What Is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

You might be familiar with the carpal tunnel, which is the narrow passageway located at the wrist. The tarsal tunnel is a similar, narrow space, but it’s located on the inside of the ankle. This structure houses blood vessels, tendons, and nerves, including the posterior tibial nerve. Just like carpal tunnel syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome involves the compression of the nerve when there isn’t sufficient space within this area. Since this condition can worsen, patients would be wise to contact a foot specialist near Sugar Land. A podiatrist may recommend nonsurgical treatments or surgical intervention to restore the function of the foot and ankle. tarsal - tunnel

Signs and Symptoms

The compression of the posterior tibial nerve can cause tingling, which is often described as a pins and needles sensation. Numbness and burning or shooting foot pain also indicate nerve damage. These symptoms may develop suddenly for no apparent reason, but they can also develop after overuse of the foot from prolonged standing or exercising.

Causes and Risk Factors

The underlying cause of tarsal tunnel syndrome is the pressure exerted on the posterior tibial nerve. The nerve can be compressed when the tarsal tunnel is narrower than usual, which can occur when there is swelling and inflammation in the area. Diabetes and arthritis are risk factors for tarsal tunnel syndrome because they can both cause inflammation that narrows this space. An injury, such as an ankle sprain, can have a similar effect. Other patients may develop tarsal tunnel syndrome because of an abnormality that takes up space in the area, such as a ganglion cyst, bone spur, varicose vein, or swollen tendon. Flatfoot is another risk factor of tarsal tunnel syndrome, as fallen arches cause the heel to tilt outward, which can compress the area.

Treatment Options

Podiatrists can often treat tarsal tunnel syndrome without surgery. Patients will be advised to keep weight off the affected foot to allow it to heal. They can also:

  • Apply ice packs for 20 minutes at a time.
  • Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Wear a cast or brace to immobilize the foot.
  • Receive injections of anesthetic and/or steroid medicines.
  • Use custom orthotic devices and supportive shoes.
  • Go to physical therapy.

If these nonsurgical treatments aren’t enough to relieve symptoms and heal the area, the podiatrist might recommend surgical intervention.

Bunions: How Are They Treated?

Bunions are bony, outward protrusions at the base of the big toe. This bump develops when the big toe bends abnormally inward, toward the other toes. Patients may experience pain, which can be severe enough to make wearing shoes a challenge. Since this medical condition can worsen without the proper treatment, bunion specialists in Sugar Land urge patients to schedule an appointment sooner, rather than later. Bunions are most easily treated when they are detected early. bunion - foot

Footwear Changes

Improper footwear is a major risk factor for foot health problems like bunions. One of the simplest, nonsurgical treatments is to avoid wearing very tall high heels and shoes with a narrow toe box. If you find it difficult to give up your high heels, and you typically sit most of the day at work, consider wearing athletic shoes into the office. Bring your high heels with you and swap footwear when you arrive at work.

Padding and Taping

When you choose footwear with plenty of room in the toe box, you’ll have enough space to add extra padding. Your podiatrist can demonstrate how to place the padding for best results. The doctor can also show you how to tape your foot to prevent abnormal movements, which relieves pressure and pain.

Cold Therapy

Applying ice packs can be helpful if the bunion becomes painful, inflamed, and swollen. Cover an ice pack in a thin towel and place it on the foot for no more than 20 minutes at a time. You can do this several times per day to relieve the pain and suppress the swelling.

Medications

Some patients with bunions can attain sufficient relief of their symptoms with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Otherwise, the podiatrist may provide a prescription. Injected anti-inflammatory drugs are another possibility.

Ultrasound Therapy

Therapeutic ultrasound won’t correct the deformity. However, it may help relieve the pain and the swelling of the soft tissues in the area.

Bunion Surgery

Surgery is the only way to correct the deformity, rather than simply manage the symptoms. This may be a good option for you if your symptoms are severe and nonsurgical treatments aren’t helping enough. To reduce the risk of bunion revision surgery later on, you should carefully follow the doctor’s post-operative instructions.

