foot and ankle surgery

When is the Right Time for Foot Surgery?

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.

How to Prevent Running Injuries - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Runners are prone to a lot of injuries. Overusing the feet and overtraining are the main culprits for common running injuries. Other causes include ill-fitting footwear, irregular biomechanics and the lack of flexibility and strength. Consult a podiatrist for any signs of chronic foot pain. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from foot disorders.

Runner’s knee

It is a condition that causes pain in the knee and is characterized by the wearing away of the back of the kneecap.

Causes:

  • Reduced strength of the quadriceps muscles
  • Ill-fitted shoes with no proper support for the inside of the forefoot.

Treatment and prevention:

Strengthening exercise which focuses on quad muscles.

  • Use of sports orthotics.
  • Preventive measures include hip strengthening and quad-strengthening exercises to keep the alignment of the kneecap.
  • Physical therapy

Iliotibial band syndrome

This is a common injury which is usually caused by overtraining. Pain and discomfort is created outside the knee area when the iliotibial band gets irritated.

Plantar fasciitis

It is the irritation and inflammation of the bone in the foot where a large amount of pain is often felt.

Causes:

  • Having a high arch
  • Tight muscles
  • Flat feet
  • Improper footwear

Treatment and prevention:

  • Wear proper footwear with good support for the foot.
  • Do stretching exercises prior to running activities to avoid plantar fasciitis.

Stress fractures

These are fractures brought about by too much or repeated mechanical stress. It can also occur in several locations like the leg inner bone, bone at the base of the spine, thigh bone, and bones of the toe.

Causes:

  • Improper running style
  • Lack of calcium
  • Overtraining

Treatment and prevention:

  • Wear proper footwear.
  • Run only on flat and hard surfaces. It will absorb some of the shock that running created.

General preventive tips

The best way to stay away from these running injuries is through prevention.

1.       Wear footwear with proper fitting. You should also wear footwear that is appropriate on the activity that you will be doing. The only available protective gear for runners that can save them from having injuries are running shoes.

2.       Consider your running routine like training schedules, strengthening and flexibility. These things should be considered and adjusted to your running needs to help maximize your running time while minimizing the possibility of injury.

3.       Do stretching exercises before and after a run as it enables your muscles to have greater flexibility and lesser chance of getting an injury. 

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with sports foot injuries. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114

Does Angelina Jolie have Flat Feet? - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Angelina Jolie is easily one of the most recognizable names in Hollywood today. A consistent Box Office hit, who would assume that this Hollywood superstar has flat feet. Although this is not a cause for major concern, this physical imperfection has its own downside. This foot condition can be a cause of chronic pain, but this does not appear to be slowing her down a bit.

What is a flat foot problem?

Flat foot is the absence of an arch in the sole of the feet which causes the feet to press completely flat against the ground.

Is flat feet a problem?

Flat feet if managed properly should not be a major concern. However, flat feet is also associated with these signs and symptoms that are recommended to undergo treatments:

  • Feet rolling inwards too much that can cause shoes to wear out quickly
  • Pain in the feet, lower legs, hips, ankles, knees, or lower back
  • Underlying problem with the bones, connective tissues, and muscles
  • Feet are weak, stiff, and numb
  • Feet are painful even wearing a supportive and well-fitting shoes
  • Feet appear to be getting flatter
  • Shoes wear out very quickly

Consult a podiatrist if you notice any of these symptoms. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering with foot and ankle disorders.

What causes flat feet?

  • Flat feet is a condition that can be inherited. In addition, flat feet can also be a result of:
  • Loose connective tissue throughout the body
  • The connective tissue in the foot become stretched and inflamed as a result of obesity, injury, unsupportive footwear, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • The feet bones did not form properly while in the womb
  • A condition affecting the muscles and nerves like muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or spina bifida

Treatments for flat feet

Non-surgical treatments are the preferred options but in some cases, surgery is an option.

Non-surgical treatment (check with your podiatrist first)

  1. Wearing orthotics to support your feet
  2. Lose weight if you are overweight
  3. Wearing supportive shoes that fits well
  4. If you are having discomforts, take painkillers
  5. Stretching the muscles and connective tissues

Surgery. This is normally considered if the treatments haven’t helped in treating your flat foot. Your surgeon will talk to you about the operation that you need.

