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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM

aching right foot

by Gloria

I have been having a problem with my right foot for the past 6 months. It started when we were on vacation and I walked a very long distance in improper shoes (high heels). My foot swelled up at the time but, ever since, it has ached like crazy (on the inside, the bump below my big toe). It usually aches in the night when I am trying to sleep. It aches during the day as well but, it keeps me up at night! I couldn't find anything on your website that might explain what this could be.

Hi Gloria,

Go look at my page on bunions. I assume that is the part of the foot that is hurting you and in many, many instances it is the result of doing a lot of walking in high heels.
Since it has been present for six months I will assume it is not going away on its own. Pain in that area is very treatable and not necessarily by surgical means. But you have to see a podiatrist. Try all conservative measures and with a little luck you should be able improve on the problem.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Hi Kenneth,
You have a multitude of foot problems going on, most of it suggestive of osteoarthritis, or the wear and tear arthritis that most of us develop (even tho you do not mention your age).
The best advice I could give you would be to see a podiatrist; all your symptoms are treatable and you will be more comfortable. BTW, I don't think it is gout.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Left foot pain

by Chris
(Owasso, Oklahoma)

I am a 17 year old female who has been having pain in my left foot for 2 1/2 weeks now. It does not hurt when i walk a short distance (like from my bathroom to my bedroom), but it does hurt when i try to go on a long walk (i normally walk 2 1/2 miles a day), or walk up and down the stairs at my school ( i also carry a 20+ pound bag). I am 6ft1 and weigh 219. the pain moves around, like sometimes when you press on the bottom of my foot it hurts, it also sometimes hurts around the ankle and the long bones in my foot. My doctor took x-rays and they saw nothing wrong with it.

Hi Chris,
Because you are young, because there is no history of trauma, and because you had an x-ray which was normal (was you doctor a podiatrist or orthopedist, or just your family doctor), I would suspect that you have a biomechanical problem meaning you are getting pain because your feet do not function in an "ideal" manner. I am leaning this way because you are getting pain in your foot and your ankle. Possibly, the more you walk, the more the abnormal gait comes into play and that is why you are getting pain.
The best person to diagnose this would be a podiatrist.
Treatment is usually through the use of an orthotic. Keep in mind you have only had this problem for 2 1/2 weeks; you might want to wait a while longer and see if it subsides on its own, if not, then see a doctor.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Metataralgia or Capsulities

by David Driscoll
(Franklin, MA)

Hi there Doctor,

I have been experiencing quite a lot of pain on the bottom of my forefoot just below my second toe and into the ball of my foot (to the left of the big toe). It is very painful to walk on and is very painful to the touch as well. It also seems to get worse when in bare feet.

I do not remember any trauma to the area though I did do quite a bit of running over the weekend. The pain started on 4/1 but is much worse today. First, can you tell me what you think it is and how best I can treat?

(I am a 33 year old male, 5'8, 160 lbs, athletic with no medical conditions)

I am considering visiting my doctor but, I wanted to get your input on a possilbe cause and a remedy.

Thank you.


Hi David,
It sounds like you are quite a diagnostician. Two of my first three choices would be capsulitis, or metatarsalgia, with the third option of sesamoiditis. I would recommend you see your doctor to figure out which condition it is. You might also want to rule out a stress fracture.
Additionally, since you are a runner, if you do not already have orthotics, I would recommend you try a pair.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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painfull lumps on the bottom of both feet

by A. Piazza
(Toronto Canada)

Over the past few years I have developed cyst like lumps on the bottom of both me feet in the arch area. At the touch, the skin feels soft, but under the skin is a cluster of three lumps. I find that they have become more painful and walking for any period of time is uncomfortable. The pain is present when I get out of bed and seems to decrease, however I work on a ceramic floor in a retail sales environment and by the end of day walking is very painful.

My Podiatrist, suggest rest, this is not an option. Do you recommend medication to reduce the lumps or surgery for removal?