Spotlight on the Subtalar MBA Implant

Flat feet are a hereditary problem that are usually first visible during childhood. Without treatment, flat feet can lead to a lifetime of foot pain and conditions like hammertoes and bunions. Fortunately, there are options that can help children with flat feet develop an arch and avoid these kinds of complications. One such strategy your child’s foot specialist in Sugar Land may recommend is the subtalar MBA implant .

The subtalar MBA implant is designed to support the arch of the foot and prevent excessive pronation of the subtalar joint, which causes flat feet. The implant, which is made of titanium, is inserted into the subtalar joint, to realign the foot and promote the arching of the foot. Because bones in children are still flexible, the foot tends to respond well to this kind of treatment.

Following surgery, kids usually need a camwalker boot and crutches for about four weeks after the procedure. Following this recovery period, kids can usually return to their normal activities while wearing sneakers and orthotics.

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Identifying Sesamoiditis

Sesamoids are unusual bones because they aren’t connected to any other bone at a joint. Instead, they are either ensconced within muscle or connected to tendons. Although the two sesamoids in the foot are quite small, they play an important role in your foot’s proper functioning. Sesamoiditis refers to the inflammation of the tendons connected to the sesamoids. It may also sometimes involve fracturing of these tiny bones. If you visit a foot specialist in Sugar Land because of acute or chronic foot pain, he or she might consider the possibility of sesamoiditis.

If you’ve fractured a sesamoid, your foot pain will develop suddenly. If the tendons have become inflamed and irritated, your foot pain will likely develop more gradually. The pain of sesamoiditis is localized to the ball of the foot under the big toe. It’s common for patients to have trouble straightening and bending the big toe. During a physical exam, the foot doctor might notice visible swelling and bruising. X-rays are usually needed to confirm the diagnosis.

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What to Expect from a Plantar Fascia Injection

Many people experience heel pain at some point in their life, and this discomfort is usually caused by plantar fasciitis. If you suffer from heel pain and you’ve been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis by your podiatrist near Sugar Land, then you may be advised to consider fascia injection treatment.

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia tissue, which runs from your heel to your toes, becomes inflamed or damaged. If medications, splinting, and stretching fail to provide you with relief, then your podiatrist may suggest an injection of steroids into the plantar fascia.

During this procedure, your podiatrist will inject what may include steroids and numbing medication into the plantar fascia where you’re experiencing the most pain. The injection site is first determined and marked. Next, your doctor will use a thin needle to perform the injection. The injection site will then be covered, and your doctor will advise you to resume your foot exercises as soon as you feel comfortable enough to do so.

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Getting Ready for Your Bunionectomy

Bunions can be a source of ongoing pain and swelling that can affect your ability to walk and perform your daily routine. If you have a bunion, then your foot specialist may recommend that you undergo bunion removal. Continue reading to learn how to prepare for bunion surgery in Sugar Land . bunion - foot

Undergo Pre-Admission Testing

Before the day of your surgery, your doctor may have you do some pre-admission testing (PAT) to ensure that you are physically and medically fit for surgery. While the nature of these tests can vary, they usually involve the taking of blood samples. Non-invasive heart examinations, physical examinations, and chest x-rays are other examples of PAT.

Stop Nicotine Use

As with many other surgical procedures, you may be advised to quit smoking in the time leading up to your surgery and during your recovery. Nicotine, along with other chemicals contained in cigarettes, can increase your risk for experiencing problems after your bunionectomy. The use of nicotine can slow blood flow to the leg and potentially increase your risk of blood clots and deep vein thrombosis, impede the healing of soft tissue and bone at the surgical site, and increase the chances of infection after surgery. To help ensure the best results from your bunion removal, it’s best not to use any products that contain nicotine before the procedure. Discuss your options for quitting smoking with your surgeon or primary care physician.

Purchase Orthopedic Devices

To promote better healing, your surgeon may advise you to avoid putting weight on your foot after your bunionectomy. To help with this, you may be provided with a list of devices, such as crutches, shower chairs, or walkers, to purchase before and use after your surgery.

Stop Eating and Drinking

It’s important to have as little contents in your stomach at the time of your surgery as possible. For this reason, your doctor will tell you to stop eating and drinking at some point before your appointment, with midnight the night before being typical. Finally, your surgeon may have you avoid certain medications before your surgery.

