If you've noticed heel pain upon waking up in the morning or standing after a long day of driving your car, you may be dealing with plantar fasciitis. If the pain worsens after climbing stairs or standing for a long period of time, it's even more likely that this is your problem. This is a common foot condition seen by Dr. Asia Lo, Dr. Manish Patel, and Dr. Samuel Mendicino, our podiatrists at the Foot and Ankle Institute of West Houston, TX. They've answered a few questions they hear frequently from their patients who have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.
What is the plantar fascia?
In addition to bones and muscles, your body has stretchy bands of tissue, called ligaments and tendons, that connect these structures and facilitate movement. The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs across the arch of the foot, connecting the bone directly behind the toes to the heel and allowing you to stand, walk, and run properly.
What is plantar fasciitis?
The ligament known as the plantar fascia is made to take a lot of pressure, as it's used constantly. However, certain situations and conditions can cause it to become swollen, inflamed, and painful. If you have anatomical issues in your foot such as high arches, flat feet or a pronated gait, it can affect the way your plantar fascia functions. Jobs that require a lot of standing or walking can also send you to your West Houston podiatrist with heel pain. Being overweight or beginning a new running or walking exercise routine too rapidly can also cause plantar fasciitis.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
The good news is that plantar fasciitis is often treated with conservative methods such as at-home exercises, reducing activity, and wearing shoe inserts or finding a more supportive pair of shoes. However, if your heel pain continues, your West Houston foot and ankle specialist may suggest other treatments such as steroid injections or surgery.
You don't have to live with heel pain. Contact the Foot and Ankle Institute in West Houston, TX to make an appointment with one of our skilled podiatrists today!
Puncture wounds can occur just about anywhere on the body, but they're most likely to happen on your feet from stepping on something sharp. To avoid potentially serious infections, it's important to understand how puncture wounds affect the body and what can be done to treat them. The podiatrists at the Foot & Ankle Institute of West Houston, Texas - Dr. Asia Lo, Dr. Samuel Mendicino, and Dr. Manish Patel - can help if you are dealing with a puncture wound.
What is a puncture wound?
Unlike cuts or scrapes, which go across the skin's surface, puncture wounds on the feet are vertical injuries that often occur from stepping on a sharp object such as a nail or splinter. They can also occur from animal bites due to the shape and length of the canine teeth. Puncture wounds do not typically bleed much and may look and feel minor, but your West Houston podiatrist cautions all patients to have these types of injuries evaluated.
Why are puncture wounds potentially dangerous?
When a sharp object breaks the skin, it can leave behind any bacteria or other germs. Because of their shape and size, most cuts can usually be cleaned well enough to avoid serious infection. Puncture wounds, however, trap the bacteria inside the skin's deeper surfaces, making it difficult or impossible to clean them effectively. This can lead to potentially serious complications, including tetanus, a bacterial infection that affects the function of the nervous system.
How are puncture wounds treated?
If you step on a nail or other sharp object, your West Houston podiatrist recommends removing the object if possible. The wound should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water. You should also call the Foot & Ankle Institute to report the injury; our medical staff will determine if you need to be seen. Animal bites, especially from wild animals or those that may not have had a rabies vaccine, always warrant medical treatment.
How can I prevent puncture wounds?
The best way to prevent puncture wounds on the feet is to wear sturdy shoes at all times outdoors. Parents and caregivers should make sure to keep their children's feet protected as well and discourage playing around old buildings and other structures that may contain nails or other sharp objects. To prevent animal bites, avoid contact with wild or stray animals.
For injuries, ongoing problems or any other foot and ankle related issue, trust your West Houston podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Institute! Contact us today for an appointment.
Are you experiencing pain in the area of your big toe? Do you notice redness and a bony bump? These symptoms commonly belong to an acquired foot deformity called a bunion. Also known as hallux valgus, bunions affect up to 23 percent of adults in the United States, say the National Institutes of Health. More sufferers are women, but men get bunions, too. Your West Houston, TX, podiatrists, Dr. Samuel Mendecino, Dr. Asia Lo and Dr. Manish Patel at the Foot & Ankle Institute, can help you deal with the pain, deformity and even immobility that happens with bunions. They'll get you back on your feet and feeling great again.
Bunions and how we get them
A bunion is located at the base of the big toe. Through repeated pressure or even through wearing tight, pointed shoes, that first toe joint can develop stiffness and inflammation. Left untreated, the toe itself begins to turn toward the second toe. Other foot deformities such as hammertoes happen, too.
