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Posts for: April, 2015

By Joseph M. LaCava, DPM
April 29, 2015
Category: Hammertoes
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Here at Central Arkansas Foot Care, we understand that choosing surgery is not an easy decision. There are many considerations that you have to weigh, including the recovery period. When it comes to hammertoe surgery as a means of correcting your condition, we are here to help you every step of the way. This includes making sure that you can be confident in making your decision.

We will always attempt to treat hammertoes—or any condition, actually—with conservative methods first. When it comes to toe deformities, which also include mallet and claw toes, some of the nonsurgical options are switching your footwear to roomier models, using orthotics, and taking medication to relieve the pain from the condition.

If conservative methods are simply not proving to be effective, or the condition causes great pain or prevents you from daily activity, we will discuss hammertoe surgery.

The root cause of the problem is an imbalance between the muscles and tendons on the top of your toes versus the ones in the bottom. When everything is running smoothly and in a natural manner, the opposing sets work together. With an imbalance, though, this does not happen and we can correct that by moving tendons or cutting supporting tissue.

Other surgical procedures for hammertoe correction include removing part of a toe bone (arthroplasty), removing part of the affected joint and allowing the toe bones to grow together (arthrodesis), or even using a toe implant to straighten a toe or replace a bent joint. In extremely rare cases, amputation may need to be considered.

Following your procedure, you will be given post-op instructions. You will likely experience swelling and stiffness in the area. Complete healing from the procedure generally takes between four to eight weeks, depending on the procedure, but we will discuss this for your particular situation.

If you need treatment for a hammertoe or other toe deformity, Central Arkansas Foot Care is here for you. We have three conveniently-located offices in Hot Springs, Malvern, and Arkadelphia, AR and are ready to help restore your foot’s health today. Contact us through our online form or give us a call at (501) 321-4844 to schedule an appointment.

By Joseph M. LaCava, DPM
April 22, 2015
Category: Bunions
Tags: Untagged

If you are participating in any of the spring sports hosted by the City of Hot Springs Sport Recreation Department, we hope that you warm up and stretch first! Doing so will decrease your risk of sustaining an injury and allow you to stay in the game. Sometimes, activities that keep your feet limber—like bunion stretches—can not only prepare you for competition, but also be part of effective injury treatment.

It is important to note that bunion stretches will not actually eliminate your bunion, but they can certainly help to improve flexibility and relieve the symptoms that accompany the deformity. Anyone who has lived with a troublesome bunion can attest to the fact that any pain relief is a good thing!

Here are some stretches that, when used with other forms of bunion treatment, can help take away the discomfort from the condition:

  • Big Toe Stretch – Using your fingers, gently pull the affected toe into proper alignment and hold there for 10 seconds. Repeat this stretch three or four times.
  • Toe Stretches – Take off your shoes and socks and sit in your favorite chair. Curl your toes downward for 5 seconds and then point them straight for 5 seconds. Repeat this sequence ten times.
  • Towel Curls – Spread a towel on the floor in front of you. Place the heels of your bare feet at the edge of the towel closest to you and use your toes to grab it and pull towards you. Continue until all of the towel is under your feet. Repeat this process five times.
  • Marble Pick-Ups – Place 20 marbles and a bowl on the floor in front of your favorite chair and use your toes to pick up the marbles, one at a time, and place them into the bowl.

This is not a stretch, but walking on a sandy beach will strengthen your toes, while at the same time providing a gentle foot massage.

Bunion stretches may be beneficial, but keep in mind that you need additional treatment to alleviate the symptoms that often accompany bunions. This is where we can help! Central Arkansas Foot Care is here for any foot or ankle condition causing you pain or discomfort. Just give us a call at (501) 321-4844 and schedule an appointment for any of our three Arkansas locations – Hot Springs, Arkadelphia, or Malvern. You can also use our online form to contact us today.

Photo credit: marin via

By Joseph M. LaCava, DPM
April 01, 2015
Category: Bunions
Tags: Untagged

Surgery ToolsWith April Fool’s Day peeking its mischievous head right around the corner, you know it’s almost time to be wary of “expert” advice and news. Fortunately for you, Central Arkansas Foot Care is here to set the record straight on a couple of matters. The value of pi is not changing to 3.0, the Liberty Bell is not being bought by a fast food chain, and not all bunions require surgery! That said, there are times when bunion surgery may be the right choice (no joking!).

When we look at providing care for bunions, there are two different categories of treatment – conservative and surgical. If we can utilize conservative care for a condition, we will. This may entail wearing roomier shoes, using arch supports or bunion pads, and protecting pressure areas with felt or moleskin patches.

One of the times that we will begin considering bunion surgery—which is an elective procedure—is if conservative treatment methods simply do not provide enough relief from the pain and discomfort you are experiencing. When this is the case, we will start to discuss various surgical procedures that might benefit you.

Another instance where we will consider surgery is when your bunion interferes with your ability to perform your normal, daily activities. Being unable to walk on account of a troublesome bunion can affect your independence and self-reliance. This is certainly one situation where surgery is worth discussing.

If your big toe has started to angle in towards your other toes, you experience constant swelling, or you cannot straighten or bend your big toe, then surgery may be right for you. At this point, we can likely correct the condition with a surgical procedure.

Should you have bunion surgery? The decision can seem daunting, but you aren’t on your own with Central Arkansas Foot Care. We always ensure that you have all the information necessary to make an informed choice that you are comfortable with. If you are currently living with the pain and discomfort that can accompany a bunion, take steps to let us help you today. Contact any of our three offices by using our online form, or call (501) 321-4844 for our Hot Springs, AR office, (870) 245-3003 for our Arkadelphia office, or (501) 337-0700 for our Malvern office.

Photo credit: Stock Photo via