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Foot, Ankle, & Podiatry FAQS

Find answers to questions about foot problems, foot conditions, heel and ankle problems, toenails, lower extremities, podiatry, podiatric medicine, podiatrist, foot doctor, ankle or foot surgery, adult and children’s feet.

Preferred Foot & Ankle Specialists FAQ Page

What is gout? Does gout only occur in the big toe?2019-03-19T13:39:58-07:00

Gout is a form of arthritis, a disease affecting the joints. In patients who have gout, crystals form in the joint, which leads to intense pain. You likely also experience redness and swelling around the affected joint.

Gout occurs most often in the joint of the big toe. However, it may occur in any joint in the body, including the ankle. It tends to be most painful in the big toe, although gout is painful wherever it occurs. To reduce pain and inflammation, patients usually require prescription-strength medications.

As with all forms of arthritis, there is no cure for gout. However, there are treatments and lifestyle changes to help reduce and control symptoms. If you think you have gout, schedule an appointment today.

What is gout?

What is a bunion? Can it be treated?2019-03-19T13:35:47-07:00

A bunion is a bony-like bump that forms at the joint where your big toe connects to the rest of your foot. Often, this pushes the big toe toward the rest of your toes. The joint may become red, swollen, and/or painful.

The cause of bunions is not completely clear. Many researchers believe it is a genetic condition exacerbated by wearing improper footwear, stress, injury, or arthritis. A history of wearing high heels, for example, tends to consistently push the toes together, which may cause bunions.

Bunions also tend to run in families, as foot shape and structure are hereditary in the same way height and eye color are. If your bunions are painful or debilitating and conservative treatment fails, there are numerous bunion surgery options.

For more information, please see our Bunions Treatment page.

What is a bunion?

What is a podiatrist?2019-03-22T11:43:10-07:00

A podiatrist is a doctor who treats problems in the feet, ankles, and lower legs. There is no specialist who is more qualified to treat issues from the knee down.

Preferred Foot and Ankle Specialists Contact Us


The side of my Big Toe Hurts – Do I have Bunions?2019-03-19T13:47:02-07:00

This is a common question asked by adults that stand on their feet for many years in the workplace or home and especially women that wear high heels or spent many years wearing high heels.  The years of standing, walking, and the abnormal motion and pressure on the big toe joint causes it (the big toe) to lean in towards your other toes and results in a painful bump at the joint.

Read more about what causes bunions here, what a bunion looks like, and the symptoms if your big toe hurts. Dr. Jarman will first try conservative treatment options to relieve the pain if your big toe hurts due to a bunion, before considering a surgery as an option which would be the last resort for treatment. Some children develop bunions too, so if your child says, “my big toe” hurts, complains about pain at the joint by his/her big toe on the side of their foot make an appointment with Dr. Jarman for a consultation as it could be caused by some other medical condition.


Why are My Toenails Discolored, Yellowed, Thicker?2019-03-19T13:49:52-07:00

Thick, yellow, or discolored toenails are frequently caused by infection from a fungus. It begins invading the nail, starting at the very tip of your toenail, working its way all the back towards the cuticle area and into the nail bed. This same type of fungus also causes athletes foot. Toenails discolored – As the fungal infection advances, the fungus eats at your nail discoloring it and your toenails will continue to thicken, yellow, and may even become painful. Sometimes, a foul-smelling odor is present with a fungal nail infection. Trauma to a toenail can also cause the problem. See Treatment options for fungus toenails.

Note – Occasionally thicker nails may not be from a fungus at all but rather due to wearing your shoes too tight (especially athletic or tennis shoes) or from trauma from an accident, hitting the toenail very hard, or dropping something on the nail. If you are not sure if you have a fungus infection, before it gets worse… making an appointment with Dr. Jarman is one sure way to find out the cause of your toenails discoloring or becoming thicker.

Yellow or discolored toenails

Is Toenail Fungus Contagious?2016-08-08T09:50:11-07:00

Yes, as with most fungi or fungus (living organisms) toenail fungus can be contagious. The fungal toenail infection can affect anyone, any age including children, teens, adults, and seniors and can be problematic for some, especially athletes. Sweaty feet sometimes play a part in the initial infectious stage or process, which then contributes to it spreading. Close interaction with someone that has a fungal toenails infection is usually the culprit.

Prevention: That’s why it is best not to ever use someone’s nail polish or nail tools, or wear someone shoes or socks. Or… go barefoot in gyms, locker rooms, spas, public swimming pools, wet decks, or community shower facilities. All are places where contagious toenail fungus as well as athlete’s foot can be attained and you may not know it for a long time. Learn more about causes and symptoms of fungal toenails and treatment options.

Do I really need surgery for Plantar Fasciitis?2019-03-19T13:54:44-07:00

New Patient asks: “I was told I had Plantar Fasciitis! My foot has increasingly gotten more painful in the last few months. I was told I need surgery to fix the problem. I have tried everything… Do I really need surgery for Plantar Fasciitis?”

Here is what Dr. Mikkel Jarman has to say…

surgery for Plantar Fasciitis - Plantar fasciitis pain areas–photo credit-Kosi Gramatikoff-wikiccThe plantar fascial ligament is attached to the heel and extends to the toes, which provides support to the foot. Excessive tension on the ligament over time can cause excruciating pain. When conservative treatment fails, surgery may be considered. Surgical intervention consists of cutting a portion of the band, with or without addressing the bone spur if one is present. All conservative treatments should be exhausted before considering surgery.

Treatment may include topical medications, steroid injections, massaging, physical therapy, orthotic management, and lastly surgery. Extensive experience and skills you can count on. Although Dr. Jarman is a highly skilled surgeon, he has been successfully helping patients recover from foot or ankle problems using conservative, nonsurgical methods for years. Helping patients overcome pain and lost function, he knows that surgery isn’t always the best solution. However, in those cases where surgery is the only solution, he uses state-of-the-art minimally invasive techniques to shorten recovery time and reduce or eliminate complications.

Whatever foot and ankle condition you have, rest assured that Dr. Jarman offers the latest cosmetic and corrective care. The right approach to help you get the right results. Helping you achieve a fast, hassle-free recovery is Dr. Jarman’s highest priority. That’s why Preferred Foot and Ankle provides state-of-the-art equipment such as diagnostic ultrasound, computer-generated orthotic shoe inserts, and comprehensive foot physical therapy services to support his conservative approach to Podiatric Care. Computer-generated orthotics are thin and lightweight and may eliminate the need for surgery. Get the proper treatment so you can go back to doing what you love most in life!

Learn more about Plantar Fasciitis treatment options, symptoms, and causes. Please feel free to call our office or use our contact form to ask any questions about surgery for Plantar Fasciitis and best conservative treatment and non-surgical options for this condition.

Treating Plantar Fasciitis Without Surgery

Did we fail to answer your question? Don’t hesitate to call our office to speak with Dr. Mikkel Jarman or Dr. Brent Weintrub. Or, fill out our convenient contact form and we’ll respond as soon as possible.

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