The Answers You Need to Settle Your Foot Care Questions
Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right answers to your questions. Other times it can be too embarrassing to even ask the right questions. That is why we take the initiative to answer common foot care queries without the need to be asked. Come get the answers you and your feet need.
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How can Tenex help with heel pain?
Heel pain can be caused by many things, but when the culprit is Achilles tendinitis, an ultrasound treatment called Tenex can reduce heel pain. Rather than masking the symptoms with medication or trying to fix the tendon with surgery, this therapy uses a minimally-invasive procedure to remove the damage and scar tissue so the tendon can heal and function normally without pain.
We use an ultrasound image to locate the damaged tissue. Then we numb the area and insert the TX MicroTip through a tiny incision right to the spot of the scar tissue or damage. Using high-frequency sound vibrations, the device breaks down the unwanted tissue and removes it. The action does not harm the surrounding healthy cells, but the vibrations stimulate them to reproduce and form new, healthy tissue.
The procedure is quick, and has few side effects because anesthesia is not needed, and there are no stitches to care for—just a regular bandage over the tiny incision. The pain relief may be almost immediate, and the tendon quickly heals. Most can return to activity in six weeks or less.
If you have sore heels, call Parker Foot & Ankle at (281) 497-2850 to see if this advanced treatment may help you.
Is surgery required for a broken heel?
Surgery for a broken heel may or may not be required based on the type of fracture it is:
- Stress fractures of the heel can occur with repetitive trauma during activity. These hairline cracks often heal fine with RICE therapy, immobilization if needed, and staying off your foot. Be sure you follow our instructions about resuming weight-bearing.
- A calcaneus fracture in which the bone is not displaced (fragments moved out of position) can also heal with conservative treatment. Immobilization will likely be necessary, as well as the use of crutches or knee walkers to keep all weight off your foot.
- When the bone is collapsed or crushed out of its normal outline, surgery will almost certainly be needed if you want a good outcome. We can realign the fragments and hold them in the correct position with plates or pins. A lengthy recovery period will follow as the bone knits and physical therapy helps you regain proper function in your foot.
Heel fractures are serious injuries that need prompt, expert medical care. Call Dr. Robert Parker at Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX for diagnosis and the appropriate treatment. You can also request your appointment online.
How quickly can laser therapy reduce my pain?
When considering laser therapy for pain, so much depends on the underlying condition that is causing your discomfort. Low level light therapy (LLLT) is a painless treatment that aims certain wavelengths of light at damaged tissue to help stimulate healing at the cellular level. It is particularly useful in helping to form new capillaries and reducing fluid buildup. This means less inflammation and swelling—two issues that often cause pain.
Each session may only take a few minutes, and some people feel a measure of relief after just one treatment. As a rule of thumb, you should begin to experience some measure of relief after three or four sessions.
Acute problems may respond better to daily treatment, while chronic conditions like arthritis pain may do better with a session every few days over a longer period. However, a condition like a painful foot ulcer may require many treatments before the slow-healing sore gets better and pain subsides.
Dr. Robert has been at the forefront of this revolutionary therapy in the Houston area for some years now, so call Parker Foot & Ankle at (281) 497-2850, or schedule online, and find the answer for your foot pain.
How does laser therapy reduce swelling?
Put simply, low level laser therapy (LLLT) or “cold laser” treatments help your circulatory and lymphatic system function better. Wavelengths of light in the 800 nanometer range increase activity at the cellular level, and when cells can repair themselves and grow more effectively, they do their jobs better.
Swelling happens in response to an injury or infection, when your body rushes more fluid, nutrients, and white blood cells to the damaged area. It does this to promote healing and fight off invading bacteria or disease. However, if your blood vessels and system of lymph glands are less than healthy, that fluid can build up, causing puffiness, pressure and pain.
By increasing cell action, LLLT helps tiny capillaries and lymphatic tissues in your feet and ankles become more permeable. This helps them absorb excess fluid and carry it out of your body more efficiently. The net result is less swelling for you, and therefore less pain. Wounds and tissues heal more quickly, and you are back on your feet again sooner.To discuss the possibilities of laser therapy for swelling, injury, or another foot issue, call Dr. Robert Parker in Houston, TX at (281) 497-2850 to set up an appointment at Parker Foot & Ankle, or schedule using our online form.
How long does it take to recover from turf toe?
Recovery time for turf toe depends on how severe the injury is. Like other sprains, a big toe sprain can be grade 1, 2 or 3, and each has different requirements for healing time:
Grade 1 – soft tissues a bit stretched out, no swelling or bruising. These rebound rather quickly if you stay off the foot and use strapping to limit toe movement—usually in just a few days.
Grade 2 – slight ligament tear(s), pain, swelling, some black and blue areas. They are treated with RICE – rest, icing, compression with taping or strapping, and equipment modifications, like stiffer shoes or orthotics to support the toe. You will likely miss 1 to 2 weeks of activity before it is healed well enough to play again.
Grade 3 - severe, with ligament tears, swelling, stiff joint, inability to bear weight, possible cartilage damage. These require more stringent treatment and possibly surgery to reconstruct the ligament capsule. Plan on 4 to 6 weeks before resuming any activities—maybe longer.
