Foot Doctors and Podiatric Treatments at St. Elizabeth's
Our talented, board-certified surgeons – John T. Marcoux, DPM, FACFAS and Alfred J. Phillips, DPM, FACFAS – collaborate with in-house infectious disease specialists, internists, orthopedists, plastic surgeons and wound care specialists to provide innovative and comprehensive care. This approach enables our podiatric surgeons to conduct highly successful surgical procedures, which are performed in St. Elizabeth’s 11-room operating suite equipped with the latest technology. The Advanced Podiatric Surgical Services team is comprised of physicians, nurses, and support staff with decades of training and treatment of complex issues of the foot and ankle who also train podiatric residents in the most advanced medical and surgical treatments currently available.
In addition, with a comprehensive Wound Care Center located on campus, which includes hyperbaric oxygen therapy, patients can conveniently be treated for non-healing wounds often times on the same day they see one of our surgeons.
The Advanced Podiatric Surgical Services program treats a variety of complex foot and ankle concerns. Among the conditions treated are:
- Arthritic feet
- Bone and soft tissue tumors
- Charcot arthropathy
- Delayed and non-union of bone
- Diabetic foot ulceration
- Flatfoot deformity
- Foot trauma
- Iatrogenic and recurrent foot deformity
- Metatarsus Adductus
- Neurologic foot problems
- Pediatric foot disorders
- Pes cavus deformity
Starting with an easy-to-access center, complete with valet parking and offices and treatment areas located within St. Elizabeth’s, to rapid appointment turn-around, the St. Elizabeth’s surgical podiatry team routinely works to ensure that each patients needs are met. Our offices are conveniently located on the St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center campus. Please visit our directions page for information on how to reach us and parking.
St. Elizabeth’s is the first hospital in Boston to employ a new, innovative surgical hammertoe treatment called nextradesis. Utilizing the Nextra™ Hammertoe Correction System, the nextradesis procedure uses a micro-implant, designed to straighten the toe to a natural, anatomical position. Patients can return to work and normal activities, bathe more regularly and sleep more peacefully when compared to traditional treatments.
What is hammertoe?
Hammertoe is a bending of the toe, making it curl like the end of a hammer. It can occur in any toe other than the big toe but most frequently inflicts the second toe. Hammertoes can be flexible or, if more serious, rigid.
What causes hammertoe?
- An imbalance in the muscles that control the foot and toes during walking and sports
- Wearing shoes that are too tight, or have too high a heel
How often does hammertoe occur?
As many as 60 million Americans suffer from hammertoes. Hammertoes are more common among women due to their tendency to wear tight, narrow shoes, but the condition affects men as well. The median age of hammertoe sufferers is 52 – by which time they likely have logged 75,000 miles on their feet.
What are the symptoms of hammertoe?
Along with bending or curling, symptoms include:
- Joint stiffness
- Open sores
- Pain when wearing shoes or walking
How does the condition progress?
If left untreated, hammertoe symptoms can worsen and footwear options become limited. When hammertoes become more pronounced and painful, surgery is often required to repair the condition.
What are the treatment options?
Treatment options range from simple to surgical. If the condition is mild, non-surgical options include:
- Wider shoes with lower heels
- Toe exercises
- Padding, tape or splinting
Until recently, wires were used for surgical correction. In this technique, one or more wires are inserted into the bone through both the affected joint and a normally healthy toe joint, and the end of the toe. These wires stay in place for four to six weeks, protruding from the end of the toes. Due to the protruding wire, simple things such working, driving, bathing and even sleeping are difficult while these wires are in place. During this recovery period, patients often experience discomfort during sleep and are subject possible infection.
What is the Nextra Hammertoe Correction System?
The Nextra Hammertoe Correction System is a fusion implant which does not require insertion of a wire. It gives surgeons precise control to repair only the affected joint and make specific adjustments intra-operatively for each patient, to ensure the best patient outcome. Patients can return to work and normal activities, bathe more regularly and sleep more peacefully without pins protruding from the end of their toes. The risk of pin infection is eliminated and the chances of a hammertoe reoccurring is greatly diminished when bone healing occurs.