Items filtered by date: July 2021

Tuesday, 27 July 2021 00:00

Why Do I Have Hammertoes?

Hammertoe is a common foot deformity in which the toes bend downward at the middle joint, creating a hammer-like shape. This deformity typically affects the second, third, or fourth toes and causes pain, discomfort, and joint stiffness. There are many reasons why a hammertoe may develop. Chronically wearing ill-fitting shoes which are too tight, narrow, have excessively high heels, or squeeze your toes together, can contribute to the formation of hammertoes. Hereditary foot differences, having unusually long toe bones, weakness in the muscles of the feet, or injuries can also make hammertoes more likely. Other foot conditions, including bunions and rheumatoid arthritis, may increase your risk of hammertoes. If you notice that your toes are changing in appearance, or if you are experiencing any foot pain, please seek the care of a podiatrist. Treating hammertoes early can help stop or slow their progression.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Sarah Urton, DPM from Kitsilano Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

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

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Tuesday, 20 July 2021 00:00

What Is Total Ankle Replacement?

Total ankle replacement is a surgical procedure in which a defective ankle joint is removed and replaced with plastic or metal pieces. This surgery is usually done to combat pain and disability from late-stage ankle arthritis. People with this condition often have such significant joint degeneration that they can barely move their ankle. During the procedure, the surgeon removes the diseased lower part of the shin bone (tibia) and upper part of the foot bone (talus), then replaces them with an artificial joint. Recovery can be a lengthy process. It often takes at least 4 months to return to full activity. Nevertheless, those who undergo the procedure often find that their increased mobility and reduced pain is worth it. To learn more about total ankle replacement please consult with a podiatrist today!

In certain cases, in which the patient suffers from extreme pain or damage in a joint, joint replacement surgery may be deemed useful. If you have constant pain in a foot joint, consult with Sarah Urton, DPM from Kitsilano Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?

Over time, joints wear down; this can be exacerbated by diseases and conditions. Joint replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is when a damaged joint is surgically removed and replaced with a prosthesis. Prostheses, which can be made of ceramic, plastic, or metal, act as joints in lieu of an actual joint. One of the most prevalent causes for joint replacement is arthritis.

Arthritis in the Foot

Arthritis can occur in any joint in the body, including in the feet. Common types of arthritis in the foot are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. The big toe is usually where arthritis occurs in the foot; this is known as hallux rigidus.

Joint Replacement Surgery in the Foot

The most common form of joint replacement in the foot is a first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint placement. MTP joint replacement surgery is designed to treat hallux rigidus. Surgery is not intensive, and recovery occurs within one to two months after the procedure has been done. Overall, joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective way to treat pain in the joint of the foot.

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

Read more about Joint Replacement Surgery
Thursday, 15 July 2021 00:00

Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Tuesday, 13 July 2021 00:00

How Achilles Tendon Ruptures Occur

The Achilles tendon is the large tendon on the back of the ankle that connects the calf muscle and the heel bone. When these tendon fibers tear, what is known as a rupture occurs and this leads to pain and a loss of function. During an Achilles tendon rupture, a popping or snapping sound may be heard and the patient can feel as though they’ve been kicked in the back of the leg. During a complete rupture, the heel may not be able to lift off the ground. Achilles tendon ruptures often occur in weekend athletes who don’t train as hard during the week. Other factors that may contribute to ruptures include tight calf muscles, a change in running surface, poor footwear, and obesity. Patients who have ruptured their Achilles tendon tendon should visit a podiatrist to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Sarah Urton, DPM of Kitsilano Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Vancouver, BC . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
Tuesday, 06 July 2021 00:00

Am I at Risk for Toenail Fungus?

Onychomycosis is a contagious fungal infection of the toenails. Infected nails may appear discolored, thickened, brittle, and crumbly. Onychomycosis often affects the big and little toenails, but can affect any nail. Certain people are more at risk of contracting a fungal toenail infection than others. Since the fungus responsible for toenail infections thrives in warm and moist environments, those who live in hot, humid climates, sweat excessively, wear shoes and socks with poor ventilation, experience prolonged exposure to water, or frequent areas like public swimming pools and locker rooms, are more likely to incur an infection. People who are older or have underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or psoriasis, are also at an increased risk. Having certain pre-existing foot problems, including athlete’s foot, a fungal skin infection of the feet, or a previous toenail injury can also make you more susceptible to a fungal nail infection. If you suspect that you may have onychomycosis, please seek the care of a podiatrist.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Sarah Urton, DPM of Kitsilano Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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

 

Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus

Connect With Us