Podiatry FAQs


Podiatry FAQs

How do I know surgery is the right option?

Surgery may be necessary if other, less invasive treatments do not work.

How long is recovery after foot surgery?

The patient is advised to keep the foot propped up and protected from pressure, weight and injury while it heals. Complete recovery may take 3-5 weeks or longer.

Will I have to go through rehabilitation?

Some exercises and physical therapy may be recommended to restore strength and range of motion after surgery.

Will I have to wear special shoes after surgery?

Patients can expect to have some shoe restrictions for the rest of their life, but will mainly have to be sure shoes fit properly. Tight-fitting shoes can cause the conditions to return.

What is the difference between a bunion and hammer toe?

Bunions are a deformity that cause the big toe to point toward the second one. This causes a bump on the edge of the foot at the joint of the big toe. Hammer toe is a deformity of the second, third or fourth toes that cause them to bend down like a claw.

Are there any risks involved with surgery?

Risks are minimal but can include infection, numbness in the toe and failure of the procedure that requires additional surgery.

What causes bunions or hammer toe?

In most cases toe deformities are caused by a muscle imbalance of the foot or having flat feet. Bunions can cause hammer toes and both conditions can be caused from wearing short, narrow shoes.

Heel Spurs FAQs

Who gets plantar fasciitis?

Though most often seen in middle-aged men and women, anyone can get plantar fasciitis. It is also seen in people who gain weight rapidly, runners and other athletes.

When should I call my doctor?

If you don’t see much progress in heel pain after a few weeks of stretching and rest, call your doctor. But call sooner if the pain worsens, you have diabetes or any other condition that causes poor circulation.

How can I prevent plantar fasciitis?

Maintain a healthy weight, wear supportive shoes, buy new athletic shoes after every 400 miles of use and start new activities slowly.

How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?

The doctor will look for points of tenderness in your foot, which can rule out tendonitis, arthritis or a cyst. He may also recommend an X-ray or MRI to rule out a stress fracture.

Bunion FAQs

My mom had bunions. Does that mean I will get them?

Bunions occur more commonly in women and sometimes run in families. People born with abnormal bones in their feet are more likely to form a bunion. Wearing narrow-toed, high-heeled shoes may lead to a bunion. The condition may become painful as extra bone and a fluid-filled sac grow at the base of the big toe.

How are bunions diagnosed?

Usually a doctor can diagnose a bunion by looking at it, but a foot X-ray can show an abnormal angle between the big toe and the foot.

Do I have to give up my stilettos if I have a bunion?

Yes. Many adults do well by caring for the bunion when it first starts to develop, and wearing different shoes is a big factor in caring for your feet.

When should I call my doctor?

It’s time to seek medical attention when the bunion continues to cause pain even after you have switched to wider shoes, it prevents you from participating in your daily activities and if there are any signs of infection like redness or swelling. If you have diabetes, call your doctor immediately.

Hammer Toe FAQs

Can I avoid surgery?

If the condition is treated early you can avoid surgery. Early treatment will also reduce pain and walking difficulty. Protect the protruding joint with corn pads or felt pads, corrective footwear or other foot devices. Exercises may also be helpful. Severe hammer toe will require an operation to straighten the joint. The surgery may involve cutting or moving tendons, or fusing the joints of the toe together.

What are some of the complications from hammer toe?

Possible complications include foot deformity and posture changes caused by difficulty walking.

I think my child has hammer toe. Is that possible?

The condition may be present at birth or develop from wearing short, narrow shoes. Hammer toe also occurs in children who continue to wear shoes they have outgrown.