For the vast majority of foot and ankle conditions and injuries, nonsurgical management is almost always considered as the first-line treatment. However, for those that are inherently complex or have gradually worsened beyond conservative interventions, surgery may be the only recourse.
Foot and ankle surgeries are essentially geared toward not only mitigating the debilitating symptoms but also restoring normal foot and ankle function and improving a person’s overall quality of life.
Let’s explore some of the common types of foot and ankle surgeries and their specific purposes:
Achilles Tendon Repair
The Achilles tendon is a strong band of fibrous tissue that connects the muscles of your calf to your heel bone. Although the Achilles tendon is designed to bear the brunt of your everyday movements, it is also vulnerable to injury.
An Achilles tendon rupture occurs when the tendon gets stretched beyond its capacity. An Achilles tendon is also susceptible to degeneration, which results when the inflammation in the Achilles tendon is not get resolved promptly.
Although nonsurgical treatment approaches can address an Achilles tendon rupture just as well, they often result in reinjury and involve a slower recovery. This is why an orthopedic surgeon may recommend an Achilles tendon repair.
During the surgery, the orthopedic surgeon will make an incision in your calf. If you sustained a tendon rupture, your surgeon will stitch your tendon back together. If tendon is degenerated, your surgeon may get rid of the damaged part of the tendon and stitch back the rest of it.
Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for diagnosing and treating problems in the ankle, such as fractures, ligament and cartilage tears, and joint infection (septic arthritis). An orthopedic surgeon may recommend ankle arthroscopy to evaluate the extent of damage from any of the conditions and injuries earlier mentioned and possibly repair it.
The procedure involves the use of a thin fiber-optic camera (arthroscope) that allows your orthopedic surgeon to look inside your ankle and remove loose cartilage or bone, without making a large incision.
With the small and precise incisions made during an arthroscopic surgery, you will likely experience less pain and enjoy faster recovery compared to a traditional open surgery.
Toe Deformity Correction Surgery
Foot deformities can either be congenital or acquired. Acquired foot deformities are mostly due to large bunions or severe cases of calluses, corns, and hammertoes. These conditions cause pain and discomfort, and ultimately increase your risk of accidents or falls.
An orthopedic surgeon can recommend a toe deformity correction surgery, such as a proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint fusion for hammertoes, which involves cutting the ends of the bones in the joint and joining them together. This is aimed at stabilizing and straightening the toe, thereby enabling you to walk properly and without pain.
Foot and Ankle Surgery in Central Maryland
If you have a foot or ankle problem that is causing you chronic pain and/or reduced mobility, contact us at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (OACM) for a consultation with one of our orthopedic surgeons today. We provide high-quality, comprehensive nonsurgical and surgical treatments for many foot and ankle conditions and injuries. On top of that, we have a state-of-the-art ambulatory surgical center and on-site diagnostic imaging services, so you never have to drive around town for your care.