Everyone should see a podiatrist for accurate diagnoses and effective treatment for heel pain, bunions, hammertoes, skin growths and all other foot abnormalities. Podiatrists are physicians who specialize in foot and ankle care. Holding the professional title of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.), a podiatrist is qualified to examine and assess your feet and ankles to determine whether a health issue exists regarding the skin, bones, tendons and muscles associated with this part of the body. A D.P.M. is also qualified to perform surgery on feet and ankles.
Podiatrist Donna J. Hayes at the Foot Factor Podiatry LLC in Kenosha, WI provides nonsurgical and minimally invasive foot and ankle treatment at her office, in hospitals and at outpatient surgical centers. One of the most common foot procedures performed by Dr. Hayes is minimally invasive foot surgery to correct a wide variety of painful foot conditions.
What You Should Know About Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery
In the past, podiatrists had to depend on traditional surgery procedures requiring incisions longer than an inch, which meant extended recovery times for patients. Today, Dr. Hayes and other podiatrists are able to perform minimally invasive foot surgery that significantly shortens foot surgery recovery because it requires very small incisions. This type of surgery also reduces skin trauma, scarring and discomfort after surgery.
During minimally invasive foot surgery, Dr. Hayes may utilize scopes (arthroscopes) equipped with tiny cameras to view the interior of the foot. An endoscopic plantar fasciotomy is an example of a scope-assisted procedure that is indicated for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis.
Foot Conditions Treated with Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery
A hammertoe is a toe severely bent/contracted at the joint. In most cases, people develop hammertoes due to weakened muscles exerting excess pressure on the toe's tendons. Unless the muscle balance is addressed, the toe usually becomes deformed and painful. Another common reason for hammertoes is regularly wearing ill-fitting, pointy-toed or high-heeled shoes that pushed your foot down and forward. Eventually, stressed toe tendons weaken and are unable to keep the toe straight. You may be at risk for suffering a hammer toe if you have flat feet or high arches, rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, abnormally long or short foot and toe bones, a history of trauma to the toes, or a family history of hammertoes.
Minimally invasive foot surgery for hammertoes can involve tendon balancing procedures and or bone cuts to realign the toes. Traditional surgery involves removing the entire joint and fixating the toe with a wire through the tip of the toe. Tendon balancing procedures for hammertoes compensate for muscle weakness, reduce pain, and straighten the toe. there is often no need for wires with the minimally invasive approach to this problem.
Bunions are bony bumps that form at the base of the big toe joint. When the big toe is constantly pushed against the index toe and the joint is forced against the shoegear, the big toe's joint becomes bigger and prominent. Red and painful, bunions may also develop on the little (5th )toe's joint if that joint is always pushing against the fourth toe and the shoe.
Common causes of bunions include wearing narrow, tight shoes frequently, flat feet, abnormal foot bone lengths, arthritis or a family history of bunion deformity.
Minimally invasive foot surgery techniques used to treat bunions include releasing soft tissues that are holding the bones in a contracted position tissue around the joint, removing a portion of the extra boney buildup, and possibly bone cuts the reposition the bone to straighten the joint and the toe.
Toenails may need to be removed or partially removed when they become infected or diseased. Most toenails are removed because of severe toenail fungus (onychomycosis). An early sign of toenail fungus is the development of a yellow or white spot under the toenail that spreads. Unless the toenail is treated, the fungal infection will cause the toenail to thicken, turn dark yellow, crumble and become painful, especially when wearing shoes. People with circulatory disorders, weak immune systems or diabetes should not neglect a case of toenail fungus. The infection could cause the nail to split or become thickened and form a sore or infection under the nail.
Plantar Wart Removal
Plantar warts resemble standard wart growths but only appear on the bottom of the feet. Usually containing dark specks, plantar warts are painful and rarely disappear on their own. If you have plantar warts, it may feel like you have pebbles in your shoe when walking.
Pain caused by walking on plantar warts can alter your gait and posture. Abnormal adjustments to how you walk and stand may promote painful problems involving the muscles and bones of your legs and hips. Walking and standing in ways that produce less pressure on plantar warts may also interfere with stability and balance.
