Find Answers to Your Questions About Foot Care and Injury Prevention

Our Palm Desert podiatry team fields questions daily. Do you have a question about how to manage your foot pain? Do you have a question about the safety of a current footwear fad? Do you want to know more about foot and ankle injury prevention? If so, we hope you find the answers you need here.

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  • Can Ugly Toenails Look Better?

    Thick and ugly toenails can have many causes such as from: fungus infections, trauma, and injuries. When there is fungus, different treatments are available, however it still takes a year for the nail to grow out and look better.


    At the office of Harvey R. Danciger, DPM, we have a solution to that ugly toenail!  We offer the Keryflex toenail restoration system. This procedure uses polymer resins to create a flexible, durable artificial nail. This toenail looks and acts like your natural toenail.  In just 15 minutes, we can create a natural looking nail that takes the place of the damaged nail.  These nails are safe to apply polish as well as polish remover.

    Weddings, vacations and warm weather are many of the reasons why people choose KeryFlex in our office.  They want their toes to look good.

    Keryflex treatments are not just for women, many men have them too to make the toenail look better.

    Ugly Toenails

    Why wait.  Give us a call and be on the way to better looking toenails.  760-568-0108

  • How is dysplasia related to feet?

    Fibrous dysplasia, a rare condition in which healthy bone is gradually replaced by a fibrous, scar-like material, is most commonly found in the shins, thighs, pelvis, upper arms, and skull. However, any bone can be affected, and your feet are no exception.

    This condition weakens bones and puts them at greater risk of developing deformities and fractures. Due to the fact that your feet absorb the stress and shock that accompanies walking, standing, running, and bearing all of your weight every day, they are especially vulnerable if the disease strikes there. You may initially notice a dull ache that becomes progressively more painful over time; as the damage progresses walking may become difficult or almost impossible.

    If you notice any early symptoms, contact Dr. Harvey Danciger, DPM right away for an appointment. Although there is currently no cure, early detection and careful observation and symptom management can dramatically improve your outcomes. Give us a call in Palm Desert, CA by dialing (760) 568 – 0108 today.

  • Can I still exercise with arthritis?

    As a matter of fact, exercising is strongly recommended for sufferers of arthritis. The more you strengthen the muscles and tissues that support your joints, they more they can shield them from further damage and keep them functioning as well as possible.

    You have to be smart, though. High-impact exercise, like running, basketball, and other sports with lots of running and jumping may not be safe for you if your feet and ankle joints have already suffered wear and tear. To get your heart rate up, try low-impact aerobics—swimming and cycling are great options—and if you’re stuck inside, a quick Internet search for low-impact cardio will provide plenty of workout videos for all skill levels. We also recommend stretching exercises (to keep your joints limber and improve range of motion) as well as weight-training (to improve stability and protect joints).

    Before you launch into any exercise plan, set up an appointment with Harvey Danciger, DPM. He can help you determine what kinds of exercises are safe to perform, and whether or not you might benefit from other treatments or therapies for your arthritis. Give our office a call at (760) 568-0108 today.

  • Are bunions hereditary?

    Yes and no.

    While simply having a family history of bunions isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get them as well, there is definitely a genetic component to the deformity. Your parents can pass their foot structures on to you, so if their feet are particularly susceptible to bunion formation, there’s a good chance yours will be, too. Having a parent or grandparent with the condition greatly increases your own risk.

    The good news is that, in most cases, there is an environmental component to acquiring the condition as well. That means that by taking care of your feet, including wearing supportive footwear or orthotics, you can significantly slow the progress of—or even entirely prevent—bunions, even if your foot structures put you at greater risk.

    If you’re concerned about a bump forming at the base of your toe, especially if you have a family history, schedule an appointment with Harvey Danciger, DPM right away. The earlier you seek treatment, the more successful treatment is likely to be. Give us a call at (760) 568 – 0108 to schedule your appointment.

  • What is Haglund’s deformity?

    Haglund’s deformity is a common foot condition in which a bony growth forms at the back of your heel. It’s also familiarly known by its nickname, “pump bump,” which is based on the observation that it’s especially common among women who frequently wear pump-style shoes.

    In truth, any type of shoe with a rigid back (many men’s dress shoes, for example) can cause similar symptoms. There’s also usually a genetic or biomechanical component as well: people with unusually high arches or especially tight Achilles tendons tend to be more susceptible, as such conditions put extra stress on the back of the heel.

