Quick Facts on Foot and Ankle Care in Our Podiatry FAQ

How can you tell if there is a bone spur in your heel? When should patients consider surgery for torn ligaments? Our FAQ page explores a variety of foot and ankle questions to help patients get the care they need. Search through our FAQ to get answers on your condition.

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  • What is sesamoiditis?

    Sesamoiditis is a painful inflammation of the feet's sesamoid bones and the tendons in which they're embedded. If you’re suffering from pain under your big toe near the ball of your foot,  sesamoiditis may be to blame. Here's what you need to know about this common podiatric problem and how Massapequa Podiatry Associate's skilled podiatrists, Dr. Corey Fox and Dr. Justin LoBello, can provide the high-level care you need to heal and get back on your feet as quickly and as safely as possible. Understanding sesamoiditis

    Understanding Your Anatomy

    Your feet and ankles are complex biomechanical structures comprised of 26 bones, 33 joints, nearly 30 muscles, and more than 100 tendons and ligaments that work together to enable weight bearing and movement. While most of the bones in your feet (and your body) connect to other bones, the sesamoid bones are surrounded by tendons. These two, small, round bones sit under the big toe joint near the ball of the foot, reinforcing the tendon. They also act like pulleys and provide a smooth surface for the tendon to glide over.

    Sesamoiditis Causes and Risk Factors

    The tendons in your feet can become inflamed due to overuse or some type of injury. When the corn kernel-size sesamoid bones embedded in these tendons also become inflamed, the resulting condition is known as sesamoiditis. Although anyone can suffer from this painful podiatric issue, it's particularly common in people who participate in activities that involve frequently transferring weight to the ball of the foot such as runners, dancers, baseball catchers, and other athletes. However, people who have high arches, flat feet, or gout, or those who wear high heels or overpronate (roll the foot slightly inward) when they walk are also at risk for sesamoiditis.

    Signs and Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

    • Pain under the big toe near the ball of your foot
    • Problems bending or straightening your big toe
    • Difficulty standing, bearing weight, or walking on the affected foot
    • Redness
    • Swelling and inflammation
    • Bruising
    • Visible deformity of the foot

    These signs and symptoms often appear gradually, beginning with a dull ache under the big toe. (This differs from the symptoms of a sesamoid bone fracture, in which pain is severe and immediate.) Without treatment, these symptoms will progressively worsen and may eventually make standing, walking, or completing other basic tasks impossibly painful.

    Diagnosing and Treating Sesamoiditis

    Sesamoiditis can often be diagnosed by discussing your symptoms and medical history with your podiatrist and undergoing a thorough physical examination that includes checking for tenderness in the ball of the foot and testing the mobility of the big toe joint. When more information is needed, podiatrists may also conduct a Passive Axial Compression test or recommend X-rays, ultrasounds, bone scans, CT scans, MRIs, or other imaging tests.

    The longer you wait to see a podiatrist for help, the longer it can take to recover from sesamoiditis. Recovering from a severe case of sesamoiditis can take months. Staying off your feet for months on end can be particularly difficult for athletes and people who enjoy living an active lifestyle. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can get back on your feet and back in the game.

    Sesamoiditis Treatment Options

    Talk to a Long Island Podiatrist About Your Foot Pain

    Our podiatrists will evaluate your feet and work to get to the bottom of your big toe or ball of foot pain. We'll help you explore your treatment options and create a custom recovery plan that you can feel confident about. Complete our contact form, or call us at 516-541-9000 (toll-free 877-674-7422) to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fox or Dr. LoBello. If you have questions about a podiatric condition or the treatments and services we provide, browse our FAQs.

     

  • How are stress fractures different from broken bones?

    Whether you're running, jumping, walking, or simply standing and bearing weight, your feet and ankles are under tremendous strain and subject to a wide-range of injuries and disorders. Stress fractures are common foot and ankle injuries that require skilled professional podiatric treatment to ensure proper healing and avoid complications such as long-term mobility issues. Here's what you should know about stress fractures, including how they differ from traditional breaks and how Massapequa Podiatry Associate's skilled podiatrists, Dr. Corey Fox and Dr. Justin LoBello, help patients suffering from these injuries recover and return to activity. Stress fractures vs. regular breaks

    Understanding Stress Fractures

    Stress fractures are broken bones. However, there are a few key things that distinguish them from typical breaks. For example, while normal fractures usually involve bones that are completely broken, stress fractures are incomplete breaks that often appear as small, thin cracks on the surface of a bone.