Take a look at my page on plantar fibromatosis. Rest is not a solution.
Prior to surgery I would consider a prescription orthotic with an accommodation to take pressure off the lumps. A cortisone shot can be very helpful.
Surgery should be a last resort as there can be complications which may leave you worse off than before surgery, but you certainly cannot rule it out if the more conservative options do not work. See my essay on surgical consideration.

Marc Mitnick DPM

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Mystery Side Foot Pain

by James
(Lake Elsinore, CA, USA)

Hello, I recently developed a pain on the left side of my left foot, below the ankle and spanning from just before the heel, and back to a few inches before the 'pinky' toe. the area is swollen and somewhat bruised in apearance. Pain is only felt when pressure is applied. Walking on my toes is a lot better but still difficult.

How the pain came to be: Last weekend in Las Vegas we were walking long distances along the strip, and I was wearing sandles. The pain just kind of crept up on me and hasn't gone away since, at all. I've tried icing or wrapping the foot but they didn't help at all.

I figure I'll have to go see a doctor this next week but wonder if anyone knows what might be going on with my poor foot! Thank you for your time.

Your limping friend,

Hi James,
Two things immediately come to mind; one is a stress fracture which can readily happen when doing a lot of walking on hard surfaces such as the Vegas strip.
The other thing which I have seen on a couple of occasions is from a shoe (sandal) which is too narrow in the area of the foot you describe. Typically there will be an impingement from the sandal into the fifth metatarsal base.
In either event the foot needs to be x-rayed to rule out stress fracture. If it is not fractured, avoiding those sandals and some anti-inflammatory medication should do the trick.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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constant pain in the ball of my left foot located directly under the big toe

by Markus
(Birmingham , Al Jeffeson)

I am having constant pain in the ball region of my left foot, located directly underneath the big toe. The problem first started about a month ago. The pain just started all of a sudden and progressed for nearly a week. After 8 or 9 days the pain started to decrease in the ball region and I could walk again without any aggravating pain. Well here in the last 2 days now , the pain has returned the same as it did a month ago. I need to know what exactly the problem is , and what I can do to surpress the pain in my foot.

Hi Markus,

Allow me to refer you to my articles on sesamoiditis and turf toe.
If you are not particularly athletic I would lean more towards sesamoiditis; turf toe if you do participate in sports.
Both conditions can be difficult to remedy on your own because every time you "walk" you are basically aggravating the situation.
You can try some of my suggestions in the articles including anti-inflammatory medication and perhaps the use of an orthotic.
In all fairness you should probably have the foot x-rayed to make sure there is no fracture of the sesamoid bone.
Your best bet would be to get started on it now and not allow it to get any worse, because the worse it gets the harder it is to cure.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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little red lumps on underneath of toes

by Freda

I have developed little red lumps on the underneath of two toes. The first was on my little toe and kind of feels like a lump under the skin, it is mildly painful, perhaps more so in the morning. I thought maybe it's a wart but there is no change to the skin, apart from being a little bit red. It does seem to have a 'core' in that when I touch it the core is more painful. Another lump came up about a week and a half later on the other foot, different toe. I think I also have the beginnings of an ingrowing toenail. Not having much luck on the feet front.

Hi Freda,
If the growth has a core, I would still lean toward warts. See a podiatrist; he or she should be able to fix both your problems.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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left ankle pain for about 2 months

by lindsey
(sandy oregon)

my left ankle has been hurting for the past 2 months. it is not a constant pain. sometimes it feels like there is a pocket of air in it and sometimes it is a dull burning and other times it is an intense shooting pain. it is on the outside. when i bend my foot in toward my right and push just under the ankle bone is where it hurts. i have tried icing it and elevating it and taking nsaids i am now wearing a brace that does not allow me to move it sided to side. and it still hurts! there is mild swelling.

