As the foundation for your entire body, your feet are subjected to a lot of physical stress and force. Between dealing with all that weight and pressure, as well as diseases or inherited conditions that can weaken or impair blood flow, bone durability, nerve function, soft tissue strength and more, feet are unfortunately relatively susceptible to physical deformation.
Reconstructive foot surgery of feet and ankles, then, can sometimes be necessary to take a foot that’s been bent out of shape and return it to a more biomechanically sound structure, allowing you to regain function and stability in your stride and relieve pain.
Conditions that May Require Reconstructive Foot Surgery
Generally, any condition that affects the structure and shape of the foot—or any condition where treatment could involve transferring or reconstructing soft tissues like tendons or ligaments—may be a candidate for reconstructive surgery. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Bunions and bunionettes: Surgery to remove the bony bump at the base of the toe and realign the digit.
- Hammertoes, mallet toes, and claw toes: Surgery to realign the toes so that it they can lay flat again, no longer stuck in a bent position in one or more joints.
- Flat feet: Surgery to reconstruct an arch that has flattened and collapsed over time due to repetitive stress or acute injury.
- Ankle instability: Surgery to rebuild and strengthen an ankle and its supporting structures, which may be loose or wobbly after repeated sprains.
- Arthritis: Surgery to realign, repair, resurface, rebuild, or fuse joints that have been warped or damaged by arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis.
- Fractures: Surgery to fix broken bones, such as a broken heel from an auto accident or multiple fractures as a result of Charcot foot.
Reconstructive Surgical Approaches
Generally speaking, reconstructive foot surgeries are more complicated than other types of surgeries, and may require multiple procedures or additional hardware. However, rest assured that Dr. Danciger is an expert who continues to provide successful reconstructive surgeries to patients every week.
Reconstructive surgery may make use of one or more of the following procedures or tools:
- Transferring a healthy tendon from one part of the foot or body to reinforce another.
- Cutting bones in a precise pattern so that they can be realigned properly (osteotomy).
- Fusing bones together to correct a deformity or eliminate painful motion at a particular joint (arthrodesis).
- Shrinking or removing damaged joint surfaces.
- Repairing soft tissue structures such as tendons and ligaments.
- Bone grafts.
- Use of metal hardware—such as screws, plates, pins, or wires—to immobilize the reconstructed foot and allow it to heal.
Choosing Reconstructive Surgery
Many people are a little nervous about going through with a reconstructive surgery. Trust us, we get it! It is true that reconstructive surgeries tend to be a little more complex than other types, and it’ll take you a little time and physical therapy to make a complete recovery.
But consider what an injury or deformity is doing to you today. If conservative therapies can get you back on your feet, living a lifestyle you want without pain, we’ll absolutely push those options first. But if daily pain and loss of function and mobility is severely limiting you from living the life you want to live, the few weeks or months of recovery from reconstructive surgery is a very small price to pay in return for getting your life back.
If foot or ankle problems are getting in the way of your life, please make an appointment with Dr. Danciger to find out what our team of experts can do for you. Request an appointment using our online contact form, or give us a call at 760-568-0108.