Dr. Matthew Sabo
Matthew J. Sabo, DPM FACFAS created The Foot and Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania in 2007 to serve the Armstrong, Butler and surrounding counties with all their foot and ankle needs. Dr. Sabo earned his Bachelor of Science degree at East Stroudsburg University in pre-medicine in 1997, graduating in an accelerated pre-medicine program. He continued his education at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine where he earned his medical degree in 2000. While at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, Dr. Sabo received an award for academic excellence. He then went on to complete a forefoot and rearfoot reconstructive surgical residency program at Saint Agnes Medical Center in Philadelphia.
Dr. Sabo has served as a delegate and vice president of the Pennsylvania Podiatric Medical Association Erie Northwest division. He has spoken at numerous conferences and has contributed chapters to the Hershey Board Certification Review manual as well as articles in podiatric medical journals. He currently serves as the associate director of research at The Snyder Institute of Armstrong County Memorial Hospital. Dr. Sabo currently serves as a Clinical Associate Professor at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine.
Dr. Sabo has been serving the Armstrong, Butler and surrounding counties since 2002. He is Board Certified in foot and ankle surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, a Diplomate of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and member of the American Podiatric Medical Association. Founding member and Fellow of both American Society of Podiatric Surgeons and the Academy of Physicians in Wound Healing. He currently serves as a reconstructive foot and ankle surgical instructor at Heritage Valley – Beaver. A PMSR/RRA-36 program with a 361-bed acute care hospital located in Beaver, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Sabo specializes in reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle, complex wound care, limb salvage, research and podiatric care.
Anatomy Of Your Toes
Your toes and feet take you places. You use them to stand, walk, run, and dance.
Foot anatomy is complicated, and more than half of the bones in the human body are in your feet. Feet have three main sections – the forefoot, midfoot, and hindfoot. Your toes are in the forefoot.
In the forefoot are five toes, or phalanges, and five longer bones, or metatarsals, that connect the toes to the midfoot.
Each phalange consists of three phalanx bones – the proximal, middle, and distal – with the exception of the big toe, which has only has proximal and distal bones.
The joint between the metatarsals and phalanges is called the Metatarsophalangeal Joint, or MTP joint. These MTP joints form the ball of the foot and help your toes flex and extend. The joint between the proximal and middle phalanx is known as the Proximal Interphalangeal Joint, or PIP joint. The PIP joint helps toes curl and grip.
All toes except the big toe are know as lesser toes. Lesser toes and their joints flex and contract by the action of muscles, tendons, and ligaments on the top and bottom of your feet.
When forces such as tight shoes or high heels bend your toes, conditions such as hammertoe and claw toe can occur over time. Your toes are forced to work harder in less space, and the resulting muscle and tendon imbalance causes muscles to shorten and toes to curl, and may worsen the condition.
All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Every patient’s case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor’s specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.
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Hammertoe is a condition caused by the joints of the metatarsal and phalanges contracting and bending the toe into an arched position that resembles a hammer. A common cause of hammertoe is a tight toe box in shoes, typically found with high heels that may be too small. The size, angle, and structure of the shoes force the toes into a compromised position, causing poor circulation, restricted movement, plus aggravation to the bones and ligaments in the foot and toes. Trauma is also a cause of hammertoes, and heredity may play a factor.
Early stages of hammertoe are mild, and the compromised joints are still flexible. At this stage, non-surgical treatment and appropriate footwear can help. Without treatment, however, the condition will worsen and joints will become stiff and inflexible. At that point, surgery is the only option.
Earliest stages are unsightly and uncomfortable but may not yet resemble the curved appearance of later stages. The appearance of hammertoe and its distinct shape is an indicator.
Symptoms of hammertoe include:
- Wearing shoes causes pain and irritation on toes.
- Corns and calluses appear between two toes, the ball of the foot, or on an affected toe that rubs against the shoe.
- Long-term friction also can cause open sores on toes.
- Burning sensation and a red, and inflammed appearance.
- Curved appearance that progresses if left untreated.
- Stiff, inflexible joints.