A Look at Flatfoot Reconstruction Surgery
Flat feet are feet with low arches, usually caused by a muscle imbalance. This hereditary condition can cause leg pain, foot and leg fatigue, bunions, hammertoes, and more. Although some cases of flat feet can be effectively treated with orthotics and non-invasive treatment options, severe cases usually require surgery. If you have flat feet in Houston , your foot doctor may recommend surgical correction to alleviate your symptoms and prevent future complications. Here is a look at what you can expect.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Surgery?
Your foot and ankle specialist may suggest surgery if the symptoms caused by your flat feet, such as ankle pain, are interfering with your daily life and non-invasive treatments have not helped. For flatfoot surgery to be effective, the arch of the foot must be flexible rather than stiff. Before surgery, your foot doctor will also consider your overall health to ensure that you don’t have any conditions that could make anesthesia unsafe or interfere with your recovery.
What Happens During Surgery?
Flatfoot surgery is performed under general anesthesia or using regional anesthesia, such as a spinal block. There are several different methods your surgeon can use, each of which allows your doctor to reconstruct your foot to increase the arch. During some procedures, bone deformities are corrected, while the ligaments and tendons are repaired in others. Your foot doctor will determine which approach is best for you based on your symptoms and the structure of your foot.
What Happens During the Recovery?
Most patients go home the same day of the procedure, though an overnight hospital stay may be necessary. For the first two weeks, the leg will be in a cast and must be kept elevated. After that time, the sutures are removed, and patients receive a removable boot. You cannot put any weight on the foot for six to eight weeks, or until cleared by your surgeon. Around 12 weeks after surgery, patients may be able to wear normal shoes using a foot or ankle brace. Complete recovery may take up to a year, and physical therapy may be necessary.
If you are in need of a foot doctor in Sugar Land, TX , visit Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists or call 281-242-3338.
Preventing a Tailor’s Bunion
A tailor’s bunion is another name for a bunionette—a bunion that occurs by the base of the little toe, at the fifth metatarsal. Tailor’s bunions are less common than bunions but still require treatment by a foot doctor. If you believe you have a tailor’s bunion, see your foot doctor in Houston for care.
In some cases, a tailor’s bunion is the result of inherited problems with your foot structure and cannot be avoided. However, you can reduce your chances of developing a tailor’s bunion by talking to your podiatrist and choosing the right shoes. Avoid shoes that squeeze the front of your foot, such as pointy-toed shoes or shoes that are too small. Instead, select shoes that have a wide toe box. If you do develop a tailor’s bunion, see your foot doctor right away for treatment so you can prevent it from becoming worse. Changing your shoes, using bunion pads, and wearing a toe spacer can help ease your bunion. If your tailor’s bunion is large or is advanced, bunion surgery may be necessary.
The Link Between Diabetes and Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a common foot problem for people with diabetes. If you develop an infection, it is important to see a foot doctor for toenail fungus removal near Sugar Land as soon as possible to prevent the fungus from spreading.
Watch this video to learn how diabetes increases the chances of developing toenail fungus. Because diabetes frequently causes nerve damage, you may not be aware when you injure your toenail. Such an injury can create an opening for fungus, allowing an infection to take hold. Without treatment from a foot doctor, the infection can spread beyond the nail to the foot. In turn, that infection can cause cracks in the skin that allow bacteria to enter, causing a secondary infection that must be treated by a foot and ankle specialist.
How Pregnancy Affects Your Feet
When you get pregnant, you may anticipate changes like morning sickness and cravings, but you are likely to be unprepared for the way pregnancy can affect your feet. Weight gain and hormone fluctuations can have a dramatic impact on your foot health in Houston , but a foot specialist can help you cope with any symptoms that interfere with your daily life. Here is a look at the way s in which pregnancy may change your feet and when you should see a foot doctor.
Experiencing a change in feet size is extremely common during pregnancy and is especially likely during the third trimester, when the hormone relaxin is present. Relaxin helps to prepare your pelvic ligaments for childbirth but also causes your foot ligaments to flatten and stretch. During this time of your pregnancy, you may go up an entire shoe size. Resist the urge to try to cram your feet into shoes that don’t fit, which can exacerbate your swelling and cause discomfort and bunions. Look for shoes with square or round toes and ensure your shoes are wide enough not to squeeze your feet. When you are buying new shoes, shop late in the day when your feet will be at their largest. If you develop bunions, see a foot doctor for treatment.
Cramps can occur in the legs, feet, and ankles during pregnancy. These cramps are often the result of getting too much phosphorus in your diet—which can be the result of drinking diet soda—or not getting enough potassium. Try snacking on banana chips to increase your potassium intake, and take a walk to boost your circulation. A hot water bottle can help with lingering pain after intense cramps.