Tricks to help with flat feet

Please check with your podiatrist first

  • Get the right support. You need arch support to keep your body in alignment.
  • Try to wear house shoes. Have a pair of comfy and supportive clog for indoors.
  • Give yourself a massage. Apply a little pressure to relax your tendons. A massage can also encourage the blood to flow on your feet. This will also help inflammation in your feet.
  • Stretch it out. Try to do a calf stretch against the wall for 15 seconds.

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with foot disorders. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114.

Webbed Toes Explained - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Webbed toes is a condition described as the fusing of two or more toes. Medically referred to as syndactyly, this condition can also be seen in the fingers. Webbed toes and fingers are normal during our early fetal stage. However, this disappear as the toes and finger are separated by enzymes that dissolve the tissue that connects the digits.

Webbed toes is commonly seen in the second and third toes.  But these are not only connected by soft tissue and skin. Complex webbed toes are toes connected by fused bones. And is some rare cases, there is also the presence of an extra toe or finger connected to a digit.

This foot condition may not interfere with our ability to walk or perform normal activities. It may not take a toll physically, but having webbed toes can leave people feeling embarrassed or suffering from low self-esteem. Visiting a podiatrist is the best option when planning to undergo web toe treatment. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people with web toes.

What Causes Webbed Toes

Some studies show a genetic connection in the development of web toes. But this is inconclusive since people with no previous history of relatives suffering from web toes also develop the condition. Since web toes happens during fetal development, factors that affect normal development during pregnancy is more likely. Factors such as smoking, underlying diseases or poor nutrition that have been traced to the development of deformities during pregnancy are the more likely culprits.

Treating Webbed Toes

Although web toes don’t interfere with normal feet functioning, it can elicit unusual looks which can lead to poor self-esteem. And the desire to appear “normal” is the main reason why people undergo treatment for web toes. 

Surgery is the only option available for treating web toes. This is usually done in children aged 6 months to 2 years. Anesthesia is introduced to desensitize the target area. The surgeon then marks the areas where the toes will be separated. The surgeon then cuts the skin along these marks. Excess skin is then removed exposing the separated areas of the toes. 

A skin graft or taking skin from another part of the body is used to fill in the missing skin. Using the patient’s skin reduces the chances of the body rejecting the skin graft. The toes are then bandaged or a cast is placed to allow the wounds to heal properly.   

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with web toes and other foot disorders To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114.

Foot Conditions that May Require Foot or Ankle Surgery - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Ankle surgery is a medical procedure that aims to restore normal ankle functioning when more conservative treatments prove ineffective. Ankle injuries can result to severe bone damage requiring surgery to fuse the bones together or for replacing the ankle joint.

Consult a podiatrist or foot specialist if you feel that you are suffering from a foot disorder. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from ankle and foot disorders.

Bunions (Hallux valgus)

This condition is characterized by the development of bony lumps at the base of the big toe and at the side of your feet. Bunions causes the big toe joint to bend towards the other toes. Thus giving your feet a deformed appearance. Unchecked, this can cause severe and chronic pain which could only be corrected by surgery. Foot surgery can be performed in under an hour. During the recovery period, the patient is required to wear a surgical shoe to facilitate the healing process.

Ankle Arthritis

This type of arthritis is commonly caused by weak bones or osteoarthritis. People suffering from ankle arthritis have thin cartilages and thick bones underneath. The condition can also be caused by rheumatoid arthritis or if the ankle was previously injured.

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is a painful foot condition caused by an inflamed nerve that runs between two adjacent toes. It usually manifests between the third and fourth toes. Surgery is recommended for removing the painful nerve. Treatment can be done in as little as a day. 

Tibialis Posterior Dysfunction

The tibialis posterior muscle is responsible for supporting the shape of the instep arch. The problem occurs when the tendon connecting the tibialis posterior to the bone becomes inflamed. This can lead to pain and swelling in the area. If left untreated, the tendon weakens which leads to the appearance of a flat foot. Surgery is recommended for repairing the instep arch.

Achilles tendon conditions

The Achilles tendon is the body’s largest tendon. And it is constantly exposed to a lot of pressure from the lower legs during movement. Like all things, aging can weaken the tendon. It can become inflamed and painful. Surgery can be performed to correct this condition. Non-invasive treatments are usually employed for treatment but surgery is also a treatment option.

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people find relief from chronic foot pain and foot disorders.  To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114