There are many people who enjoy the sport of boating. If a broken toe occurs, it may go unattended in the midst of the many duties that are performed onboard. Common causes of broken toes consist of stubbing the toe against a piece of furniture, or from dropping a heavy object on it. Noticeable symptoms of a mild fracture may appear within the first 24 hours, whereas a severe break will show almost immediately, so it is important to begin an effective treatment method. Some of the signs of a broken toe can include pain, swelling, and it may be difficult to walk. Mild relief can be found when the affected foot is elevated. Many patients choose to tape the toe to the toe next to it, and this is referred to as buddy taping. This can be helpful in providing stability as the healing process begins. If you have broken your toe, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat broken toes.
A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.
What to Know About a Broken Toe
Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).
Symptoms of a Broken Toe
- Throbbing pain
- Bruising on the skin and toenail
- The inability to move the toe
- Toe appears crooked or disfigured
- Tingling or numbness in the toe
Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.
Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
Diabetic patients are often at a higher risk of developing the condition known as peripheral neuropathy. This condition affects the peripheral nerves, which are the longest nerves in the body, and may develop when these nerves become damaged. Peripheral neuropathy is known to target the feet, which can cause a great deal of discomfort. Common symptoms may include pain, as well as numbness and tingling in the feet. Since patients who are diabetic are more likely to develop this condition, typical forms of prevention may include regularly exercising and monitoring your overall diet. For more advice on how to find relief from the symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy, it is suggested that you seek the professional advice of a podiatrist.
Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.
Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:
- Sensation loss
- Prickling and tingling sensations
- Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
- Muscle weakness
Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.
To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.
Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Neuropathy
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel and is the largest tendon in the body. When this tendon gets inflamed resulting in pain, stiffness or swelling, Achilles tendonitis occurs. Achilles tendonitis can occur from excessive strain, lack of warming up before an exercise, or tight calf muscles. There are two types of Achilles tendonitis, noninsertional and insertional. Most common in active and young people, noninsertional Achilles tendonitis occurs when fibers in the center of the tendon become inflamed and swollen. Insertional Achilles tendonitis, which can occur at any age regardless of activity level, forms in the lower part of the tendon near the heel bone and can be accompanied with heel spurs. If you are experiencing pain and swelling in the Achilles tendon area, it is important to visit a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and to allow your podiatrist to help prevent the tendonitis from becoming chronic.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 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
- Dull to severe pain
- Increased blood flow to the tendon
- Thickening of the tendon
- 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 Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
The symptoms that can occur with poor circulation often include a numbing sensation in the limbs, and the feet can tingle and feel cold. The causes of poor circulation may be medical conditions consisting of diabetes, peripheral artery disease (PAD), and obesity. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this ailment can be shortness of breath, chest pain, and many patients can feel tired for the majority of the day. It may be beneficial to begin a vitamin regime, in addition to incorporating gentle exercise and stretching techniques into your daily routine. If you are experiencing any symptoms of poor circulation, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.
Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.
Poor Circulation in the Feet
Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.
Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.
Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:
- Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness
- Numbness or cramping in the legs
- Skin discoloration
- Slower nail & hair growth
- Erectile dysfunction
Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.
As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
Heel pain may be a common ailment among active children. It can be indicative of a condition that is known as Sever’s disease, which impacts the growth plate in the heel. You may notice that your child is limping, and this is a normal symptom of this condition. A proper diagnosis can consist of performing what is referred to as a squeeze test, and additional tests may be needed to confirm the results. Relief may be felt when the foot is elevated, which may reduce a portion of the swelling that can accompany this condition. As the foot gains strength, stretches and specific exercises can be performed that can increase the range of motion. If you think your child may have Sever’s disease, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this ailment.
Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.
Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.
Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.
Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.
Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.Read more about Sever's Disease
Those suffering from plantar fasciitis are often familiar to the heel pain that is associated with this condition. To help ease the discomfort of plantar fasciitis, there are a few methods you can practice. To begin, you should regularly rest and elevate the affected area. Icing your feet can also help with relieving pain as well as inflammation. Some patients have found the use of custom orthotics to be helpful. Ill-fitting footwear is often a common cause for plantar fasciitis, so using custom orthotics can be helpful in preventing this ailment from becoming worse. Lastly, regularly performing foot and calf stretches can be beneficial in reducing the pain of plantar fasciitis. For more information on how to treat this condition, please consult with a podiatrist for professional care.
