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.

The Anxious Patient’s Guide to Ganglion Cyst Aspiration

Ganglion cysts are benign, fluid-filled lumps that appear just below the skin. If you develop one on your foot, your doctor may recommend an aspiration to remove the fluid in the cyst so that it goes down. If your foot doctor in Sugar Land has recommended that you undergo a ganglion cyst aspiration, it’s natural to feel a little anxious. This information will help you feel more confident when you walk into your appointment.

What happens during ganglion cyst aspiration?

During the procedure, your foot doctor will wipe the area with an antiseptic cleanser and then administer a local anesthetic for your comfort. Once the area around the cyst is numb, your foot doctor will use a fine needle to puncture the cyst so that the fluid comes out. The process is very fast and is usually completed within minutes. There is no required recovery time, and you should be able to return to your normal activities right away.

Is it painful?

Your doctor will use a local anesthetic so that you are comfortable during the procedure. You may feel pressure, but you shouldn’t feel pain. In some cases, you may experience some minor swelling or discomfort around the site of the aspiration when the anesthesia wears off. These symptoms should be short-lived and can easily be managed with ice and over-the-counter pain medicines. Most people are in less pain after the procedure, since releasing the fluid eases the pressure within the cyst. If you are concerned about pain, talk to your foot doctor about your worries. In some cases, you could benefit from taking a sedative before the procedure, under the management of your doctor.

Am I a good candidate?

Ganglion cyst aspiration is not right for everyone. If your cyst is small and not causing any symptoms, then your doctor may recommend watchful waiting before trying any treatment. There is also a risk that cysts can grow back after aspiration. If your foot doctor thinks that your cyst won’t be effectively treated by aspiration, he or she may recommend a different treatment plan.

Are You Injured or Sore? Here’s How to Tell

Exercise may be essential for healthy living, but not to the point that you’re exercising while injured. If you experience unusual foot pain, it’s time to see a podiatrist in Sugar Land . It’s possible for your feet to simply be sore if you’ve been doing more hiking than usual, but typically, you’ll feel the soreness in your legs instead.

Watch this video to learn more about the differences between normal, exercise-induced soreness and injuries. If your foot pain is about as severe on the third day as it was on the first day, there’s a good chance it’s caused by an injury. Other signs of an injury include visible swelling or bruising, sharp, stabbing pains, tingling, and numbness.

Why Follow Bunion Surgery Aftercare Instructions?

Bunion surgery is the only way to correct this painful foot deformity . Unfortunately, it’s possible for the surgery to fail, and for the patient to require reconstructive foot surgery. Foot surgeons in Sugar Land strongly recommend that patients carefully follow their aftercare instructions, as doing so improves the chances of a successful recovery and reduces the risk that reconstructive surgery will be needed later.

Familiarize yourself with your aftercare instructions before you have bunion surgery. Preparing for your recovery can make it easier for you to follow these instructions. You’ll need to keep weight off your foot for a certain period of time, and keep that foot elevated as much as possible. At first, you’ll wear a cast or walking boot, and you’ll use crutches. After the cast is removed, you’ll need to work with a physical therapist to regain your strength and range of motion. If you typically wear high heels, you’ll have to avoid this for at least six months. Faithfully following your aftercare instructions will yield a much more favorable outcome.

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Diabetes, Vascular Disease, and Your Foot Health

It’s possible for a podiatrist to detect changes associated with diabetes before you do. Foot doctors serving the Sugar Land area are always on the lookout for unusually cold feet, numbness, tingling, and foot pain that might indicate a diabetic foot. You can learn more about this serious health problem by watching this featured interview with a podiatrist.

She explains that the unstable blood glucose levels associated with diabetes can cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels of the feet. This leads to poor circulation and an increased risk of undetected foot injuries. Patients with diabetes or vascular disease can protect their health by checking their feet daily, leading an active lifestyle, and following a medical treatment plan as recommended by the doctor.

Exploring Common Types of Foot Surgery

Surgery is a common strategy podiatrists use to correct health problems with the feet. Because recovery time from foot surgery can be lengthy, most foot specialists recommend it after conservative treatments have failed. Despite the recovery time, surgery is sometimes the best way to alleviate foot pain and prevent further damage to the feet from happening. Here is a look at some of the types of foot surgery your podiatrist in Sugar Land may discuss with you. foot - surgery

Bunion Surgery

Bunions are growths that occur on the joint where the big toe meets the foot. They can be extremely painful and interfere with your mobility. If you have a bunion that is diagnosed in its early stages, it may respond to anti-inflammatory medications and wearing certain types of shoes. In advanced stages, however, surgery may be necessary. Depending on the size of the bunion, your foot specialist may recommend a bunionectomy, during which a small portion of the bone is removed, or a more invasive joint realignment. Joint realignments are reserved for the most severe bunions.

Neuroma Surgery

Neuromas are enlarged bundles of nerve tissue, usually between the third and fourth toe. They cause pain, tingling, and numbness at the base of the toes and on the balls of the feet. Neuromas can be treated without surgery in most cases when they are diagnosed early, but once they become advanced, surgery is necessary. During surgery, the foot specialist will remove the inflamed nerve to ease the symptoms.

Reconstructive Surgery

When part of the foot or ankle becomes damaged or deformed, reconstructive surgery may be necessary. These kinds of foot issues can occur as the result of injury, congenital condition, or diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. There are a number of different reconstructive procedures, and the recovery times vary widely as well. Your podiatrist will recommend a procedure based on the nature and severity of your condition.

