Bunion Surgery

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#bunion #bunionsurgery

Bunion Surgery

Thomas A. LeBeau

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

Bunion surgery consists of an incision in the top or side of the big toe joint and the removal or realignment of soft tissue and bone in that joint. The surgery is performed to help with pain and properly align the joint. In some cases, small wires, screws, and/or plates will be used to restructure the joint. Where bunion surgery is a common surgery, there is no guarantee that the surgery will fully relieve pain.

 What to expect during surgery:

  • An anesthetic that affects only the foot is commonly used for bunion surgery and a sedative may be used to relax the patient or put them into a sleep state.
  • A small incision will be made at the big toe joint.
  • The joint will be repaired sometimes using wires, screws, and/or plates.
  • The incision is sealed.
  • Bunion surgery usually takes an hour or more, depending on the type of surgery.
  • This is an outpatient surgery.

What to Expect After Surgery:

It may take as many as 6 months to recovery after bunion surgery depending on the amount of soft tissue and bone affected. Complete healing may take as long as 1 year. Average recovery times fall in the 3 month range.

  • When showering or bathing, the foot must be kept covered keeping the wound dry.
  • Stitches are removed after 7 to 21 days.
  • Pins are usually removed in 3 to 4 weeks but in some cases they are left in place for up to 6 weeks. Pins will stick out of the foot.
  • Regular shoes can sometimes be worn in about 4 to 8 weeks depending on the invasiveness of the surgery. In some cases, it can be 3 to 4 months before you can wear regular shoes.
  • No weight can be put on the foot immediately following surgery. Then there several weeks of partial weight-bearing with the foot in a special shoe or boot to keep the bones and soft tissues steady as they heal.

How Well Bunion Surgery Works:

After recovery, your ability to walk and do other activities is likely to improve from pre-procedural states. The big toe joint is generally less painful and may be more mobile. As stated earlier, however, total relief of pain is not a guarantee. Lastly, since the toe joint has essentially been rebuilt, the toe may look more normal than before.

 As with all surgeries, there are many risks to consider including infection, medicinal side effects, recurrence of the bunion, and continued pain. This repaired toe joint may also become more susceptible to arthritis.

 Alternatives to Bunion Surgery:

If the bunion is diagnosed early enough there may be alternatives to surgery like physical therapy, corrective devices, and lifestyle planning that can help. The key is early detection. Once a bunion has progressed past a certain point surgery becomes almost certain.

 With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to help with your bunions and get you back to your regular activity. If you suspect you have a bunion or are feeling pain in your ankle or foot of any kind please give us a call to set an appointment as soon as possible at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com


Orthotics for your foot problems

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We can solve many of your foot problems with custom orthotics.

Orthotics to correct your foot problems

Thomas A. LeBeau

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

Do you come home from work with your feet burning with pain? This pain could be caused by a variety of different reasons, such as flat feet, but can be relieved with the help of custom orthotics. Flat foot is a very common foot disorder that causes people to not have arches on the sole of their feet. Without this arch the weight of the body is distributed in a different way that can put too much pressure in one area and can cause pain. Feeling foot pain after an intense gym session or a long day of work may seem normal but it could be a sign of bigger foot problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis or nerve damage. This is where the use of orthotics comes in. Orthotic shoe inserts are inserts that you place in your shoe that will help get rid of the pain in your feet and improve your body’s posture. There are three Orthotics used, rigid orthotics, soft orthotics and semi-rigid orthotics. The rigid orthotic inserts are made out of more firm material that helps control your foot function. Soft orthotic inserts are made of cushioning material to absorb to improve balance and relieve pressure on the soles of your feet. Semi-rigid orthotic inserts are more commonly used to improve foot balance and are made of both soft and rigid material.

While you can buy over-the-counter orthotics, they are not as efficient as custom made orthotics. The custom orthotic inserts are made specifically for your feet to best treat the pain that you are feeling. While custom orthotics cost a little more than other over-the-counter options, they are molded exactly to your feet to best relieve your feet pain. The orthotics may take some time getting used to but you will feel less pressure on your feet right away. Orthotics will help alleviate the pain that you feel in your feet as well as certain disorders, such as flat feet.

