Do you have questions about foot care? We have answers.
Do you have questions about foot injuries or the causes of foot pain? Tanglewood Foot Specialists provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about foot injuries and foot care. If you would like to schedule an appointment to talk to a doctor about your foot pain, call Tanglewood Foot Specialists at (713) 785-7881.
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Why does my child's ankles roll in?
If you've noticed your child's ankle rolls in, many issues could be responsible. Today, we'll walk you through some options. But here's what we won't say: don't worry. They'll outgrow the problem.
Unfortunately, when parents ask about their children's foot and ankle pain or appearance, that's what they hear. Sometimes, that's true, and the kid will grow out of it. But I still hate this response. No kid should have foot and ankle pain. Even if it's temporary.
So, if a parent notices their child's ankle rolls in, that's an issue. And it's a sign of a significant condition I'd never ignore.
Why are Rolling Ankles a Problem?
If your child's ankle rolls in, they are dealing with pronation. Along with the ankle symptoms, you'll notice other issues. Your child may have flat feet (the arch disappears when your child stands flat.)
You'll probably see a large bulge on the inside of your child's ankle as well. Plus, non-physical symptoms could be a problem. Your child may seem unathletic. He or she could complain about or refuse to walk or run for long distances. A young child could sit down and cry about the problem. And an older child may complain that his or her feet, ankles or knees hurt.
All these symptoms point to one issue: pronation. Some pronation is normal for young kids. But for older kids, it's a big deal. So if you notice any of these signs, it's time to visit your Houston podiatrist. I specialize in treating kids. And I won't wait for them to 'outgrow' an issue.
Because here's the thing: most of the time these children will not grow out of these conditions. What actually happens is that they develop the ability to compensate for them. And that could mean bunions, hammertoes, heel pain, knee pain, and arthritis down the road. Which is why we have to find out the cause of your child's pronation. And offer the right intervention.
Why do Kids Ankles Roll In?
As I hinted earlier, there are lots of things that can make your child's ankle roll. One common cause? Loose ligaments, a problem that often goes with low muscle tone. Now, if your child's ligaments are loose, they can't stop joints from moving too far. Which is why you may notice your children's ankles pronating.
Of course, some kids are born with mechanics that make their ankles roll in. (We call this a herditary cause.) So, if your ankles roll in, you shouldn't be surprised if your child's do, too.
Also, your pregnancy could have contributed to pronation. Because, in some cases, your baby's position in the womb will affect his or her foot development. Meaning, in some cases, fetal position causes childhood pronation.
Now we've got that all covered, here's the important part. No matter what causes your child's rolling ankles, we want to address it. Quickly. Because our treatments are most effective in young children. Since their bodies are still developing.
Treating Pronation in Children
We treat rolling ankles by addressing your child's mechanics. I know that sounds fancy, but it's actually simple. In fact, if we start treatment at a young age, insoles or custom orthotics could solve this problem. Even better? This non-invasive treatmen will keep your child active. And it could prevent surgery down the road, as well as other complications.
Now, if orthotics alone don't retrain your child's foot, don't worry. Many kids overcome pronating with night braces and physical therapy.
Of course, whatever treatment we choose, there's one important idea to keep in mind. Your child deserves to walk and play comfortably. So, if one intervention for flat feet doesn't work, we'll progress to new options. Because, at the end of the day, kids feet should never hurt. And even if pronation doesn't hurt at first, it will cause pain later on if left untreated.
Have you noticed your child's ankles roll in? Is your son or daughter clumsy, often tripping over his or her own feet? Are sports, or even long walks a challenge? If you've answered 'yes' to any of these questions, I need you to read the next lines carefully.
None of these are 'normal' parts of childhood. They won't be outgrown. But, with a quick visit to our Houston podiatry practice, we can make a big difference in your child's life. We can conquer rolling ankles, and avoid problems later in life.
Sound good? We agree! So don't wait another day! Make an appointment today to treat your child's inward rolling ankles.
Can a bone spur go away without surgery?
Once formed, a bone spur isn't likely to go away on its own. But that doesn't mean you have to live with the pain. Because, you don't have to get bone spur surgery to get pain relief from your podiatrist. Let's take a closer look at how this all works.
What is a bone spur?
A bone spur is a bony bump that forms on other bone. Often, you'll notice spurs on your joints, or in areas where you find natural bone ridges. But mostly, the bone spurs usually form in areas of tension, pressure, or trauma. That means they can show up in lots of spots on your foot. Still, most commonly, you see bone spurs on your heel, the top of your foot, or your toes. In some cases, bones spurs form because of osteoarthritis.
On their own, bone spurs aren't a medical concern. In fact, they often cause no symptoms. But, since they change the profile of your foot, they can make it harder to wear shoes. Or create painful inflammation at and around the bone spur site. That's why, for some people, bone spurs become painful. Which is when you may come see your podiatrist for help with bone spurs.
