(610)674-6403 twinriverspodiatry@gmail.com

FAQ

More than 25 years of experience

Athlete's Foot

  • Is toenail fungus linked to Athlete’s Foot?

    Toenail fungus and Athlete’s Foot are similar as they are both fungal infections. The same fungus that infects the skin with Athlete’s Foot can spread to and infect the toenails, causing the nails to become thick and discolored. We see many cases of toenail fungus that are a direct result of an Athlete’s Foot infection.

    The treatment for Athlete’s Foot and toenail fungus are different. Typically, Athlete’s Foot is easily resolved with a topical antifungal medication. Topical antifungal medications is generally only 15-30% effective in curing toenail fungus. Oral antifungal medication is more effective and best way.

  • Is Athlete’s Foot contagious?

    Athlete’s foot or tinea pedis is a fungal infection often appearing in the cracks of your toes and on the bottom of your feet. Athlete’s foot can be contracted where fungus likes to hang out; dark, moist areas like locker room floors, shower stalls or anywhere moist and damp.

    Athlete’s foot is mildly contagious so if you have it be sure to see your podiatrist. If you are close to someone who has athlete’s foot, be sure to insist they wear flip-flops when showering or walking around the house. Don’t share towels or slippers with the person who has athlete’s foot. Just be sure the person’s feet are covered up as much as possible until the infection is cleared up.

  • Do you have to be an athlete to get athlete’s foot?

    Absolutely not!  Anyone can acquire athlete’s foot.  Athlete’s foot is a fungus found usually on the bottom of the foot in between the toes.   Fungus is everywhere especially in damp environments such as around swimming pools, locker rooms, and community showers.  Wearing protective foot wear such as shower shoes or pool shoes when in these environments can help prevent developing athlete’s foot.  If over the counter athlete’s foot medications and keeping your feet dry don’t remedy the condition, please consult with our office for treatment recommendations.

Bunions

  • Do bunion pads work?

    Just because you have a bunion, doesn’t mean you need bunion surgery. If you can stay comfortable with bunion pads to cushion the bunion from shoe pressure, and stay away from tight, constricting shoes, you may be able to stay comfortable and avoid surgical correction. The newest bunion pads are made of a comfortable silicon gel that is washable and reusable. If pads, wider and open shoes don’t keep you comfortable, our doctors would be happy to discuss bunion correction with you in detail.

  • Is bunion surgery painful?

    People will often go a long time without having their bunion treated, because they heard bunion surgery is painful. We are happy to report after thousands of successful bunion surgeries that people say it is far less painful then they originally thought.

    Keeping swelling to a minimum after surgery is KEY to determining how much pain a person will feel.

    How do you keep swelling to a minimum?

    Keeping your foot above your heart will help keep swelling to a minimum. Gravity is NOT your friend after surgery and your foot is at the lowest point of your body. Your foot will be put in a surgical boot and you will be able to walk after surgery, however, that doesn’t mean you should go about resuming normal activity after bunion surgery. Rest and minimal activity will help keep your pain at bay.

    Listen to your doctor and stay off your foot. Take pain medicine as directed. Stay ahead of your pain. That means take your pain medicine BEFORE the pain starts. Most people can take over-the-counter pain medication after only a day or two provided they STAY OFF THEIR FEET as much as possible.

  • If my mom has bunions, will I get bunions?

    Are bunions hereditary?

    If your parents have bunions, it doesn’t automatically mean you will have bunions. However, you do have a greater chance of developing bunions, because you may have inherited the same foot structure as one or both of your parents. Foot instability is one of the main causes of bunions.

    Prevention is the key in avoiding bunions. How do you prevent bunions? By correcting the instability of your foot. That can be remedied by custom-molded orthotics. Click here to read more about what type of orthotics Dr. Green at Kansas City Foot and Ankle recommends to avoid developing bunions.

  • How did I develop bunions?

    A bunion is not an enlargement of the bone. It’s the normal bone, but in an abnormal position. If your foot is not as stable as it should be, there is a muscle imbalance, as the muscles and tendons try to stabilize your foot, but can’t. Instead, they move the bones and toes into an abnormal position. Your instability is hereditary. Blame your parents.

  • Do I have different options for bunion surgery?

    Yes, no two bunions are alike.  In terms of the size of the bump, the angle of the great toe and the presence of pain associated with a bunion; together we will evaluate your condition and discuss appropriate treatment options for you considering all factors.  We will look at the severity of the bunion, x-ray findings, and level of pain, your overall health, and lifestyle.

Children's Feet

  • Will my child grow out of her flat feet?

