My Blog

Posts for: July, 2014

By Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr., DPM
July 23, 2014
Category: Hammertoes

High Heels Causing HammertoesUgghh!!!! As you are laying on the beach enjoying the sun and sand, do you look down at your feet and think, “My toes look like tiny little hammers!!!” If this is the case help is on its way. 

It can happen to any toe. Women are more likely to get pain associated with hammertoes than men because of the shoes they wear.

A hammertoe is a deformity of your toes.Typically the toe is bent at the middle joint, so that it resembles a hammer. Initially, hammertoes are flexible and can be corrected with simple measures but, if left untreated, they can become fixed and will require surgery. Hammertoe results from shoes that don't fit properly or a muscle imbalance.

Ladies, unfortunately, you may have to give up those gorgeous designer high heels for more sensible shoes. Shoes that narrow toward the toe may make your forefoot look smaller. But they also push the smaller toes into a bent position. Your toes will rub against the shoe, leading to the formation of corns and calluses, which further aggravate the condition. A higher heel forces the foot down and squishes the toes against the shoe, increasing the pressure and the bend in the toe. Eventually, the toe muscles become unable to straighten the toe, even when wearing a comfortable shoe.

There are two types of hammertoes:

Flexible Hammertoes - If the toe still can be moved at the joint, it's a flexible hammertoe. That's good, because this is an earlier, milder form of the problem. There may be several treatment options.

Rigid Hammertoes - If the tendons in the toe become rigid, they press the joint out of alignment. At this stage, the toe can't be moved. It usually means that surgery is needed.

If you have any of the above foot conditions, contact the professionals at Delaware’s Premier Podiatric practice, Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. Call Dr. Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr. at (302) 355-0056, or visit an Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. near you. We have three convenient office locations in Newark, Glasgow and Wilmington DE.

By Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr., DPM
July 08, 2014
Category: Pedicures

Ways to Keep Your Toes HealthySpending a weekend with the girls? Looking for a way pamper yourself? We're willing to bet that pedicures and manicures may have made the list of activities. Be sure to take your loved ones to a salon that practices proper hygiene, or you may walk away with more than pretty feet. Check our tips for safe pedicures to avoid complications such as fungal infection like athlete's foot or nail fungus.

Enjoy your time and relax, but do so first thing in the morning. Footbaths and pedicure tools are cleanest at the beginning of the day. If you can't get an appointment in the morning, be sure to ask how much time is left between clients. This is a good indicator of how often the tools and baths are cleansed. Some places may even allow you to bring your own. It never hurts to ask, especially when it's a matter of personal safety.

Don't shave, use hair removal cream, or wax your legs, for at least 24 hours before visiting the salon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency warn against this. Hair removal, or nicking yourself while shaving, puts you at risk to developing a bacterial infection.

While you're sitting in the chair, don't allow the pedicure technician to cut your cuticles. Your cuticles serve as a protective barrier. If trimmed, they are also susceptible to bacteria. Even the act of pushing the cuticles back can leave your tissues damaged.

In the days following your visit, pay attention to your limbs. If you notice the appearance of a pimple or boil that has become red, painful, and swollen, contact our office. Likewise, if your feet have become itchy and your toenails have begun to yellow, call Dr. Raymond A DiPretoro Jr. at (302) 355-0056, or visit an Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. near you. We’re located in Newark, Glasgow, and Wilmington, DE.

Photo Credit: Satit_Srihin

By Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr., DPM
July 08, 2014
Category: Wound Care

How to Care for Foot Wounds"Hang on! Help is on the way!" Splash! You may be the captain of your own ship (and lower limbs), but we're tossing a life preserver in your direction, just in case. Don't let painful sores on your feet drag you down. Instead, sink your teeth into this helpful advice for treating ulcers.

Diabetic foot ulcers are open sores or wounds that occur in approximately 15% of individuals with diabetes. Of those who develop a foot ulcer, 6% will be hospitalized due to complications and infection. Don't let it happen to you.

If you have an ulcer, keep the pressure off your feet. Try to limit your movement and take as few steps as possible. If you must walk, be sure to wear shoes made out of leather or suede instead of those made out of plastic or hard rubber. They should be easily adjustable, containing laces, Velcro, or buckles. Avoid pointy-toed shoes, and remember to keep your feet dry.

It is important to keep your blood sugar levels under close observation and control to promote healthy tissue. When it comes to directly caring for the wound, the area should be cleansed daily, and a dressing or bandage applied. If you need help with this, contact the experts at Delaware’s Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. Our office offers other ways to treat the wound, including debridement.

