My Blog
By Southern Maine Foot & Ankle, PA
July 17, 2019
Category: podiatry
Tags: Hammertoes  

Hammertoe is a foot condition involving dislocation of a toe joint, which can cause the dislocated toe to bend in a shape resembling a hammer. Hammertoe most often affects the three middle toes of the feet. Hammertoe can be treated and corrected by a podiatrist. At Southern Maine Foot and Ankle, PA, Dr. Peter Ocampo is your Scarborough foot doctor for the treatment of hammertoes.

Causes of Hammertoe

Hammertoe occurs when the middle joint of a toe becomes dislocated, causing the toe to bend in the shape of a hammer. Symptoms associated with hammertoe include diminished flexibility of the affected toe or foot, as well as pain or discomfort in the toes and feet. Corns and calluses also tend to form near the tip of the affected toe or at the top of the dislocated toe joint. Several factors and conditions can cause the toe joint to become dislocated and lead to hammertoe, including:

  • Wearing ill-fitting footwear
  • Having an extremely high arch
  • Suffering a serious injury to the toes
  • Developing arthritis in the toes and feet
  • Tightening of the tendons or ligaments in the foot

Treatments for Hammertoe

Several options are available for treating hammertoe. Serious cases of hammertoe can require surgery to correct the dislocated toe joint. Repositioning the toe joint during surgery can help the affected toe(s) return to a normal position and no longer resemble the shape of a hammer. Correcting a dislocated toe joint can also improve flexibility and alleviate any pain or discomfort that resulted from the dislocation.

Another way to alleviate the pain and discomfort of hammertoe is to wear shoes that fit properly and have extra room in the toe box. Tight-fitting shoes can cause the toes to squish together, which can aggravate an existing hammertoe condition. Cushioned inserts can also be placed inside the shoes to help with pain or discomfort. Additionally, corn pads are helpful if corns or calluses have developed in conjunction with hammertoe.

Finally, stretching exercises for the toes and feet can be beneficial for treating hammertoe. Stretching exercises help strengthen the muscles in the toes and feet, as well as increase flexibility, which can diminish as a result of hammertoe. Following an examination, Dr. Ocampo, your Scarborough foot doctor, could discuss possible treatment options with you.

Hammertoes can cause pain and discomfort, affect flexibility, and cause corns or calluses to develop. For the treatment of hammertoe, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ocampo, your Scarborough, ME, foot doctor, by calling Southern Maine Foot and Ankle, PA, at (207) 883-0865. Treatment is also available in Windham, by calling the office at (207) 892-5072, or in Brunswick, by calling (207) 729-FOOT (3668).

By Southern Maine Foot & Ankle, PA
May 16, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Ankle Sprains  

Ankle sprains can cause severe pain and discomfort and even limit mobility as it can be difficult to stand or walk with a sprained ankle. Ankle_InjuryMinor ankle sprains often can be treated by applying ice and resting the foot. More severe ankle sprains should be examined by a podiatrist who can recommend appropriate treatment options for healing the sprain. Without proper treatment, a serious sprain could lead to chronic pain and instability. At Southern Maine Foot & Ankle in Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick, ME, Dr. Peter Ocampo is your podiatrist for the treatment of ankle sprains.

Causes of Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains occur when the ankle twists in a different direction from the foot. For example, if the ankle rolls inward as you are turning your foot in an outward direction, a sprain could occur. When the ankle twists or turns in the wrong direction, ligaments in the ankle are stretched out and can tear. Signs of an ankle sprain include pain, swelling, tenderness, instability, weakness, bruising, and limited range of motion.

Some situations and activities in which ankle sprains are more likely to occur include:

  • Performing high-impact movements
  • Running or jogging on rough or uneven surfaces
  • Playing sports or engaging in athletic activities
  • Wearing shoes with little or no support
  • Wearing high heel shoes
  • Jumping or hopping

Preventing Ankle Sprains

It is possible to reduce the likelihood of spraining an ankle by building strength and increasing flexibility. There are several exercises that can be performed to strengthen the ankles and increase flexibility, making them less prone to being sprained. The standing calf raise is an exercise that can help strengthen the ankles, while a simple exercise for increasing flexibility and range of motion is simply tracing the letters of the alphabet with your foot. Another way to prevent ankle sprains is to wear properly fitting footwear that provides good support for the feet.

Treating Ankle Sprains

There are several options for treating and healing ankle sprains. Your Scarborough podiatrist might even recommend using multiple treatment methods to heal and strengthen your ankle following a sprain. Severe ankle sprains could require surgery to heal properly, but the most common treatment methods include:

  • Pain relievers
  • Resting the ankle
  • Applying ice or a cold compress
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Compression bandages
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Braces or splints

See a podiatrist for treatment if you have sustained an ankle sprain. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ocampo, call Southern Maine Foot & Ankle at (207) 883-0865 for the Scarborough, ME, office location. Alternatively, you can call (207) 892-5072 for the Windham, ME, office or (207) 729-3668 for the Brunswick, ME, office.

By Southern Maine Foot & Ankle, PA
March 14, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Corns  

Find out why corns develop on the feet and how to get rid of them.

Corns are hard patches of skin that develop when there is too much pressure or friction placed on a skin surface over time. Even though Foot Cornscorns are usually nothing to worry about if you are healthy, it’s important to know how to treat the issue at home and when to turn our podiatrist in Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick, ME, Dr. Peter Ocampo, for treatment.


How do I know that I have a corn?

It’s possible that you are dealing with a corn if you notice a thick patch of skin on your feet. This thick patch of rough skin usually forms a hard, raised bump, and is sometimes tender or painful to the touch.


