Ingrown toenails are a common foot condition. Ingrown toenails result when the the nails grow into the flesh. Left untreated, ingrown toe nails can become infected. Infections are problems for individuals with diabetes, poor circulation, or other conditions. Led Dr. Joseph Treadwell, Dr. Christian Davis, and Dr. Rihamary Jimenez, Foot & Ankle Specialists of Connecticut, P.C. with offices in Danbury, New Milford, and Plainville, CT, and serving the New Britain, Bristol, Southington, Famington, New Fairfield, and Ridgefield, CT, areas, offers a full range of podiatric services. Read on to find out how to prevent ingrown toenails and when to seek help.
Ingrown Toenails Overview
Anyone can develop ingrown toenails. An ingrown nail is caused by the pressure from the ingrowth of the toenail edge into the skin of the toe. The result is pain, inflammation, and redness. Ingrown toenails can be caused by shoes that are too tight in the toe area. Pressure from a ill-fitting shoes causes the toenails to grow abnormally. Some medical conditions, such as arthritis or fungal infections, can cause toenails to thicken and grow abnormally. Ingrown toenails can also result from injury to the toe.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
Many cases of ingrown toenails may be prevented by trimming your nails the right way. Always cut the toenails straight across using nail clippers, and don’t cut them too short. Short nails have a tendency to become ingrown. Using an emery board to give your toenails a slight curve. Avoid tight-fitting shoes and wear comfortable socks. If you love pedicures, make sure to go to an experienced nail technician. A pedicure can cause ingrown toenails if the technician is overly aggressive in cutting back the toenails.
When to Visit a Podiatrist
You should see a podiatrist right away if your ingrown toenail is causing you pain or you think you may have an infection. Also, if a short trial of at-home treatment has not resulted in improvement of the condition, see your doctor in Plainville, Danbury, or New Milford, CT. If you have poor diabetes or poor circulation, you should seek immediate treatment at the first signs of an ingrown toenail, as it can lead to serious complications.
Say hello to healthy and happy feet! Call one of Foot & Ankle Specialists of Connecticut, P.C.'s offices to schedule an appointment- Danbury, CT- (203) 748-2220; New Milford, CT- (860) 355-3139; Plainville, CT- (860) 747-2200. Ingrown toenail treatments from our podiatrists can help you feel better, move better, and relieve your pain permanently!
Diabetic feet need special care because of decreased circulation, neuropathy, joint deterioration, and more. While your primary care physician may guide you on blood sugar control, medications, a healthy diet, and active lifestyle, your podiatrist assesses and treats how your feet and ankles function everyday and for the long term. Enlist their help in the health maintenance of your diabetic feet.
Keeping ahead of neuropathy and avoiding amputation
Those are two key goals of diabetic foot care. Your podiatrist will want to see you regularly to assess the color, temperature, sensation, function, and shape of your feet and ankles, noting any developing problems. Early detection of circulation issues, nerve degeneration (neuropathy), and deformities, such as hammertoes, bunions, and Charcot Foot, are key.
Your podiatric foot examination will include an eye-on inspection of your skin (color, temperature, texture, and integrity). Your foot doctor also may perform gait analysis to watch for changes in how you walk. Sometimes a podiatrist orders X-ray imaging or an MRI to view the internal structure of the foot and/or ankle.
Remember, that foot ulcers are the primary threat to the overall health and well-being of the diabetic, says the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Untreated, they may lead to complications so severe amputation is the only option.
What can you do to treat your diabetic feet?
- Be proactive. Inspect your feet daily, looking redness or skin breakdown.
- Wash and dry your feet daily.
- Trim your toenails carefully using a clean clippers. Trim straight across and not too short to avoid ingrown toenails.
- Wear shoes at all times--even indoors--to avoid injury.
- Wear clean, well-fitting, moisture-wicking socks.
- Keep your weight and blood sugars within normal range.
- Get in-office treatment of calluses and corns, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
- Avoid all forms of tobacco.
- Report any changes to your foot doctor as soon as possible.
- See your podiatrist every six months or as he or she directs.
Healthy feet and a healthy you
Podiatric health is so important, but especially to the diabetic. So stay in touch with your foot doctor, and be routinized in your foot care for better long-term health.
Are you dealing with pain, burning, tingling or numbness between your toes or in the ball of the foot? If you said “yes” then you could be dealing with a neuroma, a pinched nerve or benign tumor of the nerve that is often found between the third and fourth toes.
The classic symptom of a neuroma is pain, particularly when walking—a factor that leads many people to liken the condition to feeling like a pebble is in their shoe. You may find that the pain eases up whenever you aren’t walking or when you rub the pained area with your hands. While neuromas can happen to anyone, they are most commonly found in women.
While the causes of a neuroma are still not clear, there are factors that can increase the likelihood of developing one, such as:
- Extremely high arches
- Flat feet
- Trauma that leads to nerve damage in the feet
- Improper footwear (high heels over two-inches tall; pointed toes)
- Repeated stress placed on the foot
Treating a Neuroma
A neuroma will not go away on its own, so it’s important to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of the condition's symptoms. The type of treatment or treatments recommended to you will depend on the severity of the neuroma.
