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Foot and Ankle Specialist

Foot and ankle injuries can be painful and debilitating, but they don’t have to derail your life. An orthopedic foot and ankle specialist will evaluate your injury and offer treatment suggestions; if necessary, they can also perform ankle or foot surgery to give you some relief. From sports injuries and tendonitis in the foot to sprained toes and ankle fractures, our specialists can treat it all.

Ankle Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used for diagnostic testing and to treat injuries and abnormalities within the joints. This type of ankle surgery is commonly used to confirm a diagnosis made by physical examination and imaging. Ankle surgery once required an invasive open procedure that left patients with long hospital stays and recovery times. Now many of those procedures can be performed with the simpler, less invasive ankle arthroscopy.

What is this procedure used for?

Ankle arthroscopy can be used to treat a wide range of ankle joint conditions and relieve the chronic pain frequently associated with them. Ankle specialists often use it to treat:

  • Tissue bands
  • Ligament tears
  • Articular cartilage damage
  • Bone spurs
  • Tendonitis
  • Arthritis

How is an ankle arthroscopy performed?

Ankle arthroscopy is performed on an outpatient basis and uses tiny incisions to access the ankle joint. During this procedure, a camera tube called an arthroscope is inserted into one of the incisions and small surgical instruments into the others. The arthroscope allows the surgeon to visually examine the ankle bones and other tissue and guide the instruments to the area for treatment. An ankle specialist needs about 30 to 45 minutes to perform an arthroscopy.

This procedure is performed under general anesthesia. Patients may experience some pressure, but otherwise, the procedure is painless. Exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for six weeks after the procedure.

What are the benefits of getting an ankle arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy offers many benefits over traditional open surgery because of its minimally invasive nature. Arthroscopy reduces the trauma associated with many ankle procedures and allows patients to get relief from their pain through a simple, outpatient procedure.

Ankle arthroscopy offers patients:

  • Shorter recovery times
  • Less scarring
  • Less bleeding
  • Smaller incisions
  • No cutting of muscles or tendons
  • Less pain and discomfort

What Are the Risks of Arthroscopy?

While ankle arthroscopy is considered a safe procedure, there are certain risks associated with any surgery. Some of these risks include infection, nerve damage, and tingling, numbness, and burning sensations. These risks are considered rare, as most patients undergo this procedure with little to no complications.

Although ankle arthroscopy can benefit many patients, it is not for everyone. Talk to your foot and ankle doctor to learn more about this procedure and find out if it is right for you.

Achilles Tendon Rupture

An Achilles tendon rupture is a common injury involving tearing the thick band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel and helps with nearly any kind of foot movement. The Achilles tendon can be partially or completely torn; this most commonly occurs as a result of repeated stress on the tendon.

Most Achilles tendon injuries require surgery to reattach the tendon, allowing the patient to resume normal foot function. Nonsurgical treatment is only reserved for the mildest of cases or for patients who lead a sedentary life. Until surgery is performed, patients will likely suffer from recurring (chronic) tears.

During the Achilles tendon repair procedure, an incision is made along the back of the ankle to access the tendon. The torn ends are reattached using strong sutures that are placed on both ends. The sutures are tied together and the incision is then closed.

After surgery, patients will need to undergo six to eight weeks of physical therapy and wear a walking boot or cast while the foot heals. The foot may be positioned differently within the cast as healing progresses to maximize movement.

Jones Fractures

A Jones fracture involves an injury to the fifth metatarsal bone of the foot, which is the bone at the base of the small toe. It was named after Sir Robert Jones, who first described the fracture in 1902. This type of injury is more than just a foot sprain. It most often occurs as a result of an ankle sprain or other type of inversion foot injury, and not as a result of direct impact to the area. A Jones fracture may also be caused by a stress or fatigue fracture.

Patients with a Jones fracture may experience pain along the middle and outside of their foot, along with swelling and difficulty walking. Treatment usually requires immobilizing the area with a cast and using crutches to avoid putting weight on the bone. If a Jones fracture does not heal properly, it can become chronic. Surgery for foot conditions like this is sometimes necessary. 

A foot surgeon can repair the fracture and keep the bone in place with a screw or bone graft. Surgery may be performed as the initial treatment option for competitive athletes or other patients who require a speedy healing period.

Don’t let foot and ankle pain keep you from your active lifestyle. A board-certified foot and ankle doctor can provide comprehensive care and a treatment plan. Contact us today to consult with an expert SI Ortho foot and ankle specialist.