Hi Lindsey,
Assuming no history of trauma, the area where you are pressing sounds like the lateral ankle ligaments which are the ligaments which are most affected in an inversion sprain (the left foot bends in toward the right foot as you described). I do not know how old you are, your weight, or your activity level, but two months seems fairly long for this to be going on.
You should pay a visit to a podiatrist and have the ankle x-rayed to make sure nothing else is going on.
Along with the immobilization, physical therapy might be very beneficial. Do not wait too long; the longer you wait, the less beneficial the therapy will be.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Very cold feet and pain in large toe also on the pad of the toe

I have very very cold feet sometimes only wrapping my hands around can warm them up. Sometimes it makes it very painful to walk and lately I have suffered periods in which my large toe, particularly of the left foot, has been very painful and unable to walk on with a pain radiating up the front part of my leg. There is nothing to see other than the toe nail looking white and red horizontal lines towards the nail end of the toe. I seem to be having it periodically but it is so painful. Doctor didn't know what it was could be bad circulation.

Hi Christine,
Poor circulation is certainly a possibility.
You do not mention your age but poor circulation from various sources can occur in people of any age. Generally in younger people it is not of a serious issue, but can be serious in older individuals.
You really need to see a doctor who specializes in circulation to diagnose the type and severity (if any) of your condition.
Do not put this off.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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plantar fibromatosis

by Patti
(Biloxi, MS)

I was going to order a pair of your suggested orthotics, however, how can I make sure that the orthotic doesn't hurt the fibroid more???? I have tried several brands of orthotics, and some with arch supports sits on the fibroid very uncomfortably.

I used to be a runner, but have had both knees operated. Now I walk about 5 miles a day. I first discovered the fibroids about one year ago. When first discovered, they didn't hurt, now . . . well you know, they are tender and hurt most of the time

Hi Patti,
I would not recommend my orthotics for plantar fibromatosis. For this condition a custom orthotic is required because the orthotic is built with an accommodation that takes pressure off of the growth. An off the shelf orthotic will not do that.
If they hurt there are other treatments along with orthotics; see a qualified podiatrist.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Pain on left side of my left foot,mostly after a bath

by Estelle Murray

My pain is very strange. It started when I had a bath. As soon as I set my foot out of the bath the left side of my left foot has this strange pain in it. Its hard to explain. Its kinda like a cramp and I can barely walk on it but this only lasts for a few minutes.

Also when I kneel on my legs and get up again I can barely stand or walk on this foot yet again as the same pain from the bath is present but only worse. It does not last too long but can be very annoying.

I have noticed that I am getting this pain more often and lasting longer now without having a bath or kneeling. I actually think it is there most of the day but not as painful. It is very worrying. Can you please advise. The Pain is sore, it can have a stinging strange sensation to it also, if that makes sense. I would be really grateful if you could advise me of what is causing this pain and how I can prevent it. It only came about 2 months ago and I think its more persistent and lasting longer.

Many thanks for any advice you can offer me.

All the best


Hi Estelle,

The pain is probably coming from the area of the fifth metatarsal base and the tendon that runs underneath the bone at that level.
Stepping down (out of the bath) and kneeling would seem to create the same kind of stress on that tendon.
Since it is two months old the chances of it going away on its own is very slim. See a foot specialist.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Itching and blisters plus sweating

by Page
(Camp Verde, Arizona)

My feet sweat than there is friction than my feet itch to the point where i am scratching them till sometimes i will bleed which of course causes the blisters.
i have seen a doctor and he said i "won't die from it i will just die with it".

