Surgery: An Answer for Chronic Conditions
Surgery makes many people nervous. It does come with some risks and involves an extended recovery time. However, for anyone who is suffering with a chronic problem or a serious and painful condition, a surgical procedure can offer real relief and healing.
Why Choose It?
Surgery is never considered a “first choice” for treatment. The vast majority of conditions that affect the feet and ankles are manageable—even correctable—using entirely conservative methods. Changing footwear, controlling abnormal motion with orthotics, stretching and strengthening tissues, and sometimes medications can make a significant difference for your lower limb health and comfort. However, these treatments are not always successful. Everyone’s feet and ankles are different, and may or may not respond to various methods.
When your pain is persistent or the damage is not healing, surgery becomes an option. Medicine has advanced significantly in the last several decades, and surgical techniques have improved. Most modern procedures are far less invasive and involve a quicker recovery time. Of course, the procedure you have will depend entirely on your needs and the severity of your condition.
How to Know It’s Needed
You can have surgery on any part of your foot for almost any problem that isn’t responding to other therapies. The correction could involve the bones, the soft tissues, the skin, or even your toenails. Before you have any kind of procedure, though, our team of specialists at NorthPointe Foot & Ankle will use various tests and diagnostic images to discern whether you actually need surgical treatment or not. Once your condition and your needs are confirmed, we can begin discussing the actual procedure with you.
Types of Correction
The exact techniques used on your feet will depend on your condition. Some common procedures include:
Arthritis corrections – A variety of methods can relieve pain and slow damage from arthritis, including bone fusions, joint replacements, and arthroplasty.
Connective tissue repairs – You can injure your tendons and ligaments when you’re active. If these tear, the ends generally need to be reattached to heal.
Mid and forefoot corrections – Your tarsals, metatarsals, and the connective tissues that hold them in place are vital for maintaining your foot shape and efficiency. Sometimes you need a surgical repair to keep them in the correct place.
Toe and nail procedures – Ingrown toenails, hammertoes, claw toes, bunions, bunionettes, and other problems can make your digits highly uncomfortable and difficult to use; conservative methods may not be enough to correct deformities.
Neuroma relief – Nerve damage from neuromas can be quite painful. Removing the nerve tumor offers immediate relief for your lower limbs.
Heel releases – Sometimes your heel pain needs some invasive care to release tightened tissues or remove bone spurs.
Fracture repairs – If the ends of your broken bones are not aligned, or the bones are cracked in multiple places, they may not heal correctly without being held in place by pins. This requires a procedure to insert the hardware and make sure the bones are aligned.
Diabetic procedures – Wounds and Charcot foot are very serious and can require extensive surgical management to avoid amputations.
Reconstructive procedures – Other injuries, infections, or illnesses may seriously destabilize the feet and ankles or cause deformities. Some problems are even present from birth. To allow you to walk normally and avoid significant discomfort, your foot may need to be reconstructed.
Where to Go for Foot Problems
Surgery can correct serious, even chronic problems in your feet and ankles. If your lower limbs are not responding to normal, noninvasive therapies, a surgical procedure could be an alternative that offers you real relief from your condition. Don’t let a fear of surgery keep you from seeking the medical help you need. You may still be able to treat your issue conservatively, but the longer you wait, the higher your chances that you will need surgery. Contact NorthPointe Foot & Ankle in Berkley, MI, for more information or to make an appointment. Call (248) 545-0100 or use our online request form to reach us.