Hallux limitus and hallux rigidus are conditions that involve stiffness, pain, and arthritis of the great toe joint or joints. This can occur after prior trauma or with foot structures that result in extra stress being placed on the big toe joint. There is often a bone spur, “bump” or hard area/bony prominence on the top of the big toe joint, and this tends to get larger over time. Treatment options for hallux limitus and hallux rigidus include orthotics, stiff-soled shoes, and topical medicines. For those patients who are still suffering after conservative care measures have been employed, surgery is a good option if desired in order to improve the pain that often causes people to avoid participating in activities that they used to enjoy.
If treated early in the process, and before the arthritis is too advanced, outpatient surgery (which does NOT require you to be “put out” or undergo general anesthesia and which allows you to return home a few hours after the procedure) does not require a cast or crutches, and can allow you to be back in your regular shoes in two weeks! As with arthritis in other joints (including at the knee and hip), arthritis in the big toe joint is considered a progressive condition, which means it typically becomes worse over time. Call us to have your pain or stiffness evaluated before your arthritis worsens, causes you more pain, and requires more advanced treatment. You can reach us at 586-298-1585!
Derek Jeter has started hitting balls off a tee as he prepares to “get back into the swing” following a broken ankle, reminding us that sometimes we need to go back to the basics. Here are two basic yet very important foot care principles: 1) Foot pain is not normal, and is your body’s signal that something is wrong. There are a variety of causes for foot pain, and many treatment options available that can get you back to living your active, pain-free life. 2) For people with diabetes or poor circulation (which is called PAD or peripheral arterial disease), it’s critical that they inspect their feet every day for signs of skin breakdown or infection. These include open sores/wounds, redness, warmth, new swelling, etc.
Cheers to everyone who participated in the recent walk to cure diabetes! Currently, 25.8 million people/8.3% of our US population has diabetes. Diabetics can be particularly prone to foot problems, including infection, wounds/sores, and neuropathy/nerve damage. For those with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends that “your health care provider should perform a complete foot exam at least annually—more often if you have foot problems.” Having trained at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation where we had a busy clinic for those with diabetes, helping to prevent some of the foot problems that occur with diabetes is a particular interest and passion of mine. You may schedule an appointment with me at 586-298-1585. For more information about how diabetes can affect the feet, you may visit http://tenderfootandanklecare.com/diabetic-foot-care/
Tom Brady’s Patriots lost to Peyton Manning’s Broncos in yesterday’s AFC title game. Brady was featured on the cover of a recent issue of Men’s Health that contained an article titled “The Truth About Barefoot Running.” Running barefoot or in minimalist shoes has been a trend for some people. However, many podiatrists and other health professionals are concerned that this places runners at increased risk for stress fractures, Achilles tendon injuries, and other foot problems such as plantar fasciitis (a very common cause of heel pain.) Many of us have seen an increase in these types of problems in our patients who have begun barefoot running. Certain foot structures and abnormal mechanics already make foot/ankle problems more likely for some people, so be sure to talk with your doctor before beginning such an endeavor. Let’s keep your feet and ankles healthy so that you can go the extra mile if necessary!
Ice vs. heat for a new injury?? Ice is the way to go for a new injury. Not only does ice help with swelling and inflammation, but it also helps to block the pain signals traveling along the nerves in the injured area. This typically results in diminished pain following ice application. Frozen vegetables work well, as they can be wrapped around the injured area. Heat should be avoided after a new injury because it causes the blood vessels to dilate/open up, which can result in additional swelling (and often an increase in pain.) Certain people may need to avoid ice, however, such as those with poor circulation, vasculitis, and some people with diabetes and/or neuropathy.