FAQs About Neuromas

If you’re suffering from foot pain, a neuroma could be to blame. Neuromas, which are also known as pinched nerves or nerve tumors, are benign nerve tissue growths that often occur between the third and fourth toes, typically in women. If you’re experiencing foot pain, see your podiatrist in Sugar Land to get a diagnosis and to start treatment. Here are the answers to some question that you may have about neuromas. foot - pain

What causes neuromas?

Foot specialists are not sure exactly what causes neuromas, but there are some factors that seem to increase the risk. Trauma that damages nerves in the feet could cause inflammation that leads to neuromas. Repetitive motions that put strain on the region of the foot usually affected by neuromas can also increase the risk. Wearing shoes that pinch the toes or put pressure on the forefoot also seem to raise the odds of developing neuromas. These include pointed toe shoes and high heels.

What are the symptoms?

Pain in the forefoot and between the toes is the most common symptom of neuromas. Some people also experience swelling between the toes. Pain, tingling, and numbness may also affect the ball of the foot, particularly when you take steps. The pain can become severe with movement and will often get worse when left untreated.

What treatments are available?

Treatments vary depending on the severity of your symptoms. If you see your foot specialist at the first sign of symptoms, conservative, non-invasive treatments are usually effective. Padding and taping the ball of the foot can help, as can custom orthotic devices that control your foot functioning and prevent you from aggravating the condition. Sometimes, anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections can also ease the pain. Wearing wide-toe box shoes and avoiding high heels is also necessary.

If these treatments are not successful or your neuroma is diagnosed in an advanced state, then surgical treatment may be needed. During surgery, the affected nerve tissue is removed to cure the condition.

Understanding the Risks of Peripheral Neuropathy

After being diagnosed with diabetes, a podiatrist in Sugar Land will become an important member of your care team. Foot doctors are experts in treating patients with diabetes-related foot problems, including peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage that affects the limbs, hands, or feet. Most often, the symptoms are felt in the toes, feet, and lower legs. Diabetes patients are at a higher risk of peripheral neuropathy because uncontrolled blood glucose levels can damage the sensitive nerves.

As a result of the nerve damage, patients may suffer from foot pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling. The pain of peripheral neuropathy is often described as a pins and needles sensation, or a sharp, burning pain. When working with patients with diabetes, the podiatrist will routinely check nerve function in the feet, look for wounds, and provide foot care counseling. With the proper podiatric care, patients with diabetes can greatly reduce their risk of neuropathy-related complications, including infected foot wounds, systemic infections, and amputation.

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Common Questions About Revision Bunion Surgeries

Bunions can be quite frustrating for patients, especially when they’ve already had bunion surgery once. It isn’t uncommon for initial bunion surgeries to fail, leading to the need for revision surgeries. If your bunion recurs, your foot pain persists, or your toe is uncomfortably stiff, it may be time to talk to a podiatrist in Sugar Land about having a second bunion surgery . bunion - surgery

Should I consider having a revision bunion surgery?

You and your foot specialist will discuss this issue at length. Revision surgery isn’t right for every patient with bunion surgery failure, but it may be right for you if you experience post-surgical arthritis, bone necrosis, compromised foot function, or severe stiffness. Overcorrection and under-correction are also possible reasons for considering a bunion revision. When you’re making your decision, consider the extent to which your symptoms interfere with your daily activities or affect your quality of life. Consider your level of commitment to strictly following your post-surgical discharge instructions. The recovery and rehabilitation processes are crucial for a successful outcome. Your doctor will also consider your overall health when determining if you’re a good candidate for surgery, including whether you have compromised nerve function or blood flow.

Are there any additional risks?

Yes. Revision bunion surgery is far more challenging than the original surgery. It’s essential to work with a podiatrist who has extensive experience performing revision surgeries, as these surgeries often require fixing the technical mistakes made by the original surgeon. The risks associated with any surgery include adverse reactions to the anesthesia, blood clots, bleeding, infections, and damage to nearby blood vessels and nerves. The risks specifically associated with this surgery include the failure of the bone to heal, problems with blood circulation, nerve damage, and prolonged foot swelling.

What is the recovery process like?

To obtain a successful outcome for your revision surgery, it’s essential not to rush your recovery. It’s possible that a full recovery will take four to six months. You’ll be asked to keep weight off the affected foot for quite some time, perhaps for six to eight weeks. It’s important to plan your recovery carefully by making any necessary home modifications, arranging for help around the house, and taking enough time off work.

How Pregnancy Affects the Lower Extremities

Foot pain is common during pregnancy , especially during the third trimester. Since staying physically active is important during pregnancy, consider talking to a foot doctor in Sugar Land about your foot pain. Your foot doctor can evaluate the extent of the swelling and determine if it could be a sign of an underlying complication.

When you watch this video, you’ll learn that the lower extremity swelling that occurs during pregnancy is symmetrical. If you notice that one of your calves or feet is more swollen than the other, your doctor may ask you to have an ultrasound to check for blood clots. Sometimes, sudden and significant swelling may indicate preeclampsia, which can also cause headaches, blurry vision, and upper abdominal pain. Both preeclampsia and blood clots are serious medical conditions that require an immediate medical evaluation.