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By Thomas Neuman D.P.M.
February 02, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Hammertoes  
What is Hammertoe and What Can I Do about It? Causes and treatment of hammertoe. 
 

You may have heard about hammertoe, and just thinking about it makes your feet hurt. You might wonder if you have one because you're getting an odd pain in your toe and it won’t go away. To find out if you have hammertoe, you need to talk with a podiatrist like Dr. HammertoeThomas Neuman at Complete Foot and Ankle Care with offices in Northridge and Lancaster, CA.

What is Hammertoe?

Hammertoe gets its name from a deformity of your second, third or fourth toe in which your toe is bent at its middle joint making your it resemble a hammer. Hammertoe can be caused from poorly fitting shoes or an imbalance in your tendons and muscles. When you bend your toes, if your tendons and muscles aren’t working the way they should, your toe may be held in the wrong position long enough for them to tighten to the point they can’t stretch out.

Common signs you may have a hammertoe are calluses or corns appearing at the top of the middle joint on your toe. These growths rub against the inside of your shoes, making it very difficult for you to find shoes you can tolerate. You may also have redness and swelling.

What Can I Do?

According to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, there are some things you can do at home to prevent and treat hammertoe, including:

  • Finding shoes that have enough room at the front and don’t crowd or bend your toes; wearing sandals is often more comfortable than closed shoes.
  • Doing toe exercises like stretching each of your toes with your fingers or picking things up from the floor with your toes
  • Using corn or callus pads or cushions
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen

If you have tried home remedies but you are still plagued with the pain of hammertoe, you should see Dr. Neuman, your podiatrist in the neighborhood. He may suggest:

  • Corticosteroid injections to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Custom-made orthotics to place in your shoes to affect any tendon or muscle imbalance
  • Splinting your toe to try and realign and straighten it
 

More advanced cases, in which your toe is rigid and painful and won’t respond to conservative therapies, may require surgery to correct the deformed toe. If you think you have hammertoe, call Dr. Thomas Neuman at Complete Foot and Ankle Care, in Northridge and Lancaster, CA for a consultation. Don’t suffer from hammertoe when relief is a phone call away!

By Thomas Neuman, D.P.M.
December 01, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  
Don’t let heel pain bench you. Get back to a pain-free life with these treatments.
 

You may not have heard about plantar fasciitis before but it could just be the condition that is causing your heel pain. If your Northridge, heel pain CA podiatrist Dr. Thomas Neuman has told you that you are suffering from plantar fasciitis-related heel pain find out how to best handle your condition.

First Course of Action

There are a variety of treatment options available to you and you’ll be happy to hear that they are more conservative and less invasive than other options. These are usually the first methods we use to reduce foot pain and inflammation and many patients find the relief they need through these measures alone:

  • Take time to rest. While this doesn’t mean you have to be on bed rest, try to limit any activities or exercises that could place too much pressure on your feet. Talk to your foot doctor in Northridge about other physical activities that you could do that won’t exacerbate your condition.
  • Take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, which can reduce both discomfort and inflammation. If you prefer to avoid medications as much as possible, then you can also ice your foot several times a day for up to 20 minutes at a time. Icing your foot can also go a long way to reduce swelling.
  • Opt for shoes that only provide the best support and shock absorption. Talk to your Northridge, CA podiatrist about whether arch support or custom-made orthotics could help.
  • Put on supportive shoes once you get up in the morning. Wearing only socks or going barefoot can make heel pain worse.
  • Perform certain exercises multiple times a day that stretch the calf and toes. We would be happy to tell you which exercises will help to strengthen your muscles and possibly prevent problems in the future.
  • We may also recommend wearing a night splint while asleep or wearing a cast during the day, which can help the foot heal while also making it possible for you to continue with your daily activities.

Other Options for Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Sometimes physical therapy will also be recommended, particularly to stretch out and strengthen the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, two main sources of heel pain.

If conservative treatment options don’t treat symptoms after several weeks then corticosteroid injections may be the next step to alleviate your pain temporarily until the inflamed ligaments heal. For those dealing with heel pain for up to a year without experiencing relief, the next step may be surgery. Surgery is only advised for those with severe and stubborn cases of plantar fasciitis.

Don’t let heel pain get the better of you. Turn to your Northridge, CA foot doctor Dr. Neuman for the care your feet deserve.

By Thomas Neuman, D.P.M.
September 11, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Surgery  

Discover the telltale signs that it’s time you opted for foot surgery in Lancaster.

While most foot problems aren’t more than a temporary nuisance, there are still many Americans who deal with chronic conditions and Foot and Ankle Surgerysymptoms. If you are one of them then you’ve probably tried just about every treatment imaginable to manage your symptoms. The main goal of your Lancaster podiatrist, Dr. Thomas Neuman is to find the best and easiest ways to treat you condition. Find out what problems will most likely constitute needing foot surgery.

No treatment seems to help

It doesn’t matter what condition you are currently dealing with (whether congenital or acquired); if you aren’t experiencing relief from any of the non-surgical treatments your Lancaster podiatrist has offered, then we may need to take a step back and weigh the pros and cons of surgery.

