Hammertoes are common podiatric deformities which may involve all the toes except the big toe. At University Foot Center in Columbus, OH your foot doctors, Dr. Steventon Scott Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl, treat hammertoes as soon as they detect them, preventing further damage and possible immobility.
You're not born with hammertoes
Hammertoes are contractures or a stiffening and bending of the second, third, fourth and fifth toes of either foot. Developing from traumatic injury or a combination of heredity, gait imbalance, and tight shoes, hammertoe deformities make toes look like little mallets. The bending and curling causes additional friction against the inside of the shoes, and thick corns and calluses may form.
Early intervention helps limit the severity of hammertoes. Left alone for too long, the toe joints may become so rigid that the toes hurt and impair walking.
Seeing a change?
If you suspect the shape of your toes is changing, please see your foot doctor at University Foot Center in Columbus. Dr. Wagner or Dr. Mehl will look at your feet, watch you walk, check the flexibility of the toe joints and take digital X-ray images to inspect the joints.
While hammertoes do worsen with time, this deterioration can be managed--usually conservatively without surgical intervention. Your podiatrist will put together a treatment plan suited to your activity level, age, overall health and other factors so your hammertoes stabilize. You will feel better and walk better, too.
Treatments may include:
- Custom-made shoe inserts (also called orthotics) which cushion feet and normalize gait
- Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen
- In-office corn and callus removal and/or use of padding in the shoe to reduce friction and irritation
- Recommendations on your best style of footwear (heels no high than two inches, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, and also ample room in the toe box)
Find out more
People can live well with hammertoes and other acquired deformities of the foot and ankle. Your foot doctors at University Foot Center are happy to help. Why not call the office today for your examination and consultation with Dr. Wagner or Dr. Mehl? Phone (614) 488-9478.
Painful ingrown toenails affect most people at some time. In fact, 18 percent of people over 21 develop the condition in the course of a year, according to the Institute for Preventive Foot Health. Your Columbus, OH, podiatrists Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl treat ingrown toenails and many other foot and ankle conditions.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails happen so gradually that you may not be aware that there's a problem until you notice a pain in your toe one day. The toenail cutting method you use may be responsible for your ingrown nail. If you round the nails instead of cutting them straight across, it's much easier for the edges to grow into the skin.
Other causes of ingrown toenails include:
- Fungal Infections: Fungal infections thicken your nails, increasingly the likelihood that they'll grow into the skin.
- Thick Nails: Thicker nails can be caused by reasons other than fungal infections. You may have naturally thick nails or may notice that your nails have thickened as you've gotten older.
- Curved Nails: If your nails curve downward, they're more likely to become ingrown.
- Tight Shoes and Socks: Constant pressure on your toes from tight shoes and socks can drive the nails into the skin.
- Injuries: Did you first notice ingrown toenail symptoms after you dropped a heavy can on your foot or stubbed your toe? Your injury may be responsible for your condition.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
You may be able to free your nail at home if you spot the problem soon enough. Soak your foot in warm soapy water three or four times per day, then gently insert a piece of cotton or waxed dental floss under the nail to lift it out of the skin. Keep floss or cotton under the nail until it grows out.
If the nail won't budge, don't force it. If you do, you may injure your toe and increase the risk of infection. Call your Columbus foot doctor if you can't free your nail yourself, you have diabetes, or you've noticed signs of an infection, such as redness, warmth, pus or red streaks on your skin.
Your podiatrist will use a topical anesthetic to numb your toe, then remove the part of the nail that's trapped. You may also need to take an antibiotic if your nail is infected. If ingrown toenails are a frequent problem, permanent removal of the nail may be recommended.
Are you concerned about an ingrown toenail? Make an appointment with your Columbus, OH, podiatrists Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl at (614) 488-9478 to make an appointment.
Contrary to the popular myth, warts do not come from frogs or appear only on witches’ noses. In fact, warts can develop on anyone and often require the help of your doctor to treat. A wart which appears on the bottom of the foot, known as a plantar wart, can cause discomfort and even pain. Find out more about treating and preventing plantar warts with Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl at University Foot Center in Columbus, OH.
What Causes a Plantar Wart?
Warts come from a viral infection of the skin which usually enters the body via tiny cuts or scrapes. The infection comes to rest and causes the cells in its area to rapidly reproduce, causing a wart.
Do I Have a Plantar Wart?
