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.
Keeping Your Achilles Tendon Strong
The Achilles tendon, which is the longest tendon in the body, extends down the lower leg to the heel. Strong Achilles tendons are essential for basic movements, including walking. If you are recovering from an Achilles tendon injury , talk to your foot specialist. Before you begin rehabbing the tendon, your foot doctor in Sugar Land will need to make sure it’s safe for you to do so.
When your foot doctor does clear you to begin strengthening the Achilles tendons, you can watch this featured video, which introduces the topic. It features a fitness expert who discusses the types of exercises you can do and how many reps you should aim for. For instance, your foot doctor may recommend calf raises and presses, and heel raises and presses. You can complete these exercises with the aid of resistance bands, weight machines, or your body weight.
Dealing with an Ankle Sprain
If you think you’ve sprained your ankle, you should visit a podiatrist or foot and ankle specialist near you for a diagnosis. The symptoms for of a severe ankle sprain and a fractured ankle are often very similar, and a foot doctor in Sugarland can determine whether your ankle is broken, or just badly sprained. Here are some helpful tips on how to deal with an ankle sprain before you visit your podiatrist.
Even if you’ve made an appointment to see a foot specialist about your sprained ankle, you’ll still be waiting at home in discomfort until your appointment time. There are a few things that you can do at home to ease your pain and promote healing. Avoid walking or standing to allow your ankle time to rest. Lie down and elevate your leg so that your ankle is above the level of your heart to minimize swelling. You should apply ice to your ankle regularly, and take ibuprofen, to reduce pain and inflammation. You should also apply a compression wrap or elastic bandage to your ankle to reduce swelling.
Your podiatrist or foot doctor will X-ray your ankle to ensure you haven’t broken or fractured any bones. He will prescribe you painkillers if the ibuprofen you’re taking isn’t effectively treating your pain. He may also suggest that you use crutches so that you avoid putting pressure on your ankle. If you do not follow your podiatrist’s treatment plan, you may develop ankle instability, which happens when your ankle ligaments do not heal correctly.
If your ankle sprain is severe, you may have also torn ligaments or tendons in your ankle. Your podiatrist will examine you carefully to diagnose any serious problems that may require reconstructive ankle surgery. If you are an athlete who has a torn lateral ankle ligament, your podiatrist may recommend immediate surgery. In other instances of torn ligaments or tendons, a foot and ankle specialist will try non-surgical methods first.
Bunion Surgery 101
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.
A Brief Overview of Bunion Treatment Options
The symptoms of bunions include a visible bump on the outer edge of your big toe, swelling, pain, and inflammation around the big toe, persistent pain, and difficulty in moving the toe. A podiatrist or foot specialist near you can offer you a diagnosis and treatment options if you believe that you’re in need of bunion treatment in Sugar Land .
Your foot doctor will first recommend non-surgical bunion treatments, such as a prescription or over the counter mediation for pain, and a medication that can reduce the swelling around your big toe. He may also suggest that you use a heating pad or ice pack to relieve you of pain and swelling. You should also wear comfortable shoes that fit correctly to relieve pain and prevent new bunions from forming.
If non-surgical bunion treatment options are unsuccessful, or if you have severe bunions, your podiatrist may recommend bunion surgery. Bunion removal surgery, also called a bunionectomy, is performed in a hospital or foot surgery center. It can be done as an outpatient procedure, under either local or general anesthesia.
Types of Cysts Found on the Feet
There are a few different types of cysts that can develop on the feet. Cysts are a bulging, sac-like structure that fills with pus or liquid. Cysts can be caused by infection, trauma, inflammation, or clogged oil glands. The most common types of cysts are ganglion cysts, synovial cysts, and plantar fibroma. Cysts can be diagnosed and treated by a podiatrist, food specialist, or foot doctor in Sugar Land.
Ganglion cysts are benign growths that are filled with fluid and attach to a tendon or tissue that surrounds the joint in the foot. They are sometimes asymptomatic, but can also cause a burning sensation, skin irritation, and can make walking and wearing shoes difficult.
