Bunions are an abnormality of the joint at the base of the big toe that causes it to jut outward, often leaving the shape of the foot deformed. Although many people have bunions that don't affect their lives, the podiatrists Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle in Waldorf Dr. Larry Hotchkiss, Dr. Amin Jahedi, and Dr. Justin Pointer see many patients who experience pain and difficulty walking due to bunions. If that sounds like you, read on to learn about the way bunions are treated.
Cushions and pads
Cushioning bunions from rubbing against the inside of shoes is often the first line of defense in treating them. There are a variety of these soft, lightweight pads available at your local pharmacy; your Waldorf podiatrist can make suggestions on which will be best for you. It may also help to wear shoes that leave plenty of room in the toe area; bunions are thought to be caused or exacerbated by tight-fitting footwear.
These corrective devices are often worn at night to help gradually guide the displaced toe joint back into the proper position. Depending on your needs, a splint may be soft or rigid. Splints may be used in tandem with cushions to provide you with the most consistent relief and opportunity for healing.
If your bunions don't respond to the treatments discussed above, you may be a candidate for bunion surgery. Although there are several different surgical techniques that are used on bunions, the ultimate goal is to restore your foot to the proper shape by removing the outgrowth of bone and repositioning the displaced muscles and tissues.
If you have a bothersome bunion, it's time to contact your podiatrist in Clinton and Waldorf, MD for an evaluation at Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle today!
Find out the best measures you can take to prevent athlete’s foot.
Despite its name, anyone can develop athlete’s foot even if they aren’t athletes. This fungal infection creeps into the skin where it causes a nasty, itchy red blistering rash to appear on your feet, often between the toes. Whether this is an infection you face often or you just want to know how to safeguard yourself from it, our Clinton and Waldorf, MD, podiatrists - Dr. Larry Hotchkiss, Dr. Amin Jahedi, and Dr. Justin Pointer - have the answers you’ve been looking for.
How do you prevent athlete’s foot?
Fungus is all around us. Of course, fungus often thrives in environments that are damp, moist, warm, and dark. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that fungus can be found growing in locker rooms and communal showers, swimming pools and the gym. This is why it’s always a good idea to wear shoes or protective sandals in public bathrooms and showers. Not doing so could lead to a pretty nasty case of athlete’s foot.
Also, if you know someone who has athlete’s foot make sure you don’t share shoes, socks, or towels with them. Fungal infections are highly contagious, which is why it’s common for this infection to easily affect an entire family. While an infection is present in your household remove all bath mats and wash them in hot water. Keep all bath mats off the bathroom floor until the infection has fully cleared.
How do you treat athlete’s foot?
If you are a healthy individual then you may easily be able to treat this infection from the comfort of your own home. After all, there are over-the-counter anti-fungal medications available that can help treat and eliminate your fungal infection. Of course, if you have diabetes or a compromised immune system, or if you are dealing with a severe infection, then you’ll want to turn to our Waldorf and Clinton foot doctors right away for care. Also, if you find that at-home treatment isn’t reducing your symptoms or clearing the infection you’ll also want to see a doctor.
Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle in Waldorf and Clinton, MD, is dedicated to providing patients of all ages with the proper and thorough foot and ankle care they deserve. No matter whether you are dealing with athlete’s foot or you have questions about other services we offer, don’t hesitate to call our office to learn more.
Would you like to help ensure that your child's feet remain healthy throughout the coming years? Clinton and Waldorf, MD, podiatrists Dr. Larry Hotchkiss and Dr. Justin Pointer share a few foot care tips just for kids.
Skip the shoes until your child walks
Cute shoes can definitely make an outfit, but your baby is better off without shoes, even soft ones, until he or she begins to stand and walk. Shoes restrict your child's ability to move his or her feet and may even interfere with normal foot development if they're too tight.
Learning to walk barefoot offers some important benefits. When a toddler isn't wearing shoes, it's easier to feel the floor, which may help improve balance. Going barefoot at this stage may also help your little one develop stronger arches.
Choose footwear wisely
When you buy shoes for your children, consider these three factors:
- Wiggle Room: Although allowing a little room to grow may seem like a good idea, can be difficult to walk in too-big shoes. Struggling to walk in the shoes may actually harm muscle development in the feet.
- Flexibility: Look for shoes that bend to accommodate the natural movement of your child's feet when they walk, run and jump. The soles of the shoes should flex in the heels and in the mid-section of the shoes.
- Arch Support: Flip flops, boots and other stylish shoes are available in the smallest sizes, but that doesn't mean that they're a good idea for your child's feet. Wearing flip flops in particular can cause foot, ankle or knee pain because the sandals don't adequately support the feet or control foot motion.
Replace shoes often
During growth spurts, you may need to replace your child's feet every two or three months. When you shop for shoes in Clinton or Waldorf, ask the salesperson to measure your child's feet to ensure that you select the correct size. Pay more attention to the way your child says the shoes feel than the size noted on the outside. Because fit may vary by manufacturer, your child may actually need to go up or down a size depending on the brand.