Hi Page,

Your condition is fairly common. It is called hyperhidrosis, basically it is excessive perspiration in the feet.
This excessive perspiration can lead to a multitude of other foot problems such as you describe.
The simple solution to this problem is to use a topical spray or roll on product designed for foot perspiration. They work quite well, but I caution you against over use of the product, they will turn your feet into football leather.
The doctor you consulted was right; it is not a life threatening condition but it is a very uncomfortable condition that is easily treated.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Pain in the metatarsal region

by SR

Hello Doctor,

I have this persistent pain in the right foot in the ball region.Initially I thought it could be due to foot wear and reduced the use of footwear when at home for couple of days after which the pain increased.I could see some swelling but no redness.
I'm on antibiotics now and also applying gel to relieve the pain.But I do not see much improvement ie after 3 days of medication.

I do not feel the pain after a prolonged rest period but immediately it returns once I start to move around in the house and work in the kitchen in a standing position.

Please help me with some advice.

Thanks & Regards,

Hello SR,

The three main conditions that I would initially suspect would be capsulitis, Mortons neuroma, or perhaps metatarsalgia.
In addition one has to rule out stress fracture.
This problem would be best diagnosed by a doctor familiar with foot conditions, not a general doctor. You will need an x-ray to rule out a fracture.
None of these conditions require antibiotics. The fact that your foot hurt more without shoes is not surprising; sometimes the firmness of a shoe (compared to being barefoot) can help forefoot pain.
I wish I could be more specific but without being able to actually examine you I am afraid thats the best that I can do.
Read my pages on the various conditions and see if any of them fit your set of symptoms.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Reoccuring blister on bottom or side of 5th toe

Every month since Nov. the area around my litle toe starts to itch immensely and then forms a blister under the toe or on the side of it. I thought it started with some type of bite I felt in Nov bt the 4th and 5th toe when it itched then and turned into a mild cellulitis with a purple blister that formed bt the two toes. The doctor says that this reoccuring blister every month can't be from a spider bite however two puncture biopsies are reading inconclusive of anything either.Was put on prednisone and abt but they keep coming back. No pressure or rubbing is put on this area; have even gone barefoot and worn only flip flops but the blister keeps reoccuring. Hope you can help with any suggestions. Thank you

Unfortunately, without seeing it I cannot offer an opinion. But, what I would suggest is getting a second opinion, in this case probably a dermatologist would be your best bet. A lot of times doctors, myself included, develop tunnel vision with a certain condition and can't seem to think outside the box, so another opinion might be very helpful.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Mayo Clinic

Johns Hopkins Medicine


Arthritis Foundation

University of Rochester Medical Center

Harvard Health

American Academy of Pediatrics

Penn State Medical Center

National Institutes of Health

Columbia University Department of Rehabilitation


Stanford Health Care

Illinois Bone and Joint Institute

Mount Sinai Hospital

Institute for Chronic Pain

University of Florida Health

American Family Physician


University of Maryland Medical Center

(items I prescribe in the office)

Orthotics for multiple types of foot pain
best buy in a pre-made orthotic
click link below


Orthotics for heel and arch pain for those who must wear dress shoes
click link below


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Click to verify - Before you buy!

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Thanks again so much for the information in the article. Very interesting.


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(location unknown)
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Yours truly,

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Thank you for your time and expertise in answering my question…..


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First, thanks for putting together this website. Its the most informative site I have found dealing with foot problems. Last June I started having pain and swelling at …….


(location unknown)
First of all, thank you for having all this useful information available in one place. I've been through most of your website and based on my research, pain and evaluations I think I've narrowed things down quite a bit.

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Madison, Alabama
Thanks for replying so quickly. I was a bit concerned. I think your website is great, and chock full of info.....


Denison, TX
Dr. Marc, Thank you so much for your reply which seemed to be right on. I have researched many sites but you put me on the right path to the possible answer. My foot pain may not rule the rest of my life after all! I believe I'll make a sign that reads, "THE END IS NEAR!" Thanks Very Much,


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Tampa, Florida 33624

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I thank you for putting together this incredible website.


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You have an unusually clear, informative and well-written website for laypersons. Thank you for that.

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Mansfield Ctr, CT

First, I'd like to thank you for all the information that you provide on your website and the opportunity to write to you.


