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Ahmad Elsamad, DPM, FACFAS

July 2021

Tuesday, 27 July 2021 00:00

Why Do I Have Hammertoes?

Hammertoe is a common foot deformity in which the toes bend downward at the middle joint, creating a hammer-like shape. This deformity typically affects the second, third, or fourth toes and causes pain, discomfort, and joint stiffness. There are many reasons why a hammertoe may develop. Chronically wearing ill-fitting shoes which are too tight, narrow, have excessively high heels, or squeeze your toes together, can contribute to the formation of hammertoes. Hereditary foot differences, having unusually long toe bones, weakness in the muscles of the feet, or injuries can also make hammertoes more likely. Other foot conditions, including bunions and rheumatoid arthritis, may increase your risk of hammertoes. If you notice that your toes are changing in appearance, or if you are experiencing any foot pain, please seek the care of a podiatrist. Treating hammertoes early can help stop or slow their progression.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Ahmad Elsamad, DPM of The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Merrillville, East Chicago, and Munster, IN, . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 20 July 2021 00:00

What Leads to Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a strong and thick tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. Plantar fasciitis occurs when this piece of tissue becomes inflamed or torn. Generally, plantar fasciitis is caused by overstretching or overuse and causes heel pain. Common reasons for overuse include playing sports that stress the heel bone, being overweight, pregnant, or middle-aged, or spending too much time standing. Patients who are experiencing heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis will notice that the heel pain is the worst in the morning after resting, after a long period of sitting or standing, or after physical activity. Patients who believe that they may be experiencing plantar fasciitis should consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment method.  

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Ahmad Elsamad, DPM  from The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Merrillville, East Chicago, and Munster, IN, . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021 00:00

Can Flip Flops Hurt My Feet?

There are so many different styles of shoes that are available for purchase, but flip flops are often the quick go to and one of the most dangerous to frequently wear. Various foot conditions may develop as a result of wearing flip flops and most can cause severe pain and discomfort. Some of these ailments can include blisters, corns, arch pain, Achilles tendonitis, and most commonly plantar fasciitis or heel pain. It is a natural reaction for the toes to grip the front of the shoe in an effort to have them stay on the feet. This can lead to aching and soreness throughout the entire foot. If flip flops are still your top choice to wear it can be beneficial to rotate them with other styles of flip flops. Sandals that have a strap around the heel can also be less harmful to the feet and it may help to wear high-quality flips flops that are constructed of leather materials. Additionally, it is suggested to refrain from wearing socks with flip flops as this can cause foot strain too. If you have questions about how to choose the right flip flops for you, please consult with a podiatrist.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Ahmad Elsamad, DPM from The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Merrillville, East Chicago, and Munster, IN, . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 06 July 2021 00:00

Preventing Falls in Children

Falls are a leading cause of injury for not just older adults, but also for children. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury in children from birth to about 19 years of age. Falls can result in a variety of foot and ankle injuries, from sprains to fractures and beyond. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent your child from falling and incurring a serious injury. If your child plays on a playground, check the surface under the playground to ensure that it is soft and safe, as well as supervise your child while they play. Make your home safer by using stair gates and guard rails to prevent your child from falling down the stairs. If your child participates in sports, make sure that they wear helmets, padding, or any other safety gear that the sport requires. If your child falls and injures their feet or ankles, take them to see a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat their condition.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Ahmad Elsamad, DPM from The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Merrillville, East Chicago, and Munster, IN, . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention
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