Orthopaedic Procedures: Foot & Ankle
Foot & Ankle Procedures
Ankle Fusion / Arthrodesis of Ankle Joint
Also known as ankle fusion, Arthrodesis in the ankle joint is a procedure to relieve pain and maintain or improve function for patients dealing with arthritis. This occurs when the cartilage covering the ends of the bones forming the ankle joint degenerate.
The pain in an arthritic ankle can be quite unbearable, hence this procedure relieves pain, allowing a person’s mobility to be enhanced somewhat again.
In this procedure, the surgeon roughens the ends of the damaged bones and then fastens them together with metal plates and screws. During the period of healing, the damaged bones will fuse together, into one combined bone.
This ankle fusion is extremely successful in relieving arthritis pain, but it can also have the effect of reducing the ankles motion, resulting in the nearby joint to compensate for the lack thereof.
During this procedure your surgeon will remove the ends of the damaged bones and replace these ends with a plastic or metal joint. The artificial joint helps the ankle retain more of a natural movement, so there is less risk of arthritis developing.
Patients must be careful if taking part in high-impact activities such as running and jumping. High-impact activity can damage an artificial ankle joint.
A Bunionectomy is a surgical procedure to excise or remove a bunion. A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe, comprised of bone and soft tissue. It usually results from inflammation and irritation from poorly fitted shoes, as well as an over-pronation of the foot.
With the passing of time, a painful lump appears at the side of the joint. As a result, new bone growth can occur in response to the inflammatory process, and a bone spur can develop.
Hammer Toe Repair
A Hammertoe is curled due to a bend in the middle joint of the toe. It causes the toe tendons to become painful and tight as a result. This is resulting from shoes being too-tight, arthritis or trauma to the foot.
Surgery will be able to release the tendon that is preventing your toe from lying flat. In extreme cases, the surgeon may need to remove a piece of bone to straighten your toe.
Joint Fusion Surgery
This procedure welds together the two bones that make up your aching joint. It causes the bones to become one solid bone thus lessening your pain. It can also make your joint more stable and help you bear more weight on it.
Metatarsal Joint Replacement
This procedure uses a small, two-piece implant to cover damaged or missing articular cartilage in the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. The MTP joint is where the base of the big toe meets the foot. The implant restores mobility to the bones in this joint, allowing it to glide smoothly again.
This procedure is used to treat an issue called hallux rigidus, or more commonly known as Big Stuff Toe. This is the most common site for Arthritis in the foot as the joint can stiffen making walking painful and difficult for the patient.
Metatarsalgia is a specific condition where the ball of your foot becomes painful and inflamed. It occurs through participating in sporting activities which include actions like running and jumping. There are other causes as well, including foot deformities and wearing shoes which are too tight or too loose.
Surgery to realign your metatarsal bones is a valid option. This surgery relieves pain and allows the patient to gain some independence back with the mobility of their feet.
Morton’s Neuroma is a painful condition affecting the ball of the foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes. The sensation may feel as though you are standing on a pebble in your shoe or on a fold in your sock. The issue involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves, leading to the toes. This causes a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. Your toes also may sting, burn or feel numb.
Osteotomy Hallux Valgus
An Osteotomy is any surgery that cuts and reshapes your bones. This kind of procedure may be recommended to repair damaged joints. In the case of Hallux Valgus, otherwise known as bunions, this procedure might be recommended by your surgeon in order to relieve pain or if it is affecting your walking.
Suitability for this surgery will depend on your physical health, the extent of the foot deformity, your age and your activity level.
Rhysolyisis/ Nerve Block
Rhysolyisis or Nerve Block is a specialised form of treatment involving sending heat to the nerves that supply the facet or sacroiliac joints, to stop it sending signals back to the spine. During this procedure, hollow needles are passed toward the nerves under CT or X-ray guidance. When the needle is in the right place a probe or thin wire is passed through the needle to administer heat.
Synovectomy and Debridement
Synovectomy refers to the surgical removal of the membrane that lines a joint. The knee is the joint treated by synovectomy due to it often being affected by chronic inflammation and having the largest movement between limbs.
Debridement is another way of surgically removing the synovial tissue. Either open or arthroscopic, it is another way of treating infected joints.
Most commonly used for patients suffering from nerve damage which stops the tendons in the foot from moving in the correct way. During this procedure the surgeon will replace the damaged tendon with another working tendon from somewhere else in your body, or from a donor. Once the new tendon is attached to the bone and muscles, the nerve signals can tell the tendon when to move, flex and tense.
Triple Arthodesis Ankle
A Triple Arthodesis Ankle procedure consists of the surgical fusion of three of the joints in the foot; the Talocalcaneal, the Talonavicular and the Calcaneocuboid. This procedure is used to treat a variety of painful foot deformities.
The three joints which are fused together allowing the foot to move freely from side to side. The fusions often improve stability and allow for easier standing and walking. This is a durable, time-tested procedure with a very high success rate.