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By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
September 21, 2017
Category: Toe Conditions
Tags: syndactyly   webbed toes  

Most living creatures on this planet have a set of feet, or something similar to feet. Some are more closely structured to those of a human and others are completely and utterly different. Even human feet have some similarities to other feet of different mammals. The human body is amazing, especially when it comes to its feet. Not only do they help us balance and get moving, but our feet help us swim, stand, and participate in workouts. Some human feet can look a little too similar to the feet of a duck. That is because some people are born with webbed toes.

Webbed toes are toes that have extra skin in between the crevices. This extra skin is connected to the sides of both toes and often fans out. This makes the webbed toes look like those of a duck’s feet. This condition is known medically as syndactyly. It occurs in 1 out of every 2,000-2,500 live births. There are various severities of syndactyly. Sometimes the toes are only partially webbed. Other times they are completely webbed. In most instances, the webbed toes occur in the middle toes of the foot.

Cause

Syndactyly is thought to be caused by genetics. Somewhere in your bloodline, someone carries a gene that has a mutation. That mutation is what causes the webbed toe look on some people.  If you are reading this and have webbed toes, you can thank you family for the nifty mutation the next time you see them.

Treatment

Usually syndactyly is more of a cosmetic issue than a functional issue. Only on rare occasions does it require treatment. An x-ray is not usually necessary for this type of deformity. Some parents may choose to have the webbed toes treated. If the parents do decide to have their child undergo treatment, it is recommended that they wait until the child is at an age where they can properly care for their own feet after surgery. Syndactyly can come back if the site of the surgery is not properly cared for.

If you or your child have webbed toes and want them treated, call Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan today. Podiatrist Dr. Andrew H. Cohen can discuss the different treatment options available to you for your webbed toes. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. You will not be disappointed in your care.

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
September 13, 2017
Tags: Polydactyly   deformity  

When we first learn to count we usually use our fingers and our toes to help assist us. As we grow older, we typically don’t need to continue this practice. Although we don’t use this counting method, we still have the same 10 fingers and 10 toes that helped us out all along. Our toes assist us every day, from extra digits to count on, to being important parts of our mobile lives. They keep us balanced, standing straight, and stable every day. Without them, we would be limited in our movements. Did you know that some people have an extra toe to use for counting or movement? This phenomenon is known as polydactyly.

Polydactyly usually occurs in about 3.6 to 13 cases per 1,000 live births in African Americans, while it only occurs in 0.3 to 1.3 cases per 1,000 live births in Caucasians.  Both the male and female have an equal chance of having an extra toe or other digit - no sex is dominant in this deformity.

The primary cause of polydactyly is thought to be due to genetics. If you have an extra digit, you can thank your parents, their grandparents, and their forefathers for the little gift that has been left for you.

These extra digits usually occur on border (outer) toes. Sometimes there is only a small extra nub present at birth. At other times, an entire toe is duplicated and you end up with eleven or more toes. This extra toe can have a nail, tendon, and a vascular structure similar to that of a regular toe.

In order to treat polydactyly, a corrective surgery must occur. Usually this corrective surgery is complex due to the removal of the extra bones, tendons, and other pieces of the duplicated toe.  Surgery on an infant is recommended between 6-9 months. Usually infants are old enough to be able to tolerate the burden of surgery and anesthesia during this age.

If you have a child that has an extra toe, do not fret. Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan can help. Podiatrist Dr. Andrew H. Cohen will examine the extra digit and determine whether or not surgery is appropriate. He will consult with the parent or guardian to help them make an informed decision regarding their child. If surgery is deemed necessary, he will work closely with the child and their family during the entire process. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. We are here to help.

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
September 07, 2017
Tags: Arthritis   Mallet Toe  

Our toes are a very important part of our feet. They help keep us balanced, get us moving, and keep us up right. They are important to our daily lives and everything that we do. Since we use our toes all the time, they are prone to a lot of different types of injuries and conditions. Toes that are deformed due to their over use or other trauma are very common. Podiatrist Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan has seen all kinds of toe deformities, including mallet toes.