Raised hormone levels during pregnancy contribute to swelling as your body hangs on to extra fluid to nourish your growing baby. Whenever possible, elevate your feet above your heart to reduce swelling. Icing your ankles may also help. See your foot doctor for severe swelling, which could be a sign of more serious blood pressure issue called preeclampsia.
What You Need to Know About Ganglion Cysts
Ganglion cysts form below the surface of the skin and feel like jelly-filled knots. While they are not dangerous, they can be uncomfortable and may require treatment. If you have ganglion cysts in Sugar Land , visit your foot doctor for evaluation and treatment. Here are the facts about this common foot condition.
What Are Ganglion Cysts?
Ganglion cysts are benign soft-tissue masses that develop along a tendon sheath or joint capsule. The cause isn’t known, but doctors suspect that they appear because of a trauma—either an acute injury or repetitive, chronic injuries that occur over time. Most often, ganglion cysts appear on the top of the foot, but they can occur elsewhere. In addition to the feet, ganglion cysts also frequently develop on the wrists.
What Are the Symptoms?
The most common symptom of a ganglion cyst is the cyst itself. For some people, this is the only symptom. The cyst will feel like it is filled with fluid and may increase and decrease in size over time. If the cyst is touching a nerve, then you may also experience burning or tingling. Cysts that press against a joint or a tendon may cause a dull, aching pain. Depending on the location of the cyst, your shoes may cause irritation and cause the cyst to be painful.
What Are the Treatment Options?
The treatment your foot doctor recommends for your ganglion cyst depends on a number of factors, including the placement and size of the cyst and your symptoms. If your cyst is not painful and does not interfere with your everyday activities, you may simply need to monitor it for changes. If you are having difficulty wearing shoes, choosing shoes that don’t touch the cyst or placing a pad between the cyst and your shoe may help. For larger cysts that are painful, draining the cyst and injecting it with steroids can alleviate the symptoms, though there is a chance the cyst will return. Rarely, surgery to remove the cyst may be necessary.
Treatment Options for Gout
Gout is a painful metabolic disorder caused by a build-up of uric acid in the joints. Although any joint can be affected, the big toe is the most common location for an episode of gout. If you experience the painful symptoms of gout near Houston , visit a foot doctor for treatment.
For gout, your foot and ankle specialist may provide medications to reduce swelling and inflammation and manage pain. Drinking plenty of water each day will help flush the uric acid out of your body. Your foot doctor may also suggest dietary restrictions, particularly avoiding foods that are high in purines that are converted to uric acid by the body. Elevating your foot will also help with swelling.
If you have repeated episodes of gout, you may develop gouty arthritis, which causes erosion of the surface of the impacted joint. If this occurs, you may need surgery to repair the joint and clear out uric acid crystals.
Avoiding Pain in the Arches of the Feet
Arch pain is a common reason people visit a foot and ankle specialist . There are several different potential causes of arch pain, so the first step your foot doctor in Sugar Land will take is making a diagnosis.
This video discusses some of the common causes of arch pain. Plantar fasciitis, which is caused by tightness in the plantar fascia along the bottom of the foot, is one of the most common foot problems foot doctors see. This can be avoided by avoiding jumping into a strenuous exercise regime without conditioning. Flat feet—which can be treated by your foot doctor—obesity, and wearing the wrong shoes can also cause arch pain.
Answers to Patient Questions About Bunion Surgery
If your foot doctor near Sugar Land has recommended that you consider bunion surgery , you are likely to have several questions about what to expect. Your foot specialist will review the procedure with you and help you prepare. These answers to questions patients commonly have about bunion surgery will also help you get ready for the operation.
Is Bunion Surgery Painful?
Bunion surgery has the unfortunate distinction of being thought of as a painful procedure. In reality, it is comparable to other surgeries. During the surgery itself, you will not experience any pain at all. Some post-operative pain is possible, as with all surgeries, however, your foot doctor can control your discomfort with pain medications as needed. Most patients report that the post-operative pain is tolerable, but if you find that you are not getting relief with your medication, alert your foot doctor so he or she can find the right pain management program for you.
How Long Is the Recovery?
The initial recovery period for bunion surgery is about six weeks, during which you will wear a surgical shoe. Except in the case of very large or complex bunions, you will not need to wear a cast or walk with crutches after your surgery. Most people are able to return to their jobs within two weeks. If your job is physically active or requires long periods of standing, you may need a longer absence from work. You will not be able to drive until you are off pain medication and your doctor clears you. Your return to driving may be delayed if you have surgery on your right foot or you drive a manual car.
Do Bunions Come Back After Surgery?
Although it is always possible for a bunion to recur after surgery, it is not likely. Some people have a higher risk than others because of excessive foot movement. Your foot doctor will tailor your bunion surgery specifically to your needs to reduce the chances of recurrence as much as possible.
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