Non-surgical Bone Spur Treatments
If bone spurs are painful, you have lots of treatment options. But remember, non-surgical treatments will address your pain. They won't get rid of your bony bump.
When I see patients with painful bone spurs, I start with conservative treatments. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as Advil can help with pain. We can also look at changing your shoes, to prevent painful rubbing on your bone spur. If that's not enough, padding your shoes or bone spur may help. And remember, bone spurs form with pressure. So we can take away some of that pressure with custom orthotics. An option that may also prevent your spurs from growing.
Still, even if these options stop the pain from your bone spur, that doesn't mean that the bone spur has gone away. If you look at your foot, you'll probably still see that bump. So, why are you feeling better?
Most likely, our non-surgical treatments relieved the spur's pressure and tension. And that relief helped control the inflammation surrounding your spur. (Which was the cause of your pain in the first place!)
Of course, your body could resorb your spur on its own. But it probably won't. Because, without surgery, we can only control the pressure and tension hitting your bone spur. But we can't stop it completely. That's why, if you want a cure for bone spurs, you'll have to look at more invasive options. Because the only way for a spur to be completely removed is with surgery.
Surgery for Bone Spurs
Most people won't need surgery for bone spurs. In fact, 90% of patients feel better without an operation. But, if your pain persists for a year, or if your bones purs are tied to plantar fasciitis, you may choose surgery.
So, what does bone spur surgery involve? Before operating, I would take X-rays or other scans to see the extent of your extra bone growth. If you are a candidate for surgery, we would next come up with a plan.
The goal of the operation would be to remove your extra bone. But it might also release tension on your plantar fascia. Especially if your bone spurs were linked to heel pain.
Now, the most important part of your treatment would come after surgery. Because, even if we remove your bone spur, it could come back unless we also treat the underlying problem.
How we do that depends on what caused your bone spurs. If the issue is arthritis, there's not much we can do. But if pressure, or faulty mechanics, are the problem, we'll tackle both of those issues right after surgery. Because, if we don't, those bone spurs will be back before you know it!
One of the best ways to stop pressure on your feet is to fit you for custom orthotics. Designed to meet your body's needs, these medical devices add support to your feet. That way, they take pressure off overworked areas. Meaning your body won't have to compensate. And hopefully won't develop new bone spurs as a protective response.
Of course, every patient is different. So each person needs a different bone spur treatment plan. Which is why every plan we lay out is tailored to your individual needs and lifestyle.
Are you worried that you may be dealing with a bone spur on your foot? Don't wait until you feel pain! Instead, get it checked out right away by Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists. If you come in before it starts hurting, we'll have more treatment options to choose from! So we'll be able to work with you to determine the best course of action to take.
What is a plantar wart?
Plantar warts are a common problem. I'm guessing you've had one...or you know someone (like your child) who did. Sometimes, we call this condition a verruca. And sometimes it shows up alone, as a single lesion. But othertimes, an army of plantar warts takes over your whole foot. Heck, they're contagious (more on that later.) So they can even spread through your household!
Obviously, you want to treat plantar warts before they spread. And, at the drug store, you'll find many over-the-counter treatments for plantar warts. Now, some will work, and some won't. Why is that the case? The answers lie in understanding the nature of plantar warts. Which I'll get to right now.
What is a Plantar Wart?
A plantar wart is a growth, usually on the bottom of the foot. But it isn't part of your skin--it's actually caused by a virus. And that virus is is the human papilloma virus (HPV). (That's the same virus responsible for certain types of cancers in adults. Usually, the virus clears up on its own. But sometimes it doesn't, which is why there's now an HPV vaccine. But if you have the warts, you have HPV. So let's focus on what to do next.)
Now, the HPV that gives you warts has nothing to do with intimate contact. Instead, it makes it's way into your body through a crack in your skin. And then, anything can happen.
In some cases, you get lucky, and only one wart develops. But other times the virus spreads. And the warts form in patches of two, three or even more warts. That's when you'll seek treatment. Which is important, but here's where you need to understand plantar warts.
Remember, a virus causes plantar warts. So let's think about that for a minute. You know how antibiotics don't treat viruses such as colds? Well, plantar wart treatments don't get rid of your HPV infection. All they do is address your viral symptom, the plantar wart itself.
Because of that, plantar warts often return after treatment. (I'll discuss lasting treatments later in this post.) And, for that reason, avoiding infection is your best defense. Of course, to do that, you need to understand how you get plantar warts. Which you will, if you keep reading!
Plantar Wart Risk Factors
Anyone can develop plantar warts. But children ages 12 and 16 get them more than anyone. Why is that the case? It's all about lifestyle.
