of Ankle & Foot Medical Center. 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 office located in Las Vegas, NV . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 24 May 2022 00:00

How to Treat a Bunion

Bunions are bony, painful bumps that form inside the foot at the joint of the big toe. They grow slowly, over time, and with repetitive pressure put on the big toe joint the toe leans inward towards the second toe. The leaning eventually leads to a change in the bone structure which causes the bump or deformity to develop. As the bump gets bigger it becomes painful to wear shoes and walk. Bunions develop for several reasons including stress and injury of the foot. Narrow shoes, with insufficient room for the toes, are often the culprit as well. Bunions are said to be more common in women, those with congenital deformities, and people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment for bunions starts with wearing wider shoes to accommodate the bump. Cool compresses, bunion pads, orthotics, pain medications, cortisone shots, and physical therapy can also help the soreness. Surgery is a last resort when the bunion pain starts interfering with one’s daily functioning. Due to possible complications, pain, and since bunions may masquerade as something else, seeing a podiatrist is suggested for an examination and treatment suggestions.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Loren Hansen, DPM of Ankle & Foot Medical Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Las Vegas, NV . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 17 May 2022 00:00

Heel Pain in Children

Children often complain of heel pain, and it is usually not serious.  However, it is important to understand what is going on as such pain can arise for various reasons. If a child suffers from pain or tenderness in the back of the foot or ankle, limps, or walks on their toes, they might have Achilles tendonitis or Sever’s disease. Achilles tendonitis is an inflamed Achilles tendon. Sever’s disease, or calcaneal apophysitis, affects kids from five to eleven years of age and involves the Achilles tendon pulling on a growing heel bone. Both conditions can occur from overuse or a sudden increase in activity.  Children performing repetitive movement as in sports like soccer, basketball, and track that involve running or jumping are more prone to heel pain. Rest, ice, compression, elevation, stretching, over-the-counter pain medication, and perhaps cushioned heel lifts usually provide relief, but ignoring symptoms can lead to worsening of the injury and sometimes chronic pain. Other less common reasons for heel pain in children are plantar fasciitis, fractures of the heel or foot, infections, tumors, or congenital problems. If one suspects a child has sustained a fracture or if pain persists beyond a couple of weeks, a podiatrist should be seen to examine your child’s feet, determine what the cause of pain is, and suggest an appropriate treatment plan.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Loren Hansen, DPM of Ankle & Foot Medical Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Las Vegas, NV . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Wednesday, 11 May 2022 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

When children experience a growth spurt during puberty there can be an imbalance in the growth rate of their muscles, bones, and tendons. This is termed Sever’s disease, which generally affects children between the ages of 8 and 14. This condition occurs because the muscles and tendons in the heel become tight, pulling on the growth plate (cartilage) in the back of the heel. It is quite common in children who are particularly active in sports with a lot of running and jumping or other strenuous activities, such as gymnastics and dancing. Your child may experience redness or swelling in the back of the heel, stiffness in the feet first thing in the morning, and pain when the heel is squeezed on both sides. You also may notice them limping or walking on their tiptoes. Cutting down on the activities which induce the pain is one way to help alleviate symptoms of Sever’s disease, which may last for a few months. To be on the safe side, however, it is a good idea to introduce your child to a podiatrist who can conduct a full examination and suggest a program of treatment. 

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Loren Hansen, DPM from Ankle & Foot Medical Center. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Las Vegas, NV . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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When your child has been walking for a few weeks, it may be time to think about getting them shoes. Prior to this period, it is thought to be better for a child to go barefoot in order to help develop foot strength, though soft shoes and socks are suggested to help keep baby's feet warm in the colder weather. Selecting the proper shoes starts with size, because giving the toddler’s feet room to grow is important. If shoes are too tight they can negatively affect healthy foot development. There should be some space between the toes and the end of the shoe. Shoes should give ample support and have a solid heel, and sandals should have a closed heel. Check that the front of the shoe is wider than the heel, and avoid shoes with pointy toes or high heels. Shoes with non-slip soles are thought to be safer, as are those that tie, rather than slip on. Stiff outer parts on shoes may be too constrictive. Continue to check the fit of the shoes frequently, and be prepared to buy larger ones as needed to ensure proper growth and development. If you need further information on fitting your child’s first pair of shoes, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide your decisions.  

It is important to find shoes that fit you properly in order to avoid a variety of different foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact Loren Hansen, DPM from Ankle & Foot Medical Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

Shoes have many different functions. They cushion our body weight, protect our feet, and allow us to safely play sports. You should always make sure that the shoes you wear fit you properly in order to avoid injuries and deformities such as: bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more. It is important to note that although a certain pair of shoes might be a great fit for someone else, that doesn’t mean they will be a great fit for you. This is why you should always try on shoes before buying them to make sure they are worth the investment. Typically, shoes need to be replaced ever six months to one year of regular use.

Tips for Proper Shoe Fitting

  • Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot
  • Don’t buy shoes that fit too tight, expecting them to stretch to fit
  • Make sure there is enough space (3/8” to ½”) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up
  • Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right
  • Don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe, but by how the shoe fits your foot

The shoes you buy should always feel as good as they look. Shoes that fit properly will last longer, feel better, and improve your way of life each day.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Las Vegas, NV . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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