Foot Problems and Treatments
Feet carry the average American 115,000 miles in a lifetime. They are complex structures with a lot of moveable parts: Each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments. So it’s no surprise that about 20 percent of Americans suffer a foot problem each year.
Our specialists usually start with conservative treatment: medication to ease pain, corrective orthotic inserts or braces, injections and/or physical therapy.
Bunions are enlargement of the bone or tissue at the base of your big toe. Bunions can be caused by flat feet, the way you walk, tight shoes or simply your inherited foot type. People with bunions often cope well by wearing wider shoes and taking pain medication when needed. If your bunion is causing severe pain or limits your ability to move around, the doctor may recommend surgery. There are many types of bunion surgery, but they all involve the removal or realignment of tissue and bone in the joint of your big toe.
Flat feet and cavus (high arch) foot realignment
Misalignments of the ankle and foot can be caused by injuries, fractures, arthritis, and congenital or neurologic conditions, among other problems. Our goal is to restore your alignment, stability and function, while minimizing pain. To do this, we use a number of techniques that help realign bone and lengthen or move tendons or ligaments.
Hallux Rigidus is arthritis in the joint of the big toe. It causes stiffness and pain when you push off your foot to walk. Medication, shoe inserts and special footwear can help ease pain and stiffness for mild to moderate cases. But when the arthritis becomes advanced, your doctor may suggest surgery. The surgeon may remove the damaged cartilage and fuse the big toe joint, which completely eliminates the arthritis. Or, if the arthritis is not so severe, the surgeon may shave bone spur on top of the joint. This gives your toe more room to bend.
Hammer toe is a bending in the joints of your toes. It can affect any toe except your big toe. Over time, hammer toe causes corns, calluses and foot pain when you wear shoes. Medication, orthotic inserts, pads and wide shoes can ease the pain and irritation for many people. If the hammer toe becomes rigid, or if it causes an open sore, your doctor may suggest surgery such as joint resection or fusion to straighten your toe.
Plantar Fasciitis is swelling or irritation of the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. It’s one of the most common foot problems, and is usually caused by overuse when you suddenly walk or run a lot, or have to stand on your feet all day. Plantar fasciitis usually goes away in four to six weeks with rest, ice, supportive shoes and foot stretches. The doctor may also recommend custom orthotics. In severe cases, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove a heel spur, loosen a foot nerve, or release tension in the plantar fasciitis ligament.