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March 2021

Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

What Is Hammertoe Correction?

Hammertoe correction is a surgical procedure used to straighten hammertoes, which are toes that are bent abnormally at the middle joint. The type of surgery you have will depend on how much your toe bends. In general, during this operation the surgeon makes one or more incisions in the area where your toe attaches to your foot. They will then loosen the tendons or ligaments that are causing the abnormal bending in the affected toe. Sometimes, joint or bone tissue needs to be removed to straighten the toe. You may also need wires, screws, or pins placed through your toe bones to keep the toe straight. When the operation is over, the incisions that the surgeon made will be closed with stitches. While full recovery time varies, hammertoe correction is an outpatient procedure and you will usually be able to go home the same day. For more information about hammertoe correction, and to find out if surgery is the right option for your hammertoes, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Many popular athletic brands have running and walking shoes with an upward curvature in the toe area, known as a toe spring. Wearing shoes with toe springs requires less work from the muscles of the feet while walking, especially compared to walking in shoes with flatter soles. Because they can contribute to the weakening of foot muscles when they are worn habitually over long periods of time, shoes with toe springs may contribute to the onset of various foot problems. One common foot problem that may result from wearing these shoes is plantar fasciitis, in which the tissue running along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed and painful. When it comes to footwear, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist to find out which type of shoes are right for you.  

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Sunday, 21 March 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

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Monday, 15 March 2021 00:00

Walking on a Broken Foot

If you have broken a bone in your foot, you may still be able to walk, depending on the severity of the break. When recovering from this injury, it is suggested that you avoid walking excessively, as this can push the broken bone out of proper alignment and cause poor healing and foot deformities. Resting the broken foot can help the recovery process, which may take six to eight weeks. Elevating the affected foot frequently can reduce swelling and pain. If you have broken your foot, please consult with a podiatrist, who will be able to provide recommendations regarding when you can return to your regular activities following your injury. 

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 08 March 2021 00:00

Ankle Joint Surgery

A joint connects two or more bones to each other. One of the most prominent joints in the lower limbs is the ankle, where the shin bone and the bone at the top of the foot come together. Like other joints in the body, the ankle joint can be affected by injury or arthritis. When the ankle joint is significantly damaged, usually by late-stage arthritis, ankle replacement surgery may be necessary to improve joint function and relieve pain. During joint replacement surgery, the joint is partially or fully removed and replaced with an implant. For more information about ankle joint replacement surgery, please consult with a podiatrist.

In certain cases, in which the patient suffers from extreme pain or damage in a joint, joint replacement surgery may be deemed useful. If you have constant pain in a foot joint, consult with Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?

Over time, joints wear down; this can be exacerbated by diseases and conditions. Joint replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is when a damaged joint is surgically removed and replaced with a prosthesis. Prostheses, which can be made of ceramic, plastic, or metal, act as joints in lieu of an actual joint. One of the most prevalent causes for joint replacement is arthritis.

Arthritis in the Foot

Arthritis can occur in any joint in the body, including in the feet. Common types of arthritis in the foot are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. The big toe is usually where arthritis occurs in the foot; this is known as hallux rigidus.

Joint Replacement Surgery in the Foot

The most common form of joint replacement in the foot is a first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint placement. MTP joint replacement surgery is designed to treat hallux rigidus. Surgery is not intensive, and recovery occurs within one to two months after the procedure has been done. Overall, joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective way to treat pain in the joint of the foot.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Many Achilles tendon injuries happen gradually. Early symptoms of this condition can include stiffness and pain that will worsen over time. This is a common injury among runners, and the beginning signs can be mistaken for aches and pains that may be associated with participating in running and jumping activities. The Achilles tendon is located in the back of the ankle, and connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. When an injury happens, patients may notice the back of the legs may feel sore in the morning after arising, and it may be difficult to point and flex the feet. If you have endured an Achilles tendon injury, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can determine what the best course of treatment is for you.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. 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

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • 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 offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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