Those with minor neuromas may be able to lessen symptoms by wearing shoes that provide ample room for the toes and offer thick soles that provide more support and cushioning for the toes and balls of the feet. Sometimes a podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to place inside the shoes, as well.
Your podiatrist may also recommend padding or taping the ball of the foot to improve faulty biomechanics and reduce discomfort. While medication will not eliminate the problem, it can temporarily alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can often briefly reduce pain and swelling, but for those dealing with more severe pain, steroid injections may be necessary to ease symptoms.
Surgery for a Neuroma
Surgery only becomes necessary when conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief, or when the neuroma has progressed enough that conservative care won’t be enough. During surgery, the inflamed nerve is removed through a simple outpatient procedure. Afterward, there is a short recovery period of a couple of weeks before patients are able to move about pain-free once again!
Give us a Call!
If you are dealing with new or worsening foot pain it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist that can help give you the answers you need. Schedule an appointment today.
Are you dealing with foot pain that’s persistent and affects your day-to-day life? While there are some forms of foot pain that can be managed with at-home care it’s important to understand what’s causing your pain and when you may need more comprehensive treatment in order to eliminate your symptoms and improve the health of your foot and ankle.
Arthroscopy, sometimes referred to as keyhole surgery, is a surgical technique that allows foot surgeon Dr. Joseph Treadwell to be able to evaluate the joints within the foot or ankle to detect a problem, as well as to perform surgery on these damaged joints to repair them.
What makes Small Joint Arthroscopy ideal is that the camera and equipment needed to examine and treat the joint is so small that there is no need for large incisions that are often required for open surgical procedures. In essence, arthroscopy is far less invasive than traditional surgery and can prevent the need for more invasive surgeries in the future.
Just as the name suggests, our foot specialists are able to look through an incision the size of a keyhole to both diagnose and treat conditions of the joints in your feet and ankle, making it both a great diagnostic and treatment tool to handle a variety of conditions. Plus, since incisions are small, this means fewer post-surgical side effects and a much faster and easier recovery period for the patient.
Arthroscopic incisions will heal within a few days as compared to traditional surgical incisions, which can take up to a week or more. Plus, patients can return to their daily routine after a few days, with full joint function occurring within a few weeks.
It’s also important to understand who can benefit from small joint arthroscopy. Those dealing with cartilage damage, bone spurs, scar tissue that limits mobility, posterior ankle pain, joint damage due to arthritis and other conditions that affect the health and functionality of your foot or ankle joints could benefit from this simple procedure.
Foot & Ankle Specialists of Connecticut offers comprehensive foot care to the New Britain, Bristol, Southington, Farmington, New Fairfield and Ridgefield, CT, areas. If you have questions about small joint arthroscopy and whether it could treatment your joint pain call our Plainville, Danbury or New Milford, CT offices today.
A bunion is one of the most common foot deformities, often affecting the joint at the base of the big toe. Anyone can develop this painful condition but it most often occurs in women. A bunion affects the structure of the foot, causing the joint to become enlarged, which causes the big toe to lean inward towards the other toes. In some cases, the big toe even overlaps the toes. This deformed joint may often become red or swollen, especially when wearing certain shoes or after certain physical activities.
A bunion is a gradual deformity, which means that as soon as you begin to notice changes in the joint or you start to experience symptoms you should consult a podiatrist. While the only way to correct the deformity is through surgery this is usually the last treatment option. After all, a foot doctor can often create a treatment plan that will reduce pain and prevent the deformity from progressing without needing to turn to surgery.
The first course of treatment is usually more conservative. You may be able to manage your bunion pain and swelling by:
- Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs
- Icing the bunion for up to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
- Placing orthotics into your shoes to alleviate pressure on the joint (talk to your podiatrist about creating custom orthotics)
- Splinting or taping the foot to improve the structural alignment
- Wearing appropriate and supportive footwear that doesn’t put pressure on the toes or bunion
- Applying a bunion pad over the area to prevent a callus from forming while wearing shoes
- Avoiding certain activities and sports that could exacerbate your condition
For many people, these lifestyle changes and simple at-home treatment options are all that’s needed to reduce bunion pain and discomfort, and to prevent the problem from getting worse. Of course, if you find that at-home care isn’t providing you with relief, or if bunion pain is persistent or severe, then you should turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Not sure if you have a bunion or not? Call your foot doctor.
When should someone consider bunion surgery?
As we mentioned earlier, bunion surgery is considered a last resort when all other treatment options have been exhausted and they haven’t helped get your bunion symptoms under control. You may also want to consider getting bunion surgery if:
- Your bunion is large and makes it difficult to wear shoes
- Your bunion pain is severe and chronic
- You have trouble walking or moving around because of your bunion
- Your bunion is affecting your quality of life
It can take up to 6 months to fully recover from traditional bunion surgery so it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options with your podiatrist to find the most effective method for getting your bunion symptoms under control.
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