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.
- Page 2
How is bursitis treated?
Heel bursitis, an inflammation of a fluid-filled sac called a bursa located behind your heel, can be treated with a number of different strategies depending on your situation. In more minor cases, you may find that simple at-home strategies (taking a break from activities that cause pain, icing your heel a few times per day, taking over-the-counter pain medications responsibly) may be enough to get you through the discomfort.
For bursitis pain that’s more stubborn, a professional evaluation can reveal other strategies that may be effective in relieving symptoms and preventing future recurrence. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) are more advanced (yet still non-invasive) treatments we may consider. Custom orthotics may also be helpful if the pain is related to an abnormality in foot shape or gait.
Heel pain, whether from bursitis or otherwise, should be addressed by a professional as soon as it becomes bothersome—the sooner you fix it, the more likely simple treatments will be effective. To schedule an appointment, please fill out our online contact form or call 516-541-9000.
How are bunions treated?
Bunion treatment varies depending on the severity of the problem and other factors. Procedures are broadly categorized as either conservative or surgical.
Conservative care is usually the first choice. Although it will not reduce the size of the bunion or reverse an existing deformity, it can relieve pain and slow or stop progression. Conservative approaches include modifications to footwear (switching to roomier shoes with more space for toes), using tools like taping or splinting to hold toes in alignment (if joints are still flexible), shoe inserts or custom orthotics to accommodate for poor foot mechanics, and various pain relief remedies.
If conservative care is ineffective and discomfort is severe, we may explore surgical options. As with conservative care, there are many different types of procedures that may be considered, from simple soft tissue removal to more substantial operations involving cutting or fusing bones. The best choice will depend on things like your age, health status, whether or not you’ve had a previous surgery, and the severity of the condition.
Regardless of your situation, Dr. Corey Fox of Massapequa Podiatry Associates on Long Island can help you overcome your bunion pain and improve your quality of life. To schedule an appointment, please fill out our web contact form or call 516-541-9000.
What causes bunions?
There’s actually some disagreement over what causes bunions—that is, whether an underlying structural defect (often inherited) in your feet must be present first, or if bad shoes can cause them on their own.
Regardless of the ultimate answer to that question, though, in practice both genetic and lifestyle factors tend to be present in most cases. Bunions do tend to run in families, and flawed foot structure (commonly inherited from a parent or grandparent) may place extra stress at the base of the big toe joint, eventually leading to the distinctive deformity. At the same time, footwear that crams toes together in tight spaces or pushes all your weight onto the front portion of your foot can at least catalyze the formation of a bunion, or rapidly accelerate its progression.
If you notice a bunion forming, lay off the heels and pointed flats and give Dr. Corey Fox a call at 516-541-9000. Early intervention with conservative measures is the key to preventing large, painful bunions that require surgery.
Can nerve damage be reversed?
Sometimes, but it depends.
The central nervous system (CNS)—the brain and spinal cord—have very limited regenerative ability, so injuries to these areas often cause lasting damage. Peripheral nerves, which run outward from the CNS into your hands and feet, do a little better in this regard; however, the longer you wait before seeking treatment, the more likely that damage to even these nerves will become permanent.
Treatments for hurting nerves will vary a bit depending on the source and severity of your condition. Managing underlying conditions (such as diabetes or PAD) is crucial. Exercise, improved diet, and other medical interventions are also frequently recommended. But you need to be proactive—an accurate diagnosis and an immediate treatment plan give you the best chance at halting, and hopefully reversing, any existing nerve damage.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fox at Massapequa Podiatry Associates, please fill out our online contact form or give us a call at 516-541-9000.
Can I exercise with neuropathy?
Yes! In fact, we encourage anyone with neuropathy to have a sensible exercise plan. Regular exercise can help minimize muscle pain and cramping related to neuropathy, and helps improve your circulation, keeping blood pumping nutrients to your nerves as efficiently as possible.
However, we do ask that you check in with us, or with your regular family doctor, before initiating any official exercise routine. Neuropathy poses unique challenges and risks, and we wouldn’t want you engaging in any activities that could damage your feet or lead to accidents related to muscle weakness, loss of balance, or other related problems.
Generally speaking, sitting and stretching exercises, strength training, and low-impact cardio such as cycling or swimming are great options for people dealing with peripheral neuropathy. However, other activities may be approved or disapproved based on your condition. A full examination is recommended to help devise the best treatment plan and tailor a workout routine that will offer you the greatest benefit. To set up an appointment at our Long Island podiatry office, please call 516-541-9000 today.