    Common Causes

    Completely broken bones in the feet and ankles are often caused by a sudden traumatic event like a bad fall, a serious car accident, or having something heavy dropped on the foot. Stress fractures, on the other hand, tend to develop slowly, over time, as a result of overuse, repetitive movements, or high-impact sports and activities. They can also be caused by medical problems or treatments that weaken bones or cause nutrient deficiencies.

    Stress Fracture Symptoms

    The symptoms associated with broken bones and stress fractures present in completely different ways. With an acute break, you may hear a pop or snap, accompanied by immediate and intense pain, as well as have significant swelling and bruising. Although a stress fracture can also cause pain and swelling, it tends to be gradual or periodic and much less severe. Symptoms such as tenderness and pain are often most noticeable during activity but may ease with rest. Stress fractures may be less dramatic than acute breaks, but without the proper treatment, these injuries can lead to complications or even lifelong limitations. Common complications include fractures that fail to heal (known as nonunions), bones that heal in abnormal positions (known as malunions), and recurring fractures.

    Diagnosis

    X-rays are the most common tool used in the diagnosis of traumatic bone breaks; however, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is considered the best way to diagnose stress fractures in the feet and ankles. Not only can an MRI pick up on lower grade stress bone injuries before they'd show up in an X-ray, it's also better at telling the difference between soft tissue injuries and stress fractures. In some cases, X-rays or bone scans may be used to provide additional information about your injury.

    Treating a Podiatric Stress Fracture

    Minimizing the weight placed on your foot or ankle and immobilization of the affected bone are essential for complete breaks, as well as for stress fractures. Depending on several factors including the severity and location of your injury, our treatment recommendations may include the use of a brace, walking boot, or cast. Although surgery for stress fractures is relatively rare, in some cases it may be necessary to promote faster or more complete healing.

    Take Advantage of Our Comprehensive Podiatry Care

    Massapequa Podiatry Associates provides complete podiatric care for all foot and ankle conditions, including fractures. Whether you're suffering from a stress fracture, a traumatic break, or another issue entirely, our dedicated podiatrists will work diligently to provide an accurate diagnosis and help you find the treatment option that's right for you and your lifestyle. Don't put off the exceptional care your feet deserve. Complete our contact form, or call our Long Island office at 516-541-9000 (or 877-674-7422) to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fox or Dr. LoBello.

    For additional information on our podiatry treatments and services, browse our online FAQs, or request a free copy of our book, Heal Your Heal Pain – A Guide to Understanding Its Causes and Treatments.

     

  • What are the benefits of platelet-rich plasma therapy?

    Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) is an innovative treatment that uses injections of a patient's own concentrated plasma to jump-start the body's natural healing response. Podiatrists have used PRP injections to safely treat a wide range of podiatric injuries and disorders for years. Here's what you need to know about this advanced intervention, its benefits, and how the knowledgeable and experienced podiatrists at Massapequa Podiatry Associates can help you get back on your feet. PRP therapy

    Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

    Plasma is the primary component of blood, accounting for approximately 55 percent of its overall volume. It's what makes your blood liquid and allows it to flow through your circulatory system. Plasma carries red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and other vital hormones, nutrients, and proteins throughout the body. In doing so, it enables coagulation (blood clotting) and supports the immune system, proper pH balance, and normal blood pressure. Plasma is essential to the cell-building and healing processes. PRP therapy takes concentrated plasma—made by spinning your own blood in a centrifuge to concentrate the plasma and other beneficial compounds—and injects it at the site of an injury.

    Potential Benefits

    By increasing platelets and other growth factors at the area of an injury or other musculoskeletal issue, PRP therapy can help reduce pain and inflammation and speed up the healing process. PRP injections offer the following benefits:

    • It’s safe. PRP is autologous, meaning it comes from the patient's body. Because it is a concentration of your own plasma, made from your body's own cells, platelet-rich plasma therapy carries very few risks.
    • It’s minimally invasive. This cutting-edge treatment promotes healing without surgery and does not require the use of anesthesia.
    • It’s versatile. PRP therapy can help treat acute injuries and chronic conditions, as well as accelerate post-surgical healing. It can be used as a standalone therapy or in combination with other treatments such as shockwave therapy.
    • It’s convenient. PRP treatment is done right in our office, with the entire process typically taking an hour or less from preparation to injection. The injections themselves are relatively painless, with some patients reporting minor discomfort during treatment but no major side effects.
    • There’s no major downtime. Many patients can return to regular daily activities immediately after treatment.
    • It’s effective. While no treatment works for everyone, approximately 85 percent of patients reported a noticeable improvement in their symptoms following PRP injections.

