Ankle sprains can keep you off your feet for a week or longer, depending on the severity of your injury. Sprains are among the foot and ankle injuries and conditions that podiatrist Dr. Arthur Kaplan treats in his Port Washington, NY, office.
How do sprains occur?
Several bands of connective tissue called ligaments connect the bones of your ankle joint together. The ligaments can stretch or tear if your ankle suddenly twists or turns inward, which results in a sprain. Although sprains can happen to anyone, they're more likely to occur if you participate in certain sports, such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, football and tennis.
Common symptoms of sprains
Sometimes it's difficult to tell if you've merely twisted your ankle or sprained it. If a sprain is responsible for your pain, you may experience several of these signs and symptoms:
- Swelling: Your body's healing process begins the minute you hurt your ankle. As soon as the injury is detected, white blood cells flood the area. The increase in blood flow causes your ankle to swell noticeably. Swelling can begin just a few minutes after you injure your ankle.
- An Unusual Sound: In some cases, you may actually be able to hear your ligaments stretching or tearing. If you heard a pop when you hurt your ankle, you may have a sprain.
- Pain: Pain may vary in intensity depending on how badly you sprain your ankle. If the ligament has only stretched slightly, you might notice a jolt of pain when you turn your ankle, but may not experience much pain thereafter. More severe sprains can cause pain at rest and when you're on your feet.
- Difficulty Walking: Pain may make walking uncomfortable, but you may also have a little trouble walking if your ankle is swollen or stiff or your joint is unstable. If your joint is unstable, it may be impossible to put any weight or pressure on it. Call your Port Washington office as soon as possible if walking is very difficult.
- Bruising: Small blood vessels under your skin may tear when you sprain your ankle. As a result, blood pools under the skin, giving it a purple appearance.
Ignoring sprain symptoms are severe or last more than a week or two may lead to chronic pain and joint instability. If you're worried that you may have a sprained ankle, schedule an appointment with Port Washington, NY, podiatrist Dr. Arthur Kaplan by calling (516) 883-8313 to schedule an appointment.
When most people think about foot deformities they most often think about bunions; however, hammertoes are just as common. This unassuming deformity comes about gradually, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late. “What is a hammertoe?” You might be wondering. A hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe (often the smaller toes), causing the toe to bend downward. In severe cases, a hammertoe will look almost claw-like.
There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. As you might imagine, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can still straighten the toe out. If you aren’t able to straighten the affected toe then this is a rigid hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe isn’t as serious as a rigid one; however, it’s important that you take care of your hammertoe to make sure that it doesn’t get worse.
While there is no way to cure a hammertoe there are simple measures you can take to prevent it from progressing. First and foremost, you need to take a look at the shoes you are wearing and make sure that they aren’t too tight. When you slip your feet into your shoes, does it cause your toes to bunch up against one another? If so then this could make your hammertoe worse.
Instead, opt for shoes with an ample toe box, which will allow your toes to wiggle and move around freely. If you have a structural imbalance within the foot this can leave you prone to foot problems such as hammertoes and bunions. To correct this imbalance, talk to your foot doctor about getting custom orthotics (shoe inserts), which can be placed into your shoes to help provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption for your feet.
If pain or stiffness does rear its ugly head you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can tackle both pain and inflammation in one fell swoop, or you can place a towel-wrapped ice pack (never put ice directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns) over the area for several minutes.
Just as you can buy pads to cover a bunion or callus, you can also buy a non-medicated protective pad to cover over a hammertoe. Since the deformed toe joint juts out this can leave the toe prone to calluses, which can cause pain when wearing shoes. To prevent a callus from forming, you can apply a protective pad over the deformed toe joint before putting on shoes.
Of course, if you are dealing with significant or frequent pain, or if the hammertoe is rigid, then you will want to turn to a podiatric specialist. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the disfigured joint.
While it might not be something you think about often (or at all), the health of your child’s feet is important. Your child is growing by leaps and bounds and certain habits and other factors can affect how your child’s feet develop or if they experience injuries or other problems down the road. Unfortunately, a lot of children end up wearing shoes that are far too small for their feet, which can lead to pain, structural imbalances and certain foot deformities.
We know that going shoe shopping is certainly not a walk in the park for most parents; however, it’s an important component to making sure your child maintains healthy feet. There are many things to think about when it comes to picking the right shoes, and your podiatrist can also provide suggestions and tips to make the world of shoe shopping easier for you and your little one.
Some factors that you should consider when shopping for the right shoes include:
- Your child’s age
- The shoe’s material
- Your child’s shoe size
- The shoe’s structure
A good rule of thumb is to shop for shoes every 2 months when your child is between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. Once they reach three and four, you’ll want to purchase new shoes approximately every four months. At the point that your child is five or six years old, every six months is a good time to swap out old shoes for new ones.
As you might already know, the bones of a baby or infant’s feet are soft and haven’t fully developed. To protect your child’s feet it’s important that they wear socks and soft shoes. Make sure that as your child’s feet grow that the toes have room to wiggle and move around within the shoes. Bunched-up toes are a major no-no!
Since your little one is growing by leaps and bounds it is important that you are constantly checking their shoe size for changes. Remember that feet swell throughout the day, so shoe shopping should be done at the end of the day when feet are at their largest. If you aren’t sure what size shoe your little one wears, you can ask one of the store’s footwear specialists for help.
Of course, you can’t forget the importance of choosing the right socks, as well. Socks can prevent your little one from blisters, calluses and other foot problems. They can also wick away sweat and prevent fungal infections. When it comes to choosing the right socks for your little one consider the type of fabric, your child’s activity level, the size of your child’s feet and sensitivities they might have to certain fabrics.
When in doubt, you should talk to a foot doctor who can provide you with advice, answer any questions you might have about your child’s developing feet and also provide comprehensive care, when needed.
Don’t let bunion pain and discomfort affect your daily life.
Many people deal with bunions and don’t even know it. If you have a bunion and it isn’t giving you issues then you won’t need to treat the issue; however, if you find that your bunion is giving you grief, our Port Washington, NY, podiatrist, Dr. Arthur Kaplan, knows some helpful tips for how to keep bunion pain and swelling at bay.
While the only way to cure a bunion is through surgery, surgery is only necessary under extreme circumstances where bunion pain is so debilitating that it affects your day-to-day life.
Choose Appropriate Footwear
The shoes you wear can certainly be a major influence on the health of your feet. Unfortunately, people often ignore this advice because they want to sport those cute new shoes; however, if you have bunions and you want to prevent the issue from getting worse than you need to forgo high heels (any heels above 2 inches are a no-no). You’ll also want to avoid shoes that offer a pointy toe, put pressure on your bunion or bunch up your toes (if your toes can’t wiggle freely within your shoes then they are too tight).
Consider Custom Orthotics
Sometimes even with the best shoes you still need a little extra support and stabilization. This is where orthotics come in. Yes, you can find shoe inserts at your drugstore; however, these one-size-fits-most inserts aren’t designed to fit your foot’s unique structure or cater to your specific needs. Sometimes these commercial shoe inserts can actually do more harm than good.
However, our Port Washington foot doctor can create custom-made shoe inserts, which can take pressure off the bunion and provide ample support to give your feet the cushioning they need when you are on the go.
Here at NY Sports Podiatry in Port Washington, NY, we believe that everyone should be able to enjoy each and every day without foot problems. If you are having trouble getting your bunion symptoms under control or want to find out if bunion surgery is the best option for you then call our office today for a consultation.
What is a Bunion?
What Causes Bunions?
How a Podiatrist Can Help
Prevention is Key
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