Items filtered by date: May 2023

Toe pain is very uncomfortable and can happen for a variety of reasons, including the arthritic condition that is known as gout, or medical reasons such as bunions and hammertoes. Many people can experience toe pain from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or if the toe is stubbed against a piece of furniture. The latter reason may result in a broken toe, and it is often difficult to walk. Despite the reason for toe pain, mild relief may be found when the foot is elevated, and weight is kept off it. Treatment can vary, and this depends on the reason for the toe pain. If the toe is broken, the buddy taping method may be effective in keeping the injured toe stable by taping it to the toe next to it. The majority of people that have toe pain choose to wear shoes that may be a bit larger, and this may help to accommodate the injured toe. If you have toe pain, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can determine what the cause is, and offer you correct treatment solutions.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Jennifer M. Kern, DPM of South Carolina. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking


In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.


Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in West Columbia, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 23 May 2023 00:00

Plantar Fasciitis and Surgery

The foot condition that is known as plantar fasciitis may require foot surgery to be performed. If other treatment methods are unsuccessful, patients may consider surgery as an option for permanent relief. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia becomes irritated or torn, which may happen from standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time. The plantar fascia is found on the bottom of the foot and connects the heels to the toes. The pain is often felt in the heel and lower leg and can cause difficulty in completing daily activities. Patients that have severe pain with this condition can find it can be uncomfortable to walk, causing them to look for relief options. When surgery is performed, the fascia is detached from the heel bone, and this can be successful in relieving tension. New growth occurs during the healing process, which may lengthen the fascia. If you suffer from this painful condition, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who will help you to determine if foot surgery is right for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Jennifer M. Kern, DPM of South Carolina. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in West Columbia, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 16 May 2023 00:00

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails happen when the toenail grows into its surrounding skin. This can be uncomfortable, as the nail pierces the skin and becomes tender, red, and swollen. The big toe is the most often affected by this affliction, and if not tended to, it can bleed and become infected. If one is diabetic and has an ingrown toenail, they need to obtain immediate medical care as this can turn into a serious complication with their propensity towards infections and slower healing. To prevent ingrown toenails, it is important to cut toenails straight across rather than in a curved fashion, wear shoes that fit well and do not bind the toes in any way, and wear socks or other foot coverings to protect the feet. Examining the feet for excessive sweat or injury can help in the prevention of ingrown toenails as well. Wet feet can cause the toenails to soften, and it becomes easier for the nail to grow into the skin. Even a stubbed toe can cause a toenail to pierce the skin. If you develop an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist who can provide the best treatment option for you.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Jennifer M. Kern, DPM of South Carolina. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.


  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition


Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.


Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in West Columbia, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Wednesday, 10 May 2023 00:00

Stop Your Toenail Fungus

Have you noticed discoloration of your toenails? Have they become thickened or brittle? If so, you may be experiencing symptoms of a fungal nail infection. For some, having a fungal nail can be embarrassing. Overcome your embarrassment, and get treated.

Tuesday, 09 May 2023 00:00

Pediatric Flat Feet

When babies are born, their feet are flat. This means that if you were to place the soles of their feet on the floor, they would be flush with the floor. As the child ages, an arch typically develops. This generally happens by the time they are a teenager. If the arch does not develop, they would continue to have flat feet. While not deemed serious, flat feet can cause discomfort and can make doing everyday activities requiring prolonged standing difficult. Children are active and often play sports, which can cause cramping in the arch and heel areas. Well-fitting and supportive shoes, as well as shoe inserts or orthotics, can provide some relief for flat feet. Rarely will surgery be recommended. If your child has flat feet and they feel pain, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist to learn about options for relief.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Jennifer M. Kern, DPM from South Carolina. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  


  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn


If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in West Columbia, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 02 May 2023 00:00

What Type of Orthotic Do I Need?

There are specific foot conditions that may benefit from wearing orthotics. These can include flat feet, high arches, and plantar fasciitis. Orthotics are defined as prescribed heel or shoe inserts that are made to treat foot conditions. They generally provide more support in shoes and are available in various shapes and sizes. Custom-made orthotics are known to fall into three categories. Hard materials such as plastic are used to make functional orthotics, and can be durable and long-lasting. They can help to offer support to the foot and improve ankle mobility. Accommodative custom orthotics are made of softer materials, and are generally well-cushioned. They are effective in reducing the stress of standing and walking, and may be chosen for diabetic patients. Orthotics made of both of these types of materials are referred to as semi-rigid. They can be used to treat patients who have arthritic or flat feet. If you have a foot condition that requires orthotics to be worn for maximum improvement, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can determine what the best type is for you and can create a custom orthotic to meet your foot's specific needs.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Jennifer M. Kern, DPM from South Carolina. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in West Columbia, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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