    Conditions PRP Injections Can Treat

    Research shows that PRP therapy can be beneficial for a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. At Massapequa Podiatry Associates, our exceptional Long Island podiatrists, Dr Corey Fox and Dr. Justin LoBello, use this state-of-the-art intervention to address conditions such as:

    • Arthritis
    • Plantar fasciitis
    • Heel pain
    • Achilles tendinitis
    • Ball of foot pain
    • Strains and sprains
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Tendon issues
    • Ankle pain
    • Bunions
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Ligament injuries
    • Lower leg pain
    • Post-operative pain

    Contact Us

    If you're considering PRP injections for heel pain or another painful foot problem, the knowledgeable and skilled podiatrists at Massapequa Podiatry Associates can help you determine if this treatment option is right for you. We'll perform a thorough evaluation of your feet; discuss your symptoms, goals, and medical history; and present you with a variety of options for getting you back on your feet and back to the active life you love.

    Contact us online, or call us at 516-541-9000 or toll free at 877-674-7422 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fox or Dr. LoBello. For more information, request a complimentary copy of our book, Heal Your Heel Pain: A Guide to Understanding Its Causes and Treatments, or browse our FAQs section for the answers to common questions.

     

  • What is Haglund's deformity?

    If you have a bony growth on the back of your heel and the spot is swollen, painful, or callused, you may have Haglund's deformity. This podiatric conditions occurs when a bony bump forms on the back of the heel bone, irritating the surrounding soft tissue and causing pain. Although this common foot problem can be very uncomfortable, it's also quite treatable. If you have Haglund’s deformity, it’s important to know the causes, risk factors, treatment options, and how the skilled podiatrists at Massapequa Podiatry Associates can help your feet feel better. Treating Haglund's deformity

    Causes

    Sustained pressure on the back of the heel—such as from wearing shoes with rigid backs—can cause Haglund's deformity. As the bony lump develops on the rear of the heel bone, it can aggravate the nearby bursa. These tiny, fluid-filled sacs provide cushioning and reduce friction between bones and soft tissue. These heel lumps can also aggravate the Achilles tendon, causing painful swelling and inflammation. Additionally, blisters can form on your skin as the bony growth rubs against the inside of your shoes, making your feet even more miserable.

    Risk Factors

    Your choice of footwear can play a big role in the development of Haglund's deformity. The condition is particularly common in women who frequently wear high heels and are sometimes called “pump bumps.” However, high heels aren't the only shoes that can increase your risk for Haglund's deformity; any type of shoe with firm, rigid backs can cause this condition, including men's dress shoes and ice skates.

    Genetics and the shape of your feet can also contribute to the development of this uncomfortable and unsightly podiatric condition. For example, people who have high arches, tight Achilles tendons, or who tend to walk on the outside of their feet are more likely to suffer from Haglund's deformity than people without those characteristics.

    Diagnosis and Treatment Options

    Often, a discussion of your symptoms and a thorough examination of your feet are all it takes to diagnose Haglund's deformity. In some cases, X-rays, MRIs, or ultrasounds may be used to gain more information on the severity of the condition and the structure of your feet.

    When Haglund's deformity causes only mild discomfort, it can often be successfully treated at home with rest, ice, and over-the-counter medications; by adding heel pads to shoes with stiff backs; or opting for shoes with soft backs or no backs (avoid open-heeled shoes if you have bunions, tendinitis, or other podiatric problems).

    However, if pain persists or the growth gets bigger, it's a good idea to see a skilled podiatrist for assessment and treatment. Although care plans vary depending on factors that include the severity of the deformity and your symptoms, our recommendations may include:

    • Topical or oral medications to reduce swelling and inflammation
    • Boots or casts to immobilize the foot
    • Rehabilitative exercises to relieve tension in the Achilles tendon
    • Custom orthotics to alleviate pressure on the back of the heel and provide precise support and cushioning

    While Haglund's deformity often responds well to conservative therapies, in cases where the pain is severe or the growth is sizable, surgery may be required to correct the deformity or reshape the affected heel bone.

