Items filtered by date: February 2024
Polydactyly and syndactyly are different congenital foot conditions that affect the development of the toes. Polydactyly occurs when there are extra toes on the foot. This condition can vary in severity. Some people having a small extra toe that may not cause significant issues. Others may have a fully formed extra toe that requires surgical removal for functional and cosmetic reasons. Conversely, syndactyly occurs when two or more toes are fused together. This condition ranges from partial fusion, where only the skin connects the toes, to complete fusion, where the bones are fused together. Syndactyly can affect adjacent toes or more distant toes. Polydactyly and syndactyly are generally treated surgically to restore normal toe alignment and function. If you or your child has a congenital foot condition, it is suggested you consult with a podiatrist for proper evaluation and tailored management options.
Congenital foot problems require immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Ocotillo Foot and Ankle Centers. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Congenital foot problems are deformities affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankles that children are born with. Some of these conditions have a genetic cause while others just happen. Some specific foot ailments that children may be born with include clubfeet, polydactyly/macrodactyly, and cleft foot. There are several other foot anomalies that can occur congenitally. What all of these conditions have in common is that a child may experience difficulty walking or performing everyday activities, as well as trouble finding footwear that fits their foot deformity. Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Consulting with a podiatrist as early as possible will help in properly diagnosing a child’s foot condition while getting the necessary treatment underway.
What are Causes of Congenital Foot Problem?
A congenital foot problem is one that happens to a child at birth. These conditions can be caused by a genetic predisposition, developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation, or with no known cause.
What are Symptoms of Congenital Foot Problems?
Symptoms vary by the congenital condition. Symptoms may consist of the following:
- Clubfoot, where tendons are shortened, bones are shaped differently, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point in and down. It is also possible for the soles of the feet to face each other.
- Polydactyly, which usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.
- Vertical talus, where the talus bone forms in the wrong position causing other bones in the foot to line up improperly, the front of the foot to point up, and the bottom of the foot to stiffen, with no arch, and to curve out.
- Tarsal coalition, when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot.
- Cleft foot, where there are missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences.
- Macrodactyly, when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue.
Treatment and Prevention
While there is nothing one can do to prevent congenital foot problems, raising awareness and receiving neonatal screenings are important. Early detection by taking your child to a podiatrist leads to the best outcome possible.
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Balance is a fundamental aspect of daily life, affecting activities like walking, standing, and even tying your shoes. Recent research highlights its role in overall health, with studies revealing a correlation between poor balance and increased mortality risk. Incorporating balance exercises into your routine can lower this risk and improve stability. Here are a few exercises that aim to improve balance and reduce the likelihood of falling. It’s a good idea to have a chair or wall nearby to hold on to while performing them. The first is single-leg standing, where you elevate one leg while maintaining posture and gradually increase duration. Next is heel-to-toe walking, simulating a tightrope walk to enhance balance and coordination. Finally, integrating yoga practice can help to improve body awareness and proprioception, which is needed for equilibrium. Whether you're an athlete aiming for peak performance or an older adult with balance problems, these exercises can help reduce the risk of falls and promote overall well-being. For help with foot and ankle problems related to mobility or stability, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist for a full exam.
Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Ocotillo Foot and Ankle Centers. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.
Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.
How to Prevent Falls
Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:
- Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
- Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
- Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
- Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
- Utilizing a walker or cane
- Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
- Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness
Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.
There is a growing concern regarding the prevalence of being overweight or obese among individuals aged 60 and older. Excess weight not only elevates the risk of chronic diseases but also poses a significant threat to physical performance in older adults, potentially leading to dependency. Being overweight or obese in later life is closely linked to adverse outcomes, including a higher risk of falls and an increased likelihood of developing walking limitations compared to those maintaining a normal weight. These challenges are compounded by factors such as low muscle strength, reduced cardiorespiratory capacity, and the elevated energy cost of walking. If you are older and overweight and it is impacting your mobility, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to discuss strategies that might help with improved functioning.
The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Ocotillo Foot and Ankle Centers. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Obesity and Your Feet
People who are overweight are putting more pressure on their ankles, knees, and hips as well as their feet. This unfortunately can lead to variety of different issues.
Problems & Complications Stemming from Obesity
- When the body is overweight, it tries to compensate by changing the way that it moves. An obese person may lean forward and put extra weight on the wrong part of the foot. This puts unnecessary stress on the feet.
- Obese people are also more likely to develop type II diabetes which is a condition that causes a lot of foot problems. People with diabetes often don’t feel the cuts and sores that they may have on their feet, which can lead to more complicated and severe issues.
- Plantar fasciitis is another foot condition that can be caused by obesity. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot, which causes pain and stiffness while walking and climbing stairs.