Can Bunions Become Worse?

A bunion, medically termed hallux valgus, is a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe. This condition develops when the big toe pushes against the adjacent toe, causing the joint to protrude outward. Bunions can result from various factors, including genetics, wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes, and foot injuries. Individuals with certain foot types, such as flat feet or low arches, are more prone to developing bunions. Additionally, occupations or activities that involve repetitive stress on the feet can increase the risk. Bunions are a relatively common foot ailment, affecting millions of people worldwide, with women being more susceptible than men as a result of wearing high heels or narrow shoes that can worsen the condition. While bunions may initially cause mild discomfort, they can progressively worsen, leading to pain, inflammation, and difficulty walking. A bunion can be uncomfortable, and a podiatrist can offer you effective relief strategies. If you have this condition, it is suggested that you consult this type of doctor who can offer appropriate treatment methods.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dean Kim, DPM of Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

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Causes and Symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by repeated pressure on the posterior tibial nerve near the ankle. It can lead to debilitating symptoms such as pain, numbness, or tingling sensations, often radiating into the sole of the foot or inside the ankle. This compression occurs within the tarsal tunnel, which is a narrow passageway bound by bone and soft tissue. Tarsal tunnel syndrome's origins include severely flat feet, benign bony growths, and varicose veins. Inflammation from arthritis, lesions or masses near the tibial nerve, and trauma from ankle sprains or fractures also may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome. Patients with conditions like diabetes are at further risk. Left untreated, tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause permanent and irreversible nerve damage that may affect mobility and hinder completing daily activities. If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan. 

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dean Kim, DPM of Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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

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Mechanical and Neurologic Heel Pain

Mechanical and neurologic heel pain are two distinct types of heel discomfort, each with unique causes and characteristics. Mechanical heel pain can be triggered by overuse of the lower limbs or from wearing improper footwear that does not provide enough support. One common condition resulting from these issues is plantar fasciitis, where the plantar fascia ligament running along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. Another cause of mechanical heel pain is Achilles tendonitis, which involves inflammation of the Achilles tendon at the back of the leg. On the other hand, neurologic heel pain stems from nerve-related issues, such as tarsal tunnel syndrome, where the nerve inside the tarsal tunnel of the ankle is compressed. Pinched nerves that cause sharp, shooting pain are also a cause of neurologic heel pain. Understanding the origin of heel pain is important to identifying the right treatment. Mechanical issues might be addressed with orthotics, stretches, and proper footwear, while neurologic pain may require interventions like nerve decompression or medication to manage pain and inflammation. If you are suffering from heel pain, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist today. 

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dean Kim, DPM of Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Athlete’s Foot Types and Risk Factors

Athlete's foot, medically termed tinea pedis, is a fungal infection that appears in various forms, each with distinct characteristics and associated risks. Among these, interdigital infection stands out as the most prevalent, affecting the skin between the toes and causing redness, scaling, and persistent itching. Moccasin infection is found on the sole of the foot, often masquerading as eczema due to its dry, cracked appearance. Vesicular infection results in blisters filled with pus that can rupture into open sores, heightening the risk of secondary bacterial infections. Meanwhile, ulcerative infection presents the most discomfort, with painful, oozing sores between the toes, significantly increasing susceptibility to further complications. These variations stem from exposure to dermatophytes, which are fungi thriving in warm, moist environments. Athlete’s foot infections commonly spread in communal spaces such as locker rooms, swimming pools, and shared footwear. Risk factors for contracting athlete's foot include compromised immune function, genetic predisposition, and prolonged periods of wearing tight, non-breathable shoes. If you have a problematic case of athlete’s foot, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for advanced treatment options.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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

 

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Get Professional Care for a Broken Foot or Ankle

Constant care and regular evaluation are important for a foot or ankle fracture. If left untreated, foot or ankle fractures can worsen over time and create more serious problems.

Don't wait to be examined if you believe you've experienced a foot or ankle fracture.

