Have a Question About Foot Pain or Treatment? Find the Answer Here

We get asked a lot of questions about foot and ankle pain. In fact, we’ve compiled a list of frequently-asked questions (and their answers) to give our patients fast access to common podiatry issues. Use the search bar on this page or browse through our list of frequent questions for solutions to your problem.

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  • Why do my toes keep tingling?

    Toes that keep tingling is one of the neuropathy symptoms you should know. Neuropathy is a condition of damaged nerves that can potentially lead to serious complications, especially when it happens as a result of diabetes.

    Whereas tingling is one of the sensations that can be experienced, another sign of neuropathy is the inability to feel anything in the affected area. This numbness is concerning because it increases the risk of infection. Besides tingling and numbness, other symptoms of nerve damage including increased pain, “pins and needles” or burning sensations, and an inability to detect temperature changes (hot or cold).

    If you experience any of these symptoms in your lower extremities, be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Melhuish for a professional diagnosis and treatment plan.

    As mentioned, neuropathy can be especially concerning if you or a loved one has diabetes. Remember, Sierra Foot & Ankle can help you create a diabetic foot care plan that will keep you safe, so come in and see us at our Gardnerville, NV office. For more information, or to schedule your appointment, call us at (775) 783-8037 and we will be glad to help.

  • Where can I get custom orthotics for my heel pain?

    Heel pain is one of the most common ailments we treat at our office. Our goal is always to keep you walking and active and enjoying life, and you can’t do that when your feet hurt. They weren’t meant to walk on hard surfaces all day, so they need a little help. If you are wondering where to get custom orthotics to support your arch and relieve your pain, look no further. Sierra Foot & Ankle designs and fabricates the best ones in the area right here in our onsite orthotics lab

    We take care of the issue from beginning to end. We diagnose the cause of your pain, take imprints of your feet, determine where they need extra support and cushioning, and then start making a pair of foot supports that fits your foot exactly. We choose the best base material for your needs (rigid, semi-rigid, soft), contour the upper layers according to the shape of your foot and where it needs extra support, and top it with a long lasting liner that allows your feet to breathe.

    Ready to address the heel (or ankle, knee or hip) pain that as making walking difficult for you? Call Dr. Victoria Melhuish at Sierra Foot & Ankle today to set up your appointment. You can reach our office in Gardnerville, NV at (775) 783-8037, or call toll free at (888) 608-8406. You can also request an appointment on our website contact page. 

  • Why does it feel like I have a stone in my shoe?

    Some say it feels like a stone in your shoe, others a marble, others a bunched up sock, but all have the sensation of something that doesn’t belong there irritating your foot. There are a couple of possible causes for this.

    The first is a neuroma. This is a benign thickening of a nerve that causes feelings of numbness or pain. It usually occurs when a nerve between a couple of smaller toes is pinched by bones or tendons that have moved out of position.

    Another possibility is capsulitis or bursitis—both inflammatory conditions—in the second metatarsalphalangeal joint where the bones of the second toe and metatarsal (foot bone) meet.

    Both have similar symptoms—numbness and/or pain in the toes or ball of the foot—but a good podiatrist won’t jump to conclusions too quickly. At Sierra Foot & Ankle we take the time to ask questions and examine your foot to pinpoint the exact reason for the feelings you describe. Then we will try conservative remedies, and most of the time they will be successful.

    Next time you have these symptoms, call our office in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV, at (775) 783-8037, or toll free at (888) 608-8406, for an appointment.

  • What’s the difference between bunions and bunionettes?

    They say the three most important things about real estate are location, location, and location. The same is true for the difference between bunions and bunionettes. The name indicates where the abnormal toe joint is located. A bunion occurs in the metatarsalphalangeal joint (MTPJ) of the big toe, while a bunionette involves the MTPJ of the littlest toe.

    In both cases, the tip of the toe leans toward the middle ones, and the MTP joint where it meets the foot bends outward into a shallow V-shape—the visible bump. It can be caused by inherited foot characteristics such as loose ligament capsules, flat feet, extra pressure on the largest or smallest toe, or weakened tendons and muscles that fail to hold the toe in its proper position. Pointed shoes that pinch the toes can be another factor.

    Whichever of these toe deformities you may have, be sure to contact Dr. Victoria Melhuish at Sierra Foot & Ankle if the toe starts to drift or becomes stiff and painful. The earlier we begin treatment, the better the chance for avoiding surgery to correct the problem. Reach us by phone in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV at (775) 783-8037 or request an appointment online today.

  • Can I still run with stress fractures?

    A stress fracture is a break in the bone that doesn’t go all the way through. It often occurs in new recruits who march a lot, or runners who suddenly increase the distance or intensity of their runs. They most often happen in the tibia (shin bone) and metatarsals (the foot bones behind your toes).