You have a torn or ruptured tendon

While minor issues like sprains and small tears will heal on their own with time, a serious tear or rupture will not. When a tendon ruptures or tears it no longer connects the muscle to the bone, which causes the foot and ankle to not work properly. When this happens, the best course of action is usually surgery to repair the tendon.

You have a foot deformity

Foot deformities like bunions can not only cause you serious pain, but can also affect your everyday activities. When even walking and performing regular tasks has you grabbing your foot in pain, then it’s time to consider seeing your Lancaster foot doctor about surgery. Bunions and other deformities won’t go away on their own. While there are other more conservative ways to treat the symptoms the only way to truly eliminate your condition is with surgery.

You’ve been diagnosed with arthritis

One study found that over 85 percent of those with rheumatoid arthritis have painful feet and ankles at some point in their lives. Arthritis is a chronic, painful illness that can be challenging to treat. If you haven’t found relief from other treatment options then foot surgery may be the next best treatment. Those with rigid deformity, arthritis of the joint or subtalar joint instability can greatly benefit from surgery.

Is a foot problem affecting your daily life? Then put a stop to it once and for all when you turn to Thomas Neuman, D.P.M. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

By Thomas Neuman, D.P.M.
July 02, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Ingrown Toenail  

Discover the best ways to care for your painful toenail easily and effectively.

While your Northridge and Lancaster podiatrist Dr. Thomas Neuman is always here to treat any of your foot problems, sometimes there are some issues that can easily be treated without needing to see a doctor. If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, here are the Ingrown Toenailbest ways to ease symptoms from the comfort of your own home:

  • Soak your ingrown toenail in warm water a couple times a day. After soaking the toe, be sure to dry it off thoroughly to prevent infection.
  • Apply either water or antiseptic to a small bit of cotton or floss and place it under the nail.
  • If you need to trim the nail, soak the foot first to soften the toenail. Then use clean nail clippers and always trim the nail straight across. Do not cut the nail too short or round the edges of the nails, which can make an ingrown toenail worse.
  • Wear open-toed shoes like sandals until the ingrown toenail goes away. This will help to take pressure and friction off the painful nail.
  • While over-the-counter pain medications won’t treat the nail problem itself, it can help patients find relief from uncomfortable symptoms.

What Should I Do if Conservative Treatments Don't Work?

If you find that these tips aren’t effective at eliminating your ingrown toenail, or if your condition gets worse, then it’s time to see your Northridge and Lancaster foot doctor for treatment.

Also, if you are suffering from nerve damage, diabetes or poor circulation and you are experiencing any ingrown toenail, you need to see your podiatrist immediately. In these instances, you do not want to treat your ingrown nail at home. Also, if you experience severe pain, swelling, fever, tenderness, or redness, it becomes even more important to come in right away, as the infection could have spread to your toes or the bones of your foot.

If your ingrown toenail still doesn’t go away or if it returns, your Northridge and Lancaster podiatrist may recommend removing part of the nail. This quick procedure can be performed in our office under local anesthesia.

Most ingrown toenail treatments can effectively alleviate pain and eliminate the infection, but it’s possible that your ingrown toenail may return if you don’t maintain good foot care. Call your Northridge and Lancaster podiatrist and schedule an appointment with us to find out how to treat recurrent or persistent ingrown toenails.

By Complete Foot & Ankle Care
May 01, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions   Bunion Relief  

Did you know that more than half the women in America suffer from bunions? Often caused by wearing tight, narrow shoes, bunions are physically characterized by enlarged big toes (metatarsophalangeal joint) that stick out. The skin on them is also often red and sensitive.

At Complete Foot & Ankle Care, Dr. Thomas Neuman, D.P.M., offers lasting podiatric treatments for patients suffering from uncomfortable and intrusive bunion formations along their feet. That's because he offers patients many non-surgical solutions, like protective pads that bring comfort to the affected areas, and offers wisdom that his patients can carry home with them.

Untreated Bunion Discomfort

If you already have bunions, you may realize that wearing any shoes - even ones with more room near the toes - can cause some discomfort when you step forward and your feet brush up against the insides of the shoes. If you don't have bunions yet but are at risk for getting them, simply avoiding wearing ill-fitting shoes can help prevent bunion onset. Otherwise, bunions can become bursitis when left untreated.

Also, untreated bunions can place additional pressure on surrounding foot structures, including neighboring toes. Once your second toe is pushed out of alignment by your big toe, your middle toe may be pushed out of alignment, and this can continue with the rest of the toes. Eventually, bunions can become so severe that walking on them at all becomes a chore; arthritis development is another common side effect.

Surgical Bunion Treatments

Bunion surgery (bunionectomy) involves the realignment of the bone, ligaments, tendons and nerves in and around their big toe. This brings it the toe back into position, so you can start to walk in comfort again.

Bunion surgery is often simple, and can be performed with minimal time in the hospital. Swelling and stiffness is often present immediately following surgery.

Your bunions don't have to keep you down. Give Dr. Neuman a call today at (818) 885-8400 or (661) 945-3628 and discover lasting podiatrist relief right here in Lancaster and Northridge, CA!





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