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Podiatry Blog

By Stonestown Podiatry Group
January 06, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Hammertoes  

Dealing with painful and achy hammertoes?

A hammertoe is a less talked about foot deformity compared to bunions, but they aren’t any less of an issue. A hammertoe causes one or more toes to bend downward, resembling a claw. Since hammertoes can cause pain and other issues, you may wish to speak with our San Francisco, CA, podiatrists Dr. Richard Rolfes and Dr. Jasper Lee about the best ways to manage your hammertoes.

The Cause of a Hammertoe

The most common reason a hammertoe forms is a muscle imbalance in the foot. Most people don’t notice this imbalance unless they visit our San Francisco, CA, podiatrists for a routine evaluation. Over time this imbalance causes the toe to bend downward and also leads to structural changes in the foot.

Once a hammertoe has formed, wearing tightly fitted shoes or shoes that force the toe into a cramped position can make this problem worse. Always opt for shoes that provide your foot with ample support and give your toes enough room to wiggle and move around.

The Symptoms of a Hammertoe

Here are some telltale signs that you may have a hammertoe,

  • One or more toes bend downward at the middle joint (the toe may resemble a claw)
  • Redness or inflammation of the affected toe
  • Pain or discomfort in the toe when wearing shoes
  • The presence of a corn or callus on the toe

Treating a Hammertoe

In most cases, people can manage their symptoms and prevent their hammertoe from progressing by using these simple nonsurgical methods,

  • Wearing protective padding: Use non-medicated padding over the affected toe to prevent corns or calluses from forming on the hammertoe, or to protect a current corn or callus from rubbing against your shoes.
  • Choose the right shoes: Wearing shoes that are too tight, that have high heels or pointed toes can make symptoms worse. Opt instead for comfortable shoes with ample space for your toes.
  • Use custom orthotics: Sometimes wearing these shoe inserts can provide comfort and support and take pressure off certain areas of the foot. This can be a great option for those dealing with a structural or muscular imbalance in the foot.
  • Take medication: Sometimes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can temporarily reduce bouts of pain and swelling.

If the toe has become fixed in place and rigid, the only way to correct the severity of this condition is with surgery.

Dealing with foot pain due to hammertoes? If so, our San Francisco, CA, podiatrists at Stonestown Podiatry Group can help you find effective solutions for managing this common foot deformity. To schedule an evaluation, simply call us at (415) 731-6700.

By Stonestown Podiatry Group
November 18, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Heel Pain  

You may have felt initial symptoms of a developing heel spur and thought the pain would subside eventually, however, you may be feeling the consequences of ignoring heel pain. Dr. Richard Rolfes and Dr. Jasper Lee with Stonestown Podiatry Group in San Francisco, CA, understand how heel spurs can keep you from engaging in your usual daily activities and are prepared to discuss the best-personalized plan to relieve your pain.

Causes Of Heel Spurs

Plenty of stress and strain are placed on our feet daily, and in the case of heel spurs, pain tends to be felt at the bottom of the heel bone. A calcium deposit (heel spur) usually begins to form slowly as a result of constant overuse of the feet, as well as any of the following:

  • improper footwear
  • arthritis
  • previous injuries (e.g. heel bruising)
  • irregular weight distribution on the feet
  • other related conditions that wear down the muscles and ligaments

Symptoms And Treatments Of Heel Pain

Heel spurs are not visible to the naked eye, but by visiting with Dr. Rolfes and Dr. Lee in San Francisco, CA, you can expect that through an x-ray, they can best determine the cause of your heel pain. Symptoms of heel spurs often tend to look like:

  • inflammation or swelling around the area of the spur
  • increased sensitivity at the bottom of the heel
  • your heel is hot to the touch
  • intense pain in the heel upon standing
  • persistent pain throughout the day

Sometimes people that have heel spurs don't experience any symptoms and may only learn of having one through an external cause. Even so, there are general guidelines to follow when you have heel spurs:

  • offering as much rest as your can for your feet to relieve the daily pressure and strain
  • reducing pain or inflammation by icing the heel
  • wearing the proper footwear can make the world of difference—this may be shoe inserts (custom orthotics) or shoes with extra arch and heel support
  • discussing if pain relief (or anti-inflammatory) medications are right for you with your primary care physician

Visit Us

At Stonestown Podiatry Group, Dr. Rolfes and Dr. Lee don't want to see their patients experiencing persistent pain. They encourage you to visit with them in San Francisco, CA, by calling our office today at (415) 731-6700!

By Stonestown Podiatry Group
September 13, 2021
Category: Foot Treatments
Tags: Bunions  

Learn more about bunion surgery and when it might be time to consider it.

You’ve been told that you have a bunion. Now what? While most people with bunions can ease pain and discomfort through sporting the proper footwear and changing their lifestyles, sometimes these habits just aren’t enough. When bunions have become so enlarged and painful that they impact your daily life, our San Francisco, CA, podiatrist Dr. Richard Rolfes can provide surgical relief to correct this common foot deformity.

Do bunions get worse?

Bunions are considered progressive. While wearing the appropriate shoes and properly caring for your feet can certainly slow the progression of this deformity, it will continue to grow larger over time. How quickly a bunion progresses varies from person to person. Some bunions develop rapidly while others may be slow to develop.

Is it time to consider bunion surgery?

