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.
Beating Your Bunions
Bunions are more than unsightly. They can also be painful and make it difficult to walk or wear shoes. Although bunions are notorious for coming back after treatment, your foot doctor in Sugar Land can now provide care that reduces that chance by addressing the underlying issues that contribute to bunion growth.
Watch this video to learn more about how foot specialists are beating bunions by treating misalignment issues that are at the root of some cases. Doctors now understand that some bunions are caused by misalignment issues in the feet. Bunion surgery that involves both removal of the bunion and treatment of instability or alignment issues can drastically reduce the chances of bunions returning after removal.
What Patients Should Know About Bunion Surgery
Bunions are foot deformities that cannot be reversed non-surgically. If a bunion specialist in the Sugar Land area diagnoses you with this condition, it means that you have an abnormal, bony bump that protrudes away from the foot. This bump develops at the base of the big toe. Even if you’re not sure if you’re ready to have surgery, you should talk to a specialist about your conservative treatment options. Simple lifestyle changes, like a change in footwear, can help prevent bunions from getting worse.
Asymptomatic bunions might not require surgery.
The surgical realignment of the toe is a serious procedure. If your condition isn’t causing painful symptoms, your doctor will likely recommend that you avoid surgical intervention. It’s possible to develop chronic pain in the area after surgery, even if you didn’t have pain there beforehand. On the other hand, your doctor may determine that surgery is an appropriate option for you if any of the following problems apply to you.
- You have chronic inflammation that isn’t relieved with rest or medicine.
- You’re no longer able to bend and straighten the affected toe.
- You’re experiencing pain despite lifestyle modifications and medications.
- You suffer from significant foot pain that interferes with your daily activities.
There are several types of bunion surgery.
Bunion surgery is complex, and there are several approaches your doctor could use. The technique used on your foot depends on the underlying cause of the deformity. An osteotomy involves cutting the bone and realigning the ends. The bone pieces are held in place with surgical hardware like screws or pins. An osteotomy may be performed in combination with soft tissue correction, if your soft tissues are too tight on one side of the toe, and too loose on the other side. Other surgical options include arthrodesis and resection arthroplasty.
You have a few anesthesia options.
It usually isn’t necessary to have general anesthesia for bunion surgery. Some patients have the operation with just local anesthesia, which numbs the foot. Regional anesthesia is injected at the knee area to numb some of the leg above the foot. Spinal anesthesia eliminates all feeling below the waist. If you choose local, regional, or spinal anesthesia, you may decide to request a sedative to help you stay relaxed during the procedure.
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.
The Basics of Nail Fungus Prevention
Fungal nails are unsightly, embarrassing, and occasionally smelly. They are also notoriously difficult to treat. A podiatrist in Sugar Land can use advanced treatments that aren’t available at drugstores to eradicate the fungal infection. Once it’s gone, your foot doctor will give you instructions to prevent the fungal infection from coming back.
Keeping Your Feet Clean
For people who are prone to developing recurrent fungal nail infections, showering once daily may not be enough to keep the feet clean enough. If you shower in the morning, bathe your feet again in the evening. You can use a loofah or clean washcloth to thoroughly work the soap around your feet and toes.
Keeping Your Feet Dry
Fungi love damp, warm environments like the insides of your shoes. Each time you take a shower or bathe your feet separately, dry your feet thoroughly with a clean towel. Be sure to dry between your toes. Your podiatrist might recommend applying a topical medication a few times per week after cleaning your feet. You can also apply foot powder to help your feet stay dry. If you tend to sweat heavily, you may need to change your socks during the day.
Using Public Locker Rooms
Fungal infections easily spread in gyms, public pools, and locker rooms. Always wear shower shoes around the edges of the pool and in the public showers. Let your shower shoes dry completely between uses.
Reducing Your Risk of Nail Injuries
Injured nails are more likely to become infected, especially if you have diabetes. Clip your toenails straight across. Don’t trim them too short or in a rounded fashion, or you’ll be at risk of an ingrown toenail. Before getting a pedicure, check that the salon follows strict sterilization procedures. And sterilize your own nail clippers after each use.
Wearing Proper Footwear
Wear shoes that have enough space in the toe box so that your nails don’t touch the inner end of the shoes. Choose shoes with breathable fabric, and purchase at least two pairs for everyday wear. Alternate them each day so they’ll have time to dry out.
What’s Involved in Flatfoot Reconstructive Surgery?
Patients with flat feet in the Sugar Land area can have reconstructive foot surgery to prevent complications of this condition, such as hammertoes, bunions, tight heel cords, calf pain, and foot fatigue. Foot surgeons can treat flat feet with multiple reconstructive approaches, depending on the patient’s specific needs and severity of symptoms. To plan the surgery, the podiatrist will review imaging scans. These can include X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.
To correct the muscle imbalance, the foot surgeon may repair the soft tissues such as the tendon. If the tendon cannot be repaired, the doctor may need to harvest tendon tissue from elsewhere in the body and graft it to the foot. Some patients may need an artificial joint implanted to replace a damaged natural joint, while others may need to have some bones realigned. Reconstructive foot surgery might also involve fusing two or more bones together to inhibit movement between them, which can prevent symptoms and complications
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.
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.
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.
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.
Exploring Your Treatment Options for Ganglion Cysts
The appearance of a lump under the skin can be alarming, but fortunately, lumps aren’t always cancerous. Sometimes, the development of lumps along the joints of the feet and ankles indicates ganglion cysts . These benign lumps are round or oval, filled with viscous fluid, and occasionally painful. If you’ve been diagnosed with one or more ganglion cysts, your podiatrist in Sugar Land will explain your treatment options. There are both nonsurgical and surgical options for resolving your foot pain.
It might not always be necessary to treat a ganglion cyst, especially if it doesn’t cause foot pain. Your podiatrist might recommend closely monitoring the cyst for a while. If the cyst does later press on a nearby nerve, you’ll feel tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, and pain. At this point, it’s time to consider treating it.
Changing your footwear may help relieve your symptoms. Your podiatrist might recommend switching to a larger or wider shoe to prevent friction from irritating the cyst. You might also use some extra padding inside the shoe to protect the area.
Let your foot doctor know if the ganglion cyst is causing troublesome pain or is interfering with your day-to-day activities. It might be time to aspirate the cyst, which refers to the nonsurgical removal of the viscous fluid inside the lump. First, the doctor will thoroughly numb the skin in the area to prevent you from feeling any pain. Then, a sterile needle is used to puncture the cyst and draw out the fluid. You may be asked to rest the area for a day or two. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a soft towel to the area for about 20 minutes. You can use an ice pack about every hour or two to decrease the swelling. It is possible for a ganglion cyst to come back after it’s been aspirated.
If the cyst does come back after aspiration, it may be time to consider having foot surgery. Ganglion cyst surgery is a straightforward procedure that only requires a small incision to excise the cyst. Most patients resume their normal activities within three to six weeks.
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