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Q & A with your podiatrist – Dr. Matthew F. Wachtler

Q) Will my shoes cause bunions or hammertoes?
A) In short, probably not. Bunions and hammertoes are mostly genetic. However, wearing certain shoes can accelerate their progression or make them symptomatic. Don’t get me wrong, high heels on occasion are ok, but regularly wearing shoes which cause your toes to curl or be pushed together can make an otherwise unassuming bunion worse.

Q) You can’t do anything for a broken toe, right?
A) Wrong. But not entirely. Usually a broken toe does not require surgery, unless it is misaligned or dislocated. However, they still require stability to heal, activity should be limited and they should be monitored with Xrays to ensure correct and timely healing.

Q) Do pedicures cause nail fungus?
A) No. If you are going to a reputable place, they use clean instruments and basins and they do not go digging into your toes, a pedicure should be safe and enjoyable.

Q) How bad does removing an ingrown toenail hurt?
A) Not as bad as you’d think. The toe is numb during the procedure and relief from the offending nail is usually significant within a day or so. Waiting too long to have it treated properly can cause an infection and delay the resolution.

Q) Are flatfeet a real problem?
A) Yes, but not always. Many people have flatfeet, but not all of them hurt. Usually we try to ensure that children are treated for flatfeet, especially if symptomatic or causing abnormalities in the way they walk. This can help them from developing a symptomatic flat foot as they get older. For the rest of us, a flatfoot can often lead to tendonitis or arthritis, and in these circumstances, they should be treated before these symptoms progress.

To contact Dr. Wachtler, call the office at 973-857-1184 or visit

Dr. Matthew F. Wachtler, DPM, FACFAS

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