If you suffer from diabetes, managing the disease is crucial to maintaining your foot health. Diabetes can cause nerve damage, poor circulation, and can even alter the shape of your foot, leading to foot pain and toe damage. A podiatrist or foot specialist in Sugar Land can help you manage your foot health, and can diagnose and treat many foot problems that result from diabetes. Continue reading for more information on how diabetes can affect your foot health.
Diabetes Can Cause Neuropathy
Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is a common side effect of diabetes. This nerve damage can make your feel numb to pain and temperature, preventing you from noticing if you have injured your foot. Without proper treatment from a podiatrist, a foot injury can become much worse over time, leading to infection and permanent disfigurement.
Poor Circulation Due to Diabetes Can Damage Your Feet
The blood vessels in your feet and legs can harden due to diabetes, which results in decreased blood flow to your feet. If left untreated, this can develop into peripheral arterial disease, or PAD. PAD combined with neuropathy is very dangerous, as you may not recognize the symptoms of PAD quickly enough to seek help from a foot specialist. If PAD is not addressed, it can necessitate amputation of your foot or leg.
Diabetes Can Change the Skin and Shape of Your Feet
Diabetes can make the skin on your feet very dry, causing it to peel and crack. This makes you susceptible to foot infections. It can also cause calluses that may turn into foot ulcers over time. All of these symptoms can cause foot infections that may lead to amputation if left untreated. Neuropathy, skin damage, and poor circulation can also cause your feet and toes to change shape over time. This means that your shoes won’t fit as well, and may lead to ingrown toenails, hammertoe, and bunions.
Bunions are a painful growth of bone and soft tissue between your first two toes. Bunions are caused by an imbalance of pressure when standing, walking, or running that results in the joint of the big toe becoming unstable. If you suffer from bunions in Sugar Land and your podiatrist is not able to relieve you of them through non-invasive methods, he may recommend surgery as a treatment option.
Watch this video to learn more about how bunions are caused, and how you can prevent and treat them. Dr. Richard Jacoby discusses what bunions are, and the primary ways bunions may form.
Toenail fungus is a very common foot disorder that is caused by a fungal infection in the nail. The condition can spread to other toenails, the skin of the foot, and even your fingernails if left untreated. If you’re concerned that you’re suffering from toenail fungus, visit a podiatrist in Sugar Land for diagnosis and treatment.
Watch this video to learn more about toenail fungus, and how to avoid developing it. Dr. Richard Jacoby discusses the symptoms of the condition, its causes, and how to keep your feet healthy and fungus free.
If you’ve visited a podiatrist or a foot specialist for diagnosis and treatment of a foot problem, and have since noticed that your symptoms or ailments have reoccurred, you may be a great candidate for reconstructive foot surgery. The non-invasive treatments that were provided by your previous podiatrist may not have been effective, or you may have opted for foot surgery and found that your symptoms later returned. A podiatrist specializing in reconstructive foot surgery near Sugar Land will be able to offer you some relief.
Non-Invasive Treatments Were Ineffective
Many common foot ailments can be treated with non-invasive methods, and that is likely where any podiatrist will begin his treatment. Plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, heel spurs, hammertoes, ganglion cysts, and bunions can all be treated non-surgically. If non-surgical options fail and symptoms persist, your podiatrist may recommend that your condition be treated through surgery. While surgery is often a last resort in treatment, it is typically the most effective way to treat these conditions.
A Previous Foot Surgery Was Unsuccessful
Despite surgery, some foot problems can reoccur years later. Ganglion cysts and bunions can both return even after a seemingly successful foot surgery. Additionally, surgeons are not infallible, and you may find that the foot surgeon you previously visited did not perform the surgery perfectly, resulting in complications or problems. Hardware such as screws or plates that were used in your surgery may become loose or need to be replaced. Certain other conditions may return or reoccur, requiring further surgery to relieve symptoms.
You Are Suffering From Foot Pain and Loss of Function
Reconstructive foot surgery is sometimes performed as a primary treatment option for certain foot problems. If you’re suffering from intense foot and ankle pain, a deformity, or a disease that has resulted in the loss of function of your foot or ankle, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. Such foot problems include adult flatfoot syndrome, a foot or ankle fracture or break, acute stages of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, severe neuromas, and tarsal tunnel syndrome.
If you’re suffering from foot pain or heel pain, visiting a podiatrist can lead to a diagnosis and treatment options that can offer you relief. A foot specialist in Sugar Land will attempt to treat your condition with non-invasive, or non-surgical, options first. These treatments include minimizing your use of your affected foot, icing the area, taking ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation, and using splints or orthotics to correct the problem.