As I said before, plantar warts develop because of a contagious virus. And one way to catch that virus is by using a public shower, something tweens and teens often do in locker rooms and sleep away camps. Of course, younger children are also at risk. Because kids often walk around barefoot. (Something I actually don't recommend, by the way. For all of these reasons.) One of which is that it ups the chance of that virus getting into cracks on their feet.
How will you know you're dealing with plantar warts? Symptoms include:
- A lesion on the bottom of your foot. You'll see black in that wart lesion. These are the small blood vessels keeping your wart alive.
- When you push on the sides of your wart, it will hurt. (We call this pain with lateral compression, in fancy podiatrist-speak.)
- Your skin lines disappear at the site of the wart.
- The area in and around your wart hurts when you stand
Clearly, warts hurt. Plus, they're contagious. That's why I urge swift treatment for plantar warts. (That's an inside joke, which you'll understand in a minute.)
Treating Plantar Warts to Prevent Spread
If you don't treat plantar warts, they can take as long as two years to go away. Or spread across your foot and to your other foot. That's why you need to start treatment once you notice the lesions.
Tempted to use OTC products? That may be ok, but first, talk to your doctor. Especially if you have diabetes or other conditions that affect your feet. Because, even though you can buy them without a prescription, these at-home treatments are strong. And if you use them the wrong way, they could hurt your feet.
More often, in-office plantar wart treatments are safer and more effective. And, today, you have a few different options for treating plantar warts.
In the past, I often treated warts with a laser, or I froze them. Now, these techniques were a little uncomfortable. But, over time, they got rid of warts. But something was missing.
You see, those 'old-school' treatments destroyed wart tissue. But they also took out healthy tissue. Which meant some people got scars after treating plantar warts. Plus, warts often came back after treatment.
I wanted to end the frustration and the scarring. And I went searching for--and found--a better option. It's called Swift treatment for plantar warts.
What is Swift Therapy?
The Swift therapy doesn't work by destroying your wart tissue. Instead, it gives your immune system a boost to help your body fight the wart internally. As a result, fewer than 1% of patients see their warts come back after a Swift treatment. Which is why I call this a cure for plantar warts. And not just a therapy.
But how does Swift boost your immune system? Well, it uses directed, low-powered, microwave energy. With Swift, I target that energy to your wart, and, in seconds, it gets down below your skin surface. (About 3 mm, to be exact.)
Once inside, the microwave energy targets heats up water molecules that live in your wart. That heat then uncovers the virus proteins in your wart. Which lets your immune system detect the virus, and fight it off! Quickly, your body builds immunity to HPV. And that cures the virus, and your warts!
Want to hear the best part? During those three seconds of treatment, most people feel nothing. (Those who do report minor discomfort. Then, as soon as we're done, you don't have any lingering pain. And you certainly won't see scarring or wounds. So you can get back to work and life right away. All while your body is fighting off your warts from the inside.
Sounds great, right? Well, I'm pretty excited about this lasting cure for plantar warts. And I want to use it to help you get rid of your plantar warts for good! So stop living with painful, contagious, plantar warts now. Call our office today, and ask for Swift: the only real cure for plantar warts!
- A lesion on the bottom of your foot. You'll see black in that wart lesion. These are the small blood vessels keeping your wart alive.
Why does my athlete's foot keep coming back?
One of the biggest issues with Athlete's foot is that it keeps coming back over and over again. There are two main reasons for this to be the case. We'll get to those in a minute. But first, we've got to explain this infection's cause. So let's take a closer look.
What is Athlete's Foot?
Athlete's foot is a fungal infection. The fungus makes its way into your body through small cracks in your skin. And that's when the trouble starts.
Once it gets in, the fungus triggers responses from your body. Your feet become red and itchy. They may develop a funny odor, or even drainage.
Now, to treat athlete's foot, you have to get rid of the invading fungus. Not just from the surface of your skin, but from anywhere it's hiding. And, after stating that fact, I'm ready to get into the reasons why so many athlete's foot infections return. Even after you think you've got them treated.
Infections Return when You Stop Treatment Early
Lots of my patients use topical anti fungal medication to treat athlete's foot. That's not the worst decision: these creams can be effective. Especially if your infection is limited to small patches of skin, like on your heel.
But here's one problem. Most people who use topical anti fungal medication only use it until their symptoms clear up. So, when the such itching and burning skin feels better, they stop applying cream. And that's a problem. Because, even when your feet feel better, that fungus isn't completely gone. Which means, after you stop using that fungus-fighting medication, your symptoms will return.
At that point, you might think your athlete's foot came back. But the truth is, it never went away in the first place! Now, I know it's pretty difficult to continue a course of medication after the discomfort is gone. I get what you're thinking. 'It's all better if there's no pain or itching, right?'
