Procedures to Treat Foot and Ankle Conditions

Procedures to Treat Foot and Ankle Conditions

Ankle Fusion

Also termed as ankle arthrodesis, ankle fusion involves surgery to fuse ankle bones into one bone. The goal of this treatment option is to eliminate extraneous motion of the ankles.

Ankle fusion is performed in the operating room with patients that are sedated so that the patient does not feel the pain from the surgery. Sometimes, screws and plates are used to hold the fused ankle bones in place.

Ankle Joint Replacement

Ankle Joint Replacement is a surgical procedure performed to remove an injured or broken ankle joint. It is then replaced with metal or plastic components that resembles a new joint.

Recovery requires a period of immobilization and non-weight bearing until the joints have been stabilized. After the site has healed, range of motion activities are performed gradually to take the stress off the newly replaced ankle joint.

Arthroscopic (Minimally Invasive) Ankle Surgery

Ankle arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that is minimally invasive. This procedure involves insertion of an “arthroscope” (a soft, tiny, flexible tube with a video camera and a light at the end) to an ankle joint. This tube allows the surgeons to visualize and evaluate the condition of the ankle.

Arthroscopic ankle surgery benefits patients as it offers faster recovery period and less pain because it is less invasive than traditional surgery.

Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

Lateral ankle ligament reconstruction is generally an outpatient surgery. It is mostly done under regional or general anesthesia. Surgical techniques for this procedure depend on the problem existing on the ankle. Sometimes, this surgery involves stitching of ligaments for repair. In some cases, tendons are used to replace the broken ligaments.

The goal of this operation is to restore the ankle’s stability and reduce pain associated with the condition. Total recovery time may take 6 to 12 months.

Ankle Fixation

Different types of injury can damage the ankle bones. Ankle Fixation is a type of surgery that is used to fix, stabilize, and heal broken ankle bones. If the ankle is fractured, a procedure called ORIF (Open Reduction Internal Fixation) may be necessary. In an open reduction, pieces of the broken bones are repositioned to their normal alignment. Open reduction, on the other hand, refers to the process of physically reconnecting the separated bones with the use of rods or screws, as well as wires, plates, and nails. These special metals allow the bones to heal normally.

Debridement of Achilles Tendon

Achilles tendon debridement is an outpatient procedure performed to repair a degenerated or damaged Achilles tendon. The procedure involves debridement – removal of damaged or scarred tissues, tendon transfer (for severe cases), and suturing together of the healthy tissues. After the procedure, a splint or cast may be necessary for temporary immobilization.

Tightrope Fixation

Tightrope Fixation is a surgical procedure to stabilize an injured ankle. It is commonly used to repair and support high ankle sprain, and cases of separated tibia and fibula. The tightrope procedure involves anchoring of the two bones (tibia and fibula) together with the use of polyethylene cord to restore normal position of the bones. This fixation allows proper healing and provides support to the ankle bones.

Achilles Suture Bridge

Achilles Suture Bridge is a procedure done to reattach the Achilles tendon which is usually damaged in conditions like Achilles tendinosis. This goal of this surgical technique is to improve the heel’s stability.

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)

ESWT is a non-invasive procedure that sends energy waves to deliver mechanical force to specific body tissues. The goal of shock waves is to induce healing on the affected area.

Originally developed to treat kidney stones by dissolving them through the use of shockwaves, ESWT can also over-stimulate the nerve, and eliminate inflammation.

Plantar Fascia Release

Plantar fascia release involves partial cutting of the plantar fascia ligament (thick band of tissue connecting toes to heel bone) to relieve tension in the tissue. It removes the painful or diseased portion of the tissues.

It is typically completed as an outpatient surgery, patients go home but may be advised to limit or avoid weight-bearing temporarily. If sutures are placed, it may be removed 14 days post-surgery.

If you would like more information about these procedures, contact us to discuss different options with one of our podiatrists.

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