Managing Peroneal Tendonitis

Peroneal tendonitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the tendons surrounding the ankle. It can cause pain and swelling, particularly in individuals who engage in activities like running, or physical labor that strains the ankles. Proper management of peroneal tendonitis involves addressing contributing factors, including wearing ill-fitting footwear that can increase the risk of foot injuries. Treatment typically includes anti-inflammatory measures such as heat therapy, massage, and medication to alleviate discomfort. Surgery is reserved for severe cases or when conservative treatments fail to yield improvement. Immobilization may be necessary in instances of ankle alterations or damage to minimize the risk of further injury. Consulting a podiatrist for personalized care and guidance for peroneal tendonitis is essential in managing this condition effectively and preventing long-term complications. If you are experiencing symptoms of peroneal tendonitis or have concerns about your foot health, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.

Ankle pain can have many different causes and the pain may potentially be serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

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

 

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Risk Factors for Foot Stress Fractures

Foot stress fractures are a common injury for athletes and especially runners who engage in repetitive physical activity. Stress fractures are microscopic cracks in the bones, commonly affecting the lower leg, ankle, and foot. They result from persistent pounding of the feet, particularly in high-impact sports like basketball and soccer. Among the risk factors are anatomical abnormalities, osteoporosis, and inadequate nutrition. Pain during activity, swelling, and tenderness are typical signs of stress fractures, yet they are difficult to detect. Diagnosis by a podiatrist typically involves a physical examination and digital imaging tests. At first, rest, immobilization, and pain management techniques may be prescribed. However, orthotic devices or supportive footwear may also be recommended to reduce strain. Ignoring a hairline fracture can lead to more severe complications. If you are suffering from foot pain that may be caused by your physical activities, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to see if you have developed stress fractures. 

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. 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:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

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 Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Risk Factors for Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails, a common condition where the nail grows into the skin surrounding the toe, have a variety of risk factors. Trimming the toenails too short or rounding the edges of the nail can encourage the nail to grow into the skin rather than over it, so proper nail trimming is important. Wearing tight footwear and socks that squeeze the toes can also contribute to the problem by pushing the nail into the toe skin. Athletes and individuals who engage in activities that put repeated pressure on the toes are at an increased risk, as this pressure can cause the nail to grow incorrectly. While genetics do not usually play a major role in causing ingrown toenails, some people are predisposed to developing them because they are born with naturally curved or thick toenails. Also, poor foot hygiene and injury to the toenail area can increase the likelihood of developing an ingrown toenail. If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, or wish to know how to prevent ingrown toenails from occurring in the future, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist. 

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 Dean Kim, DPM of Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

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.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • 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.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

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.

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

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Conservative Treatments for Bunions

Bunions are bony bumps that form on the joint at the base of the big toe, resulting from the misalignment of the foot's bones. This misalignment causes the big toe to lean toward the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead, which creates a visible protrusion on the side of the foot. Bunions can cause pain, soreness, and swelling, especially when wearing tight-fitting shoes that press against the bump. There are conservative treatments for less severe cases, such as wearing wider and more comfortable shoes that provide ample space for the toes, and using padded shoe inserts to distribute pressure evenly across the foot. Special exercises that strengthen the foot and improve flexibility can also help manage bunion symptoms. These non-invasive treatments aim to relieve discomfort and prevent the progression of the bunion without the need for surgical intervention. However, more severe cases of bunions may warrant surgery. If you have a bunion, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to discuss treatment and measures you can take to prevent the condition from worsening. 

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dean Kim, DPM of Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

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How Psoriatic Arthritis Affects the Feet

Psoriatic arthritis, or PsA, is a condition intricately linked with psoriasis, affecting up to 50 percent of those individuals with PsA. Psoriatic arthritis targets the joints, tendons, and ligaments of the feet, leading to inflammation and discomfort. Symptoms can include swelling, pain, stiffness, and changes in appearance, such as nail pitting and skin lesions. Foot involvement in PsA can make walking and daily activities challenging, with conditions like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis causing significant pain and limiting movement. Complications like dactylitis, which is a sausage-like swelling of the toes, and arthritis mutilans, or joint deformity, can occur if left untreated. Podiatrists can offer tailored treatment plans, including medication and specific orthotics to alleviate symptoms and enhance mobility. If you believe you have psoriatic arthritis that is affecting your feet, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

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

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