If you've noticed drainage, increased warmth and redness, odor, severe swelling, or have developed a fever or chills, contact us right away! Call Dr. Raymond A DiPretoro Jr. at (302) 355-0056, or visit an Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. near you. We’re located in Newark, Glasgow, and Wilmington DE. You can also keep in touch through Twitter, Facebook or our website.

Photo Credit: Alexis via

By Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr., DPM
July 01, 2014
Category: Ankles

Prevent Falls with Stronger AnklesHumpty-Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty-Dumpty had a great—podiatrist. Just like all of the king’s men, the experts at Delaware’s Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. are working hard to keep your life—and your limbs—balanced. Millions of Americans are plagued by poor balance, which is the cause for many detrimental falls. We're taking a stand and providing you with exercises for strengthening your ankles.

Balance is an automatic and intuitive reflex that gradually diminishes with age. We tend to grow weaker and our reflexes become slower the older we get. Certain health problems, such as neuropathy of the feet and ankles, can make you more at risk for taking a spill.

To increase muscular strength, flexibility, and balance, try these exercises recommended by Dr. Raymond A DiPretoro Jr.

For balance: While standing, try balancing on one foot. You can do this virtually anywhere, in the grocery store and even at work. Another to try is to sit down or stand up without using your hands.

For strength: Make your calves and ankles stronger by pushing up onto your toes and lowering back to standing position, repeat 10-15 times each leg.  To make your thighs stronger, sit in a straight back chair and straighten one leg out in front of your body for as long as possible before slowly lowering it back down. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times on each leg.

For flexibility: Sit in a straight-back chair, straighten one foot out in front of you and place it on a stool. Reach forward with your hand toward the foot and hold for 10-20 seconds before sitting back up.

If any of these exercises cause you pain, dizziness, or trouble breathing, call our office in Newark, DE right away at (302) 355-0056, or make your appointment online. Incorporate these movements into your daily routine and you'll be seeing improvement in your ankle stability in no time. Strong legs and ankles help prevent falls and allow you to catch yourself when you trip. Don't lose grip of this inherent trait.

Photo Credit: Samarttiw via

By Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr., DPM
July 01, 2014
Category: Toenails

Preventing Black Toenails from RunningAre you in the running? For a black toenail, that is. This condition isn't contagious, but it can affect anyone. Most often, training for a long distance race -- such as Stumpy’s Marathon coming up in Newark in September -- or consistently running hills makes you more likely to develop darkened toenails. It happens when your toe is repetitively jammed against the front of your shoe. Avoid pain and the potential of losing your nail by following our tips for preventing black toenails.

Black toenails can also appear reddish, brown, or purple, due to the collection of blood underneath the nail. This clot may result in a foul odor and discharge underneath the nail. It can also create excessive pressure and lead to intense pain. Here are some ways to avoid this toenail pain and discoloration without spoiling your training schedule.

Aside from always keeping your toenails trimmed properly -- not too short and clipped straight across -- it's important to ensure that your shoes fit correctly. Your footwear should provide your toes with enough room to wiggle and not be pressed tightly against one another. You should allow half an inch of space between the end of your toes and the front of the shoe. Always avoid walking and running barefoot, as this makes your toes susceptible to trauma, and be cautious while caring heavy objects.

Call Dr. Raymond A DiPretoro Jr. at (302) 355-0056, at the first sign of a toenail issue. If the nail has already turned black and is at risk for falling off, the experts at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. in Newark, Glasgow, and Wilmington, DE will work hard to protect and save the future of your feet.  You can also schedule an appointment with our office online or browse our pages for more information and prevention tips.

Photo Credit: Mapichai via

Contact us 

Please call us at (302) 355-0056.
This is the quickest and easiest way to schedule an appointment and to have your questions answered! We look forward to hearing from you!

Our Locations

Newark, DE Podiatrist
Advanced Foot and Ankle Center - Neuroscience & Surgery Institute of DE.
774 Christiana Road, Suite #105, Newark, DE 19713
(302) 355-0056

Wilmington Office
1415 Foulk Road, Suite #101, Foulkstone Plaza, Wilmington, DE 19803
(302) 355-0056

Middletown Office
Middletown Medical Center 210 Cleaver Farm Road Building B, Suite 2 Middletown, DE 19709
(302) 355-0056