Foot and Ankle Surgeon
A foot and ankle surgeon can diagnose and treat many different types of conditions. Although surgery is not always needed, your foot doctor is prepared to treat issues in the way that is best for you.
Here are some of the most commonly performed foot and ankle surgeries:
Bunions are a painful ailment that occur as a result of a condition called hallux valgus. This condition causes the joint at the base of the big toe to shift toward the other toes and become deformed. Bunions can occur as a result of an inherited foot type, an injury, or a congenital deformation. There is some debate as to whether wearing too tight or high-heeled shoes actually cause bunions or merely contribute to an already existing problem. Bunions can become quite painful, and they may need to be corrected by a foot and ankle surgeon.
An osteotomy, the clinical name forbunion surgery, involves straightening the big toe. It is usually performed on an outpatient basis but it does require wearing a protective boot for an additional four to six weeks. The toe joint may be permanently stiff, but the surgery can significantly reduce the pain.
Hammer Toe Correction
Hallux valgus is also responsible for another common, painful condition called hammer toes. In this case, the condition affects the other toes by permanently bending them into a claw-like shape. Hammer toe is most often caused by wearing high-heeled shoes or shoes with a very narrow toe box, but can also occur as the result of an injury.
A foot and ankle surgeon can correct this condition and give the patient significant relief from pain by performing one of two types of procedures. One type of surgery, called an arthroplasty, involves removing the affected joint, which leaves the toe flexible and pain free. The second type of surgery, called an arthrodesis, requires fusing the joint together, which leaves the toe stiff, but also more stable. After an arthrodesis, it will be necessary to wear only flat shoes. Both types of surgery are done on an outpatient basis, and do not require wearing a protective boot.
Ankle Arthritis Correction
Ankle arthritis is a debilitating condition that can affect a person’s ability to walk and enjoy normal activities. While there is no cure for arthritis, it can be treated and may eventually need to be corrected by a foot and ankle surgeon. Ankle surgery is more complex than toe surgery and will require a longer hospital stay and recovery period.
There are three main types of surgery that are used to treat this condition. Two of them involve fusing two or three parts of the joints together, which results in a stiff, but pain-free ankle joint. The third type of surgery involves replacing the affected joint with a man-made replica. This type of surgery has the advantage of providing near normal movement of the joint after the recovery period. However, ankle replacements may only last 10 to 15 years. Some occupation and/or physical therapy will likely be required, as well in order to learn how to take care of the new joint properly.
Achilles Tendon Surgery
The Achilles tendon is the largest in the body and it takes a great deal of wear and tear because it bears the force of the lower leg muscle, making the body move. As it ages, it may wear down and swell painfully. This condition is very common, but surgery is not always recommended for it. The first line of defense is to rest the tendon, apply ice, take anti-inflammatory medications or have physical therapy.
When surgery is recommended, it is usually because the tendon has ruptured. There are several techniques that may be used to correct this condition and all will require a therapy regimen once the surgery is completed. Your foot and ankle surgeon will determine the most effective method of treatment.
Morton’s Neuroma Surgery
Morton’s neuroma is a condition that affects the nerves in the foot rather than the muscles, joints or tendons. It is a very painful ailment that affects two adjoining toes, usually the third and fourth.
Relief can be found by having part of the nerve removed via surgery. This is typically done on an outpatient basis and requires wearing a bandage for about two weeks afterward.
If you are experiencing any foot and ankle related issues, contact our office today for access to the best foot and ankle surgeon in the area. We can answer your questions about diagnosis and treatment, as well as schedule an appointment.