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Martin Foot & Ankle

Get Answers to Your Questions About Foot and Ankle Care in Pennsylvania

When you have foot and ankle pain, you want answers to your concerns fast. Browse through our collection of answers to frequently asked questions. Our hope is that you will find the information you need to get relief for your foot and ankle pain in Pennsylvania.

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  • Why does the ball of my foot hurt?

    Foot examBall of foot pain is sometimes referred to as “metatarsalgia” because it exists near the metatarsal bones of the foot. There are multiple reasons why one might have metatarsalgia, many of which deal with the ways weight and force are being applied to the foot. An abnormality in the shape of the foot, such as hammertoes, flat feet, or an overly long metatarsal bone, can place excess stress on the region. A breakdown of the fatty tissues that cushions the ball of the foot might also be contributing to the problem.

    If pain comes with the feeling of walking on something such as a pebble, it is more likely that a neuroma is to blame. This is a thickening of nerve tissue between the toes, often due to tight shoes or, once again, abnormalities in foot shape.

    Pain in the ball of the foot is not something to ignore. The doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle can get to the source and provide expert treatment to avoid potentially worse problems down the line. Contact our offices in Hanover, Lancaster, Lititz, and York by calling (717) 757-3537.

  • How long does Achilles tendinitis take to heal?

    Achilles tendonRecovery times for Achilles tendinitis vary depending upon the severity of the injury. It is possible for this recovery time to take up to several months. If a cast is needed to immobilize the injury, the cast may be needed for up to 10 weeks, and that doesn’t include further recovery once the cast is off.

    What needing full recovery time does not mean, however, is having to forgo activity entirely during this period. Certain low-impact activities can still give your body a workout without aggravating your Achilles tendon, such as swimming or cycling. What is crucial is that a return to full activity is not started until we have recommended doing so, since pushing the tendon too hard after injury can cause even worse or chronic problems down the line.

    At Martin Foot and Ankle, our foot doctors know all about sports injuries and proper rehabilitation. Contact our offices in York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA to set up an appointment with a podiatrist by calling (717) 757-3537.

  • What causes Achilles tendinitis?

    Achilles tendinitisThe Achilles tendon can become inflamed when the tissues are irritated and overworked. Causes of Achilles tendinitis include:

    • Aging – the tissues in our bodies begin to deteriorate and weaken with age, making them more prone to injury

    • Repetitive strain – activities that put them under a lot of strain, like running long distances, doing an intense workout with lots of jumps, or walking long hours at work

    • Unaccustomed activity –not used to doing much, and then playing a wild game of flag football or other intense activity on the weekend

    • Worn-out shoes –footwear no longer supports your feet properly, stressing your Achilles.

    • Arch type – particularly, a flat arch that leads to overpronation increases your risk, as do tight calf muscles.

    • Bone spur – an abnormal growth of bone at the back of the heel that irritates the Achilles

    If you have any of these risk factors and notice pain behind your ankle, come in to Martin Foot and Ankle sooner rather than later to have us check it out. Call (717) 757-3537 to set up an appointment with one of our foot doctors at our York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA office today.

  • How can I avoid blisters on my feet?

    Avoiding blistersTo avoid blisters on your feet, you need to eliminate problem friction areas that may occur. The top priority is almost always to ensure that your shoes fit properly and are made for the activities you’re engaged in. They should also hold up to the conditions you might face, especially moisture. Feet that have to spend the day in wet shoes are more likely to develop blisters.

    When it comes to socks, ones with moisture-wicking properties are ideal for blister prevention. Some people find wearing two pairs of socks can help avoid problems during activities such as long-distance running, but you might need to try different things off and on to find the most comfortable setup for you. You might also try special friction-reducing patches or simple paper tape to provide a barrier in high-friction areas. If you still receive blisters and want to ward off infection, then it’s worth a call to the doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle. Reach our offices in York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA by calling (717) 757-3537.

  • Is it OK to pop a blister?

    BlistersSince a blister is a natural means of protection for the underlying skin as it heals, it is best not to pop one if it isn’t causing any problems. If, however, the blister is large, painful, or on a spot of the foot where it’s likely to get irritated or tear on its own, it may be better to carefully lance the blister yourself. For example, a blister on the side of the foot should not be bothered if it’s not rubbing against your footwear. One on the bottom of the foot, however, will likely become irritated through walking and should more likely be dealt with.

