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Frequently Asked Questions and Fun Foot Facts

Frequently Asked Questions and fun foot facts all in one location! Our patients love to ask a myriad of questions! We try to answer them all - sometimes we even have to write a full length article on them, so take a look at our library as well. Have a question about your feet and ankles? You may find your answer here. Gait issues? Problems with shoes and socks? We have answers. Want more? Contact us and ask a question. We will answer!

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  • Why should I go to the doctor for a broken toe?

    Mnay people will tell you there is nothing you can do about a broken toe, but this is simply not true. Many toe fractures are simply treated with buddy splinting and a wide stable shoe; but some actually need the fracture manipulated back into place or surgery. A broken toe that heals in the wrong alignment can lead to corns, hammertoes and chronic foot pain. It is better to have your toe fracture evaluated than to take the chance of a long term deformity and/or pain!

  • Why do my joints make noise?

    The snap, crackle, and pop that many of us hear when we get up from a sedentary position is actually gases in your synovial fluid (the liquid that lubricated your joints). When small forces are applied to the joint, one factor that limits the motion is the volume of the joint. That volume is set by the amount of synovial fluid contained in the joint. The synovial fluid cannot expand unless the pressure inside the capsule drops to a point at which the dissolved gases can escape the solution; when the gases come out of solution, they increase the volume and hence the mobility of the joint. The gases make the crackling sound. Tendons can also make a snapping sound when a joint is stressed. 

    Bottom line: the snap, crackle and pop is normal and some people's joints can be very noisy, but if they are not painful there is nothing to worry about!

    If you have pain, then its time to come in for a visit to figure out why.

  • Is there anything that can help my back pain when wearing a BK walking cast or boot?

    If you are anything like my patients, in my Grapevine or Keller, TX clinics, you will then try every shoe in your closet to try to even your leg length with minimal success. Help is on the way! The Evenup is a simple way to help patients suffering from hip and back pain while recovering from an injury or surgery in a BK walking boot cast or surgical shoe.


  • My ankle feels unsteady and still hurts 3 months after a bad sprain. Why?

    Chronic ankle instability (ligaments that heal elongated) or a talar dome lesion (cartilage injury) can cause long term swelling, a sense of instability and pain on and off. If you sprained or broke your ankle and it has not gotten back to anormal after 3 months, you need an MRI to assess the ligaments and the cartilage. Even without a ligament tear or cartilage injury, many people need extensive physical therapy including strengthening and balance training to get to 100% better. Contact us for a complete ankle exam.

    For mor info on ankle sprains click here. For more info on cartilage injuries click here.

  • What is the painful white stuff in between my 4th and 5th toes?

    It could be a soft corn, called a heloma molle, or it could be fungus. I would have it checked out by one of our podiatrists so you won't end up with a toe or skin inection.

    For more on soft corns, click here

  • Why are my toenails yellow?

    Yellow toenails can be caused by wearing toenail polish for an extended period of time, a vitamin deficiency, or fungus starting to infiltrate your toenails. The best way to figure out why your toenails are yellow is to have a toenail biopsy. It doesn't hurt! Your doctor takes a small clipping of the tonail and sends it for a PAS stain. This simple test will narrow down the causes of your yellow toenail and tell us if you have a fungal infection. Don't delay finding out the cause of your yellow toenails since fungus can spread rather rapidly!

  • Are all custom foot orthotics the same?

    Absolutely no! Lots ofpatients come in and say they tried orthotics and they didn't work. The first thing I ask is who made them and how? A device from a chiropractor or physcial therapist or even a podiatrist who doesn't specialize in orthotics is nothing like a well made custom functional foot orthotic made by one of the physicians at FAANT. We make hundreds of orthotics using the gold standard - a neutral suspension cast or a three dimentional scan! Demand the best! Your feet deserve it!

  • Will my orthotics last forever?

    No. No material lasts forever and your feet can change. If you weight 300 pounds, your orthotics may only last a year. If you run marathons or play soccer every day they might last a year as well. If you use them every day but don't beat on them too much, they will probably last 3 to 4 years. Bottom line: the average custom orthotic lasts about 4 years.

    P.S. Over-the-counter arch supports last 6-12 months.

  • Should I try to cut out my ingrown toenail?

    No! Ingrown toenails can get really nasty if you try to do bathroom surgery on them. It is amazing how many people give themselves a nasty infection by trying to shove a dirty nail clipper or cuticle scissor under the nail plate to try and dig out an ingrown. We have special tools that can get it out quickly! Contact us for an appointment before you inflict self harm and risk an infection!

  • How do I know when I need foot surgery?

    The need for foot surgery is a decision made with you and your podiatrist after an evaluation.  You should meet the following 2 criteria if you are considering proceeding with surgery.

    • Pain is present and it is limiting your ability to do the things you like, love or have to do.
    • You have tried and failed some conservative options.

    If you have not met both of these criteria you should be evaluated by a podiatrist to discuss further options.


    If you found this helpful, you may also find these informative: 

    Is Bunion Surgery Worth It?

    How long does it take to recover from bunion surgery?

    Common Questions About Foot Surgery?

    Diabetic Foot Surgery?