    Treat Your Feet to Fantastic Care

    If pain and swelling in your heel are making daily tasks difficult and preventing you from doing the things you love, you may be suffering from Haglund's deformity. Don’t let podiatric problems stop you from living your best life. At Massapequa Podiatry Associates, our knowledgeable, experienced, and compassionate podiatrists can evaluate your condition and come up with a custom treatment plan that provides relief and results. We're committed to helping you get back on your feet as quickly, as safely, and as painlessly as possible. If you’re ready to find out what we can do for you, complete our contact form, or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists.

     

  • What is Charcot foot?

    From potential nerve damage to circulation issues, diabetes can create many problems for your feet. Charcot foot is one of them. This disease, also called Charcot arthropathy, is a condition that weakens the bones in your feet enough that they can fracture. Because patients with diabetes may suffer from neuropathy, they may not even realize they’ve broken a bone. If the patient continues to walk with the fracture, the foot will eventually develop an abnormal shape with a “rocker-bottom” appearance. This serious deformity is painful and debilitating, so it’s important to understand how controlling your blood sugar levels and regular visits with a skilled podiatrist can help prevent or treat this complex foot condition. Understanding Charcot foot

    Diabetes and Your Feet

    Knowing how diabetes affects your feet requires a basic understanding of how your body processes food. When you eat, the food turns to sugar. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, regulates this sugar by sending it to your cells to use as energy right away or store for later. People with diabetes either don't produce insulin (type 1 diabetes) or their body has difficulty utilizing the insulin it does make (type 2 diabetes).

    Without insulin to tell the sugar where to go, an excess can build up in the bloodstream. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the nerves in your feet, resulting in a condition known as peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms can include pain, tingling, burning, and decreased sensation and function. Having peripheral neuropathy may make it more difficult for you to feel injuries in your feet and a condition like Charcot foot to go unnoticed.

    Not only can a diabetic patient with peripheral neuropathy suffer a traumatic break or a stress fracture without realizing it, they can sustain additional fractures and endure other symptoms such as:

    • loss of sensation
    • muscle contractions 
    • difficulty walking
    • redness or swelling
    • feet that feel warm to the touch

    Without proper podiatric care, Charcot foot can lead to the collapse of the joints in the affected foot and result in severe disability, deformity, or even amputation.

    Charcot Foot Treatment

    When dealing with Charcot foot and other diabetes complications, the old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” rings true. The best defense against Charcot foot is prevention, which means working with your endocrinologist to control your blood sugar levels to slow the progression of peripheral neuropathy.

    However, if you're already experiencing signs of Charcot foot, there's a lot our team of podiatrists can do to help. Non-surgical treatment approaches, which may be appropriate when the condition is caught in its early stages, include immobilizing the weakened bones to allow them to heal completely. A cast, boot, brace, crutches, wheelchair, or other assistive device can help you avoid putting weight on your foot during the vital healing process. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or realign the bones in your foot. Once your injury has resolved, we'll provide the guidance—and recommend any special shoes or inserts—you need to keep your fragile feet safe and healthy.

    Catch Diabetic Foot Problems Early

    Diabetic feet need special care to stay healthy. Making one of our podiatrists a member of your diabetes management team can help keep your feet looking and feeling their best. We provide gentle, effective routine care such as nail trimming and corn or callus removal, as well as advanced therapies for injuries and issues that arise.

    Let Us Treat Your Feet

    If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes and need a care plan for your feet, need help keeping peripheral neuropathy in check, or have symptoms of Charcot foot, you’ve come to the right place. Complete our contact form, or call us to schedule an appointment with one of Massapequa Podiatry Associates' talented, caring podiatrists.

     

  • How does Tenex treat heel pain?

    When discussing how Tenex treats heel pain, the best starting point is to look at the most common causes of heel issues – plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. In both cases, the main problem is damaged soft tissue—the plantar fascia or Achilles tendon, respectively—that becomes inflamed and causes you pain.

    Essentially, Tenex is an efficient heel pain treatment because it gently breaks down and removes the damaged part of the tissue, without having any effect on the healthy tissue around it. More specifically, though, we first locate the damaged area using ultrasound diagnostics. Then we numb it and insert a TX MicroTip—which resembles a hollow needle—through a tiny incision and directly into the tissue.