To which I answer: 'It may be better, but it is not well!' As I just said, using an anti fungal medication for a short period of time will first help your symptoms. But, at the point symptoms disappear, the fungus could still be going strong. That's one reason why your podiatrist should prescribe your Athlete's foot medication. And provide you with detailed application instructions. Including when to start and stop your Athlete's foot treatment.
Typically, I tell patients to use prescribed anti fungal medications twice a day. For two full weeks, no matter when the itching feels better. But I might also give different instructions if I prescribe a different medication. Or if you come in with a severe infection. So you should never google your treatment instructions. Instead, use the creams you get at the podiatrist. For as many times a day, and as many days, as you're instructed. That's the only way to truly treat an Athlete's infection. To make sure that symptoms don't go away, only to come back.
Alternative Treatments for Chronic Athlete's Foot
What if you used that topical cream as long as prescribed by your podiatrist? But your symptoms still came back? Don't worry, I have an answer for this problem, too.
You see, in some cases, using topical medication isn't enough to cure the fungal infection. Remember how I told you that fungus gets into your skin through cracks? And that's what causes your Athlete's foot infection?
Well, guess what? If that fungus just won't quit, you may need to use treatments that get beneath the skin. If, for example, you've got a moccasin-type Athlete's foot infection? (This is when the fungus thickens the skin on the sole and heel of your foot. And it often triggers a fungal toenail infection, too.) This and some other cases of Athlete's foot don't always respond to topical treatments. Which means we'll have to select other treatments. Or your funal infection will keep coming back.
One of those options include oral anti-fungal medications. Studies suggest that moccasin-type Athlete's foot responds better to these oral meds. But, of course, you can't pick up oral medications at the drug store. Which means, if your Athlete's foot keeps coming back? You'll have to get a prescription. So you'll have to see your podiatrist for that prescription.
Lasting Treatment for Athlete's Foot Infections
There you have it: the two main reasons your fungal infections keep returning.
- You stop using your medications too soon. So that the topical treatments don't have the chance to fully stamp out the fungal infection.
- You're choosing the wrong athlete's foot medication. Some skin conditions reflect problems beneath the skin. So your podiatrist may need to prescribe oral medication instead.
Now, these are the two most common reasons why athlete's foot keeps coming back. But they aren't the only ones. Which means, the only way to know why your infection keeps returning? You guessed it: it's to get checked out by your podiatrist!
Have tried everything out there to control your athlete's foot, but it keeps returning? Guess what: it's time to take control! Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprehensive evaluation.
Did you find this helpful? You also might wonder, Is Athlete's Foot Caused By Toenail Fungus?
- You stop using your medications too soon. So that the topical treatments don't have the chance to fully stamp out the fungal infection.
Why is the bottom of my foot dry and cracked?
If the bottom of your foot is dry and cracked, you want pain relief. But, first, you need to know what's causing the problem. Well, there are two reasons you get dry and cracked feet. And, while your local podiatrist can treat both, the treatment options are different. So you need to know what's causing your problem, to get the right solution.
Environmental Causes of Dry, Cracked Feet
The first reason your feet may crack on the bottom is dry skin. Normally, your feet should be smooth. But they can dry out because of your environment. This can also happen if you forget to moisturize your feet. Or if you have certain conditions or take medications that cause skin dryness.
Here in Houston, we have to worry about dry skin for much of the year. In the summer, or whenever it's hot, you're more likely to wear open shoes or sandals. And that's a big problem for your feet. Particularly the skin on the bottom of your feet.
You see, without the protection of closed shoes, dust and dirt can reach your skin. That can make your skin dry. And, once your skin dried out, it's more likely to crack. (The most vulnerable area is your heel, where skin is thin and delicate. And where shoes can rub against your skin, making matters worse.)
We also need to worry about dry skin in our "winter." Because even a small dip in temperature sends Houstonians running for the heat. And dry heat dries out the skin on your feet. Leading to the same type of problems we see in the summer.
Proper Moisturizing to Prevent Cracks
If dry skin is your problem, moisture is the solution. In fact, we can often treat cracked heels with an excellent moisturizing cream. BUt to get the best results, you'll need to be a supermarket sleuth.
You see, moisturizers come in two main categories: lotions and creams. Lotions are fine for every day hydration. But if your skin is already cracking, you'll need something stronger. And that's when creams come into play.
A moisturizing cream is thicker than a lotion. As such, it will do a better job at re-hydrating your dry skin. It can also help lock in moisture to your feet. In that way, you may prevent your skin from cracking again later on.
Now, fortunately, our feet give us warning signs when they're starting to dry out. Before the bottom of your feet or heel crack, the skin may get rough or thick. This is the perfect time to apply a moisturizing cream. Because, if they get worse, they may crack or even bleed. And, at that point, you're at higher risk for a foot infection. Which means your treatment will go beyond moisturizing.
