Is it better to have foot surgery on foot problems such as a bunion deformity, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia (ball of the foot pain) or neuromas (benign nerve tumor) or try a custom orthotic? That is the big question people have grapple with when their feet hurt. Although surgery may be the first thing that comes to mind when you visit a foot specialist, it is not always the best solution. Most patients are not signing up for surgery so quickly. In my opinion the only reason why you should ever consider foot surgery is when all other conservative treatments have failed. Mostly all foot problems can be helped with a custom made orthotic by a podiatrist. Although there many health care professionals in today’s medical world that say they make orthotics, choose an expert who has vast knowledge of foot biomechanics and understands how important it is to have the proper type. You can always have surgery if the problem is not resolved to your satisfaction.
Custom made orthotics will help solve many foot complaints and allow the foot to function biomechanically more efficiently. The key to the success is having them made properly so they will support and correct the abnormal biomechanical forces in the joints of the foot that create pathology that may warrant foot surgery. Orthotics when made correctly and placed in closed shoes will support the important joints of the foot and therefore aide in slowing down bunion formation and the development of heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. They also create space in between the metatarsal bones to decrease neuromas from forming or getting larger. They help eliminate joint pain in the great toe joint by increasing the space in that joint between the 1st metatarsal bone and the base of the proximal phalanx. Orthotics prevent the arch of the foot from collapsing and stop the jamming forces in the great toe joint by stopping abnormal pronation.
Using custom orthotics when you have ball of the foot pain, heel spurs or plantar fasciitis will support the arch of the foot and the joints in the mid-foot. They prevent the pulling of the plantar fascia away from its attachment to the heel bone and reduce the chance of developing a heel spur. Orthotics can magically solve many structural problems in the entire body. Wearing arch supports prevent abnormal pronation forces that are contributing factors in the formation of plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, metatarsalgia (ball of the foot pain) and neuroma pain.
When your feet feel better you will feel better and the thought of having foot surgery will be a distant memory.
Always try conservative treatment first because once you have foot surgery you cannot make changes back to its original state.