My Blog

Posts for: February, 2014

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 Dr. Howard Schaengold
February 13, 2014
Category: Heel Pain

X-raySports are big in the Sammamish area, from basketball at Skyline or East Lake High School to the local Boys and Girls Club leagues. Your child can benefit from the exercise and team building that results from participation in organized sports. Conditions like tarsal coalition in athletes (fusing of tarsal bones), though, can put a damper on their enthusiasm. You can help your child through the disappointment and pain of a sports injury by understanding it and choosing to make the right decisions about treatment.

With tarsal coalition, two or more bones in the back part of the foot are joined. The rigidity can cause the foot to have problems performing as it should and make it more prone to injury. Tarsal coalition is a hereditary trait, but it may not show up until the child is 10 – 16 years of age--sometimes even later. Your first indication of a problem may be when your child sustains an injury like a sprained ankle and the fusion shows up on the X-rays.

It is very important that your son or daughter stop the activity that caused the injury right away. This is a hard choice for a child in the middle of a season, but the sooner treatment is begun, the better the foot will heal—and the fewer problems they will have down the road. Start the RICE treatment immediately (Rest, Icing, Compression, Elevation), and get them to The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic so we can examine and diagnose the problem. The important thing is to keep weight off as long as there is any pain. Treatment may involve use of crutches or custom orthotics, taping or bracing, or even a cast or cast boot. We may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and pain.

Dr. Howard Schaengold specializes in sports injuries and wants to keep your child’s feet healthy for all their activities. Call (425) 868-3338 today for expert foot care in Sammamish, Issaquah, Redmond, and Bellevue, WA.

Photo credit: zirconicusso via freedigitalphotos.net