Dr. Wendy Siegel is a full service, board certified foot surgeon who also treats sports injuries, warts, toenails, corns and calluses, bunions, hammertoes, neuromas and anything else that affects the foot. Gold Coast Podiatry offers the full scope of podiatric services.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It is caused by the irritation and inflammation of the large band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia). Some symptoms include stabbing pain that usually occurs in the mornings. As you walk around on the foot the pain normally decreases, but it can return after standing for long periods of time.
Runners, those who are overweight, and those who wear shoes with minimal support are some people that are at a higher risk of plantar fasciitis. In addition, age and exercise on unforgiving surfaces like pavement are common causes of plantar fasciitis.
Laser Treatment of Toenail Fungus
If you routinely find your toenails yellowed and deformed, fungus may be to blame. Fungus thrives in dark, moist, and warm areas, much like your shoes, shower, locker room, etc. You may notice yellow and/or white spots on the nail, along with a thickness that develops over time. If one nail is infected and left untreated, it can easily spread to other nails.
Treatments include a laser treatment of the nail(s), oral medications, and topical medications.
Fungal nail infections require a process of treatments along with a continual effort to prevent it from recurring. Keeping the infection under control can include thoroughly washing and drying feet, applying anti-fungal medication, not sharing nail clippers or shoes/socks, wearing dry cotton socks and changing them often, wearing dry shoes, and using shower sandals in wet, public places.
A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. They can develop from an inherited structural defect, excess stress on your foot, injury, or an existing medical condition.
Not all bunions are painful, but if you are experiencing one or more of the following, a podiatrist can help alleviate your symptoms:
- Persistent big toe or foot pain
- A red, enlarged bump on the side of your big toe joint
- Decreased movement of your big toe or foot
- Difficulty finding shoes that fit properly
Corns are small calluses that usually occur on the top of the toes or between toes in areas that rub in the shoe. Corns are often caused by ill-fitting shoes they can also be caused by foot deformities such as hammertoes. They can grow into unsightly, hardened patches that become painful or inflamed.
Calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop when your skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure. They usually occur on the balls of the foot, the heels and along the side of the big toe but they can occur anywhere there is excessive pressure. Calluses can become a serious foot health risk in patients with diabetes and other conditions that cause poor blood flow to your feet.
Hammertoe is a deformity where one or both joints of the toes begin to bend outside of their normal alignment. Pressure can begin to increase on the toes as you wear shoes causing pain and other symptoms.
Hammertoes typically begin with small deformities and continue to worsen with time. It is important to know the signs of hammertoes to get them evaluated early. If left untreated, hammertoes can become more rigid and difficult to manipulate, sometimes requiring surgery.
Common symptoms of hammertoes include:
- Pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes.
- Corns and calluses (a buildup of skin) on the toe, between two toes or on the ball of the foot. Corns are caused by constant friction against the shoe. They may be soft or hard, depending on their location.
- Inflammation, redness or a burning sensation
- Bending of the toe
- In more severe cases of hammertoe, open sores may form.
Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetes is a chronic disease causing high blood glucose (sugar) levels. Diabetes also weakens your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off infections, which can, in turn, damage your nervous system. This damage can affect the ability to feel sensations in your feet. If you are a diabetic it is very important to see a podiatrist regularly. Studies have shown that diabetics who regularly see their podiatrist suffer far fewer foot complications.
"Plantar" means "of the sole" in latin. Plantar warts are warts that occur on the bottom of the foot. Unlike other warts, plantar warts are typically quite painful since the pressure from walking and standing forces them to grow deep into your skin. Like all warts, they are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Underneath the skin the wart can have finger-like roots that reach down and grow, making them very difficult to treat from the surface. If left untreated they can multiply and spread. If you think you have a wart, it is advised you see a podiatrist to have the warts examined and treated. Some symptoms include small, rough lesions on the base of the foot, calluses in one spot, and tenderness when walking or standing for long periods of time.
Heel pain is one of the most common foot complaints from patients. While heel spurs may or may not show up on an x-ray, the spurs themselves are a result of the actual problem: plantar fasciitis. At Gold Coast Podiatry we offer a multitude of treatment options including custom molded foot orthotics which are a mainstay of treating plantar fasciitis. If your foot hurts when you first get out of bed or first stand after sitting, come see Dr. Siegel for a complete foot evaluation.
Ankle sprains occur when the ankle is twisted or forced in a way that stretches or tears one or more ligaments. The severity of the injury depends on if the ligaments are stretched, partially torn, or fully torn. Symptoms of an ankle sprain include pain, bruising, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty walking.
A common condition of the foot structure, flat feet, is caused by an undeveloped arch of the foot. While infants and toddlers lack arches in their feet, the structure continues to develop through adolescence and is fully formed by adulthood.
Athlete’s foot is a contagious fungal infection that mostly affects the feet, with the potential to spread to toenails and hands. The fungus thrives in warm, humid, and dark environments, which makes athletes more prone to the infection. Communal showers, swimming pools, and locker rooms are hotbeds for the bacteria.
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, joining the lower portion of the calf to the heel bone. Although it is able to withstand forces of around 1,000 pounds, it is the most frequently ruptured tendon in the body. Typically, injury of the Achilles tendon is caused by athletic activities.
Neuromas are enlarged, benign growth of nerves, typically found between the third and fourth toe. Enlargement is caused by tissue rubbing against the nerves, oftentimes caused by poorly fitting shoes or abnormal bone structure.
Geriatric Foot Care
Health problems such as diabetes, arthritis, and circulatory issues may cause problems that present themselves in the feet. It is very important to monitor your foot health and seek medical attention whenever you notice a problem. Below are some daily tips and tricks to keep your feet healthy.
As a result of damaged peripheral nerves, peripheral neuropathy can occur causing symptoms like weakness, numbness, burning, and tingling in the hands and feet as well as other parts of the body. Traumatic injuries, diabetes, and even some exposure to toxins can cause peripheral nerve damage.
Gold Coast Podiatry uses the highest quality materials for custom orthotics. Our custom orthotics are made of a very lightweight polymer, much more advanced than "plastic" which is only used in the cheapest orthotics. The material is both flexible and rigid at the same time and has a guarantee never to crack. We also use the latest 3D modeling technology to get a highly accurate measurement of the foot deformity.
If you’re experiencing pain in your feet, knees, legs, and/or back as a result of wearing shoes with little to no support, custom foot orthotics may be right for you!
Custom foot orthotics are designed to align the foot and ankle into the most anatomically efficient position. They look similar to insoles, but are biomedical appliances that are custom made to correct your specific foot imbalance. Our advanced custom orthotics helps to re-align the foot while you walk. We understand that everyone is different, which is why custom foot orthotics are made just for you.
Surgical Corrections of Foot Disorders
In most cases, invasive methods are not necessary to correct many foot disorders. Though in more extreme conditions, surgery may be required. The need for surgery will depend on the severity of the condition, the amount of pain the patient is experiencing, and the patient’s past response to various treatments.