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Posts for category: Foot Conditions

By Crofton Podiatry
July 21, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions

After a long day of sports training or walking around in high heels, the balls of your feet may hurt. Unless you bring other shoes to change into, the route home can seem so long that you may be tempted to take your shoes off and go barefoot. So what’s going on?

Pain in the balls of your feet is generally referred to as metatarsalgia. The five bones between the toes and the arch are called the metatarsals. When one or more of the joints involving those bones becomes affected, it can become inflamed and cause you pain. People who repeatedly put pressure on the metatarsal joints may notice a callus there. 

What can cause metatarsalgia?

  • Uncomfortable and unsupportive shoes – Women who wear a lot of high heels will often notice this type of pain because they bear most of their weight on the balls of the feet while walking. Additionally, when anyone wears shoes that do not have good arch support or have toe boxes that are too narrow, it can cause irritation to the metatarsals. Poorly fitting shoes can also cause other issues like foot deformities that can put pressure on your metatarsals.

  • Intense training or exercise – Any activity that includes impact on the feet (e.g. walking or jumping) risks pain because of the forces that the midfoot endures.

  • Other conditions: Stress fractures, Morton’s Neuroma, Arthritis, Obesity – If you have trauma or repeated injury, you can develop broken or fractured bones that alters your gait in a way that applies pressure on the feet. Additionally, Morton’s Neuroma affects the third and fourth toes, with extra fibrous tissue growing around the nerve in the metatarsals that could cause pain. Furthermore, because arthritis affects the joints, the metatarsal joints are subject to arthritic pain. Finally, being overweight can also make you put more pressure at the forefoot, applying more pressure on the metatarsals.

How to ease pain

Because metatarsalgia is more of a condition to describe the pain in the ball of the feet, pain relief includes symptom management. In most cases, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) can help after a day of walking or exercise. Changing to more supportive and shoes can also help prevent and relieve symptoms. Some orthotics (like metatarsal pads) may be in order for those with deformities or pain from shoes, especially if you have specific work shoes that need to be worn.

When these treatments do not work, you may need to check for other conditions that may be contributing to metatarsalgia. If foot deformities like hammertoes are causing pain, surgery to correct that issue may be required. To find the best solution, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you and your family at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
April 06, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: ball of foot   sesamoiditis   big toe  

That’s a mouthful to say, don’t you think?

But dancers, runners, and baseball catchers know it all too well as a common injury for their respective sports. The sesamoids in the feet are 2 small bones that are not directly connected to other bones at a joint. They sit under the big toe joint and are only connected to tendons or in muscle tissue.

When the tendons around the sesamoids become inflamed or injured, the condition is called sesamoiditis, which is a form of tendonitis. Normally, the sesamoids allow for tendons to move about over them, but when there is overuse or an injury, that motion can cause inflammation and pain. The action of standing or sitting on tippy-toes, hard and repetitive impact on the bones, and blunt trauma injuries to the bones can cause sesamoiditis, which is the reason why certain athletes are familiar with this condition.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Since sesamoiditis is an inflammatory issue, there will likely be swelling, in addition to bruising, depending on the cause of the condition.
  • The big toe joint, where it meets the ball of the foot will experience pain. This pain can grow overtime, especially if it is an overuse injury.
  • It may be painful to move or bend the big toe.
  • You may not be able to stand and bear weight on the ball of your feet.

What are the Treatment options?

  • Rest (stop the activity), Ice, and Elevate to reduce swelling. If you have pain, you can take pain killers like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
  • Use cushioning like a felt or foam pad to reduce pressure on the sesamoids.
  • Avoid putting weight on the balls of the feet.
  • Wear soft-soled, low-heeled shoes. Stiff-soled shoes like clogs may also be comfortable.
  • If the pain and swelling is severe, you should see your podiatrist. He may recommend a steroid injection to reduce swelling.
  • If you think the sesamoids could be fractured, see a podiatrist right away or go to the emergency room.

Worried about a sesamoid injury or pain? Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry will assess your foot issues and provide the highest quality of care to get you back on your feet. Make an appointment to find out what the appropriate treatment should be by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
March 29, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Hammertoes  

Hammertoes make your toes look like an upside-down V when looking at them from the side. The first joint (close to the base of the toe) is affected by a deformity in which there is abnormal development of muscle tissues. The causes include:

  • Genetics – it can be hereditary.
  • Trauma via injury.
  • Arthritis, which affects the joint.
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight.

Hammertoes are not always painful, but can become painful if left untreated. Symptoms associated with hammertoes include swelling and redness, pain at the base of the toe, pain when you try to move the toe, and development of a painful corn on top of the V of the toe. If you catch it early, and the hammertoes can be straightened out, they are considered flexible hammertoes. This can be treated with padding and taping. However, hammertoes that become rigid may need other treatment such as surgery if they really affect quality of life.

