When to See A Podiatrist for Hammertoe, Bunions, or Toenail Fungus

Hammertoe, bunions, and toenail fungus are just a few of the foot problems we treat here at The Schottenstein Center. By contacting our office at the onset of symptoms, we can make an early diagnosis and, hopefully, treat the condition right away before it becomes more of a significant issue.

You should see a podiatrist immediately for most foot problems such as hammertoe, bunions, and toenail fungus. If left untreated, these conditions could cause further complications and the need for major surgical intervention down the road.

In the following sections, we will give you a basic understanding of each condition. We’ll also tell you how to recognize the symptoms of each one. Finally, we will list some of the possible treatment options to discuss with your doctor.

Hammertoe

A Hammertoe is a deformity that causes the toe to pull back in the shape of a hammer and stay fixed in that position. It usually affects the second through the fifth toe. However, the big toe (great toe) can also become deformed in the same way.

The condition is usually caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow and force the toes to crowd together. Genetic factors may also play a role in who gets it and who doesn’t.

Women often present with the condition more than men, although it is not clear why. Most medical professionals assume that since women usually wear tight-fitting, high-heal shoes, that is probably the reason. However, more studies are needed to verify those conclusions.

Symptoms

Here are four of the more usual symptoms of hammer toe:

  • Abnormal bending of one or more of the toes
  • Friction and rubbing on the top of the affected toes
  • Inflammation and discomfort
  • Painful corns and calluses on the tops of the toes

Treatment

There are several treatment options for hammer toe. They are mostly non-invasive and include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Wide shoes
  • Toe pads and spacers
  • Surgery in extreme cases

Bunion

Also known as hallux valgus, a bunion is a deformity of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot. This condition is typically characterized by an abnormal bending of the big toe toward the other toes. The result is a large mound that develops outside the foot at the first metatarsal bone.

Women are more likely to have bunions than men. It is probably for the same reason as hammertoes: improper shoe selection. If left untreated, it could lead to bursitis and arthritis.

No one knows what causes bunions. Aside from wearing tight shoes, other causes may include:

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of bunions include:

  • Abnormal bending of the large toe inward toward the other toes
  • Irritation of the skin around the large toe
  • Blisters
  • Severe discomfort, especially when walking

Treatment

The most widely-used treatments for bunions are:

  • Padding to help relieve pressure on the affected area
  • Orthotic insoles
  • Specially designed shoes
  • Pain medications
  • Surgery, when a permanent solution is needed

Toe nail fungus

The clinical name for toe nail fungus is Onychomycosis. It is a fungal infection that attacks above and below the surface of the toenail and is often comprised of molds, fungus, and yeast. It is prevalent mostly in men.

As with any fungal infection, dark, moist places are perfect breeding grounds. That is why the feet are so susceptible. By reducing the factors that improve the environment for toenail fungus, it has less of a chance to spread.

Keeping the feet dry by changing socks regularly is a good first step. Also, reducing sugar in the diet and practicing proper foot hygiene will go a long way to preventing the disease.

Symptoms

The main symptoms are:

  • The toenail is thicker than normal
  • Discoloration: yellow, green, white, black
  • The toenail becomes brittle and prone to breaking
  • Pain and inflammation in later stages
  • Foul smell

Besides the unpleasantness of having the condition, if left untreated, it could lead to severe infection and progress to areas outside the toenail.

Risk factors

There are certain risk factors for toenail fungus. They are:

  • Athlete’s foot
  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Psoriasis

Treatment

Here are some of the treatment options for toenail fungus:

  • A healthy, low-sugar diet
  • Foot baths and soaks
  • Wearing breathable footwear
  • Changing socks often
  • Topical antifungal creams
  • Oral medications prescribed by a docto

A final thought

You should see your podiatrist as soon as you notice symptoms. Pain is a reliable indicator that something is wrong. Please don’t wait until it becomes unmanageable.

You should schedule an appointment soon, especially if your symptoms are getting worse over time or you experience problems walking.

Call our Miami office at 305-912-6646.
Or in Hollywood at 954-998-6646.

You may also schedule an appointment using the convenient contact form provided. Thank you.

