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Family Foot & Ankle

You Asked, We Answered! Find Information to Top Podiatry Questions

When your pain leaves you immobile and dependent on others, it’s normal that you have questions and lots of them! Check out our FAQ to get answers to some of the top questions people have about foot and ankle pain in Ohio.

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  • Why Does My Ankle Hurt?

    Painful ankleThere are many reasons you could be experiencing ankle pain. Most obviously, you could have a sprain (stretched or torn ligaments), strain (pulled muscle), or fracture (broken bone) as a result of a sudden injury or repetitive stress. Tendonitis, which occurs when tendons become torn, swollen, or inflamed, is another common source of pain, especially among athletes who play sports with repetitive actions. Of course, any joint can be affected by arthritis, too—rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or gout. There could also be nerve damage or compression, such as tarsal tunnel syndrome.

    At Family Foot and Ankle Center, we’ll help you get to the bottom of stubborn ankle pain so you can get back on your feet. If you suffer an ankle injury, follow the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and pay us a visit. Our experienced doctors will make a diagnosis and get you started on the right treatment plan for your condition and desired lifestyle. We have six offices in the Greater Cincinnati area. Dial (513) 728-4800 or (859) 282-1572 to set an appointment at the one most convenient for you.

  • Why Does my Toenail Hurt After Running?

    If your toenails are in pain—even throbbing—after you go running, it’s a pretty good indication that your shoes are too small. Remember, feet swell when you take a jog, so if your shoes are a tight fit when you first put them on, they’ll be way too small by the time you get a mile or two under your belt. Getting these shoes properly fitted by an expert at a specialty store—we love Bob Roncker’s Running Spot, which has four locations in Greater Cincinnati—is one of the best decisions any beginning (or experienced) runner can make.

    In terms of regular nail care, make sure your nails are neatly trimmed to about an even length with your toe tips, and avoid nail polish (even clear), which prevents toenails from “breathing” and can cause extra pain when combined with trauma from pounding the pavement.

    Don’t let a painful toenail throw you off the trail. Call Family Foot and Ankle Center, Inc. at (513) 728-4800 in Ohio or (859) 282-1572 in Kentucky to set up an appointment today.

  • Is Surgery Required for Ankle Pain?

    Surgery is usually not required to resolve ankle pain, but it will depend on the type and severity of the condition or injury causing the discomfort. Common ankle problems include everything from arthritis and gout to tendonitis and tarsal tunnel syndrome to sprains and fractures. A correct diagnosis must be established before surgery can be put on, or taken off, the table.

    The good news is that most of these conditions often respond well to conservative treatments. Even broken ankles may not require surgery if the joint is stable and the bone is not too far out of place. However, the ultimate determination of whether or not ankle surgery is recommended or required will depend on your doctor’s evaluation and your own needs.

    If you’re dealing with stubborn pain in your ankles that won’t subside, give us a call at Family Foot and Ankle Center, Inc. Our experts are highly trained in a wide variety of conditions and injuries. We’ll find out what’s wrong and get you on the road to recovery. Call us at (513) 728-4800 or (859) 282-1572 to schedule an appointment at one of our six Greater Cincinnati offices.

  • Can I Treat an Ingrown Toenail at Home?

    Whether or not you can treat ingrown toenails at home depends on the severity of the condition. If the pain is severe and you’ve noticed complications like pus or infection, you probably need us to step in and treat your toe; if you have diabetes, you definitely should seek our help. However, in many cases home remedies are all you need—or at the very least, they can help you reduce symptoms.

    For the discomfort, we may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers and antibiotic creams to relieve your toenail pain and stave off infection. You can also use cotton bits or a piece of waxed dental floss the gently raise the nail after a shower or foot soak, encouraging the nail to grow above the skin rather than into it. Also, switch to roomier shoes (or those with open ends) that don’t place pressure on the toes.

    If you want more advice or need to schedule an appointment, call Family Foot and Ankle Center at (513) 728-4800 or (859) 282-1572. We are the metro area’s leading experts in dealing with painful, unsightly toenail conditions.

  • Why is a Sharp Pain Shooting Up my Foot?

    Pain that shoots up your foot may have a number of causes, but one of the more common is peripheral neuropathy. In this condition, peripheral nerves become damaged and malfunction, leading to symptoms like shooting pain, tingling, and numbness. Since the nerves leading down to your feet and toes and the longest, they’re often the first to be affected.

    Nerve problems such as peripheral neuropathy can occur to anyone as a result of things like sudden trauma, disease, or alcohol abuse, but the condition is especially common among sufferers of diabetes. Since this condition can also impair the circulatory system and healing time, nerve damage is especially serious—you may not realize anything is wrong until a sore turns into a serious issue.

    If you notice shooting pain or other signs of numbness or tingling in your legs, especially if you have diabetes, don’t wait—set up an appointment with Family Foot and Ankle Center right away. This condition will not improve without treatment. You can reach us by dialing (513) 728-4800 in Ohio or (859) 282-1572 in Kentucky.

  • What is the Difference Between Corns and Calluses?