Mallet toes occurs when the joint at the end of the toe is not straight, usually due to the deterioration of the bones, muscles, and joints in the toes. The deformed toes tend to get corns and calluses on the top of them from rubbing on surfaces such as shoes. Another cause of mallet toe is due to arthritis. Improper footwear is another key factor in the cause of mallet toes. Shoes should have a lot of stability, shock support, cushion, and room. They should not be restrictive, have high heels, lack support, or be narrow in any way. 

Mallet toes is a very painful condition and often causes the sufferer a lot of restrictions in their daily lives. Many people who suffer from mallet toes are unable to walk normally, participate in athletics, and live a life without pain.

Treatment

  • Relieve pressure
  • Reduce friction
  • Transfer force to other less sensitive areas
  • Use gel sole caps
  • Use gel shields
  • Use toe crests
  • Get properly fitting shoes

If you think that you could be suffering from mallet toes, call our office right away at 989-790-8009. Alternatively, you can request an appointment online. It is important not to wait until it is too late. The longer you live with mallet toes, the more damage you cause your feet and ankles over time. If your mallet toe is too severe, it is possible that corrective surgery will need to take place to properly correct the condition.  Let us guide you on your journey to complete foot health.

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
August 31, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: orthotics   gait   stance  

Millions of people across the world use their feet to stay mobile. They use them to bike, hike, run, leap and walk. It is a very important means of transportation that people have been using for thousands of years. Without the ability to walk a person is severely limited in their daily lives. Many people who are unable to walk have to seek assistance from others. So how does walking work? 

The way we walk is also called our gait. Our gait is made up of two essential parts that come together and make one fluid motion. This motion is also known as biomechanics. The two parts that make up our gait are stance and swing.

Stance is when our feet are firmly planted on the ground. The heel first strikes the ground. Next, it rotates and moves forward. The forefoot and toes then hit the ground. This action gives us stability and balance.

The second piece of our gait is known as the swing. The swing is when your foot is no longer touching the ground. It is essentially the point when your foot is in midair and moving forward. It then comes back down to bring you into the stance position.

All together our stance and our swing make up out gait. Everyone has a different gait. Some swing their hips more, while others are more rigid in their walk. Some people have a limp and others use orthotics to help stabilize them. Not everyone’s gait is made the same. Sometimes if a person relies too heavily on one foot as opposed to the other, certain foot and ankle problems can occur. It is important to have a gait that is even and equal overall. If the gait is not even and equal, other parts of the body such as the knees, hips and back, will begin to hurt and suffer. You could also suffer from bunions, spurs, and other deformities.

If you think that you have an unusual gait, it is important to call a podiatrist right away so that they can examine and better assist you. Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan can help you get your gait straight. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today.

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
August 24, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: plantar warts  

After a nice long swim at the pool you decide that it’s time to go and shower off in the locker rooms. You walk barefooted from the pool house straight to the locker room and begin to wash up after finding a spare shower stall.  You feel great, your work out is complete and you are ready to meet the world. While you walk all over the locker room happy and barefooted, your feet are suffering underneath you.

A month later you are taking off your shoes in the same exact locker room. You are preparing to go for another swim and realize there is a wart on your foot. You don’t remember getting it, but it is very obvious now. How did it get there? When did it get there? Are they going to spread all over your foot and arch? You should have worn a pair of water shoes into that public shower at the gym last month, and now you are paying the price. You have a plantar wart.

Plantar warts can appear all over the foot, but typically appear on the bottom of the plantar arch.  At first, they might seem to be a callus forming because the skin thickens and starts to rise. Slowly the skin builds up and begins to poke out even more against the foot. The wart is in full effect and you have no idea how to get rid of it. 

These warts are caused by a virus. Usually they are transmitted by direct contact from the virus to the skin. People who walk barefoot in public areas are more likely to get warts. A pool, locker room, and public shower are all havens for the plantar wart virus.

Plantar warts come in intervals. They can appear one day then go away for a while and come back all over again. They can also come as a single wart or in a group of warts.

Treatment

 A podiatrist can remove the wart by excision, freezing, burning, strong acids or lasers. Most of these types of treatments are done under local anesthesia so that the patient does not feel any pain. 

After treatment, be sure to pay close attention to your feet as plantar warts have a high reoccurrence rate.

Have a wart on your foot? Not sure what kind it is and how to get rid of it? Call Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. There Dr. Andrew H. Cohen can examine, diagnose and treat your warts. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today.





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