At St. Augustine Foot and Ankle Center we can diagnose you feet conditions and find the best way to treat it. Whether you suffer from a bunion or have flat feet and need orthotics make sure to get in touch with us so that we can get you back on your feet. You can reach us by phone at (904) 824-0869 or email at info@StAugustinefoot.com or on our website http://www.staugustinefoot.com/contact-us 

Physical Therapy

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Physical therapy is a great way to get you feeling better and back to your old self!
Physical therapy is a great way to get you feeling better and back to your old self!

Physical Therapy

Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

 So what exactly is Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy is the branch of the medical field that focuses on the treatment and reduction of pain.  Physical Therapy also focuses on returning function to ailing joints after surgery or injury. This is accomplished by using specific exercises and mechanical interventions (massage, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, heat, and ice, to name a few). The foundation of physical therapy is therapeutic exercise, functional training, manual (hands-on) therapy, and patient education.

While you may have had some exposure to this unique field through the media or have had a friend or family member who needed physical therapy after an injury, you might still have some questions about what a physical therapist does. Hopefully the following will offer some insight:

Depending on the particular needs of a patient, physical therapists prescribe exercises to help strengthen a particular area. A therapist may also mobilize a joint (that is, perform certain types of movements at the end of your range of motion). Massage may be used to promote proper movement and function. Physical therapists also use methods such as Ultrasound (which uses high frequency waves to produce heat), Electrical Stimulation (application of electrical waves to decrease inflammation, reduce pain, and improve circulation), hot packs, and ice, among other things. The combination of these techniques will promote healing. Partner this with your desire to do your best and you should be well on your way to recovery.

Although other kinds of practitioners will offer some of these treatments as “physical therapy,” it’s important for you to know that Physical Therapy can only be provided by qualified and licensed physical therapists (PTs) or by physical therapist assistants (PTAs). Licenses are acquired through the state and proof of graduation from an accredited physical therapy or PTA program.

All of the physical therapy providers in our practice are appropriately licensed and trained.

At St. Augusitne Foot and Ankle we provide physical therapy through our sister practice, Longevity Physical Therapy. If you are experiencing pain of any kind or have recently had surgery or an injury, please contact our physical therapy department at (904) 217-0520. Or you can email us at contact@longevityptcenter.com

We are here to help you heal and get back to your old self!


Bunions: What to Expect

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Here to help you with your bunions!
Here to help you with your bunions!


Bunions: What to Expect

Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle


A bunion (hallux valgus) is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe that forms when the bone and support tissue move out of place. This forces the big toe to bend toward the others, causing an often painful lump on the inside foot.

Bunion — from the Latin “bunion,” meaning enlargement — can also occur on the outside of the foot along the little toe, where it is called a “bunionette” or “tailor’s bunion.” Although bunions tend to run in families, it is the foot type that is passed down — not the bunion. Other causes of bunions are foot injuries, neuromuscular disorders and congenital deformities.

You may get bunions if:

  • The way your foot is shaped puts too much pressure on your big toe joint. Because bunions can run in families, some experts believe that the inherited shape of the foot makes some people more likely to get them.
  • Your foot rolls inward too much when you walk. A moderate amount of inward roll, or pronation, is normal. But damage and injury can happen with too much pronation.
  • You have flat feet.
  • You often wear shoes that are too tight.

At St. Augustine Foot and Ankle, we will ask questions about your past health and carefully examine your toe and joint. Some of the questions might be: When did the bunions start? What activities or shoes make your bunions worse? Do any other joints hurt? We will examine your toe and joint and check range of motion. This is done while you are sitting and while you are standing so that we may see the toe and joint at rest and while bearing weight

X-rays are often used to check for bone problems or to rule out other causes of pain and swelling. An MRI may be ordered if there is a suspicion of soft tissue damage. Other tests, such as blood tests are sometimes done to check for other problems that can cause joint pain and swelling. These problems might include gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or joint infection.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to help with your bunions and get you back to your regular activity. If you suspect you have a bunion or are feeling pain in your ankle or foot of any kind please give us a call to set an appointment as soon as possible at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com


Some of the information above was found at www.WebMD.com