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 Foot NeuromaWhen people hear the word “neuroma”, they may think it has to do with the brain, since it’s close to “neural”, which does deal with one’s grey matter. No, it actually has to do with one’s feet. It’s a nerve tumor or a pinched nerve. Fortunately, it’s benign, but it can be painful for those who have it. Typically, it’s found between the third and fourth toe, but they have appeared all over the foot.


It’s also commonly diagnosed as “Morton’s neuroma” or an “intermetasartal neuroma.” The second one is referring to the location, which is in the ball of the foot. A 19th-century surgeon named Thomas George Morton discovered the neuroma.


People who have it can feel burning, tingling, and numbness and can make walking a chore. Here is what people should know about this condition.



While what makes this occur has not been definitively pinpointed, researchers and doctors have several ideas. There are several possible things that can theoretically be linked to making a neuroma: 

- Deformities that are biomechanical in nature. People with high arches or flat feet may be prone to this. This is due to the fact that when they walk, the toe joints are not stabilized, which opens the door to a neurons.

- Foot trauma can damage nerves, which can cause swelling or inflammation around them.

Footwear that squeezes the toes together can help cause this. High-heel shoes with a heel that is more than two inches can cause a lot of pressure on the toes.

- Jobs that cause stress on the feet. People who have to be on their feet all day and may not be wearing the most comfortable of shoes.

- Certain sports, like running, can be quite hard on the feet. People who ski or rock climb may wear shoes that are too tight.



Neuromas can behave differently for each individual.People who have neuromas will usually have one or more of these symptoms:

- They will feel pain in the front of their feet and between their toes.

- There will be numbness and tingling at the balls of their feet

- They will see swelling between their toes

- If they put weight on the balls of their feet, there will be pain.



People can do the following, often in conjunction with their podiatrist:


- Wear padding in their shoes. This will support the arch of their foot.

- Put ice on the foot to reduce swelling.

- Wear orthotic devices to support their foot and stop nerve compression.

- Change their everyday activities to stop putting pressure on the neuroma

- Take anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.

- Modify their shoes to fit their feet better.

- Possibly do injections of medicine like cortisone.


If the neuroma has progressed too far or the foot has not responded to other treatment, surgery may be the best option - but actual procedures and recovery will vary with each individual.



Vigilance is key when it comes to dealing with this.. People need to go see a podiatrist when they feel any of the above symptoms. It’s not something that they should try to gut through. Neuromas tend to worsen over time and can cause a great deal of discomfort and pain. 


Sadly, people tend to neglect their feet, treating them as an afterthought… until pain dictates otherwise. Even then, some may want to sacrifice in the name of fashion, particularly those who prefer to wear high heels.  It’s better to set oneself up for consistent comfort, particularly in their later years, then spending that time with regret.

Dr. John J Hickey has extensive experience in helping people wear the best-fitting shoe that can help prevent neuromas or alleviate the situation should one develop. Give him a call at 516-735-4545 to see him at Levittown Podiatry.

Published By

 Dr. John J Hickey

2870 Hempstead Tpke,

 Suite 103, Levittown New York

Phone: 516-735-4545


Tips for choosing the best shoes to avoid Foot Injuries For Women  The fall season can be rough on a woman’s feet. That’s not to say that men don’t have foot woes then, but the fashion trends, especially after having their feet exposed for several months during the summer, can be more unforgiving for women.


The closed-toe shoes, coupled with high heels, can bring about results like bunions and other damage to the foot. What can be done about it?


Here are a few things that women can think about when picking out fall shoes - along with a couple of pointers for men:


Monitor The Toe Space

Summer is a time when women wear open-toed shoes or sandals. They like to let their feet breathe. It’s an easy time, for the most part, assuming that their choice in footwear actually fits. 


Have Comfortable Shoes Available

This is especially effective for people who work office jobs where they keep their feet under a desk for much of the day. They can wear the fashionable shoes in to work and then slip into the more practical, comfortable shoes.


When they do this, they minimize the amount of damage that can be done to the feet. Of course, when they get home, they can just kick off the shoes and relax, too. This is a way that prevents long-term discomfort and damage.


