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Podiatry Blog

Posts for category: Foot Conditions

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
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
August 25, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Podiatrist  

If you had an automotive problem, would you see a plumber? So, if you have a problem with your feet and ankles--or wish to prevent one--see a podiatrist. Experts in the structure, function, and health of your lower extremities, the team at Stonestown Podiatry Group in San Francisco, CA, help people stay mobile and feeling good. Learn more about why you should see Dr. Daniel Alberts, Dr. Richard Rolfes, or Dr. Jasper Lee.

Why see a podiatrist?

Frankly, they're an expert in foot and ankle care. Over time, your lower extremities can develop problems you may never have anticipated. Or, an existing condition may become more difficult to manage.

Accordingly, you should visit your podiatrist in his San Francisco, CA, office. He will examine your feet, take X-rays, do a gait analysis as needed, and recommend treatments to ensure your feet look, feel, and function well.

Ten signs it's time to see your podiatrist

Need more detailed information? Read these guidelines about visiting your podiatrist at his San Francisco CA office:

1. You are diabetic. Minimally, see your podiatrist once a year--more if you have active disease processes or deformities. Diabetics are at risk for amputation as their condition impairs nerve sensation, healing, immunity, and circulation. Your foot doctor can prevent problems from spiraling out of control.

2. Your feet hurt even after you rest them. If you're in pain for more than a day, come see us.

3. You have begun a new sport or exercise routine. Runners, take note. Getting in shape is great but puts you at risk for sprains, fractures, and inflammatory conditions such as painful plantar fasciitis.

4. You have thick corns or calluses. These skin overgrowths impact your mobility, but never attempt surgery at home. Your podiatrist will remove them safely, avoiding infection.

5. Your feet have changed color. They have an overall dusky look or have areas that are red, purple, or white. This may indicate impaired circulation. Slowly healing sores need prompt attention, too.

6. You have an ingrown toenail. This hurts and rarely improves by itself. See your podiatrist for partial nail removal and for ways to trim your nails properly.

7. Your feet look deformed. Arthritis, benign neuromas, and bunions change the appearance of your feet but are corrected or limited with prompt podiatric management.

8. You walk funny. Maybe you roll one foot inward or have other gait issues. You may need shoe orthotics (customized inserts) to correct the problem.

9. You cannot conquer your athlete's foot. Stronger medication and some information on prevention will help.

10. You work on your feet a lot. Your podiatrist can recommend ways to take the stress off your feet and ankles.

Contact us

At Stonestown Podiatry Group, we can recommend the best management and treatment strategies so your feet stay healthy. For an in-office consultation, contact your podiatrists, Dr. Richard Rolfes, Dr. Daniel Alberts, or Dr. Jasper Lee, in San Francisco CA at (415) 731-6700.

By Stonestown Podiatry Group
April 10, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions  

Bunions are a bony protrusion on the side of the foot near the base of the big toe. Bunions can cause pain and discomfort throughout the day as they rub against the inside of the shoes, which causes friction and inflammation. Several treatment options are available. We can help you manage your bunions at Stonestown Podiatry Group in San Francisco, CA. Our experienced podiatrists, Dr. Daniel Alberts, Dr. Richard Rolfes, and Dr. Jasper Lee, can discuss different treatment options with you.

What are Bunions?

A bunion is a bone deformity that develops on the side of the foot just below the big toe. The joint connecting the big toe to the foot is known as the metatarsophalangeal joint. When this joint moves out of place, it causes the big toe to slant toward the smaller ones. This movement also causes the metatarsophalangeal joint to protrude at the side of the foot and form a bunion. Friction produced from footwear rubbing against the feet can irritate and inflame bunions, which leads to discomfort and pain.

Bunions will not heal without treatment. They can also lead to other foot problems over time. For example, untreated bunions can eventually lead to the development of hammertoe, which is another foot condition associated with toe deformities. Additionally, bunions can also lead to the development of bursitis or arthritis in the feet. At our office in San Francisco, CA, our podiatrists can recommend treatments for alleviating bunion pain, correcting the condition, and preventing further foot problems.

Treatments to Manage Bunions

One of the main causes of bunions is wearing tight-fitting shoes that squeeze the toes together. Wearing footwear with enough room for the toes to move can help prevent bunions. For patients with bunions, wearing supportive shoes with sufficient room and cushioning can help reduce friction and minimize the discomfort it causes. There are many ways to treat bunions, including:

  • Removing corns and calluses on the feet
  • Wearing a splint at night to realign the toe joint
  • Performing foot exercises to improve joint functioning
  • Wearing custom orthotics in the shoes to stabilize the toe joint
  • Inserting protective padding in the shoes to reduce friction and cushion the feet

In some cases, surgery might be needed to effectively treat bunions and prevent additional foot problems. Bunion surgery, referred to as bunionectomy, can be performed to remove bunions and realign the metatarsophalangeal toe joint so bunions do not form again.

We can help you manage your bunions. Dr. Alberts, Dr. Rolfes, or Dr. Lee can develop a treatment plan specifically for you. To schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists, call Stonestown Podiatry Group in San Francisco at (415) 731-6700.