How Did I Get an Ingrown Toenail?

A common reason why an ingrown toenail develops can be from wearing shoes that are too tight. It may also happen as a result of improperly trimming the toenails, or possibly from genetic reasons. An ingrown toenail is defined as the toenail growing into the skin instead of over it. It can become red and infected and is generally painful. When the toenail is trimmed in a curved fashion instead of straight across, it can become infected. Some people find it can help to soak the affected foot in warm water, followed by using a small piece of cotton to gently pull the skin away from the nail. While this can temporarily provide mild relief, many patients prefer to visit a podiatrist who can provide effective treatment for permanent relief. Ingrown toenails can be prevented by wearing shoes that fit correctly with plenty of room for the toes to move freely in. If you have developed this painful foot condition, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can perform minor surgery to repair or remove the nail if needed.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. 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 occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right 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 and ankle needs.

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Sever’s Disease Affects Young Athletes

There is a part of the heel that is known as the calcaneal apophysis. This is the growth center that connects the Achilles tendon to the heel. It can become inflamed in active children and young teenagers from participating in running and jumping activities. This can cause excessive tension on the Achilles tendon, and heel pain can ensue. This condition is called Sever’s disease and can worsen when the offending activity is pursued. The pain can also affect the calf muscle and may be more severe in people who have flat feet. An X-ray can be performed which can determine the maturity of the growth center, and can also help rule out a stress fracture. Treatment can begin with temporarily stopping the activity that caused the pain and resting the foot as often as possible. There are specific stretches that can be performed for the heel and Achilles tendon. If your child has Sever’s disease, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

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.

Symptoms

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

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Why Live with Pain and Numbness in Your Feet?

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

The Importance of Taking Foot Pain Seriously

Our feet are the foundation of our support and facilitate our mobility. While it is common to experience foot pain occasionally, dismissing or ignoring it can have serious consequences. Foot pain can stem from various causes, ranging from simple issues like ill-fitting footwear to underlying medical conditions that require immediate attention. Since such pain can arise from multiple factors, it is important to identify the source to differentiate between discomfort that may be temporary and signs of a more serious problem. Medical conditions, such as diabetes, with the common complication of neuropathy, or deep vein thrombosis involving blood clots can cause foot pain, and it is crucial to address these issues promptly. Age-related foot problems, such as arthritis, can cause chronic foot pain that requires care. Given the diverse causes of foot pain and the potential severity of complications, if you are having such pain, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and suitable treatment.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot 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.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot 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 care needs.

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What Is Gout and Who Gets It?

Gout is a type of painful inflammatory arthritis that affects joints. It is caused by the buildup of uric acid in the body, which is a substance produced from the breakdown of purines. Purines are naturally occurring in the body, but they also come from some foods, such as red meat, oily fish, organ meats, and high sugar beverages, including alcohol. When more uric acid is produced than can be excreted, it can form into crystals that settle in the joints and one can have a gout attack. Usually, excess uric acid is secreted through the kidneys, but sometimes this does not happen because of conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or enzyme abnormalities. Gout can be a hereditary condition and is more common in men. It may also affect women after menopause. The key symptoms of gout are swelling, redness, and severe pain in the affected joint. It can attack a person in spurts and commonly affects the joint at the base of the big toe. It can be uncomfortable to walk and wear shoes. If your big toe hurts, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for a proper evaluation and guidance on how to manage gout or anything else that might be going on.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment 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.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout

Stretching May Relieve Arch and Heel

The arch is responsible for several functions in the foot, and may become painful for various reasons. Performing specific stretches may help to relieve any discomfort, and bring overall relief to the entire foot. The plantar fascia is located on the bottom of the foot, and connects the heel to the toes. The arch is often affected if the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, and mild relief may be found when it is frequently stretched. This can be done by sitting in a chair with the affected foot on the other knee. The foot can be grasped in one hand, while holding the foot with the other hand, and pulling the heel back. The plantar fascia can also be stretched while kneeling with the hands and knees on the floor. A gentle stretch can be felt while sitting back on the heels. Many people find relief when they place their foot on a frozen water bottle and roll it back and forth several times. If you would like more information about how to relieve arch and heel pain, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can provide you with the information you are seeking.

Why Stretching Is Important for Your Feet

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet 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.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first to determine if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous exercise, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising to ice and rest the foot. It is advised that you then see a podiatrist for help.

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.

Read more about Stretching Your Feet

Hammertoe Surgery

A hammertoe occurs when one of the three middle toes bends upward at the middle joint. Corns and calluses that can develop on the hammertoe can make wearing shoes and walking uncomfortable. If lifestyle changes, such as wearing wider shoes, using shoe inserts, or doing stretching and strengthening toe exercises do not help, surgery can be considered to correct a hammertoe. Hammertoe surgery is not a good option for those who have poor circulation in their feet, have a foot infection, or have other health problems making surgery a risk. If considered a good candidate for this surgery, it is typically a procedure that can be done as an outpatient under general anesthesia or using numbing medications. If the hammertoe is still somewhat flexible, a tendon transfer involving redirecting tendons from the bottom of the toe to the top where it is bent can be done to straighten the toe. If the hammertoe is fixed or rigid, a joint resection or fusion can be done. Joint resection is when tendons and ligaments are cut to help straighten the toe and the end of the bone is cut off so the toe can be fully extended. In fusion surgery, the ligaments and tendons are also cut but the two bones forming the affected joint are also cut for straightening the toe. If you have a painful hammertoe, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to see if more conservative treatment is possible or whether surgery is an option for you.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. 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.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

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

Treatment

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 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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Plantar Fasciitis and Surgery

The foot condition that is known as plantar fasciitis may require foot surgery to be performed. If other treatment methods are unsuccessful, patients may consider surgery as an option for permanent relief. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia becomes irritated or torn, which may happen from standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time. The plantar fascia is found on the bottom of the foot and connects the heels to the toes. The pain is often felt in the heel and lower leg and can cause difficulty in completing daily activities. Patients that have severe pain with this condition can find it can be uncomfortable to walk, causing them to look for relief options. When surgery is performed, the fascia is detached from the heel bone, and this can be successful in relieving tension. New growth occurs during the healing process, which may lengthen the fascia. If you suffer from this painful condition, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who will help you to determine if foot surgery is right for you. 

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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.

Read More About Foot Surgery

Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Surgery for Bunions

Even if you are unfamiliar with the field of podiatry, you might have already heard about the foot condition known as bunions. Bunions are a kind of bony bump that can form on the outer side of the big toe. There are many ways to treat a bunion and they often depend on the severity of the patient's case. For example, a podiatrist might recommend a surgical procedure if the bunion is particularly severe. A surgical procedure might be effective in treating bunions because it realigns the joints and removes the bony growth. If you are suffering from significant pain from the bunion or a toe deformity, this might be an indication that surgery be considered. Importantly, there are many types of bunion surgeries, including a bunionectomy and osteotomy. If you are currently living with a bunion, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist for more information about treatment options.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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.

Read More About Foot Surgery

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