    If you’re dealing with heel pain due to a Haglund’s deformity enlargement, contact Harvey Danciger, DPM, in Palm Desert. He has the tools and experience necessary to relieve your symptoms and, if necessary, surgically correct the deformity. Treatments may include laser therapy for painful inflammation, shoe modifications such as orthotics, and a period of rest and immobilization, depending on your specific circumstances. Give us a call at (760) 568 – 0108 and let Dr. Harvey Danciger DPM bump away your heel pain today.

  • Are medications the only way to treat neuropathy?

    Many of my patients come into the office after seeing numerous doctors, have had nerve conduction testing which they report as normal, and been on medications such as Gabapentin, Lyrica, Neurontin etc, for a long time with no changes noted.  Often the doctor will state there is nothing else that can be done.


    A number of these patients have symptoms of neuropathy secondary to nerve compressions in the lower extremity.  Until the compression is released, nerve symptoms such as burning, tingling, pins and needles, unstable gait and others will not be improved.


    One way to treat this is with laser treatments.  Surgical decompression is also a viable option.


    If you are having nerve problems in the lower extremities, give Harvey R. Danciger, DPM a call at 760-568-0108.

  • Can orthotics help with flat feet?

    Of course!

    Orthotics won’t “fix” your flat feet—the only thing that can change your foot shape is surgery—but they can cushion, reposition, and realign your feet to protect sensitive spots, minimize pain, and even improve your overall biomechanics.

    For flat feet, over-the-counter insoles (not “true” orthotics) that can provide some relief include low profile insoles and arch supports. Mass-produced inserts won’t last as long as custom orthotics and often won’t work as well, but in less severe cases may be effective—you can experiment and see if you can find a pair that works for you.

    Orthotics made by Harvey Danciger, DPM, can be a very effective solution. Although they’re more expensive than OTC insoles, they are much more durable and are custom-fit to the contours of your own, unique flat feet. They can provide the support and cushioning you need, while improving your biomechanics and preventing your feet from overpronating.

    If you’re experiencing foot pain from flat feet, give our office a call today. We’ll take the time to listen to your concerns, examine your feet, and provide the correct treatment plan, whether you need orthotics or not. You can reach us at (760) 568-0108.

  • Do I need surgery for capsulitis?

    In some cases surgery may be required to alleviate pain in toes from capsulitis, depending on your condition. However, most of the time conservative treatments work just fine.

    In the early stages, before the toe shifts out of place and begins to cross over the neighboring toe, simple, noninvasive approaches can successfully reduce your pain and address the underlying factors causing the discomfort. These approaches can include rest and ice, buddy taping, toe splints, metatarsal padding, and custom orthotics.

    However, once the toe begins to drift, it can only be returned to its original position via surgery. The exact procedure selected will vary depending on your situation, although a typical operation will involve shortening or repositioning bones in order to fundamentally correct a foot deformity and relieve pressure on the capsular ligaments.

    For tough toe and forefoot pain, trust your feet to Palm Desert podiatrist Dr. Harvey Danciger, DPM. Whether you need surgery, splints, or just a new pair of shoes, he’ll help you get back on your feet. Set up an appointment by calling (760) 568-0108 today.

  • Is Osteomyelitis related to diabetes?

    Osteomyelitis is a bone infection and can certainly be related to diabetes. When individuals who are living with diabetes develop foot ulcers, they may ultimately end up exposing bones in their feet to infection. Additionally, these individuals have impaired immune systems which are not as effective at fighting off infections, and Staphylococcus aureus can more easily infect their bones.

    Potential bone infection is one of the many reasons for the heightened importance of diabetic foot care and why it is necessary to see Dr. Harvey Danciger, DPM, whenever a cut or other injury is sustained. If you have not already done so, contact our office and we’ll help you create a sustainable plan for diabetic foot care.

    Bone infections do not only happen to individuals who have compromised immune systems, however. Other risk factors for this condition include alcoholism, intravenous drug use, long-term use of steroids, or recent injury. Infection also happens occasionally following bone surgeries, like knee and hip replacements.

    Regardless how you may have developed osteomyelitis, it needs to be treated sooner rather than later. Call our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108 and make an appointment to receive the expert diagnosis and treatment that you need.

  • What are signs and symptoms of sesamoiditis?

    Sesamoiditis is one of those common sports injuries that many people do not know much about. Your feet have little bones in them, called sesamoids, that can become irritated and lead to pain in the forefoot area. When this overuse injury happens, usually from activities like dancing or running, it is important to stop the aggravating activity and visit our office.

    Some of the signs and symptoms of sesamoiditis to look out for include tenderness in the ball of your foot, restricted movement of the big toe, and a persistent, dull pain that develops gradually. The pain will be located in the ball of your foot and will either come or go depending on activity and your choice in footwear. Swelling and bruising may be present, but not in all cases.

