Our Feet are Our Foundation!
If you have ever had any foot and ankle condition or injury, you know how it can derail your life. The board-certified doctors and highly trained staff at North Texas Foot & Ankle (NTFA) spend their days addressing foot and ankle disorders for people of all ages and walks of life. Their purpose and passion are to help patients return to their daily activities and to the life they love.
With an emphasis on empowering knowledge and patient education, NTFA doctors take time to assure each patient understands the root causes of their injury or condition. They strive for patients to have a full understanding of the plan of care and treatment options as well as ongoing preventive treatment. With an emphasis on conservative care, they will explore nonsurgical options before considering surgery with the ultimate goal of patient’s returning to their active lifestyle.
As patient’s health is their primary concern, NTFA has made adjustments in their daily routines due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, NTFA has implemented more extensive cleaning protocols, limits the number of people in waiting rooms, screens temperatures on every person entering the office, and provides telemedicine appointments when applicable. In addition, patients are given the option to wait in their cars until their appointment time, and NTFA offers curbside delivery of podiatric products to minimize contact.
Heel Pain Got You Down?
Heel pain can be frustrating and can often become severe, disrupting daily life. When heel pain persists, conditions such as tarsal tunnel syndrome, stress fracture, or tendonitis need to be considered. However, plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain.
Traditional treatment methods for plantar fasciitis include ice, stretching, arch supports, medications, and injections, as well as physical therapy. However, if these standard treatment methods fail, there are alternative noninvasive treatments besides surgery.
Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT)
Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) shockwave therapy is a breakthrough treatment that uses a wave of pressure transmitted to the source of pain to improve circulation and promote natural healing.
This FDA-approved, highly effective, noninvasive treatment has virtually no risks or side effects. In fact, 85% of patients report significant pain reduction after only three sessions, although it may take six to eight weeks for maximum benefit. In addition to eliminating pain, EPAT shockwave therapy restores full mobility. It’s a great option for diabetics, others at high risk, or those wanting to avoid surgery.
Each EPAT treatment session lasts five to 10 minutes. There is no bruising or down time after the in-office procedure. Typically, three sessions scheduled seven to 10 days apart are needed to offer pain relief and mobility restoration.
MLS Laser Therapy
MLS therapy uses an MLS (Multiwave Locked System) pulse to simultaneously address swelling, pain, and loss of joint motion. Through exposure to the MLS laser, cells of tendons, ligaments, and muscles repair themselves faster, allowing pain to subside more quickly as inflammation is reduced. MLS therapy provides timely healing of sprains and strains, rapid recovery of the structural integrity of the injured region, immediate improvement of local blood circulation, and rapid repair of superficial injuries such as wounds and ulcers. Each treatment lasts 10 to 15 minutes without the need for local anesthesia. MLS laser therapy is a highly effective, affordable, and noninvasive option to manage pain, inflammation, and other conditions without injections, medications, or surgery.
“Should I Fix My Bunions?”
A bunion is caused by shifting in the bones of the foot due to the pull of muscles and tendons. Often you may notice your big toe moving towards the second toe, or a bump forming on the inside of your foot. It is estimated that approximately 25% of the population have bunions. Typically, bunions are genetic, secondary from altered foot structure and altered mechanics. Treatments include:
- shoe modification
- activity modifications
- injection for bursitis
Because bunions are a progressive disorder, they often become more painful with time. Therefore, many people chose to have their bunions surgically corrected. There are many surgical options available for bunion correction. A common misconception is that a bunion is an overgrowth of bone that can simply be “shaved off”. In reality, bunions are mechanically complex. In most cases, bunion surgery includes correcting the alignment of the bone and repairing the soft tissues around the big toe joint. The best procedure for one person isn’t necessarily the best for another.
Lapiplasty 3D correction of Bunions
One of the newest procedures for bunion correction is lapiplasty. This bunion correction technique is referred to as 3D bunion correction since it addresses the bunion in different dimensional planes. This procedure corrects the midfoot mechanical instability that attributes to bunions which renders more effective long-term results. Another benefit of this procedure is that the surgery allows for early weight bearing in a boot.
There are many variables in selecting a bunion procedure. The key to success is finding an experienced surgeon who understands each variable and who has the skills to perform all types of procedures.
“Can I Blame My Parents for My Flat Feet?”
The simple answer, “Yes!” However, the answer is more complicated in theory. Although flat feet tend to run in families, they are the result of altered foot mechanics. Flat feet are normal in infants and toddlers, prior to walking when the longitudinal arch isn’t developed. Most feet are flexible, and an arch appears when children begin standing on their toes, then continues to develop throughout childhood. By adulthood most people have developed normal arches.
Flat feet are generally associated with pronation, a leaning inward of the ankle. Shoes of individual’s who pronate, when placed side by side, will lean toward each other. Although some people with flat feet don’t experience any discomfort, over time altered foot mechanics generally causes tendon and joint fatigue and pain.
Painful, progressive flatfoot, otherwise known as tibialis posterior dysfunction or adult-acquired flatfoot, refers to inflammation of the tendon responsible for holding up the arch. This condition arises when the tendon becomes inflamed, stretched, or torn. Left untreated, it can lead to severe disability and chronic pain. People are predisposed to tibialis posterior dysfunction if they have flat feet or an abnormal attachment of the tendon to the bones in the midfoot.
Orthotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, icing, physical therapy, supportive taping, and bracing are common treatments for painful, progressive flatfoot. But sometimes surgery is recommended to repair a torn or damaged tendon and restore normal function. In some cases, particularly in children or adults without significant arthritic development, a small stent can be placed to help restore the arch.
Sinus Tarsi Implant
This small implant is placed into the sinus tarsi (behind the arch) preventing abnormal excessive pronation and restoring normal biomechanical function of the foot. This procedure is minimally invasive and allows restoration of the arch. In addition, the implant can be utilized in adults as well as children since it does not disrupt the growth plate.
For more information, visit NTFoot.com or call 214-574-WALK (9255) to schedule an appointment.