    The TX MicroTip is then agitated at an impressively fast rate, which serves to break down and remove damaged tissue. Additionally, this procedure enhances the body’s natural healing processes, speeding them up for a quicker recovery.

    In a vast majority of cases, the pain relief is almost immediate and you will be able to return back to all normal activities within six weeks (depending on various factors, naturally).

    If you would like additional information on the Tenex treatment we offer, contact Massapequa Podiatry Associates and our staff will be glad to help. If you, or any of your loved ones, are currently experiencing heel pain, request an appointment with our Massapequa, NY office by calling (516) 541-9000 right now. 

  • Who would benefit from the use of Amniovo?

    Amiovo is a revolutionary product that takes amniotic tissue, which contains natural healing properties, and converts it into an effective treatment tool for medical professionals to use. This particular treatment improves healing processes without having any adverse effects, so you may be interested in finding out who benefits from using Amniovo.

    Some of the most common applications for this treatment are soft tissue injuries and wound care. The healing factors contained in Amniovo are ideal for conditions like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis, but also give us an option for helping patients who sustain diabetic wounds. Left untreated, these wounds can ultimately lead to tissue death. Wound care is essential for preventing potential amputation from gangrene.

    We are pleased to offer this particular treatment for our patients, so give our Massapequa, NY office a call at (516) 541-9000 for more information. You can also contact Massapequa Podiatry Associates online to request your appointment today.

  • What is Amniovo?

    Amniovo is an advanced treatment for various soft tissue injuries and conditions that can result in faster, better healing processes. On a technical level, it is a composite amniotic tissue membrane. Amniotic tissue comes from the innermost layer of the placenta, which means it is a naturally-occurring material. This tissue is rich in growth factors and cytokines (substances secreted by cells in the immune system that can affect other cells).

    There is slight manipulation performed to these natural tissues to protect their natural properties, which are capable of reducing inflammation and scarring, enhancing healing, and acting as a protective barrier. Additionally, it is prepared in various configurations for optimal use in several applications (surgery recovery, soft tissue repair, etc.).

    Amniovo is durable, safe, and will help you recover better, in a shorter amount of time. It can be particularly beneficial for patients who suffer from common sources of heel pain like Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis.

    For more information on Amniovo treatment, and to see if it is right for the foot or ankle condition affecting you, simply give Massapequa Podiatry Associates a call at (516) 541-9000. If you’d prefer, take advantage of our online form to connect with our Nassau County office right now.

  • How can I get rid of a heel spur?

    Heel spurs are calcium deposits the bone makes on the calcaneus (heel bone) that build up over time, until they can potentially cause issues. This process happens in response to stress, friction, or pressure, and sometimes in conjunction with plantar fasciitis – a common source of heel pain.

    By itself, a spur can go unnoticed. Issues arise, though, when a spur digs into soft tissues around it. In such an instance, you will likely want to undergo heel spur treatment. We will first attempt to address the issue with noninvasive methods. If these fail to provide sufficient relief, we may need to perform surgery on the affected plantar fascia.

    Heel pain treatment is one of the services we provide here at Massapequa Podiatry Associates, but we offer many others to cover the full spectrum of foot and ankle issues that can arise. If you are having problems in your lower limbs, come see us at our Massapequa, NY office. We will provide the care and treatment you need to relieve painful symptoms and allow you to return to normal activities. Give us a call at (516) 541-9000 for additional information or take advantage of our online form to connect with us today!

  • Why is it important to warm up before exercising?

    Warming up before a workout, run, or game provides important benefits, both physical and mental.

    A warm-up routine featuring some stretching and light cardio helps prepare you for more vigorous, explosive exercise that puts more stress on your body. It allows you to raise your body temperature, heart rate, and blood flow gradually under safe and controlled conditions; thrusting yourself directly into high-octane exercise without a warm up can increase your risk of sudden injuries.

    Warming up can also provide mental benefits. For many, a brief warm-up session provides focus and helps boost concentration and confidence, and is an important part of preparing for a long run, a big game, or an important dance performance.

    For more information on stretches and physical therapy exercises to help prevent foot injuries, or to address an existing injury, please call Massapequa Podiatry Associates at 516-541-9000 today. You can also request an appointment online, and our staff will get in touch with you to schedule.