    If you are experiencing these conditions, make an appointment with our Palm Desert, CA office so that you can receive a proper diagnosis from Harvey R. Danciger, DPM. He will get to the bottom of your foot pain and provide expert treatment so you can live life without restriction. Call (760) 568-0108 or schedule an appointment today!

  • What is the difference between orthotics and shoe inserts?

    When you have foot pain, one of the common, nonsurgical treatment options that may be used is a pair of prescription orthotics. These medical devices are different than the shoe inserts that are mass-produced and available for sale at pharmacies or retail stores. A key distinction is that they are customized and made to specifically fit the unique contours of your feet.

    Store-bought inserts can offer additional comfort and cushioning, and even some extra arch support, but are not created to treat medical conditions. Orthotics, on the other hand, are actual medical devices prescribed by a doctor and may be a component of a comprehensive treatment plan. They can help correct imbalances in the foot and relieve painful foot conditions like plantar fasciitis and metatarsalgia.

    If you are experiencing foot pain and may benefit from the use of custom foot supports, contact our Palm Desert, CA, office today and schedule an appointment with Harvey R. Danciger, DPM. Call us at (760) 568-0108 or use the online form to get the pain relief that you need today!

  • Why is diabetic foot care important?

    Foot care should be important for anyone who wants to prevent conditions like fungal toenails, bunions, and plantar fasciitis, but the stakes are even higher for those who live with diabetes. Diabetic foot care is necessary for avoiding serious health problems, including those that can lead to amputation for a foot or a leg. Preventing infections and wounds is quite important, but so is observing them early before they become especially severe.

    This ailment can lead to nerve damage in your extremities, including a condition known as peripheral neuropathy. One of the concerns with this form of neuropathy is when it prevents you from feeling the sensation of pain that normally comes with an injury. Left untreated, a cut or wound can create an opening for infection to develop in your body.

    If you or a loved one in the Palm Desert, CA, need further information about how to care for diabetic feet, schedule an appointment with Harvey R. Danciger, DPM. Call (760) 568-0108 and make an appointment so that you can start planning for daily care and inspection.

  • What is the difference between mallet toes and hammertoes?

    Given the similarities between the two conditions, you may well wonder what the difference is between mallet toes and hammertoes. These foot deformities both entail an abnormal bend in a toe—typically the one next to the big toe. The key difference is that the bend for hammertoe happens at the middle joint, whereas in mallet toe the joint nearest the toenail is bent.

    Both of these conditions are commonly found in women who frequently wear high heels or shoes that have a narrow toe box. Either ailment can cause pain in toes and may be corrected by switching footwear and wearing orthotics or inserts. If conservative methods are not effective, surgery may be recommended to release the tension of a stubborn tendon.

    If you have developed either a hammertoe or a mallet toe, contact Harvey R. Danciger, DPM, so he can assess your specific situation and create a treatment plan for you. Call (760) 568-0108 to schedule an appointment at our Palm Desert, CA, office today and get the relief that you need from pain and discomfort.

  • What are common sports injuries in feet?

    It is estimated that 15 percent of athletic injuries are to the foot alone. The most common sports injuries to feet are the result of trauma or direct impact. These include fractures and sprains, broken toes, and turf toe.

    Other frequent injuries are often the result of overuse, overly intense training, use of improper footwear, or abnormalities in the shape of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain that may result from overtraining, but stress fractures along the foot and sesamoiditis in the ball of the foot can also cause plenty of trouble.

    Sometimes an injury just comes as part of growing up. Sever’s disease often causes pain in the heels of athletes between 8-15 years of age due to a rapid growth spurt.

    Whatever the cause of your sports injury, Dr. Harvey Danciger, DPM, has the experience and know-how to offer the best treatments for your condition. Call his Palm Desert office at (760) 568-0108 or use our online form to schedule an appointment today.

  • What is metatarsalgia?

    Metatarsalgia is the term given to ball of foot pain, sometimes accompanied by bruising or inflammation. It is not a specific injury or disease in itself, but thought of more as a symptom associated with other conditions. 

    Pain in the ball of the foot is a common occurrence with multiple potential causes ranging from obesity to stress fractures to arthritis. Determining the causes of a specific case will likely have an effect on the overall course of treatment, but most standard discomfort can be cared for through conservative measures. Resting the foot, application of ice, and foot-strengthening exercises may be recommended. Other courses of finding relief may include laser therapy or the prescription of orthotics to compensate for abnormal foot shapes and correctly redistribute weight along the foot.

    If you are suffering from pain in the ball of your foot, don’t try to ignore it. Let Harvey R. Danciger, DPM, and his expert staff diagnose the root of the problem and set you on track to healthier, happier feet. Schedule an appointment at our Palm Desert, CA, office by calling (760) 568-0108.