Proper care is the key to protecting your child's feet. If you're concerned that your child may have a foot problem that affects balance or walking ability, schedule an appointment with podiatrists Drs. Larry Hotchkiss and Justin Pointer by calling (301) 868-3899 for the Clinton, MD, office or (301) 843-9581 for the Waldorf office.
You misstep when out for your morning walk. Your foot twists and while you don't fall, your ankle bears the stress of that sudden motion. You're in pain, and you think you may have sprained your ankle. At Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle, your Waldorf, MD, podiatrists Dr. Larry Hotchkiss and Dr. Justin Pointer know how to evaluate, treat and prevent ankle sprains so you stay active.
Signs of an ankle sprain
Nearly two million Americans experience ankle sprains yearly, says research appearing in American Family Physician. They happen when quick twisting motion tears or stretches the supporting ligaments on the outer aspect of the ankle.
Typical signs of this common, but potentially serious injury, include:
- Inability to bear weight on the affected limb
- Gait instability
Usually, ankle sprains occur during walking or running, particularly on uneven surfaces, if the person is wearing worn shoes, if the individual is sedentary or if an athlete fails to stretch before strenuous activity. Whatever the circumstance, you should contact your Waldorf, MD, podiatrist immediately for advice and a same day appointment if necessary.
Treating an ankle sprain
Attend to your injury immediately with the RICE protocol:
- Ice (20 minutes on the affected area and 20 minutes off)
- Compression (with an elastic bandage)
- Elevation above the level of the heart
These strategies reduce pain and swelling and protect the ankle from further harm.
At Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle, your podiatrist will inspect your ankle and take digital X-rays to explore the extent of the injury. Most ankle sprains respond to the RICE protocol.
Sometimes, the doctor recommends a semi-rigid ankle support to add protection, and within a few days, he will ask the patient to begin stretching and strengthening exercises. While most sprains do well without invasive treatment, some are severe enough to require stabilization surgery. Whatever the case, active treatment prevents further injury and the extended immobility which could result.
Preventing an ankle sprain
Your Waldorf, MD, podiatrist recommends these strategies to keep your ankles strong and functional:
- Stay as active as you can. A sedentary lifestyle weakens everything--your heart, bones and supportive tissues, too.
- If you engage in strenuous exercise, stretch 10 to 15 minutes before your workout or run. This applies to individuals of all ages.
- Wear good shoes. Whether you walk, run, play ball or something else, your feet and ankles benefit from the protection and support of well-fitting footwear.
- If you're over 40, get a routine podiatric exam annually. If you're diabetic, see Dr. Pointer or Dr. Hotchkiss as often as they recommend to watch for injuries, sores and poor circulation.
Keep on your feet
Know the signs of ankle sprains. For more information, contact the nearest office of Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle. For the Waldorf office, phone (301) 843-9581. For the Clinton location, call (301) 868-3899.
Diagnosing and treating foot problems in children can help them avoid lifelong foot and ankle issues. Dr. Larry Hotchkiss, Dr. Justin Pointer and Dr. Seth Weaver of Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle in Waldorf and Clinton, MD, explain how you can tell when your child may benefit from a visit to the foot doctor.
You've noticed that things don't look quite right when your child walks
Toddlers don't have particularly smooth gaits when they first learn to walk. They may walk on their toes, or you may notice that their toes point in or out when they walk. These issues will usually go away as your son or daughter becomes more experienced at walking. If they don't, it's a good idea to schedule a visit without our Waldorf or Clinton office. Correcting foot issues is much easier when your child is young and his or her feet are still fairly flexible. Solutions are often very simple and may involve temporarily wearing splints, night braces or special shoes.
You think your child may have flatfoot
Flatfoot, a condition that's also called "fallen arches," can be inherited. If your child has flatfoot, he or she may complain of pain in the feet, legs, knees, hips and lower back, have an awkward gait or become tired easily when playing. You may also notice uneven wear in the heels of shoes. Wearing shoes that adequately support and cushion the arch can increase your child's comfort. Orthotics, shoe inserts that are custom-designed to address your child's condition, can be very helpful, as can physical therapy and stretching exercises.
Your child's heels hurt
Heel pain in children can be caused by Sever's disease. The condition causes a painful inflammation in growth plate in the heel and typically affects pre-teens and teens who are growing rapidly. Children who are active in sports are most likely to be affected. Symptoms of Sever's disease include pain and tenderness at the back of the heel that worsens with activity, limping, tight calf muscles or swelling at the back of the heel. Rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medications can be helpful. Your child may also benefit from orthotics, heel cushions, stretching exercises or physical therapy.
Are you concerned about an issue with your child's feet? Schedule an appointment with podiatrists Dr. Hotchkiss, Dr. Pointer and Dr. Weaver of Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle by calling (301) 843-9581 for the Waldorf, MD, office or (301) 868-3899 for the Clinton, MD, office.
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