Foot and Ankle Surgery
There are more than 50 bones and joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments in the foot alone. It also has a network of blood-vessels, nerves, skin and soft tissues. These elements work together to provide balance, support and mobility.
Your feet and ankles withstand a lot of pressure when you stand and move around and can be prone to wear and tear problems and injuries. They’re enclosed in shoes that don’t always fit well and this can have a great impact on your feet and result in issues such as bunions and Morton’s neuroma.
Pain in your feet and ankles can be particularly difficult. Any movement can cause pain yet it’s essential that you can get around for your day to day activities.
Here at Winfield Hospital we have expert consultant orthopaedic surgeons with a special interest in foot and ankle surgery who diagnose and treat a wide range of foot and ankle conditions with the aim of reducing your pain and resuming your mobility.
The range of foot and ankle surgeries we offer
A bunion, medically known as hallux valgus, is a swelling on the side of your big toe joint. It occurs when the big toe leans too much into the smaller toes and a bony lump appears on the inside of your foot.
This bony lump is prone to rubbing from shoes and often causes inflammation, discomfort, pain and difficulty walking. Sometimes the foot becomes so wide that it’s hard to find shoes that fit comfortably.
Advice on shoes may be offered. Depending upon the extent of your bunion, surgery may be required to remove the bony lump and realign your big toe.
Morton's neuroma (Morton's metatarsalgia or interdigital neuroma) is an enlarged nerve or swelling normally between the third and fourth toes. It occurs due to the toe bones pressing on your nerve when the gap between the bones is narrow. Often people feel persistent pain in the ball of the foot and the pain may spread to the toes.
Injury, flat feet, wearing ill-fitting shoes, being overweight and playing sports that put pressure on your feet can result in Morton’s neuroma.
Morton's neuroma can often be treated with simple, non-surgical procedures. Changing your footwear, orthotic devices, losing weight, painkillers, avoiding some sporting activities and injections may help with the pain. If the condition doesn’t respond to these, minor surgery may be recommended to reduce the compression on the nerve. This involves cutting into the nerve or removing some of the surrounding tissue to increase space around the nerve.
Zadeks procedure is a simple procedure performed under local anaesthetic to treat in-growing toenails. It removes your whole toenail and the area of tissue that your toenail grows from and means your nail will never re-grow.
In-growing toenails often occur due to improper cutting of the nail that causes it to push into the flesh. In-growing toenails can cause pain and inflammation.
Arthritic toe, also known as hallux rigidus, is osteoarthritis in the main joint of your big toe. Damage to the surfaces in your joint cause it not to move smoothly and results in pain. Your toe may become inflamed and stiff and make walking painful.
Pain relief, anti-inflammatory medicines, shoe modifications or injections into the joint are normally the first line of treatment to reduce pain and stiffness.
Surgery may be required to treat your arthritic toe. There are a number of surgeries available and your foot and ankle surgeon will discuss the best procedure for you to relieve your pain.
Claw and hammer toes are conditions that affect the lesser toes and cause them to look strange and/or be painful. They are due to one of the tendons in the foot contracting.
A claw toe is when the first bone is raised and the second two bones point downwards resulting in your toes looking like a claw. A hammer toe is when the first bone is slightly raised, the second bone tilts downwards and the bone at the tip is almost flat and resembles a hammer.
Claw and hammer toes are often due to wearing poor fitting shoes or an underlying muscle imbalance. Sometimes they can be treated by changing to roomy toe box shoes, doing toe exercises, using orthotics, splints and medicines. However, most claw or hammer toes require surgery to straighten the toes. Minor procedures are often used to release trapped soft tissue and for tendon lengthening. Fusion may be required for more acute deformities.
The following Consultants specialise in foot and ankle surgery at Winfield Hospital