Protect the Feet

That’s not to say that autumnal foot pain is the exclusive domain of women. Men can have a hard time re-adjusting to wearing dress shows, especially if they wore nothing but flip-flops all summer. That can lead to chafing and even cuts on the feet. They need to do these things: 


- Ensure that the shoes fit well. 

- Try to break them in before wearing them for extended time

- Put protection on problem places like the heel.


People need to assess what their job situation calls for. Are they seated a lot? Standing all day? If they need to do a lot of walking then the more sensible shoes are the best option. 


Living in a place like New York, the urge to stay current with fashion can be a strong one. It’s better to sacrifice a little bit and preserve one’s feet for all the other seasons coming up in the future.

Come see Dr. John J Hickey at Leavittown Podiatry. He knows the best type of shoes for all the different types of feet out there. Give him a call at 516-735-4545.

Published By

Dr. John J Hickey

2870 Hempstead Tpke,

Suite 103, Levittown New York

Phone: 516-735-4545


Difference Between Broken or Sprained Ankle You’re out running and you step somewhere awkwardly - it could be the edge of a curb, a pothole, or a crack in the ground. Now you’re on the ground and one of your ankles is throbbing. Hopefully, you’re with someone or there are people nearby since putting any pressure on the foot is nearly impossible.


It can be very difficult to tell the difference between the two without seeing a doctor. There are some basic rules of thumb to go by, though. This is not to be taken as medical advice.

Here are some of the differences between an ankle sprain and an ankle fracture. 


Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain is when you do damage to your ankle ligaments. The area will swell. You’ve either stretched or torn a ligament. There will be pain and you can’t put your foot on the ground without it hurting. The best thing you can do is the RICE treatment:

Rest - Your body needs to heal. Stay off your feet for at least the rest of the day.

Ice - Put ice on the area for 20 minutes at a time. 20 minutes on. 20 minutes off. 

Compression - Put an ace bandage on the foot. This will help reduce swelling

Elevate - Put several pillows under your feet.


Ankle Fracture 

There will be a lot of pain. It can be hard to tell, though, since unless there’s a clean break and something is protruding, an X-ray will be necessary to determine the extent of the injury. 

Another possible thing that can occur is you will likely hear a popping sound when the injury occurs. That doesn’t happen with a sprain.

You can look for some other signs like

Deformity - There will be swelling in either case, but this goes beyond the norm. Also, it will just look… odd.


Pale skin around injured area

Numbness - This is a big one since a sprain tends to be constant throbbing, but the fracture can cause numbness after the initial pain.

• In either case, it’s best to see a doctor, preferably an orthopedic surgeon. They can examine the foot and if there is a fracture, take the necessary steps to ensure that the foot is immobilized and perform surgery if the bones are not aligning properly.

If you have an ankle sprain, depending on the severity and how fast you do the RICE treatment, you can be on your feet again in a matter of days. Ankle fractures can require a lot longer recovery time, like weeks or even a month or more before you can resume your normal fitness activities like running. 

Dr. John J Hickey is a podiatrist and he can help patients who have recovered from either an ankle sprain or a fracture find the best shoes to provide both comfort and stability to help prevent this situation from occurring again.

August 02, 2019
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All About Bunions


One may have heard about bunions but wondered what they actually are. The best way to describe it is for one to imagine a bump growing on the big-toe side of the foot at the base of the toe. It can push the big toe toward the small, or pinkie, toe.


The question is - how exactly does one get a bunion and what can one do about it? It’s a very common occurrence, too. Roughly three million people a year get one.

Here are some things people should know about bunions.


The thing with bunions is that they are not instant. They may grow over the years before becoming truly noticeable. Calluses may also form over the bunion and people notice that their feet are changing shape with their big toe not pointing straight anymore.

Bunions may not be initially painful and may seem more like an annoyance. Chances are, if left untreated, they can worsen over time. Other complications may include bursitis, hammertoe and Metatarsalgia, which is pain in the ball of one’s foot.

Like a lot of other foot conditions, one way of preventing bunions is to assess how one treats their feet in their younger days. Do they wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes or do they cram them into whatever passes for fashion at the time?

There are other factors too, including genetics and whether one has arthritis.


The first step is for one to see a foot doctor if the pain keeps getting worse, the bump appears on the big toe, there’s difficulty in moving one’s foot or even walking properly.