    If you run with stress fractures, you risk a complete break. A stress fracture may not show on an X-ray, but a bone scan will usually reveal where it is. Pain in a certain spot on your foot is a reason to see us for a diagnosis.

    This injury requires no running for 4 to 6 weeks. It will not heal if you do. Fractures in the 5th metatarsal, which has poor blood supply, may take even longer to heal.

    Let Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City and Gardnerville, NV guide you through recovering from this injury. Call us at (775) 783-8037—or toll free at (888) 608-8406—for an appointment to learn treatments to help with pain, and don’t run until it is totally gone, even when you press on the spot. Doing so is just not worth the risk.

  • Can clubfoot be treated without surgery?

    Yes, not all cases of clubfoot require surgery, and in fact conservative treatment options are now usually considered before surgery. Even as recently as 2006, many doctors still operated on clubfoot as a first choice, but the procedures were not always successful and often led to stiffness and arthritis.

    The two most common nonsurgical approaches are known as the French method and the Ponsetti method. Although they’re a little different from one another, both require gentle stretching, immobilization (either via casting, bracing, or taping), and a high degree of regular involvement from parents or caregivers. Although we do not provide either of these particular services at our office, we can refer you to experts who can.

    Although careful adherence to either the French or Ponsetti method usually yields successful correction, cases which do not respond (or respond only partially) to the treatment may require surgery at our office. For more information, call Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City, NV at (775) 783-8037, or in the wider South Lake Tahoe region toll free at (888) 608-8406. 

  • How is a gait analysis helpful?

    A gait analysis can be especially helpful for runners and athletes, and can even help those who struggle with soreness and pain from walking.

    We evaluate everything about the way you stride—where your feet land, whether you use the inside or outside of your foot, the angle of your knee at impact, etc.—in order to detect biomechanical trouble spots so that they can be fixed.

    If you suffer from frequent running-related issues—sore knees, shin splints, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, etc.—there’s a good chance a gait analysis can identify an underlying cause and help you find a solution, whether that be exercises, physical therapy, orthotics, or teaching yourself a new stride.

    To learn more about what analyzing your gait can do for you, call Victoria L. Melhuish at (775) 783-8037. You can schedule an appointment at our office in Carson City or in Gardnerville, NV by phone or through this website.

  • Can orthotics help with overpronation?

    Yes!

    Although overpronation alone doesn’t necessarily mean you need custom orthotics—sometimes a new pair of shoes or a new running style is sufficient—orthotics have been shown to be effective in significantly reducing pain and injury risk for many who overpronate.

    For example, a full-contact flexible orthotic that follows the contours of your sole can help prevent your feet from rolling too far outward when you step. That sets off a chain reaction of biomechanical improvements, keeping your ankles, knees, and hips in better alignment. When your body is aligned better, you can run longer without pain and soreness and lessen your risk for conditions like stress fractures and shin splints.

    If you have recurring pain or soreness in your feet, call Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV today. We pride ourselves on providing the best foot and ankle care in Northern Nevada, and look forward to seeing you! You can reach us through this website, or by dialing (775) 783-8037.

  • How long does it take to recover from turf toe?

    Depending on the severity of the sprain, recovery from turf toe can take anywhere from a few weeks to sometimes even a few months. The key to successful and speedy rehab is rest. Don’t jump back into your sport or activity too soon, or you could prolong your recovery even more. Instead, take time off, ice and elevate your foot, and tape or bandage the area to restrict movement.

    When pain subsides, try a few exercises to rebuild strength and dexterity. Spread your toes apart and hold them like that for 10 -15 seconds, then repeat. You can also massage the area by rolling your foot back and forth over a tennis ball. When you eventually return to activity, avoid playing on hard surfaces, and make sure to have appropriate, well-fitting shoes to help prevent the injury from recurring.

    If you are experiencing pain from turf toe, or any other foot condition, make an appointment with Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM today. You can reach us at (775) 783-8037, or at one of our two offices, conveniently located in Carson City and Gardnerville, NV. We’ll help you get back on your feet again!

  • Why is my toenail turning black?

    You can develop a black toenail for several different reasons. The most common culprit is trauma. This could be small, repetitive bumps to the ends of the toes over time—like hitting the insides of your shoes over and over again while running. It could also be the result of suddenly stubbing your toe or dropping something heavy on it. In either case, the trauma causes an injury in the nail bed, which leaks blood. This stains the underside of the keratin, causing that dark color.

    Occasionally a black toenail is caused by something else. It might be a side-effect of a fungal infection, particularly if there’s a buildup of debris under the nail. A large dark patch, or a dark streak instead of a splotch, may actually be signs of cancer. Malignant melanoma, the most deadly of skin cancers, can sometimes grow underneath a toenail and make it appear black. If the dark splotch doesn’t seem to be growing out with your hard keratin, have it checked right away. Contact Dr. Victoria Melhuish at Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV, to discover what caused your nail problem. Call (775) 783-8037 to make an appointment.