Need help finding the right product? I'm a big fan of Eucerin or Cetpahil creams. But your Houston Podiatrist, Dr. Andrew Schneider can also recommend or prescribe a different product.
Athlete's Foot and Bottom of Foot Cracks
The other reason for dry and cracked feet is because of a fungal infection, such as athlete's foot. Usually, this infection is uncomfortable; it often causes itching and burning. But when the only symptom is cracked skin, it's easy to misdiagnose the problem. But if your skin is very dry, and you're moisturizing, it could be Athlete's foot. Which means moisturizing won't work. So, in that case, we'll combine moisturizing cream with an antifungal medication. With this powerful combo, we can get rid of your fungal infection. And we can heal the dry, cracked skin on the bottom of your feet. So that, in the future, those openings will disappear. Meaning invading fungus can't make it's way in and cause re-infections.
Remember, seek immediate treatment if you notice cracks on the bottom of your feet. Because, if we don't start the right treatment for your dry, cracked heels, things will get worse. That means your cracks get deeper and can even bleed.
When that happens, it will be painful for everyone. But if you have diabetes it's not just painful. It's actually dangerous! That's because the cracks can become infected and difficult to heal. In fact, a diabetic with cracked heels could get an ulcer. (This is a hard to heal infection, that can increase your risk of amputation. In other words, it's a big deal and a big problem.)
Want to avoid major issues? Treating cracks in your heel early, before they become problematic. That will ensure that your feet stay healthy, and remove the risk of infection.
And how can you know the exact cause of your dry, cracked feet? The best way to figure out your issue is to see your podiatrist right away. But here's another helpful tip.
If you've been using a moisturizing cream with poor results, your problem probably isn't environmental. And, since that means it could be fungal, you can't address the problem at home. So, do you know what that means? It's time to visit Tanglewood Foot Specialists. After a comprehensive foot exam, I can recommend the best treatment for your painful cracked heels. And, at that time, I'll assess your infection and see if you need an antifungal medicine as well.
Most people who found this helpful also wondered Why Does My Athlete's Foot Keep Coming Back?
What doctor treats a broken foot?
When you hurt your foot, the first step is to diagnose that injury! Remember, a broken foot isn't always obvious. In fact, many people are able to walk after breaking a foot bone. So, the only way to know if your foot is broken is with an x-ray.
Now, you could head to the Emergency Room for an x-ray. But then, you'd face a long wait while more critical patients receive care. Then, you'd have to wonder which doctor is reading your x-ray to diagnose your injury.
If it's a general emergency physician, you may not get the accurate diagnosis you need for a full recovery. You see, your foot has 26 bones, many of which are small and easy to overlook. For that reason, we've heard plenty of storis of patients who return from the ER with a clean bill of health. But they find out, days or weeks later, that their foot was broken. Want to avoid that situation? Go see your podiatrist if you've experienced any kind of foot injury.
See a Podiatrist for a Broken Foot
Now, let's return to that original question. We've established that a podiatrist is the best doctor to diagnose your broken foot. And it follows that you want to treat a broken foot with a doctor who treats all areas of foot and ankle problems.
And guess who fits that description? You guessed it: a podiatrist in Houston, TX! Why? Your podiatrist can assess the severity of the foot fracture. And he or she can do so with confidence, since podiatrists see foot fractures every day.
Also, thanks to experience, podiatrists can decide the right treatment plan for your foot fracture. That way, it will heal in the right way. And that's a big deal for so many reasons.
Recovering from a Foot Fracture
Most broken feet will heal in about 6 weeks. But that's not the case if we don't choose an appropriate treatment. You see, how we set your broken bone depends on the location and severity of your fracture.
If your broken foot bone is in a good position, we can choose immobilization treatment. But if you're thinking that means a bulky cast, don't worry. I prefer treating broken feet with fracture boots. (And because I'm a podiatrist, I keep these boots stocked in my office. So you could be x-rayed, diagnosed and immobilized with one office visit!)
Why are fracture boots best for non-displaced foot fractures? First, they're more comfortable than casts. Plus, they cause less interference in your regular activities. Because you can walk in this boot. And you can take your boot off when you bathe or sleep. And doing so won't sacrifice the protection your broken foot needs to heal.
Of course, if your bone looks unstable on the x-ray, I can't let you walk on your boot. Doing so could extend your recovery time. Instead, I'll suggest using a scooter for your broken foot. This will help you keep weight off your broken bone. But it helps you avoid the frustration and pain of using crutches.
Finally, we'll have to see if your bone has moved during your injury (a displaced foot fracture.) If it has, you'll need foot surgery, or your bone won't heal in the proper place.
At this point, you'll have to choose your foot surgeon. Here, again, I'd suggest working with a podiatrist. We are trained surgeons, but we only operate on feet, so we've got years of expertise!
