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Posts for category: Foot Condition

By Michael Guerra, DPM
March 31, 2021
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Pigeon Toes  
Pigeon ToesDo your child’s feet turn inward? If so, it’s fairly easy to tell, particularly when they walk. This condition is known as pigeon toes and it is often genetic (so if you have a family history of pigeon toes chances are more likely that your child will develop this foot problem, too).
 
How are pigeon toes diagnosed?

When you bring your child into the podiatrist’s office, the specialist will examine your child’s walk and gait. They will also observe how your child stands to see if their feet turn inwards or to look at how your child’s hips are positioned. Your podiatrist may also recommend imaging tests to look at the alignment of the bones.

While a pediatrician may be the first person to look at and diagnose your child’s pigeon toes, a pediatric podiatrist is going to be able to provide your little one with the specialized treatment and care they need.
 
How are pigeon toes treated in children?

Most parents are relieved to find out that many children grow out of mild to moderate forms of pigeon toes. While this may take a few years, this is nothing to worry about and children won’t require special treatment or care.

However, if this issue is detected in your infant, they may need to wear a cast on the feet to fix the alignment before your child begins walking. A podiatrist can also show you a series of stretches and massages that can help the bones grow into the proper alignment.

If your child’s pigeon toes are still causing them issues by 10 years old, then you may want to talk with your podiatrist about whether surgery may be necessary to correct these bone alignment issues.
While mild pigeon toes may not be a cause for concern, children with more severe cases may have trouble walking or may not be able to participate in sports. Some children may also deal with teasing due to their condition. It’s important to discuss all of these issues with your child’s podiatrist so they can help you find the right treatment option to meet your child’s needs.
 
If your child has pigeon toes, it’s best to speak with a qualified foot doctor to find out the best way to address this issue to prevent mobility issues in your growing little one. A podiatrist can easily treat pigeon toes and other foot and ankle conditions in children, teens, and adults.
By Michael Guerra, DPM
March 02, 2021
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Puncture Wound  
Puncture WoundA puncture wound in the foot occurs when you step on an object that leaves a small hole behind. One of the most common puncture wounds comes from stepping on a nail. Puncture wounds are not simply cuts and will require different treatment and care to prevent infection and other complications from occurring. If you’re dealing with a puncture wound, you probably took a trip to your local emergency room for care. Even if you’ve done this, you should still follow up with a podiatrist to make sure the wound is properly cared for and tended to.
 
Dealing with a puncture wound? Here are the steps you should take,
  • Seek immediate medical attention (head to your local ER)
  • You may need a tetanus shot if it’s been more than 10 years since your last shot
  • Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist within 24 hours of the injury
  • Your podiatrist will provide you with a variety of care instructions to keep it clean and disinfected (make sure to follow all of these instructions)
When you come into the podiatrist’s office the first thing they will do is assess the wound and make sure it is properly cleaned. They will also make sure there is no debris remaining. To clean the wound, a numbing gel may be applied to the area first. Sometimes a round of antibiotics is prescribed to prevent an infection from developing. If your podiatrist suspects that you might still have a piece of an object in the wound or that there might be bone damage, imaging tests may need to be performed.
 
You must keep off the foot so that it can fully heal. If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics, make sure to take the medication until it is finished (if you stop taking it before the medication is finished it won’t be as effective). While your foot heals you must examine it daily and look for any signs of infection. These signs include,
  • Fever
  • New or worsening pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Drainage
  • Skin that’s warm to the touch
It’s important to turn to a podiatrist right away to treat your puncture wound to prevent complications. A foot and ankle specialist can provide you with instructions on how to properly care for your wound to ensure that it doesn’t get infected. Seek treatment right away.
By Michael Guerra, DPM
October 26, 2020
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Sesamoiditis  
SesamoiditisA sesamoid is a bone that connects to a tendon or muscle instead of another bone. The most common sesamoids are the patella (kneecap) and two bones found under the forefoot. The sesamoids in the foot help to provide the foot with weight-bearing support. Unfortunately, just like another bone, sesamoids can fracture or become inflamed. An inflamed sesamoid is known as sesamoiditis and it’s most often found in athletes.
 
What are the symptoms of sesamoiditis?
 
So, how do you differentiate pain from sesamoiditis from other causes of pain? You could be dealing with an inflamed sesamoid in the foot if you are experiencing:
  • Pain at the ball of the foot near the big toe
  • Pain when bending or straightening the big toe
  • Swelling
  • Pain that comes up gradually
Pain that comes on suddenly may be a sign of a fractured sesamoid rather than sesamoiditis, which is a form of tendinitis. You may experience pain when putting weight on the foot.

How is sesamoiditis treated?