Trust your sports injuries to Houston’s expert podiatrist, Dr. Robert Parker, for effective treatment and considerate care. Call Parker Foot & Ankle at (281) 497-2850 and start your road to healing today.
How to Treat Pinched Nerve in Foot?
To figure out how to treat a pinched nerve in your foot, we need to first find out exactly which nerve is involved and what is pressing against it.
In your feet and ankles, common sites for nerve compression are between the bones in the ball of your foot and at the inside or outside of your ankle bones where nerves run from the calf to the foot.
Treating a pinched nerve starts conservatively with the simplest treatment of all—resting from activity. Massage and icing the affected area at certain intervals is also helpful. It is also a good idea to lose extra weight that is increasing pressure on your feet, and cutting sugar from your diet will help to reduce the inflammatory elements that irritate your nerves.
If pain continues other treatment options are available. A technique called neurogliding can help the nerves “glide in their respective tunnels.” and standard physical therapy can strengthen muscles to better support your foot structure and keep pressure off the nerve tissue. We may also recommend certain therapeutic nerve injections as pain relievers. Bracing, orthotics, and shoe modifications can help the nerves heal as well.
As a final option, new surgical procedures are available which are designed to decompress, release, or remove or alter the fibrous tissue that is pressing on the nerve. As the 2013 President and advanced surgical faculty member of the Association for Extremity Nerve Surgeons, Dr. Parker is one of the nation’s leading experts in surgical nerve decompression techniques.
Call our office at (281) 497-2850 or send a message through our contact form to schedule your appointment today.
What types of conditions benefit from laser therapies?
Laser therapy is growing in acceptance as more studies are done to measure how well it actually treats foot conditions. There are devices that use light wave lengths to heat and vaporize tissue (like those of toenail fungus cells). Other devices use lower levels and near infrared waves to relieve foot pain, reduce swelling and edema, and promote cell function and faster healing of tissues.
We currently use Multiwave Locked System (MLS), K-Laser, Hyper Bleu and therapeutic lasers to treat such things as:
- Plantar fascia pain
- Heel Spur Pain
- Achille’s Tendonits
- Post operative recovery/Tissue repair after surgery
- Arthritis and fibromyalgia pain
- Nerve pain and neuropathy symptoms
Other types of lasers that use light wavelengths to heat and vaporize tissue (like those of toenail fungus cells), including fungal nails and warts
To find out if this non-invasive, painless therapy could be the answer for your foot and ankle problems, give Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston a call at (281) 497-2850. We want to help you address your foot issues and be able to enjoy life fully once more.
When should I see a podiatrist?
Knowing what foot problems you can handle yourself and when to see a podiatrist can be tricky. Most would agree that a simple scrape, ingrown toenail, or athlete’s foot infection could probably be treated at home.
But even here there’s a caveat: if you have diabetes, it is always best to get professional help for foot problems. Why visit a podiatrist, even for simple problems like these? Because the risk of infection, gangrene, and amputation looms over any botched attempt to take care of them yourself.
If you are normally healthy, and the problem is minor, go ahead and try home treatment. If the issue doesn’t improve in a few days or a week, you can still call for help. With any injury, however, seek help right away. For example, symptoms for a sprain and a fracture can be similar. It’s best to get an accurate diagnosis right away. The same holds true for chronic problems that don’t improve with home remedies. Don’t keep walking on your foot and making a problem worse.
You won’t regret contacting Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston for our expert foot care. Just dial (281) 497-2850 or request your appointment online.
Does laser treatment for fungal toenails hurt?
No messy cream or polish to apply every day. No pills to take for weeks that could damage your liver or interfere with other medications. Laser treatment for fungal toenails is simple, typically takes about a half hour, requires no anesthesia, and is very effective at helping you get rid of the infection in your nails.
It uses intense light waves exactly calibrated so that the cells of the fungus heat up and vaporize until they are destroyed, but the tissue around them is not affected. Most patients do not feel pain, although the nail may feel very warm during treatment. There is a refrigerated tube that you can control to direct cool air onto the area being treated if you feel the need.
With our advanced Fotona laser, one to three treatments may be all you need to get rid of the fungus. Then you just wait until the new, healthy nail grows out. In difficult cases, you will need to follow a maintenance routine to keep the fungus from coming back. Want to learn more? Call Parker Foot & Ankle at (281) 497-2850 today for your free consultation!
Can kids get bunions?
When children form a bump on the inside of the foot by the big toe, it is called a juvenile bunion. It usually develops because of an inherited foot structure that includes loose ligaments in the joints, a flat arch structure, and/or a long first metatarsal connected to the big toe. In some cases, the problem can start showing up as early as 6 or 7 years of age, and the majority of cases occur in girls.
We are less likely to encourage surgery for a child’s bunion, because the bones are still growing and care must be taken to keep from damaging the growth plate. More likely treatments include advice on shoe choice, custom orthotics to realign the pressure on the foot, and things like stretches and night splints. Managing the problems conservatively is preferable, at least until your child has reached full growth in the feet, around 15 – 17 years of age.
If you are concerned about your child’s flat feet or possible bunion formation, give Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX a call at (281) 497-2850 and set up an appointment so we can evaluate the feet and decide what is best to be done.