EPAT is the most advanced non-invasive treatment for musculoskeletal pain. Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Treatment is a new way to conquer chronic heel pain. Pressure waves stimulate the metabolism, enhance circulation and accelerate the healing process without surgery. Dmaged tissue of the plantar fascia or Achilles tendon gradually regenerates and eventually heals. Here are the top 16 frequently asked questions about EPAT.
The Top 16 FAQ’s About EPAT Therapy for Heel Pain
‘Tis the Season to Have a Bunionectomy Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!
Seriously! The holidays are upon us and it seems like everyone in Grapevine, Texas, is on my operating schedule or is having some kind of elective surgery with one of my surgeon friends. My family always wonders why my schedule gets completely crazy just when the rest of the world is taking a vacation? Why is it that we do more bunionectomies in November and December than the first two quarters on the year? You may think it is because they have family around to help them, but that’s really not the main reason. It is a little invention of the insurance companies called the deductible.
It used to be that no one wanted surgery over the holiday season. That was when deductibles didn’t exist. Now, policies are written with high deductibles and co-pays. Imagine that if you have met your deductible and your out-of-pocket for your health insurance, any elective procedure is free until the end of the year. January 1, you have to pay again! This has caused the mad rush to the podiatric surgeon as well as any other surgeon in town. Even the plastic surgeons are affected, because people have money in their flex spending or health savings accounts that they lose if they don’t use it before the end of the calendar year. Crazy!
So, you decide to join the masses and have your foot fixed that has been annoying you or out-right crippling you for years. What should you do to survive the holidays and not end up with a bad outcome?
Listen to your doctor. Non-weight bearing or partial-weight bearing means just that. Stay off your foot! A short trip to the mall or football game is not a good idea.
Ice, ice and more ice! Ice and elevation are your friends. They will decrease your swelling and ultimately keep your pain under control.
Limit holiday parties. Just because you are invited to a billion parties does not mean you have to go. Pick one or two small parties and send regrets to the rest. People will understand, even your boss!
Shop before surgery or embrace the internet. I did all of my holiday shopping in one night on the internet last year. A quick side tip is that if you do binge shop, don’t be surprised if you get a call from your credit card company. They just want to make sure it’s not fraud. Using Pay-pal will avoid this.
Order a catered holiday meal or teach your children to cook. Almost every nice grocery store can cater a meal your family will love. As for cooking classes, do it from the couch and turn off the smoke alarm!
Don’t over eat! You are resting, so your portions should be smaller. Most people gain 2-5 pounds over the holidays. Inactivity makes this worse, so be diligent about what goes in your mouth!
Rest and relax. You have taken care of your family for years. Pull out the tiara and a little bell. It’s time some one waited on you. If you live alone, invite a friend to stay for a few days after surgery so you have some help.
And last tip, listen to you doctor! Patients who follow their post-operative instructions are much more likely to have good to excellent outcomes!
Great question! I hear this question at least several times a month from my active, athletic patients. Of course, my first response is always, “Are you able to run now?” This is not sarcasm, but a true fact finding mission. If you are unable to run before your surgery, due to the pain in your bunions, then if you can run afterwards - I am a hero! The same goes for the opposite. If you are running pain free before surgery, and really only want your bunions fixed due to the fact you think your feet are ugly, if you can’t run afterwards - you really don’t like me very much!
Let’s talk about this a little more in depth. A bunion is the result of undue stress on the big toe joint, which causes a protuberance of bone or tissue around that joint. Bunions can be very painful, inhibit normal walking, and make it difficult to fit into some shoes. Contrary to popular belief, bunions are aggravated, not caused, by tight shoes. They usually are due to inherited faulty foot mechanics which put abnormal pressure on the front of the foot. Pain is the primary reason patients seek medical attention for bunions. A majority of bunion surgeries are performed on women because they wear tight-fitting, high-heeled shoes that worsen the underlying foot problem and cause abnormal stress to the joint.
There’s good news for anyone considering bunion surgery. A survey in 2003 by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) had surgery performed by a foot and ankle surgeon to correct bunions within the past 6 to 24 months found more than 90 percent of patients who had the procedure say they experienced significant pain relief, increased their physical activity, and would recommend it to others.
Many runners who can benefit from the surgery avoid it and continue to endure pain because they have heard that surgery doesn’t work and is excessively painful. Their biggest fear is that they may not be able to ever run again! The truth, as evidenced by the survey results, is that advanced surgical techniques have allowed us to effectively correct bunion deformities with excellent outcomes in terms of pain relief and improved quality of life.
Ninety-six percent of the survey respondents identified pain relief as a desired outcome of the surgery, and 86 percent also said they hoped to improve their walking and increase their physical activity following surgery. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 representing “much pain,” the survey respondents averaged a score of 7 when assessing their pain before surgery, and the average score dropped to 2 when they assessed their pain six months after the operation. Ninety-two percent said they were able to increase their physical activities -- walking, golf, tennis, exercise -- and 90 percent said they would recommend bunion surgery to others.
That being said, in most cases, we can treat the pain caused by bunions conservatively. In fact, we feel strongly that surgery should be a last resort. We surprise many bunion patients with our ability to help them avoid surgery when they have been told previously they have no choice but surgery. A custom foot orthotic to off weight the bunion in your shoes is often very helpful. Many patients run for years pain free in orthotics before they decide to have surgery. If you have tried all conservative treatment, however, and bunion pain is causing pain or limiting your activity, surgery as you can see, can be a very effective option.
If the pain in your bunions has caused you to decrease or eliminate running from your life, contact our office for alternatives. Do not let the pain in your bunions change your life!
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