Podiatrist Blog

Posts for category: toe conditions

By Joseph Stuto, DPM
September 05, 2018
Category: toe conditions

The best way to treat any foot and ankle condition is to get early treatment. This measure not only averts major complications but also presents more treatment options. This certainly holds true for a medical condition called hammertoes. A hammertoe is a toe deformity generally caused due to a muscle imbalance where the middle toe gets curled and takes the shape of a hammer.

Hammertoes can be quite irritating and painful. It’s a progressive disorder, which only gets worse if it is left untreated. The best resource for hammertoes is your podiatrist.

Here are some of the early hammertoe treatments that a podiatrist may suggest:

  • One of the most important and common practices to avert hammertoes is simply wearing the correct footwear. Before you put on a pair of shoes, have your feet measured by a professional. Having a shoe that fits you properly helps to avoid overlapping of the toes.
  • Use padding in your footwear to avoid unnecessary friction and pressure on your toes due to body weight.
  • Custom orthotic foot inserts may also help support and reduce the stress levels of your toes.
  • Use splints or straps to straighten out hammertoes, but only after consulting your podiatrist.
  • Exercise is key in avoiding this toe deformity. Toe exercises like stretching, toe squeeze, toe crunch and toe tap should be a part of your daily routine. This not only strengthens the muscles, but it also helps in the repositioning of the curled toe.

If you are dealing with hammertoes or any other foot and ankle condition, then it is time to call Joseph Stuto, DPM of Brooklyn, New York. There Dr. Joseph A. Stuto and Dr. Joseph C. Stuto can help you fix your toe deformity, as well as all your foot and ankle problems. Contact us at (718) 624-7537 and schedule an appointment today.

By Joseph Stuto, DPM
March 29, 2018
Category: toe conditions
Tags: diabetes   foot fractures   injury   toe   pain  

It is very easy to forget about our feet. We use them on a constant basis to get from one place to another, but we do not really think about their care or health. Usually, the topic of our feet comes up when it is sandal season or if a problem occurs with them. That is when we really take charge of their health and try to remedy any problem that has occurred. Another time we tend to pay attention to our feet is during a minor injury, for example, a stubbed toe. Stubbing our toe is extremely painful and it reminds us that we do indeed have extremities that are getting us from place to place. Due to some misfortune, we overstep or misstep and BAM! Our toe is stubbed and we are in excruciating pain. Most of us try to walk it off without knowing what exactly happened to the integrity and stability of the toe at the time.

Pain Starts in the Brain

Everyone feels pain differently. What is painful to one person can cause absolutely no pain to another person. Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, pain is in the core of the brain. Everyone has their own brain that responds differently to messages it receives. These messages are transferred to the brain by our nervous system. Your toes have nerves at the tips that help the body respond to different sensations. Hot, cold, pain, pleasure and other sensations are all picked up at the nerve. The nerve then has the job to take this sensation and translate it to the brain. The brain then triggers the portion of itself that has feeling and you get the pain of a stubbed toe.

The brain doesn’t do this to inconvenience you - it is there to serve a purpose. This purpose is to warn the body about imminent danger or threat and try to get it to stop partaking in the activity or action that causes the pain. This helps the body avoid severe foot and ankle injuries such as breaks and fractures of the bones.

Sometimes this pain can be dulled due to other foot and ankle conditions. Patients who suffer from diabetes and have nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) tend to lack the sensation of pain. These patients are at a higher risk for severe foot and ankle problems due to this lack of sensation. Patients who suffer from a lack of sensation in the feet should consult with a podiatrist regularly to examine their feet and be sure they are healthy. If you don’t have a podiatrist yet, call Joseph Stuto, DPM of Brooklyn, New York. There Dr. Joseph A. Stuto and Joseph C. Stuto can take images of your toe to see whether or not it has been dealt significant damage from its injury. Call 718-624-7537and make an appointment today.

By Joseph Stuto, DPM
December 19, 2017
Category: toe conditions

Going to the salon and getting your nails done is a great way to relax and unwind. You can go alone or even with a group of friends. Manicures and pedicures can also be wonderful ways to get rid of calluses  and dead skin and to refresh your hands and feet. Although pedicures are a great pastime, they can sometimes cause your feet health problems.

Repetitive painting of your nails can lead to discoloration. This is a common cause of yellow finger and toe nails. Although it is not a serious condition, it can be bothersome and unwelcoming. Yellow nails are not always solely from nail polish. They can also be due to a fungal infection, age and other diseases. It is important to check with a podiatrist to be sure that nail polish is really the cause of your yellow nails.

Why does nail polish cause yellow nails?