Now, while I can operate on your broken foot, that's the one procedure I won't do in my podiatrist's office. Instead, we'll go to an outpatient surgery center to fix your broken foot bone. During the surgeru, I reposition the broken ends of your broken bone. Then, since we don't want them slipping around, I'll secure your bone with a metal plate and screws. (Remember, these are medical devices, so they won't set off metal detectors!)
Speeding Up Your Broken Foot Recovery
Why did we just review all the treatment options for a broken foot? To make this fact clear: how you treat your broken foot bone matters. And it directly impacts the length of your recovery. (Not to mention the outcome of your healing!)
I think this goes without saying, but I'll put it out there anyways. When you've got a broken foot, nothing is worse than extending your recovery by weeks! I know that you're anxious to return to your normal routine. And because I've helped thousands of patients do that, I'm your best choice for treating a broken foot. I do know that there are other doctors who are also qualified to treat foot fractures. Orthopedists are bone doctors and surgeons; they can also treat your fractures. In fact, there are some orthopedists who specialize in the foot and ankle. And they can do a great job, even though I don't recommend going to the emergency room. As I said earlier, I've found many foot fractures missed on ER x-rays.
Remember, at Tanglewood Foot Specialists, we take the x-rays in the office. And we read them immediately, so you do not have to wait for the results. Dr. Schneider will spend the time with you to make sure you understand the severity of your broken bone. Then, we'll review what needs to happen to allow it to heal quickly and completely. What does that mean for you? If you think you broke your foot, call our Houston podiatry office now. We'll schedule you for an immediate appointment.
Most people who read this also asked Can a Twisted Ankle Break a Bone in My Foot?
Can I have my bunions on both feet operated on at the same time?
Bunions look like bumps that form next to your big or small toe joint. But they are actually bones that change direction and grow outward. That growth can also cause swelling in your soft tissue, which is why some bunions seem red and angry.
Many times, bunions develop because of pressure on those bones. It could be from bad shoes. Or because of your genes, and weak mechanics in your feet. (People with flat feet have a higher risk for bunions. And hammertoes as well, since bunion growth can impact your toe structure.) In fact, the pressure could be a combination of your body structure and your shoes.
Often, the source of pressure affects both your feet. And that's why many people who suffer with a bunion on one foot often have a bunion on their other foot too. Now, since bunions are often painful, and make it hard to fit into shoes, you'll want to treat those bunions. Before they get worse and cause more problems.
If I see you early enough, we may be able to treat your bunions without surgery. Early interventions including padding your bony bumps to prevent painful rubbing. We can also fit you for orthotics. These can correct biomechanical issues that contribute to your bunion growth. Which means your bunions probably won't get bigger. But, at the same time, they won't go away. Because the only way to remove bunions is with surgery.
Surgical Bunion Treatment
When you have bunions on both your feet, you may be very uncomfortable. So I wouldn't be surprised to hear that you want bunion surgery. Or that you want me to operate on both your feet in one go.
After all, surgery to correct a bunion requires a significant investment in time. It makes sense, then, to have both feet operated on at the same time. Unfortunately though, that logic doesn't fly in my Houston podiatry practice. Because, while some doctors may agree with this convenience, I don't. In fact, along with many of my colleagues I recommend against it.
Why fight convenience, you ask? Here's the deal: there are many different ways to correct your problem with bunion surgery. Before operating, I'll x-ray your foot and figure out the best procedure.
The approach I choose will depend on the site of your pain and the rotation of your bones. But no matter what, I'll reposition your metatarsal bone and straighten your big toe. And that means, when I perform bunion surgery, I must make a surgical fracture in your bone. Now. that's a medical procedure, so your broken bone will be stable. But that doesn't mean your fracture won't worsen with excess pressure. In fact, that's a real possibility.
To prevent that complication, we have specific post-operative instructions for bunion removal. After surgery, we need to limit swelling by keeping your foot elevated. We'll also have a dressing on your foot. And that needs to stay clean and dry for several weeks after your surgery. Which is where things can get complicated if we operate on two bunions at once.
Post-Op Care for Bunion SurgeryMost of my bunion patients can walk right after surgery. That's because I'll put a protective boot on your foot. Still, even with that boot, you'll have to give that foot some special care and attention.
When I operate on one bunion, its simple to care for one foot after surgery. But it's far more difficult to do the same for both feet at the same time. Plus, when I operate on both your feet, there will be more limits on mobility sfter surgery.
Now do you understand why I recommend AGAINST doing both bunion surgeries at once? If not, let me make it very clear. If we treat both your bunions at once, you might not like the results. Because, what sometimes happens is you end up with one excellent result and one that's subpar. Should that happen to you, you'd likely face a future revision surgery. And no one wants that, I'm sure. Instead, wouldn't you rather get two stellar results? Even if that means two seperate bunion surgeries?