When your podiatrist in West Houston, TX, sees bunions, he or she tries to understand how they may have developed so they may be treated properly. The staff at the Foot & Ankle Institute maintain that several factors lead to bunion formation:
- Heredity (bunions can run in families)
- Narrow shoes
- High heels
- Repetitive stress such as bouncing on the toes during a tennis game
- Age (typically over 60)
While your foot doctor in West Houston cannot eliminate everything that produces bunions, they do advise wearing sensible shoes with wide toe boxes and heels no higher than one inch. Additionally, warm soaks comfort aching feet as do pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Of course, over the counter gel pads and moleskin cotton padding take pressure off this bony prominence. In addition, the doctors at Foot & Ankle Institute offer customized shoe inserts (also called orthotics) which correct gait problems, align the big toe joint and allow for foot flexibility.
As a final resort, the podiatrist may recommend surgery. Bunion surgeries aim to realign the toe and take pressure off the underlying structures such as the sesamoid bones). Just like orthotics, bunion surgeries are highly customized to accomplish the best results for individual patients. The professional staff at Foot & Ankle Institute has extensive experience in all kinds of podiatric surgeries. So you know that with proper rest, immobilization if needed and recovery time, your bunion surgery will produce great results.
If you suspect you have a bunion or other foot deformity, please don't wait. Dr. Mendecino, Dr. Lo and Dr. Patel are the West Houston, TX, podiatrists you can trust to solve your problem. For a personal consultation, please contact the office at (281) 531-4100.
If foot surgery has been recommended, you may certainly have some questions that need answering.
While foot surgery is something you certainly don’t want to hear, our West Houston, TX, podiatrists - Dr. Samuel Mendicino, Dr. Asia Lo and Dr. Manish Patel - will often only recommend it if it’s the last resort and other more conservative methods have failed to work. Here are some of the most common questions associated with foot surgery to help shed a little light and ease your nerves.
Q. What types of foot surgeries are out there?
A. There are a wide variety of surgical options out there for treating a host of foot problems including:
- Rigid hammertoes
- Joint damage due to arthritis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Bumps and cysts
- Achilles tendon ruptures or tears
- Arthritis of the ankle
- Heel spurs
Q. What type of anesthesia will I get?
A. This is certainly something to discuss with our West Houston foot doctor during your consultation. There are some minor surgeries that can often just be performed with local anesthesia, while major surgeries will often require general anesthesia. If you are awake for your surgery, ask us about sedation options to help ease your anxiety and nerves to make your procedure more comfortable for you.
Q. How long will my recovery period be?
A. This will depend on a variety of factors including the type of surgery you receive (major vs. minor), the severity of the condition we are treating, as well as your overall health. Some people find that it only takes a couple weeks after their surgery to feel like they are on the mend, while others may be in remission for a couple of months. When you come in for a consultation, we can provide an estimate for how long we think your recovery period will take.
Q. Will I need to take time from work?
A. Most people worry about having to take too much time off of work, but it’s also important that you get the rest you need to properly heal. Irritating and exacerbating your foot after surgery will only cause your recovery period to be longer. A lot will depend on the type of job you have and what surgery you have to undergo. If you have a sedentary job then you may be able to go back after a week. For those with more active jobs, you may have to take a couple of weeks off and then go back to work with restrictions for several more weeks.
Call Foot & Ankle Institute in West Houston, TX, if you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming foot surgery. If you are dealing with painful foot symptoms call us for the care you need to get back on your feet.
Find out if it’s time to talk us about whether foot surgery is right for you.
It’s always ideal to avoid surgery whenever possible. I think we can all agree on that. However, there are certain foot and ankle problems that may actually benefit greatly from surgery over other more conservative methods. From the office of our West Houston, TX, podiatrists - Dr. Samuel Mendicino, Dr. Asia Lo and Dr. Manish Patel - find out more about when to consider foot and ankle surgery.
Why foot surgery?
While our goal as your West Houston foot doctor is to make sure that we are able to treat and/or manage your foot and ankle conditions through more conservative and non-invasive treatments; unfortunately, this isn’t always an option.
If we’ve been working with you to provide a wide variety of non-surgical interventions but they just aren’t managing your symptoms, then it’s time for us to step in with more drastic measures. Surgery, in some cases, may be the only way to eliminate severe pain or improve how your foot functions.
What are some conditions that may require surgery?
Whether you are dealing with structural abnormalities or a sports-related injury, there are many reasons why a tendon may need surgery. Perhaps you ruptured the tendon on the playing field or you were born with a shortened Achilles tendon, which is causing chronic and severe pain. In these cases, tendon surgery may be recommended.
While some people can find relief through medications and other arthritis therapies, surgery may be recommended to fuse together one or more joints so improve how your foot functions. In some cases, pins or plates are also put into the foot to help support and strengthen weakened feet.
Bunions can often be managed through simple at-home care and by wearing proper footwear. Of course, if your deformity is so severe that it is causing persistent pain and making it difficult to walk around or go about your day then it’s time to talk to us about surgery. Surgery is the only way to actually repair a bunion.
If you have questions about foot surgery or want to talk to our podiatrist about whether it might be the next step in your treatment, call Foot & Ankle Institute of West Houston, TX, to schedule a consultation with us.
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