Don’t Cross Your Eyes, They’ll Stay That Way!

February 22, 2015  |   Dr. Stych's Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Old wives’ tales and myths like that example are fun to laugh at. We believed them as children. “Step on a crack and you’ll break your mother’s back.” But there are other myths that are no laughing matter, especially when they involve your health.

From bunions to broken toes, I’ve heard it all. Here are five myths about foot care and the realities behind them. https://unsplash.com/calebekeroth

 

Myth: Cutting a notch (a “V”) in a toenail will relieve the pain of ingrown toenails.
Reality: When a toenail is ingrown, the nail curves downward and grows into the skin. Cutting a “V” in the toenail does not affect its growth. New nail growth will continue to curve downward. Cutting a “V” may actually cause more problems and is painful in many cases.

Myth: My foot or ankle can’t be broken if I can walk on it.
Reality: It’s entirely possible to walk on a foot or ankle with a broken bone. It depends on your threshold for pain, as well as the severity of the injury.  But it’s not a smart idea. Walking with a broken bone can cause further damage.

It is crucial to stay off an injured foot until diagnosed by a foot and ankle surgeon. Until then, apply ice and elevate the foot to reduce pain.

Myth: Shoes cause bunions.
Reality: Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. It is not the bunion itself that is inherited, but certain foot types make a person prone to developing a bunion. While wearing shoes that crowd the toes together can, over time, make bunions more painful, shoes themselves do not cause bunions.

Although some treatments can ease the pain of bunions, only surgery can correct the deformity.

Myth: A doctor can’t fix a broken toe.
Reality: Nineteen of the 26 bones in the foot are toe bones.

What I tell patients is, there are things we can do to make a broken toe heal better and prevent problems later on, like arthritis or toe deformities.

Broken toes that aren’t treated correctly can also make walking and wearing shoes difficult. A foot and ankle surgeon will x-ray the toe to learn more about the fracture. If the broken toe is out of alignment, the surgeon may have to insert a pin, screw or plate to reposition the bone.

Myth: Corns have roots.
Reality: A corn is a small build-up of skin caused by friction. Many corns result from a hammertoe deformity, where the toe knuckle rubs against the shoe. The only way to eliminate these corns is to surgically correct the hammertoe condition.

Unlike a callus, a corn has a central core of hard material. But corns do not have roots. Attempting to cut off a corn or applying medicated corn pads can lead to serious infection or even amputation. A foot and ankle surgeon can safely evaluate and treat corns and the conditions contributing to them.

Dr, Stych's Blog

  • How to correct crossover toe, keep patients active
    November 26, 2017

    Crossover toe is a common foot problem that can inhibit physical activity for active adults, but conservative treatment can slow down the progressive deformity, or outpatient surgery can correct the deformity and keep people active and on their feet. Individuals with hammertoes, bunions or a second toe that extends beyond the big toe are most […]

  • Pedicure Advice
    June 18, 2017

    With the warmer temperatures outside, open toed shoes are making their way out of the closet and slipped on underneath beautifully manicured feet. The pedicure season is in full swing! Unfortunately, not all pedicure facilities offer clean and proper foot care and infections and other foot ailments may arise.  We would like to share the […]

  • Which Winter Boots Are Right For You?
    December 8, 2016

    1. Be sure boots are insulated and waterproof. Even if the boot maker says the boots are waterproof, still treat the pair with a waterproofing product. The body has to work harder to compensate for moisture, so try to minimize as much foot moisture as possible. 2. Select natural material, like leather, that allows proper […]