Most conditions of the feet and ankles can be treated quite successfully with conservative, noninvasive remedies. These relieve pain and foster healing without foreign objects entering the body in any way. However, sometimes foot conditions don’t respond to these methods. You may develop injuries or disease-related conditions that cause significant pain or deformities, and noninvasive options are not enough to alleviate your discomfort. That is when surgery becomes an option.
Surgery works to restore function to your feet or ankles. It’s usually considered if conservative methods have already failed to help you, or if the injury or deformity is quite severe. As a highly-trained, board-certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Paul C. LaFata will work with you to determine what procedure will be best for your unique feet when this occurs.
Problems and Procedures
Some conditions and surgeries are more common than others. Here are a few that may become necessary to manage your painful problems:
- Bunions – A bunionectomy realigns the big toe and repairs the damaged joint. This procedure can be performed many different ways.
- Tailor’s bunion/bunionette – This repair realigns and fixes the damage to the fifth toe and its first joint.
- Hammertoe, mallet toe, or claw toe releases – Toe deformities that become rigid have to be addressed surgically. There are multiple ways to perform each of these releases.
- Metatarsal head surgeries – Sometimes an issue with a metatarsal head can lead to ball of the foot pain. Surgery can help adjust these bones to relieve that discomfort.
- Ingrown toenail removal – A painful ingrown nail will need to be cut away to feel better. This can be a partial or complete nail removal, depending on your needs.
- Lisfranc dislocation/fracture repairs – Damage to your Lisfranc joint frequently needs surgery to heal. This can include realigning dislocations and using hardware to pin fractured bones in place.
- Plantar fascia release – Chronic heel pain may need to have the super-tightened plantar fascia ligament released to relieve the pressure on the heel.
- Heel spur excision – Heel spurs contributing to heel pain can be clipped and removed.
- Haglund’s deformity removal – Sometimes the bump on the back of your heel may need to be removed to reduce the friction between the bone and your Achilles tendon.
- Ankle replacements – A severely damaged ankle joint may need to be replaced to continue to function.
- Severe sprain repairs – If you tear your ligaments when you sprain your ankles, you may need to have them repaired to prevent chronic weakness and joint pain.
- Hallux limitus/rigidus – When your big toe stiffens and the joint grinds together, it damages the surrounding soft tissues. You may need to fuse the bones to stop the pain from worsening.
- Joint fusions – Other joints in your foot, including the “non-moving” ones between your tarsals and metatarsals, can also develop arthritis. Fusing the bones eliminates joint irritation.
- Ankle fusion – A final resort for ankle damage, this eradicates inflammation between the bones.
- Charcot foot reconstruction – This complicated surgery rebuilds your foot after a Charcot foot collapse. Dr. Paul C. LaFata is a specialist for this type of procedure.
- Fracture repairs – Sometimes broken bones are not aligned, or the ends won’t stay together on their own. Foot surgeons can manipulate the bones into place and use pins to hold them together.
- Tendon repairs – Torn tendons have to be repaired to be functional again. This may include relocating, stitching together, and replacing damaged connectors.
- Cyst and tumor excision – Benign cysts and tumors can sometimes interfere with regular foot function. Removing them helps restore the limb to normal.
- Morton’s neuroma decompression – Sometimes reducing pressure on a neuroma by loosening or moving the tissues around it can relieve pain.
- Neuroma excision – This procedure entirely removes the damaged nervous tissue.
Surgery is a big commitment, but it can make a huge difference for your feet in many cases. If your lower limbs are not responding to normal remedies, or you’re struggling with a deformity of some kind, see how our team at West Lawn Podiatry Associates can help you. Contact our office in the Reading area in West Lawn, PA, by calling (610) 678-4581 or sending us an online request.