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Thinking About Foot Surgery? Ten Things You Need To Think About BEFORE You Have Foot Surgery.

Ten Things You Need To Think About BEFORE  You Have Foot Surgery. 1. You need to exhaust conservative treatment before you decide...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pediatric Foot Problems - A One Hour Interview of Dr. McCarthy about Pediatric Foot Care.

The New Toginet Radio - Recent Podcasts

Meet my guest,Dr. Cathleen McCarthy as she tells you everything you ever wanted to know about your feet! You will find out if it's okay for your toddler to wear crocs or flip flops? What do you do about toe walking? Answers to these and a whole lot more! IT was a "foot-stompin" show!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Couldn't Resist!!

Okay, I simply couldn't resist!!

This is one of my pediatric patients who came in yesterday and was diagnosed with left foot stress fracture. I placed her in the below-the-knee walking boot and I couldn't get over how cute the converse boots were...

Let's just say - the converse boot is not podiatry recommended footwear BUT if I was her age and with her fashion style - they would be very hard to resist...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chronic Pain and Your Feet: Article to soon appear in "Arizona Pain Monthly."

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a Podiatrist is being able to help patients who suffer with chronic pain. I always advise chronic pain patients that our goal is to decrease their pain by twenty to eighty percent and that we may never be able to get them permanently pain-free but our goal is to get them to “minimal to mild occasional pain with some flair-ups that, when they occur, they will know exactly what to do.”

Although we offer a wide range of non-surgical treatment options for patients with chronic pain, the first and most basic concept is the easiest but often the hardest to get people to implement. No walking barefoot!

Every time you walk barefoot, you are forcing more wear-and-tear across your joints and you are forcing you muscles, tendons, ligaments as well as your knees, hips and lower back to work harder to stabilize your whole body. What I do recommend for wearing around the house is prescription-strength Croc Clogs with the strap to the back. Crocs are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association and I advise my patients that if they do nothing else besides stop walking barefoot and wear Rx Croc Clogs around the house, they will have a thirty percent improvement in any knee, hip and lower back pain within three weeks.

Proper shoe-gear is imperative.

There is a simple concept that is completely counter-intuitive to what most people believe to be true about what constitutes a “comfortable” shoe. When is the last time you heard someone go into a shoe store and say, “My foot is killing me – please give me the most rigid sole shoe you have.” Never, right?

What most people say is, “My foot is killing me, what’s your most soft, flexible and cushiony shoe?”

Well, think about it – if you go to the doctor with a broken wrist – they put you in a rigid cast and you instantly get relief because “less motion means less pain.”

When it comes to shoes, what actually feels good is a rigid sole with firm arch support as well as proper forefoot and rearfoot control. Less motion means less pain, less wear-and-tear on the joints and tendons and more biomechanical control of not only the foot but also the knees, hips and lower back.

Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule. For instance, if a patient is ninety years old and doesn’t do a lot of walking, I would place that patient in a supportive but light shoe. Biomechanical control is far more important in active patients.

Have you seen the MBT’s or the new Sketcher Shape-ups? The reason owing to their success (because it’s definitely not their good looks!) is the fact that they have a “rocker-bottom” sole, which provides no motion across the bottom of the foot. The shoe companies when designing this shoe “borrowed” the concept of the rocker-bottom soled shoe from the “below-the-knee-walking boot” that Podiatrist’s use to treat fractures.

On the second visit of any chronic pain patient, I ask them to bring in a bag of their shoes so that we can discuss what is working and what is not working. I find that the first half of my job with any patient is to heal the foot and the second half of the process is, after the foot is healed, that we get the patient into proper shoes, inserts and eliminate any bad habits such as wearing flip-flops or walking barefoot. If I neglect this second part, I am sure to see the patient again and, in the words of Humphrey Bogart, “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but someday and someday soon.”

Saturday, August 7, 2010




I am not easily impressed but this walking shoe is one of the best...

What makes this shoe excellent:

The rigid sole provides wonderful protection to the foot and hidden inside the sole is "WaveSpring" Technology" meaning that there are two lightweight metal springs within the sole (one in the heel and one in the forefoot) that "stores and disburses energy with every step." This technology allows the shoe to "reduce peak impact forces and decrease injuries." An interesting article was written about this technology in the July 2003 issue of "Popular Mechanics."

This shoe is recommended for patients with:
*Heel Pain.
*Knee, Hip and Lower Back Pain.
*Achilles Tendonitis.
*Rheumatoid Arthritis.
*Some Diabetics and Neuropathic patients. (Ideally, these patients should be in what is called an "Extra-Depth Shoe with Accommodative Orthotics which helps to decrease the risk of ulcers and risk of infection, gangrene and amputations).
*Hallux Limitus/Rigidus (Limited range of motion or no range of motion at the first toe joint).
*Morton's Neuromas.
*Bunions, Hammertoes and Tailor's Bunions.
*Fallen Arches.

This shoe is not recommended for patients with:
*Charcot Foot (Typically, these patients need to be in a custom-molded shoe or even a custom-molded boot).
*Diabetic Neuropathic Patients (See above).
*Any patients with open ulcers.

**The only thing that can make this shoe better is a custom-molded orthotic or an excellent over-the-counter insert to offer more arch support.


9.75 out of 10 (with 10 being the best).

**I have no involvement (financially or otherwise) with this company...

Cathy McCarthy

Comfortable Women's Dress Shoe - The Naot Admire


What's good:

It has a thick, rigid sole that helps to protect the foot, a relatively wide toe-box, a strap to give more control to the mid-foot and decent rear-foot control.

What's not so good:

The slight taper on the toe-box and lack of depth to the toe-box may crowd the toes and be uncomfortable for anyone with forefoot deformities like hammertoes and bunions.

This shoe will not work for patients with:

*Limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint (i.e. Hallux Limitus/Rigidus or moderate to severe osteoarthritis).
*Moderate to severe hammertoes.
*Moderate to severe bunions or Tailor's bunions.
*Charcot Foot.
*Diabetic or Neuropathic Patients (Patients with Diabetes with nerve damage causing their feet to be numb).
*Severe Hypermobility.

This shoe will work for patients with:

*Mild Hammertoes.
*Mild Bunions.
*Mild Achilles Tendonitis.
*Mild Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain).


Dress Shoe Rating:
6 out of 10 (with 10 being the best)

**Remember: when it comes to dress shoes - the acid test is how it feels on your foot! If it's not comfortable, don't get it. I recently tried on a dress shoe that should have been perfect but I didn't like it. Shoes are all about the subtleties.

Have a wonderful day,
Dr. Cathy McCarthy