When To See A Podiatrist For Foot, Ankle, And Leg Care

Overall health depends on the level of care given to every organ in your body. A problem with any body part can quickly diminish a person’s quality of life; this includes the lower legs. A podiatrist is a specialist that solves any medical problems of the lower legs and feet. Podiatrists deal with several complications involving the feet, toes, ankles, or knees.

Regular doctors lack the additional training that podiatrists receive in podiatry school, so they are incompetent in caring for the lower legs. After graduating from medical school, podiatrists get further education and knowledge on how structures in the lower legs help the overall function of the legs, the conditions that can affect the area, and how to treat them. The training takes four years, making podiatrists the right doctors to see for any problems of the lower legs.

Podiatrists are not to be confused with orthopedics. This is because orthopedic doctors specialize in dealing with internal problems that affect the bones, muscles, joints, and ligaments in the whole body. On the other hand, podiatrists are only specialized in problems of the lower legs.

When to see a podiatrist.

We usually advise people to see podiatrists whenever they have any problem affecting any part of the lower legs. There are hundreds of conditions that affect this region that podiatrists can solve. However, there are general symptoms of the lower legs that indicate it is time to see one. They include:

1. An open wound.
2. Persistent pain.
3. Tingling sensation or numbness of the lower leg.
4. An infection of the lower legs that causes redness or swelling.

These symptoms can persist for two or more days and reduce movement of the lower legs. When this happens, we suggest you visit a podiatry clinic for a checkup. Patients that often walk into such clinics are those with conditions like gout, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, and heart diseases that limit blood flow to the extremities.

Conditions affecting the feet.

We recommend most patients to visit a podiatry clinic when they have feet issues like:

1. Diabetic foot.
This occurs when nerves innervating the feet get damaged, causing the loss of sensation to heat or cold and poor blood circulation. Proper care of this condition involves regulating diet to avoid steep rises in blood sugar levels and exercising.

2. Wounds.
Wounds of the feet are common in patients of every category because they can occur when someone slips while walking, playing, or running. Lack of proper care of the wounds can cause secondary infections leading to general body symptoms like fever.

3. Infections.
The feet are prone to infections like athlete’s feet, plantar fasciitis, and warts. Warts are small bumps caused by the human papilloma virus. Fungi cause athlete’s feet. The condition causes dry, itchy, and scaly skin between the toes and the soles. The plantar fascia is a thick weblike band that runs across the length of the foot. When it becomes inflamed, the condition is known as plantar fasciitis.

4. Flat foot.
This is a congenital deformity in which a patient’s feet lack the arch present between the back and front of the feet. This makes a patient easily get tired from walking.

5. Sprains.
Sprains of the ligament on the feet are common in patients who play contact sports. They can cause swelling and limit movement.

6. Corns, bunions, blisters, and calluses.
These are painful, swollen, and raised bumps on the skin of the feet. Depending on the type, they can burst to form an open ulcer if proper care is not given.

Conditions affecting the legs.

The problems that affect the legs that need podiatry care are:

1. Fractures and sprains
These commonly affect people who play sports. Contact sports like soccer and American football are known to cause frequent sprains and fractures. Fractures involve the breaking of bones, while sprains involve a tear or stretch of the ligaments.

2. Diabetes
This is a risk factor for many problems affecting the lower legs. It can cause ulcers, tingling sensation, and make walking painful due to damage to the nerves innervating the region. Diabetes also causes slow healing of wounds. It can, therefore, cause wounds on the legs to persist. This is because it restricts the flow of blood to the legs, which deprives wounds of nutrients and oxygen needed for healing.

Conditions affecting the ankle.

1. Gout
Gout attacks also affect the ankle since it is a joint. It presents like arthritis, causing pain, redness, and swelling of the area. Gout restricts movement and interferes with the ability of the patient to carry out daily activities.

2. Arthritis
Arthritis refers to the inflammation of joints like the ankles. It causes redness, swelling, and pain in the joint that can be chronic when the patient fails to seek medical attention in due time.

3. Ankle instability
This gradually occurs over time after repeated sprains and injuries of the area. When they fail to heal appropriately, the ligaments supporting the region weaken with every sprain or injury, leading to overall instability. The condition is common in athletes that play sports like American football, soccer, and running.

Conditions affecting the toe.

1. Toenail ingrowth
This is a common problem of the big toe. It happens when the corners of the toenails poke the soft tissue located at the nails’ groove. This causes inflammation and irritation of the groove. It can also cause an infection of the nail groove if the nails are dirty.

