Foot Conditions

Foot Care Specialists in Wellington

At The Podiatry Clinic, we provide the best and most up to date clinical treatment of all your foot related conditions. From tendinitis to corns and ingrown toenails, The Podiatry Clinic has the accreditation and expertise to get you comfortably back on your feet ... and keep you there! 

Foot Conditions

Achilles Tendinitis / Tendinosis
Individuals who suffer from Achilles tendinitis/tendinosis often complain that their first steps out of bed in the morning are extremely painful in the region directly behind the ankle, when they raise their heels off the ground.
Primarily this is a result of the positioning of the foot at the ankle whilst in a resting state. The foot tends to drop away from the front of the shin at the ankle joint at rest. In this position the tension through the calf and the tendo achiles is released and the calf therefore rests in a shortened position. 
The calf and achilles are suddenly stretched on first weight bearing as you jump out of bed which can put excessive load through the achilles, which if already sore through a sporting injury or faulty foot mechanics, causing re-injury and delaying or even preventing full recovery. This scenario is very common in the high arched foot type - if this is you you should get checked out biomechanically to see if your foot mechanics can be improved by changing your style of footwear or through the use of an orthotic device professionally fitted to your footwear.
Hammertoe & other lesser toe Deformities

Hammertoe & other lesser toe Deformities

Traditionally it was assumed that hammertoe deformities were caused by badly fitting footwear. However it is now known that lesser toe deformities, such as retracted or hammer toe, develop because of abnormal destabilising mechanical forces passing through the weight bearing foot. Over time the small toe joints affected by the deformity may become more fixed (or rigid), resulting in excessive pressure to the joints and overlying skin. This results in the development of painful chronic inflammation and eventual callus and corn formation. Podiatric treatment varies and consists of regular palliative podiatry treatment, orthotic therapy and often, in the most severe and uncomfortable stages of deformity, a referral to a foot surgeon for a surgical opinion is required to correct the deformity and prevent on-going suffering.

Athletes Foot (tineapedis)

Athletes foot is a fungal skin infection that causes red, dry, flaking skin, sometimes accompanied by pain or itching.

It commonly affects the skin of the sole and arch but can also affect the skin between the toes, which often also appears white and soggy.

Bunions (Hallux Valgus)

A bunion is a chronic joint deformity of the first toe joint which causes the first toe to move towards the second toe. This progressive deformity may be either congenital or hereditary/genetic in origin and may or may not cause discomfort. The boney/joint change makes the forefoot wider and often more difficult to accommodate in footwear.

Children's Heel Pain

Heel Pain in children is not uncommon. It is often sporadic, acute and coincides with rapid growth periods. It affects the insertion of the Achilles tendon where it inserts into the back of the heel. Very active children are most prone and may have to reduce their levels of activity until the pain subsides. By assessing the structure of a child's growing legs and feet and after completing a biomechanical assessment of the lower limbs Podiatrists can identify any causative factors and offer a great deal of help in reducing the symptoms. Active management often includes footwear advice and the use of biomechanically balanced orthotic devices inside the shoes.

Corns

Corns like calluses develop from an accumulation of layers of dead skin cells over pressure areas of the foot, forming localised hardened and thickened areas of skin.

Ingrown Toenail    

Ingrown toenails are a common, painful condition that occur when the skin on one or both sides of a nail gets irritated, and sometimes penetrated by the nail. The skin becomes inflamed and swollen and often grows over the edges of the nail if the nail itself penetrates the skin.
Commonly this results in chronic infection requiring the offending nail spikule to be removed before the toe will settle.
Not in all cases, but often, a local anaesthetic is needed in order to remove the offending nail successfully and in around 50% of cases the nail regrows without incident. The other 50% may require a permanent surgical solution in order to clear up the problem and in order to ensure that the infection does not recur.
Please refer to the section dedicated to ingrown toenail surgery for a more detailed description of the type of ingrown toenail surgery performed at The Podiatry Clinic

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a reasonably tight and strong tendinous band of tissue (with a small amount of muscle tissue), which arises from the underside of the heel and spreads out into the ball of the forefoot along the arch of the foot. It has been likened to the string of a long bow in its mechanism which is that of assisting the retention and the stability of the bones which form the curvature of the arch of the foot when under weight bearing load strain and tissue damage or inflammation of the plantar fascia and its associated structures is a common condition in athletes and also non-athletes with particular foot types.

Verrucae

Verrucae are warts that infect the sole of the foot. They are lesions of the outer skin (epidermis), which develop in response to a verruca (wart) virus gaining entry into a skin cell. Verrucae are often misdiagnosed as corns as they often develop on the bottom/sole of the foot, sometimes directly over weight bearing areas where they appear as a hard mass flush with the skin surface. Very often they appear on non-weight bearing areas where they may protrude above the skin surface.

Thickened Toe Nails

Toe nails can become thickened following trauma or infection from fungal spores similar to those which produce Athletes Foot. In fact it is not uncommon for people who suffer chronic Athletes Foot to develop a secondary fungal infection in their nails.
Fungal infections are contagious and can become very chronic making them difficult to treat and the fungal infection difficult to eradicate. Fungal infections affecting otherwise normal toe nails can become thickened if ignored and early treatment can prevent permanent thickening.

Podiatric Surgery

Podiatric surgeons in New Zealand must hold a surgical qualification, which is recognised by the MOH - Podiatrists Board of New Zealand (the Registration Authority). New Zealand trained podiatric surgeons hold a Post Graduate Diploma in Podiatric Surgery which is administered and awarded to successful graduates by the New Zealand College of Podiatric Surgery (NZCPS) in collaboration with the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine (USA) (OCPM). The training levels of the NZCPS are uncompromisingly high ensuring patient safety and provision of the best and most advanced surgical procedures for conditions affecting the feet.

Podiatric surgery, as with all surgical procedures, is offered to patients as a last resort treatment once all non-surgical treatment options have been exhausted. Your podiatrist will advise you whether your particular foot problem has reached the point where it may be in your best interest to consider a referral to a foot surgeon receive a surgical opinion on your foot/toe problem. Conditions treatable utilising podiatric surgical procedures include correction of recurrent infected ingrown toe nails, toe nail deformities, hammer toes, mallet toes, 1st toe joint bunions, 5th toe joint bunionettes and trapped nerve (neuroma) removal. 

Though both Kathy Hitchcox and Trevor Tillotson are qualified Podiatric Surgeons they have both retired from undertaking advanced surgery involving bony structures and joints such as hammer toe and bunion surgery. 

They do however continue to practice minor surgical techniques and are both specialists in the surgical correction of ingrown and other forms of deformed toe nails.
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