Foot surgery is usually an elective procedure as a last resort after less invasive means of treating an injury or condition fail to help. Foot surgery may be performed to restore lost function to the foot or ankle, correct a deformity like a bunion, or relieve chronic pain. Unfortunately, foot surgery is very common because many foot problems do not respond well to conservative treatments given the complexity of the bone, tendon, and muscle arrangement and the fact that the feet support the full body’s weight. Here are some of the most common types of foot surgery performed in Texas and elsewhere in the U.S.

Bunion Surgery

The problem: A bunion is a bony deformity or bump that develops where the big toe connects with the rest of the foot. Women are more likely to develop bunions which may be caused by heredity, arthritis, or wearing narrow shoes. While bunions do not always worsen, they will cause pain if allowed to progress.The solution: Bunion surgery is usually recommended when the bunion is painful. Bunion surgery can correct a toe deformity and stiffness and provide relief from pain. There are many surgical procedures that can correct a bunion:

  • Arthrodesis or removal of the damaged joint surface and the use of screws or plates to hold the bones together while they heal.
  • Tendon and ligament repair around the toe if there is an imbalance in the tightness of tendons that causes the big toe to pull toward the others.
  • Osteotomy or surgical realignment of the joint.
  • Exostectomy or removal of the bony protrusion. This procedure is usually not performed as it doesn’t correct the cause of the problem.

Hammer Toe Surgery

The problem: A hammer toe occurs when the small toes pull upward due to an irregularity with the tendons or muscles of the foot. Hammer toe isn’t just disfiguring; it can be very painful and make it difficult to walk or wear shoes.

The solution: Mild hammer toe can be treated with orthopedic inserts and anti-inflammatory medication, but hammer toe will eventually get worse. When it becomes painful or disfiguring, surgery may be recommended. Hammer toe surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia with one of several techniques. Sometimes the surgery involves removing or cutting away the tendon under the affected toe or rerouting the tendon to help the toe return to its normal flat position.

Plantar Fasciitis Surgery

The problem: The plantar fascia is a band of tissue running from the toes to the heel bone. When the plantar fascia gets swollen or inflamed, it’s referred to as plantar fasciitis, a painful condition that leads to stabbing pain in the morning when you stand or walk. People who are overweight, wear shoes with poor support, and runners are at the greatest risk of developing plantar fasciitis. 

The solution: In most cases, plantar fasciitis clears up on its own. If it doesn’t, plantar fasciitis release surgery may be advised. This procedure involves cutting the ligament to release tension and relieve painful inflammation. Sometimes the surgeon detaches the plantar fascia from the heel bone or makes incisions on either side of the tissue.

While no one looks forward to foot surgery, it may be the only way to relieve pain or disfigurement from common foot and ankle conditions and injuries. There have been technological advances that may offer new products in the future such as 3D printed insoles which may provide relief to sufferers in the near future.

Infinity Foot & Ankle is a leading podiatry clinic headquartered in Dallas, Texas with additional locations in DeSoto and Sunnyvale. Dr. Parul Patel has more than 11 years of experience offering podiatric care that includes surgical intervention and preventative podiatric care.


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