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By Dr. Amannda Richline
September 01, 2015
Category: Heel Pain

Everything has a beginning somewhere. Our own town of Belvidere, New Jersey, was originally part of Greenwich (often called Greenwich on the Delaware). It played a role in supplying General Washington’s troops when they were camped at Morristown during the Revolution, and appears to have gotten the name “Belvidere” sometime before 1800. Issues with health and pain have beginnings, too, often with many factors playing a role. You see this with Haglund’s deformity, or a “pump bump,” and how it begins in your lower limbs.

Haglund’s deformity is a bony bulge on the back of your heel bone that makes wearing most shoes very uncomfortable for people. Several different factors can play a role in developing this minor deformity and irritating it. Knowing how you might have gotten a pump bump might help you get more accurate treatment and potentially prevent the pain in the future.

This is a bone problem, so it is possible that you have a bump on the back of your heel because that is your natural foot shape. This is something you can’t prevent—your bones grew that way. For many others, however, the painful bump has outside forces that enlarge it. One of the most common is actually stiff backs on shoes. Pumps, dress shoes, ice skates, and other stiff footwear can put a lot of abnormal pressure on the back of the heel bone, aggravating it and causing pain.Women with Haglund's deformity

Sometimes tension from your Achilles plays a role. A tight or short Achilles tendon pulls on the back of your heel bone, irritating it and contributing to a bump there. Abnormally high arches can have a similar effect. Because high arches don’t handle pressure and body weight well, they direct it back to your heels and possibly add to tendon tension.

In the end, however your Haglund’s deformity developed, you’ll need to relieve the pressure on the back of the foot to eliminate the pain. Our team at the Dr. Amannda Richline office in Belvidere, NJ, can help you with this. Don’t wait until you run out of shoes you can wear comfortably to get help. Contact us through our website, or call us directly at (908) 475-8750.

By Dr. Amannda Richline
August 18, 2015
Category: Bunions
Tags: Bunions   bunionettes  

People love contests. You see this in boxing matches, races, and even chess games. Who would win in a fight? Who is faster? Who plays better? Match-ups are exciting, especially when you aren’t sure what the results will be. They allow you to compare and contrast people and their skills. You can compare and contrast health issues, too, though not necessarily to see who “wins.” Knowing how conditions are similar and how their different can help you manage them better. So here’s our own foot match-up: bunions vs. bunionettes.

In the far corner of our match-up ring you find bunions. Big and tough to deal with, bunions are a fairly common condition. The big toe and the first metatarsal become misaligned and begin drifting in opposite directions. As a result, the joint where those bones meet bulges outward to the side. The bump this creates gets larger the more damage it suffers. Contrary to popular belief, bad shoes don’t cause bunions, though they certainly contribute to the problem. Poor biomechanics and foot weakness cause this issue.

On the other side of our imaginary ring are your bunionettes. Although much smaller and less common than ordinary bunions, they still affect plenty of people. They form the same way that ordinary bunions do—excessive pressure on the forefoot. It’s the opposite side of the foot that’s effected, though.  You end up with a bulging bump on the outside of your smallest digit. Sometimes bone spurs develop that accentuate the bugle. Usually the condition is a side effect of other foot problems, rather than the source of them.

Both of these can make wearing shoes difficult and unpleasant for you. Both can make walking more challenging. Both can get worse if you don’t take care of them—but both can be managed with the right care.

bunions vs. bunionettes

These two conditions are pretty similar, but they aren’t the same. There’s no way to tell which is “better” or “worse” for your feet, either, since they both create painful problems. The key take-away from this match-up is that whether you have a bunion or a bunionette, you shouldn’t ignore the pain. Our team at the office of Dr. Amannda Richline will help you take care of your feet instead. Make an appointment with us at our Belvidere, NJ, office by calling (908) 475-8750. You can also use our online request form to connect with us.

By Dr. Amannda Richline
August 11, 2015
Category: Bunions

People are afraid of a lot of things. Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders. Ophidiophobia is the fear of snakes. Acrophobia is the fear of heights. These are the three most common fears people live with. They certainly aren’t the only ones, of course. Glossophobia is an intense fear of public speaking. Globophobia is a fear of balloons. Podophobia is, believe it or not, a fear of feet! Being afraid makes people do strange things to deal with or avoid the source of their distress. Unfortunately, this can also include avoiding treatment for a problem. This is particularly common with bunion surgery. People fear the results and the process of recovering after the procedure.

Bunion surgery is a safe, effective procedure that has many misconceptions and misunderstandings related to it. It is not the “excruciatingly painful” experience many people expect it to be. It does, however, take time for a full recovery.