When standard treatments for removing plantar warts fail to prevent them from returning, Dr. Hayes may use a minimally invasive foot surgery technique called cantharone which causes the wart to blister off and usually involves little to no pain.
Infected calluses or calluses that return after removal may need minimally invasive foot surgery to permanently eliminate them. People with unusually foot bones that are prominent often suffer from calluses. A surgical technique involving the metatarsal bone will release the pressure and help reduce discomfort and the callous will usually resolve. This type of callus removal surgery may also prevent a callus from recurring and prevent ulcerations in at-risk patients.
Surgical removal of calluses is often needed for people with circulatory disorders or diabetes. Deep, large calluses or infected calluses require more than just scraping off layers of the callus with a scalpel or surgical blade. In addition, Dr. Hayes may need to clean infected calluses- which become ulcers after they have been surgically removed and bandaged.
Diabetic Foot Ulcerations
Diabetics should be aware of how crucial foot health is to their overall health. In addition to performing daily inspections of their feet, wearing proper-fitting shoes, monitoring their blood glucose level and keeping foot sufficiently moisturized, diabetics should have their feet examined regularly by a podiatrist.
Minimally invasive foot surgery for ulcerations primarily involves debridement and an attmept to off-load high pressure areas. A procedure that thoroughly removes infected or dead skin tissue from foot ulcers is sometimes enough with a custom offloading shoe insert. .Podiatrists use a scalpel or other medical tool to remove skin tissue around and within the ulceration. Afterward, the wound is washed with a disinfectant and bandaged with sterile coverings. Debridement may need to be performed more than once to promote healing. Your podiatrist may give patients special ointment they can use at home that destroys any dead tissue remaining in the wound. IF the wound persists, Dr. Hayes can perform MIFAS to remove boney prominences that are causing the high pressure that contributes to the ulcer formation.
Visiting Dr. Hayes for semi-annual foot examinations will significantly reduce a diabetic's risk of suffering irreparable nerve damage, ulcerations or gangrene. When treating diabetics, podiatrists engage in a medical concept called “limb salvage”, a special brand of medical responsibility intended to quickly and successfully prevent and terminate all foot wound infections that could worsen into diabetic gangrene.
In addition, podiatrists provide the best and most up-to-date advice regarding foot care and diabetes. Examples of professional foot care advice for diabetics include wearing clean, dry socks at all times, avoiding the use of antiseptic solutions to clean feet (these solutions can irritate or burn skin) and wearing extra depth diabetic shoes equipped with Velcro or lace ties.
Advantages of Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery
- Significantly less injury to surrounding healthy tissues.
- Smaller incisions also mean foot surgery recovery times are quicker and typically unproblematic
- Reduced need for prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers
- Shorter surgery times
- Use of local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia. Patients do not need to be put to sleep during minimally invasive foot surgery. instead, local anesthesia is injected into the procedure site which completely numbs the foot.
- Patients feel little to no discomfort during the procedure
- Scars are tiny and less noticeable. If scars do form following surgery, they are usually smoother and not as jagged-edged as scars forming from larger incisions
- Lowers risk of infection
- Loss of blood is minimal
Foot surgeries performed by Dr. Hayes take place in a comfortable, relaxing environment where patient needs are addressed immediately. Patients are also happy to know they can go home after having surgery. How long you remain in the care of Dr. Hayes depends on the type of foot surgery you need.
Have You Searched for "Foot Surgery Near Me" in Racine or Kenosha County?
If so, Foot Factor Podiatry in Kenosha, WI takes pride in delivering the latest minimally invasive foot surgery techniques that can eliminate pain and restore your quality of life. Learn more about Dr. Hayes and her stellar record of serving Kenosha and Racine residents by calling Foot Factor Podiatry today or stopping by to visit us at Green Bay Road Suite 600 in Kenosha. Foot pain should not prevent you from doing the things you love. Schedule an appointment today at Foot Factor Podiatry.