Just like the big toe can develop a painful bump on the side of the toe, the little toe can too!
A tailor’s bunion, or bunionette, is an enlargement of the fifth metatarsal bone at the base of the little toe. They are not as common as bunions, but both are similar in symptoms and causes; they can be red, swollen, and painful at the site of enlargement, and can become painful when wearing shoes that rub against it. They are caused by an inherited flexible mechanical structure of the foot. The bony deformity received its name years ago when tailor sat cross-legged all day with the outside edge of their feet rubbing on the ground.
Similar to bunions, tailor’s bunions are progressive - they won’t just go away. Sometimes oral anti-inflammatories, icing, and/or a steroid injection may help. Wearing wider shoes may help to reduce rubbing and irritation. In some cases, surgery is needed if other non-surgical options are not relieving the ache.
Click here or call our office at 615-452-8899 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Mendoza today!
Melanoma is a cancer that begins in the cells of the skin that produce pigmentation. It spreads to other areas of the body as it grows beneath the surface of the skin. Melanoma that occurs in the foot or ankle often goes unnoticed during its earliest stage, when it would be more easily treated.
Most cases of melanoma are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds. Anyone can get melanoma, but some factors put a person at greater risk for developing this type of cancer, including:
Fair skin, skin that freckles, blond or red hair
Numerous moles, especially if they appeared at a young age
Melanoma can occur anywhere on the skin, even in areas of the body not exposed to the sun. Melanoma usually looks like a spot on the skin that is predominantly brown, black, or blue – although in some cases it can be red or even white. However, not all areas of discoloration on the skin are melanoma. There are four signs (known as the ABCD’s of melanoma) to look for when self inspecting moles and other spots on the body:
Asymmetry: Melanoma is usually asymmetric, which means one half is different in shape from the other half.
Border: Border irregularity often indicates melanoma. The edge is typically ragged, notched, or blurred.
Color: Melanoma is typically a mix of colors or hues, rather than a single, solid color.
Diameter: Melanoma grows in diameter, whereas moles remain small. A spot that is larger than 5 millimeters (the size of a pencil eraser) is cause for concern.
To diagnose melanoma Dr. Mendoza will ask the patient a few questions, such as: Is the spot new or old? Have you noticed any changes in size or color? If so, how rapidly has this change occurred? He will also examine the spot to determine whether a biopsy is necessary. If a biopsy is performed and it reveals melanoma, Dr. Mendoza will develop a treatment plan with you.
Everyone should practice strategies that can help prevent melanoma – or at least aid in early detection, so that early treatment can be undertaken. Be sure to apply sunscreen on the soles as well as the tops of feet. Inspect all areas of feet daily – including the soles, underneath toenails, and between the toes. If you wear nail polish, remove it occasionally so that you can inspect the skin underneath the toenails.
Remember, early detection is crucial with malignant melanoma. If you see any of the ABCD signs – or if you have discoloration beneath a toenail that is unrelated to trauma – be sure to call our office at 615-452-8899 or click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Mendoza!
A hammertoe is a contracted second, third, fourth, or fifth toe. They usually start out as mild deformities and progressively get worse over time. The abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing corns or calluses to form. Corns often form on top of the toe where it rubs against the shoe, and calluses may form on the bottom of the toe or the ball of the foot where your weight is transferred to.
Sometimes, hammertoes can be caused by some kind of trauma – like a previously broken toe – or they may be inherited. Because of the progressive nature of hammertoes, they never get better without some sort of intervention. Conservative treatment options include avoiding shoes that crowd the toes, wearing a buttress pad under the contracted toe, and trimming and padding the corns and calluses. Surgery may be needed to relieve the pain if the toe has become rigid.
Click here or call our office at 615-452-8899 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Mendoza!
Hallux rigidus is a disorder of the joint located at the base of the big toe – different than bunions and sesamoiditis. It causes pain and stiffness in the big toe, and with time it gets increasingly harder to bend the toe. Hallux rigidus is actually a form of degenerative arthritis where the cartilage within the joint slowly becomes worn out. Because hallux rigidus is a progressive condition, the toe’s motion decreases as time goes on. In its earlier stage, motion of the big toe is only somewhat limited – at this point it is called “hallux limitus”. As the problem advances, the toe’s range of motion gradually decreases until it potentially becomes stiff – called “hallux rigidus” or a “frozen joint”.
Common causes of hallux rigidus are faulty biomechanics and structural abnormalities of the foot that can lead to osteoarthritis in the big toe joint. For example, those with fallen arches or excessive pronation (rolling in) of the ankles are susceptible to developing hallux rigidus. In some people, hallux rigidus runs in the family and is a result of inheriting a foot type that is prone to developing this condition. In other cases, it is associated with overuse – especially among people engaged in activities or jobs that increase the stress on the big toe, such as workers who often have to stoop or squat. Hallux rigidus can also result from an injury – even from stubbing your toe. Or it may be caused by certain inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout. There are various conservative treatment options, and surgery is a last resort.
Click here or call Nashville Podiatry at 615-452-8899 to schedule your appointment today!
Haglund’s Deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel that often leads to painful bursitis, which is inflammation of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) between the tendon and bone. In Haglund’s deformity, the soft tissue near the Achilles tendon becomes irritated when the bony enlargement rubs against shoes. The deformity is most common in young women who wear pumps – it is often called the “pump bump” because the rigid backs of pump-style shoes can create pressure that aggravates the enlargement when walking.
To some extent, heredity can play a role in Haglund’s deformity. In a person with high arches, the heel bone is tilted backward into the Achilles tendon causing the uppermost portion of the back of the heel bone to rub against the tendon. Having a tight Achilles tendon can also be a contributing factor – pain can be caused by compression of the tender and inflamed bursa. Another possible contributor to Haglund’s deformity is a tendency to walk on the outside of the heel resulting in a grinding of the heel bone against the tendon.
Anti-inflammatories, icing, heel lifts, heel pads, and immobilization may be used to alleviate the pain – and surgery as a last resort. After evaluating the structure of your heel bone through x-rays and examination, Dr. Mendoza will develop the best treatment plan for you. Click here or call our office at 615-452-8899 to schedule your appointment today!
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