Education

Six Ways to Restore Foot Health After Surgery

Posted By Marty Hughes, DC

Essential Footgear:

Comments
January 25, 2018
April Bruyere

I just found your site. I am at home recovering from extensive foot surgery. I’ve been soaking, breaking up scar tissue. I do hate this boot though. I know that it’s throwing my back out because of the height difference it causes. Someone needs to come up with another shoe to wear on the other foot to help level things out! I have been wearing a higher heel on my other foot to help compensate. I don’t want to end up with back problems from foot surgery. Is there anything out there? I feel sorry for men who can’t drag out old pairs of high heels to level up the feet! There’s probably no way to add height to another shoe safely, is there? This lying around is for the birds. At least now I can play with my toes to stretch and break up scar tissue. I feel like I’ve reverted back to being a baby! Thanks for the info on your site … it’s very helpful.

January 25, 2018
Natural Footgear

Hi, April! Thank you for your comment. We wish you a speedy recovery from your recent foot surgery.

Just FYI: “Shoe-balancers” do exist, and here is one such model: www.evenupcorp.com/evenup-shoe-balancer-single-unit. We would definitely recommend wearing it with a foot-healthy shoe to promote optimal natural foot health.

I hope this info helps! If you have any other questions, please do let us know.

Kind regards,
Andrew Potter

March 04, 2018
Ed

In the Hallux Limitus course, you recommend Strutz foot pads as a helpful tool in managing the condition. What exactly are the foot pads doing that helps with this condition? Do you consider the combination of Correct Toes and Strutz foot pads a viable alternative to motion controlling shoes and conventional orthotics for protecting the vulnerable great toe joints?

March 04, 2018
Natural Footgear

Hi, Ed,

Thank you for your question! Like other kinds of metatarsal pads, Strutz foot pads act to re-establish a balance between the flexor and extensor tendons that act on the toes. Strutz foot pads are helpful in realigning the toes, including the big toe, and they encourage a repositioning of the forefoot fat pad to a place that supports and cushions the metatarsal heads, including the first met head. So, these pads play an important supporting role when it comes to hallux limitus and restoring range of motion in the 1st metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint.

The combination of Correct Toes toe spacers, Strutz foot pads, and foot-shaped shoes can indeed be a viable alternative to motion controlling shoes and conventional arch orthotics in protecting the vulnerable great toe joints. The first approach seeks to use the foot’s own inherent properties to achieve this goal, the latter relies on external devices to immobilize the foot and prevent it from feeling the surface upon which it acts. In our experience, we’ve found that restoring proper toe and foot function (in a natural way) is the key to rehabilitating the 1st MTP joint.

Kind Regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

March 04, 2018
Gwyn Wicks-Buck

Hi. I’m 2 weeks post-op cheilectomy and I am so glad I found your website. I have a bunion and hammertoe on my other foot, and I am determined to try to avoid surgery. At this point, it’s too early to tell if my surgery was successful, but I’m also keen to use these exercises post-op to hopefully optimize my recovery. Thanks for the info!

March 04, 2018
Natural Footgear

Hi, Gwyn,

Thank you so much for your comment. We’re glad you found us, too! We wish you much success in your recovery.

Kind Regards,
Andrew Potter

March 30, 2018
Alaina

Hello!

I’m looking for help. I have had foot pain all my life. As a child I was always getting prescription orthotics and have had ongoing pain since then. In 2014 I got sick of the pain and had reconstructive foot surgery. I’m hopeful for a good long-term outcome. I went through a physical therapy program and then had a second surgery on the opposite foot. Now I have a hard time keeping shoes on because they are oddly uncomfortable, and some socks are uncomfortable as well. It’s like, after surgery, my feet and ankles got bigger (though they appear to be the same size). I think it’s something with my nerves, too, because a lot of other people with flat feet don’t have this pain, especially after surgery. What can I do? Any ideas on a doctor I could see? I just want to be normal. I want to walk down a street without pain. Please, I’m running out of hope.

March 30, 2018
Natural Footgear

Hi, Alaina,

Thank you for your comment. We’re so sorry to hear that you’ve been experiencing the post-surgical issues you mentioned.

There are a lot of practitioners around the country who have at least some familiarity with natural foot health concepts and approaches. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find someone close by. Please check out this link to see if there is a practitioner in your area:

www.nwfootankle.com/resources/122-healthcare-providers

If there’s no one near you, you might consider doing a remote consultation with the team at Northwest Foot & Ankle in Portland, OR (this is the podiatry clinic of Dr. Ray McClanahan, the inventor of Correct Toes):

www.nwfootankle.com/scheduler

If you have any other questions, please do let us know; we’re happy to help out however we can!

Kind Regards,
Andrew Potter

March 30, 2018
Mildred Kelly

I just had foot surgery two weeks ago. My doctor informed me that in two weeks I can stop wearing my boot and can wear sneakers. I have no idea what I should purchase as I will be returning to work in two weeks. Can you advise what shoes I should buy? Thanks.

March 30, 2018
Natural Footgear

Hi, Mildred,

Thank you for your comment. One model that a lot of folks have found to be particularly comfortable is the Lems Primal 2:

www.naturalfootgear.com/collections/womens-lems-primal-2-shoes

Most people find this shoe to be a good starting point when searching for foot-healthy footwear.

If you have any other questions, please do let me know!

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

October 19, 2018
Wendy

Hi! I’m 5-weeks post (minimally-invasive) cheilectomy surgery and am still experiencing joint pain. My follow-up advice was severely lacking, so I’ve been relying on Dr. Google. Up until my toe pain rendered walking any distance too painful for my toe, and subsequently my back, I used to regularly walk 12-20 km with no problem. Still having pain when walking is making me feel quite depressed. My surgeon suggested sticking with rigid-soled shoes, and in fact, my walking boots of choice are rigid because they are the only thing I can walk in for any kind of distance. However, I’ve always been a Vibram FiveFingers fan and was wondering if going back to using those for longish walks would aid my recovery? I’d rather build up my foot strength naturally if possible. Sorry for the essay! :)

October 19, 2018
Natural Footgear

Hi, Wendy,

Thank you for your reaching out to us with your comment and question. For a lot of folks, wearing Vibram FiveFingers is a good way to build up foot strength and resiliency, but it’s important to make this transition gently and gradually. As you know, FiveFingers are among the most minimalist of all shoes, and so jumping right into using them—especially after a foot surgery—is usually not recommended without first going through a sufficiently long transition phase. If you do find that you can tolerate FiveFingers at this point in your recovery, please do consider starting with perhaps just 20-30 minutes of wear-time per day initially and then building up wear-time slowly over the subsequent weeks and months, to tolerance.

Please do let us know if you have any additional questions!

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

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