Items filtered by date: January 2020

Thursday, 30 January 2020 13:35

When is a Hammertoe not a Hammertoe?

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we find that sometimes our Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area patients are quick to diagnose well-publicized foot or ankle disorders on their own and mistakenly think they don’t need to make an appointment at our Long Beach office to get it evaluated. One of these is a hammertoe. Sometimes, however, what appears to be a hammertoe may actually be an issue with the plantar plate ligament.

Plantar Plate Ligament vs Toe Deformity

In both the case of a hammertoe and a plantar plate ligament injury, the bending of the toe at the joint in a downward fashion to resemble a hammer may be present. However, if the toe involved in the second toe, further investigation is needed. The plantar plate ligament provides netting like structure that spreads out under the second toe and helps to distribute the tension put on the foot. For most patients with a hammertoe, the pain is usually on the top of the toe where it rubs up against shoes. In the case of a plantar plate ligament issue, however, the pain if more often in the ball of the foot and can be fairly intense.


Hammertoes have both conservative and surgical treatment options available. It is a progressive condition, however, and will only get worse over time. The best long-term results for plantar plate ligament injury is surgery that is considered fairly minor with approximately a six-week recovery period.

So, the bottom line is, if you notice that one or more of your toes appear to be moving into an abnormal position or you experience any pain or discomfort in your toes or feet, it’s best to contact us and come see our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas, to get your problem professionally diagnosed. The foot doctor will be able to find the source of your discomfort and prescribe the correct treatment to keep you on your feet.

Thursday, 23 January 2020 13:33

Take Care of the Skin on Your Feet

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we recommend that our Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area patients inspect their feet regularly. One thing to look for is changes in the skin on your feet. There are several podiatric conditions that are related to the skin and, although seemingly minor, can develop into major medical issues if not treated promptly.

Here are some of the more common skin conditions we treat and what you can do to prevent them:

Sunburn—yes, even in the winter months if the temperatures are warm enough for you to wear open sandals and shoes that expose the skin on your feet, sunburn can occur. UV rays can quickly damage skin and lead to skin cancer. Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 if your feet will be in the sun. Carefully check the skin on your feet, including the spaces between your toes, for moles or freckles and contact our Long Beach office (562-420-9800) immediately if you notice changes.

Fungal Infection—athlete’s foot and other skin infections can cause skin to be red, dry and flaky and be accompanied by insanely irritating itching. Left untreated, a bacterial infection may also develop, and the initial infection can spread to toenails and other parts of the body. Your best protection from fungal infections is to keep feet from coming in contact with them by wearing shoes whenever you are in a public place. Don’t share shoes, emery boards, towels, or other items that touch someone else’s feet. If you get professional pedicures, be sure the salon you use follows proper sanitizing methods for footbaths and tools.

Blisters—these small, fluid-filled sacs that form as the result of friction between foot and footwear can have a big effect on your ability to walk because of the pain they can cause. The best way to prevent blisters is to ensure that your shoes fit properly and have no rough spots inside that rub on your feet. Friction can also occur if your feet are sweaty. Keep feet dry by applying a foot powder before putting on your shoes.

If you notice any unusual changes in the skin on your feet, let our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas, examine them and determine if there is a condition developing that requires treatment.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 13:31

Avoid Common Exercise Injuries

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we see it happen every year: our Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area patients resolve to get in shape in the New Year and soon after are in our Long Beach office with a foot or ankle injury. Many of these injuries could have been prevented by taking the appropriate precautions.

Here are three common injuries related to exercise and how you can avoid those injuries:

  1. Achilles Tendonitis—the strongest and thickest tendon in your body runs down the back of your lower leg connecting your calf muscle to your heel bone. If you experience pain, swelling, or general discomfort or sluggishness in this part of your leg, you may have Achilles tendonitis. This is an inflammation of the tendon that can be caused by a sudden increase in activity after being sedentary for a period of time. Stretching, wearing appropriate footwear and gradually increasing activities such as running or stair-stepping will help minimize your risk for this disorder.
  2. Shin Splints—this condition’s signature symptom is pain on either side of the muscles or tendons surrounding the front of your lower leg bone. Shin splints can be caused by overuse or a stress fracture, or imbalance between opposite leg muscle groups. Because of the number of possible sources, it’s best to get shin splints evaluated by our podiatrists, Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas. Corrective shoes or custom orthotics may be necessary to eliminate the problem.
  3. Plantar Fasciitis—the plantar fascia is a band of tissue that is on the bottom of your foot. Significantly increasing the amount of walking or running you do can aggravate this tendon and can cause pain in the arch or heel of your foot. If the foot doctor diagnoses plantar fasciitis, you may need shoes with better arch support or more cushioning in the heel. In some cases, orthotics may be prescribed to make exercise more comfortable.

The bottom line is that getting in shape should not cause foot or ankle discomfort. If you find you have painful podiatric symptoms after starting a new exercise routine, don’t wait. Contact us by calling (562) 420-9800 for an appointment and get to the source of the pain before it becomes a debilitating injury.

Wednesday, 08 January 2020 13:28

Don’t Try to Hide Foot Odor Problem

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, one issue we notice, our Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area patients are often hesitant to bring up is foot odor. Smelly feet can be embarrassing, but it’s important that you discuss it with podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas because sometimes it can be a sign of a fungal infection or another medical problem that needs to be addressed.

What Stinks?

The cause of the odor is usually a bacteria and/or fungus that is in your shoe and combines with the sweat on your skin to produce the foul odor. In some cases, a medical condition known as hyperhidrosis can be the source of year-round perspiration and stinky feet. If this is the cause of your smelly feet, the podiatrist can discuss treatment options with you. In most cases, however, some simple precautions can help you avoid the fungal infections that cause smelly feet.

  • Wash your feet with soap every day and take the time to dry them completely. Be particularly diligent about drying the spaces between your toes as this is often the starting place for athlete’s foot.
  • Don’t allow feet to stay in damp socks. Keep extra socks in your bag or desk and change multiple times a day if necessary. Moist, dark places are the ideal breeding ground for fungal infections.
  • Never share shoes, socks, nail clippers, towels, or other items that touch another person’s feet.
  • Avoid socks and stockings that are constrictive and trap moisture against your skin. Choose shoes made from breathable materials and have space to allow air to circulate around your feet.
  • Alternate your shoes—don’t wear the same pair multiple days in a row.
  • Keep feet covered by wearing flip-flops or shower shoes at the gym, community pool, nail salon or any other public place.
  • If you notice red, itchy skin that’s scaly and/or blistering or toenails that are becoming thick and discolored, make an appointment at our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800.

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