    Contrary to popular belief, kids with flat feet become adults with flat feet. If your child has feet that flatten excessively, walks with her feet pointing outward, or has general soreness in her feet with walking and activities, have her evaluated. She will most likely benefit from custom orthotics in order to maintain a normal arch and provide better support. Even if your child is not having pain, the muscle imbalance caused by her instability will lead to foot deformities down the road, such as bunions, hammertoes, heel spurs and arthritis. Don’t wait for your child to have foot pain. Have her evaluated so treatment, if necessary, can start before long-term problems arise.

  • How often do foot problems occur in children?

    Foot problems are very common in children, including flat feet, heel and arch pain, ingrown toenails, and warts. Kids with flat feet should be evaluated and are commonly treated with orthotics, which are custom made shoe inserts, in order to prevent pain and other deformities from occurring as they grow. Heel and arch pain in kids is a very common condition that we treat and are very successful in getting them comfortable and back to their activities quickly. Ingrown toenails are a very common condition seen in kids as well. Ingrown toenails can be very painful and a simple in-office procedure can eliminate painful ingrown toenails permanently.

Diabetic Foot Care

  • I have diabetes, why doesn’t my foot ulcer heal on it’s own?

    Diabetes is a very complicated disease that affects all the systems in your body, including the ability to heal wounds. Higher than normal levels of sugar in your blood can reduce your body’s ability to heal wounds. It’s also harder to fight an infection in the presence of diabetes, which can certainly complicate wound healing. Very often, a wound the bottom of your foot is the result of excessive pressure beneath a bony prominence. Unless you reduce or remove that excessive pressure, the wound may have difficulty healing, even if your blood glucose is well controlled. Of course, in the presence of neuropathy, or abnormal nerve function, a common side effect of elevated blood glucose, you may not know that you’ve got a wound on the bottom of your foot, so you don’t have it treated. Daily foot inspections and regular visits to your podiatrist can help prevent wounds from developing. But once you have a wound, make sure your glucose is well controlled and you have a podiatrist help you get that wound healed before further complications arise.

  • When should a person with diabetes see a podiatrist?

    Diabetes is a serious problem in the United States. The statistics are staggering. According to the American Diabetes Association from 2011, 25.8 million children and adults have diabetes in the United States. This includes type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A small problem with your foot to most people can turn into a big problem for people with diabetes.

    The issue is in circulation problems for people with diabetes. Some people with diabetes have issues with compromised circulation systems. That is why it is so important to see a podiatrist who can evaluate your feet and keep them healthy and free from complications. People with diabetes should have their feet thoroughly examined by a podiatrist once a year.

  • Do you provide other services like a diabetic shoe program?

    Absolutely!  Medicare understands the importance of preventing foot problems from occurring in patients with diabetes.  With Medicare’s diabetic shoe program, Medicare covers one pair of diabetic shoes, and three pair of insoles yearly.  We participate in this program, and can help fit you with appropriate foot wear.

  • Why do I have to take special care of my feet if I have diabetes?

    It is very important that people with diabetes give their feet very special care.  A small problem in a healthy person could become a severe one to a person with diabetes.  Diabetes can affect the feet in a number of different ways.  The first is infection, which is one of the most common complications of diabetes and the foot.  Because diabetes can reduce the immune response, a patient with diabetes’ ability to fight infection is decreased.  Early treatment of infection is a critical component to success.  If neglected, infection of the foot can lead to ulceration, bone infection, and ultimately amputation.  If you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet every day.  Look for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, warmth, redness, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts, and nail problems.  Get someone to help you or use a mirror.  Diabetic foot care can be very complicated and good podiatric care is an essential component of managing diabetes.

Foot Pain

  • I didn’t have flat feet as a child why do I have them now?

    Adult acquired flat foot is a deformity where the entire bottom of the foot, including the arch, is touching the ground. There are many causes of this abnormality such as obesity, arthritis, weakening of a tendon, injury or diabetic complications. You may feel pain while doing high impact activities such as running. The ankle will appear to be rolling inwards and also swelling can be present. In severe cases this condition can make it unbearable to even stand for long periods of time.

  • Why does the top of my foot hurt in shoes?

    Many things can cause pain on the top of your foot when wearing shoes including a bone spur on the top of your foot, tendinitis (an inflamed tendon) that is being irritated by the shoe, or just an ill-fitting shoe. If you’re not having pain when walking without shoes, make sure you’re wearing appropriately fitting shoes. You might benefit from lace-up shoes instead of slip-ons, as they can be loosened and adjusted to fit your feet comfortably.

    If you feel a boney prominence where the shoe is causing discomfort, you may have a bone spur, or arthritis. You can try placing a donut pad around it, so the shoe puts pressure on the pad and not on the bump. See if that helps. Otherwise, come in and have it evaluated.

  • Why does one foot hurt more than the other?

