Foot and Ankle
Achilles Tendon Repair
An Achilles tendon rupture is a common injury that involves a tearing of 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 and most commonly occurs as a result of repeated stress on the tendon.
Most Achilles tendon injuries require surgery to reattach the tendon and allow 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 then reattached using strong sutures that are placed on both ends. The sutures are tied together and the incision is then closed.
Ankle Ligament Reconstruction
An ankle sprain is a common injury that occurs when the ankle is twisted or turned, and results in torn ligaments within the joint. This injury often causes pain, swelling and bruising, and may lead to ankle instability as the condition is prone to recur. Ankle ligament reconstruction is commonly performed on patients with ankle instability or repeated sprains, as it is effective in tightening loosened ligaments and improving the overall stability of the joint.
The ankle ligament reconstruction procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. Most procedures take two to three hours to perform. During the procedure, the two ligaments may be simply reattached, or part of a lateral tendon around the ankle may be used to repair the torn ligament. Your doctor will decide which technique is best for you after a thorough evaluation of your condition.
Foot and Ankle Fractures
A fracture is a break in a bone. It may be a crack in the bone (a stress fracture) or a complete break; the bones may shift out of place or break the skin. Fractures in the bones of the foot and ankle cause a variety of symptoms and require different treatments depending on the location and severity of the break as well as the patient’s overall health.
- Digits (toes/phalanges) and metatarsals (long bones of the forefoot) – There are many different kinds of fractures that can happen to the bones of the forefoot and toes. They are painful but often heal without the need for surgery. Symptoms of a toe or metatarsal fracture include pain that gets worse when walking; swelling; and sometimes bruising.
- Lisfranc joint (midfoot) – Often caused by dropping something heavy on the top of the foot or by falling after catching the foot in a hole. Symptoms are similar to a sprain and include swelling and pain at the top of the foot; bruising; possible inability to bear weight; and pain when moving the foot while the ankle is held steady.
- Calcaneus (heel) - Usually the result of an automobile accident or fall from a great height. Symptoms include pain on the outside of the ankle or under the heel; inability to bear weight; swelling and stiffness. May be accompanied by back or knee injury due to the amount of force required to break the heel bone.
- Ankle - Like severely sprained ankles, broken ankles are often caused by a fall, injury or car accident. Symptoms that one or more of the three bones that make up the ankle may be fractured are: severe pain in the ankle; swelling; bruising; tenderness; inability to bear weight; and deformity of the joint. May be accompanied by dislocation or ligament damage (sprain).
There is a ligament along the bottom of the foot called the plantar fascia that stretches from the heel to the base of the toes. If the ligament is forced to stretch beyond its limit, it may become inflamed and result in heel pain. This condition is called plantar fasciitis. Patients often complain of discomfort in the heel, the arch of the foot, or the back of the leg when walking. The pain is usually worst when getting up after sitting or lying down for a while. Bone spurs are a common complication of plantar fasciitis. These bony calcium growths on the bottom of the heel form where the plantar fascia pulls on the heel bone. Spurs don’t usually cause pain themselves, but they are often a good indicator of the severity and age of the underlying problem.