When is the Right Time for Foot Surgery?

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Typically, we want to think of foot surgery as a last resort. The best course of action for treating most foot injuries and uphold the best quality of life for the patient is to pursue conservative methods of treatment. However, in certain circumstances, a patient may not respond effectively to conservative treatments. When this happens, it is often time to consider surgery. Let’s look at a few common foot conditions and discuss what to look for when thinking about surgery. 

Bunions 

            A bunion is a foot deformity cause by an overgrowth of the bone in a patient’s big toe. Conservative treatments of bunions aim to alleviate pain and often include simple remedies such as wearing more flexible looser-fitting shoes or being fitted for custom orthotics. However, if these methods don’t sufficiently reduce the deformity, it might be time to talk to your podiatrist about the different options available for bunion surgery.  

Hammertoes 

            Hammertoes can be both painful and unsightly. The goal of conservative hammertoes treatments is to restore balance between the top and bottom tendons of the affected toes. If you have hammertoes and continue to develop corns or experience other discomfort from hammertoes, the final option would be surgery. This is most often the case with rigid hammertoes that can’t be straightened out manually. It’s important to communicate any changes in your hammertoes to your doctor, as he or she will be able to decide when the time is right for surgery.  

Neuroma 

            A neuroma is an injury that involves a swelling of a nerve in the foot. They are found in the ball of a patient’s foot as the result of overuse or excessive impact. The best way to prevent neuroma, especially in athletes, is to always wear proper fitting shoes with sufficient cushioning. In severe cases where conservative treatments are not effective, your doctor may suggest a cortisone shot to reduce the swelling. A cortisone shot will reduce the swelling enough to give the patient time to reattempt additional treatments. If the pain and swelling still return, you’ll know it’s time to consider surgically removing the damaged nerve.  

            No matter what foot condition you may have, our goal is to help you heal with as little disruption to your life as possible. If your condition requires surgery, our board-certified doctors are ready to work with you though every step of the process. The Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are proud to offer convenient locations in Northwest Houston, Northeast Houston, Tomball, Liberty Dayton, The Woodlands, Atascocita, Cleveland and Livingston. Make an appointment online or call today at (281) 444-4114.