Showing posts from April, 2018

What is a Hammertoe?

The toe contains two joints that allow it to bend in the middle and the bottom. When a patient has a hammertoe, a deformity allows the middle joint to become flexed, or bent downward. This can happen to one toe or all of them and usually develops over time due to arthritis, or ill-fitting footwear. Hammertoes may only be reversible by surgery, but Dr. Frank Killian of Mercer-Ocean Podiatry, PC, will explore non-invasive treatment options first.
If you feel pain in the toes and have difficulty finding shoes due to hammertoe, have no fear. Common causes of hammertoe include a traumatic toe injury, arthritis, an unusually high foot arch, or wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. Treatment for hammertoe typically involves fitting the patient with soft shoes that have roomy toe boxes. Additionally, Dr. Killian may suggest toe exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles.
If you have questions or concerns regarding hammertoe treatment, please give us a call. To learn about services provide…

How to Properly Trim the Toenails

At Mercer-Ocean Podiatry, Dr. Frank Killian doesn’t just provide patients with education on the foot and ankle conditions that he treats, he provides you with the tools to optimize your foot health in the comfort of your own home. There are a right way and a wrong way to do most things, and trimming your toenails falls into this category. To avoid ingrown toenails and cutting nails too short, utilize these tips.

Cut straight across – Guide the clippers across the nail of each toe and avoid cutting into a curved shape.
Use appropriate toenail clippers – large clippers are for toenails, small clippers are for fingernails.
Leave nails a little long – If you cut them too short, ingrown toenails occur. It can also leave your nails susceptible to infection.
Cut nails when they are dry, not wet – wet nails may be likely to tear, bend, or not cut smoothly because they’re softer when wet. Cutting dry nails will give you a cleaner, smoother cut.
Make a few small cuts – don’t try to clip the toenail…


Bunions are one of the most common problems we deal with at Mercer-Ocean Podiatry. These bulges on the side of the foot at the base of the toe are the result of a bone deformity, and while they are not always painful, they are often inconvenient.
The causes of bunions are poorly understood, although they mostly occur in women and seem to be correlated with genetics and arthritis. They are caused by the big toe pushing against its neighbor, pushing the big toe’s base out of alignment. Some people get bunions on the little toe for the same reason. The bulge may be red and swollen and the misalignment may put stress on other structures in the foot, resulting in inflammation and skin damage.
The only permanent solution for a bunion is surgery to cut away the protuberance and realign the rest of the toe bones. However, doctors often observe that swelling decreases when the patient wears shoes that are roomier and provide better structural support. Podiatrists can help patients to get the rig…

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

When patients come to Mercer-Ocean Podiatry complaining of foot pain, one of the potential causes we’ll test for is tarsal tunnel syndrome. This disease is the result of a compressed nerve and can also cause numbness and tingling.
The tarsal tunnel is a structure on the inward-facing side of the foot near the protruding ankle bone. The tibial nerve branches off from the sciatic nerve further up the leg and passes through the tarsal tunnel on its way to the bottom of the foot. There are several reasons why the tarsal tunnel may be too narrow for the nerve, including inflammation, cysts, and bone deformities. Inflammation may be from overuse, such as can occur with osteoarthritis or when the foot rolls too far inward while walking, which is called overpronation. Symptoms may be felt at the bottom of the foot instead of near the tunnel, causing lay observers to misidentify the problem.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome may improve on its own given rest, ice, compression, and elevation. But podiatrist…