The thought of surgery is always scary—hospitals, anesthesia, recovery, and cost are factors that prevent many people from going through with a much-needed procedure, especially if their health condition is not life-threatening. Foot and ankle problems often fall into this category. People will suffer with pain, use canes, crutches, and even wheelchairs, and withdraw from the activities they love to avoid surgery. At Center Grove Foot & Ankle, we don’t want to see you suffer like this. If you need surgery, we will work with you to put your mind at ease and make the procedure as smooth as possible.
Types of Podiatric Surgery
Whenever possible, Dr. Runkle and his team seek non-invasive, non-surgical solutions to your foot or ankle problem. Often, extra padding in your shoe, rest, physical therapy, or orthotics can get you back on your feet when you are suffering from a deformity or injury. However, when these remedies don’t work, surgery may be the only option. Some common conditions that may require surgery include the following:
- Bunions. Some patients will require surgery to correct a bunion. Whether the bunion is on the big toe or little toe, the surgeon will remove any excess bone and realign the metatarsal, pinning it in place with surgical screws or pins. Recovery will require wearing a special shoe and may take six to eight weeks.
- Hallux rigidus. This condition, often seen in women over the age of 40, is arthritis of the joint at the base of the big toe which often leads to bone spurs. When other treatments are unsuccessful, surgery to remove bone spurs or to fuse, resurface, or replace the joint may be necessary to relieve suffering.
- Hammertoe. This deformity causes the middle joint of a toe to bend upwards. When pain cannot be managed with padding or stretching footwear, surgery may be necessary. Depending on the cause of the hammertoe, a tendon transfer or joint resection will be performed. Recovery generally takes several weeks.
- Plantar fasciitis. A tight or torn plantar fascia ligament on the bottom of the foot can cause pain in the heel. Treatment usually consists of changing footwear and rest, but in around five percent of sufferers, surgery to cut the ligament and relieve pressure is required to ease the pain.
- Ruptured Achilles tendon. When the Achilles tendon is ruptured, surgery is often necessary to repair the tear and allow for healing. During surgery, the tendon is stitched back together. The patient will be required to wear a cast for four to eight weeks following the surgery.
- Morton’s neuroma. This painful condition may require surgery to relieve compression of the nerve. This may mean completely removing the neuroma, which may lead to permanent numbness in the third and fourth toes, or cutting the metatarsal ligament to relieve pressure. The surgeon will choose the best course of action given the patient’s specific condition.
- Nail removal. Ingrown toenails can often be treated with soaking and massaging the affected toe. However, in advanced, painful cases, a minor procedure to remove the offending toenail may be necessary. This can be done in just a few minutes in our Center Grove office.
While these are the most common conditions we see that require surgery, we are equipped to handle all of your podiatric surgical needs.
Dr. Runkle Is Highly Qualified to Perform These Procedures
After podiatry school, Dr. Runkle completed a two-year surgical residency in foot and ankle surgery at Thorek Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago. He is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He has surgical privileges at Franciscan Health and Community Hospital South in Indianapolis.
Seek Early Treatment to Avoid Invasive Surgery
With most foot and ankle conditions, early diagnosis and treatment are key to avoiding surgery down the road. If you see a podiatrist as soon as your pain becomes significant, a plan of rest, padding, and physical therapy may be all you need to correct the condition before it becomes worse. Don’t put off seeking treatment that could save you a lot of trouble later on. Schedule an appointment at Center Grove Foot & Ankle Care today and rest assured that we can take care of you, whatever your treatment needs are.