If you are having pain from the bunions on your feet, don't wait to have them checked! As I mentioned, when we treat bunions early, we can try non-surgical options. And that dictate if you need surgery, or how limited you will be during your recovery. Like the sound of that option? Don't wait around while your bunions get bigger. Instead, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate appointment. We'll check out those bunions and come up with a fast and effective treatment plan!
Can you stop a corn from coming back by getting the root?
When you're living with painful corns, you just want it gone. It's why there are so many over-the-counter corn treatments. (Which can be dangerous for your feet, so stay away. More on that later.)
It's also why I hear so many rumors and misconceptions about treating corns.
And this is the biggest one: people think that, when treating a corn it will not return if you get the "root" or "seed" out. Of course, I wish that was the case, but it's 100% false. Because, while corns look like they have "seeds" or "roots," that's not why these painful bumps form.
What is a corn?
Corns form in shapes that appear conical. That means they are widest at top and narrow at the bottom. Beacause of that formation, people think corns have roots. But that's not the case.
Yes, a corn forms on your skin with a small, root-like attachment,. But the root forms because of pressure, not because some "seed" implants in your skin. In fact, a corn is thickened skin. It pops up when your shoes push on your toes, or when your bones don't stay where they should.
In other words, pressure makes corns grow. Put more pressure on your corn, it gets bigger. Remove the pressure, and you'll see growth stop.
So, if a corn doesn't have roots, why is it narrow at the base? Well, he most narrow or defined area will be closest to the cause of the pressure. Then, the corn widens as it reaches the surface of the skin. And that pressure comes from your bone. Which means you'll have to address issues with your bone if you want to keep corns from coming back.
Permanent Corn Treatments
By now, you've guessed the answer to your question. If you remove the root of a corn, will it come back? (If you haven't, I'll help you out. The answer is 'yes,' unless you address the underlying pressure.) You see, even in I remove that corn, all I'll give you is pain relief. But if I don't target the pressure that formed the corn, it's going to return.
For that reason, I have to change the pressure on your toes to prevent a corn from coming back. Sometimes, that's as simple as changing your shoes. I can help you select a pair with a larger toe box. We can also pad spots where corns formed, to keep pressure off your toes. Now, for some of you, these swaps may be enough to reduce pressure on the bone.
But that's not the case for everyone. Some patients have biomechanical issues that impact bone alignment. When that's the case, we may be able to relieve pressure with custom orthotics. These medical devices help compensate for certain anatomical problems. They may keep pressure away, so corns don't return.
Having said all that, some patients will need foot surgery to cure corns. Why is that the case? Some corns will form regardless of what shoes you choose. Because many corns form from internal pressure. And that pressure can come from arthritis, bone spurs, or even hammertoes. In these cases, surgery is the best way to remove the pressure from the bone. And it's often the only way to deal with a persistent corn.
Houston Podiatrist Treats Persistent Corns
What does a podiatrist visit for corns look like? When you come into the office, I'll start by paring down dead skin at the corn's top layer. Then, I'll go find that deep "root" and remove it as well. But that's only step two of your treatment plan.
Since I want to make sure that corn doesn't come back, we'll start talking lifestyle once the corn root is out. I'm going to ask you questions and examine your foot and gait. That way, I can figure out what's causing pressure on your toes. So that I can go on and stamp out the source of the pressure.
If it seems like you're just choosing the wrong shoes, I'll get you into a better pair. But if we realize the source of the pressure is the bone, we'll cycle through some other treatment options. At this point, surgery may well be in your future. That doesn't mean you need to panic, though.
Look, I know that foot surgery sounds scary. But surgery to permanently remove corns is a small surgical procedure. Sometimes, I go to the operating room and remove a small piece of bone. In other case, I can shave down a small piece of bone that corresponds to where that corn formed.
Both options are effective because they get rid of internal pressure. And that is what's going to stop your corn from coming back. So next time you come into the office and say, it's back again, I'm going to look at you and say, yes, it's back again.
I won't judge you. And you can choose to come in every so often for me to treat your corn in the office. But if you want to take care of it once and for all, we can discuss the surgical option. Either way, I need to see you to figure out why you're getting corns. So give us a call at the office for an immediate appointment. The sooner we know the true "root" of your corn problem, the quicker we can get rid of them for good!
Do I need to wear a special shoe for my broken toe?
A broken toe can be very painful. While this injury is common, it can cause plenty of problems. There are many types of broken toes; some are severe, and some are less so. It's important to see your podiatrist if you think you've got a broken toe. Because the way we treat your injury, and the way we guide your recovery, will depend on they type of fracture you've sustained.
Diagnosing a Broken ToeYou have 14 bones in your toe, and you may break one or more of them. The only way to confirm a fracture is with an X-Ray. That's why we offer in-office imaging. That way, your podiatrist can diagnose your broken toe and start treatment right away. But what will that treatment look like? And how will you walk while recovering from a broken toe? That all depends on the nature of your injury.