  • Is athlete’s foot contagious?

    Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection, and thus potentially contagious. There is more than one fungus that can be responsible for the condition, and an infection can be picked up in a variety of places.

    Is athlete's foot contagious?

    The disease receives its name from how commonly it can be spread within sports facilities. Locker rooms, showers, swimming pools, and 

    other public locations where people go barefoot can spread the fungus. The infection is not restricted to athletes, however. It can also be spread at nail salons or through any direct contact with contaminated skin, clothing, or shoes.

    The fungus grows best in warm, damp conditions. Those who wear tight, wet shoes, or whose feet sweat frequently, are at a higher risk for contracting the infection.

    If you believe you have athlete’s foot, don’t spread it. Let Dr. Harvey Danciger, DPM, properly diagnose your problem and provide the best solutions to get your feet back into sporting form. Call our Palm Desert office at (760) 568-0108 to schedule an appointment.

  • How long does plantar fasciitis take to heal?

    Getting sidelined by plantar fasciitis can be a frustrating experience. You understandably want to get rid of your heel pain and return to full action as soon as possible. While most people will eventually make a full recovery through proper care, the speed of doing so differs from person to person. Some cases respond quickly to treatment, while others don’t respond to conservative measures at all and may require special attention.

    Usually, common treatments such as night splints, laser treatments, insoles, rest, icing, stretching, and oral medication will be employed for about 6 weeks.  With improvement, custom functional orthosis are needed.  If no improvement in pain has been registered by then, additional methods such medicine injections may be considered. Immobilization, physical therapy, or even surgery may be options in the most chronic situations.

    Don’t wait if you have pain. The sooner it is diagnosed and treated, the more likely you are to recover quickly. Let Harvey Danciger, DPM help determine your best route to recovery. Call our Palm Desert office at (760) 568-0108 or use our online form to schedule an appointment.

  • Difference Between In-toeing or Out-toeing?

    There are some conditions that can affect children’s feet and intoeing and outtoeing are two very common ones. Both may be normal or abnormal depending on examination and history of foot and leg problems in the family, are often easily treated, but can affect a child’s ability to live an active lifestyle.

    Feet naturally point straight ahead or have a slightly outward position. Sometimes, however, they may be angled in or out more so than usual. Intoeing is a musculoskeletal condition where the feet are rotated inward. You may hear this lower extremity condition referred to as being “pigeon-toed.” There are several causes of intoeing and it can appear from birth to adolescence. Outtoeing is the opposite, when feet are turned outward farther than normal. These rotational deformities may resolve on their own and rarely require surgical intervention.  The cause of the deformity should be determined because treatment may be necessary. If you have further questions about the difference between intoeing and outtoeing, or any concerns about your child’s foot health or gait development, contact Harvey R. Danciger, DPM in Palm Desert, CA. Foot pain is never normal and if your child is complaining of discomfort or you notice a shift in their activity level, it is important to evaluate what may be causing the problem. Reach our office by calling (760) 568-0108 or make an appointment online.

  • What is a Jones fracture?

    A Jones fracture is a break in the long bone, 5th metatarsal, behind the little toe.  This occurs in an area that does not have an abundant blood supply and can result in more difficulty in healing.  It can be a result of a sudden injury or a result of repetitive stress over a period of time.  Symptoms can range from swelling, pain, discomfort, black and blue to the skin and difficulty walking.  One may feel a bruised feeling in the area.


    Treatment may involve immobilization in a cast, possible bone stimulation to help promote healing, or surgery if the bone fragments are out of alignment or do not heal properly.


    If you have pain on the outside of the foot, let Harvey R. Danciger, DPM examine and evaluate the problem.  You can contact our office in Palm Desert, CA, by dialing (760) 568-0108 or schedule an appointment online.

  • How is tarsal tunnel syndrome treated?

    Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which involves nerve pain in the ankle, is initially treated by a period of rest and ice on the inside of the ankle—underneath the bone where the affected nerve passes through. We may recommend that you try oral anti-inflammatory medications. Immobilization of the area by wearing a cast is sometimes required to give the area time to heal.

    We may prescribe more advanced treatments like physical therapy, orthotics, and a change of shoes to help reduce your symptoms and prevent the nerve from being aggravated. Surgery is another option to treat progressive stages of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Depending on the stage of your condition, we will discuss surgical options with you that will benefit the health of your foot the most.

    If you are suffering from pain in the foot attributed to tarsal tunnel syndrome, allow Harvey R. Danciger, DPM to treat your problem early for best results. Make an appointment with our Palm Desert office at (760) 568- 0108.