When your foot problems do not respond to more conservative measures, surgery may become necessary. Our local Thayne podiatrist can help determine when surgical intervention may be necessary. If you have foot arthritis or other foot problems, surgery may help relieve your discomfort and restore your function.
Foot surgery is available at Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic in Thayne and the surrounding area. You do not have to live with arthritic pain. Call us today at 1-307-243-4080 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Understanding Foot Anatomy
The foot and ankle provide balance, shock absorption, support, and several other functions essential for motion. The ankle joint is made up of three bones that primarily enable up and down movement. There is also a total of 28 bones in the foot, with over 30 joints enabling a wide range of motion.
Articular cartilage (a slippery substance that helps the bones work smoothly together during movement) covers the ends of the bones in many of these joints. In turn, joints are surrounded by the synovium (a thin lining that produces a fluid that reduces friction and lubricates the cartilage).
Furthermore, tough bands of tissues known as ligaments connect bones and keep joints in place. Muscles and tendons support the joints, providing them with the strength necessary to make them move.
Understanding Foot Surgery
Most people with foot or ankle problems will not need surgery. Our doctors will determine whether an operation is necessary based on how bad the patient’s symptoms are, how much the symptoms interfere with their life, the patient’s needs, and how they have responded to more conservative treatments.
Usually, the decision to have foot and ankle surgery is based on the patient’s lifestyle choices and the information they give to their surgeon (instead of being essential in terms of life and death). However, an individual with foot problems affecting the skin or deforming the feet must get an assessment for urgent surgery to avoid infection. They must also alert all their healthcare professionals to possible stress fractures.
Common Types of Foot Surgery
Conditions that call for foot surgery include, but are not limited to, bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, and rheumatoid arthritis. These can be treated by:
- Bunion Surgery: There are several types of bunion surgery, depending on the severity of the bunion and the joint involvement. Recovery time varies depending on the surgery, especially if crutches or a cast will be necessary for the healing process.
- Fusions: Such procedures are typically performed to treat arthritic or otherwise painful conditions of the foot and ankle. This involves removing the cartilage from a joint. The surgeon then joins two or more bones together so they cannot move. In the healing process, they fuse as one. Fusions may be performed with screws, pins, plates, or a combination of the above.
- Hammertoe Surgery: This may involve removing a portion of one of the toe’s bones to realign the toe. Alternatively, it may involve fusing the toe’s joints. Occasionally, it may be necessary to place a temporary wire to hold the toes straight or a permanent implant in the toe to maintain realignment.
- Heel Spur Surgery: Depending on the condition and the nature of the disease, heel spur surgery can often relieve the patient’s pain and restore mobility. This procedure is based on a physical examination and typically consists of plantar fascia release, with or without heel spur excision.
- Metatarsal Surgery: This type of surgery involves the long bones of the feet behind the second, third, fourth, and fifth toes. It may be performed for a wide array of reasons but is typically performed to redistribute the weight that is born on the ball of the foot. In severe cases, such as in rheumatoid arthritis, the procedure may involve removing the bones in the ball of the foot area.
Patients should remember that the above list is not exhaustive and that foot surgery may help with several podiatric problems. Our team can determine a personalized treatment plan that may or may not involve surgery during a one-on-one consultation.
Call Us Today
If you have arthritis in the foot, ankle surgery may be right for you. Our podiatrist and team at Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic can help. Call us today at 1-307-243-4080 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I bathe or shower after my foot surgery?
Do not get your bandage or incision wet until after you have seen us for your first post-operative visit. Otherwise, you may interfere with proper healing and risk infection. You can take a bath with your operative leg hanging out of the tub to keep it dry, or you can use a commercial cast or bandage protector to protect it from getting wet during a shower.
How much should I elevate my foot after surgery?
Place four or five pillows under the leg while in bed. When lying on the sofa, hang the leg over the top of the backrest. If you are sitting at a desk or the kitchen table, rest your foot on top of the table.
How can I avoid getting a blood clot after foot surgery?
Do not sit or lie in one place for extended periods after surgery. Get up and move to another room every few hours to elevate your leg. Limit walking to moving between rooms.
How should I prepare for my foot surgery?
Do not have anything to eat or drink after midnight the day of your surgery. You should also refrain from smoking, chewing tobacco, or chewing gum until after the surgery. If you must take blood pressure medication, thyroid medication, or stomach medication, take them in the morning before surgery with sips of water. Do not take any insulin or oral diabetes medication before the surgery. Come dressed in loose, comfortable clothes, and make sure you have someone to accompany you and drive you home.
When should I call your office after my foot surgery?
Call our office right away if you have problems taking your medications or experiencing bleeding that soaks through the bandage.Let us know if your toes turn blue or white or if your bandage gets loose, wet, or falls off. You should also call us if your pain persists despite medication or if you bump or injure the operative foot.