There are many different injuries or traumas which can happen to the foot and ankle. In some cases, when non-invasive types of treatments are not effective or if the condition is not suitable for these types of treatment options, surgery may be the best alternative.
As with any type of injury, surgery is not the first consideration for most patients or doctors. Foot surgery can have a longer recovery time because of the weight bearing issue with the feet. However, when a patient is in pain or if there is an injury which will not heal through non-invasive treatment options, surgery is the best choice.
Common Issues Requiring Surgery
There are several different types of surgical procedures completed on the feet and ankles. Some of the most common include:
* Bunion treatment – different surgical procedures can correct the pain and deformation of the toes caused by bunions. The recovery period will vary based on the type of surgery, but it can be significant.
* Fusions – fusions create a solid bone where a damaged joint was causing pain. These can also occur when there is no healing and a fracture of a bone in the foot.
* Hammertoe surgery – toes arching up and curling under can be very painful and may require surgery to restructure the toe. This can include fusing the bones or even removing some of the bone to correct the toe alignment.
* Heel surgery – this may be called bone spur removal. It can also assist in treating plantar fasciitis, which is when the actual tendons are released to stop the pain of this condition of the foot and heel. Heel surgery is often the last option, as there can be extensive recovery time required before the foot can be used for weight bearing.
* Reconstructive surgery – when disease or trauma causes extreme damage to the bones in the foot, heel and ankle reconstructive surgery may be required to allow the foot to have normal (or as close to normal) movement as possible.
* Metatarsal surgery – this is often done when the patient has arthritis, which creates permanent damage to the joints. The small joints of the toes in the balls of the feet may be fused, or the heads of the joints may be removed, to alleviate the extreme pain associated with this type of arthritis.
* Ankle replacement – while not as common as other joint replacement surgeries, ankle replacements will remove the damaged ends of the bones and replace them with a metal or plastic replica. This will allow normal movement of the ankle after the recovery process.
Talking with your orthopaedic surgeon will help you to determine if foot surgery is right for you. Be prepared to ask questions and do as much research as you can on the procedure to be well informed.
At Suburban Orthopaedics, we specialize in foot surgery and non-invasive treatment options. To see more, visit us online at www.suburbanortho.com.
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