Foot and ankle injuries can range from mildly uncomfortable to painfully debilitating. If you have a serious foot or ankle injury, it’s advisable to see a podiatrist in Sugar Land right away. Podiatrists can diagnose and treat all types of foot injuries , including sprains, strains, lacerations, and fractures. In the meantime, you can use some simple first aid strategies to address your injury.
Following the RICE Method
Podiatrists strongly recommend the RICE method for treating many foot and ankle injuries, including sprains. This method involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation. When pain develops in the foot or ankle, it’s important not to make the injury worse by continuing to place weight on the foot. Instead, sit or lie down and keep your foot elevated. You can wrap an Ace bandage gently around the foot and ankle, but be careful not to wrap it too snugly. Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes at a time every hour. You can use frozen peas or ice sealed in a plastic bag. Be sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel to prevent tissue damage.
Treating Bleeding Wounds
If you sustain a laceration to the foot or ankle, stopping the bleeding is a priority. Press a clean cloth against the wound for a few minutes. Then, clean the wound well with soap and water. Apply sterile gauze or a bandage to the wound, and go to your podiatrist’s office right away.
Removing Foreign Objects
Walking around barefoot or in flimsy shoes raises the risk of foreign object penetration in the foot. You might step on a nail or a shard of glass, for instance. If you discover a very small foreign object embedded in your foot, such as a splinter or sliver, you can usually remove it yourself with tweezers. Be sure to sterilize the injury and place a bandage on it. If you have diabetes, you’ll need to see your foot doctor. You should also seek medical help if the object has penetrated deep into the foot or ankle. Your podiatrist will need to remove the object, as you could risk further damage if you try to do the job yourself.
If you’re experiencing heel or foot pain in Sugar Land , then your podiatrist may inform you that you’re suffering from Achilles tendinitis or tendinosis. Patients who have either of these 2 conditions typically suffer from soreness, stiffness, pain, aching, or tenderness in the tendon, which connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. Achilles tendinitis refers to short-term inflammation in the tendon, while Achilles tendinosis can involve tears in and degeneration of the tendon.
If you’ve been diagnosed with an Achilles tendon problem, then the treatment recommended by your podiatrist can depend on how long you’ve experienced symptoms and the severity of your condition. Some common treatments for a painful Achilles tendon include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to address the pain, ice to reduce inflammation and swelling, immobilization to promote healing, physical therapy for strengthening, and the use of foot orthotics to relieve stress from the tendon. When non-invasive treatments fail to provide a patient with relief, then they may be referred to a foot surgeon for surgery.
If you have ruptured an Achilles tendon, the road to recovery can be lengthy. Your foot doctor in Sugar Land will guide you through the process and help you understand what to expect at each stage, so you can move past your foot pain and regain your mobility.
Watch this video to hear from a patient who is recovering from an Achilles tendon injury. Once your foot doctor has said you can drive and resume most of your normal activities, you will still need to be cautious about how much weight you put on the injury site. Being active will help prevent stiffness and foot pain, but stick to activities that are approved by your foot specialists until you have healed completely.
The ankles are very vulnerable to arthritis because they carry a great deal of weight and are responsible for intense movements throughout the day. Depending on the severity of the arthritis, your foot doctor may recommend reconstructive ankle surgery in Houston to resolve your symptoms. Watch this video to learn more.
Ankle arthritis causes pain, stiffness, and swelling. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you are likely to experience symptoms in both sides. If you have osteoarthritis, your symptoms will likely be limited to one side. Report your symptoms to your foot doctor as soon as possible. A foot and ankle specialist may be able to offer treatments that prevent the need for surgery if you seek care early enough in the development of the arthritis.
Arthritis is a chronic disorder that can affect any joint in the body, including feet and ankles. The majority of people who are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis will develop foot and ankle problems during the course of the disease. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you should visit a podiatrist or foot and ankle specialist near Sugar Land for treatment that may slow the progression of the disease.
The primary symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in the foot or ankle are pain, swelling, inflammation, and stiffness of the joint. These symptoms typically occur in both feet at once and affect the same joints in each foot. Early indications of arthritis in the ankle include increased difficulty walking up ramps and stairs. As the disease progresses, walking and standing can also become painful and difficult. Early indications of arthritis in the foot include difficulty walking on uneven ground, flat feet, bone spurs, and bunions.
Rheumatoid arthritis has no cure, but a foot and ankle specialist or podiatrist near you can provide a variety of treatment options that may ease your symptoms. These treatments may include medication, rest, physical therapy, orthotics, and steroid injections. You will typically have a treatment team of foot and ankle specialists that consists of a rheumatologist, physical and occupational therapist, an orthopedic surgeon, and a rehabilitation specialist.
