All the wonderful years of walking, running, working and dancing throughout your life really take a toll on your poor old feet. From toe deformities like bunions and hammertoes to arthritis and gout, your feet and ankles are more likely to experience problems as you get older. However, you can minimize or even prevent many of these effects with proper foot care and regular visits to your podiatrist.
Some common foot and ankle problems that are likely to occur with age include:
- Joint diseases—Arthritis tends to worsen as you get older and often affects the toe and ankle joints, causing stiffness, pain and discomfort.
- Your feet expand—Because of the effects of gravity and pressure throughout your life, the tendons and ligaments in your feet and ankles will gradually expand and weaken. The length and width of your feet will increase as much as a full size, so always have your feet properly measured each time you buy shoes. Talk with your foot doctor about custom orthotic inserts to treat a variety of foot and ankle problems.
- Brittle and thicker toenails—Toenail growth decreases with aging and blood circulation difficulties can cause the toenails to become thicker and more brittle. These changes can make them harder to trim properly. The chances of ingrown toenails developing are also higher.
- Fungal and bacterial infections—Since the immune system tends to get weaker with age, fungal toenail and bacterial infections become more common and harder to ward off.
- Excessive skin dryness—Your skin tends to be dryer as you age, so always stay properly hydrated by drinking healthy fluids throughout the day. Corns, calluses and heel fissures are more common as well.
For help with age-related foot and ankle problems, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Many people have the wrong ideas when it comes to what should be done about a broken toe. A major myth regarding broken toes is that if you can walk on it, then it must not be broken. But a minor break may not be extremely painful and walking on the foot will just cause more damage.
A toe that has a minor break or a small stress fracture may not cause severe pain. For these less traumatic toe injuries, resting, icing, and elevation will reduce swelling. Taping the toe to the next one, known as “buddy taping,” may be enough to allow the toe to heal. If swelling and pain last for more than a day or two, you need to see your foot doctor for proper treatment.
The correct treatment of a broken toe is essential to preventing future problems such as chronic pain, stiffness and complications from arthritis. In fact, if a broken toe is allowed to heal in a bent position you may actually need toe surgery to have it broken again by your foot doctor in order to properly straighten out the toe.
Treatments for a broken or severely injured toe may include the following:
- Splints and bracing—These custom made orthotic inserts and devices can help to isolate and cushion the toe so healing may occur more rapidly without causing further injury.
- Immobilizing the foot with a stiff boot—A rigid boot can be worn to prevent unnecessary movement of the foot and to protect the injured toe while it heals.
- Taping toes together—A toe with a stress fracture or a severely sprained toe can be immobilized by taping it to the toe that is next to it, thereby limiting movement.
If you think you may have broken a toe, see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations. We highly recommend that you consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Morton’s neuroma is a nerve growth that is a common foot condition, often described as feeling like you have a pebble in your shoe underneath the ball of your foot. It is usually a result of injury and pressure pushing on the nerves that connect to your toes between the third and fourth metatarsal bones.
Women who like to wear high heeled shoes are more susceptible to developing Morton’s neuroma and many other foot and ankle problems due to the extreme stress and pressure that high heeled shoes put on the feet. Activities like sports and running that impart a large amount of stress and pressure to the feet are also risk factors.
Treating Morton’s neuroma includes the following methods:
- Wear properly-fitted shoes with custom orthotic inserts—Always have your athletic shoes and other footwear properly fitted. Have a computerized gait analysis done at your foot doctor’s office to determine if you have pronation problems. Wearing shoes with a wider toe box will allow your toes room to move. A well-fitting shoe will provide the space needed for custom molded orthotic inserts that can direct pressure away from the painful interdigital nerve.
- Switch activities—You may have to temporarily stop the sporting activity or behavior that caused the injury to give the nerves time to heal. Try switching to cycling or swimming or any other activity that reduces stress on the feet.
- Decrease inflammation—Place a cold pack on the area for fifteen minutes several times a day. Ibuprofen can help to decrease pain and swelling.
- Corticosteroids—These injections often can provide pain relief, but there are side effects that you should review with your podiatrist.
If you suspect that you may have a foot neuroma, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Keeping your feet healthy after all the walking, running, climbing, and standing they do on a daily basis can be more easily accomplished when you take the time and effort to properly care for them before problems pop up. When you do notice signs of any problems, see your foot doctor to take care of them before they get more pronounced and painful, especially if you have diabetes.
Excellent proactive ways to keep your feet healthy include the following:
- Regular foot inspections—While it’s especially important for patients with diabetes to perform daily foot inspections, we can all benefit from a daily or at least weekly foot checkup. Look for bruises, blisters, and cuts and don’t forget to look between your toes and at the bottoms of your feet, using a mirror if needed. Check your toenails for fungal infections or any signs of ingrown toenails. Foot deformities like bunions respond to treatment better in the early stages so early detection is preferable.
- Correct toenail cutting method—Take the effort to carefully trim your toenails as straight across as possible and a little beyond the end of the toe to help avoid ingrown toenails. This way, the toenail won’t be able to easily grow into the tender skin at the edge.
- Wear properly-fitted shoes with custom orthotic inserts—Your footwear needs to be supportive with extra room in the toe box so your toes can move without rubbing against the inside of your shoes. Having a computerized gait analysis performed by your foot doctor will determine your foot type. The use of custom orthotic inserts, braces, and arch supports can alleviate pain and discomfort in your feet, knees, hips, and back as well.
Keep your feet healthy with regular visits to your podiatrist. Consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Blisters are a painful and annoying occurrence that is frequently caused by pressure from rubbing on the inside of your footwear. This can be caused by poorly-fitting shoes. Be sure to have your feet measured so your footwear is supportive and comfortable without being too loose or too tight.
Treatment for blisters includes the following:
- Carefully drain the fluid from a blister by inserting a sterilized needle into the edge of the blister and then press on the blister with cotton or tissues to soak up the fluid. Try to keep the skin covering the blister as intact as possible.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to the area and then cover with a band-aid or bandage to protect the skin and help prevent infection.
2 simple steps to avoid blisters on your feet include:
- Prevent skin rubbing against the inside of your footwear—By checking to see the location of the blisters and how they correspond to areas of your shoes, you can cover excess cloth or stitching that may be causing the rubbing. Place a piece of thick tape over the raised area and apply moleskin to any hot spots on your feet.
- Keep your feet clean and dry—Wearing breathable shoes and socks will help wick away moisture. Blisters often form when your feet are damp or sweaty. You are less likely to develop them when your skin is dry.
If you are experiencing blistering problems on your feet, your foot care professional can provide the best care. Consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
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