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First, I want to let you know that you have the best web site I've found related to foot issues. (The only thing I had difficulty finding was the "ask a question" page.)


Unknown location

I received the orthotics Monday afternoon and began wearing them Tuesday. After two days I would say that I have noticed a huge improvement in the discomfort I have been experiencing. My foot feels better than it has in months.

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Unknown location

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All the best,


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By the way, millions of websites could use yours as a guideline on how to organize information and make the site user-friendly. Kudos to you!


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I searched the internet everywhere for a clear description and illustration of my symptoms/problem. was where I ended my search with answers. If I lived in Jersey (left 30 years ago) and didn't live in Florida I would definetly make an appointment with Dr. Mitnick.

Thanks, Kathy

1st of all THANKS A LOT for your great site......


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South Carolina
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Arlington, VA

Thank you so very much, that would be much appreciated. I love those insoles, by the way. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

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San Clemente, CA

Dr Marc is fantastic...He seems to know exactly what you are feeling with the problems you are having. I wish he was in my home town so I could go to him with my problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so much for your reply. I did let my physician know and they took an x-ray - all is well! Also, thank you for providing this wonderful site, it is very helpful with lots of useful information! I appreciate your gift of time! God bless.


Dr. Mitnick, Thank you, you were 100% correct. The pain finally brought me to the ER. I spent 8 days in the hospital. The Doppler you spoke of was able to show that there was no pulse in that foot. This was an arterial clot that split and traveled throughout my leg. My leg was almost amputated. I am in rough shape but have all my parts intact!! You certainly know what you are talking about. Thank you for taking the time to answer. Yours Truly!


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Thanks for taking time to read and answer so many questions. It is truly a public service!


Seattle, WA

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!!


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New Jersey

Thanks so much for answering my question. You've been more help to me than my own Dr. has been lately. Thanks again....I hope to be able to walk without pain someday.


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Wow, that is exactly the information needed!!! thank you thank you thank you!!! I appreciate this help so very much from Marc Mitnick DPM. Excellent information and help to improve One's life.


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Thanks so much for this website Dr. Marc! It is so nice that you have this ask the doctor feature..I'm sure I'ts been helpful for alot of people. I will try what you suggested and see if it helps...thanks again!


Evansville, IA

Dear Marc

I just want to say thank you for the quick response and the good info. I find it amazing and a super nice thing that you do here by answering medical questions at no charge.

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Your website is full of a lot of helpful information, and I am very impressed with the time in which you responded to my post. Thank you again for your time and consideration in your response.


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San Diego, CA

Dr. Mitnick, Just want to say thank you so very much for your quick response and very informative reply! After reading what you had to say, I called the doctor's office and was able to get in and see him the same day as my injury. Toe was x-rayed and luckily, it is not broken or fractured. Very badly bruised and will probably lose the toe nail. And although my toe and toe nail are still very black and blue and very sore, they ARE both starting to feel a little better. So again, thank you! I am so very happy that I came across your website. The service you provide is outstanding and immeasurable!


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Thank you so much for all of your advice. In searching the web for people dealing with this same issue i can tell you that you are a Knight In shining Armor! If I lived in Jersey I would gladly be your Spokesperson. Hopefully next time you hear from me it will be good news. God Bless,

Jill S.

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Whichita, KS

thanks again, this site is very helpful.


Boston, MA

Like others have stated...This site is amazing and I am so thankful that it was created.

....Keep up what your doing. Your a life saver.



Thanks again for the information provided on your site. It's easy for non-medical folk to understand your writing, and helps provide better communication between patient and doctor.



Wonderful advice

by: Anonymous

This is the best site for foot problem info.

Thank you for this information. This description fits my pain and inflammation behind my 2nd toe perfectly.

by: Max

location unknown
Again, I really appreciate that you responded to my inquiry, and that your mention of Parkinson's helped me to find my way to a diagnosis of this difficult to diagnose disease. Most patients see on average 16 doctors before they are diagnosed. I hope that you can help other people that ask for your expertise in the future.

