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Polydactyly and syndactyly are different congenital foot conditions that affect the development of the toes. Polydactyly occurs when there are extra toes on the foot. This condition can vary in severity. Some people having a small extra toe that may not cause significant issues. Others may have a fully formed extra toe that requires surgical removal for functional and cosmetic reasons. Conversely, syndactyly occurs when two or more toes are fused together. This condition ranges from partial fusion, where only the skin connects the toes, to complete fusion, where the bones are fused together. Syndactyly can affect adjacent toes or more distant toes. Polydactyly and syndactyly are generally treated surgically to restore normal toe alignment and function. If you or your child has a congenital foot condition, it is suggested you consult with a podiatrist for proper evaluation and tailored management options. 

Congenital foot problems require immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Kenneth Donovan of Advanced Care Foot and Ankle. Our doctor 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 one of our offices located in Warren, Livingston, and Toms River, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Congenital Foot Problems
Wednesday, 14 February 2024 00:00

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

Tuesday, 13 February 2024 00:00

Scar Management of Foot Wounds

Properly caring for foot or ankle surgical scars is closely linked to the different stages of wound healing. When preparing a patient for surgery, it is important to consider factors that cannot be changed, such as age and any history of raised scars. To prevent scars from getting worse, the most important thing to control is the tightness of the wound during healing. This depends on how the surgical cut is made. Usually, cuts are made along the natural lines of the skin, but in some areas, there are no such lines. Taking care of a surgical scar does not stop when the stitches are removed, and it should continue for about a year. Podiatrists will keep checking the scar during follow-up visits to make sure it is not getting worse. If it starts to become raised and thick, steroid injections and other treatments can be used to help. If you are having foot or ankle surgery, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist about past wound healing

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Kenneth Donovan from Advanced Care Foot and Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Warren, Livingston, and Toms River, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 06 February 2024 00:00

Diagnosing a Lisfranc Fracture

Lisfranc fractures, occurring deep within the midfoot, present a diagnostic challenge due to their intricate location amidst a multitude of bones and tendons. Often misdiagnosed, these fractures result from either broken bones or torn ligaments supporting the midfoot structure. A Lisfranc fracture can range from mild muscle tears to complex fractures that involve multiple bones and joints. Lisfranc fractures are commonly mistaken for a simple foot sprain and can lead to prolonged pain and complications if left untreated. Low-energy incidents, like missteps or falls during routine activities, typically cause these fractures. High-energy traumas from elevated falls also can result in this type of injury. An accurate diagnosis of a Lisfranc fracture is challenging and requires a thorough evaluation by a podiatrist, using advanced imaging techniques. Proper treatment of Lisfranc fractures, ranging from conservative measures to surgical intervention, is essential for optimal recovery, as ignoring the injury or attempting to walk it off can worsen damage and prolong healing time. If you are experiencing severe pain in the midfoot area, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for a complete exam and diagnosis.

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Kenneth Donovan from Advanced Care Foot and Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Warren, Livingston, and Toms River, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot
Tuesday, 30 January 2024 00:00

Definition and Causes of Hammertoe

Hammertoe, a common foot ailment, unfolds as a deformity characterized by an abnormal bending of the toe joints. The condition primarily affects the second, third, or fourth toe, causing it to resemble a hammer's curved shape. One of the key causes of hammertoe is an imbalance in the muscles and tendons that control toe movement, leading to joint misalignment. Wearing ill-fitting shoes with narrow or high toe boxes can exacerbate the problem, cramping the toes and impeding their natural movement. Additionally, genetic predisposition and certain medical conditions, such as arthritis or diabetes, may increase susceptibility to developing hammertoe. Understanding the definition and underlying causes of hammer toe is essential for early intervention. If you have developed hammertoe, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can guide you toward successful treatment and prevention methods.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Kenneth Donovan from Advanced Care Foot and Ankle. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Warren, Livingston, and Toms River, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Hammertoe
Wednesday, 24 January 2024 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

In the world of fashion, high heels have long been a symbol of elegance and femininity. Women don these stylish shoes to exude confidence and sophistication, often enhancing their overall appearance. The elevated stature achieved by wearing high heels can create a sense of empowerment, both physically and mentally. However, this fashion choice comes with a price, impacting the feet in various ways. The arching of the foot, a characteristic of high heels, can lead to strain on the calf muscles and alter the body's natural alignment. In addition, prolonged wear may contribute to foot pain, bunions, and other podiatric issues. Despite the potential risks, many women continue to embrace high heels as a form of self-expression. A podiatrist can further explain how wearing high heels can affect the feet. If you have foot, toe, or ankle pain as the result of wearing high heels, it is suggested that you visit this type of doctor for an exam and treatment.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Kenneth Donovan from Advanced Care Foot and Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Warren, Livingston, and Toms River, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Tuesday, 16 January 2024 00:00

Ankle Sprains From Running

For runners, ankle sprains can be a frustrating setback, but understanding the nature of the injury is key to effective recovery. Ankle sprains are classified into three grades, with grades 1 and 2 involving varying degrees of ligament overstretching or partial tearing, while grade 3 signifies a complete tear. The most common type is the lateral or inversion sprain, occurring when the foot rolls outward, injuring the outer ligament that connects the ankle bone to the calf bone. In contrast, the rarer medial ligament sprain happens when the foot rolls inward, affecting ligaments on the inner side of the ankle. Runners may also face the challenge of high ankle sprains, which occur above the ankle in the lower leg. This type of sprain results from a downward pointing and twisting motion. This causes a stretch of the syndesmotic ligaments that connect the tibia and fibula in the lower leg to the top of the foot. It is essential that runners do not ignore such injuries, as failing to heal from an ankle sprain completely can cause chronic weak ankles. For an exam, diagnosis, and treatment options, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist as quickly as possible after being injured. 

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Dr. Kenneth Donovan of Advanced Care Foot and Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Warren, Livingston, and Toms River, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries
Tuesday, 09 January 2024 00:00

Distinguishing Turf Toe From Gout

Turf toe and gout, although both affecting the feet, originate from distinct causes and exhibit different symptoms. Turf toe, often associated with athletes and individuals engaging in activities that involve repetitive pushing off the toe, is essentially a sprain of the ligaments surrounding the big toe joint. It manifests as pain, swelling, and limited range of motion. Conversely, gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis resulting from the crystallization of uric acid in the joints, frequently the big toe. Gout attacks bring intense pain, swelling, and redness. While turf toe stems from mechanical stress, gout is closely linked to diet and metabolic factors. Understanding these disparities is pivotal for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment. If you have toe pain, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat turf toe and gout.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Kenneth Donovan of Advanced Care Foot and Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking

Diagnosis

In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Warren, Livingston, and Toms River, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Toe Pain
Wednesday, 03 January 2024 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

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