Foot and Ankle Surgery
There are many elements including: bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves, in your feet and ankles that together support your balance, weight and movement. They undergo a lot of pressure and as such are susceptible to injuries and wear and tear.
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 effective and accurate diagnosis and treatment of your problem.
At Mount Stuart Hospital we offer quick and easy access to expert consultant orthopaedic surgeons who can diagnose and treat a wide range of foot and ankle conditions to get you mobile again without pain. Sports injuries, foot pain, ankle pain, heel pain, tendon issues, bunions, arthritis, toe problems and changing foot shapes are some of the foot and ankle problems we frequently see and manage.
The range of foot and ankle surgeries we offer
A bunion (hallux valgus) is a swelling at the base of your big toe. It’s associated with the toe leaning towards the neighbouring toe. The bony lump may be painful and rub on your shoes causing inflammation, pain and sometimes difficulty walking. It can also make shoe-fitting problematic.
In certain cases, advice about shoes allows surgery to be postponed or avoided altogether. If surgery is required, the bony lump will be removed and the big toes straightened.
A swelling of the nerve in between your toes, often the third and fourth toes, is known as Morton's neuroma, Morton's metatarsalgia or interdigital neuroma. The enlarged nerve is thought to be due to the toe bones pressing on the nerve as the gap between the bones is narrow. If you’ve Morton’s neuroma you’ll probably feel persistent pain in the ball of your foot which may spread to your toes.
This pressure on your nerve can be related to an injury, flat feet, poor-fitting shoes and playing sports that put pressure on your feet.
Often simple changes can help relieve the pain such as wearing more spacious footwear, using orthotic devices, taking painkillers and avoiding some sporting activities. Injections may be recommended and sometimes surgery is needed to reduce the compression on your nerve. Surgery will either cut into the nerve or remove surrounding tissue to make space around the nerve.
Zadeks procedure is a simple procedure for ingrowing toenails. An ingrowing toenail is common and can happen to any toe when the side of the nail cuts into the skin next to the nail. This can become painful and the skin next to the nail may become inflamed.
Zadeks procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and removes your whole toenail and the area of tissue that your toenail grows from and your nail will never re-grow.
Medically referred to as hallux rigidus, arthritic toe is osteoarthritis in the main joint of your big toe. The arthritis damages the surfaces of your big toe joint and it can no longer move smoothly. You may feel pain and your toe may become stiff and inflamed. Walking may be difficult.
Non-surgical treatments can reduce pain and stiffness and include: anti-inflammatory medicines, changes in footwear and injections into the joint.
If these aren’t successful, there are a number of surgeries available to treat your arthritic toes which your surgeon will discuss with you. They can range from trimming and washing out your joint to joint replacement.
Claw and hammer toes cause pain and deformity of your lesser toes. Your lesser toes are all toes excluding your big toe. Claw and hammer toes are caused by a tendon in the foot contracting and pulling the toe. They can be the result of wearing badly fitting shoes or an underlying muscle imbalance.
If you have a claw toe your first bone is raised and the second two bones point downwards, so that your toe looks like a claw. If you have a hammer toe your first bone is slightly raised, the second bone tilts downwards and end bone is almost flat and your toe resembles a hammer.
Changing shoes, doing toe exercises, using orthotics, splints and medicines may help relieve your lesser toe problems. Most claw or hammer toes require surgery to straighten the toes. Your foot and ankle surgeon may perform surgery to release trapped soft tissue and lengthen your tendon. They may remove the cartilage from the end of your toe bones in the middle joint and insert a pin to hold the two ends together so that the bones can fuse together.
The following Consultants specialise in foot and ankle surgery at Mount Stuart HospitalMr Ashraf Awad