This common foot deformity can often be corrected with simple conservative measures.
If you are noticing that your smaller toes are starting to bend at the middle joint this is a telltale sign of hammertoes. While most people are concerned about bunions, a hammertoe is another common foot deformity that can result from an imbalance of the muscles or tendons in the foot. If you are concerned that you might be dealing with a hammertoe, it’s first important to visit our Carmel and Indianapolis, IN, foot doctor Dr. Jeffrey Agricola for an evaluation.
I have a hammertoe. Now what?
So, our foot doctor told you that you have hammertoes. The good news is that now that you know you can put some lifestyle changes and habits in place to prevent this problem from getting worse. If you are dealing with the early stages of a hammertoe (also known as a flexible hammertoe) here are some simple ways to manage this issue,
- Splint the toes to stretch out the imbalanced tendon in the foot to keep the smaller toes straight
- Apply protective padding over the middle joint of the hammertoes to prevent a callus from forming
- Perform daily toes and foot stretches and strengthening exercises
- Wear shoes with roomy toe boxes that prevent toes from being bunched up
- Avoid high heels or shoes with pointed toes
By catching your hammertoes early on and implementing the proper home care, you can prevent the tendon from becoming too tight. Daily exercises can also improve your foot’s flexibility.
When should I see a podiatrist?
First, you should visit our team if you aren’t sure whether or not you are dealing with a hammertoe. Of course, you should also consult us if home care isn’t providing you with relief or you are noticing new or worsening symptoms. If you notice your toes becoming stiff this is also a reason to schedule an evaluation with us.
Will I need surgery?
If you maintain proper foot hygiene you can often slow the progress of the hammertoe and never need surgery; however, if you have a rigid hammertoe that you can’t straighten out then surgery can correct the damaged joint to straighten out the toe or toes.
If you are experiencing persistent or recurring foot pain, it’s important that you have a qualified foot doctor here in Carmel and Indianapolis, IN, who can provide you with the answers and treatment you need. Concerned about hammertoes? If so, call Prestige Podiatry at (317) 846-4111 or (317) 881-0070 to schedule a visit with Dr. Jeffrey Agricola.
A bunion won't go away by itself. In fact, this bony prominence at the base of your big toe will worsen unless you seek treatment from your foot doctor in Carmel and Indianapolis, IN, Dr. Jeffrey Agricola. At Prestige Podiatry, Dr. Agricola uses innovative strategies for this age-old acquired deformity, managing its pain and other symptoms.
Just what is a bunion?
It's a bump that develops at the bottom of the big toe. Unfortunately, it is not only unattractive, but it causes pain in the joint and skin irritation from friction inside your shoe.
Additionally, it changes the structure of the foot as a whole. The larger the bunion is, the more the big toe angles in toward the second and third toes, even crossing over them, impacting the ability to walk comfortably and put on shoes.
Causes and symptoms of bunions
While age plays a role in bunion development, inherited foot structure factors in as well. Add tight, narrow-toed shoes, and bunions begin. Accordingly, older women seem to develop bunions more often and more quickly, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS).
Symptoms of bunions include:
- An obvious bump
- Redness and soreness caused by friction
- Numbness and tingling
- Pain when walking
At Prestige Podiatry in Carmel and Indianapolis, IN, your foot doctor will go over your symptoms, examine your foot and take X-rays to determine how your bunion impacts the rest of your foot structure. While some people require a bunionectomy to remove the excess bone and straighten the toe joint, most people do well with more conservative strategies.
Your treatment plan may include:
- Shoe padding to reduce friction inside the shoe
- Orthotics inside the shoe to correct biomechanical imbalances
- A change in shoes to ones with low heels and roomy toe boxes
- Analgesics, such as ibuprofen, for pain and swelling
- Steroidal injections for any associated bursitis
- Corn and callus removal
Better walking, better feet
If you suspect you're developing a bunion, please contact Prestige Podiatry for an appointment with your foot doctor, Dr. Jeffrey Agricola. Let us help you feel your best and keep your active lifestyle. We have two locations. For Indianapolis, IN, phone us at (317) 881-0070, or in Carmel, call (317) 846-4111.
Are you having difficulty walking? Painful ingrown toenails are a treatable and very common dilemma. Dr. Jeffrey Agricola at Prestige Podiatry is located in Carmel and Indianapolis, IN.
What is an ingrown toenail?
Sometimes the skin around the nail bed grows over the side of the top edge of the nail. This position can trap the nail, increasing the risk of fungal infection and swelling. A person can be born with a genetic propensity for ingrown toenails, or it may be circumstantial.
Who gets ingrown toenails?
