As more people experience painful problems with their feet, podiatrists are recommending they consider a range of nonsurgical treatments before choosing to go under the knife.
Many patients have a misconception that most foot ailments can only be treated with surgery, experts say. Instead, depending on the severity of the problem, nearly all foot ailments can be treated without surgery, they say. Among these are bunions, plantar fasciitis, hammertoes and metatarsalgia, or pain in the ball of the foot.
Treatment techniques include ultrasound-guided injections that deliver anti-inflammatory drugs to the precise site of the pain and shock wave therapy that promotes soft-tissue healing. Some treatments, such as insoles that redistribute the pressure on the foot and physical therapy, aim to address the cause of the foot problems, which can help prevent them from recurring.
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