    Great question.  One we are asked all the time.  Your feet are not perfectly symmetrical in size, shape or function.  We all know that one foot is usually ½ to a full size larger than the other.  But most people don’t realize that your feet aren’t exactly alike in function either.  One may flatten a little more than the other during weight-bearing or one might sit at a different angle to your direction of travel than the other.  Additionally, your joints may have different degrees of motion from one foot to the other, which can change the way one foot works compared to the other.   All of these factors, and more, can contribute to the fact that only one foot hurts, or that one hurts more than the other.  If both feet function abnormally, given enough time, they’ll both start to hurt.  But why wait?  If you have foot pain; one side or both, come see us asap so we can get you comfortable quickly.

  • Why do I have foot pain first thing in the morning?

    Foot pain is not normal and should not be ignored. Foot pain in the morning is usually seen in patients who are active on their feet all day long. During the day the foot’s plantar fascia ligament can become stretched out. The pain felt in your feet when you wake up is the contraction of the ligaments in your foot. These ligaments, especially the plantar fascia, need to be stretched out again in order to reduce pain. However that is not the only cause of foot pain in the morning. There could be other reasons such as a stress fracture, Achilles tendinitis, sever’s disease (inflammation of the growth center in children), nerve pain, bursitis, arthritis, or a traumatic injury.

  • Do you have an extra bone in your foot?

    There are some people that are born with an extra bone or piece of cartilage in their foot. This condition is called Navicular accessory. It is usually located just above the arch on the inside of the foot.

    If you are born with this condition, it usually doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort. You can go your whole life without any issues. However, there are some people with a Naviular accessory that can develop pain and tenderness. If this is the case, the painful condition is called Navicular Syndrome.

    Navicular Syndrome often is caused in people with flat feet and the additional bone/cartilage. The flat feet puts more strain on the arches and on the extra bone/cartilage. This causes inflammation and swelling and leads to pain.

    Navicular Syndrome is often aggravated during the teen and adult years. The three reasons this condition can become painful are:

    • trauma like a foot or ankle sprain
    • irritation from shoes rubbing up against the spot where the navicular accessory is located
    • repeat or excessive use
  • If I have heel pain, does that mean I have plantar fasciitis?

    While plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, don’t assume that if you have heel pain you have plantar fasciitis. There can be other causes for heel pain. Other causes for heel pain are stress fractures, arthritis and Achilles tendinitis, bursitis and nerve entrapments. The only way to know what is causing your heel pain is to have it examined by a podiatrist. X-rays will be taken of your foot and the source of your heel pain will be identified.

    However, plantar fasciitis is the most common cause for heel pain. The plantar fascia is the band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. The ligament runs along the bottom of your foot. The ligament can become inflamed and the resulting pain can make walking and exercising difficult to impossible. The inflammation is usually caused by an instability, or excessive flattening of your arch. It can be aggravated by:

    • Standing for long periods of time on your feet
    • Repetitive sports like running
    • Being overweight
    • Having flat feet or high arches
    • Wearing the wrong shoes

    Treatment for plantar fasciitis can include minor changes like wearing a night splint, stretching exercises, wearing custom-molded orthotics, to more aggressive treatments like a minimally invasive procedure called cryoanalgesia.

  • What is Cryoanalgesia?

    Cryoanalgesia is a minimally invasive in-office procedure that is very successful at treating heel pain caused from plantar fasciitis, as well as neuromas. It is a very effective and long lasting treatment. Cryo means freezing and analgesia means pain relief.

    Very cold temperatures are imparted to the area of tenderness, knocking out the pain. The procedure takes 6 minutes. You’re walking right away in normal shoes and can resume normal exercising in a few days.

  • What can I do to relieve foot and ankle pain? And, how do I know when to consult a podiatrist?

    First and foremost, do not ignore pain in your feet and ankles. Healthy feet don’t have persistent pain or skin that looks unusual. If your pain doesn’t subside quickly, please contact our office right away. The sooner we can see you and examine your feet, the quicker we can begin to make the corrections needed to get your feet healthy again. So often we see people who have waited a very long time and suffered needlessly, sometimes for years. Podiatrists treat foot and ankle problems for patients of all ages. We are the experts on foot and ankle care and should be the first doctor you call when you experience any foot and ankle symptoms or pain. If you have diabetes or poor circulation and you develop any abnormal symptoms you should see us immediately. You’re at much greater risk for serious complications. And, if you have diabetes, you should see us at least every six months whether or not you have symptoms or pain. Regular check-ups are a great way to keep your feet and ankles healthy.

  • How can foot pain be prevented?