2. Infections
A common infection of the toes is fungal infections. The infections can affect the toenails or nail bed. They can cause the toenail to darken in color or the nails to come off. Lack of proper care of these infections can also lead to a secondary bacterial infection.

Our podiatry clinics are located in Miami and Hollywood. We tend to any problems of the lower legs to improve the quality of life of our patients. Our podiatrist is highly qualified with years of training and experience to give our patients the results they seek.

How To Choose A Podiatrist In Miami & Hollywood

Choosing Your Podiatrist in Miami and Hollywood
A lot of people suffer from some type of issue, pain or complication in their ankle, toe or foot. Unfortunately, most people are unsure of what to look for when selecting a doctor. You need to know what you can do to help make certain your feet are in the best possible condition. After all, your feet are important for walking, running and simply getting from one place to another. Your feet ensure your body remains in motion. There are more than 300 different issues potentially affecting your feet.We want you to be aware of the best options to ensure your feet are in good health. Not every physician has received the necessary training to take care of your feet properly. Making the right choice can be difficult and is often challenging. You should not make your choice just because the office is close to where you live or work. We hope you will take all of the following into consideration when you make your final decision.Experience Level
The average person goes to a clinic or hospital when they experience pains in their ankle, toe or feet. A podiatry expert can determine what the issue is much faster and ensure you receive the correct diagnosis. Podiatry experts are experienced in handling numerous types of issues with your feet including plantar fasciitis, broken toes and bunions. No matter what your issue is, it will be recognized easily so you get the treatment you need. We recommend asking how long the doctor has been practicing.

The Environment of the Podiatrist’s Office
You need to decide how important a pleasant environment is for your needs. We believe good lighting, comfortable furniture and soft music are important. Most people are not comfortable with a blaring television and questionable cleanliness. A podiatry expert will make certain you walk into a clean office, remain comfortable and have a sensational experience. A qualified physician understands their staff, front office and back office are just as important as the quality of your care.

References
Talk to your good friends, co-workers, relatives and family members about professionals in the Miami and Hollywood areas. Your best option is talking to someone that has experienced issues with their feet in the past or has a similar condition. By talking to several different people, you can make comparisons regarding professionalism, treatment, experiences and results. Make certain you can trust the people you speak with.

Education
Unfortunately, some podiatrists believe their credentials tell the entire story. This type of doctor generally offers a fast diagnosis and treatment. The issue is a good diagnosis takes time. There are important questions you should be asked, an examination is necessary and in some cases tests need to be run. We do not feel receiving a quick diagnosis and being shoved out the door is professional or effective. You should be told about their treatment process and options.

You should be given an initial consultation to ensure the doctor understands the depth and nature of your issue. The medical advice you receive should be based on the latest research, extensive experience, your exam and the specific issue you came in for. All of the information you need should be given to you patiently to help ensure you make the right choice to take care of your ankle, toe or feet.

Your Medical Condition
There are specific medical conditions that can affect the health of your feet. Diabetes and fibromyalgia can both cause pain and chronic wounds in your feet. If you have a health condition that may result in these types of complications, you need to provide your podiatric professional with a thorough explanation. Make certain you do not settle for a physician without the experience or skill to address any potential complications.

The Type of Office Equipment
Unfortunately, a lot of podiatrist’s offices do not have state of the art treatment options and diagnostic equipment. This includes a full-service lab and digital x-rays. Without these options, any orthotic adjustments you might need are unable to be performed immediately. If you live in Miami or Hollywood, there are offices offering you current and top of the line equipment. If you are experiencing a lot of pain, the last thing you want is to wait for an adjustment offering you relief.

Convenience
If you have a busy schedule, convenience is very important. Even if the doctor has plenty of expertise and experience, driving for an hour is impractical when you need help. We recommend taking the working hours of the office into consideration. One of the biggest issues we see are offices not accepting most health insurance policies. Physicians in your network are less expensive than doctors out of your network.

You can make certain you have a better experience by asking questions. Ask what hours and days the office is open to be sure there is no conflict with your schedule. Find out if your health insurance is accepted. If the office will not answer your questions, there is an issue you should not ignore.

