Disorders of the foot develop from a wide range of causes, many of which can be treated with reconstructive foot surgery. Reconstructive surgery can help repair congenital defects, diseases and injuries, often alleviating aesthetic concerns at the same time as it relieves serious medical symptoms and restores normal function. While conservative treatments are frequently the first response to foot disorders, in many cases, reconstructive surgery may be the best available option. Most often, reconstructive foot surgery can be performed outpatient, with minimally invasive techniques, sometimes right in the doctor‘s office.
Reasons for Reconstructive Foot Surgery
Reconstructive foot surgery can be used to treat a wide range of foot problems which, while they may result from physical trauma to bone or muscle, may also stem from disorders of various body systems that interfere with circulation, tissue health or locomotion. Patients may require reconstructive foot surgery because of:
- Hereditary or traumatic deformity
- Vascular disease
- Metabolic disorder
- Arthritic disease
Surgery can involve any part of the foot and may involve skin, tendon, bone, joint, ligament or muscle repair. Screws, pins, wires and plates may be required to help the foot heal and ensure full recovery.
Common Types of Reconstructive Foot Surgery
The type of surgical procedure performed depends on the type and severity of the problem, but, regardless of type, the surgical goal is to alleviate pain and restore weight-bearing stability, function and normal appearance.
Types of reconstructive foot surgery commonly performed include:
- Hammertoe repair
- Endoscopic plantar fascia release
- Open ankle fusion
- Ankle replacement (arthroplasty)
- Toe or ankle amputation
- Tumor removal
- Removal of ganglion cyst
Recovery time varies, depending on the specific surgical procedure performed. For most varieties of reconstructive foot surgery, the patient‘s foot will have to be immobilized with a bandage or cast for a period of several weeks to many months and the patient may require crutches until the foot can bear weight. After surgery, a program of physical therapy will be necessary to assist the patient in regaining full strength and range of motion.