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While you take your feet for granted when they’re problem-free, you need to care for your feet, especially as you age. On average, you’ll walk 110,000 miles in your lifetime. Your feet take a physical beating with every step. A complicated combination of bones, soft tissues, muscles, and tendons, your feet support your weight as you explore the world around you. To ensure they last a lifetime and never cause unnecessary pain, direct your feet to a good podiatry doctor for examination and treatment, when appropriate.
The five long bones that run inside your feet from your ankles to your toes are your metatarsal bones. Your NYC podiatrist refers to them as the first through the fifth, beginning with the bone connected to your big toe. Because of the constant stress placed on your feet, metatarsal fractures — and consequently, surgeries to correct the breaks — are common. If you’re experiencing pain in your feet of any kind, be sure to contact a podiatric specialist in NYC so you can explore your options together.
Types of Metatarsal Conditions
Because your feet are so vital to your quality of life, it’s crucial that you find a best NYC podiatry doctor the moment you begin to have any feet issues. Ignoring metatarsal complications only makes surgery and recovery more difficult later on. It’s in your best interest, therefore, to contact your midtown NYC podiatrist sooner rather than later. Here are a couple common metatarsal surgery options:
Bunions are the most common medical problem regarding your metatarsal bones. Bunions form a lump at the base of your big toe, causing a sideways drifting and misalignment of the first metatarsal bone. Bunions force your toes to crowd together and rub constantly, which can become painful over time.
Additionally, bunion formation can cause complications in the rest of your metatarsal bones and toes, which is why you need to address this issue. Visit your podiatrist as soon as you notice it. Bunion surgery, a specific type of metatarsal surgery, corrects this condition.
Other Metatarsal Conditions
The second most common form of metatarsal surgery is on the fifth metatarsal bone or pinky toe bone. When your fifth metatarsal bone angles inward, it forms what’s commonly referred to as a tailor’s bunion on the outside of your foot. This is often an inherited trait, but can be caused by an injury. Surgery is an option to fix the painful complications this can cause.
Less frequently, surgery is needed on your second, third or fourth metatarsal bones due to either an acute or stress fracture. Acute fractures usually are caused by a sudden injury, like a fall. Stress fractures happen due to repetitive detrimental activity over time or simple overuse. Injuries to these metatarsal bones are very common in athletes.
Other metatarsal conditions include:
Before Metatarsal Surgery
During your initial meeting with your New York podiatrist, you first have to confirm your diagnosis, since a treatment plan depends on knowing what’s causing your foot pain or discomfort. Then you can discuss the best course of action for the severity of your injury and a speedy recovery. The goals for a successful metatarsal surgery are to:
- Correct the misalignment
- Stabilize the bone
- Improve the function
- Promote healing
- Reduce further pain and complications
A podiatry doctor evaluates your feet with a physical exam and determines what type of surgery, if any, is the best course of action for you. X-rays may also be required. Most foot conditions can be resolved without surgery, but as a last resort, surgery usually has a positive outcome. But the earlier you acknowledge your condition and make an appointment with your podiatrist in New York City, the better your recovery is likely to be.
Types of Metatarsal Surgery
You and your podiatrist in midtown NYC determine exactly what treatment your condition requires. Depending on the severity of the angulation of your first metatarsal bone, you may need regional or general anesthesia. Typically, this minimally invasive surgery can be done in a foot specialist or podiatry doctor’s office without general anesthesia. This surgery involves removing any bone enlargement and sometimes realigning the big toe. Realignment can be done with or without pins, depending on the severity.
Fifth metatarsal surgeries to correct sailor’s bunions may include removing excess bone growth, followed by realignment. In more serious cases, your podiatric specialist may need to install a screw to reinforce the realignment. Other metatarsal surgeries are less common, but may include shortening the second metatarsal or installing pins.
After surgery, you feel some minimal pain, which ibuprofen or prescribed painkillers can help you manage. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce swelling and discomfort. Most metatarsal surgeries require you to transition to a special boot for walking. However, it’s recommended that you take extra precautions and restrict your movement for the first week.
Other suggestions that aid your recovery include:
- Icing your foot for 20 minutes at a time
- Elevating your foot when you’re sitting down to reduce swelling
- Resting your foot as much as possible — if you can take off work for a couple of days, that’s a good idea
- Avoiding overworking your foot
You can transition to sneakers after about five to six weeks. After eight to 10 weeks, you can wear most other shoes. Ask a podiatry doctor for shoe recommendations.
The goal of any metatarsal surgery is an overall improvement in your quality of life through reducing pain and complications. Through metatarsal surgery, our podiatrist in NYC, Dr. Jennifer McCoy aims to:
- Correct any misalignment
- Stabilize your foot
- Increase functionality
- Promote rapid healing
After a few weeks post-surgery, you must return to your podiatric specialist to have any stitches removed. A podiatry doctor examines your foot and likely has you begin small strengthening and mobility exercises to promote healing and a full range of motion. You may start physical therapy.
Risks Associated with Metatarsal Surgery
As with any surgery, there are some risks associated with metatarsal surgery, which is why finding a best podiatry doctor is important. Your foot doctor or podiatric specialist does everything possible to make sure you have minimal complications post-surgery.
Some complications include:
- Anesthesia reactions
- Blood clots
- Damage to blood vessels or nerves
- A nonunion, where a fracture doesn’t heal
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Do you have any questions about Metatarsal Surgery procedure in NYC? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor, Dr. Jennifer McCoy of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for consultation.
Dr. Jennifer McCoy, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)
New York, NY 10010
(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
☎ (212) 687-2930