Barb D.

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!! I have had a fusion in my rt foot and am finally getting a little bit better......


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Again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to answer my question....your an angel!


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location unknown
Thank-you so very much for responding so quickly and in such detail to my question!! I will give my surgeon a call today!! This website is terrific!!!! Thank-you again!


North Carolina
Many Thanks Dr Marc!
Thank you for your response. It sounds like a good plan to me. He did not cut the wart out first ...


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Thanks again doc for having this website and we STILL need qualified Podiatrists in beautiful sunny Tampa Bay (Bradenton) Florida.

Bessie Mae

Dear Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so very much for taking your time to answer my question. You have greatly relieved my anxiety related to the continual tingly I feel in my feet. I will share your response with my podiatrist next week. God bless you for having this question and answer page on your website! Most gratefully,

Lynne T.

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Your webpage is excellent, I commend you on sharing your knowledge to the public.


New Jersey

Thank you. you were more detailed than what others have told me they finally called from the last xrays and my son is now in a cast for 2 weeks he did have a fracture that was not noticeable.

a mom

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I have read your website and I have to admit that I am amazed at all the information that is on here. I have learned more than the three years I have been going to several doctors that I have seen!!


Lenoir, NC

Thank you so much Doc for a quick and thorough response!


Bellevue, WA

I cannot thank you enough for your response, opinion, and suggestions! I want you to know how much it means to me, and I'm sure everyone else who has ever asked you a question! I feel like you're a lifesaver and have empowered me to take a stronger role and stand up for myself and my feet!


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Recent Articles

  1. Vitamin D impact on health

    Feb 06, 23 07:17 PM

    Researchers are suggesting that the effectiveness of Vitamin D in fighting and preventing disease is predicated on a persons body mass index (BMI). The thinner the person the greater the positive impa…

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  2. Foods to speed up healing

    Feb 01, 23 02:41 PM

    One of the best ways to help yourself heal faster after surgery is to eat well. Getting the proper nutrition will provide your body with the essentials it needs to promote healing. Here is a suggestio…

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  3. Cancer and Type 2 Diabetes

    Jan 25, 23 04:52 PM

    An article revealing that older type 2 diabetics have a higher incidence of cancer then non-diabetics. It is suggested that cancer may surpass CVD as the number one cause of death in older diabetics.

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  4. Does glucosamine or MSM reduce arthritis pain?

    Jan 22, 23 01:41 PM

    A good review of the possible benefits to taking glucosamine, chondroitin or MSM for arthritis. Always beware of the possible side effects of over the counter supplements.

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  5. shin splints

    Jan 18, 23 05:12 PM

    A great review on the various causes of shin splints, along with treatment options.

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  6. Whats new in skin cancer?

    Jan 15, 23 08:32 PM

    A presentation of newer skin protection combinations in an effort to better protect the skin from the hazards of sun exposure.

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  7. Causes and risk factors of warts

    Jan 14, 23 05:02 PM

    A good review of the causes of warts and protective measures you can take to prevent developing them.

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  8. Do chronic wounds need to be dressed daily?

    Jan 11, 23 02:18 PM

    Because of supply chain shortages as well as staffing shortages particularly during the pandemic, many institutions extended the time between dressing changes for chronic wounds. Is this really the be…

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  9. Food choices that raise your risk of type 2 diabetes

    Jan 08, 23 10:07 AM

    A good review of how blood sugars can become elevated and the harm that can do. Certain food groups have a tendency to raise your blood sugars and should be avoided.

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  10. Outcome stats from Scarf bunionectomy

    Jan 03, 23 03:04 PM

    The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery recently reported a meta analysis of outcomes in 1583 Scarf bunionectomies that met their inclusion criteria. Adverse events did not seem to be any better or wors…

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