Is a corn the same thing as a callus?

These two things may sound similar but they are a bit different. Calluses are also thickened areas of skin, but unlike corns, they don’t typically cause pain or become sore. You’re also more likely to see corns developing in less weight-bearing areas such as between the toes or on the sides of your toes.


I have a corn. Should I see a doctor?

If the corn is painful or inflamed then it’s a good idea to visit our one of our offices in Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick, ME, for an evaluation. Those with diabetes or poor circulation in the feet should seek treatment right away to prevent an ulcer from forming.


How are corns treated?

When it comes to treating corns, the goal is to avoid certain habits that could make the problem worse or cause another corn to develop. This includes wearing properly fitted shoes that don’t rub against your feet, as well as applying a protective non-medicated pad to the corn before putting on shoes.

However, if the corn doesn’t go away on its own or if it’s extraordinarily painful, then our podiatrist may need to surgically remove it. Sometimes the podiatrist will carefully trim away the hard layer of skin to remove the corn (this is something you should never try at home) or your foot doctor may recommend applying an over-the-counter medicated patch to the corn and then pumicing away the hard layer of skin gradually over time.

Soaking your feet in warm water can also soften the skin and make it easier to file away the corn (just be careful not to file too much of the skin, which can lead to bleeding and infection).


Need treatment? Give us a call!

Southern Maine Foot & Ankle is proud to serve the Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick, ME, areas. If you are dealing with corns, calluses, or other foot problems and you aren’t sure what to do about them, call our office today: (207) 883-0865 for Scarborough, (207) 892-5072 for Windham, and (207) 729-FOOT (3668) for Brunswick.

By Southern Maine Foot & Ankle, PA
January 15, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Heel Pain  

If your heel pain seems never ending, your podiatrist — a doctor specialized in the feet and ankles — can help you get your health back on track and begin your journey to a pain-free life. Pinning down the cause of heel pain can be a tricky task, but your foot doctor’s expertise will ensure that you find the best treatment for you. Find out more about heel pain and its treatments with Dr. Peter Ocampo at Southern Maine Foot and Ankle in Scarborough, Windham & Brunswick, ME.

What causes heel pain? 
Heel pain can come from various sources, but there are a few common culprits. Though many people assume their heel pain comes from an injury, an underlying condition can also contribute to a heel problem:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Flatfeet
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Heel spur
  • Neuropathy
  • Pinched nerve
  • Stress fracture

Diagnosing Heel Pain 
When you see your foot doctor for the first time, they will use a physical examination to inspect any outward abnormalities in the foot. They will also use this visit to gather your medical and family history, lifestyle background, and other important information. In some cases, your doctor may recognize the symptoms of a condition or injury to your foot just by looking at it. However, your podiatrist often needs x-rays or MRIs to further investigate your symptoms and examine the bone and connective tissues which lie below the surface of the skin.

Heel Pain Treatments in Scarborough, ME
Treating your heel pain depends on its cause. Since treatments for different foot-related conditions vary greatly, the best way to determine which procedures are best for you is to meet with your podiatrist. They may suggest non-invasive treatments like physical therapy, custom orthotics, or simply plenty of rest. Some conditions, however, may require more in-depth treatments or even surgery. Your doctor can help you find the best treatment plan for you and your condition.

For more information on heel pain, please contact Dr. Peter Ocampo at Southern Maine Foot and Ankle in Scarborough, Windham & Brunswick, ME. Call today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Ocampo!

By Southern Maine Foot & Ankle, PA
October 29, 2018
Category: podiatry
Tags: Heel Pain  

Isn’t it time you figured out what was causing your heel pain?

Heel Pain CauseAre you currently dealing with heel pain? If so, you may want to know what’s going on so that you know how to best treat it. While most causes of heel pain will resolve on their own with the proper TLC and care, it’s always important to understand what’s going on when issues arise so that you know whether this is something you can handle on your own or whether you need to turn to our Scarborough, ME, podiatrist Dr. Peter Ocampo for help.

What can cause heel pain?

Even though there are many conditions and injuries that can lead to heel pain the two most common causes are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. Both of these inflammatory conditions are the result of overuse. If you suddenly increased the intensity or duration of your workout too quickly this can result in either of these problems.

Other causes of heel pain include:

  • Heel spur
  • Sprains and strains
  • Fracture
  • Bursitis
  • Arthritis

In most cases, the heel pain will go away on its own with rest and at-home care; however, it’s important to visit your Scarborough, ME, foot doctor if your heel pain is severe, if it gets worse or isn’t relieved with at-home care or if your heel pain is accompanied by weakness, tingling or numbness in the foot.

How do you treat heel pain?

Of course, to be able to determine the best course of action when it comes to treating your heel pain we will need to examine your foot, discuss your symptoms with you and, in some cases, run imaging tests to find out what’s going on. Once we determine the root cause then we can create an immediate and effective treatment plan.

Luckily, plantar fasciitis, or Achilles tendonitis will go away on its own as long as you rest and do not perform any high-impact activities, which could exacerbate your condition. Other ways to ease symptoms include:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Icing the heel 2-3 times a day
  • Wearing a splint or supportive brace
  • Stretching and exercising the foot

When these conditions do not respond to at-home care then it is time to consider other treatment options such as ultrasound or shockwave therapy, or corticosteroid injections. This is something you will discuss extensively with your podiatrist beforehand.

Don’t let heel pain keep you from doing what you love most. Southern Maine Foot & Ankle is proud to serve the Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick, ME, areas. Call us today and let us know what’s going on. We want to help!

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