Making a Comparison
Due to the popularity of the internet, a lot of patients will leave a review. Check for local reviews on Angie’s List or Yelp. Do some research by conducting searches on Google for reviews using your zip code or the names of specific podiatrists. Satisfying every patient is an impossibility. There will always be someone that is not satisfied. This being said, if you see a lot of negative reviews, there is a reason. Since many satisfied patients do not leave a review, you should read what is there.

You can usually get a good idea of what to expect if you read enough reviews. If numerous patients have the same issue, you need to know why. If you are not comfortable using the internet or are unable to find any online reviews, ask for patient testimonials. Any reputable doctor will be happy to make this information available. Knowing why past patients were pleased or displeased with the service they received is important. Do not be afraid to ask questions.

The Specialization
There are all different types of foot conditions and injuries. Many of the best podiatrists available specialize in a specific condition, treatment or complication. The most common specializations include bio-mechanical, surgery and sport’s injuries. Depending on your issue, we recommend finding a physician specializing in your specific condition and treatment. You do not want to be treated by someone who has never handled your condition or you may receive questionable results.

Too Cheap is a Warning Flag
Once you find a few possible podiatrists, ask what the cost is for a routine treatment or surgery. The majority of prices will be in a similar range. If the cost is substantially cheaper, it is most likely an indication the doctor does not have much experience, has a problem getting or keeping patients or is just plain inept. There is also a possibility the office does not have enough patients to pay the bills.

Understand The Importance of Orthotics
Good podiatrists know how to treat a wide range of feet conditions before the issue becomes worse. A good example is plantar fasciitis. Your doctor should know which shoe inserts you need and how to correct common problems for children such as an abnormal gait. You need to be comfortable with the podiatry expert you choose. Your foot is extremely sensitive. You require care from an experienced podiatrist to ensure you receive the results you need.

THE SCHOTTENSTEIN CENTER Podiatrist Miami & Hollywood

Live your life to its fullest. Contact The Schottenstein Center: Julie Schottenstein, DPM to find out how we can help you with podiatry related issues TODAY! 800-974-6092

Whether it’s a routine checkup or a full surgery treatment, The Schottenstein Center in Miami and Hollywood is ready to take care of all your podiatric and orthopedic needs. We understand that your concerns and needs are unlike those of anyone else. Whether you’re trying to recover so you can get back to work, back to taking on your opponents on the field, or just want to be able to enjoy a leisurely stroll on the beach free of pain, we strive to help you meet your goals with our broad array of services. We also take the time to educate you on the best practices and care to prevent similar future injuries.

You already know how important it is to receive regular dental cleanings to make sure your smile remains bright. Your feet and ankles are no different. These extremities are highly sensitive parts of the human anatomy and just like your teeth, they require ongoing care so that they do not become injury prone, especially as you age. The Schottenstein Center can help you detect problems before they become a major and potentially costly issue.

Our treatment solutions are always conservative yet effective. We know that avoiding surgery is a priority for our patients and we consistently seek nonsurgical solutions prior to recommending treatment. If surgery is necessary, you can rest assured that our foot and ankle experts will do everything we can to ease your concerns and use our modern surgical treatments so you can be up and running and doing what you love again in as little time as possible.

Whether it’s a routine checkup or a full surgery treatment, The Schottenstein Center is ready to take care of all your podiatric and orthopedic needs. We understand that your concerns and needs are unlike those of anyone else. Whether you’re trying to recover so you can get back to work, back to taking on your opponents on the field, or just want to be able to enjoy a leisurely stroll on the beach free of pain, we strive to help you meet your goals with our broad array of services. We also take the time to educate you on the best practices and care to prevent similar future injuries.

You already know how important it is to receive regular dental cleanings to make sure your smile remains bright. Your feet and ankles are no different. These extremities are highly sensitive parts of the human anatomy and just like your teeth, they require ongoing care so that they do not become injury prone, especially as you age. The Schottenstein Center can help you detect problems before they become a major and potentially costly issue.

Our treatment solutions are always conservative yet effective. We know that avoiding surgery is a priority for our patients and we consistently seek nonsurgical solutions prior to recommending treatment. If surgery is necessary, you can rest assured that our foot and ankle experts will do everything we can to ease your concerns and use our modern surgical treatments so you can be up and running and doing what you love again in as little time as possible.