The good news is that this inflammatory condition can be treated with rest and home care designed to ease the inflamed tendon or muscle. At-home care for sesamoiditis looks like:
  • Avoiding any activities that put pressure on the foot
  • Taking a pain reliever such as ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling
  • Wearing supportive shoes with ample cushioning
  • Applying ice to the foot for 10-15 minutes every few hours
  • Avoiding shoes with pointed toes or high heels
It can take up to six weeks for sesamoiditis pain and inflammation to go away. If you are dealing with severe pain or swelling, or if you have trouble walking, then you must see a podiatrist right away. In more severe cases your doctor may recommend bracing the foot or using steroid injections to target unresponsive and more serious inflammation.

If you are experiencing severe or persistent foot pain, you must seek podiatry care from a qualified foot and ankle specialist. Foot pain should not go ignored. Call your podiatrist today. 
By Michael Guerra, DPM
July 24, 2020
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Footwear   Hammertoe  
HammertoesWhile tight, cramped shoes and those towering high heels may not immediately show you the damage that’s being done to your feet, over time you will certainly notice changes in the structure and function of your feet. Along with bunions, a common foot deformity, hammertoes are another deformity that causes the toes to bend downward at the middle joint. If the problem isn’t corrected, this simple and rather uncomfortable deformity can become severe. Here’s how to determine whether you may have hammertoes and what you can do about it now to prevent it from getting worse.

Wear Appropriate Footwear
You need to make sure that any shoes you wear properly fit your feet. While this might sound silly, many people are guilty of wearing shoes that are too narrow and put too much pressure on the toes. Look for shoes with a wide toe box that allows your feet enough room to wiggle freely. If your toes are bunched up in any of the shoes you have (particularly high heels or shoes with pointed toes) then you will want to avoid these types of shoes whenever possible.

Consider Shoe Inserts
While it’s important to find shoes that cushion and support your foot structure, sometimes people with hammertoes, bunions, and other foot problems that can cause pain can benefit from prescription shoe inserts (also known as orthotics). Orthotics can be crafted to fit the shape of your feet and also to address the issues you’re having (aka alleviating pressure on the toes when standing or walking).

Apply Protective Padding
A hammertoe causes the toe to bend down like a claw. This means that the toe’s joint is sticking out. As you may already know, this causes shoes to rub against the joint, causing a callus to develop. One way to prevent this from happening is to apply a non-medicated pad over the toe joint before putting on shoes.

Practice Pain Management
If your hammertoe starts to ache or hurt, you may want to apply ice to the area throughout the day to help alleviate pain and swelling. If the pain is intense or persistent then you may want to consider taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, which can help with both pain and swelling; however, if your symptoms are severe, you must see a podiatrist about your hammertoe.

Do I need surgery for a hammertoe?
If the hammertoe is flexible (meaning that you can straighten the toe out) then you won’t need surgery; however, if the hammertoe becomes rigid and causes pain and problems with mobility then surgery is recommended.

If you are dealing with hammertoes or other foot problems, you must have a podiatrist that you can turn to for regular and immediate care.
By Michael Guerra, DPM
February 18, 2020
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Ankle Sprain  

Has your sprained ankle prevented you from doing the things you need to do? Your Burlington, VT, podiatrist, Dr. Michael Guerra, offers treatments that decrease pain and improve your mobility.

How sprains affect your ankle

Sprains tend to occur if you suddenly roll or twist your ankle. The injury can occur if you land awkwardly after a jump, step off the curb prematurely or trip over an obstacle. The unexpected movement strains or tears the ligaments that connect the bones in your ankle joint.

After a sprain, you may experience swelling and bruising. Depending on the severity of the sprain, it may be difficult to walk or even put the slightest pressure on your ankle.

Treating a sprained ankle

 

Mild sprains often improve in a just few days. Following the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation) can help reduce your pain and decrease swelling and inflammation. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can also be helpful.

Call your Burlington, VT, foot doctor when:

  • Your symptoms don't improve after a week or two.
  • Your pain worsens or is severe.
  • Walking and standing are difficult or impossible.
  • Your ankle is unstable or feels numb.

Depending on the severity of your injury, your podiatrist may recommend a walking boot or crutches. Using these aids reduces pressure on your ankle, allowing it to heal.

Exercise is an important part of your recovery and helps restore ankle function and normal range of motion. Your podiatrist may recommend a few exercises to stretch and strengthen your ankle joint and improve your balance. Initially, you'll perform exercises while you're seated. As your ankle heals, you'll be able to handle standing exercises. You might also be referred to a physical therapist for treatment.

Whether you exercise on your own or see a physical therapist, it's important to perform your exercises every day. Exercising not only strengthens the muscles that support your ankle but may help you avoid another sprain.

Most people recover from sprained ankles without surgery, but it may be needed if other treatments aren't helpful or if your ankle is unstable.

Has home treatment failed to help your sprained ankle? Call your podiatrist in Burlington, VT, Dr. Guerra, at (802) 862-8666 to schedule an appointment.