Plantar warts occur on the bottom of the foot. Thanks to their location, gravity, and the body’s weight cause the plantar wart to grow inward, into the skin. You may not immediately notice a plantar wart, but you may experience symptoms such as:
- feeling as though a pebble is in your shoe
- a thick callus over the affected area
- a fleshy lesion at the bottom of the toes or on the heel
Plantar Wart Treatments in Columbus, OH
Plantar warts pose no real threat to your health and are a simple skin condition. However, they can be painful and frustrating, especially when they do not go away quickly on their own. Over-the-counter medications and ointments are conservative options that may help treat your plantar wart, but they don't always offer relief. In more stubborn cases, your doctor may suggest prescription-strength remedies, destruction with bleomycin or surgical removal.
For more information on treating and preventing warts, please contact Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl at University Foot Center in Columbus, OH. Call (614) 488-9478 to schedule your appointment with your podiatrist today!
Ankle sprains can result in pain, discomfort, and limited mobility. Walking, running, and even standing can all be difficult after sustaining an ankle sprain. Minor sprains can be treated by resting the feet and applying ice. Serious ankle sprains should be treated by a podiatrist to ensure the injury heals properly. Left untreated, serious ankle sprains might not heal properly, which can result in ankle instability and chronic pain. At University Foot Center, Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl are your Columbus, OH, podiatrists for treating ankle sprains.
Ankle sprains are the result of the ankle twisting the wrong way. For instance, if the ankle rolls inward as the foot turns outward, the ankle is twisting in the opposite direction as the foot and a sprain can occur. When the ankle moves in a different direction as the foot, the ligaments in the ankle can be stretched too far and tear. Ankle sprains can happen at any time, but the risk of spraining an ankle increases when participating in certain types of activities or when performing certain movements. The risk of an ankle sprain is higher in the following situations:
- Jumping around
- Performing high-impact movements
- Jogging or running on rough or uneven surfaces
- Participating in sports and athletic activities
- Wearing shoes with little to no support
- Wearing high heel shoes
Ankle sprains can be prevented by strengthening the ankles and increasing flexibility. Your Columbus podiatrist can recommend specific exercises to strengthen the ankle, as well as specific stretches for safely and effectively increasing ankle flexibility. Wearing footwear with sufficient support can also help prevent ankle sprains. If you do sustain an ankle injury, signs the ankle is sprained include:
- Pain or discomfort
- Limited range of motion
Treating an Ankle Sprain
Ankle sprains can be treated in several ways. The treatment process can include healing the ankle injury, strengthening the ankles, and increasing flexibility. Your Columbus podiatrist can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for your sprained ankles. Treatment methods for sprained ankles include:
- Ice or a cold compress
- Elevation and rest
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
- Braces or splints
- Compression bandages
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Pain relievers
If you suspect you have sprained your ankles, see a podiatrist for medical treatment to ensure the injury properly heals. A podiatrist can also recommend specific exercises and stretches for increasing flexibility and strength in the ankles, which can help prevent additional sprains in the future. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Wagner or Dr. Mehl, your podiatrists in Columbus, OH, call University Foot Center at (614) 488-9478.
Due to their location, your feet take the brunt of your body’s weight and are susceptible to various conditions and injuries. However, you may not realize that, on top of common conditions like bunions or Athlete’s foot, poor circulation can also take a toll on your feet. Find out what could be causing your poor circulation and what your podiatrist can do to help it with Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl at University Foot Center in Columbus, OH.
What is poor circulation?
The body’s circulatory system sends blood, oxygen, and other nutrients through the veins to their specific destinations. Poor circulation occurs when the blood does not flow through the veins to its destination properly. A substance called plaque builds up in the blood vessels and causes them to become more narrow. Poor circulation can be a symptom of an underlying condition or cause a related condition depending on the circumstances.
What causes poor circulation?
Though poor circulation is not a condition in and of itself, it is an indication of another problem. Treating the underlying causes of poor circulation will improve your condition. Some of the issues commonly related to poor circulation include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and peripheral vascular disease, or PVD.
Do I have poor circulation?
If you notice one or more of the following symptoms, you may have poor circulation:
- numbness and tingling, especially the hands and toes
- changes in skin temperature
- muscle cramps
- shortness of breath
- lack of stamina
- swelling in the feet, legs, or fingers
- varicose veins
- changes in the color of the skin
Podiatrist in Columbus, OH
If you think you have poor circulation in your feet or legs, your podiatrist can help you pinpoint the cause of your condition and manage its symptoms. For more information on poor circulation, please contact Dr. Wagner and Dr. Mehl at University Foot Center in Columbus, OH. Call (614) 488-9478 to schedule your appointment with your foot doctor today!
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