Committing to surgery of any kind is a major decision. Committing to foot or ankle reconstructive surgery can sound even more overwhelming, and most people try to avoid it for as long as possible.
But the reality is you likely landed on this page because conservative treatment methods just haven’t been working for you. Maybe you feel as if you have tried everything out there, from physical therapy to OTC medications to custom orthotics to MLS laser therapy – you literally have done “everything under the sun” to avoid surgery but the pain is still there!
And when conservative care doesn’t provide the relief you need, or if your pain is significant and your condition is just too severe to respond to these non-invasive treatment methods, reconstructive surgery can restore health and mobility to your feet and ankles, and get you back to a lifestyle you may have thought you’d never live again – one without pain.
But What is Reconstructive Surgery?
Let’s start by comparing traditional surgery to reconstructive surgery.
Just like fixing a leaky pipe or replacing a cracked railing, most traditional surgical procedures are performed to put things together the way they were before breaking. So injuries endured during traumatic events, like getting a broken leg from a car accident, are usually addressed through traditional surgery.
Now, we say “traditional surgery” because reconstructive surgery works a little differently. This type of surgery is used to address inherited structural problems in the feet and ankles that impair biomechanical efficiency. Though you may also develop a slowly worsening deformity over time, and reconstructive surgery can be used to fix that, too.
So what’s the difference?
Well, fixing such problems via surgery isn’t as simple as setting a broken bone back in place. The goal of reconstructive surgery is to reshape and reconstruct the lower limb in order to restore balance and harmony to the feet, allowing you to return to your favorite activities without pain or discomfort.
What Foot and Ankle Conditions Can Be Treated with Reconstructive Surgery?
You should keep in mind that surgery may not always be the first choice for each of the conditions listed below. If your foot deformity is mild and not causing severe pain or immobility, then we will likely recommend conservative measures to help relieve your symptoms and prevent the condition from progressing.
Now, if these attempts have been tried and failed, or if we determine that your condition is too advanced, then reconstructive surgery may very well be your best option.
Some of the most common conditions we address with reconstructive surgery include:
- Diabetic wounds and ulcers
- Flat feet or high arches
- Ankle fractures
- Achilles tendinitis
- Webbed toes
- Neuromas, and more.
Do You Need Reconstructive Surgery?
As already mentioned, there are many factors to take into consideration like the level of pain and the severity of the condition. When you come to our office for an examination, we will also thoroughly review your medical history and discuss the conservative treatments you have already tried.
Here’s some things we will take into consideration:
- Is your pain level at a 5 or above on a 10-point scale?
- Has your pain been persistent for more than two weeks?
- Have you been on a treatment plan to address the problem for longer than four weeks?
- Is your foot and/or ankle pain keeping you from doing everyday activities?
If you have been experiencing foot or ankle pain of any kind, don’t wait to seek professional diagnosis and treatment – once a tendon pops or a bone fractures, there will be no more time for planning and a quick surgical decision will be forced on you if you want to keep moving.
On the other hand, if you are aware of how extensive the damage actually is and what will be involved to repair it, then you will have control of the timing of treatment and your outcome. And that is always a better option!
What Does Recovery Look Like?
After your surgery, we will advise you on what to do in order to ensure that your foot or ankle heals properly. But generally, patients will need plenty of rest and icing to help minimize swelling. We may also require that you wear orthopedic or surgical shoes. Crutches and casts or bandages may also be used to help you heal properly.
All in all, you can rest assured that the experts at Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists have the skills and training needed for a successful foot reconstruction. If you have you tried everything to get rid of your foot or ankle pain, or if you believe reconstructive foot or ankle surgery could help, contact our office today.
To schedule an appointment, call our Ladera Ranch office at (949) 364-9255 or just fill out our handy request form online.