Many brands of nail polish contain iron oxide which over time can absorb into the nail resulting in yellow toenails. This is particularly common when using red, orange or darker shades of nail polish. Applying a clear basecoat before applying polish can help reduce the likelihood of yellowing nails from nail polish. Frequent use of nail polish can also trap moisture under the nail bed which may lead to infection and therefore nail discoloration. Fungus can also grow on nails if a pedicurist does not properly sanitize their equipment between uses.

How do I treat it?

The easiest way to treat discoloration caused by nail polish is to leave the nails bare and unpainted for a while. This will allow the nails to recover and go back to their original color. If you do want to repaint them, always apply a base coat and avoid reds and oranges, opting instead for lighter colors.

Yellow nails can stress anyone out. If you have yellow nails, you should seek the help of a podiatrist immediately to rule out the possibility of fungus and other dangerous conditions. Call Joseph C. Stuto, DPM and Joseph A. Stuto, DPM of Stuto Foot & Ankle Group, located in Brooklyn, New York. Making an appointment is easy - call 718-624-7537 or make an appointment online today. Your toenails do not have to stay yellow, there are many options available to help you get them back on track.

By Joseph Stuto, DPM
July 05, 2017
Category: toe conditions

Podiatrists treat all types of foot and ankle ailments. They can range from sprains, fractures, and breaks to calluses, vascular disorders, and other diseases. There is not much they haven’t seen when it comes to the feet and ankles. As such, they very commonly treat problems with the toe. Toenails specifically are treated on a regular basis. Your toenails are made out of protein, calcium and other substances. They are very thin (only about 1mm or less) and grow constantly. They are very hard due to their sulfur content and the lack of water they have in their composition. Although toenails are tough, they are subject to a lot of different disorders.

Thickening and Discoloration

Are your nails so thick that you can barely clip them? Are they yellowing or becoming less translucent? This may be a sign of nail disease and should be treated by a podiatrist, such as Dr. Joseph Stuto of Joseph Stuto, DPM in Brooklyn, New York. He can examine the nailbed and determine whether the thickening and discoloration is due to disease, age, or fungus.

Fungus

When you have a green colored nail, you have fungus. Fungus is an infection of the nail. It can cause a nail to thicken and discolor or become brittle and break down. Fungus is hard to treat but is not incurable. Podiatrist’s often use antifungal medications to kill the fungus and prevent it from returning to the nail.

Ingrown Toenail

Another common toenail problem is an ingrown toenail. This is when the nail grows, curves and cuts into or embeds itself into the skin. It can cause an infection that will further harm the toe and that can spread to the foot. Podiatrists can cut the offending nail with special clippers. Sometimes, if the nail is very embedded into the foot, a foot surgery must be performed to remove the nail and prevent infection.

Whether you have a fungus, an ingrown toenail, or your nails just don’t look how they ought to, it is important that you get them checked out by a podiatrist. Call 718-624-7537 or make an appointment online today. Dr. Stuto will examine, diagnose and treat your toenail so you can have one less problem on your plate.

By Joseph Stuto, DPM
April 27, 2017
Category: toe conditions
Tags: arthritis   Gout   uric acid  

Well, Easter weekend has come and gone.  Some of you have visited family, over indulging on the goodies the bunny delivered, while others may have stayed home.  Hopefully nobody’s diet change was enough to set off the painful big toe sensation referred to as Gout.   

Gout is actually very common, and is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness in joints, typically the joint at the base of the big toe. It can really put you out of commission!  Gout is a complex form of arthritis, which can affect anyone, but men are more likely to get it.  However, women do become more susceptible to it after they go through menopause.

An attack of gout can really come out of the blue.  It can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire!!  OUCH!  The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of a sheet may seem intolerable.  Not a fun way to be pulled out of happy dream land…

Luckily, gout is treatable, though.  There are also some ways to reduce the risk of gout recurring.  According to the Mayo Clinic, gout occurs when urate crystals accumulate in your joint, which happens when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood.  Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines- substances that are found naturally in your body, as well as in certain foods, such as steak, organ meats and seafood.  Other foods also promote higher levels of uric acid, such as alcoholic beverages, especially beer, and drinks sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose).

Some ways to avoid gout in the future is to reduce your consumption of these things afore-mentioned.  You should also try to maintain a healthy weight.  If you are overweight, your body produces more uric acid and your kidneys have a more difficult time eliminating it- which greatly increases your risk of gout.  Certain diseases and conditions also make it more likely that you’ll develop gout. 

They are: 

  • high blood pressure untreated
  • diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome
  • heart disease
  • kidney disease

If you experience sudden, intense pain in a joint, call your doctor!  Gout that goes untreated can lead to worsening pain and joint damage.  You should get to the doctor immediately if you have a fever and a joint is hot and inflamed, which can be a sign of infection.  Call Dr. Joseph Stuto if you’re experiencing this, or any other foot or ankle issue that needs attention.  Dr. Stuto has two convenient Brooklyn locations available for you to visit.