Foot and Ankle Surgery
Sometimes repairing a problem means going beyond what you see on the surface to directly address the damage you can’t see. In a house, this may mean ripping out drywall to replace the leaking pipes behind it instead of just plastering over the deteriorating sections. For your lower limbs, this may mean foot and ankle surgery to deal with the root of your pain.
Choosing Invasive Treatments
For the vast majority of all painful lower limb problems, noninvasive, conservative treatments are best. They correct whatever is causing the problem and enable the body to heal itself. This isn’t always enough, unfortunately. Sometimes there’s simply too much damage, or conservative methods don’t address the root of the problem. Some people’s feet and ankles simply don’t respond to the treatments. This is when surgery becomes an option.
Types of Foot and Ankle Surgeries
There are many different types of foot and ankle surgeries to address the many different types of problems that can go wrong in your lower limbs. Even then, many of the surgeries have multiple ways they can be performed. Our experts at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC will examine your foot carefully and help you determine which procedure you need as well as the best way to complete it.
Here are a few common surgeries for the lower limbs:
Bunion Procedures – This uses multiple techniques to eliminate the hard bone and realign the first metatarsal and big toe.
Toe Deformity Corrections – Hammertoes, mallet toes, and claw toes, among other things, sometimes need a special release to straighten out the digits.
Metatarsal Surgery – Typically this procedure helps redistribute the weight on the ball of your foot, though it can be used to repair damage from arthritis or traumatic injuries.
Tendon Procedures – This surgery helps reattach torn tendons, tighten loose ones, loosen tight ones, and even move where one attaches to help correct your foot function.
Neuroma or Nerve Surgery – This releases the pressure on a nerve to relieve the pain. Sometimes, though, the neuroma might need to be removed.
Heel Pain Releases – Typically this involves loosening a chronically tight plantar fascia to reduce pressure on the heel bone. Sometimes it includes excising a heel spur.
Toenail Procedures – Sometimes part or all of a nail needs to be removed. Laser therapy can also fall under this category.
Reconstructive Surgery – Severe damage from diabetes, traumatic injuries, and fallen arch problems may require rebuilding the midfoot.
Fusion or Joint Replacement – Sometimes arthritis does serious damage that needs either a joint replacement or bone fusion to relieve the pain.
Risks and Recovery
Anything that opens the body, even a minor procedure, comes with some degree of risk. This includes the possibility of infection or the problem returning in the future. Our team will discuss all the risks with you and go over ways you can minimize the odds of developing complications from your surgery. We’ll also instruct you about your aftercare.
Taking care of your foot is extremely important for your recovery. Make sure you keep all incision areas clean and avoid weight-bearing if that is required. Take it easy and keep your foot up when you can to deal with swelling and inflammation. If you need physical therapy to rebuild strength, follow through with all of your exercises. This really is the best way to recover completely and not have lingering problems.
Surgery for the feet and ankles is a last resort for addressing your painful lower limb problems, but in some cases, it is your best choice for recovery. Sometimes your feet won’t improve without directly repairing the damage. Our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC will help you determine if surgery is the best step for you. Make an appointment online to discuss your recovery today. You can also call (504) 708-4810 to talk to us at our Metairie, LA, office.