When hammertoe symptoms are mild, you can try some at-home treatments:

  • For pain and swelling, use an ice pack several times a day.
  • For corns or blisters that cause pain, you can buy or make a hammertoe pad (gauze or cotton for cushioning) to put on the top of the bent toe.
  • When you have a corn or callus, use a pumice stone after a warm soak to file it down.
  • Get footwear that is taller near the toes and more cushiony. This will remove the factor of shoes making the deformity worse. It will also lower the pressures on the toes.
  • Do physical therapy exercises that stretch and strengthen the toes, such as picking up and moving objects around.

If home remedies do not help, come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Some treatment options he may suggest include:

  • Padding and taping the toes. This will help to straighten the toes and protect from painful impact or blisters.
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for pain relief, or a cortisone injection for severe pain or swelling.
  • For severe cases, treating hammertoes may require surgery.

Make an appointment to find out what the appropriate treatment should be by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
March 08, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions

A severe twist of the foot or heavy object dropping on it can cause severe pain throughout the midfoot, bruising or blistering on the arch, and the inability to bear weight. This injury is called a Lisfranc injury as it affects the Lisfranc joint and ligament. You may not have heard of this word or name, but Lisfranc injuries can happen in many circumstances, such as car accidents, running or football injuries, as well as while horseback riding accidents.

The Lisfranc joint is where the bones that lead up to the toes and the bones in the arch come together. The Lisfranc ligament is tissue that keeps the bones together. You can feel for the joint area by following the big toe bone up the foot until it reaches a ‘V’ where it meets the second toe bone, near the top of the arch. When there is a sprain (stretched ligament from twist of foot), fracture (broken bone from impact), or dislocation (bones get forced out of place), the Lisfranc joint or ligament gets injured and can cause you severe pain.

Treating a Lisfranc Injury

  • RICE method to keep pain and swelling at bay – The first thing you should do is to get off your foot (Rest), put a cold pack on the foot for 20 minutes each hour (Ice), wrap the foot if you can (Compression), and prop it above your heart level (Elevate).
  • See your podiatrist as soon as possible, or if the pain and swelling is severe, go to the emergency room. Do not put any weight on the foot.
  • If the bones are not out of alignment, you may just need a cast and painkillers, like ibuprofen or aspirin.
  • Lisfranc surgery may be required if the bones have broken or shifted out of position. It may require pins, plates, and/or screws to put the bones in their proper alignment as they heal.
  • After healing, you may need physical therapy to regain strength to walk and bear weight.

Oftentimes, as a result of this injury, complications can arise, such as: chronic pain and arthritis, bone alignment issues, and surgical complications (including nerve damage and wound re-opening) due to swelling.

If you suspect you have a Lisfranc injury, call our office immediately. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, can properly assess and diagnose your symptoms to find you the right treatment. Make an appointment today at Crofton Podiatry by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.


By Crofton Podiatry
February 22, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: corns   calluses   Orthotics  

You may have seen medications for corns at your local drugstore. If you’re a gym rat, you’ll have experiences with calluses on your hands. They are not the same, but can be similar in many ways. They are both formations on the skin that arise out of a need for protection – and both can affect your feet.

Both exhibit some form of thick, hard layers of skin. Corns are usually smaller, sometimes painful bumps that are harder in the middle, whereas calluses are usually larger and cover the areas that are affected by pressure or friction and no particular hard bump in the middle. Corns are usually on the top and sides of the toes, due to friction from tight shoes, or foot deformities like bunions or curly toes. Calluses are usually formed by friction from poorly fitting shoes. Neither are specifically bad, unless they cause you pain.

Safe At-Home Remedies

  • Make sure that your shoes fit well. If the tops are too tight or the fit is loose, your feet will experience pressure or slide around and cause irritation on your feet. Wearing socks will ensure a snug fit to prevent calluses.
  • Use padding to reduce rubbing if you have a certain spot that is constantly irritated.
  • After soaking in warm water, file down the thickened skin with a pumice stone or emery board, but be careful not to rip or cut it open. Then, moisturize to help keep your feet smooth.

Podiatrist Solutions

When the bumps have become painful or incessant, it’s time to see your podiatrist. The following are possible treatments he may recommend:

  • Trimming away thickened skin with a scalpel
  • Callus or corn-removing medication, like salicylic acid
  • Orthotic insert (for foot deformities)
  • Surgery (in severe cases)

Painful corns bothering you? Too many unsightly calluses? Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, can help you get rid of them safely. Especially for diabetics, safe treatment is important because poor circulation that can make things worse and prevent healing if the skin is pierced. Make an appointment today at Crofton Podiatry by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to help you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.



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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

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