Do you suffer from hammer toe? Rheumatoid arthritis? Bunions? Dr. Merkle can help!
Hammer Toe will most often affect the second toe, causing it to bend and assume a claw-like form. This can be a result of heredity, shoes that are too short,diabetes, or another form of illness. Hammer toe can be quite painful and can cause corns on the tops of the affected toes. To help prevent or relieve hammer toes, ensure properly fitted shoes. Corns should be treated with warm water baths, delicate use of a pumice stone and application of a calming, moisturizing lotion. Medical treatment can involve orthotic devices, corticosteriod injections for pain, or surgery that could correct the condition entirely.
The pain and stiffness you feel in your foot and ankle as youth subsides, could be arthritis. If left untreated, this pain can worsen, eventually becoming so excruciating that it is a task to walk even the shortest distance. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition caused by an irritation of the joint lining. People who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis almost always develop arthritis in some part of the foot or ankle.
Proper treatment of foot and ankle arthritis addresses both pain and joint deformity. If Dr. Merkle suspects you have arthritis of the foot and ankle, he will ask you to have a complete medical history and physical examination. X-rays and laboratory tests often can confirm the type and extent of the arthritis. Once it is confirmed that arthritis is present, he will recommend a treatment regimen which may include surgery. This may mean cleaning the arthritic joint, eliminating the painful motion of the joint, replacing the joint with an artificial joint, or a combination of these procedures.
Bunions, more common in women than in men, occur when the head of your metatarsal bone protrudes at the base of your big toe. To alleviate the pain, you might want to try less restrictive shoes and medications such as aspirin. In some cases, Dr. Merkle may recommend a splint to keep the toe aligned, or in more extreme cases, a bunionectomy. Done under local anesthesia, this might be done as outpatient surgery or with an overnight stay in the hospital. Something to keep in mind; patients who go to an orthopaedic specialist for bunion surgery typically report significant improvement after just six months, according to a major multi-center study conducted by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS).
For more information about OFAC and its services contact us via e-mail or write to:
1101 East Sample Road
Pompano Beach, Florida 33064