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By Foot & Ankle Institute
July 25, 2017
Category: Foot Procedures
Tags: Bunions  

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 bunionsacquired 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
  • Obesity
  • Age (typically over 60)

Treating bunions

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.

Learn more

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.

By Foot & Ankle Institute
May 25, 2017
Category: Foot Procedures
Tags: Surgery  

If foot surgery has been recommended, you may certainly have some questions that need answering.Foot Surgery

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:

  • Bunions
  • Rigid hammertoes
  • Joint damage due to arthritis
  • Neuromas
  • 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.

By Foot & Ankle Institute
March 15, 2017
Category: Podiatry Services
Tags: foot surgery   ankle surgery  

Find out if it’s time to talk us about whether foot surgery is right for you.foot surgery

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?

Tendon Injuries

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.

By Foot & Ankle Institute
January 26, 2017
Category: Podiatry Services
Tags: Foot Fracture  

A fractured foot requires immediate medical attention so don’t let it go ignored.

You are in the heat of the game. You see the football being thrown in your direction. It looks like there is no one around. You catch the stress fractureball just in time to start running, but before you know it you are being tackled. You slam into the ground and the next thing you know you are trying desperately to put weight on your foot but the pain is too unbearable. You could be dealing with a stress fracture. Our West Houston podiatrists, Dr. Samuel Mendicino, Dr. Asia Lo and Dr. Manish Patel, offer up some common signs of a fractured foot and what to do about it.

What is a stress fracture?

This refers to a small crack in one of the bones of the foot. Since this condition is often the result of overuse or repetitive movements, it is most often seen in athletes. The bones of the foot and lower leg, which take on the majority of the weight when you move, are particularly prone to stress fractures during certain physical activities. While a stress fracture can occur in any bone in the foot or ankle it most often happens to the second or third metatarsals, the long bones in the foot, since this region often takes the greatest impact when walking or running.

What is a toe or forefoot fracture?

These types of fractures are relatively common and are typically the result of a traumatic injury or blow to the foot. Just like stress fractures, this is commonly seen in athletes.

What are the symptoms of an ankle or foot fracture?

The most common symptom you will experience is pain in the foot or ankle. If you have a stress fracture you may not notice pain right away, as it might gradually show up over time and get worse with certain high-impact activities. Other symptoms include,

  • Bruising near the fracture
  • Pain that goes away when resting
  • Pain that is aggravated by movement or daily activities
  • Swelling of the foot or ankle
  • Pain or difficulty bearing weight (often the case with toe or forefoot fractures)

It’s important that you see one of our West Houston foot and ankle doctors right away if you are experiencing symptoms of a stress fracture. Since there are many other conditions that can cause these symptoms it’s important that we diagnose the problem so that we can create a treatment plan that gets you back into the action as soon as possible.

If you are worried that you may be dealing with a fractured ankle or foot then it’s time you called Foot & Ankle Institute in West Houston, TX today, at (281) 531-4100. The sooner you seek treatment the better.

By Foot & Ankle Institute
December 07, 2016
Category: Podiatry Services
Tags: heel pain  

Are you baffled by what might be causing your heel pain?

Heel pain is a nasty little issue, particularly if you are someone who leads an active lifestyle. It’s amazing how quickly heel pain can heel paindictate what you can and can’t do. Discover the common causes of heel pain and when to see one of our West Houston, TX podiatrists--Dr. Samuel Mendicino, Dr. Asia Lo and Dr. Manish Patel--for care.

Most of the time, heel pain occurs as a result of repetitive stress placed on the heel and not by a single foot injury. Foot conditions that often cause heel pain include:

Plantar fasciitis: an inflammatory condition that affects the plantar fascia ligaments and causes aching, burning pain in the heel that is often exacerbated when first moving around in the morning or after exercise.

Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa at the back of the heel can result from landing awkwardly on your heel or landing too hard on a surface.

Achilles tendinitis: Along with plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis is often the second leading cause of heel pain. This inflammatory condition that affects the tendon on the back of the leg near the heel is usually the result of an overuse injury.

Inflammation of the heel pad: if the heel pad of the foot becomes too thin or if you have heavy footsteps than you may be more likely to experience heel pad inflammation.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome: If the nerve at the back of the foot is entrapped or pinched this can cause tarsal tunnel syndrome, a type of compression neuropathy that can affect both the feet and the ankles.

Stress fracture: Just as the name suggests, this condition is often seen in runners or athletes who place their feet under repeated stress.

It’s nearly impossible to be able to know the exact cause of your heel pain without first turning to our West Houston foot and ankle specialists for help. It’s important to see us if you experience heel pain that:

  • Persists even when you aren’t walking or standing
  • Is so painful that you are unable to move around
  • Lasts for several weeks and doesn’t get better with at-home care

Don’t let heel pain get you down. Find out what is causing your problems and nix it in the bud so that you can get back to what really matters. Turn to the Foot & Ankle Institute in West Houston, TX for the care your feet need.

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