What Patients Need to Know About Recurrent Neuromas

Foot - Pain Are you planning to see a podiatrist in Sugar Land because of recurrent neuromas? If so, then continue reading to learn some important information about this type of foot problem and reconstructive foot surgery .

Characteristics

A painful condition that is sometimes referred to as a nerve tumor or pinched nerve, a neuroma is a benign tissue growth that is often located between the third and fourth toes. Neuromas are more common in women than in men and can be a recurring problem.

Symptoms

Sharp, localized pain or tenderness in between the toes and in the ball of the foot are the 2 most common symptoms of a neuroma. Numbness and tingling in the ball of the foot, a burning sensation in the ball of the foot and between the toes, and swelling between the toes are also possible symptoms.

Causes

Podiatrists aren’t clear on the cause of neuromas. However, there are factors that are associated with the formation of these painful growths. Trauma, for example, can damage the nerve and result in swelling and inflammation. Also, footwear that squeezes the toes together may increase your risk for this condition. For this reason, foot doctors advise that patients who suffer from recurrent neuromas wear shoes with a wide toe box and avoid heels higher than 2 inches. Finally, working in an industry that puts repeated stress on your feet or toes may lead to or aggravate a neuroma.

Solutions

Wearing proper footwear can be important for managing neuromas. Choose shoes with low or no heels, shock-absorbent soles, and plenty of room for the toes. Also, adding shoe pads to your footwear can relieve pressure from the painful area, and resting the affected foot as much as possible and applying an ice pack can provide relief from neuroma symptoms. If non-invasive options fail to prevent your neuroma from recurring, then your podiatrist may recommend foot surgery. During the procedure, the affected nerve is removed. This treatment can typically be performed on an outpatient basis, and recovery time is usually less than a month.

The Basics of Bunion Surgery

A bunion can cause significant pain and discomfort, and one can even make it difficult for you to walk, if not addressed. If you visit a foot specialist for bunion treatment in Sugar Land, then he may recommend surgery if you’re experiencing trouble walking or toe stiffness and if non-surgical treatments have failed to provide you with relief.

Watch this video to learn about the basics of bunion surgery. Bunions develop when the big toe’s metatarsal bone shifts towards the second toe and results in a bump inside the big toe’s first joint. During the procedure, you may be provided with oral or I.V. sedation and local anesthetic. Your foot will be numbed, and the surgical site will be prepared. To complete the procedure, your surgeon will cut or file away the bunion before suturing the incision closed.

Is It Time to Kick the Stiletto Addiction?

Your shoes play a big part in your foot health, and one of the top offenders when it comes to foot pain and injuries is stilettos. Although you may love the way your heels look with your favorite dress, sky-high stilettos take you one big step closer to a range of foot problems. If you’re dealing with foot pain in Sugar Land , talk to your foot specialist to see if your shoe choice could be to blame.

When you wear stilettos, you force your feet into an abnormal position, which is further exacerbated by the unnatural gait that is common with high heels. This can cause mechanical foot and ankle problems, bunions, and chronic foot pain. If giving up your favorite shoes entirely isn’t appealing, talk to your foot doctor about the best options for healthier high heels. Forgo stilettos in favorite of shorter heels, and look for heels that wider rather than spiked. Choose a wide toe box, and consider adding gel inserts to make your shoes more comfortable. Limit the amount of time you’re walking in heels to prevent long-term damage.

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Preventing Plantar Warts

One common condition that foot specialists near Sugar Land can treat is plantar warts. Plantar warts are skin growths that are caused by viral infections. They can be painful when they grow on the weight-bearing areas of the feet and they can often recur despite podiatric treatment. That’s why podiatrists recommend taking steps to reduce the risk of contracting the viral infection.

Plantar warts can easily spread from place to place, both on the same person and from person to person. Avoid walking around barefoot to reduce your risk of contracting this viral infection. You can wear flip-flops while using shower facilities in locker rooms or hospitals. Never touch a plantar wart on yourself or someone else; instead, see a podiatrist promptly. Keep your feet as clean and dry as possible. If you tend to sweat from the feet excessively, you may wish to change your socks several times during the day, especially in hot weather.

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