This is the number one question we hear from our patients. They often don’t know if their bunion symptoms warrant getting surgery. Here are some signs that it might be time to talk with our San Francisco, CA, podiatry team about bunion surgery:

  • You are dealing with constant and severe foot pain
  • Your bunion limits your activities
  • You are experiencing severe and persistent swelling
  • It’s painful to wear shoes or to walk
  • The bunion is very large
  • The big toe is crossing over the smaller toes
  • Over-the-counter or prescription painkillers aren’t touching the pain
  • Home care isn’t enough to manage your symptoms
  • Your quality of life has diminished due to your bunion

How is bunion surgery performed?

There are several surgical techniques for correcting bunions, and this is something that our San Francisco, CA, foot doctor will discuss with you during your evaluation. While there are various techniques for correcting this deformity they all involve repositioning the deformed joint back into the proper alignment to alleviate pain and improve mobility and functionality of the foot.

This surgical procedure is performed under local anesthesia with IV sedation. The procedure can take as little as 45 minutes or up to three hours, depending on several factors including the severity of the deformity and the technique Dr. Rolfes and his team utilizes.

From customized bunion treatment plans to minimally invasive bunion surgery, our San Francisco, CA, podiatrist Dr. Rolfes and the team at Stonestown Podiatry Group are here to make sure that your feet get the care they need so you can continue to live the life you want. To find out if it’s time to consider bunion surgery, call us at (415) 731-6700 to schedule an evaluation with our team.

By Stonestown Podiatry Group
May 24, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions  

At Stonestown Podiatry Group, Dr. Jasper Lee and Dr. Richard Rolfes treat patients with bunions. Bunions are fairly common, but it's important to treat them as soon as you notice symptoms to avoid the long-term effects. Come see us in San Francisco, CA, if you are suffering from bunions.


A bunion is a bone deformity caused by the joint at the base of the toe enlarging. This forces the toe towards the other toes and a bump forms on the outside of the big toe. Some people have a genetic tendency to develop bunions, but they can happen to anyone. You may have a bunion if you have the following symptoms:

  • A visible bump on the outside of the big toe joint
  • Pain in the toe, especially when walking
  • Redness or swelling of the joint
  • Corns or calluses where the toes overlap

Bunions can be extremely painful because they rub against footwear. Bunions will only progressively get worse, so come to our San Francisco, CA, practice as soon as you notice these symptoms

Long Term effects

It's dangerous to leave bunions untreated. Bunions are bone deformities so they won't get better on their own. The big toe will be forced further over and overlap with the first toe. You will experience a limited range of motion in the toe joint and this will affect your balance.

Treatment options

If you have a bunion, the good news is there are a variety of treatments available. Your doctor will recommend wearing comfortable and supportive footwear as often as possible. Choose footwear that supports the arch and gives the toes plenty of room to wiggle to prevent bunions. Other treatments for bunions include:

  • Bunion pads to limit chafing while walking
  • Shoe inserts are orthotic devices that limit your pain as you walk
  • Toe splints are typically worn overnight and help the joint realign
  • A bunionectomy surgery is usually an option only after more conservative measures haven't helped relieve your pain

Stonestown Podiatry Group is here to help if you are suffering from bunions. Dr. Jasper Lee and Dr. Richard Rolfes diagnose and treat all common foot problems to keep you healthy and on your feet! Contact us for an appointment in San Francisco, CA, at (415) 731-6700.

By Stonestown Podiatry Group
March 01, 2021
Category: Foot Treatments
Tags: Athlete's Foot  

Do you still have Athlete's foot despite using over-the-counter products? Your San Francisco, CA, podiatrists, Dr. Richard Rolfes and Dr. Jasper Lee of Stonestown Podiatry Group, offer effective treatments for the condition.

Relieving your Athlete's foot symptoms

Over-the-counter products can help control Athlete's foot symptoms, but the products aren't always as effective as the commercials and ads promise. Although drugstore anti-fungal products can relieve minor Athlete's foot infections, they may not be strong enough to tackle a severe infection.

Topical medications prescribed by your San Francisco foot doctor offer a better solution. Once applied to your feet, the prescription-strength medication penetrates deep into your skin, killing the fungus that causes Athlete's foot. In most cases, you'll need to use the medication for several weeks.

If the topical medication doesn't relieve your symptoms, your podiatrist may prescribe an oral anti-fungal medication. You may need to take the pills for several weeks or months.

When to see the podiatrist about Athlete's foot

It's a good idea to schedule a visit with your foot doctor if your symptoms aren't improving after two weeks of using over-the-counter medications or you have severe itching or pain. Call right away if you have broken blisters that have become infected. Signs of a bacterial infection can include oozing blisters, pus discolored skin, red streaks on your toes or feet, warmth, or fever.

Don't try to treat Athlete's foot at home if you have diabetes, as the disease may increase the likelihood that you'll develop a bacterial infection. Fortunately, prompt treatment from your podiatrist can help you avoid a painful infection.

How to avoid Athlete's foot in the future

Although prescription topical or oral medication can cure your current fungal infection, they can't prevent future infections. You can reduce your risk of another bout of Athlete's foot by:

  • Wearing sandals in public locker and shower rooms and around swimming pools
  • Using foot powder in your socks to decrease moisture
  • Changing your socks and shoes mid-day if your feet tend to sweat
  • Alternating shoes to give sweaty shoes plenty of time to dry out
  • Washing socks, bedding, towels, and washcloths in 140F water to kill the fungi

Ease your uncomfortable Athlete's foot symptoms with a visit to your podiatrists in San Francisco, Dr. Rolfes, and Dr. Lee. Call Stonestown Podiatry Group at (415) 731-6700 to schedule your appointment.

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