What Type of Foot Problems Would Require Foot Surgery?
While many foot and ankle conditions can be treated without surgery, when the problem is severe or has been left untreated surgery may be required. The most common issues which will require surgery include:
- Heel Spurs
- Ankle Injuries
What Does Minimally Invasive Mean?
When a surgical procedure is referred to as minimally invasive it means that the surgeon can accomplish the results with a very small incision or no incision. The surgeon will perform the procedures in such as way which will cause little to no trauma to the affected area and patient.
Bunion Surgery: There are many different types of bunion surgery depending on the severity of the bunion and the joint involvement. Your podiatrist can explain the bunion procedure that is most appropriate for your bunion. Depending on the surgical procedure, the recovery time can be very different—particularly if you need to be on crutches after the surgery or in a cast.
Fusions: Fusions are usually performed to treat arthritic or painful conditions of the foot and ankle. 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, or pins, or a combination of these.
Hammer Toe Surgery: Hammer toe surgery may involve removing a portion of one of the bones in the toe to realign the toe or could involve fusing the joints in the toe (see Fusions, above). In some cases, it may involve placing a temporary wire to hold the toes straight or a permanent implant in the toe to maintain realignment.
Heel Spur Surgery: Based on the condition and the nature of the disease, heel surgery can provide relief of pain and restore mobility in many cases. The type of procedure is based on examination and usually consists of plantar fascia release, with or without heel spur excision. There have been various modifications and surgical enhancements regarding surgery of the heel. Your podiatrist will determine which method is best suited for you.
Metatarsal Surgery: Surgery on the long bones of the feet behind the second, third, fourth, and fifth toes is performed for a variety of reasons but is commonly performed to redistribute the weight bearing on the ball of the foot. In some severe cases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, surgery may involve removing the metatarsal heads (the bones in the ball of the foot area).
Nail Surgery: Toenails can become deformed, damaged, or infected. It may be determined that the best treatment may involve surgery. Surgery is typically performed in the office under local anesthetic, and many patients can walk out and return to activities. Surgery involves either partial or total removal of the nail. An avulsion is a non-permanent type of surgery that allows relief, but the nail will grow back. A matrixectomy is a permanent type of surgery, which involves destroying and/or removing the nail root so that no new nail grows.
Neuroma Surgery: Neuroma surgery involves removing a benign enlargement of a nerve, which may be causing tingling/burning/numbness to certain toes, 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.
Reconstructive Surgery: Reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle consists of complex surgical repair(s) that may be necessary to regain function or stability, reduce pain, and/or prevent further deformity or disease. Unfortunately, there are many conditions or diseases that range from trauma to congenital defects that necessitate surgery of the foot and/or ankle. Reconstructive surgery in many of these cases may require any of the following: tendon repair/transfer, fusion of bone, joint implantation, bone grafting, skin or soft tissue repair, tumor excision, amputation, and/or the osteotomy of bone (cutting of bones in a precise fashion). Bone screws, pins, wires, staples, and other fixation devices (both internal and external), and casts may be utilized to stabilize and repair bone in reconstructive procedures.
Skin Surgery: Lipomas, fibromas, warts, moles, and rashes can occur on any part of the foot skin surface. Some of these conditions can be painful and impact function. In other cases, they can be questionable because they are new in appearance and a biopsy may be recommended. These skin conditions may or may not be painful. Depending on the size and depth of the condition, surgery may be performed in the office under local anesthesia or take place in the operating room.
Tendon Surgery: Surgery on the tendons can be performed for acute injuries such as ruptures and can also be performed for chronic conditions to lengthen or shorten the tendon, depending on the problem. In some cases, tendons may be re-routed to improve foot and ankle function.
What Should I Expect After Surgery?
The type of foot surgery performed will determine how long the recovery time will be and what kind of aftercare will be required. Aftercare is important because it ensures that the recovery from surgery will be rapid and uneventful. If you are suffering from foot pain or are concerned that you may need surgery to address a particular issue, contact the office to schedule a consultation.
Call us at 727-842-9504 to make an appointment. Dr. Zafar will sit down with you and discuss options to proceed with.