Different Types of Foot Surgery
Foot Fusion Surgery (Arthrodesis): Joint fusion surgery is used to treat patients whose joints have eroded or are destroyed by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other forms of arthritis. A fusion involves removing all cartilage from a joint and then joining two or more bones together so that they do not move. Fusions can be done with screws, plates, pins, or a combination of any of these. While a fused joint loses flexibility, it will be able to bear weight again, is more stable, and is no longer painful. Healing may take place over a period of several weeks to over a year depending on the patient and their health condition.
Tendon Surgery: Surgery on the tendons can be performed for acute injuries such as ruptures but sometimes done to lengthen or shorten the tendon, depending on the problem. An acute foot injury, like from a fall, can tear the posterior tibial tendon causing it to become inflamed. The tendon can also tear due to overuse from people that participate in high-impact sports that may have tears of the tendon from repetitive use. Once the tendon becomes inflamed or torn, the arch will slowly fall (collapse) over time. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is more common in women and in people older than 40 years of age. Additional risk factors include obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Surgery should only be done if the pain does not get better after 6 months of treatment.
Most tendon repair procedures are outpatient procedures. Post-surgery, the patient is given pain medication, bandaged, and is able to return home the same day. The patient generally has to undergo an recuperation involving follow-up care and physical therapy that may last anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on the individual situation.
Metatarsal Surgery: The metatarsal bones are the long bones in your foot that connect your ankle to your toes. They help you balance when you stand and walk. Surgery on the lesser metatarsals is performed for a variety of reasons but most commonly done to redistribute the weight bearing on the ball of the foot. A sudden blow, a bad twist of your foot, even overuse, can cause a break or acute fracture. The metatarsal fracture treatment depends on where the metatarsal bone is fractured. Diabetic patients with non-healing ulcerations on the ball of the foot may undergo a different type of metatarsal surgery — a common and successful surgery, it aids in the healing of the ulceration on the bottom of the foot.
Bunion Surgery: There are many different types of bunion surgery depending on the severity of the bunion and the joint involved. Recovery time can be different for each patient, depending on their health condition. Bunions occur when pressure is applied to the side of the big toe (hallux) forcing it inwards towards, and sometimes under or over, the other toes. As pressure is applied, the tissues surrounding the joint may become swollen and tender. Traditional bunion surgery can be performed under local, spinal or general anesthetic.
Hammer Toe Surgery: A hammer toe stays in a curled or flexed position and can be caused by a muscle imbalance, arthritis, or shoes that do not fit well. Hammer toe frequently results from wearing poorly fitting shoes that can force the toe into a bent position, such as high heels or shoes that are too short or narrow for the foot. Having the toes bent for long periods of time can cause the muscles in them to shorten, resulting in the hammer toe deformity — often found in conjunction with bunions or other foot problems. It can also be caused by muscle, nerve, or joint damage resulting from conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease or diabetes. Over time, your toe may get stuck in a bent position and you can no longer straighten it. When this happens, painful, hard corns (thick, callused skin) can build up on the top and bottom of your toe and rub against your shoe. If conservative treatments like changing footwear and wearing shoe inserts aren't working, surgery may help by releasing the tendon that's preventing the toe from lying flat.
Neuroma Surgery: Neuroma surgery involves removing a benign enlargement of a nerve, usually between the metatarsal heads in the ball of the foot. This soft tissue surgery tends to have a shorter recovery time than bone procedures, but it leaves some residual numbness related to the removal of the piece of nerve tissue. Interdigital neuroma (sometimes called a Morton's neuroma) is the medical term for a painful growth in the forefoot. The neuroma sometimes causes pain in the ball of the foot when weight is placed on the foot. Many people report feeling a painful sensation while walking, and sharp pains that radiate out to the two toes where the nerve ends. Swelling between the toes or a sensation similar to having a rock in your shoe also is reported.
Some chronic foot problems may not respond to traditional treatments. Wilmington Wound Care and Podiatry Center can determine when surgical intervention may be necessary to give you the relief and mobility you need — foot surgery may be the only option to restore the function of your foot.
Some foot and ankle conditions or diseases
that we diagnose and treat:
Heel Surgery: Fractures of the heel bone (calcaneus) can be disabling. Depending on the condition and the nature of the disease, heel surgery can provide relief of pain and improve, if not restore, mobility in many cases. These injuries most often occur during high-energy collisions — such as a fall from height or a motor vehicle crash. Because of this, calcaneus fractures are often severe and may result in long-term problems. There are many types of calcaneus fractures, including: