Foot & Ankle Corrective and Reconstructive Surgery
If you are experiencing significant pain in your foot or ankle, or difficulty walking, you may need corrective or reconstructive surgery. Foot and ankle surgery with the board-certified surgeons at the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England can be a safe and effective way to relieve your foot or ankle pain and other symptoms. Our qualified surgeons will help you get back on your feet again.
Common Foot & Ankle Surgeries
Surgery on the foot or ankle is most often done to correct a problem or deformity affecting the way your feet look or function. Some of the most common corrective and reconstructive surgeries we perform on the foot and ankle include:
Most Achilles tendon injuries are the result of wear and tear, which causes damage to the tendon over time. A weakened Achilles tendon may rupture due to any high-impact trauma.
When surgery is recommended for the Achilles tendon, it may involve any or all the following surgical techniques:
- Debridement – the removal of damaged tissue.
- Repair – when stitches or sutures are used to reattach torn tendon tissue.
- Grafting – replacing damaged tissue with healthy tendon tissue from another area of the foot.
- Lengthening – the use of small, strategic surgical cuts that, after healing, create a longer tendon.
The Achilles tendon can contract, becoming shorter and weaker, due to several causes, including certain medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy. The Achilles tendon may also shorten as the result of long-term use of high heels or the failure to adequately stretch or rest the tendon, especially when it is chronically inflamed.
Arthritis is a common problem that affects joints throughout your body, including the feet. Ankle arthritis is particularly common, given that it is a weight-bearing joint and is relied upon constantly, with every step you take. Athletes and older adults are particularly susceptible to ankle arthritis.
Common surgeries to treat ankle arthritis include:
- Fusion surgery to connect two bones so that they move as one. Fusion surgery is one of the most common surgical treatments for moderate to severe ankle arthritis. It can effectively put a stop to the pain and swelling caused by arthritis – when cartilage wears away and bones begin to rub together.
- Ankle joint replacement surgery may be recommended for patients with severe ankle joint arthritis. It offers patients long-term relief from pain and can dramatically improve their quality of life, allowing them to once again participate in activities they may have stopped due to the pain of arthritis.
When the big toe bends toward the other toes, it can cause the bottom big toe joint to protrude (under the skin) from the inner side of your foot. This bony protrusion is called a bunion.
Surgery to correct the misaligned big toe joint is sometimes referred to as a bunionectomy. It most often includes a surgical technique called an osteotomy, which involves small incisions in the bone to help realign (straighten) the big toe joint and connected bones. Surgical pins or screws are used to hold the bones in place.
- Achilles Lengthening
- Medializing Calcaneal Osteotomy
- Tendon Transfers
- Ligament Repairs
- Lateral Column Lengthening
- Cotton (Medial Cuneiform) Osteotomy
- Midfoot Fusion
- Subtalar Fusion
- Double or Triple Arthrodesis
Reconstructive foot and ankle surgery is used to treat broken bones that involve the ankles and feet. There are many different surgical procedures and techniques that may be used, depending on the type, severity, and location of the fracture.
Surgical fracture care may include removing loose bone fragments and damaged tissue, along with repairing the fracture. The repair may involve internal or external fixation (using surgical-grade plates, pins, rods, and screws), fusion (which attaches two bones together), and/or tissue grafts as needed.
Probably the most common type of foot surgery used to repair fractures is metatarsal surgery. Metatarsals are long bones in your feet that attach your toes to the ankle bones. They are frequently under compression and often injured while landing suddenly on the feet. The metatarsal connected to your big toe (first metatarsal) is most often fractured.
Hammer toe deformity refers to the condition in which your second, third, or fourth toe is bent at the middle joint (interphalangeal joint). Because hammer toes involve a deformity of the toe involving the toe joints, hammer toe foot surgery may involve numerous approaches to help straighten the affected toe, such as:
- Proximal interphalangeal joint fusion
- Reconstruction or replacement of the toe joint
- Tendon transfer from the bottom of the toe to the top of the toe
If a bunion has contributed to the development of your hammer toe, a bunionectomy may be performed at the same time as a hammer toe surgical procedure.
Heel spurs are just what they sound like: pointy growths that can develop on the bottom or back of the heel. Heel spurs are made up of calcium deposits. These spurs don’t always cause pain, but when they do, surgical removal of the growth may be recommended.
The surgical removal of a spur may be done on its own or during another procedure, such as alongside a plantar fasciitis release. Sometimes, the plantar fasciitis release alone can relieve a patient’s symptoms related to the heel spur.
Morton’s neuroma is treated by surgically removing the associated nerves in the foot. At the same time, your surgeon may also need to release tight ligaments in the area with a surgical technique known as decompression.
Plantar fasciitis causes heel pain when the connective tissue (plantar fascia) connecting your toes and heel gets inflamed and tightens.
Plantar fasciitis release surgery – also known as a plantar fasciotomy – either partially or completely severs the fascia to release the tension and inflammation in the foot and heel. This corrective surgery can provide permanent relief for patients with severe plantar fasciitis symptoms and for whom more conservative measures failed to work.
Bone spurs on the bottom of the heel sometimes occur along with plantar fasciitis, in which case your surgeon may recommend removing the heel spur at the same time as the plantar fasciitis release procedure.
There are many reasons you may require a soft tissue repair for your foot and ankle. It is common during reconstructive surgeries that involve torn ligaments or tendons. In some cases, the connective tissue around the ankle are tightened during another foot or ankle surgery, for better post-op support.
Foot & Ankle Surgery in RI and MA
Are you considering a surgical solution to your foot or ankle problem? The board-certified doctors and surgeons at the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England will cater to your foot and ankle needs thoroughly. From soft tissue repairs to complex fracture care, our surgeons will ensure the provision best medical and surgical care for your foot and ankle needs.
You can also simply request an appointment now.