The ankle and foot are responsible for endless tasks and are subject to forces and impacts from all sides throughout the day. When either are injured, the results are immediately felt: pain and lack of mobility. Fortunately, with a little treatment, some injuries can heal quickly and efficiently. However, in many cases, foot & ankle surgery will be required to properly repair the damage.
The plantar fascia ligament connects the heel to the toes. If it becomes inflamed, surgery may be required to fix the condition. Surgery for plantar fasciitis is reserved as a last resort. Other less-invasive techniques are available to help relieve the condition. If surgery is necessary, the plantar fascia ligament will be partially or completely cut from the heel bone. This helps relieve the immense pressure the patient feels.
Chronic Ankle Instability
Ankle sprains are common. If treated and rehabilitated correctly, a sprain will heal just fine. However, with improper care, a sprain can lead to chronic ankle instability. This condition causes the ankle to continually give out during walking or even standing. It may also be accompanied by pain which may be both intense or dull and aching. Until the torn and stretched tissue from the sprain can heal properly, this condition will persist and most likely worsen.
Exercise may help, but in severe cases, surgery is often required. When it is, lateral ankle ligament repair/reconstruction is often the procedure used. In essence, the damaged ligaments are tightened or reconstructed in order to strengthen them.
Fractures of the Ankle
Ankle fractures can be severe or mild. When thy occur, sudden swelling accompanied by pain arrives and the patient most likely is rendered immobile. Many ankle fractures can be healed without surgery. However, when the damage is too extensive, surgery will be required. Compound fractures are an example of this. These occur when portions of the fractured bone pierce the skin. Immediate surgery is necessary to prevent infection and to reset the bone.
To fix the actual fracture, ORIF (Open Reduction and Internal Fixation) will be the surgical procedure used. During ORIF, the surgeon will use either metal plates, screws, or both to fix the ankle bones into their proper place.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
The Achilles tendon may rupture due to sudden force or impact. This can happen during sports or other activities, and it can also happen in an accident. If the injury is a a partial tear, then then the situation is less serious than a full blown rupture. If a full blown rupture happens, a snap or pop is often heard followed by severe pain and near-instant loss of strength in the affected leg. If the tear is indeed serious, surgery will be required. The procedure will be scheduled quickly so as to avoid scar tissue from forming.
Degeneration of the Achilles tendon over time may also lead to the need for surgery. This process can happen due to overuse of the tendon. During the surgical procedure, the surgeon will replace the damaged portion of the tendon with tendons from the foot.
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POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!