Foot health plays a vital role in our everyday activities. If your pain or injury is not healing with home treatments or over-the-counter medicine, it’s time to consider visiting one of our foot doctors in Houston or Baytown. About 25% of Americans who have experienced foot pain have seen a physician about their ailment, and only 12% of that amount have visited a podiatrist.
Most people don’t realize how much they take their feet for granted until they experience some sort of pain and discomfort or illness. Because we’re basically on our feet all day, our lower extremities are more susceptible to injuries, fractures, and sprains. While most minor injuries can be treated with a foot/ankle wrap or cold compresses, surgery may be needed for pain and injuries that are more severe.
While the recovery time from foot surgery depends on the severity of the injury, a consultation with a foot and ankle specialist is recommended, so that you receive informative advice on the type of surgery that best meets your needs.
PODIATRIC SURGERY OVERVIEW
Podiatric surgery treats the condition and function of the foot through both simple and complex procedures, ranging from bunion correction and tendon repair to ankle arthroscopy and flat foot reconstruction.
It is a difficult decision for many to decide whether or not foot or ankle surgery is the best route for them. An estimated four in 10 Americans who have experienced foot ailments rely on over-the-counter and self-treatments for pain relief. Of this group, 3 in 10 choose to do nothing to relieve their pain.
A podiatrist will generally recommend surgery as a final option for treatment of a foot condition or injury. Foot and ankle surgery can significantly relieve your pain and return function to damaged areas such as the bone, joint, ligament or tendon. Whether you’re needing a simple treatment or surgery, our foot and ankle doctors are fully equipped to handle all your podiatric needs!
CONDITIONS TREATED AT ALTUS
Podiatry involves the medical or surgical treatment of disorders related to the feet, ankle, or lower extremities. Our podiatrists are experts in many sub-specialties of medicine, including internal medicine, sports medicine, geriatrics, and more. At Altus, we focus on the medical and surgical management of chronic pain, including these common podiatry disorders and symptoms:
- Birth deformities and other foot problems in children
- Arthritis in the foot and ankle
- Fractures in the foot and ankle
- Foot problems in people with diabetes
- Sports injuries, especially in the ankle
- Heel pain
- High-arched and flat feet
- Toe discomfort
COMMON TYPES OF PODIATRIC DISORDERS
Many factors can cause foot pain such as injuries, overuse, and inflammation involving any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the foot. The foot can also be the place to reveal symptoms of severe disorders such as arthritis, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. However, most foot pain can be attributed to ill-fitting shoes or high-heels.
Approximately eight in 10 Americans experience foot ailments due to wearing ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes and high-heels. People usually feel foot pain in the toes, the forefoot or the hindfoot. Some of the most common reported foot ailments in the U.S. are Achilles tendinitis, arthritis, bunions, and heel pain.
Achilles tendinitis is common among runners (sprinters) who suddenly increase the intensity or duration of their runs. It’s also common in middle-aged people who play recreational sports.
When there’s overuse of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone, Achilles tendonitis will often occur.
Causes of Achilles tendonitis:
- Repetitive or intense strain on the Achilles tendon
- Postural problems such as flatfoot or high-arched foot
- High-intensity workouts
- Running on hard or uneven surfaces
- Wearing incorrect or worn out shoes while running or exercising
Treatment for most cases of this condition includes over-the-counter pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, NeoProfen, etc.) or with a prescription drug such as piroxicam (Feldene). Other treatments may include physical therapy or surgical repair for more severe conditions.
ARTHRITIS OF FOOT AND ANKLE
Millions of Americans suffer from arthritis, which is also a common cause of foot and ankle pain. Arthritis occurs when there are inflammation and swelling of the cartilage and lining of the joints. There are three types of arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, and Gout.
The symptoms vary depending on the type of arthritis, but many will feel pain or aching, stiffness, swelling, redness or less range motion in their joints. However, about half of the people in their 60s and 70s that have this condition may not exhibit any symptoms.
Causes of arthritis in foot and ankle include:
- Injury and overuse
- Bone deformities
Most treatments for arthritis of the foot and ankle include over-the-counter medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Other treatments include steroid injections, physical therapy, weight loss, orthotics such as pads in your shoes or custom-made braces, and surgery for more serious cases.
Bunions are a deformity commonly experienced by women due to wearing narrow, pointed-toe high-heels or tight shoes. Also known as hallux valgus, a bunion is a bump that forms at the base of your big toe. A bunion typically forms when your big toe pushes against the second toe, forcing the joint of your big toe to out. Tailor’s Bunion (bunionettes) can also develop on the joint of your little toe. The skin over the bunion can become inflamed, turn red, stiff and sore.
Causes for bunions include:
- Foot injuries
- Deformities present at birth (congenital)
- Wearing improper fitting shoes
Most bunion treatments consist of medications such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ibuprofen, and naproxen. Other treatments include shoe inserts, changing shoes, night splints that keep the toes straight during sleep, bunion shields or bandages, orthotics, and surgery such as bunionectomy for more severe cases.
With 43% of Americans suffering from this condition, heel pain is the most common foot ailment. This pain occurs when weight is placed on the heel causing extreme discomfort. The three most common types of heel pain are heel spurs (plantar fasciitis), heel bursitis (subcalcaneal bursitis), and heel bumps. Six in 10 Americans reported having heel pain within the past year, and also have had trouble performing various daily activities.
While heel pain generally lasts for a short period of time, some conditions can turn into chronic pain, leaving people in a disabling state.
Causes of heel pain include:
- Repetitive injuries or stress
- Lower back problems
- Plantar fasciitis (bottom of the heel)
- Achilles tendinitis (back of the heel)
Most heel pain can be treated with over-the-counter medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, and ibuprofen. Other treatments include stretching, foot supports, proper footwear with good arch support, and surgery for severe ailments.
COMMON PODIATRY PROCEDURES
Whether you require minor treatment or surgery, Altus Hospital offers the highest quality care in an environment that is convenient, and customized to meet your individual needs. Some of the podiatric procedures we offer include:
- Hammer toe repair
- Excision of soft tissue masses
- Achilles tendon repair
- Partial amputation of foot or toes
- Debridement of infected tissue
Post-procedure you will be monitored under the watchful care of our skilled team of post-surgical unit nurses, to ensure you’re on track for a speedy recovery.
At Altus Hospitals, we believe that healing starts with a community. At Altus, you are family! We welcome you to find out more about our services and commitment to patient care by exploring our website, or by visiting our state-of-the-art hospitals located in Houston and Baytown.