When it comes to most painful foot injuries and deformities, conservative treatments are generally the first choice when they are applicable. However, sometimes problems are significant enough to warrant surgery. Severe bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, and other conditions often require surgical reconstruction to repair, reshape, and restore normal alignment to the feet and joints and allow full, pain-free physical function.
Conditions that May Require Reconstructive SurgerySurgical reconstruction is a treatment option—or in some cases may be required—to treat several conditions associated with misaligned bones, joints, or other tissues. Some of the most common include:
- Flat feet
- Broken bones
- Achilles tendon ruptures
- Other traumatic injuries
- Chronic instability in the ankles
Do You Need Surgery?Reconstructive surgery is often considered for a foot or ankle problem if the following conditions are met:
- Pain and/or reduction in motion or function impairs everyday activities
- Conservative treatments are not indicated, or they have proven insufficient
What Are the Goals of Reconstructive Surgery?The primary goal of reconstructive surgery is to the restore a normal anatomical alignment and biomechanical function to the feet and ankles, which in turn will allow the highest possible functioning of the feet. In other words, the goal is to reconstruct a portion of your anatomy so that you can engage in everyday activities without pain or restriction. The cosmetic appearance of your reconstructed feet or ankles is a secondary consideration. We will do everything we can to ensure your feet look as normal as possible, including using techniques to reduce scarring. However, making sure your feet work as well as possible is the most important goal.
What Kinds of Techniques Are Involved in Reconstructive Surgery?Every situation is unique. The best surgical approach and procedures for your foot or ankle reconstruction will depend on the location and severity of your deformity, your age and health status, your lifestyle goals, your medical history, and other factors. Procedures may include, but are not limited to:
- Trimming or removing enlarged bone ends
- Cutting and realigning bones (osteotomy)
- Fusing arthritic joints (arthroplasty)
- Repairing, reinforcing, or transplanting tendons and connective tissue
- Arthroscopic surgery—a minimally invasive procedure using small incisions, specialized tools, and a microscopic camera called an arthroscope to perform the surgery.