Are there stretches to help with hammertoes?
Although stretches can’t “fix” a hammertoe—once the toes begin to bend, only surgery can permanently correct the deformity—toe stretches while the joints are still flexible can help you manage pain, prevent the deformity from worsening, and ideally help keep you walking and wearing shoes normally and comfortably without needing surgical correction.
Stretches and exercises that help with hammertoes are designed to strengthen weakened toe muscles and improve flexibility and range of motion in the joints. Specific exercises may include things like crunching or grabbing towels or blankets, or picking up marbles with your toes. Even simple manual stretches, such as gently pulling your toes into a straightened position or squeezing them together with your fingers, can help.If you’re suffering from early-stage hammertoes, be proactive: contact Massapequa Podiatry Associates for help with conservative management tools and techniques. We can also provide surgical correction, but we’d love to spare you the knife if possible! Schedule an appointment with Dr. Corey Fox by dialing 516-541-9000 or use our online form.
How can I prevent dance injuries?
To help minimize the risk of injury, dancers should always make sure that their shoes fit well and are appropriate for the style of dance they choose. You should pay close attention to technique and listen to your instructor—poor form can lead to extra stress. You should also understand the limits of your body—always take proper time to warm up and cool down, give yourself as much rest as you need between dance sessions, and never ever push yourself beyond what you can handle or through the pain. If it hurts, don’t ignore it! That’s a surefire way to make the problem worse.
Dr. Corey Fox of Massapequa Foot Associates has worked with professional dance groups and instructors and understands the unique challenges dancers face with injuries of the feet and ankles, such as plantar fasciitis, ingrown nails, stress fractures, sprains, and more. Whether your passion is ballet, modern, hip hop, ballroom, or step dancing, we can help! To set an appointment, please call us today at 516-541-9000 or use our online form.
Do home remedies for warts work?
Suggested home remedies for plantar wart removal abound, including the more “formal” methods (like over-the-counter wart removal patches, liquids, or medicines) and some that fall a little more into the DIY spectrum (such as the so-called “duct tape” method, garlic rubs, pastes, and more).
While it’s possible that some home remedies for warts may be beneficial (especially the kind you can get in an ordinary pharmacy), the studies on their effectiveness is mixed at best. While they probably help some people, the overall success rate is low compared to office treatment.
At Massapequa Podiatry Associates, Dr. Corey Fox offers CryoPen therapy, which uses an advanced cooling technique to safely freeze and remove warts. It’s much more effective on average than home therapies, and what we recommend for those with irritating or painful plantar warts. However, since drugstore remedies are generally safe, you may consider trying them first for minor cases to see if they help.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fox, please complete our online appointment request form or give us a call at 516-541-9000.
How are fungal toenails treated?
Before the last decade or so, the only way to treat fungal toenails with much hope of success was by taking a prescription-strength oral antifungal pill for a period of several weeks. Although this was usually successful, the cure rate was low enough that a significant minority of patients did not see success, and the pills themselves could cause side effects such as rashes, nausea, or liver damage.
However, modern technology has provided a new option: laser treatment. This method uses specific wavelengths of light that penetrate the nail and painlessly kill the microorganisms causing the infection without damaging surrounding tissues or causing other side effects. Dr. Fox was the first podiatrist on Long Island to introduce the Noveon laser system to his patients, and has found it to be much more effective than traditional treatment. Most people will need 2-3 sessions, though it may vary depending on the severity and number of nails affected.
In any case, it will take some time for already damaged nails to grow out, so don’t wait until sandal weather comes around again—seek treatment today. You can request an appointment online, or you can call us at 516-541-9000.
Why does my heel hurt in the morning?
Heels that hurt in the morning are a classic symptom of plantar fasciitis, the most common heel pain condition. Your foot features a band of tissue called the plantar fascia, which stretches across the arch and connects your heel to your toes. Repeated stress can cause the tissue to strain, tear, and become swollen.
Plantar fasciitis tends to hurt more in the morning because the damaged plantar fascia shortens during the night (or long periods of rest) as it tries to repair itself. Placing weight on it again may cause sharp, stabbing pains for the first 10-15 minutes of weight bearing, until the band loosens and lengthens again. Pain may also be particularly significant after long periods of activity or climbing stairs.
Fortunately, plantar fasciitis is usually treatable without surgery. Dr. Corey Fox has been helping Long Island residents and others overcome heel pain for more than 20 years, and can help you, too. To schedule an appointment at our office is Massapequa, NY, give us a call at 516-541-9000. You can also book online.