Brighton Family Foot Care | Fact or Fiction
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Fact or Fiction

Vicks VapoRub will cure fungal nails

Fiction. Dr. Hirt uses a Gordon Laboratory product that is inexpensive and much more effective. This is available at the office for a nominal fee.

Ingrown toenails will go away with antibiotics

Fiction. An antibiotic may be a “quick fix”, but it is not a permanent solution. An ingrown nail occurs when the nail breaks through the skin, thereby causing infection. While an antibiotic will clear the infection, it will not remove the corner of the nail that has broken through the skin. Therefore, the condition is likely to recur and cause problems in the future. For a permanent fix, a small, painless procedure is needed to remove the affected nail border.

Bunion surgery (or other foot surgery) is painful.

Fiction. Surgery techniques and equipment have improved significantly during the past five to ten years. A surgery that your grandmother had years ago would be nothing like a surgery that you would have today. There is minimal pain after surgery, which is controlled with pain medication. On average, 8.5 out of ten patients who have surgery from Dr. Hirt state that they experience minimal pain, and would definitely have the surgery again.

Bunions will come back after surgery.

Mostly Fiction. If a doctor is not trained properly and does the incorrect procedure, it is possible that a bunion could return. However, with a specialized, experienced surgeon, it is highly unlikely. Dr. Hirt has advanced training, as well as a three year surgical residency in foot surgery, and he has performed hundreds of bunion surgeries. Dr. Hirt also recommends using orthotics for any patient who has had surgery, as this is the best bunion prevention. Orthotics realign the foot and remove the abnormal pressures that caused the problem in the first place.

Warts are painful to remove.

Fiction. There are many different ways to remove warts.  Dr. Hirt uses a prescription medicine on the warts that eliminates the need to cut them out and create a wound.  Freezing often does not work in many cases, as the skin on the bottom of the foot is too thick for freezing to be effective. Often, warts can be removed in one to three painless treatments of medication.

Laser surgery will fix my bunion or hammertoes.

Fiction.  When it comes to feet, lasers have a very limited use.  While they are used for skin lesions such as warts, skin cancers and ingrown nails, they CANNOT cut bone.  Therefore, they are not suitable for treatment of bunions, hammertoes, or any bone-related surgery.  Dr. Hirt is certified and trained to use lasers, and does so in the appropriate circumstances.

Diabetic shoes are ugly.

Used to be Fact, but now it’s Fiction! When Medicare began the diabetic shoe program, there was one big, black, ugly shoe.  Ten years later, there are full lines of shoes from nationally recognized shoe makers.  Shoe styles range from fashionable dressy shoes to tennis shoes to walking shoes.  No one will ever know you have diabetic shoes unless you tell them…  And then they won’t believe you, because they look so good!  (Look at some of the shoes available.) 

Heel pain (heel spurs, planter fasciitis) needs surgery to be fixed.

Mostly Fiction. A small percentage of heel pain cases require surgery, but 90% of the patients seen in our office get full relief without surgery.  A combination of special stretching, appropriate shoes, orthotics, anti-inflammatories, injections, night splints, and/or other treatments can cure the problem without surgery.

Injections in the heel or foot are always painful.

Fiction.  A needle in the wrong hands can be painful.  However, if an injection is done correctly, it hurts no more than getting a flu shot.  The key is knowing the foot anatomy and the correct location to position the injection so there is no pain involved.  Dr. Hirt gives 20-40 injections per week, and his experience is one of the main reasons for his patients’ satisfaction.  Nine out of ten patients say the anticipation was worse than the injection, and most people refer their friends and family to our office after receiving an injection here.

It doesn’t really matter what kind of shoes I wear.

Fiction! Wearing properly fitting shoes that provide support is vital to the health of your feet.  Unfortunately, most shoe makers design shoes purely for fashion, and put little thought into their function.  While high fashion shoes are fine for a night out or a special occasion, they’re not a good idea for everyday use.  Even the ever popular flip-flops are bad for your feet.  Thankfully, there are replacement sandals that do provide proper support.  In fact, there are many functional, yet fashionable, shoe options available these days.  For optimum foot health, pay attention to what you’re buying.

My foot or toe isn't broken because I can walk on it and move it.

Fiction! The ability to move your foot or walk on it is not an indicator of whether or not it is broken. Pain, swelling, and bruising are better ways to tell if your foot or toe is broken; you need x-rays to know for sure.