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.
IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION
At this time, our office continues to be open to new and existing patients. We use hospital-grade sanitizers and are taking measures to ensure patients maintain social distancing by not having anyone wait in our reception room with others. We are continuing operation in an effort to keep patients out of the urgent care clinics and hospital emergency departments, which increases the chances of being exposed to the virus. We have x-ray and ultrasound in the office to prevent you from having to go elsewhere.
For those patients who cannot or wish not to visit the office, we are offering private video telemedicine visits. Simply call the office at 713-785-7881 and ask for an e-visit and we will be happy to get you set up for an immediate appointment. You can also request an appointment through our website.
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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.
Why does taking Advil or Aleve help my running pain?
Most running injuries, such as Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, and Morton's neuroma, are an inflammation of the musculoskeletal system. In many cases, it is inflammation of the tendon or ligament where it attaches to the bone. This inflammation is the source of the pain from these injuries.
You can treat a Houston running injury naturally with ice. Icing your injury will constrict the blood flow to the area. Apply ice for up to 20 minutes at a time and take a break between applications. Icing an injury, such as a sprained ankle, as soon as it occurs is the best way to minimize the swelling.
Antiinflammatory medication, or NSAIDs, are another good way to treat inflammation. Advil, Motrin, and Aleve all fall into this category. They work to inhibit a chemical pathway that causes inflammation to occur. One pifall many fall into, however, is using an anti-inflammatory medication like they treat a headache: taking it when the pain occurs only. Running injuries respond much better to taking medication consistantly, the recommended daily dose for 1-2 weeks. This will not only treat the pain, but allow the injury to heal by eliminating the inflammation.
If you have a running injury that is causing pain in your foot and ankle, the sooner you treat it, the faster you will be able to return to running. Contact Houston running podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprhensive examination and detailed treatment plan to get you back on the road.
Why do running magazines sometimes recommend against orthotics?
Every so often I catch an article in a prominent running magazine that discounts the usefulness and efficacy of custom orthotics. Since I see how custom orthotics help runners increase their speed and endurance first-hand, I'll admit that I get a bit annoyed. On the other hand, I can understand their position.
A custom orthotic is an insole made from a model of your foot. It is called a custom orthotic whether it is made by a Houston podiatrist, chiropractor, physical therapist, or orthotist. The resulting device, however, varies depending on how it is made...and there are many different philosophies when it comes to custom orthotics. Because some work better than others, those on the outside looking in can notice inconsistent results.
Where my Houston podiatry practice I perform a comprehensive biomechanical examination when I evaluate you for custom orthotics. I check range of motion from your hip to your feet, watch you walk and perform a gait analysis, and ultimately take a mold of your foot in plaster. I believe that this is the most accurate way to capture the foot in the most stable position.
The results speak for themselves...not to mention that I guarantee that the orthotics will feel great and work perfectly. If you have not had success with custom orthotics in the past, contact Dr. Andrew Schneider in Houston to see how much difference a properly made device will make.
What can you do to help me run again?
Runners have one desire...to keep running. In fact most runners delay coming to our Houston podiatry office because they are afraid that I'll tell them to stop running. The problem with that reasoning is that if they came sooner, before the problem became unbearable, I probably wouldn't have told them to stop running...but now I have to.
There are of course some circumstances where you do absolutely have to take a break from running. These include stress fractures, fractures, tendon ruptures, and severe sprains. Continuing to run on these injuries is a recipe for disaster! The injury will worsen, possibly requiring surgery to repair and correct
When it comes to overuse running injuries, such as shin splints, heel pain, and Achilles tendonitis, I don't often have you stop running. It is very important, however, that you come in as soon as possible. If the injury becomes worse, there is a greater chance that you'll have to take a break from running.
If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain that is worse when you are running, call Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston. Dr. Andrew Schneider will perform a comprehensive evaluation and recommend the best treatment to get you running pain-free.
Why does one foot hurt more than the other?
Humans are not symmetrical. We have a tendency to use one limb in a more dominant way than the other. Just as you may be right or left handed, you also have a dominant foot that will be used more and takes more pressure through your daily activity, and especially during running.
There are other factors that can cause pain, and even problems like bunions and hammertoes, occur on one foot and not the other. The most common issue that causes this is when one leg is longer than the other. It happens more often than you'd think! Because of the leg length difference, your feet work differently to compensate for the discrepancy. We often use a custom orthotic to correct for the difference in length and stabilize the compensation. This managed the foot pain and also will address the knee, hip, and back pain that also can result from the leg length difference.
Another cause of unilateral pain is related to the running surface. Many streets, and especially theses in Houston, are banked to allow for drainage. When you run on the side of the road, you end up with one foot higher than another, essentially creating a leg length difference. A simple fix for this is a couple of steps to the center of the road....but don't get hit by a car!!
If you are unsure what is causing the pain or problem in your foot or ankle, contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists for a comprehensive evaluation. Dr. Andrew Schneider will evaluate your mechanics, determine where there is instability, and discuss the best solution with you.