About Foot & Ankle Surgery
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is Foot & Ankle Surgery?
This is a type of orthopedic and podiatry surgery that is concerned with diagnosing and treating disorders of the foot. It focus on restoring functionality in the foot in order to ease the suffering of a patient. There are many causes of foot disorders; some are caused by accidents while others are congenital.
A foot & ankle surgeon is equipped with knowledge and skills to treat surgical and non-surgical foot & ankle disorders. In adults, foot & ankle pain is caused by a variety of factors. Thus, the surgeon is trained to establish the connection between the foot & ankle, the spine and arthritis. In addition, the doctor is well equipped to deal with congenital foot & ankle disorders.
The diagnosis process will involve:
- A physical examination of the foot & ankle
- A number of questions related to the foot & ankle
- A CT scan
- An MRI
- An X-ray of the foot & ankle
The treatment will largely be based on the results of the various tests conducted. Sometimes, the physician will recommend that the person takes some painkillers. This will usually be followed by advice to ease pressure on the affected foot and/or ankle for some time.
Other treatments may involve placing ice packs on the foot. He or she may also offer some ointments to ease the swelling. At times, corticosteroids may be given to reduce inflammation. The doctor may bind the foot in bandages to restrict the movement and to give it time to heal.
In case surgery is necessary, it will be performed to remove any damaged tissues. These tissues usually affect movement in the foot, thus lowering a person’s quality of life. At times, surgery is performed to replace the ankle joint.
Ankle joint replacement takes place when in the doctor’s opinion it is damaged beyond salvation. The surgery will at times involve lengthening calf muscles. This is done in order to reduce pressure on the tendons of the foot. The Achilles heel tendon is usually the target of such an operation.
In the case of congenital disorder such as clubfoot, an operation is usually performed to restore the child’s foot to its normal shape. This will enable the child to lead a normal life without complications. Congenital disorders should be reported as early as possible to a qualified medical practitioner.
Recovery : Recovering from a foot or ankle operation can take months or weeks. In addition, one is given special guidelines on how to lead their life. It is important to note that the quality of the ankle or foot cannot be restored to its former state. Thus, for someone such as an athlete, it might mean having to terminate a career. This is still preferable to risking being permanently crippled.
After care : An operation to correct disorders of the foot varies in intensity. Sometimes the patient will only have to stay in hospitals for a few days. In other cases, the patient will have to stay under observation for close to two weeks.
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