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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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.
Aren't Dr. Scholls insoles just as good as a custom orthotic?There is a difference between a custom orthotic and an insole you can buy off the shelf. Even with OTC insoles, there is a significant difference between them. Some are very flexible and others provide more support with a flexible plastic interior.Even more confusion occurred when Dr. Scholls introduced their automated kiosk in retail stores and billed the insoles as "custom-fit orthotics." This scanner is simply sizing and grouping your foot type into one of a very few broad categories and then recommend the best generic insole for you. A salesperson is equipped to make the same recommendation.At Tanglewood Foot Specialists, a custom orthotic is much more! Dr. Andrew Schneider performs a comprehensive biomechanical exam and gait analysis to learn how efficiently your lower extremity works when you walk and run. We then take a mold of your feet in the most efficient and stable position. The orthotic device is then constructed specifically for you.If you have tried many insoles that just don't seem to work for you, contact Dr. Schneider to schedule an appointment and see how much better you'll feel when provided the right orthotic.
Is it okay that my child walks on his toes?Toe walking is a common condition in kids. Just because it is common, doesn't mean it's okay! Toe walking generally occurs because children don't have the ability to compensate for mechanical issues. So where adults may have flat feet for these same issues, kids end up lifting up on their toes. Many pediatrician aren't alarmed by toe walking and insist that kids will just grow out of it. In most cases that isn't the case.As a child develops, the heels will come down to the ground and it will appear that your pediatrician was right after all. In truth, the child just becomes able to compensate. You may see the feet angling out like a duck and the arch flatten out as he walks. This may result in foot pain, heel pain, and knee pain. It is better to address these issues early before they cause problems later in life.If you are noticing your son or daughter walking on their toes, or they used to be a toe walker when they were younger, it is worthwhile to get them checked out. This is especially true if they have any pain! At Tanglewood Foot Specialists, Dr. Andrew Schneider will assess how your child walks and see if corrective measures, such as a custom foot orthotic, is needed.
Will an injection stop my bunion from hurting?
The pain associated with a bunion on your foot is due to inflammation. That inflammation can be either at the bump on the side of your foot or deeper within the joint. Reducing the inflammation would help to control the bunion pain.
A cortisone injection is very effective in reducing the pain from a bunion. Because the area of inflammation is so localized, an injection does a better job than taking an oral anti-inflammatory medication. Even so, the results of the injection are likely to be temporary. Over time, the inflammation will build up again and cause the pain to return.
If you are experiencing bunion pain, the best time to get it checked and treated is now. Whether it be an injection, padding, custom orthotics, or even bunion surgery, Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider will recommend the best and most effective treatment for you.
What are the best shoes to wear with bunions?
Many people who have painful bunions on their feet struggle with shoes. The bump on the side of their foot at the great toe joint just takes too much pressure and becomes painful in their favorite shoes.
The ideal shoe for someone with a painful bunion is one that has a wider forefoot and a narrower heel. Unfortunately a shoe like this is difficult to find. Some pads, like Dr. Jill's Gel Bunion cushions, are helpful in taking some of the pressure away, but for some it can just make the shoe tighter.
The best shoes to wear with a bunion is simply the shoes that are most comfortable. A tennis shoe that is the widest you can comfortably keep on your foot or a dress shoe that doesn't provide too much pressure on your bunion may be your best bet. When you find that you have fewer and fewer shoe choices, it is time to consider surgery.
If you find that you simply have no shoes that are fitting your bunion comfortably anymore, it is time to consider bunion surgery. Houston bunion surgeon Dr. Andrew Schneider will evaluate the bunions on your feet and recommend the best course of personalized treatment. Contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists for an immediate appointment.
Can I have my bunions on both feet operated on at the same time?
Many people who suffer with a bunion on one foot often have a bunion on their other foot too. 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. While some doctors may agree with this convenience, I and many of my colleagues typically recommend against it.
Bunion surgery requires a surgical fracture made in the bone. Although stable, this fracture can worsen with excess pressure. After surgery, we need to limit swelling by keeping your foot elevated. There is also a dressing on your foot that needs to stay clean and dry for several weeks after your surgery.
While its relatively simple to care for one foot after surgery, it is exponentially more difficult to do the same for both feet at the same time. It is for this reason that I strongly recommend AGAINST doing both bunion surgeries at the same time. What sometimes happens is you end up with one excellent result and the other subpar? Wouldn't you rather two stellar results?