Your foot and ankle specialist will recommend foot surgery if non-surgical options have proven unsuccessful, or if you have extensive cartilage damage. Surgical treatment typically involves a surgical procedure called fusion, during which two bones that form a joint are fused together to create one bone. During the healing process, a new bone will grow between the two fused joint bones. This surgery limits joint motion, which reduces the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. It is particularly effective for the ankle joint, as that tends to be the most painful joint when affected by arthritis.
A bunion is a foot deformity that causes one of the bones of the big toe to become enlarged and dominant against the outer edge of the toe. The deformity looks like a large bump, and it is made up of bone and soft tissue. Bunions can develop as a result of certain diseases, such as arthritis or polio, or regularly wearing ill-fitting shoes. If you’re in need of bunion treatment in Sugar Land , a podiatrist or foot specialist near you may recommend bunion surgery. Here are some important facts about bunion surgery.
Who Can Benefit from Bunion Surgery?
Your podiatrist or foot doctor will recommend bunion surgery if all other non-surgical bunion treatment options have failed. The surgery is typically recommended for those who suffer from these symptoms as a result of their bunions: intense pain, difficulty walking, chronic inflammation, and toe stiffness and deformity.
Types of Bunion Surgery
The main goal of bunion surgery is to realign the joint, correct a deformity, and relieve pain. A foot specialist may choose from a few different procedures to accomplish this. Osteotomy is a type of surgery in which the joint bone is cut or realigned to correct deformity or relieve pressure on the joint. Arthrodesis is the removal of damaged joint areas, and the insertion of screws, wires, or plates to hold the joint together. Your surgeon may also need to repair the tendons and ligaments around your big toe to add structure, flexibility, and strength.
Results of Bunion Surgery
The majority of patients who visit a podiatrist or foot specialist for bunion removal surgery report a dramatic decrease in pain and in the severity of their toe deformity after the surgery. Bunion surgery will not allow you to wear smaller, narrower shoes, and you should not continue to wear these shoes after surgery because it can cause your bunions to reoccur. 85% to 90% of patients who undergo bunion surgery are satisfied with the results.
Foot surgeons, podiatric physicians, or foot and ankle specialists perform reconstructive foot and ankle surgeries for a number of different reasons. The purpose of surgery is typically to relieve the pain, inflammation, and discomfort that may be caused by an injury, arthritis, congenital abnormalities, or infection. Reconstructive surgery should also restore function and mobility. Here are some common surgical procedures that may be performed by a foot doctor in Sugar Land .
Bone Fusion, Bone Osteotomy, or Bone Grafting
Bone fusions are generally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis of the foot or ankle. A bone fusion procedure is performed in the course of a foot surgery. The foot surgeon removes all of the cartilage from the joint, and then fuses the two joint bones together with pins, plates, or screws, so that they cannot move. A bone osteotomy is a surgical procedure in which a foot specialist removes or cuts away at the bones of the foot in a very precise manner. This surgery is performed as part of bunion treatment, heel spur treatment, and hammertoe treatment. Bone grafting is a procedure in which human bone or synthetic bone is used to replace bone that has deteriorated due to disease or injury.
Tendon and Ligament Procedures
Tendon surgery is used to repair severe injuries, or to lengthen or shorten the tendon. Tendons can also be re-routed to improve the function and mobility of the foot and ankle. For those who suffer from flat feet, the ligament that supports the arch of the foot can become stretched out and even torn. A foot specialist can repair this ligament in surgery by rerouting other tendons to help support the arch of the foot.
Skin or Soft Tissue Repair
It is very common for injuries to occur to the skin or soft tissue of the feet. Depending on the type of injury and the severity, your foot doctor may recommend surgery. Conditions that may benefit from skin or soft tissue are fungus on the feet, wart removal, and ganglion cysts.
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.
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.
How Can Your Podiatrist Help With Foot Arthritis?
Arthritis of the feet can be a disabling condition that may lead to reduced mobility. Fortunately, your Houston podiatrist can provide effective treatments. You should schedule an appointment with a foot specialist as soon as possible if you observe symptoms such as joint swelling, stiffness, and recurrent pain of the foot. To treat arthritis of the foot, your podiatrist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and recommend mild pain relievers. A foot and ankle specialist might also recommend physical therapy and orthotics. In severe cases, surgery may be indicated.
You can hear more about a podiatrist’s role in treating arthritis of the feet by watching this video. This healthcare provider explains how arthritis can develop in the feet and why it’s so important to choose appropriate footwear to reduce your risk of this debilitating condition.
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