Foot and Ankle Surgery

Foot and ankle surgery
Close-up of male doctor bandaging foot of patient at doctor’s office.

If conservative or non-invasive treatments do not work, your podiatrist will discuss surgery with you for many foot and ankle problems.

Some types of foot surgery include:

  • Bunion surgery to relieve the pain of a bunion and reposition the joint. Recovery time can be lengthy and involve a cast with crutches.
  • Fusions join two or more bones together at a joint with screws, plates or pins. Fusions help treat arthritis or painful conditions of the foot or ankle.
  • For hammertoe surgery, the foot surgeon removes a portion of the bone to realign the toe. This surgery may also fuse the toe joints.
  • If a heel spur causes pain, surgery to remove it can relieve the pain and restore mobility. A plantar fascia release may be done at the same time.
  • Metatarsal surgery on the long bones of the foot is commonly performed to redistribute weight-bearing on the ball of the foot.
  • Toenail surgery to remove a part of the nail or the whole nail may be required if the nail has become damaged, infected or deformed. This surgery is usually performed in the podiatrist’s office under local anesthetic.
  • Neuroma surgery removes the benign enlargement of the nerve to relieve symptoms of burning, numbness or tingling.
  • Patients with functional or balance problems, serious pain, deformity, congenital defects or disease may need reconstructive surgery. A reconstructive procedure can include bone fusion, joint implantation, bone grafting, tumor excision, amputation, soft tissue repair or tendon repair.
  • Skin surgery can treat skin cancer, warts, moles or rashes. If necessary, we will perform a biopsy.
  • A tendon rupture or other serious injury may require tendon surgery. This surgery is helpful for chronic conditions as well as acute injuries.

Post-Operative Care

Each foot surgery will require unique after-care for an uneventful recovery. Basically, at-home treatment after surgery includes RICE, or rest, icing, compression and elevation. Splints, casts, surgical shoes and bandages may be necessary.

Your podiatrist will assess the degree of weight-bearing, if any, that is appropriate based on you and your surgery. Crutches or canes may be necessary.

For the best post-surgical outcome, follow all post-operative instructions as recommended by your doctor carefully.