Do you have painful feet? According to American Family Physician, about 40 percent of American adults have some degree of foot or ankle pain. Do these individuals need podiatric surgery? The answers to this question vary, say your foot and ankle surgeons in Watsonville and Santa Cruz, CA--Dr. Nicole Surdock, Dr. Mark Brenis, and Dr. Alvie Hurray. However, a podiatric examination at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County can tell you for sure. Read about the reasons for foot or ankle surgery and what other treatments help ease pain and correct dysfunction in the lower extremities.
Pain and dysfunction
Your feet take you everywhere and allow you to play sports and stay active. Frankly, they're complex, composed of 26 bones and a network of numerous muscles and connective tissues. Wear and tear, disease (arthritis, diabetes), congenital defect, and injury can change how well your feet ambulate, bend and stretch, and receive sensations.
While your foot and ankle surgeon in Watsonville and Santa Cruz often employs conservative treatments and lifestyle changes to correct foot and ankle issues, sometimes surgery is the best option. Then, your podiatrist can follow-up your care with physical therapy, assistive devices, medications, and more to keep your surgically corrected foot or ankle healthy and functioning.
Reasons for getting foot or ankle surgery
There are several reasons. In general, your podiatrist will advise surgery to:
- Improve function, range of motion, and ambulation
- Correct congenital defects
- Debride and heal diabetic foot ulcers or other soft tissue problems (such as neuromas, or cysts)
- Remove bunions (boney deformities at the base of the big toes)
- Correct hammertoes (which often result from bunions)
- Align crooked joints
- Relieve pressure, friction, and pain
- Heal infection
- Prevent future problems with circulation, function or gait
Today's podiatric surgeries
Fortunately, many of today's foot and ankle surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, some with simple local anesthetic. After your examination, X-rays and other imaging at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County, you'll receive a complete, individualized care plan, telling you what will happen before, during and after your surgery. Your complete recovery is paramount to Dr. Brenis, Dr. Surdock, and Dr. Hurray, and you can rely on their skill, experience, and compassionate attitudes to help you get moving again.
Find out more
If you are having a new podiatric issue, or have been dealing with one and think surgery is in your future, please contact The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County for a personal consultation. The team is happy to explain your options and answer all your questions. Call the Santa Cruz office at (831) 475-7900, or the Watsonville office at (831) 728-8844.
Have you ever experienced an ankle sprain?
Often times while walking you may lose your balance resulting in a pain that quickly goes away. Sometimes, however, that pain lingers, which means you may be suffering from an ankle sprain. This is why your Watsonville and Santa Cruz, CA, podiatrists, who also serve the Scotts Valley area, have some information you need to take into consideration.
More On Ankle Sprains
One of the most common foot injuries, ankle sprains aren't just because you lost your balance. It can be a result of playing sports or walking and/or running on uneven surfaces.
Ankle sprains are usually accompanied by swelling and severe pain while standing on your foot. A sprained ankle indicates you've stretched or torn one or more of your outer ankle ligaments.
People can sometimes confuse an ankle sprain with a bone fracture, which is why it's important to visit your Watsonville, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley doctor. They will examine your ankle and detect the exact problem using an x-ray. Note that this is extremely important because of the severe long-term repercussions if you don't take care of your ankle.
Treating Your Sprained Ankle
Treating your sprained ankle properly will improve your chances of a speedy recovery.
Rest: Don't walk or place any weight on your ankle. Crutches may help, as well as an ankle brace during the healing process.
Ice: Wrap ice in a cloth to prevent direct skin contact, then place it on your ankle for less than 20 minutes at a time.
Elevate: Reclining your foot will help with the swelling.
Rehabilitating your ankle after you can stand on it is necessary. Your doctor will provide you with certain exercises to strengthen your:
You shouldn't try to overexert yourself. You'll be able to walk, jog, run, and do other activities you love as long as you take proper care of the rehabilitation and recovery process of your sprained ankle.
For more information on how to deal with sprained ankles, just call your Watsonville and Santa Cruz, CA, podiatrists, who also serve the Scotts Valley area, today.
It’s important to understand how to properly care for your aging feet over the years.
We know we don’t have to tell you that a lot changes as you age. Suddenly, concerns you never had about your health become reality and you try to discover ways to deal with them as best you can. Of course, it’s important not to forget about the one part of your body that takes quite a beating just getting you around day in and day out. Our Scotts Valley, CA, podiatrists are here to offer up some advice on caring for aging feet.
Check Your Feet Daily
It’s important to thoroughly examine your feet each and every day for any changes that may occur (even small ones) that could be trying to warn you that a serious issue is happening. As you may already realize, your circulation changes as you get older, which means less blood flow to your feet. Sometimes neuropathy, nerve damage and other issues set in that make it difficult to fully feel your feet. These daily inspections ensure that if you do have a problem you actually catch it right away.
