Surgery is usually the last option considered for foot and ankle conditions. Most foot and ankle problems can be successfully treated with non surgical approaches. Should foot surgery be considered, consultation with a Board Certified Foot and Ankle Surgeon will give you the best options for surgical care. In my practice, I perform hundreds of foot and ankle procedures yearly. This post will briefly describe the 5 most common procedures I perform regularly.
Ingrown toe nail surgery. Although some people may not think of skin and nail procedures as actual surgery, these procedures are the most common performed in a podiatry practice. This minor procedure using a local anesthetic can quickly eliminate the pain from an ingrowing toe nail and prevent it from returning.
Bunion surgery. This is the most common bone and joint procedure I perform. Bunion correction involves realigning the big toe joint and metatarsal bone using a combination of soft tissue releases and bone cuts. Procedure selection is determined by several factors including degree of deformity, bone quality, the presence of arthritis, health issues and others.
Hammer toe surgery. Hammer toes can be addressed surgically using a combination of soft tissue and or bone procedures. In general, flexible to semi rigid toe deformities can be considered for soft tissue release, with rigid deformities requiring bone procedures. Most hammer toe procedures can be performed in the office setting, avoiding the cost and scheduling issues of the hospital. Bone spur removal. Bone spurs are extra growths of bone that protrude away from a bone.
Bone spurs are usually located near joints or where a tendon or ligament attaches to bone. These can occur anywhere on the foot. Bone spurs can be removed through surgery. Smaller spurs can often be removed through a percutaneous procedure. This approach uses tiny incisions and special instrumentation to remove the extra bone. Often these incisions do not need to be stitched and heal within 1-2 weeks. Larger bone spurs may need an open incision to address them appropriately.
Morton’s neuroma surgery. Morton’s neuroma is a condition of a nerve in the front part of the foot caused by chronic trauma. This can result in enlargement and scaring of the nerve. The surgical approach to this condition involves removal of the affected nerve. This is done through a small incision on the top of the foot which allows for immediate weight bearing after surgery.
The list of other surgical procedures I regularly perform goes on, but these are by far the most common. Should you or anyone you know be considering foot surgery, contact me first and I will explain the details and pros and cons of any foot or ankle procedure.