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Posts for: April, 2018

Five myths about foot care

From bunions to broken toes, local foot and ankle surgeon has heard it all

Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg 04/25/2018 “Don’t cross your eyes, they’ll stay that way!”

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, foot and ankle surgeon Steven Gordon, DPM, FACFAS, has heard it all. Gordon treats patients at offices in Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg, He shares five myths about foot care and the realities behind them.

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,” says Gordon, 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 diagnosis 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,” Gordon says.

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. Gordon says 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.

To make an appointment with Gordon,  contact  his office at 703-437-6333 or visit his Web site at WWW.FootVA.comFor additional foot care myths, visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons’ consumer Web site, FootHealthFacts.org


Popular sandals causing foot problems in men?

Wrong sandal can cause heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, other ailments

Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg April 12, 2018  Footwear has come a long way since Roman armies conquered an empire wearing only sandals on their feet. But what’s old is new again. Recent market research reveals sales of men’s sandals jumped 20 percent between 2005 and 2007.

Along with the growing popularity of men’s sandals come more aches and pains for male feet. Steven Gordon,DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon with offices in (CITY), says the wrong sandal could cause men problems including heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, pain in the big toe and even breaks and stress fractures in some of the foot’s 26 bones.

Dr. Gordon recommends men shopping for a man sandal – or “mandal” as some people call it – look for sturdy, cushioned, supportive soles and padded straps. Men with diabetes should consult their foot and ankle surgeon before wearing sandals.

Despite what many men may tell themselves, foot pain is not normal. Contact Dr. Gordon’s office at  (703) 437-6333 to have your painful foot checked out by a surgeon who is educated, trained and experienced in treating foot and ankle conditions. Dr. Gordon belongs to the 6,000 member American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), a national medical association of foot and ankle surgeons. For more information on foot and ankle conditions, visit the ACFAS Web site FootHealthFacts.org.