Toe Injuries Are Not Just For High Athlete Performers

Athletes involved with high impact sports will often suffer from toe injuries. Sports fans will remember when Pierre Garcon and Taylor Martinez both suffered from a plantar plate tear. Although a lot of us are not professional athletes we too can suffer from plantar plate tears.

The plantar plate is a ligament located on the bottom of the toes. It is responsible for cushioning the ball of the foot when walking and running and prevents hyperextension of the toes. With repeated overuse the ligament can stretch and tear and lead to a predislocation syndrome also known as a crossover toe deformity or a floating toe syndrome. Plantar plate tears most commonly affect the second toe.

Symptoms of a plantar plate tear:

  • Persistent pain at the ball of the foot

  • A toe that is changing position – lifting up or crossing over

  • Swelling

Plantar plate tears can be difficult to diagnose. Common misdiagnoses include a neuroma, tuff toe or a stress fracture. If you were given one of these diagnoses and you are unresponsive to treatment, ask your doctor about the possibility of a plantar plate tear.

At Foot& Ankle Doctors, Inc we will first offer conservative treatment options:

  • Rest

  • Ice

  • Anti-inflammatory medication

  • Accommodative padding to alleviate pressure from the ball of the foot

  • Plantarflexion strapping of the digit to hold it in place

  • Orthotics and stiff soled shoe or rocker-bottom shoes may be recommended

If conservative treatments fail, surgery may be required to repair the ligament.

 

Dr. Dardashti

Correct your Hammertoes without going to the OR

Hammertoes are a painful and progressive deformity that commonly results from a muscle or tendon imbalance. There are tendons that run on top of toes known as extensors, which are responsible for pulling the toes up. There are also tendons that run on the bottom of toes known as flexor tendons that pull the toes down. When the flexor tendons become stronger than the extensor tendons the toes contract creating a hammertoe.

 

Patients often complain of pain when wearing shoes, contracture of toes, corns and calluses that form on top of the toes where the contracture is occurring and in between toes. Flexor tenotomy is a quick, minimally invasive procedure with few complications or risks.

 

There are no sutures needed or dressings that need to be changed. Patients will have a reduction in pain and do not need to take time off work. Flexor tenotomies give instant results, however it is not meant to be a cosmetic fix. Local anesthetic will be administered to the toe before the procedure begins. Once the toe is numb a small stab incision will be made on the bottom of the toe with a needle.

 

The needle is moved back and forth in a sweeping motion to cut the fibers of the flexor tendon. The toe will aggressively be moved up and down to ensure the fibers have been cut. Once the tendon has been cut the toes will immediately straighten and have increased flexibility. Patients will be shown how to splint their toe with adhesive strapping and educated on stretching the toe upwards. If you are suffering from painful toes come see us at Foot & Ankle Doctors, Inc

 

Dr. Nejad

Tarsal Coalition In Children

If your child is complaining of foot or ankle pain that is unexplained by an injury come see us at Foot & Ankle Doctors, Inc where our physicians will examine for a tarsal coalition. Tarsal bones are bones located in the middle of the foot, the heel and the ankle. A tarsal coaltion occurs when there is an abnormal connection between two or more of these bones. This condition is usually present at birth, but your child may not show symptoms until later in life, usually around ages 9 to 16. Children with a tarsal coalition display the following symptoms

 

 Limp when walking

 

 Experience stiffness around the ankle and has decreased range of motion

 

 Tired legs

 

 Muscle spasms in the legs

 

 Flatfoot can be present in one or both feet

 

An x-ray and advanced imaging studies may be required to fully evaluate the condition before treatment is made. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain in your child’s foot. Our physicians at Foot & Ankle Doctors, Inc will take a conservative approach first by offering

 

 Physical therapy to increase range of motion

 

Custom orthotic devices to stabilize the foot and relieve pain

 

 Immobilization to remove stress from the foot and allow painful areas to rest

 

 Oral medication to reduce pain and inflammation

 

 Steroid injections to reduce pain and inflammation

 

If pain persists with conservative treatment, surgical intervention may be needed.

 

Dr. Dardashti