FAQs - Toe Problems

Why is my big toe stiff?

There are multiple causes of a stiff big toe, but the most common is hallux limitus—or its more serious form, hallux rigidus. These are varying degrees of osteoarthritis in the first joint of the big toe. Wear and tear in the ball of the foot grinds down the protective tissues between your first metatarsal and the toe bone. The friction is painful and makes it harder and harder for your toe to bend. Eventually the damage may cause a bone spur to develop on the top or side of the joint, further limiting your range of motion.

Hallux limitus and hallux rigidus are progressive problems and can cause permanent damage if you allow them to. The sooner you take care of the issue, the easier it is to treat. Don’t wait too long to deal with the pain. If you’re struggling with a stiff big toe, let Pequest Foot and Ankle Specialists in Belvidere, NJ, know about it. Use our website request form or call (908) 475-8750 to reach us for an appointment.

How can I get rid of toenail fungus?

It’s not easy to get rid of toenail fungus. It requires time, effort, and the appropriate anti-fungal treatments. To completely eliminate the problem, you have to make sure your feet don’t provide an environment for the infection to grow, do your best to avoid reinfection, and make sure you kill off the fungus. Topical anti-fungal medications eradicate the fungus on the surface of your skin and nails. Unfortunately, they’re not as successful at reaching the infection under hard keratin, where the root of the problem is. Oral medication travels through the blood stream to attack the fungus. This is far more effective, though it can take a while to work and may cause side effects.

Other ways to treat toenail fungus include a procedure to remove the damaged nail and laser therapy. Some people will suggest home remedies, but for the majority of those suffering from this infection, those methods have little to no effect. Let Pequest Foot and Ankle Specialists in Belvidere, NJ, help you figure out the best way to get rid of nail fungus. Make an appointment online, or call (908) 475-8750.

What is gout?

Gout is an unusual form of arthritis. Many of the symptoms of gout are similar to types of arthritis, such as swelling, aching pain, and stiffness in your joints. Other symptoms are slightly different. The pain tends to appear suddenly and unexpectedly, often at night. The affected joint may appear red and be extremely sensitive to touch. Usually the big toe is affected, but other areas of your lower limbs may develop the problem, too. As the condition worsens, you may develop lumps under your skin called tophi.

This arthritis is the result of a build-up of crystalized uric acid in your joints. The needle-like crystals progressively damage the soft tissues there. Although there is no cure for the condition, it can be managed. Treatment for gout shortens attacks and helps prevent future problems. It includes medication and home treatment like icing the inflammation and controlling your diet. Let Pequest Foot and Ankle Specialists help you manage your big toe pain. Contact our Belvidere, NJ, office by calling (908) 475-8750 or by using the web request form.

What is the difference between corns and calluses?

Corns and calluses are similar, but they are not the same thing. Both form when an area of your skin is subjected to repeated friction and pressure. Both involve excess layers of dead skin building up in the affected area to protect your foot. Both can be quite uncomfortable. However, as similar as they seem, they are different problems and create different lesions on your lower limbs.

Corns are small, raised bumps. Normally they form in non-weight bearing areas, like the tops and sides of the feet and toes. Usually these are caused by poorly-fitting footwear. Often they have hard centers and are very uncomfortable to press on.

Calluses are bigger and flatter lesions. They form in weight-bearing areas like the soles of the feet. The ball of the foot and the heel are particularly prone to this condition. Generally they’re the result of abnormal or uneven pressure on a particular area of the foot. These may or may not be uncomfortable, depending on how thick they are. Let Pequest Foot and Ankle Specialists help you take care of both of these issues. Call our Belvidere, NJ, office at (908) 475-8750 to make an appointment.

Is it safe to get a pedicure with fungal toenails?

Fungal toenails can certainly be unsightly, but you should fight the urge to cover up the problem with polish. Getting a pedicure at a salon, or giving one to yourself, can cause the fungus to spread, as well as make the condition more difficult to treat. Polish will lock moisture in which will only make the fungus want to stick around even longer. Pedicure tools can become contaminated, too, which can lead to a recurring problem. So before you break out the polish, seek treatment from Pequest Foot and Ankle Specialists. We can provide options that are more effective than the over-the-counter variety, from prescription strength oral and topical medications to laser therapy.

Let us help you get rid of fungal toenails so that you are free to pamper yourself with a pedicure in time for the summer season. Call us at (908) 475-8750 today, or visit our office in Belvidere, NJ.

What is KeryFlex?

KeryFlex is a potential option for fungal toenail treatment, especially when they have created an unsightly appearance that makes you embarrassed to expose your feet to the world.

In this particular procedure, we build up an artificial nail for you—one that looks much better and relieves the self-consciousness you are experiencing—by using layers of a safe resin. Before applying the KeryFlex we debride (remove) the damaged nail tissue first. This serves to ensure that the resin will adhere properly. After that, we apply a layer of the resin and cure it for a couple of minutes. We repeat this process until we have achieved a natural thickness. Once we’ve reached that point, we buff it, seal it, and then you can head right out and do whatever activities you already had planned for your day.

This process is quick, safe, and only takes a single appointment. When used in conjunction with fungal nail treatment, this allows us to eradicate the offensive fungus while allowing your new, clear keratin to grow. After enough time has lapsed—this can vary from patient to patient—the KeryFlex will come off and you can show off your natural, healthy toenails.

If you are living with the embarrassment that comes from having fungal toenails, come see us here at Pequest Foot & Ankle Specialists. We offer comprehensive foot and ankle care, including treatment for toenail fungus, so contact our Belvidere, NJ office by calling (908) 475-8750 or take a moment to fill out our online form and we will get back to you as soon as possible!