Foot and ankle reconstruction is a surgery performed to correct the structures of the foot and ankle, and restore the natural functionality of the foot that has been lost due to foot and ankle injuries.
The primary objectives of foot and ankle reconstruction are reduction of pain from foot and ankle injuries and restoration of function and appearance.
Reconstructive foot and ankle surgery is performed to correct birth defects, diseases and other foot and ankle injuries and can greatly benefit patients’ medical and aesthetic needs. It is often recommended when conservative treatments fail to resolve the symptoms. It is a good option for permanently treating common foot and ankle injuries.
The foot is divided into three parts:
The ankle is formed of the talus bone, which supports the tibia (shin bone) and fibula in the leg. The tibiotalar joint (ankle joint) allows the foot to move up and down. The lateral malleolus is the bony protrusion on the outer ankle, formed by the distal end of the fibula. The medial malleolus is the inner ankle bone, formed by the distal end of the tibia.
Cartilage cushions the bones and allows them to glide smoothly over one another. Tendons connect muscles to bone to provide support. The Achilles tendon, which wraps around the heel bone, is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. Bursae, small sacs that contain synovial fluid, help to decrease friction between tendons and bones or skin.
Ligaments connect bones to other bones. The plantar fascia is the longest foot ligament, acting as a shock absorber and supporting the foot arch. Other ligaments include the talo-fibular and calcaneo-fibular ligaments.
The main advantages of foot and ankle surgery are:
ACHILLES TENDON REPAIR: When the thick tendon that connects the back of the heel to the calf muscles is torn, surgery is often necessary to properly reconnect the torn ends back together. The ends of the Achilles tendon may naturally reconnect without surgery, but nonsurgical treatment often results in the injury occurring again and a slower recovery. This is why athletes usually opt for surgery to repair this injury.
FUSION SURGERY: When a joint has extensive damage and is causing chronic pain, fusion surgery may be recommended. The pain is usually caused by bone-on-bone scraping during movement, as the protective tissues and other elements are degraded and are therefore no longer working properly. This type of foot surgery is performed to remove the remaining cartilage and to permanently join (fuse) the adjacent bone tissues together. This is done using plates and screws to enable the natural fusion process, which will prevent the movement that is causing pain and other symptoms.
FOOT FRACTURE SURGERY: While simple foot fractures may heal on their own, complex fractures require surgery. Surgeries to address foot fractures have a high success rate.
METATARSAL SURGERY: Your foot and ankle specialist may recommend metatarsal surgery to repair bunions, rheumatoid arthritis, or another issue that is causing deformity in the foot. The procedure involves cutting the metatarsal bone, repositioning it, and fastening it in place using metal pins, plates, or screws.
MORTON’S NEUROMA SURGERY: Morton’s neuroma is a condition that causes pain in the toes and the ball of the foot where a mass of tissue has grown around a nerve. The surgeon will decompress the nerve or to remove the inflamed nerve altogether, thereby relieving the debilitating, burning pain.
TOE DEFORMITY CORRECTION SURGERY: Severe corns, calluses, bunions, and hammertoes can disfigure the feet. A deformed toe causes pain and discomfort, and it increases your risk of falls and other injury-causing accidents. Surgical treatment can be performed to straighten out and reposition the toes so that you can walk properly without any pain or discomfort.
RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY: A foot deformity can affect balance and gait, and this should be addressed with reconstructive surgery. Patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or a severe injury may require this type of foot surgery.
The surgery to be performed depends on several factors such as the :
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