    Since different stresses to your feet affect your feet differently, wearing shoes appropriate for that activity can help prevent foot and ankle injuries. For example, it wouldn’t be advisable to wear running shoes to play basketball in as running shoes are not made to control side to side forces. Obviously wearing flats, high heels or flip flops would be inappropriate when hiking on uneven terrain. Try to develop a habit of always checking your feet. If you see any areas of irritation or if you see nails that look unusual, you should see the doctor for evaluation. If you have diabetes, it is especially important to check your feet regularly. In fact, we recommend you have someone else help you check your feet because you may not be able to see or more importantly feel problems that are developing. Early detection and treatment pay avoid potentially serious complications later.

General

  • How do I know if I have good blood flow in my feet?

    Signs of poor blood flow may include lack of hair growth on your legs and toes, brittle nails, dark skin discoloration, thin, shiny skin and persistent coldness in your feet.  Other symptoms such as swelling and cramping during or after activities, as well as pain relief from hanging your legs off the bedside could also be symptoms of poor blood flow. We evaluate the blood flow to your feet through your dorsalis pedis and posterior tibial arteries during examination.  If warranted, additional non-invasive studies may be recommended.

  • What is the most common condition you see?

    By far the most common condition we see is heel and arch pain, or plantar fasciitis. Other common conditions include bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, flat feet and skin conditions, including athlete’s foot and fungal toenails.

  • What types of foot conditions require surgery?

    Many conditions can be treated very successfully with conservative treatment options. When conservative care fails to alleviate your discomfort, surgery may be beneficial in alleviating your pain. Common conditions that require surgery include bunions, hammertoes, Morton’s Neuroma, and bone spurs. Conditions that rarely require surgery are heel pain or plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis.

Heel Pain

  • Is surgery my only option for heel pain?

    NO! In fact, surgery is rarely necessary in the treatment of heel pain. Most heel pain is called plantar fasciitis; a condition where the ligament that attaches to your heel and runs across the arch to the ball of your foot becomes irritated and inflamed. The most common cause is a slight instability in the way your foot functions with every step. Your arch is probably flattening a little (or a lot!) more than it should with every step, irritating the ligament beneath the heel, or even up into your arch.

    The solution to your pain is a simple two-part process; reduce the inflammation to get you comfortable, and then address the cause of the problem – the way your foot is working. There are lots of treatments that can quickly help reduce the inflammation and pain, including musculoskeletal laser, stretching, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, cryoanalgesia, night splints and physical therapy, to just mention a few.

    Long-term relief is obtained by keeping your foot functioning in the most stable position with custom orthotics. Orthotics are similar to arch supports, except that they are custom made from molds of your feet, reflecting your feet in their most stable position. So when you wear them, your feet will maintain a stable position with a good arch, and the ligament doesn’t continue to be irritated.

  • What is a bone spur?

    A bone spur is extra bone growth is calcification of the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot or the Achilles tendon on the back of the heel. It is caused by lifelong instability in the way the foot functions. This leads to a low-grade, chronic inflammatory reaction which produces the spurs. Contrary to popular belief, heel spurs rarely are the cause of heel pain.

  • If I have heel pain, does that mean I have plantar fasciitis?

    While plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, don’t assume that if you have heel pain you have plantar fasciitis. There can be other causes for heel pain. Other causes for heel pain are stress fractures, arthritis and Achilles tendinitis, bursitis and nerve entrapments. The only way to know what is causing your heel pain is to have it examined by a podiatrist. X-rays will be taken of your foot and the source of your heel pain will be identified.

    However, plantar fasciitis is the most common cause for heel pain. The plantar fascia is the band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. The ligament runs along the bottom of your foot. The ligament can become inflamed and the resulting pain can make walking and exercising difficult to impossible. The inflammation is usually caused by an instability, or excessive flattening of your arch. It can be aggravated by:

    • Standing for long periods of time on your feet
    • Repetitive sports like running
    • Being overweight
    • Having flat feet or high arches
    • Wearing the wrong shoes

    Treatment for plantar fasciitis can include minor changes like wearing a night splint, stretching exercises, wearing custom-molded orthotics, to more aggressive treatments like a minimally invasive procedure called cryoanalgesia.

  • What is heel pain, and how can I prevent it?

    The most common type of heel pain is called planter fasciitis, or inflammation of the planter fascia. It is a ligament that runs across the bottom of your foot from your heel to the forefoot. If your foot is a little more flexible than it should be, then the planter fascia stretches excessive with every step like a rubber band. This causes irritation usually at its attachment in the heel. Inflammation develops, which is your body’s way of healing an irritated area, causing pain. Symptoms include pain when first getting out of bed in the morning that may ease after walking a bit, but worsens again with prolonged standing and walking throughout the day. Stretching exercises, anti-inflammatory medication, such as Advil or Aleve, and sometimes over the counter arch supports can be helpful. Wearing good supportive shoes can help prevent it or can in some cases help prevent planter fasciitis. However, if you cannot control your heel pain and it is interfering with your lifestyle, a conversation with a doctor would be beneficial.