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Posts for category: Deformities

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
February 24, 2014
Category: Deformities

It seems NBA star LeBron James can’t go anywhere without someone taking a picture, and each one is subject to scrutiny from head to toe. So when he was snapped barefoot on a dock, columnist Matt King had a go at his “seriously messed up toes.” King seemed to think James’ overlapping toes were due to an injury, but the truth is many toe deformities are inherited.

In some people, a pinky or middle toe curls up and over another toe, and usually the condition is genetic. True, sometimes other causes like high arches or flat feet can cause a child to put weight on the foot in a different way, misplacing the pinky toe up over the next one. In adults, tight shoes that pinch the toes can cause them to move out of position. With bunions, for example, the big toe can move so far toward the second one that it overlaps it, or pushes one of the other toes out of position.

Toe deformities like these can cause pain when they rub against your shoes or each other. The irritation during movement may also bring about calluses, corns, or blisters. The abnormalities alter the way you walk or run, and even affect the bone structure in your feet. Athletes who place a lot of stress on their lower extremities may experience more severe symptoms than less active people.

What can you do for overlapping toes? Accommodate them, for a start. Make sure your shoes have enough room for the toe and don’t rub against it. Have Dr. Howard Schaengold at The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic take a look at them. He can recommend gel pads, taping, or toe straighteners to cushion and keep the toe in place. Taping may be helpful in infants to correct the deformity as much as possible while their bones form, although the toe may never be completely normal.

Foot deformities are one of our specialties, so call us at (425) 868-3338 for all your podiatric needs. Whether you live in Sammamish, Redmond, Issaquah or Bellevue, you can find great foot care with us!

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
November 01, 2012
Category: Deformities
Tags: Flatfeet   pediatric flatfoot   shoes  

Children with Flat FeetAs parents, we want our children to remain healthy and happy.  But when they are in pain, it is our duty to find the best ways to help eliminate their discomfort.  While many toddlers grow out of flatfeet, it is important to pay close attention to your child’s feet in order to ensure their feet are properly developing before pain begins. 

Pediatric flatfoot can be classified as symptomatic or asymptomatic, and are quite common—usually nonsurgical. Symptomatic flatfeet exhibit symptoms such as pain and limitation of activity, while asymptomatic flatfeet show no symptoms at all.  These classifications can help your podiatrist in Sammamish in determining an appropriate treatment plan for your child.

Flatfoot can be apparent at birth or it can show up years later.  Most children with flatfoot have no symptoms, but some have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain, tenderness, or cramping in the foot, leg and knee
  • Outward tilting of the heel
  • Awkwardness or changes in walking
  • Difficulty wearing shoes
  • Reduced energy
  • Voluntary withdrawal from physical activities

Your Sammamish podiatrist diagnoses your child’s flatfoot by examining the foot and observing how it looks when he or she stands and sits.  Your podiatrist will observe how your child walks and will evaluate the range of motion of the foot.  Since flatfoot can sometimes be related to problems in the leg, your podiatrist may also examine the knee and hip.  X-rays may be used to determine the severity of the deformity, with additional imaging and tests needed for further diagnosis.   

Visit Dr. Schaengold of Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic for further diagnosis and treatment options for your child’s flatfoot condition.  It is important to find relief for your child’s pain so that he or she can enjoy daily activities. 

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
March 01, 2012
Category: Deformities

Back PainYour feet are the foundation of your entire body—complex structures consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints and 126 muscles and ligaments. They support your weight, act as a shock absorber, serve as a lever to propel the leg forward and help maintain balance.

Since your entire body is interrelated, any mechanical issues with the feet can lead to chronic musculoskeletal problems in other parts of the body, including your back.   

One common foot disorder affecting the back is excessive pronation. Also known as flat feet, this condition causes the foot’s arch to flatten and collapse under the body’s weight. While a normal arch promotes stability and alignment of the entire body, the ability to cushion and absorb forces is greatly reduced when the arch is collapsed. As a result, increased stress is placed on the joints of the body. This continued stress can cause deformities of the foot over time, such as misaligned bones, hammertoes and bunions, eventually making its way to the legs, knees and lower back.

If you suffer from chronic back pain, visit Howard Schaengold, DPM for an evaluation.  Your feet may be the source of your pain.   If your back pain is caused by poor biomechanics of the feet, orthotics may be an effective treatment option.  These custom devices are designed to support and restore the arch of your foot.  Restoring the normal alignment of the foot helps normalize the posture and alignment of the lower body. This can reduce unnecessary stress to areas of your back.  

The shoes you are wearing may also be contributing to your back pain.  Good, proper fitting footwear will provide your feet with the support they need to stabilize your body’s weight and relieve the stress on the rest of your body.

If you suffer from back pain, visit your Sammamish podiatrist for an evaluation.  Your feet may be causing your pain. With proper treatment, you can achieve proper foot biomechanics and eliminate your back pain once and for all.