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
- Excessive running
- Having high arches in your feet
- Other foot issues such as flat feet
- Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
- Being on your feet very often
There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.
- Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain
There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Flip flops are easy and comfortable to wear for activities that require little walking. These types of shoes are designed with inadequate support when they are worn for the majority of the day. This is a result of poor arch design, which can cause uncomfortable foot conditions to develop. Some of the signs that flip flops are being worn for long periods of time can include cracked heels, and the overall foot may feel tired. This can come from the toes constantly grasping the shoe to keep it from falling off. Additional dangers can include accidents to the feet, and it may be easier to sprain the ankle if falling occurs. Please consult with a podiatrist if you would like more information about what type of flip flops are better for the feet than others.
Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.
Flip-Flops and Feet
Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.
When Are They Okay to Wear?
Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.
Why Are They Bad for My Feet?
These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.
More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet
- They Slow You Down
- May Cause Blisters and Calluses
- Expose Your Feet to Bacteria
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Flipping Out About Flip Flops
Stress fractures primarily occur when the feet are overused. As foot muscles get tired, they are unable to absorb as much shock from impact, and the stress is transferred to the bone. Over half of all stress fractures occur in the lower leg, and athletes involved in activities such as basketball, running, and gymnastics are at a higher risk for trauma. Since stress fractures can be difficult to diagnose through an X-Ray, communicating the risk of stress fractures to doctors is key, because they may have to resort to CT scans or MRIs. If diagnosed with a stress factor, rest is key. However, a podiatrist may be able to recommend shoe inserts or braces to help as well. For the best treatment methods, please consult with your local podiatrist.
Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.
Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use. The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.
What Are Stress Fractures?
Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:
- People affected with Osteoporosis
- Tennis or basketball players
- High impact workouts
Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Toenails that grow into the surrounding skin of the nail bed are referred to as ingrown toenails. This foot condition is known to be incredibly painful and can cause redness and swelling to the toe. In severe cases, some patients may experience a discharge coming from the impacted toe, which is often indicative of an infection. There are several different reasons why an ingrown toenail may develop. Common causes for an ingrown toenail may include tightly fitted footwear, injury to the toe, improper toenail trimming, unusual toenail curvature, and genetic factors. If you believe you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is suggested you speak with a podiatrist to determine the best plan of treatment for you.
Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.
- Improper toenail trimming
- Improper shoe fitting
- Injury from pedicures or nail picking
- Abnormal gait
- Poor hygiene
You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.
Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.
Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.
The definition of an ankle sprain is a torn or stretched ligament in the ankle. The purpose of the ligaments is to hold the ankle bones in place, and they may become damaged if a foot injury has occurred. It can happen from stepping off of a curb unexpectedly, which may twist the outside ligaments of the ankle joint. Common symptoms that many patients experience from an ankle sprain can include severe pain and discomfort, swelling, and it may become difficult to walk. Many ankle sprains can be prevented by properly stretching the feet before beginning a run, and it is beneficial to wear shoes that fit correctly. If you have endured an ankle sprain, please consult with a podiatrist who can help you determine which treatment methods are best for you.
Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?
Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.
What Are the Symptoms?
- Pain at the sight of the tear
- Ankle area is tender to touch
- In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
- Skin discoloration
Preventing a Sprain
- Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
- Stretching before exercises and sports
- Knowing your limits
Treatment of a Sprain
In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.
It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.
The foot condition that is referred to as hammertoe is considered to be a deformity. It can occur from genetic reasons, or from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, it may cause the middle toes to bend at the joint, and may resemble a hammer. Calluses may form on top of the joints, and it may be difficult to wear shoes. Some patients may find mild relief when a small protective pad is worn on top of the toes. This may help to prevent friction between the shoe and the toe. In severe cases of hammertoe, surgery may be an option for permanent removal and relief. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it is advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can determine what the best treatment is for you.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 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.
- Pain in the affected toes
- Development of corns or calluses due to friction
- Contracture of the toes
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
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 Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about What Are Hammertoes?