In an ideal world, our medical professionals would be able to correct conditions that cause us pain or discomfort with the use of nonsurgical treatment. However, from time to time there are foot and ankle conditions that continue to cause us pain or interrupt our daily activities.
The podiatry team at Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida is exceptionally skilled at providing conservative care, but sometimes reconstructive surgery is necessary to restore a patient’s foot back to health.
Conditions That May Require Reconstructive Foot Surgery
The good news is that many conditions can be effectively resolved without surgery. However, certain disorders often require surgery at some point, including:
- Bunions. These are perhaps the most common toe deformities. Females are more likely than men to experience them. Bunions are marked by the distinguishable bump on the inside edge of the foot, most often to the side of the big toe.
- Hammertoes. This condition, as well as the related ones of mallet toe and claw toes, involve an imbalance in strength between the tendons and muscles found on the tops and the bottoms of toes. This leads to an abnormal bending that can be painful and lead to further issues.
- Flatfoot. Flexible or pediatric flatfoot might not be a major health concern, but a rigid condition that causes ankle pain and difficulty with daily activities is a different story.
- Bone fractures. There are different types and severity of bone fractures, including ones where the fracture has occurred causing the bones to not line up properly for normal healing. In these instances, reconstructive surgery is necessary to place everything back where it belongs.
Some of the conditions mentioned are progressive in nature. This means they will not get better on their own, they are irreversible, and conservative care can only address symptoms and not the issue as a whole. When treatment is needed, we will often rely on a reconstructive surgical procedure.
Types of Reconstructive Surgery
Some of the procedures we may use are:
- Tendon repair/transfer. Depending on the surgery, we may need to either repair a tendon by making cuts and sewing the ends together, or transfer a tendon from one location to another.
- Bone fusion. Separate bones in the foot can be fused together to restrict movement in a procedure that is sometimes used to treat arthritic conditions.
- Joint implantation. This is essentially replacing a damaged or dysfunctional joint with an artificial joint or an orthopedic prosthesis.
- Bone grafting. Bone grafts are similar to tendon transfers, where a graft of bone is taken from a different location to help fix bone tissue that has been damaged due to trauma.
- Osteotomy. In some cases, we need to make cuts in bones, reposition them, and then hold the bones in place with the use of screws, pins, or plates.
Preparing for Your Procedure
Prior to surgery, we will perform a thorough foot/ankle exam, conduct or order various tests if indicated and have your obtain necessary medical clearances to improve surgical outcome. It is our goal to be completely familiar with the area before the procedure so we can deliver optimal results. This also includes a careful review of your medical history and any existing conditions. To further ensure your safety and reduce the risk of complications, we will evaluate your current medical condition, including allergies, medications, illnesses, etc.
Recovering from Foot Surgery
Naturally, every reconstructive foot surgery and recovery will differ based on the patient and the procedure being performed. With this in mind, we will provide guidelines for your recovery timeframe. Additionally, we will discuss what you can expect from the procedure, any preparations that need to be made, and what actions you will need to take while recovering from surgery.
Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida
Whether your condition can be resolved with conservative care or you need a surgical procedure, Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida is committed to your foot health. Give us a call at 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (for those calling from Lake County) to speak with one of our staff members or use our online contact form if you have additional questions. You can request an appointment online at the office location most convenient for you - Orlando, Kissimmee, Lake Mary, Tavares, or Altamonte Springs, FL.