FAQs

Surgery

Can I Drive After Bunion Surgery?

Surgical procedures performed on the right foot inhibit driving for some time after surgery. Each procedure is different and the length of time to heal is different for everybody. When you can walk without pain and are no longer taking pain management you will be permitted to drive with your right foot.

Can I Wear High Heels After Bunion Surgery?

It depends. Most surgical management of the bunion deformity at the joint of the first metatarsal is called joint preservation surgery.  These corrections allow the surgeon to place the joint back into anatomical position, which allow you to continue to wear a reasonable high heel. Conversely, sometimes the joint at the first metatarsal is so arthritic that it may require a surgical fusion, this no longer allows the joint to bend, making high heel shoes difficult to wear.

Do I Need To Wear A Cast After Bunion Surgery?

Most of the many surgical corrections of the joint at the level of the first metatarsal do not require that offloading of a cast.  However, there are several more extensive procedures that may require complete offloading and immobilization with a below knee fiberglass cast. Most of the surgical corrections of bunions require a soft post- operative dressing and a rigid post-operative shoe.

Does Ingrown Toenail Surgery Hurt?

Prior to performing an acute ingrown toenail procedure an injection of local anesthesia must be given into the digit.  This injection is uncomfortable due a burning sensation that is felt. We limit this discomfort with a topical refrigerant that is sprayed onto the toe prior to the injection. After the digit is numb form the anesthesia all you will feel is the touching and pressure of the procedure, not pain.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Bunion Surgery?

Depending the exact procedure preformed recover may be 4-6 weeks or 6-8 weeks.

Will I Be Able To Bend My Toes After Hammertoe Surgery?

There are three bones and two joints in each of your toes. The ability to bend your toes after surgery depends on the level of the deformity, which joints are affected, and if the deformity is flexible or rigid. Most hammertoes that require surgery don’t bend at one or more of these joints anyway, the purpose of the procedure is to rebalance the toe, mitigate the pain and allow the foot to fit back into a shoe.

Should I Be Scared of Ingrown Toenail Surgery?

Most patients fear has to do with the injection prior. After application of anesthesia, the procedure is relatively quick and painless.

General

What Is Post-Static Dyskinesia?

Post-static dyskinesia is a medical term referring to pain that occurs after a period of rest. It is often associated with heel pain, specifically plantar fasciitis. This condition is characterized by an inflammation of the fibrous band of tissues that run from your toes to your heel on the bottom of your foot. The inflamed band shortens and tightens when not in use—such as when you sleep or sit for a long period of time. Then, when you rise and try to put weight on your foot, it pulls on your heel, causing a stabbing pain.  This will subside as you walk around and the tissues loosen up, however, the relief is only temporary—pain will return again following a restful state.

Why is My Foot Dragging?

We would need to see you in person for an accurate diagnosis, but a foot dragging along the floor usually means a condition known as foot drop. Drop foot is actually more of a symptom, one which can develop in response to several underlying anatomical, muscular, or neurological conditions.

In many cases, the root cause of the dragging foot is a nerve injury, particularly with the peroneal nerve, which is responsible for controlling the muscles used to lift the foot. This nerve can become damaged in response to trauma, injury, and other circumstances which constrict it.

How Does Neuropathy and Nerve Compression Relate?

Patients come to see us for treatment when nerve issues affect their lower limbs. Our doctors are specifically trained and experienced to provide relief from the symptoms these issues cause, but we can also explain the relationship between neuropathy and nerve compression so patients better understand the problem.

Neuropathy is essentially a general term used to describe nerve damage or problems. This can be caused by various sources, including diabetes, infections, exposure to toxins, and physical trauma.

Nerve compression is a more specific issue experienced in isolated nerves, particularly where a nerve is either compressed or constricted in its fibrous tunnel. This happens solely as the result of external pressure on the nerve.

Both can cause the same symptoms, which include numbness, tingling, burning, stabbing pain, ulcers (open sores), curling of toes, cramping, and weakness or loss of stability in the lower limbs.

Our nerve experts here at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists will accurately diagnose the condition for you and then create an effective treatment plan to relieve existing symptoms and keep you safe from further problems.

Skin and Nail

Does Cutting a 'V' in My Nail Cure An Ingrown Toenail?

No.  The nail is formed by the matrix at the base. Cutting a notch or ‘v’ in the tip effectively does nothing to change the shape or growth of the nail into your skin.

Should My Toenails Bleed When I Cut Them?

No. The nail plate of the toes is made of a specialized keratin that has no blood vessels. If you see blood while cutting your nails it is possible that you have violated the soft tissue below the nail plate. A good rule of thumb is to leave just a sliver of white at the distal aspect of the nail plate.

