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.
- Page 2
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. Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate appointment.
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.
Do bunion pads work?
Bunion pads are designed to cushion the pressure of the bump on the side of your great toe joint against a shoe. There are many types of bunion pads available in the pharmacy foot care aisle, in catalogs, and online. All are designed to cushion the bunion against the side of shoes.
There are a variety of materials used to make bunion cushions. These include gel, foam, and felt. Some use an adhesive to stay on, others do not The pad that works best for my patients is a gel bunion cushion that uses a soft loop around the great toe.
Bunion cushions do not provide relief for everyone, but for those that find relief it helps to delay treatment with bunion surgery. If you have a painful bunion on your feet, contact Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprehensive evaluation and recommendation for the best treatment for your condition.
How do you do bunion surgery?
Bunion surgery is often required to correct the rotation of the metatarsal bone. There are a number of ways a bunion can present, along with different levels of severity, there are different procedures that may be necessary.
Some bunions on feet are very minor, with the majority of the pain coming from the bump on the side of the great toe joint and minor bone movement. In this case, surgery involves shaving the bump and releasing the soft tissue around the great toe joint. Most bunions, however, require a more involved procedure.
The next stage of bunions requires the metatarsal bone to be repositioned with a surgical fracture called an osteotomy. This fracture is created at the head of the bone, secured with a surgical pin or screw, and is generally stable.
Severe bunion deformities require a more extensive surgery performed at the base of the metatarsal bone
The postoperative course differs depending on the type of surgery. After the more stable procedures, you can often bear weight immediately after surgery in a surgical shoe or boot. The more severe bunion procedures may require you to wear a cast and be on crutches for several weeks. For this reason, it is vital for you to get your bunion checked as soon as possible. As a bunion progresses, we lose options as to what procedure are suitable for your condition.
Houston bunion surgeon Dr. Andrew Schneider will be able to assess the severity of your bunion and tell you what the treatment options are. He will also give you a projected timeline so your bunion does not progress into the "danger zone" of a procedure with a long, difficult recovery. Contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists to schedule an appointment to have your bunion evaluated.
Can I wear high heels after bunion surgery?
One of the biggest concerns of women who have bunions on their feet and are considering bunion surgery is whether you will be able to wear high heels again after surgery. In most cases the answer is yes...and much more comfortably than before surgery! The realignment of the great toe joint will allow for greater motion and the position that a high heel forces you into will no longer cause the joint to jam.
There are cases, however, where the joint may have degenerated to the point where, even after surgery, there will continue to be limited mobility around the joint. There are also some procedures that may stiffen the great toe joint and limit mobility by design. These situations will limit the shoes and heel heights that may be comfortable for you.
Since every person, bunion, and foot surgery is different, it is important that you ask your Houston bunion surgeon what to expect after your surgery. Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider will review your case in detail and let you know what to expect after your surgery. Contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists to schedule an appointment to see what will be the best treatment option for you.
Do all bunions need surgery?
Once a bunion forms on your foot, there is no way to correct them other than surgery. The bump on the side of the foot is formed because of a rotation of the bone and bunion surgery repositions the bone to achieve correction. That's not to say that every bunion needs surgery.
In my Houston podiatry practice I see the gamut of bunions: from mild-looking bunions that are very painful to horribly deformed bunions that haven't provided a minute of pain. The treatment of a bunion should correlate to the discomfort it provides and its presence restricts you in any way.
Discomfort from a bunion typically comes in two forms: pain deep in the great toe joint and pain where the bunion contacts the shoe. When the pain is in the joint, it is possible to control the function and pressure in that joint by treating it with a custom orthotic. The orthotic will also remove the deforming forces that will cause the bunion to get worse with time. This is a treatment option that many choose to prevent or delay future surgery.
When the pain is related to the bump of the bunion, it makes it difficult to wear shoes comfortably. In some cases, the bunion can be cushioned with a bunion pad. In other cases, foot surgery is the best option to correct the bunion. Bunion surgery will reduce the deformity and will ultimately allow you to return to wearing your shoes comfortably.
Bunions will become worse with time so the best time to get your's checked is now. Houston podiatrist and bunion surgeon Dr. Andrew Schneider will evaluate your foot and offer the best recommendation to ensure your bunion is addressed in the best way to meet your goals.
Can custom orthotics cure my bunions?
An orthotic is a custom shoe insole that works to increase the stability and efficiency of the foot and ankle. When an orthotic is made properly, it will help to remove the forces that causes the bunion on your foot to form. While it will not reverse the bunion and cause it to go away, the custom orthotic will slow or stop the bunion deformity from progressing.
Not all custom orthotics are created equal. An impression must be taken of your foot, which can be done using plaster, a box of crush foam, or by standing or walking on a digital plate. There are numerous materials that can be used to make an orthotic.
In my Houston podiatry practice, I perform a comprehensive biomechanical examinations with measurements taken both standing and walking. We use two different methods to evaluate your gait, a visual and a computerized gait analysis. We then take a mold of your foot in a stable neutral position.
If you are noticing a bump forming on the side of your great toe joint, it is likely a bunion forming. Contact Dr. Andrew Schneider to evaluate it and make recommendations to control it so it doesn't become larger or more painful.
Why do I have bunions on my feet?
Bunions are the result of unstable mechanics. In general you inherit these mechanics, which is why you may describe your feet as similar to a parent or grandparent. You don't really inherit the bunions themselves, just the predisposition for the bunion to form.
A bunion is not a growth of bone on the side the foot. It is when the first metatarsal bone rotates out, causing the bone to bulge. This forces the joint to be misaligned and pushes the great toe towards the second toe. Every step you take continues this cycle and causes the bunion to grow larger.
If a bunion is caught early in its development, the mechanics that cause it to form can be neutralized. A custom orthotic is best used for this purpose. When properly made, a custom orthotic can neutralize the forces that cause the bunion deformity. This can stop the development of the bunion and possibly prevent the need for further correction, such as bunion surgery, in the future.
If you are starting to see a bump on the side of your foot, do NOT wait until it becomes painful. Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprehensive foot evaluation and learn what can be done to stop your bunion from becoming a bigger problem.