Immediately following the procedure, you’ll wear a cast or special boot to hold the bones immobile while they heal. You’ll wear this for a couple of weeks and have minimal to no weight on your recovering foot. Once the cast comes off, you’ll most likely continue wearing a brace or protective shoes for a little longer.

You’ll gradually be able to increase the weight on that foot. When you’re not standing or walking, you may need to keep the foot propped up to minimize swelling and inflammation. You may actually have some degree of swelling for a few months. Wearing wide, comfortable shoes will help accommodate this. Avoid high heels and narrow shoes, especially in the first several months after the procedure. Wearing them could cause the bunion to return. Our team may also recommend physical therapy to help restore motion and power in your forefoot.

Performing bunion surgery

Like any other procedure, your bunion surgery recovery is a process. It will take time for you to be completely and totally healed. It isn’t something that will keep you bedridden for weeks. Exactly how well and how fast you heal, though, depends largely on you and how well you take care of your foot. The Dr. Amannda Richline staff here in Belvidere, NJ, will be with you every step of the way. Contact us online if you have any questions, or call (908) 475-8750 for an appointment for your bunion right away. 

By Dr. Amannda Richline
August 04, 2015
Category: Bunions
Tags: bunion surgery  

Timing is important. Many things in life are time-sensitive—consider the New Horizons mission to Pluto. The satellite only had a very brief window in which to snap its photos of the dwarf planet’s surface before it sailed right past. In a perfect world, everything would be on time and you wouldn’t have to worry about jumping into something too soon or waiting too long, especially when it came to medical procedures. However, in a perfect world, you wouldn’t need something like bunion surgery. Since the world isn’t perfect, you do need to pay attention to your feet and determine when you actually need a procedure for your bunion deformity.

Female foot with bunion

Bunions are a common forefoot problem that develop when the big toe and the first metatarsal slide out of alignment. They create a bulge at the joint where they meet. In the majority of bunion cases, simple conservative methods are enough to manage the condition. Wearing the right shoes, using orthotics, protecting the bump, and a few other measures alleviate pain and prevent the problem from getting worse.

So when do you actually need bunion surgery? Unfortunately, noninvasive methods are not always sufficient for managing the problem. Not every foot responds to these treatments—which means they continue to hurt and get worse. This is when you start considering the possibility of bunion surgery.

Bunion surgery is a “last resort,” yes, but it is also a valid option in the right situation. If you have one or more of these following issues with your bunion deformity, surgery might be right for you:

  • All noninvasive methods have been tried and have failed.
  • Pain from the bump interferes with your daily activities.
  • The deformity is getting worse over time.
  • Other foot or toe deformities have developed as a result of your bunion getting worse.

Ultimately, whether or not surgery is right for you is up to you and your foot specialist. Our team at the offices of Dr. Amannda Richline is more than happy to help you determine the best possible path for your foot care. Just make an appointment with us online. You can also call our Belvidere, NJ, office at (908) 475-8750.

By Dr. Amannda Richline
July 24, 2015
Category: Bunions

The Women’s Club of Belvidere is an organization that provides the opportunity for women to make a difference in our local New Jersey community. They are responsible for various fundraisers throughout the year benefitting such groups as the Domestic Abuse Crisis Center, Meals at Home, and the Belvidere River Rescue. Spending time and helping others is always incredibly rewarding, but sometimes you need to give yourself a little attention as well. If you wish to keep running with a bunion, this is exactly what you have to do.

There is certain degree of debate in the medical community about the role that stylish women’s shoes play in this condition, with some saying that they cause bunions and others saying high heels only exacerbate an existing issue. What we can say definitively is that ill-fitting running shoes certainly do not help the cause! This means your first step as you consider running with a bunion is to find shoes that are not excessively tight in the toe box.

After you have the right pair of running shoes picked out—ones with ample space in front—you may want to consider picking up some padding. This can be as easy as simply using a 1 cm thick piece of foam between your big and second toes.

Running with bunionsNow that you have the proper footwear and are padded, it’s time to look at your choice in socks. This can make a big difference in your comfort while you are running. It might seem obvious that thicker socks would provide extra cushioning, but they actually create an uncomfortable situation. Thin, light socks give you more space, which you want, between the inside of the shoe and the protruding bump.

Shoes, pads, and socks are equipment that can help when you are running with a bunion, but there is also an activity you do to help as well—yoga. The poses in this ancient practice are helpful in strengthening various joints, including those that have come unaligned due to an impacted gait. Your body works in amazing harmony and an issue with your toe joint can become an issue further up the leg.

For additional tips on running with a bunion, or expert treatment for this toe deformity, contact our Belvidere, NJ office by calling (908) 475-8750. You can also use our online form, so schedule your appointment today and find the relief you need.


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