Types of Foot Surgery

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Types of Foot Surgery
(Anatomy of the foot; Public domain image from Human Anatomy for Art Students, 1911)

You may need surgery on one of your feet for a variety of reasons such as a broken bone, structural damage or as a way to relieve foot pain caused by another condition. Or perhaps you have a condition or suffered an injury that has altered the appearance of your feet. Cosmetic foot surgery will reshape your feet. Some of the most common foot surgeries include bunion removal surgeries and various foot bone fusions.

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Bunion Surgery

Bunions are a common and painful condition characterised by joint enlargement and deformity in the joint that separates your foot and your big toe. Doctors often begin bunion treatment conservatively with the use of orthotic shoes or splints. If you bunions continue to give you trouble, your doctor may suggest a bunionectomy. During a bunionectomy, your doctor will surgically remove the deformed section of your joint. You may need additional surgery to adjust surrounding bones (ostetomy) and tendons (capsulotomy). This will ensure that you don't get more bunions in the future.

Midfoot Fusion Surgeries

Midfoot fusion surgeries aim to repair structural damages in the midfoot region. The midfoot contains the navicular, cuboid and a trio of cuneiform bones. You may experience foot pain due to separation within the midfoot region. Midfoot surgeries seek to remedy some of these problem by temporarily setting your bones so that they readjust properly. These surgeries include general midfoot fusions, talofibular fusions (fusion of the tibia and fibula bones right above the midfoot) and talonavicular fusions (fusion of the midfoot's navicular bone with the talus bone right above it).

Ankle Surgeries

The ankle is one of the most common areas of the foot to undergo surgery. Many broken ankles require surgery to ensure proper healing. Your doctor may perform an arthroscopy to assess potential ankle damage. Small bone fragments may be excised during arthoscopies as well. Ankle fusion surgery adjoins the major tibia and talus bones in the ankle. If you have extensive ankle damage you may need an ankle replacement. Your doctor will replace your tibia and talus bones with prostheses.

Hindfood Fusion Surgeries

Hindfoot surgeries aim to reconnect and realign damaged bones or joints in the hindfoot. This class of surgery includes subtalar fusions, calcaneocuboid fusions and arthodesis surgeries. During a subtalar fusion, your doctor will fuse tears and other structural damages in the hindfoot's subtalar joint. Calcaneocuboid fusions will connect the lower hindfoot's cuboid and calcaneus bones. Arthodesis fusions connect two or more of your hindfoot's three joints (the calcanealcuboid joint, the talocalcaneal joint and the talonavicular joint).

Toe Surgeries

In addition to bunion surgery, other common toe surgeries include surgeries to repair neuromas and cheilectomies. Neuromas are pinched nerves that occur in the toes. According to the Georgetown University Hospital, extra nerve tissue most often develops between the third and fourth toes. If severe enough, your doctor may surgically remove the nerve. Cheilectomies are surgical removals of bone spurs that develop in the big toe's metatarsophalangeal joint.

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