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Not Seen on TV: Common Foot and Ankle Surgery

The number of medical dramas that have been on TV over the years—Grey’s Anatomy, House, ER, and so on—reveal just how fascinated people are by surgery and the human body. Surgery often intrigues people, but usually when it happens to someone else, not themselves. While it’s considered a last resort, sometimes foot and ankle surgery is really the best way to relieve pain and heal completely. You don’t usually see a bunion revision or a flatfoot reconstruction on TV, though, so most people aren’t sure what can be done in the feet.

There are many different types of surgery for the feet and ankles to cover the many types of painful problems you can develop. Most people aren’t as familiar with these, though, since they don’t usually make for dramatic television the same way a heart procedure does. Here are a few common surgeries you or a loved one might encounter as you take care of your feet and ankles:

  1. Bunion surgery – The procedure corrects the bony deformity and realigns the first metatarsal and the big toe.

  2. Heel procedures – This is to relieve heel pain. Typically it involves releasing a chronically tight plantar fascia, though it may involve removing a heel spur as well.

  3. Nail procedures – This can range from simple laser therapy to removing the hard keratin to take care of ingrowing or severe infections.

  4. Tendon corrections – These procedures can repair torn tendons, release tight ones, or tighten loose ones. Occasionally a tendon may be moved to improve foot function.

  5. Reconstructions – Severe flat feet, major injuries, or diabetic foot collapse may require reconstructing the arch and using hardware to keep the bones in place.

There are, of course, plenty of other possible surgeries, including hammertoe repair, ankle replacement, joint fusions, neuroma release, chronic sprain repair, and so on. If you’re at all concerned about a lower limb procedure you or someone you care about may be facing, let our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC help answer your questions and put your mind at ease. Contact us online, or call (504) 708-4810 to talk to us at our Metairie, LA, office.

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