If these treatment options are unsuccessful, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to preserve your foot health. Conditions that may require reconstructive foot surgery include adult flatfoot syndrome, a foot or ankle fracture or break, acute stages of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, severe neuromas, and tarsal tunnel syndrome. If a previous surgery proved unsuccessful in treating foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, heel spurs, hammertoes, ganglion cysts, and bunions, you may require further reconstructive surgery.
Reconstructive foot surgery can provide relief from foot and ankle pain, and can prevent further deformity to the feet and toes. This surgery will help you regain the full function of your foot and ankle, allowing you to resume activities that may have been painful for you pre-surgery.
Arthritis is a joint inflammation that can cause inflammation and swelling around your joints and the soft tissues of your feet and ankles. This joint damage develops over time, and is generally caused by the deterioration of the cartilage in your joints that cushions your bones and prevents them from grinding against each other. A skilled podiatrist in Sugar Land can help diagnose and treat the painful symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis.
The first symptoms of foot arthritis that you may encounter include pain or tenderness around the joints in your feet or ankles. This will affect your ability to move, walk, or run comfortably, and may make it difficult for you to stand or bear weight on your feet.
As foot arthritis progresses, you will begin to notice stiffness in your joints that make rotating your ankle or moving your toes become more and more difficult. You may also notice swelling in or around the joint area. These symptoms may be alleviated or may disappear when you rest your feet and remain inactive, but will reoccur as you begin standing or walking again for a prolonged period of time.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by a strain to the plantar fascia, or the ligament that runs from your heel to your toes. This ligament acts as the primary support for the arch of your foot, and if it becomes injured or strained, you may have difficulty standing or walking. If you believe you are suffering from the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, visit a foot doctor in Sugar Land for diagnosis and treatment.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
The plantar fascia can become strained in many different ways. If you walk or run in such a way that your feet roll inward, or if you suffer from high arches and flat feet, you may be more susceptible to developing plantar fasciitis. You can also acquire plantar fasciitis if you’re an athlete and run often, or for long periods of time, or if your job requires that you stand or walk for the majority of your day, especially if you wear ill-fitting shoes that don’t provide adequate support to the arches of your feet. Tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons can also cause plantar fasciitis.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis can come on suddenly, and can also disappear and reoccur. These symptoms i nclude pain while standing or walking after a period of rest, such as when you get out of bed in the morning, increasing pain after prolonged activity, and the feeling that the plantar fascia or the arches of your feet are being stretched or strained as you walk. You will notice that the pain subsides or disappears completely after you have rested your feet for a while, and will reoccur after another period of activity.
The first treatment your podiatrist will recommend you try is resting your feet. He will suggest that you avoid any running or jumping, and that you attempt to avoid prolonged periods walking or standing. He may advise you to ice your feet, take ibuprofen, and wear different shoes that offer better arch support. If these treatments are unsuccessful, he may try steroid shots. Foot surgery is rarely necessary.
A bunion is a painful growth made up of bone and soft tissue that develops between your first and second toe. Bunions can make it very difficult to stand and walk comfortably. Bunion surgery performed by a respected podiatrist in Sugar Land has a high success rate in relieving you of bunions.
Prior to Surgery
Your podiatrist may recommend bunion removal surgery if you have particularly severe bunions, or if other non-invasive treatment methods failed to bring you relief. Prior to your bunion removal surgery, your podiatrist will perform medical tests to ensure that you’re a good candidate for the procedure. He will X-ray your lungs, check the condition of your heart, and screen you for illnesses. You may need to fast or discontinue use of certain medications in preparation for the surgery.
Bunion Removal Procedure
Bunion removal surgery is an outpatient procedure that is performed under general anesthesia or a local anesthetic. Your surgeon will remove your bunion and will also repair the area between your toes to make walking more comfortable for you and prevent further deformity. The most common types of bunion removal surgery include osteotomy, exostectomy, and arthrodesis. In an osteotomy procedure, your surgeon will cut and realign the joint of your big toe. Exostectomy allows the surgeon to remove the bunion from the toe joint without realigning it. With arthrodesis, the surgeon will replace your damaged toe joint and correct the deformity with metal screws or plates.
After the surgery, your foot will be bandaged and you will be taken to a recovery room, where you’ll remain for around three hours until the anesthesia wears off. You will not be fully recovered from the surgery for about five months. For the first two weeks post-surgery, your podiatrist may recommend that you wear a surgical boot or cast. When the cast is removed, you may have to wear a foot brace, using a walker or crutches to move around. You may be able to drive after two or three weeks, but should try to avoid walking.
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