Foot and Ankle Surgery
Your feet and ankles are made up of many elements including: bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves, that work together to provide balance, support your weight and allow you to move around. They are subject to a great deal of pressure and so it’s not surprising that we often injure or wear out components of our feet and ankles.
The foot and ankle are essential to being mobile in our everyday lives. So when injuries and conditions occur to these areas it’s essential that you receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of your problem.
At New Hall Hospital you can rest assured that you’ll have easy access to experienced orthopaedic surgeons with appointment times to suit you. We diagnose and treat a broad range of foot and ankle conditions and we’ll get you mobile again as soon as possible without pain.
We see many patients with foot and ankle problems that include: sports injuries, foot, ankle and heel pain, tendon and nerve issues, bunions, arthritis, toe problems and changing foot shapes.
The range of foot and ankle surgeries we offer
Bunions, also known as hallux valgus, are a common foot problem. A bunion is a swelling on your foot at the base of your big toe. It comes about due to neighbouring toes leaning towards each other. The resulting bony lump can be painful. It can rub on your shoes and become inflamed and painful and may cause difficulty walking. A bunion can also make it difficult to find shoes that fit correctly.
Often following advice about alternative footwear will allow surgery to be postponed or avoided altogether. If surgery is required, your foot and ankle surgeon will remove the bony lump and straighten your big toe.
Morton's neuroma is also known as Morton's metatarsalgia or interdigital neuroma. It’s a swelling of the nerve that runs between your toes and most frequently occurs in the third and fourth toes. The toe bones press on the nerve as the space between the two toes is narrow and this results in an enlarged nerve. An injury, flat feet, poor-fitting shoes and playing sports that put pressure on your feet can add to the pressure on this nerve.
People with Morton’s neuroma often feel persistent pain in the ball of the foot and sometimes this spreads to the toes.
Your consultant may offer simple advice to alleviate the pain such as changing your footwear so that your feet have more space, using orthotic devices, taking painkillers and avoiding some sporting activities. They may offer injections to reduce the pain. Sometimes surgery is needed to relieve the compressed nerve. This can either involve cutting into the nerve itself or removing tissue around the nerve to make more space for it.
Zadeks procedure is a straightforward procedure for treating in growing toenails. In growing toenails are a common problem. They can happen to any toes and come about when the side of the toenail cuts into the skin next to the toenail. The skin around the toenail can become inflamed and painful.
When you have Zadeks procedure your whole toenail will be removed together with the area of tissue that your toenail grows. It’s performed under local anaesthetic. You should be aware that your toenail will never re-grow.
Arthritic toe is a form of osteoarthritis in the main joint of the big toe. The surfaces of your big toe joint are worn and damaged due to the arthritis so that the joint can no longer move smoothly. An arthritic toe can become stiff and inflamed and cause pain and sometimes walking may be challenging. An arthritic toe is medically referred to as hallux rigidus, a Latin name meaning stiff great toe.
Initially non-surgical treatments will be recommended to reduce your pain and stiffness and include: anti-inflammatory medicines, alternative footwear and joint injections.
If these don’t offer the relief you need then surgery will be recommended. There are a number of surgeries available to treat your arthritic toes depending upon your individual problem which your foot and ankle surgeon will discuss in depth with you. Surgeries can range from minimal invasive treatment where your joint will be trimmed and washed out through to a joint replacement.
Claw and hammer toes are deformed lesser toes that can be painful. Lesser toes include all toes except your big toe. If you’ve claw and hammer toes a tendon in your foot contracts and pulls one of your lesser toes. This irregularity can be caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes or a muscle imbalance.
Claw toes are so called as the toe looks like a claw. The first bone is raised and the second two bones point downwards. Similarly hammer toes are so called because the toe resembles a hammer. The first bone is slightly raised, the second bone tilts downwards and the end bone is almost flat.
Often non-surgical treatment options will be recommended initially to relieve the pain and deformity of your claw or hammer toe such as: a change of footwear, regularly doing toe exercises, trialling orthotics, splints and medicines.
Most claw or hammer toes will require surgery to straighten the toes. Your surgeon will talk through your surgical options with you. It may be that surgery to release trapped soft tissue and lengthen your tendon is the best choice of treatment or, the removal of cartilage from the end of your toe bones in the middle joint and the insertion of a pin to hold the two ends together so that the bones can fuse together may be recommended.
The following consultants specialise in foot and ankle surgery at New Hall hospital