If you are having pain from the bunions on your feet, don't wait to have them checked! Treating bunions early can dictate if you need surgery and how limited you will be suring your recovery. Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate appointment.
Can I drive after bunion surgery?
Bunion surgery is a major surgery, although done on an outpatient basis. It involves sedation and general anesthesia. Because of that, you cannot drive on the day of surgery. In the rare case where one of my patients insists on local anesthesia only, with no sedation, I still don't allow them to leave the Houston outpatient surgery center on their own.
After the day of your bunion surgery, driving depends on a number of factors. If your left foot was operated on, and you drive an automatic vehicle, then driving is not a problem. If bunion surgery was done on your right foot, or if your car has a clutch, then there is a safety issue.
After a bunion on your foot is operated on, there will be a dressing on it and you will be wearing a stiff surgical shoe. This limits your driving in a couple of ways. First, you have to be concerned about your surgery and the investment you are making in your recovery. Think about it....if you are forced to slam on your brakes, the area of your bunion surgery can be injured. This can extend your recovery and even require another emergency surgery to correct. The second issue is the safety of driving. When you have a extensive gauze dressing on your foot and wearing an inflexible shoe, you lose the mobility and sensitivity to drive safely.
At Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX, we are committed to solving your bunion pain, whether with or without foot surgery. We also need to make sure you stay safe to make sure you are able to fully enjoy life without pain from the bunion on your foot.
Will my bunion come back after surgery?
The goal of bunion surgery is to reposition the metatarsal bone and eliminate the bump on the side of your foot. The foot surgery addresses the effect of unstable mechanics that caused the bunion to form in the first place. This mechanics is usually hereditary...one of your parents or grandparents probably have bunions. You have them to thank!
Bunion surgery deals with the effect of your hereditary built-in mechanics. The way your foot functions is what created your bunion. By repositioning the bone that forms the bunion, you just restart the clock. If nothing further is done after surgery, your mechanics will take over and your bunion can come back.
After surgery, it is essential to focus on controlling the mechanics that formed your bunion. This control is achieved with a custom foot orthotic. An orthotic will balance your feet and ankles to neutralize your mechanics and prevent your bunions from returning.
If you had bunion surgery and are worried that your bunions may return, do not wait!! Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider will evaluate your mechanics and prescribe the custom shoe insole that will get your feet feeling the best, provide you stability and efficiency, and prevent those bunions from returning.
When should you get a bunion checked by a podiatrist?
A mild bunion becomes a moderate bunion which progressively becomes more severe. Bunions on your feet are caused by unstable foot mechanics and the bone will continue to rotate outwards causing the bunion to enlarge. Left to their own progression, the bunion will appear bigger as the angle of the bone increases.
The only way to correct a bunion on your feet is with foot surgery. The procedure and recovery is dictated by the severity of the bunion. So the recovery for a mild bunion is easier than for that of a moderate bunion. Surgery for a severe bunion may require weeks in a cast using crutches.
To ensure the easiest recovery, you should get your bunion checked immediately if it is causing you pain. If you are noticing a bump on the side of your great toe joint but don't yet feel pain...that's even better! With a custom orthotic, we can often neutralize the forces that cause the bunion to progress, in many cases avoiding bunion surgery altogether.
Whether you feel constant pain in your bunion, or your just starting to notice it, you should get the bunion on your foot checked. Houston podiatrist and bunion surgeon Dr. Andrew Schneider will evaluate the progression of your bunion and recommend the most appropriate treatment for you.
Do I need to wear a cast after bunion surgery?
There is no "one size fits all" bunion surgery. This is because a mild bunion will require a different procedure than a severe bunion deformity will. As such, there is different procedures that can be performed to correct a bunion on your feet.
Some bunion surgery procedures are stable, such as the ones performed for a mild and moderate bunion. The stability of a procedure is largely due to the part of the foot being operated on, the type of procedure, and the type and stability of the fixation used. Because of the good stability, we don't need to add additional stability and protection from a cast.
With more severe bunions, the procedure itself is less stable. In order for it to successfully heal, we need to offer protection. It is in these situations where you will be in a cast after surgery.
Mild and moderate bunions on your feet do become severe over time. Having your bunions evaluated and treated sooner will result in more conservative options and, when surgery is your best option, a more straightforward recovery. Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider to have your bunions evaluated and the best course of treatment recommended.