Of course, we worry about wearing regular shoes with a broken toe. Because the pressure could cause you pain, or even delay your healing. Now, some people can get away with wearing regular shoes. But, if this is the case for your injury, you should choose a low heeled or tennis shoe. Something that's stable and comfortable to help your healing.
Just remember: some people will have to wear a special surgical shoe for broken toes. And this is how we decide which footwear you'll need if your toe is broken.
When Do You Need a Surgical Shoe for a Broken Toe?
When we're treating your broken toe, we may recommend wearing a surgical shoe. And there are a few factors we'll look at before making those decisions. Here are some of the questions we'll explore when choosing your foot wear after a toe fracture. It will depending on where the toe is broken, and which toe is broken.
If your great toe is broken, your Houston Podiatrist will almost certainly keep you out of regular shoes while you heal. Why is this toe fracture treated differently? Because of the amount of pressure your big toe bears, you will likely have to wear a surgical shoe while you heal. In fact, in some cases, you may need a fracture walking boot with a broken big toe. We'll evaluate your injury and make the proper recommendation, to ensure it heals properly.
We'll also see if your fractured toe is in a good position. Because if the break displaced your bone, you may need surgery. (If you have a displaced fracture, your toe may look crooked.) And then you'll likely be wearing a surgical boot while you recover. Of course, I'll also look at how stable your bones appear to be after we set your broken toe. Because, if it seems like pressure would delay your recovery, we'll recommend a surgical shoe while you recover.
Now, if we recommend wearing a surgical shoe, we'll help you wear it properly. Because wearing your shoe properly will be an important part of your recovery.
How to Wear Surgical Shoes with a Broken Toe
First, let's look carefully at this wearable medical device. A surgical shoe is special foot wear that lets you put weight on your foot without compromising your recovery. How does it do that job? The stable sole on a surgical shoe keeps your toe from moving too much. And this is important, because broken toes need to be immobilized in order to heal.
Remember, don't get upset if you need to wear a surgical shoe. This treatment will actually leave you feeling more comfortable. Plus, it will lower your risk of long-term complications. (If your broken toe doesn't heal properly, your risk for arthritis will increase. And your toe could permanently change shape. Leaving you with a painful or unsightly deformity.)
Recovering from a Broken Toe
Wondering how long you'll need to wear that surgical shoe while you heal your broken toe? Of course, every patient is different. And that means broken toe recovery times will vary. Still, we can look at average healing times for injuries, to help you know what to expect.
When it comes to broken toes, most bones will heal within six weeks. Now, if you have a hairline fracture, or a stress fracture, you'll likely heal faster. Or, if you had a displaced fracture treated with surgery, your recovery may last longer.
But, regardless of your injury, there are things you can do to speed up your recovery. Be sure to follow all of your podiatrist's instructions. From wearing a surgical shoe to resting or icing your broken toe, listening to your doctor should speed up your recovery. (Or, at the very least, not increase your healing time.)
And here's the most important way to heal from a broken toe: see your podiatrist as soon as you notice pain. Because, the sooner we diagnose your broken toe, the sooner we can being treatment. In that way, we can take pressure off your toe. This will prevent any worsening problems and offer you pain relief while you heal.
For that reason, you need a fast X-ray if you think you have a broken toe. But that doesn't have to mean long waits at the ER. Instead, come into my office right away. I can get you X-rayed, immobilized and in your surgical shoe for broken toes all in one visit. That way we'll get you on the road to recovery as fast as safely possible!
How should a mold be taken to make a custom orthotic?A custom orthotic must, in some way, be designed for you specifically. That's what makes it custom, after all. There are many ways to accomplish this and they are not created equal.Some orthotics are direct molded. Meaning there is a template orthotic for your size that becomes pliable when heated. You then step on the orthotic while it cools to make it best fit your foot. This is a step up from a generic, off the shelf insole, but does not provide much in the way of mechanical correction.Another way of capturing a mold of the foot is using a foam impression box. You step into the foam and compress it into a mold of your foot. This can result in a good mold but the quality often is variable. It varies based on the skill and attention of the technician taking the mold to ensure your foot is properly placed. There is much room for error and we only utilize it for specific types of orthotics...generally softer custom insoles provided for use by our diabetic patients.A newer and very promising method of taking a mold is a 3-D scanner. Unfortunately, the scanner still isn't providing the quality and depth of an image that will provide a superior orthotic. For that reason, we take a plaster mold of your foot at Tanglewood Foot Specialists. A plaster mold captures your foot in these most efficient and stable position and ensures an effective orthotic is made.An orthotic is only as good as how well you are evaluated in the office. Learn how a properly designed custom orthotic can do for you by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprehensive evaluation.