Sunday, September 30, 2012

Talking to a Foot Surgeon About Bunions

With the help of a foot surgeon, you can get relief from a bunion. This abnormal bump that pushes your big toe up against the others can be painful and frustrating. The joint ends up going in the opposite direction, away from its normal alignment. Instead of solving the problem or providing any relief, this causes even more pain as the joint gets larger and the toes get even more crowded. At some point, it makes sense to consider surgery.


Once a bunion begins, the pain and frustration alone are enough to send you running into the office of the closest foot surgeon. The bulging of the big toe begins to change the shape of one of your feet, making it difficult to find comfortable shoes. Without a shoe on, the toes are crowded; when you try to put any type of shoe on, the crowding is worse and the pain is often unbearable. There are not a lot of place that a person can go without wearing shoes.

The overlapping of the toes often creates corns and callouses that ensure that patients feel pain throughout the foot. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of relief when it comes to the pain and eventually the big toe loses some of its mobility. When that happens a person needs to talk to a foot surgeon as soon as possible to ensure that he or she gets some type of relief.

The Surgical Procedure

A foot surgeon will talk to the patient about the type of anesthetic that will be used. Some patients are okay with just a local anesthetic while others needs to have some type of sedative to make sure that they feel comfortable with the procedure. Once the area is numb, it is time to go in and make adjustments to the big toe. There are multiple ways that the operation can be handled and it is important that both the doctor and patient talk about which procedure will be used and how it will affect the person's feet.

It is possible for the operation to remove the area of the toe that is bulging out. This is called a bunionectomy and it only takes about an hour to have the work completed. Other patients opt for realignment of the ligaments, removal of some of the bone of the toe, or a fusion of the big toe joint. In some cases, if the bunion is severe enough, it may require that an implant be inserted or a completely artificial joint.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Get Rid of Foot Cramps

Foot cramps can be at the least annoying and at the most quite painful. It can be caused due to various factors like foot exertion, improper blood circulation, substance abuse, malnutrition etc. Foot cramps may also be caused when your feet don't get enough oxygen due to poor blood circulation to the feet. The best relief for foot cramps is stretching exercises. Though annoying, they are not a cause for concern by themselves but sometimes may lead to serious problems. So it is a good idea to see a podiatrist if you have severe foot cramps often.

You can lessen the chances of developing foot cramps by wearing right-fitting shoes. Do some simple stretching before you do any kind of exercise program to loosen the muscles. It is very important to loosen the leg muscles before you take a swim as you may get foot cramps in the water. When you have a cramping sensation, place your feet under running water alternating between cool water and warm water. Follow this with a good foot massage for five to ten minutes.

Do you have peripheral vascular disease? 
You may have peripheral vascular disease when there is poor blood circulation to the feet and legs. The walls of the arteries get thickened and this may lead to this foot problem. It could occur due to diabetes. Some of the common symptoms of Peripheral vascular disease are a dull cramping pain in the calf muscle or numbness or tingling in the foot or toes. There may also be changes in the color of the skin.

This problem can be treated though it may take a while and you have to be extra careful with your foot hygiene while it is healing. It is also important to wear right fitting footwear that does not cause too much pressure. If you have any corns or calluses, get it treated immediately because if you don't, the skin may break down and may be difficult to heal later on.

Treating children's foot problems 
Proper foot care and foot treatment should begin in childhood. Some common foot disorders that affect children are flat feet, ingrown toenails and knock knees. Preventive foot treatment is important to your child. Many children walk in an awkward way which is termed pigeon toed, flat footed, or bowlegged. This may not cause pain at present but may get worse and cause pain as they get older. It is important for parents to get these foot disorders treated early. Curved feet and tendon contractures are other childhood foot problems. A podiatric doctor will be able to diagnose the problem and treat the child.

Some complaints from children could be because of what is called growing pains. The bones grow faster than tissues, tendons and ligaments and so may take several months to catch up to the length of the bones. This causes pain but it will pass. But do not ignore any complaint of pain from your child.

Treat your tendonitis 
The tendon is found at the end of the muscle and attaches the muscle to the bone. Athletes overwork their tendons during rigorous practice and this may stress the area and cause tendonitis. Tendonitis is usually found in the foot as we use it the most and this is true for every one of us, not just athletes. The muscle gets tired and weakens, which may cause pain and swelling. Podiatrists or foot doctors may ask you to wear a support to restrict movement and help it heal. Your podiatrist may also want you to take an ultrasound to check the damage. If the pain persists, an MRI Scan may need to be taken in case there is a tear in the tendon or a rupture where the tendon meets the bone.

Athletes need to see a good foot doctor who understands sports injuries and can help, as severe tendonitis can hamper their sports career. They should go back for follow up visits after they are better, especially when they get back to their normal training and participation in competitions. Sometimes corrective surgery may be needed to realign the tendon.