Feet bear the brunt of our busy and hectic lifestyles causing Foot pain and ankle pain. This can be treated with physiotherapy and splints but may require specialist investigations and in some cases arthroscopic (key hole) surgery.
Diabetic feet require specialist attention combining a package of wound care, education and appropriate footwear. Surgery may be needed to correct a malalignment if the deformity causes chronic pain. Our surgeons treat a wide variety of foot and ankle disorders and problems.
Some of the frequently treated problems include:
- Bunion ( Hallux Valgus) is a painful enlargement of the joint situated at the base of the big toe. A bunion actually refers to the bony prominence or exostosis on the side of the big toe. A large sac of fluid, known as a bursa, can form over the enlarged joint which can then become inflamed and painful. Surgery to remove the bony prominence is called a bunionectomy. There are over 130 different procedures recorded for treating this condition. Your Podiatric Surgeon will choose the right procedure for your individual needs. Smaller bunions can also develop on the outside of the little toe joint, these are known as Tailors bunions and are also treated surgically using similar techniques.
- Arthritic damage to the joints in the arch of the foot Arthritis of the joints of the arch of the foot often goes unnoticed until it has become quite advanced. There are many types of arthritis but osteoarthritis is the most common type to affect these joints. Early symptoms can include “aches” within the joints often occurring after activity. In later stages there may be persistent swelling around the joint or hard lumps around the edge of the joints. In some patients these lumps (called “osteophytes”) are the cause of additional symptoms because they cause pressure on adjacent soft tissue structures. Removal of the osteophytes or surgical fusion (stiffening) of the damaged joints is the usual surgical treatment.
- Neuromas An enlarged nerve, usually between the 3rd and 4th toes caused by nerve irritation and entrapment between bones. The podiatric surgeon routinely removes neuromas under local anaesthetic. Delicate surgical techniques generally result in permanent resolution of this sometimes extremely painful condition.
- Plantar Fasciitis An inflammation of the connective tissue found on the underside of the foot. Most patients respond to non surgical treatment such as the prescription of orthoses, but on occasion surgery is required. Key hole techniques are used to treat the condition.
- Heel bumps (Haglund’s Deformity) An enlargement of the bone at the back of the heel which can encourage bursitis to develop. Various operations are utilised, ranging from bone removal to the “tilting” of bones into a better position to alleviate the problem.
- Lumps, bumps, cysts and ganglions Patients frequently complain of painful lumps that press and rub on the shoe. If a change in footwear or other non surgical measures fail to resolve such problems, surgical techniques can be used to remove bony prominences or soft tissue formations.
- Bone spurs An excessive growth of bone causing pain or limitation of movement. Spurs can develop at the edges of joints, tendons and ligaments. Their removal can usually be undertaken under local anaesthetic.
- Achilles tendon problems Most patients respond to non-surgical treatment. On occasion the tendon will be stripped of its inflamed thickened tissue. Tendon lengthening is sometimes required to treat the condition.
- Fractures and Sprains A fracture is a broken bone. A sprain is an injury to a ligament, which connects bone to bone. Fractures and sprains of the hand and wrist occur everyday in the most routine ways. People slip on ice, fall off a skateboard or trip during a morning jog. The resulting injuries run from the simple to the complex. Treatment depends on the specific bones or ligaments involved, the damage’s severity, the patient’s age and the doctor’s careful evaluation. Setting a bone and applying a cast may be enough. Or, surgery may be the wisest course.
- A hammer toe is a deformity of the second, third or fourth toes. In this condition, the toe is bent at the middle joint, so that it resembles a hammer. Initially, hammer toes are flexible and can be corrected with simple measures but, if left untreated, they can become fixed and require surgery. People with hammer toe may have corns or calluses on the top of the middle joint of the toe or on the tip of the toe. They may also feel pain in their toes or feet and have difficulty finding comfortable shoes.
- Club Foot is a congenital deformity involving one foot or both. Although clubfoot is painless in a baby, treatment should begin immediately to avoid signficant problems as the child grows. With early treatment most children with club foot are able to lead a normal life TThe foot – or feet– turns to the side and the affected foot, leg and calf are smaller and shorter than the unaffected limb. A relatively new nonsurgical procedure delivers promising results. This involves the gradually stretching of the foot, casting it and, later, bracing it at night. When appropriate surgery, aims to align the foot properly. A cast is applied after the procedure, and patient may require special shoes or braces when healing is done.