A foot doctor will examine the situation and determine a course of treatment. An X-ray will be taken. Non-surgical options will range from changing shows to splinting the foot to taking painkillers to icing the foot.

Surgery is often the last option, since there is a small chance that it might affect the stability of the big toe and have it permanently pointing toward the pinkie toe.


Narrow shoes will be out of the question, since they can cause a reoccurrence. The patient will need to take good care of their feet and a full recovery, especially if surgery was needed, can take weeks, if not months.

Dr. John J Hickey has worked with people’s feet for many years at Levittown Podiatry. He knows what causes bunions and how to treat them.  Give him a call to learn what he can do for you: 516-735-4545.


Exercises to maintain foot conditionsThere are several conditions that need treatment

The stretches are easy and can be done at home

Building a strong foundation helps


People tend to not think about their feet very much despite their everyday importance. They allow them to walk great distances or run or exercise. It’s when they lose the ability to use their feet as they did previously that they often realize that they took it for granted.

Depending on the severity of the injury, there are exercises that can be done to either build up their strength to get back to being able to walk or possibly prevent them from reoccurring.

Here are several things that could affect people and dictate the way that they walk, along with some possible ways people to rehabilitate those conditions or injuries.


Foot Drop

This condition, when one has trouble lifting the front of one or both of their feet - which then drags on the ground. There are several causes for this - nerve injury, brain, and spinal cord disorders, and muscle disorders. Things like crossing one’s legs, kneeling, and wearing a leg cast could cause the nerve to be pinched.


Besides other options like one wearing splints on their feet, electric stimulation, or surgery, one can do physical therapy exercises.


- Towel Stretch - A person sits with their legs extended out straight in front of them. They loop a towel around the top of their feet and gently pull it toward them for 30 seconds.

- Toe-to-Heel Rocks - One stands with a chair in front of them for support. While holding onto the back of the chair, they rock forward until they are on their toes. Five seconds later they rock backward until they are on their heels with toes in the air.

- Ankle Dorsiflexion - The patient attaches a resistance band to a table and then sit down with both legs in front of them. They wrap the band around their foot and pull their toes toward them.

- Ball Lift - One sits with their feet on the ground and they put a tennis-ball-sized sphere between their feet. Keeping their feet together, they lift the ball up and in front of them.

- Marble Pick-Up -The patient sits in a chair with both feet on the ground. They pick up a marble by curling the toes of one foot around it and then putting it in a bowl. There are 20 marbles on the ground.

- Plantar Flexion - This is along the same lines as the Ankle Dorsiflexion, but the patient, after tying the resistance band around their foot, tilt their foot toward the floor instead of toward them.


Foot Pain

A variety of exercises can help ease the pain here, but the first thing that one should do is rest while elevating their feet. They can put ice on the area if it is swelling, but keeping off their feet for a while is important. After getting an OK from a medical professional, they can do exercises like these.


- Toe Raise, Point, and Curl - The patient sits in a chair with both feet on the ground and then lift up their heels like they are on tippy-toe. They then curl the toes.

- Big Toe Stretch - The patient puts their foot on their knee and manipulates the big toe, giving it a wider range of motion.

- Toe curls - The patient puts a small towel on the ground and puts their foot on it. They then curl the towel toward them with their toes.

- Toe Splay - Still seated, the patient spreads all their toes as wide as they can.

- Marble Pick-up - Same as listed above.

- Sand Walking - The surface of the sand is uneven, which makes one use different muscles. It can help stretch foot muscles.

- Toe Extension - This is like the big toe stretch, but it is for the whole top of the foot with the toes.

- Golf Ball Roll - Running a ball under one’s feet can help tremendously with pain.

- Achilles Stretch- The patient stands and leans forward against a wall and alternates legs while leaning to stretch this area out.


Foot Tendonitis

Many of the above can help here too, but since the condition is caused by overuse, rest is vital. Trying to do too much too soon can cause a setback and then even more time to recuperate before aiming to stabilize the foot. People need to take it easy and just let their bodies heal.

Dr. John J Hickey of Levittown Podiatry will be able to help with these issues. He has extensive experience in the field and can also point to professionals who can help patients rehabilitate themselves.

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