Welcome to the Website of

Dr. Michael Zapf, DPM, MPH, FACFAS

Call: (818) 707-3668

 Thank you for visiting my website. I have been placing information and articles on this site for many years and have received millions of  hits during that time (and not that many of them were mine). I have designed it for people who like to read about their foot and ankle problems. Since I started the web site, I have added two associates to my practice, Dr. Darren Payne and Dr. Stephen Benson.  Since my site is filled with just my thoughts and opinions they are not, necessarily, shared by my colleagues. To see our less controversial (and less windy) practice web site, I offer you: www.ConejoFeet.com, the practice site for The Agoura Los Robles Podiatry Centers (ALRPC). The ALRPC practice site has a lot of material about our office, many of our policies and the registration forms to be filled out before your visit. I suggest all prospective patients visit www.ConejoFeet.com.

 I made the web site to give my patients the extra depth information that I donít always have time to cover in the office visit. Visitors who are not my patients are welcome to browse the information found here. I am from a generation that likes to read in depth about all sorts of things, including our ailments. This site is dedicated to all those who want more information that what can be contained in a series of bullet points. If you like this philosophy then let me know when you see me or if you ask a question.

Remember, this site is in no way intended to tell you how your own ailment or problem should be treated, only the approach I use when confronted with certain situations. Your problem may well be different from what you think it is and should always be evaluated by the appropriate professional, whether podiatrist, orthopedist or other authority. Please understand that I, nor anyone else, can offer you a proper diagnosis or treatment plan without seeing and feeling the problem at hand (foot?) Happy reading.

 Sincerely, Michael Zapf, DPM, MPH, FACFAS, FACFAOM

 P.S. All the information in this web site is © by me and it is mine alone. No picture and none of the articles can be used by anyone without permission from me, personally.

P.P.S. Comments about this web site or questions about your feet can be directed to me at zfootdoc (at) doctor (dot) com.

P.P.P.S.  I was going to offer a nice prize to the person who could send me a screen shot of being the 3 Millionth person to visit this web site. I am sorry I missed that opportunity. But wait until you see what I offer the 4 Millionth visitor.




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Some patients complain of a 4th toe that curls under the 3rd toe. This produces a callus at the tip of the 4th toe that can be painful and can even blister. The pen is pointing to such a callus on this police officer's 4th toe.

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This is the foot of a high school athlete who was not only concerned about the appearance of her left 4th toe but also had pain. Her 4th toe was constantly pinned under her 3rd toe causing blisters, calluses and an irritating rubbing. Conservative therapy consisting of a toe separator failed and she elected to have it straightened under local anesthesia in the office.

Treatment can be either conservative or surgical.

The first conservative treatment is to trim the lesion. This can be done either in the doctor's office or you can trim it yourself at home. Be careful of self treatment if you are a "high risk" patient with poor circulation or diabetes. After you trim it you can protect or pad the area using either a toe separator (on the left) or with a "rolled foam" (on the right).

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Finally you can consider a surgery that involves the removal of a wedge of skin as outlined with the ink pen and the removal of a little piece of bone to "uncurl" the toe out from under the 3rd toe.


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The surgery is done right in the office with local anesthesia and takes half an hour. You will have sutures in your toe for 10 days and during that time you will probably be asked to keep your foot dry.

This is a picture of the high school girl pictured above after 3 weeks. She was impressed that she was able to paint this nail without the polish getting under the 3rd toe.

There is still some swelling that will reduce as time goes by.





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Copyright © 2000 Michael A. Zapf, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S., F.A.C.F.AOA.M.
Last modified: November 12, 2013