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Ask the Doctor: Podiatrist Dr. Joel W. Brook

Ask the Doctor: Podiatrist Dr. Joel W. Brook
Ask the Doctor: Podiatrist Dr. Joel W. Brook


Foot problems usually require immediate attention. You can’t exactly avoid using your feet, can you? Dr. Joel W. Brook is here to help. His podiatric expertise ranges from injuries to chronic issues and everything in between. Below he addresses some common foot concerns.

What types of foot problems do you see most often?  

There are several. Heel and arch pain is very common as are generalized sprains and strains from sports-related injuries. We see a considerable number of patients with painful bunions and hammertoes, symptomatic pediatric and adult flatfoot and skin conditions such as ingrown nails.

Why is it dangerous to wear flip-flops?

I tend not to make broad statements like, “It’s dangerous to wear flip-flops.” The vast majority is able to wear these types of sandals without any problem at all. Certain populations should be wary, including diabetics with neuropathy and those who have balance issues or instability in their gait.

How do you recommend choosing footwear?  

Every now and then, patients should have their feet measured, as feet can change size over time. It’s often better to buy shoes at the end of the day when the feet may be slightly more swollen than earlier in the day. Finally, I’m not a big believer in the need to break in shoes. Although there are some exceptions, such as stiff hiking boots, shoes should be comfortable at the time you buy them.

How can I wear heels without my feet hurting?

Some people can and some can’t. This is an individual thing and is dependent on the form and function of a patient’s foot. One thing I have found that can help is the use of injectable fillers such as Sculptra or Juvederm to provide extra padding to the ball of the foot.

Is it possible to get cartilage back into my joints if it has been lost?

Sorry, once it’s gone, it’s gone.

How do I protect myself from athlete’s foot and other fungus?

Wear sandals in the locker room. If your feet perspire a great deal, change out socks in the middle of the day.

What is the best way for preventing foot odor?  

Foot odor comes from perspiration. Use of varying antiperspirants and drying agents can help.