Tuesday, 21 November 2023 00:00

Definition and Underlying Causes of a Bunion

A bunion, or hallux valgus, is a common and often painful foot deformity that affects the joint at the base of the big toe. It manifests as a bony protrusion on the side of the foot, causing the big toe to drift towards the second toe. This misalignment of the joint results in the characteristic bump and can lead to discomfort, inflammation, and difficulty in finding properly fitting footwear. The primary cause of bunions is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Inherited foot structures that predispose individuals to bunions, like flat feet or low arches, can increase the likelihood of developing this condition. Wearing tight-fitting shoes, particularly those with pointed toes or high heels, can exacerbate the problem or speed up its progression. High levels of stress on the foot or repetitive motion can also contribute to bunion formation. Understanding the causes of bunions is the first step in managing and preventing this condition. When detected early, conservative treatment methods can be helpful. In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to correct the alignment and provide lasting relief. If you have a bunion, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can guide you toward the most appropriate course of treatment based on your specific condition.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors 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 Brunswick, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Runners visit podiatrists for initial consultations on lower extremity injuries, knowing that identifying the cause is as important as addressing the symptoms. As a practitioner, gaining a runner's trust is essential, which involves showing understanding of their training and equipment, plus being attentive to their detailed injury accounts. A thorough examination is critical, including both static biomechanical and dynamic gait assessments. This is ideally done with the runner in their usual footwear and attire for complete lower extremity visibility. Common injuries among runners can include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon injuries, and stress fractures. Regardless of the injury, the aim of treating runners is to ensure their swift yet secure comeback to running. Important to treatment is effective communication and aligning expectations regarding outcomes which are key to supporting patients and helping them stay balanced through challenging periods of recovery. If you are a runner and have experienced a foot or ankle injury, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist who can offer appropriate injury prevention techniques.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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

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Do you work on your feet all day and find your feet in pain? Don't go to work in pain each day. Your foot pain can be treated, and we can help.

Tuesday, 07 November 2023 00:00

Managing Intoeing in Children's Feet

One foot condition parents may encounter in their child’s feet is known as metatarsus adductus, recognizable when a child's foot looks like it's forming a C shape. Known by other names, such as metatarsus varus or pes adductus, it is a condition your child might have from birth. The front part of the foot, or the forefoot, points inward toward the back part of the foot. This makes the inside edge of the foot look curved and the outside edge look more rounded. Metatarsus adductus can be confused with other foot problems like skewfoot, which has a bump on the outside edge, or clubfoot, where the whole foot is turned inwards and down. Sometimes, this condition fixes itself as your child grows, but regular check-ups with a podiatrist are essential for monitoring progress. This medically trained foot doctor can suggest simple stretching exercises to help the foot align correctly. In addition, your podiatrist can prescribe custom shoe inserts for extra support and help correct the foot's shape. In more severe cases, your child's foot might be gently cast to guide it into the right position. Surgery may be suggested in extreme cases. With the right care and guidance, your child can have happy, healthy feet. If your child exhibits intoeing, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a complete examination and a treatment plan.

Congenital foot problems require immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Congenital foot problems are deformities affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankles that children are born with. Some of these conditions have a genetic cause while others just happen. Some specific foot ailments that children may be born with include clubfeet, polydactyly/macrodactyly, and cleft foot. There are several other foot anomalies that can occur congenitally. What all of these conditions have in common is that a child may experience difficulty walking or performing everyday activities, as well as trouble finding footwear that fits their foot deformity. Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Consulting with a podiatrist as early as possible will help in properly diagnosing a child’s foot condition while getting the necessary treatment underway.

What are Causes of Congenital Foot Problem?

A congenital foot problem is one that happens to a child at birth. These conditions can be caused by a genetic predisposition, developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation, or with no known cause.

What are Symptoms of Congenital Foot Problems?

Symptoms vary by the congenital condition. Symptoms may consist of the following:

  • Clubfoot, where tendons are shortened, bones are shaped differently, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point in and down. It is also possible for the soles of the feet to face each other.
  • Polydactyly, which usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.
  • Vertical talus, where the talus bone forms in the wrong position causing other bones in the foot to line up improperly, the front of the foot to point up, and the bottom of the foot to stiffen, with no arch, and to curve out.
  • Tarsal coalition, when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot.
  • Cleft foot, where there are missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences.
  • Macrodactyly, when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue.

Treatment and Prevention

While there is nothing one can do to prevent congenital foot problems, raising awareness and receiving neonatal screenings are important. Early detection by taking your child to a podiatrist leads to the best outcome possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Brunswick, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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