If your podiatrist suggests foot or ankle surgery, it is most likely because more conservative approaches have not provided optimal results. Or, your condition may be an acute injury that requires immediate surgical intervention.
Examples of Foot and Ankle Surgery
Foot and ankle surgery can treat a variety of conditions and injuries. Surgery may be needed to align broken bones, fix a deformity, reconstruct or fuse a joint that has been ravaged by arthritis, repair torn tendons or ligaments, or remove damaged or diseased tissue.
Fractures: Surgery is often necessary when a foot or ankle fracture has caused the bone to be displaced or misaligned. Surgical intervention is then needed to restore functionality and reduce the risk of deformity.
Bunion and hammertoe correction: Bunions and hammertoes are foot abnormalities that sometimes need surgery to properly reduce pain and correct the deformity permanently. There are various types of procedures (some are minimally invasive) to straighten and stabilize tendons, bones, and joints in both of these conditions.
Ankle surgery for arthritis: When arthritis has severely damaged the ankle and pain, inflammation, and loss of mobility affects the patient’s quality of life, ankle surgery may be necessary. Ankle fusion fuses a leg and foot bone in one piece at the ankle. Ankle replacement uses metal and plastic prosthetics to replace damaged cartilage and bone in the ankle. Minimally invasive procedures are sometimes an option in these types of procedures.
Achilles tendon repair: When tendons such as the posterior tibialis tendon or the Achilles tendon degenerate over time or suffer an acute tear or rupture, surgery may be required to properly fix the tendon, relieve pain and inflammation, and restore functionality. These types of procedures can sometimes be minimally invasive.
Ankle stabilization: Repeated ankle sprains or an improperly healed sprain can sometimes cause chronic ankle weakness. A lateral ankle ligament reconstruction may be suggested to tighten up the ligaments on the outside of the ankle to stabilize it, eliminate chronic pain and prevent future sprains from occurring.
Wound debridement: This is a procedure that removes dead tissue from a diabetic foot wound or ulcer to help it heal and prevent an infection from occurring or worsening. There are additional surgical interventions that podiatric surgeons may perform in the treatment of diabetic ulcers such as skin grafting and vascular surgery.
To learn more about what foot or ankle surgery might be right for your condition, consult with your podiatrist.