Got Diabetes? Check Your Feet Daily
Patients with diabetes should have a foot specialist on their care team. You’ll learn why when you watch this featured video. It explains that podiatrists in Sugar Land often treat patients with diabetes who sustained foot injuries without realizing it. This is because diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage, can dull sensation in the foot to the point at which it isn’t possible to sense an injury. Additionally, diabetes inhibits blood circulation, and a constant supply of oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood is necessary for wounds to heal.
Without proper treatment, even a minor wound on the foot can quickly become infected. The infection can spread, the wound can become worse, and eventually, the patient may need to have the toe or foot amputated. By seeing a foot doctor for specialized care, patients with diabetes can avoid these problems, or treat them in time to prevent permanent disability.
All About Morton’s Toe
Morton’s toe gets its name from the first orthopedic surgeon to officially describe the condition—Dudley Morton. If your second toe is longer than your big toe, then you have Morton’s toe . Usually, this congenital condition doesn’t cause any problems. If yours does, a foot specialist in Sugar Land can give you the expert guidance you need. Podiatrists tend to recommend nonsurgical treatment options before considering surgery.
Understanding Morton’s Toe
Your foot has five long bones that connect each toe to the midfoot. These bones are called metatarsals. Your big toe is connected to the first metatarsal, and your second toe is connected to the second metatarsal, and so on. Morton’s toe doesn’t involve an anatomical abnormality with the second metatarsal, but rather with the first. If the first metatarsal is shorter than usual, then the big toe will be shorter—consequently, the second toe looks longer than it should be.
Identifying Possible Complications
Many people with Morton’s toe never see a foot doctor for this condition, as it doesn’t always cause symptoms. In severe cases, Morton’s toe can cause changes in the way a person walks. This imbalance results in excess pressure placed on the second toe or the ball of the foot. The complications that can occur from changes in gait can range from calluses and corns to hammertoes. Hammertoes are characterized by the bent position of the toes. Initially, it’s possible to stretch out hammertoes. Over time, the muscles tighten to the point at which they cannot be manually flexed. If hammertoes become permanent, corrective surgery may be needed.
Trying Nonsurgical Treatment Options
Most patients with Morton’s toe will do well with a change in footwear. Foot doctors recommend wearing comfortable shoes that feature a wide, deep toe box. This will give the toes plenty of space. You may also need metatarsal pads, or custom orthotic inserts to achieve proper foot alignment.
Exploring Surgical Correction
If Morton’s toe is causing significant problems, and a change in footwear isn’t enough, a foot surgeon may perform a surgery that involves shortening the second metatarsal bone. This is an outpatient surgery, during which the doctor will excise a small portion of the bone, and then use surgical hardware to hold the ends of the bone together as they heal.
Evaluating the Success of Your Bunionectomy
After you have undergone bunion surgery in Sugar Land , it’s normal to be anxious to determine if the procedure was effective. Because bunions sometimes reappear after treatment, patients often want to know as soon as possible if they can consider their bunions a thing of the past. Although your foot doctor will examine your bunion and talk to you about your procedure results, you may be able to evaluate your own foot by considering a few criteria.
The first sign of successful bunion surgery is that your foot pain has been resolved. Successfully treating foot pain and helping you achieve full mobility is a significant surgical milestone. You should also consider cosmetic changes to your foot. Many patients find bunions aesthetically unappealing, so if you can’t see your bunion any more after surgery, you will have achieved an important result. Your foot doctor will also use imaging tools to determine if any foot deformities associated with the bunion were adequately corrected. When these guidelines are met, you can consider your surgery a success.
Types and Functions of Surgical Hardware
Surgical hardware is often a part of foot surgery. There are a few different types of hardware that your foot surgeon in Sugar Land may use, depending on the nature of the problem you’re experiencing. In many cases, the hardware works flawlessly to help patients get over their foot pain and regain their mobility, but in some cases, the hardware has to be removed during revision surgery. Here are the facts you need to know about surgical hardware and how it is used during foot surgery.
What is surgical hardware?
Surgical hardware consists of implants your surgeon uses during a procedure. The implants can be made of metals, plastics, and composite materials. In foot surgery, the most common types of hardware used are screws, rods, and plates. Your doctor will help you decide which implant material is right for you. Metal implants are visible on imaging tests, so it is easy to see if they could be causing a problem if you experience pain in the future. The downside is that they cover up the bone underneath. Plastic and composite materials are difficult to see on imaging tests, so it’s harder to diagnose a problem with them, but because they don’t cover the bone, it’s easier to see if damage to a bone is causing an issue.
How is hardware used?
Hardware can be used in many different ways in foot surgery, depending on your needs. Screws may be used to hold bones together after they have been broken. Plates and rods can be used for treating fractures. In some cases, hardware is used to strengthen tendons and ligaments or to replace bone that has been lost or is deformed.
When does hardware need to be removed?
Most patients will never need to have their hardware removed. However, if pain persists after surgery or incomplete healing has occurred, your foot surgeon may remove the hardware during revision surgery. Occasionally, scarring after surgery can cause nerve damage. If this happens, your surgeon may opt to remove the hardware.
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