Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic Blog

Posts for: October, 2014

By Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS
October 27, 2014
Category: fungal nail

Putting the ‘Fun’ in fungal nails

Fungal nails, or onychomychosis is a very unfortunate problem that many people have to deal with on a daily basis. Dr. Gale see’s this problem on a daily basis here at the Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic. While not all fungal nails are curable, about half of all Nail Fungus can be treated with either an ointment or a pill. In some cases a simple nail avulsion might be nessecary.   If you have fungal nails please Contact Us or Request an appointment with Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS.

By Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS
October 21, 2014
Category: Hallux Rigidus

What are the treatment options for hallux rigidus?

It is easiest to treat hallux rigidus the earlier it is caught.  If it is caught very early on surgery may be avoided or postponed.

Some of the treatment options include:

·         Ultrasound therapy or physical therapy may provide temporary relief.

·         Custom orthotics can help improve your foot’s function.

·         Shoes that have a wider toe box and stiff soles may be recommended to help take pressure off the big toe.  It is best to stop             wearing heels.

·         Injection therapy can help reduce any pain or swelling.

·         Medications may be prescribed to help with the pain and inflammation.

·         Some vitamins may be helpful such as glucosamine-chondroitin.

If surgery is needed there are many factors taken into consideration to decide which type of surgery is best, such as:

        ·         Age.

·         Cause of the disorder

·         Severity of the disorder

·         Occupation

·         Activity level

There are a few different types of surgery that can be performed to treat hallux rigidus.  Some of the procedures are designed to clean up the joint by removing some of the arthritis and bone spurs.  The position of one or more bones may be altered in the big toe as well.  These are ment to restore the function and alignment of the joint and help to reduce pain.

The more aggressive approaches are reserved for when the joint cannot be restored.  The joint may be fused, part or all of the joint may be removed, or an implant may be put in place.  These different types of surgery will help to eliminate any painful movement in the joint and help the foot become more stable.

If you have any pain or stiffness in your big toe Request an appointment with Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS to discuss your treatment options.  Contact Us  at 701-255-3338.


Photo credit: Marin at freedigitalphotos.net

By Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS
October 14, 2014
Category: Hallux Rigidus

What are the causes of Hallux Rigidus?

There are a few causes that are common for Hallux Rigidus.  The functions of the foot may be faulty.  There may be abnormal structure of the foot which might lead to osteoarthritis in the big toe joint.  The people that have osteoarthritis usually have some type of change in the function of the toe or foot that causes the osteoarthritis.  People with excessive pronation or fallen arches are more likely to get hallux rigidus.

Hallux rigidus may also run in the family.  It can be caused by a genetic foot type that may be prone to getting this disorder.

It can also be caused by over use.  If a person has a lot of stress on their big toe it can cause this disorder.  It is usually in people that stoop or squat a lot.

An injury is another common cause of hallux rigidus.  One common injury would be stubbing your big toe.

Inflammatory diseases may cause it, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

It is easiest to treat if this disorder is caught in the early stages before bone spurs develop.  Your podiatrist will have to do some range of motion tests and possibly some X-rays to determine the severity of the hallux rigidus.

It is best to have a foot and ankle doctor look at your toe to determine the cause and severity of this disorder.  Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS can help find out the cause and determine the best treatment option.  Contact Us at Dakota Foot & Ankle Clinic today to set up an appointment.


photo credit: Marcolm via freedigitalphotos.net

By Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS
October 10, 2014
Category: Hallux Rigidus

Is your big toe stiff and painful?

You may have a disorder called Hallux Rigidus.  Hallux is referring to the big toe and rigidus means the toe is stiff and unable to move.

Hallux Rigidus is a form of degenerative arthritis and occurs when there is a wearing out of the cartilage in between the toe joint.  It is also a progressive condition.  This means that the motion of the toe may decrease over time.  During the beginning stages of the disorder it may be called Hallux Limitus because the motion is only slightly limited.  As time goes on motion will decrease and the toe will become very stiff and may be called a “frozen joint.”

There are other problems that may occur as the toe becomes stiff. 

Some of the early signs/symptoms are:

·         There may be some swelling along the toe joint.

·         You might have difficulty during certain activities.

·         Your big toe is stiff and painful when trying to use it.

·         The pain and stiffness is aggravated by cold, damp weather.

As the disorder gets worse these symptoms may occur:

·         Your toe may be painful at all times

·         You may start to limp.

·         Pain in other parts of your body (hip, knee, lower back) caused by walking differently

·         It may be painful to wear shoes, because bone spurs may develop.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms Contact Us at 701-255-3338 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS