CAN YOUR FEET WITHSTAND DAILY WEAR AND TEAR?
Four out of five adults eventually suffer some sort of foot problem. Many suffer needlessly, assuming the problem will go away. “Unfortunately, foot problems usually get worse, so recurring pain in the foot should not be ignored,” says Dr. Simeon Isaacs, a podiatrist board-certified in both podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery. “If treated early, most can usually be treated conventionally. However, if you put it off, you may be looking at both needless pain and surgery.”
Dr. Isaacs adds that surgery can also correct most foot deformities. He performs all surgery on an outpatient basis at either an outpatient center or hospital, with the patient under local anesthesia. The recuperation period for most surgery’s is minimal, he says, with patients usually returning to work within a few days to a week. Dr. Isaacs, who received his surgical training at Moncrief Army Hospital in Charleston, SC, performs either laser or conventional surgery on skin problems. “Laser surgery is not yet available for bone surgery,” he says, “but it can be used for such problems as warts or ingrown toenails.”
Referring to ingrown toenails as the most common foot problem, Dr. Isaacs says: Ingrown toenails can usually be treated painlessly and in the office by using Novocain to anesthetize the toe and remove the nail's root with a special acid. The acid, which only takes 30 seconds to work, burns only the root.” Left untreated, ingrown toenails are not only painful, but infection can lead to more serious problems. Not recommended are commercial ingrown toenail drops, because they contain an acid which may toughen the nail but doesn't usually get to the root, the drops can cause even more problems, warns Dr. Isaacs.
Bunions, an enlargement of bone in the joint at the base of the big toes, are usually inherited. “Despite what many people believe, tight shoes don't cause bunions,” says Dr. Isaacs, “but they can aggravate them.” Early treatment of bunions by such conservative methods as a special support to keep them from getting worse, or by minor surgery, usually leads to a quick recovery, says Dr. Isaacs. Left alone, they get worse and may require more extensive surgery, including the insertion of wires or pins to reset the joint at the base of the big toe. Plastic replacement joints or implants are another possibility.
Noting that most people don't realize how much bone structure is involved in foot problems, Dr. Isaacs, a fellow of the Academy of Ambulatory Foot Surgery, says that hammertoes are another fairly common problem. In the case of hammertoes, an inherited muscle imbalance or abnormal bone length make one or more small toes buckle under, causing their joints to contract. This in turn causes the tendons to shorten. Corns, irritation, pain and limited function are common symptoms. Hammertoes range from buckled joints, that force the toe to bend and may be straightened by your hand, to rigid joints, that cannot be straightened by hand, to a little toe that curls inward so that the nail faces outward. A bone spur or overgrowth of bone may occur alone or with a hammertoe, which usually requires surgical intervention, says Dr. Isaacs.
“Ninety percent of all corns are due to bone, not skin problems,” says Dr. Isaacs, who strongly advises against self treatment, most especially cutting corns with a razor or the use of mediated corn pads. The danger of using a razor to cut corns is obvious, he says, and the acid in corn pads can burn the skin, leading to serious complications. “If a corn keeps reoccurring, it is usually due to a bone problem that will only get worse if not treated professionally” he stresses.
According to Dr. Isaacs, most heel pains are caused by heel spurs, an overgrowth on the heel bone. Ninety percent can usually be treated with steroid injections and special supports, he adds.
Even calluses are caused by a bone, this time a metatarsal bone dropping from its normal height. The pressure causes the skin under the bone to thicken, which in turn causes irritation and pain. “If a callus is painful, keeps reoccurring and is concentrated in a small area no larger than a dime, it may simply require special support to correct the foot's motion.”
Unless you are in pain or discomfort, there is no need for annual foot checkups, says Dr Isaacs. The exception is an individual with diabetes, who he says should be checked every two to three months and should in no circumstances attempt self treatment. Because of the structure of arches, Dr. Isaacs, a diplomat of the American Institute of Foot Medicine, also recommends that people who walk long distances, jog or play tennis purchase the special shoes made for each of those exercises.
Dr. Isaacs, who earned his doctor of podiatric medicine from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, accepts cash, credit cards and Medicare assignment. Payment plans are also available, and his office staff assists patients in filling out insurance forms for office visits.
Dr. Isaacs is a warm and respectful podiatrist serving the communities of Manhattan. He is certified by the American Podiatric Medical Specialties Board and is affiliated with Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Patients see Dr. Isaacs for a variety of reasons, including ingrown toenails, warts and treatment of corns and calluses. He is renowned for his special expertise in MIS, EPF and Laser. Dr. Isaacs is uncompromising in his dedication to the well-being of his patients. He is committed to giving them the best care and establishing long-lasting relationships with them.
- Undergraduate: Brooklyn College (B.S.)
- Medical School: Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.)
- Law School: Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans, LA (J.D.)
- Podiatric Medicine
- Pediatric Surgery
- Interfaith Medical Center Brooklyn, NY
Outpatient Surgical Privileges
- Medical One NY, NY
- Surgical training, Moncrief Army Hospital, Charleston, S.C. (1978-1980)
- Private Practice, (1980-Present)
- Licensed in LA, MS, NY
- Board Certified, Podiatric Medicine
- Board Certified, Podiatric Surgery
- Fellow, Academy of Ambulatory Foot Surgery
- Diplomate, American Institute of Foot Medicine