• Botox It Is Not Just For A Pretty Face

    by Howard Kimmel, DPM
    on Apr 22nd, 2018

We know that Botox was initially developed for cosmetic use, but did you know that it used to treat many different problems in the body? Some examples are: chronic migraines, over active bladders in spinal cord patients, and conditions such as Bell's Palsy. The question becomes where and why do we use it in the lower extremity. Before we discuss this, we need to know what Botox is exactly.  Botox is derived from the word botulous, which means sausage! Botox is actually derived from a neurotoxin called Clostridium Botulinum. Botulism is an illness that is caused by botulinum toxin, which can cause respiratory failure and possible death. This toxin is one of the most poisonous substances known to man and 1 gram of this can kill a person. Clostridium Botulinum occurs in nature in soil but it also can be found in the digestive tracts of mammals and shellfish such as crabs. So how does Botox work?  Basically by injecting a small amount Botox will prevent signaling of a muscle firing. It blocks the transmission of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine at the point where the nerve meets the muscle. In essence it paralyzes the muscle.

The first non-cosmetic use for Botox was for patients with chronic migraines. Doctors found that injecting the muscles in the forehead and not allowing them to contract it gave patients great relief. So what are the uses in the lower extremity? One common use is for hyperhidrosis better known as excessive sweating. The Botox blocks the secretion of a chemical that activates the sweat glands. By injection a small amount, about 50 units, the amount of perspiration significantly decreases. The other use is for muscle spasms. I have had great success with Botox for this problem. Let me tell you about a patient who benefited from Botox. He was a 55 year old male who had multiple bunion surgies by an outside hospital. He was in chronic pain. He saw many physicians who try to solve his problem. He came to Buckeye Foot Care, where he had about 50 units of Botox injected in the spastic muscle. Within in a day he went from 10 out of 10 pain to about 3 out of 10. He was able to get a full night sleep. It had been 5 years for him since he was able to sleep through the night. One thing to remember is that this is not a permanent fix and the injection lasts between 3 to 6 months. Unfortunately most insurances do not cover Botox injections in the lower extremity.

Author Howard Kimmel, DPM Dr. Howard M. Kimmel, DPM provides advanced care for foot problems for patients in Brook Park, Willoughby, and Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Kimmel offers wound care, orthotic devices, comprehensive foot and ankle surgery, and several other forms of Podiatric treatment at Buckeye Foot Care. He is the only podiatrist in the state of Ohio to have a residency in pediatric foot and ankle problems. Dr. Kimmel is dedicated to providing patients in Ohio with top-notch care for foot and ankle problems, wound care, and other related issues. He also continues to build on his knowledge of podiatry and remains up-to-date on the latest technology and treatments in the podiatry field.

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