Can I Get Acrylic Nails Put On My Toenails?

We suggest Keryflex, a treatment protocol that allows the nail fungus to be treated with an oral antifungal while restoring the cosmetic appearance of the natural nail.

Why Do I Need A Biopsy of My Plantar Wart?

There are many skin lesions that look similar to one another. We biopsy excised warts to verify that they are not a more serious type of lesion.

AFO

Can I Run In An AFO?

This is not a straight yes or no question as the answer is highly dependant upon first, the level of instability of the muscles that cross the ankle and second, the type and or construction of the AFO.  As a general rule, if the reason you are wearing the AFO is primarily an ankle instability issue, then in most cases you can run and be very active in the AFO just as many professional athletes wear knee braces during play.  With that being said, there are varying materials that these braces are made of and some are more designed for strenuous activity than others.  You should always ensure that you communicate to your doctor that you wish to run or do other activities in your AFO so that information can be taken into account with the construction and design of your particular device.

What Are The Different Types of AFO?

In short, there are primarily two different types of AFO’s – Hinged, and Non Hinged or Solid AFO’s. The hinged type is used when the stability of the ankle is an issue but the muscle function is intact. The Solid or Non Hinged AFO is used when there are varying degrees of muscle weakness or instability and the brace has to do all or part of the job the muscles are no longer able to do.  

Orthotics

What Are The Benefits Of Orthotics?

From pain relief to biomechanical corrections, there are many benefits of orthotics for those with foot problems. An orthotic device slipped into your shoe can redistribute weight and reduce pressure in bothersome areas. This helps to alleviate pain and discomfort caused by conditions like plantar fasciitis, for example.

Orthotics also provide additional support for arches and ankles, increasing stability and possibly even preventing falls in older people. Podiatrists can even make custom orthotics that mold to your unique feet and address your specific problems. Although they will eventually provide additional comfort, orthotics shoe inserts do take some getting used to. There will be a period of “breaking-in” time, but once you get used to them, you’ll be amazed at the difference they make.

How Long Do Orthotics Last?

Although this varies, our experience has shown us that orthotics last for many, many years, as in five to ten for most people. With that being said, the top cover that over lies the actual plastic orthotic usually last from six months to five years or more for most people – depending on such variables as activity and time worn. This is to say that a full time construction worker will wear their orthotics differently than an administrator who spends much of their day behind a desk. With that being said, many people go for years without wearing down their top covers to any degree. The good news is that it is relatively inexpensive to replace the top cover and “refurbish” your orthotics once a year to once every two years on average. 

As a general rule, depending on the severity of your instability, once you “break in” the orthotics and they have been assessed or adjusted by your doctor, the orthotics will not move or change much over time. In some instances, if your instability is rather severe, you can – over time achieve a better structural position with your feet. In this case, you may choose to be reassessed by your doctor in one to two years as, in some instances, a better degree of correction can be attained. If this is the case, a new orthotic made in an even more corrected position can improve even further your alignment and thereby allowing you even better results. With this being said, the great thing about this type of custom orthotic is its ability to be adjusted. In many instances, a similar result can be achieved by a simple adjustment that your doctor can many times do in the office while you wait. It is because of these factors that you should follow up with your doctor and have your orthotics and your structural position assessed periodically so that you can maximize your results and your functional capacity to the greatest degree possible.

What's Better, A Full Or Partial Length Orthotic?

To a large degree, this falls under preference rather than right or wrong. There are advantages to both styles.  Whenever possible we suggest that your Doctor go with a full length orthotic because it will not slide or shift in your shoes and therefore is more efficient. With that being said, a possible disadvantage of a full length orthotic may arise when switching from shoe to shoe because the shape of the toe area varies from one shoe to another and whereas the orthotic may fit perfectly in one shoe, it may not fit into another shoe you may wish to wear.
Conversely, a partial length orthotic does not have this issue and can be easily transferred from shoe to shoe.  However, this style may have a tendency to shift or move in the shoe until it has been worn for a time and allowed to “settle into” the shoe.  his is usually only a factor in the first week or two of wear.  

The advantage of being able to wear an orthotic in various shoe or sneaker styles does have limits.  An orthotic made for some shoes will function differently than an orthotic made for a sneaker. Orthotics made for dressy or fashionable styles are often too narrow to function correctly in what usually is a larger sneaker, work boot or conservative dress shoe. This is why many people ultimately get more than one pair of orthotics as they do not like to go without the support and comfort that the orthotics provide for any length of time.

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5000 Bee Caves Rd., Suite 202
Austin, TX 78746

P. 512-328-8900        

F. 512-328-8903

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