LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - You've heard of botox to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but how about problems with the feet? That's just what one local group of doctors is using to get patients on their feet without pain.
At Center for Orthopaedics in Lake Charles, Drs. Craig Morton and Tyson Green are using botox injections to treat a wide range of foot problems. "If there's damage to the brain or spinal cord," says Dr. Morton, "such as what you'd see in a spinal cord injury, head injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy - it can result in an abnormal posturing of the muscles of the hands and feet."
For the feet, Dr. Green says the muscle spasticities can cause the feet to remain contracted in a position which makes it difficult or impossible for the patient to walk comfortably. "That's when the botox will come into play to relax a contracture," says Dr. Green, "so that we can either brace the foot or provide casting to provide stability and flexibility within that foot."
Botox weakens the targeted muscle, keeping it from contracting. Dr. Morton says by paralyzing one muscle or muscle group, the foot can relax enough to no longer overpower the surrounding muscles. "It takes about two or three days from the initial injection into the spastic muscle to start to see results," says Dr. Morton, "and about two weeks after the injections, we see a peak effect - that can last about three months before slowly wearing off."
Dr. Green says many of the patients he treats in wound care have painful lesions resulting from the inability to move their feet in bed - reducing circulation. Botox has helped with this. "When you relax the tension on the foot, you give it a more stable position," says Dr. Green, "that way the wound can heal and it will have adequate offloading, so that you're not having added pressure on the wound."
This pair says young children with cerebral palsy - all the way up to the elderly with muscle spasms can benefit from botox for the feet.
*Most insurance plans will cover botox treatments for foot problems.