Anyone can get an ingrown toenail, but it is more common amongst those who have stubbed their toe, wear tight shoes, keep long toenails, or are in adolescence.
How do you treat them?
- You may take over the counter medication to temporarily ease the pain. Soaking your feet in warm water with some Epsom Salt may help. This treatment reduces inflammation and softens the skin.
- Some nails are firmly lodged in the skin. They should not be pried forcefully away from the rest of the toe.
- If you were successful and separating the nail from the skin and the toenail is long, see if you can safely attempt to cut the nail back. Shorter nails may need a barrier placed between them and the nail bed while they grow out. Congenital and deeper ingrown toenails may require surgery to get relief.
- Sometimes, bacterial infections afflict the site, necessitating medical attention. If this happens to you, do not hesitate to see your doctor have your toe examined.
Frustrated with your ingrown toenails? The good news is that a specialist can solve your problem relatively fast. Call Dr. Agricola at Prestige Podiatry at Carmel (317) 846-4111 or Indianapolis, IN, at (317) 881-0070 to schedule a consultation today.
Your feet and ankles work hard to support the weight of your body -- pain, if left untreated, can make their job so much harder. When your feet struggle to function, you may need surgery to overcome your discomfort. Dr. Jeffrey Agricola offers foot and ankle surgery at Prestige Podiatry located in Carmel and Indianapolis, IN.
How do I know if I need foot or ankle surgery?
- You have an accident or an injury that changes the structure of the foot or ankle
- Being born with a defect that makes it hard to walk
- Chronic pains in your foot do not go away
- The pain in your foot increases with use or time
- Orthotics, medications, and other non-surgical interventions do not work or have stopped working
- Inability to fit shoes correctly
- You’ve lost the ability to walk properly
Many common conditions that may require surgery include:
- Heel, ankle, and toe spurs
- Extensive misalignment of the ankle
- Ankle replacement
- Torn tendons and ligaments
- Broken bones
Osteoarthritis is a painful syndrome that is characterized by erosion of the cartilage in between the bones. Sometimes the erosion is too much, and the bones begin to rub together, causing long-lasting pain. A person in this situation may need surgery.
An outpatient procedure can correct many of these ailments, which means no lengthy hospital stays. After receiving treatment, your doctor will assist you with your therapy plan so that you can regain the full function of your foot. It is important not to rush into high impact activities during your healing process.
If you have attempted to manage your foot pain without success, contact Dr. Agricola at Prestige Podiatry in Carmel, IN, at (317) 846-4111 or Indianapolis, IN at (317) 881-0070.
Here’s what you can do to banish athlete’s foot on your own.
Fungus lives all around us, particularly in environments that are warm, dark and damp. Therefore, they also find the spaces between toes an appealing place to thrive. This is why it’s so important to wear shoes when you’re in the locker room, gym shower or local pool. If you happen to catch athlete’s foot, it’s not the end of the world. Here’s what you can do to treat it yourself, as well as warning signs that it’s time to visit our Carmel and Indianapolis, IN, podiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Agricola for treatment.
How can I tell that it’s athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot causes a red rash between the toes. This rash may crack or peel. You may also notice soreness, burning or intense itching. While most cases of athlete’s foot develop between toes it may also develop on the heel or soles of the feet.
What can I do to treat athlete’s foot?
Most healthy individuals can treat their fungal infection from the comfort of their own home with over-the-counter antifungal creams or sprays that are designed specifically to treat athlete’s foot. Most mild to moderate forms of athlete’s foot will respond effectively to over-the-counter treatments.
Make sure to follow the instructions exactly to ensure that the infection is fully treated and won’t return. Once the fungal infection is gone, it’s important to keep your feet dry and to wear protective shoes or sandals when in community showers and locker rooms.
Once the infection is cleared you may also want to consider sprinkling talcum powder on your feet and in your shoes before putting shoes on. This can help to wick away moisture, which can attract fungus.
When should I turn to a doctor for treatment?
There are certain situations in which it’s best to turn to a doctor for treatment. Seek care from our Carmel and Indianapolis, IN, foot doctor if,
- You have diabetes and you’ve developed athlete’s foot
- You have a severe case of athlete’s foot (you may need a stronger, prescription medication)
- Your athlete’s foot is spreading or getting worse
- Home care and over-the-counter treatments are not providing you with relief
- You develop recurring bouts of athlete’s foot
If you are dealing with recurring athlete’s foot or other fungal infections that affect the health of your feet or toenails, then turn to the podiatry experts at Prestige Podiatry. We have offices in Carmel and Indianapolis, IN, to serve you. For the Carmel, IN, office, call (317) 846-4111. For our Indianapolis, IN, location, please call (317) 881-0070.
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