Plantar fibroma cysts are fibrous and hard knots that are found deep within the skin of the arch of the foot. They are non-cancerous and can be found in either or both feet. A synovial cyst is a small, fluid-filled sac that occurs on the top of the foot, or over a tendon or joint. These cysts are initially soft but can become firmer over time. A foot doctor or foot specialist near you can treat or remove your cysts surgically or non-surgically.
There are three types of cysts that are common on the feet: ganglion cysts, synovial cysts, and plantar fibromas. Ganglion cysts and synovial cysts share several similarities. They appear on the tops of the feet, usually along a tendon or joint, and they can cause tendon, ligament, or joint damage. The main difference between these two types of foot cysts is that synovial cysts are encased in a layer of tissue that completely surrounds the cyst. Plantar fibromas occur on the bottom of the feet, usually in the instep. The cause is unknown, but genetics may play a part. You can learn more about these types of cysts and their potential treatments in this infographic from Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists. Our foot doctor offers a range of treatments when home care is not enough, including drainage and surgery. If you’re suffering from foot pain in Sugar Land, make an appointment with us to see a foot doctor right away. Help others understand more about foot cysts and pain by sharing this information.
If you are in need of a foot doctor in Sugar Land, TX, visit Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists or call 281-242-3338.
What Procedures Are Commonly Performed During Reconstructive Foot Surgery?
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.
How Diabetes Can Affect Your Foot Health
If you suffer from diabetes, managing the disease is crucial to maintaining your foot health. Diabetes can cause nerve damage, poor circulation, and can even alter the shape of your foot, leading to foot pain and toe damage. A podiatrist or foot specialist in Sugar Land can help you manage your foot health, and can diagnose and treat many foot problems that result from diabetes. Continue reading for more information on how diabetes can affect your foot health.
Diabetes Can Cause Neuropathy
Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is a common side effect of diabetes. This nerve damage can make your feel numb to pain and temperature, preventing you from noticing if you have injured your foot. Without proper treatment from a podiatrist, a foot injury can become much worse over time, leading to infection and permanent disfigurement.
Poor Circulation Due to Diabetes Can Damage Your Feet
The blood vessels in your feet and legs can harden due to diabetes, which results in decreased blood flow to your feet. If left untreated, this can develop into peripheral arterial disease, or PAD. PAD combined with neuropathy is very dangerous, as you may not recognize the symptoms of PAD quickly enough to seek help from a foot specialist. If PAD is not addressed, it can necessitate amputation of your foot or leg.
Diabetes Can Change the Skin and Shape of Your Feet
Diabetes can make the skin on your feet very dry, causing it to peel and crack. This makes you susceptible to foot infections. It can also cause calluses that may turn into foot ulcers over time. All of these symptoms can cause foot infections that may lead to amputation if left untreated. Neuropathy, skin damage, and poor circulation can also cause your feet and toes to change shape over time. This means that your shoes won’t fit as well, and may lead to ingrown toenails, hammertoe, and bunions.
Reasons for Reconstructive Foot Surgery
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.
Foot Conditions That May Require Reconstructive Surgery
If you’re suffering from foot pain or heel pain, visiting a podiatrist can lead to a diagnosis and treatment options that can offer you relief. A foot specialist in Sugar Land will attempt to treat your condition with non-invasive, or non-surgical, options first. These treatments include minimizing your use of your affected foot, icing the area, taking ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation, and using splints or orthotics to correct the problem.
If these treatment options are unsuccessful, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to preserve your foot health. Conditions that may require reconstructive foot surgery include adult flatfoot syndrome, a foot or ankle fracture or break, acute stages of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, severe neuromas, and tarsal tunnel syndrome. If a previous surgery proved unsuccessful in treating foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, heel spurs, hammertoes, ganglion cysts, and bunions, you may require further reconstructive surgery.
Reconstructive foot surgery can provide relief from foot and ankle pain, and can prevent further deformity to the feet and toes. This surgery will help you regain the full function of your foot and ankle, allowing you to resume activities that may have been painful for you pre-surgery.
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