    To safely pop a blister, first wash your hands and the area thoroughly. Then use a sterilized needle or razor blade to make a small hole and gently squeeze the fluid out. Do not remove the protective skin, but apply an antibiotic ointment or cream. NEVER try to drain a blister if you have diabetes, a weakened immune system, or suspect infection. Let the doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle handle these cases instead. Call us at (717) 757-3537 to speak with our offices in York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA.

  • Can kids get bunions?

    KidsAlthough occurring much less frequently than in adults, bunions in children can be more common than you might think. While high heels and other tight shoes often get a share of blame for causing the deformity, it is often abnormal foot characteristics inherited down the family line that are the main underlying culprits. Ill-fitting shoes just tend to increase the risk of pain and swelling in the affected joints. Girls ages 10-17 are most likely to suffer from these painful bumps than any other young demographic, but boys are not immune from it, either. Having flat feet also increases the likelihood of the deformity developing.

    If your child is dealing with a painful, shifting joint, it’s always best to have it addressed sooner rather than later. The doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle can provide a thorough exam and discuss with you the best options for managing the condition—whether conservative or surgical. Our offices in York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA are open for you. Call us at (717) 757-3537 to schedule an appointment.

  • How fast can I recover from bunion surgery?

    Bunion recoveryRecovery times for bunion surgery can vary depending on which of the many different types of procedures is performed. In general, any sutures resulting from a surgery tend to be removed about 2 weeks following the surgery. Further care is often needed for 6-12 weeks afterward, usually taking the form of changing dressings or using a brace to hold and protect the foot. If there are pins in the foot, they usually come out in 3-4 weeks, but might remain for up to half a year.

    Some surgical procedures demand that no weight be placed on the foot for up to 8 weeks. Partial weight is then placed on the foot for a period, using a special shoe or boot to keep the foot from moving too much.

    For further advice on bunion surgery and other options for bunion management, call the doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle. Reach our offices in York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA by calling (717) 757-3537.

  • Can anything besides football cause turf toe?

    Sports and turf toeAlthough the commonly used term for a big toe sprain is “turf toe,” that does not mean the injury is only limited to football or even turf-based activities. The most frequent cause of this injury is having the foot planted and fixed on the ground while the big toe is forced into a hyperextended (or in other words, very bent) position.

    The composition of artificial turf and the type of athletic shoes commonly worn on it make the risk of a sprain on that surface relatively higher, but this injury can also be experienced in runners, dancers, and participants in many other activities and sports that involve quick planting and moving of the feet.

    Whether you have hurt your toe on turf or some other way, the doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle will help you find relief and the safest route to a quick recovery. We can also help you rehabilitate an injured foot or ankle back to proper playing strength. Our offices in York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA are open for you. Call us at (717) 757-3537 to schedule an appointment.

  • Is it possible to sprain your toe?

    Toe sprainsIt is possible to sprain just about every movable joint in the body, and that includes those in the toes. A toe sprain can occur after jamming the toe against an object, landing awkwardly after a jump or fall, or the toe being bent back by force.

    Sprains are commonly seen around the big toe joint and can go by the term “turf toe.” This is because it can frequently be seen in athletes who play football, soccer, and other sports that take place on artificial turf. Many times, the foot is planted against the turf, where it can remain flat before pushing off or falling forward. In either case, the force can be enough to injure the ligaments around the joint. Although “turf toe” has become the common name, it is not uncommon for a big toe sprain to occur in other activities such as running, dancing, and climbing as well.

    A sprain of the toe can often be treated effectively at home, but it’s still important to have your injury checked out by an expert to ensure there isn’t excessive damage. Contact the doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle Institute in York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA by calling (717) 757-3537.

  • Can I run with shin splints?

    Shin splintsAlthough there might possibly be some cases where a restricted running regimen is all right, we highly recommend for you to stop running when suffering from shin splints. The muscles, tendons and bone tissue that has been stressed and injured through overwork needs time to recover, and continuing the activities that likely led to this stress has a real danger of making things progressively worse.

    Running should only be resumed upon the advice of an expert. In the meantime, there are other exercises that can keep one busy and fit while taking stress off healing areas. Swimming, biking and other low-impact exercises are recommended. If you need help knowing when to get back on track and how to best keep your performance up in the meantime, give the experts at Martin Foot and Ankle a call. Reach our offices in York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA by calling (717) 757-3537.