Prevent Fungal Infections
Keeping your feet dry is imperative to preventing fungal infections from happening. While fungal infections are rarely serious they can be difficult to get rid of. Prevent this issue from happening altogether by keeping your feet dry at all times. This means completely drying off your feet after washing them. If you suffer from sweaty feet, it’s also a good idea to apply an antifungal powder to your feet and shoes prior to wearing them.
Use Gentle Products
The soap you wash with could end up drying out your skin and cause the skin to crack, particularly in the colder months. To prevent feet from drying out it’s important that you only use mild cleansers and that you even apply a moisturizer to your feet after showering or bathing.
Be kind to your feet and they’ll be kind to you. Whether you are dealing with foot pain or you just have questions about caring for your aging feet, our podiatric team offers locations in Santa Cruz, CA, and Watsonville, CA, to serve you better. Schedule a consultation with The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County today.
Bunions are a common foot problem caused by a deformity in the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) at the base of the big toe. Although anyone can develop a bunion, they tend to be more common in women. The most common sign of a bunion is pain and the protrusion of the bone at the MTP joint, which also causes the big toe to veer at an angle towards the other toes. Bunions develop gradually and tend to get worse over time, depending on the severity of damage to the joint. The podiatrists at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County in Santa Cruz and Watsonville, CA and serving the Scotts Valley area offer diagnostic and treatment options for bunions and other foot and ankle conditions and injuries.
Bunion Treatment in Scotts Valley, Watsonville and Santa Cruz
When the bones in the metatarsophalangeal joint move out of alignment, it can result in a bunion. The most common cause of bunions is repeatedly wearing tight, narrow shoes or high heels that squeeze the toes together at the tip of the shoes, but there are other potential causes such as:
- Family history/heredity - Foot deformities due to the shape and structure of the bones and arches tend to run in families
- An injury to the MTP joint
- An inflammatory joint condition like rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
The most common symptoms include:
- Pain and stiffness
- Protruding bone at the base of the toe
- Swelling and inflammation of the MTP joint
- Difficulty moving or putting pressure on the big toe
- Corns and calluses from poorly fitting shoes
Bunions range in severity, and can typically be treated with conservative options like investing in supportive footwear and inserts, orthotics, icing or medication. In very rare cases, a podiatrist may recommend surgery to correct a bunion if conservative treatments are insufficient and it is causing difficulty walking or fitting into shoes.
Find a Podiatrist in Scotts Valley, Watsonville and Santa Cruz
Don't let bunions or other foot and ankle conditions and injuries slow you down. For more information on injury prevention and treatment options, contact The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County by calling (831) 475-7900 to schedule an appointment in our Santa Cruz office, or (831) 728-8844 for Watsonville.
Our podiatrists are here to provide a little insight into your foot health.
So, you have questions for our Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz, CA podiatrists do you? We hear a lot of questions from patients, from whether they should get custom orthotics for sports or how to care for bunion pain. Here are some of the most common questions we hear regarding some very common foot problems that many Americans face.
Q. Why is foot care so important when you have diabetes?
A. Diabetes can affect any system within the body but feet tend to develop a lot of complications if you have unmanageable diabetes. One of the most common conditions we see in those with diabetes is neuropathy, which causes numbness and tingling in the feet. Neuropathy can also cause nerve damage and change the shape of your feet.
Diabetes also affects blood flow, so it may also take you longer to heal from an injury. Making sure you perform self-exams every day, clean your feet properly, trim your toenails, wear well-fitted shoes and come in for treatment if you are experiencing symptoms, will ensure healthy feet.
Q. What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?
A. Have you suddenly noticed that one of your toenails has started to yellow and become thick and brittle? If so, you could be dealing with a toenail fungus. Toenail fungus, also referred to as onychomycosis, can occur in any toenail and can even spread to other nails if left untreated.
Q. How is toenail fungus treated?
A. While there are over-the-counter creams and remedies, these creams can’t always get through the nail to reach the fungus underneath. In this case, it’s always a good idea to visit our Scotts Valley foot doctor for an oral antifungal medication that can wipe out the infection. If this medication still doesn’t work then we may need to talk about other options such as laser treatment.
Q. What is a bunion?
A. A bunion is a deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe. As the deformity gets larger, it can cause the big toe to lean in toward the smaller toes. Bunions can often cause pain and swelling around that area, and make wearing shoes rather painful.
Q. How are bunions treated? Do they always require surgery?
A. The only way to get rid of a bunion is to undergo surgery to repair it. Of course, this is only necessary if the bunion is severe and affecting your daily life. Otherwise, bunion symptoms can easily be managed through simple measures such as wearing properly fitted shoes, icing the joint, taking over-the-counter pain relievers and performing certain stretching exercises.
If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County in Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz, CA. We are always here to answer your questions and make sure that your feet are at their healthiest. Call us today!
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.