    Corns and calluses are often talked about in tandem—you rarely hear about one without the other. Both are layers of thickened skin and both are formed due to excess pressure or friction irritating sensitive areas. So, it’s not surprising that they’re often confused. Here’s the difference:

    Corns are round bumps with dense, hardened cores surrounded by tender, inflamed skin. They often appear on bony, non-weight bearing areas of your foot, such as the tops and sides of toes, and are usually due to friction from ill-fitting footwear.

    Calluses are built-up, thickened skin too, but while corns only have a hard core, calluses are flat and hard all the way through. They tend to form on weight-bearing areas like the forefoot or heel, but they can develop anywhere with enough friction. Calluses are much more common than corns and are usually painless.

    Never attempt to cut, remove, or treat a corn or callus yourself. If you’re feeling discomfort, contact Family Foot and Ankle Center for an appointment. You can reach us at (513) 728-4800 or (859) 282-1572.

  • Why is Foot Care for Children so Important?

    Proper foot care for children is critical because their feet are still developing. Restricting toes with ill-fitting shoes can obstruct natural growth. Failing to deal with foot deformities while your little one learns to walk, run, and play can cause biomechanical and gait abnormalities that last well into adulthood. Many adult foot conditions can trace their way back to problems in childhood; by the same token, taking care of children’s feet can give them a firm foundation for life.

    It’s also critical that, as a parent, you are caring for and checking your little one’s feet often. Don’t wait until your child complains—they may not even feel a problem, or they may not come to you until it becomes unbearable. Be vigilant and call us if you notice any irregularities. Family Foot and Ankle Center serves southeast Indiana, southwest Ohio, and northern Kentucky with the highest quality foot care for all ages. Reach us at (513) 728-4800 (OH) or (859) 282-1572 (KY).

  • How Can I Treat my Hammertoes?

    The number of hammertoe treatment options at your disposal depends on how severe the problem has become. Because this is a progressive condition that will only get worse without treatment, the sooner you begin, the better.

    In the early stages when the toe is still flexible, you can gently stretch and massage the affected digits, do foot exercises to strengthen the weakened muscles, or use splints to align them in the proper position. Shoes for hammertoes should be broad, roomy, and seamless on the inside to prevent painful friction on the affected area. Shoe inserts or custom orthotics can correct the biomechanical imbalances that led to the initial development. If the toes become rigid and conservative attempts to relieve the discomfort all fail, surgery to remove excess bone and realign the toes may be necessary.

    At the first sign of hammertoes, contact Family Foot and Ankle Center right away. We will assess your condition, prescribe any necessary treatment plans, and guide you through any lifestyle changes you may require. Contact us at (513) 728-4800 in Ohio, or (859) 282-1572 in Kentucky.

  • Why Do I Have Heel Pain in the Morning?

    If you’re experiencing sharp pain in your foot or heel every morning when you first step out of bed, only for it to subside after a few minutes, it’s very likely you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis.

    One of the most common causes of heel pain, this condition involves the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs the length of the bottom of your foot. While you rest your foot (such as overnight, or after sitting for a while), the plantar fascia constricts and shortens. When you put weight on your foot again, it pulls painfully against your heel. After a few minutes of walking, though, the tissue stretches to a more normal length and the pain subsides, or at least decreases in severity.

    If you think you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis—or any other painful foot or ankle condition—call the experts at Family Foot and Ankle Center, or stop by one of our 6 Greater Cincinnati offices. Reach us at (510) 728-4800 (Ohio) or (859) 282-1572 (Kentucky).

  • How Does Diabetes Affect my Feet?

    Diabetes affects your feet and lower limbs in two main, over-arching ways. First, it causes nerve damage, which can lead to numbness and loss of sensitivity in your legs. Second, it reduces your blood flow, especially to peripheral arteries and your extremities. This limits your body’s ability to close wounds and heal itself.

    These two issues are a devastating combination. Without sensation, you may not realize your skin is burning, or you have a blister, or even have an open wound or bone fracture. In addition, without proper circulation, even minor cuts can fester and become infected. That’s why careful diabetic foot care, including daily self-examinations and regular visits to Family Foot and Ankle Center, is crucial for those with diabetes.

    For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today. We have six convenient locations: two in Cincinnati, one each in Finneytown, Hamilton, and Fairfield, OH, and one in Florence, KY. Dial (513) 728-4800 in Ohio or (859) 282-1572 in Kentucky. Let us help you keep your feet healthy.

  • Why Do I Have a Bump on My Big Toe?

    This is really a two-part answer, and it involves both genetics and lifestyle.

    Many bunions can be traced back to structural faults. Your feet are designed to spread the force of your body weight evenly across the sole, but flat feet, unusual bone structure, and other conditions—many of which are inherited—can put the joint at the base of your big toe under extra stress, pushing it out of place.

    At the same time, wearing high heels or ill-fitting shoes that restrict toe movement can exacerbate the forces on weakened joints, triggering bunion formation as well. That’s one reason why bunions are much more common in women than men.

    If you’re experiencing pain and wake up saying “I wish I didn’t have to deal with this bump on my big toe,” don’t wait—call the experts at Family Foot and Ankle Center. We have six locations in Greater Cincinnati to serve you. Call (513) 728-4800 for one of our Ohio-based offices, or (859) 282-1572 for Kentucky.