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Hammertoe: “Curling toes”

Hammertoe: “Curling toes” Hammertoe is a contracture of one or more joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toes. The contracture can put pressure and cause friction on the toe when wearing closed toe shoes, thus potentially causing pain and pressure sores. Hammertoes can occur in one or multiple toes simultaneously. Hammertoes are progressive, they begin as mild flexible contractures but can become rigid deformity over time. Usually the more flexible the contracture, the better the toe responds to non-surgical treatments.
There are multiple reasons for the cause of hammertoes with the most common being tendon imbalance of the toe. This leads to bending of the toe. Other causes include, long toe, prior trauma and neurological changes in the foot.
The common symptoms include: pain and irritation of curling toes when wearing shoes, corn and callus build up at area of constant friction, redness and inflammation and open sores in severe cases.
The treatments for hammertoes range from co…
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INGROWN TOENAIL: What you need to know
An ingrown toenail is curved and grows in the skin nail fold causing irritation. Patient’s usually described it as “digging in” of the nail into skin, often causing pain, redness and swelling if present for a long time. Ingrown toenail occurs in all aged groups, but more likely in teenagers.
If the toenail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection. Infection signs to look out for include: redness, swelling, warmth, bad odor and drainage. Ingrown toenail can also be present in the absence of infection when the curved nail elicits pain.
There are many causes of ingrown toenails: heredity, wrong shoe size, fungal or thick toenail or incorrect trimming. Therefore, some ideas to prevent ingrown toenails include proper trimming of the nail in a straight line while not cutting it too short. Also, you should wear well-fitted shoes and socks that prevent pressure on the toes while active.
However, if you do have an ingrown toenai…

Turf Toe: A Tough Injury to Overcome

With the fall weather comes football season – and unfortunately, with football season comes injury. Whether you find yourself at your local football field to cheer on your own football star, cheering on your high school team from the stands, watching the Buckeyes take the field on Saturdays or the Bengals or Browns on Sundays, chances are you’ll hear the expression “turf toe” at one time or another this season. The expression turf toe might lead one to believe that the injury is a minor ailment limited only to those wearing football helmets and jerseys; however, this is not the case. Turf toe often plagues dancers as well, and can actually impact anyone in the right circumstances as it is an injury to the soft tissue around the big toe joint that occurs when the toe is extended beyond its normal range of motion.
Turf toe isn’t a simple injury that pulls a player out of a game or a dancer out of a single performance. It can leave athletes sidelined for weeks in extreme pain.
The good new…

Feeling the Pinch this Autumn? Bunions May Be to Blame

With the curtain closed on summer and sandal season, fall is the season during which Community Foot Specialists sees an upswing in patients whose feet are feeling the pinch in their closed-toe footwear. This seasonal phenomenon seems to focus on women, although there are men who have this issue. The common culprit? Painful bunions that were given room to breathe during sandal season, but now face close quarters of a fall boot or shoe.
Bunions are abnormalities that form on the joint at the base of the big toe in the form of a bony bump. They occur when the big toe pushes against the other toes, which force the big toe joint in the opposite direction. As time passes, the abnormal positioning of the toe enlarges the joint. This further crowds the toes of the foot and causes pain and discomfort.
Bunions can occur for a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes is tight shoes, although they can also come about as a result of an inherited structural or mechanical defect, a stress to…

Tips on Orthotics

If you have orthotics or are considering purchasing them, you may want to consider the following tips to ensure that you are getting the most for your money and doing the best thing for your feet. First, keep in mind that orthotics are not just for wearing with one particular type of shoe – they can be worn with athletic shoes, dress shoes, work boots, snow shoes – pretty much all types of shoes that have a back to them and provide some support at the base of the shoe.
When going shoe shopping, be sure to bring your orthotics with you and wear them when trying on new shoes. You want to be sure that the shoe will work with the orthotic while providing comfort and the right kind of support for your foot. Likewise, you want to be sure that the orthotic will work with the shoe you have in mind.
Also, you will want to have the same shoes or stockings that you plan to wear with the shoes you purchase so that you can see how they work with your orthotics and your shoes. Make sure they are com…

Moving to Electronic Medical Records

by Dr. Allen C. Guehl
Regardless of your opinion on health care reform and whether the U.S. will be able to convert all medical records into the electronic format by the 2014 deadline, there is no denying that in this technological age, movement toward electronic medical records is all but certain.
Community Foot Specialists wants to be a step ahead of all other Dayton Ohio podiatrists in terms of electronic medical records. We are already well on our way to achieving compliance ahead of the 2014 deadline.
So what does the shift to electronic medical records mean for our patients? Even if you are just visiting us for heel pain or ingrown nails, we will be asking all patients for updated allergy information, including information on the severity and type of allergic reaction you may experience. We will also be asking for your email address, so that you can also have access to your electronic medical records if you choose to. Electronic medical records will also allow us to send your pre…

Study: More Americans Having Bouts with Gout

A new study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism reveals that 8.3 million Americans suffer from the incapacitating condition of gout – up from 6.1 million Americans 20 years ago.
Gout is caused by high uric acid levels in the bloodstream, causing crystals that precipitate in joints of the foot. Gout pain typically affects the joint of the big toe. (This is true in just about 75% of cases.) As uric acid levels increase, so does the likelihood of gout pain. Gout pain typically manifests in episodes – called gout attacks or gout flares. During a gout attack or gout flare, a person feels an extreme amount of pain and experiences severe swelling and redness in the big toe. A gout attack or gout flare can last just hours or days, but over time they can last longer, occur with greater frequency, or even become more painful.
These attacks or flares may occur only at certain times of the year. Typically they start during the night without warning. Patients sometimes complain that…