How Do You Know When You Need Surgery for Your Foot?

Surgery is often an intervention people want only as a last resort. But foot and ankle pain can be very difficult to deal with and significantly impair your daily life. If you need help knowing when you need surgery for your foot, check out this guide.

foot surgeryHow You Know When You Need Surgery For Your Foot

In some cases, getting surgery on your foot or ankle is the best course of action if you want to get back to your pain-free life. Some of these situations include:

Pain That Gets Worse or Doesn’t Go Away

Over time, minor ankle and foot injuries are typically able to heal gradually on their own simply with plenty of rest and minimal activity. So, if your pain does not disappear or even gets worse over time, it may be time to contact a doctor. In addition, if your pain leads to difficulty sleeping, it is time to speak to a doctor. Restless nights are not good for your overall physical or mental health, so the problem should be addressed. 

Mobility Is Limited

Because we use our feet so much every single day, a foot or ankle injury can have a significant impact on your life. You might think nothing of an injury or pain that occurs every once in a while. You may even justify that it only happens occasionally, therefore it’s not a big deal. However, that pain can quickly turn into something that limits your ability to walk, run, and move properly. With that limited mobility, moving around for your daily life and exercising can become extremely difficult.

Painful Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis is one of the most common conditions people experience in all parts of their body, but specifically the foot and ankle. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common arthritic conditions that may require ankle surgery. Unfortunately, arthritis is a degenerative disease that can only be managed, and not cured. Still, when painful symptoms of arthritis cannot be managed conservatively, surgery is recommended. There are three common ankle surgery types used to treat ankle arthritis. They include ankle fusion, triple fusion, and ankle replacement. Again, these surgeries will not cure the arthritis, but instead help manage the pain and discomfort from it. 

foot x-ray

Foot and Ankle Surgery Types

The foot and ankle happen to be two of the most complex areas of the body. They are a place where numerous bones, muscles, joints, and more all meet and allow us to move around efficiently. When you discuss foot and ankle surgery with a doctor, you will likely hear about these common types of foot operations.

Ankle Arthroscopy

This ankle surgery type is generally used for arthritis and ankle injuries. It is a minimally invasive surgery that requires several small incisions in your ankle. During this surgery, special instruments are used to remove fragments of bone or cartilage from the ankle. The fact that only small incisions are needed mean you will likely have less pain and a quicker recovery than if you had open surgery. 

Tendon Surgery

For people who experience chronic tendonitis or synovitis of the ankle, this surgery can be relatively simple. In it, a surgeon takes out diseased tendon tissue or repairs a tear. However, tendon surgery can also encompass more complex procedures like an Achilles repair or reconstruction. In this type of foot operation, a diseased tendon gets removed and could also be replaced with a different tendon from the foot.

Ankle Fracture Surgery

An ankle fracture surgery refers to when there are broken bones in the ankle. These can be either partial breaks or complete breaks. When this occurs, surgery can be used to stabilize the breaks and help the bone heal correctly. The surgeon may use screws, metal plates, and metal wires to hold the bone in place during healing. There are several specific types of surgery that could be used depending on the type and severity of the fracture. Since there are so many variables, the cost of this ankle surgery can range quite a bit. 

Ankle Fusion

Ankle fusion surgery is another type of surgery that can help treat arthritis. During this surgery, surgeons remove damaged tissue from the surfaces of the ankle joint affected by arthritis. After that, surgeons will fuse the ankle bones together permanently with screws and metal plates. 

Ankle Replacement

Occasionally, the ankle and its bones are damaged beyond repair. In this situation, doctors may need to carefully remove the damaged ankle joint. They then replace it with a replacement joint, which can either be made of plastic or metal. Most of the time, surgeons attach the replacement joint to the existing bone using a special type of glue. They may also use screws to help stabilize the replacement joint. This is the most expensive ankle surgery type.

Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

This is a type of surgery used for chronic ankle instability or foot deformities. This procedure is also known as the Brostrom procedure. In it, the surgeon will make a small cut on the outside of your ankle. Then, they will tighten loose and weakened ligaments that may be causing instability in your ankle.

foot surgeryDo You Need Surgery for Your Foot?

We understand that you may be apprehensive about receiving any kind of surgery on your foot or ankle. That’s why you want to be sure that it is the necessary course of action. If you are in Algonquin, come visit Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois, you will get our expert evaluation of your condition and treatment options, which may include surgery. We will advise you of the best course of action to help you get back on your feet without pain.

Written by Client