Repairing the Toes and Metatarsals
Everyone dreads these words: “You’re going to need surgery.” Some people even avoid making a needed trip to the doctor to deal with pain or functional problems because they don’t want to face the possibility of needing a procedure. However, sometimes forefoot surgery is necessary to correct a painful lower limb condition. In those cases, it actually brings healing and relief.
When and Why Surgery Might Be Best
Forefoot surgery is any type of correctional procedure done in the forefoot area, which stretches from the metatarsal bones to the tips of your toes. This can include bunion or bunionette repairs, hammertoe corrections, toe arthritis procedures, fracture repairs, and neuroma surgery. Invasive procedures like these are generally considered last resorts. Conservative therapy is always tried first. This involves a lot of things, from orthotics and shoe changes to physical therapy and sometimes pain medication. Unfortunately, these methods are not always enough to manage or fix the problem. The condition may stay painful or continue to get worse and restrict your mobility. That is when surgery becomes your best option.
Planning Your Procedure
Because having forefoot surgery is a big step, Dr. Noah Levine will thoroughly evaluate your condition and the treatments you’ve been using to determine if a procedure is your best chance for recovery. Our staff may need to use diagnostic images like X-rays and a variety of other tests to examine your feet. This preliminary work will also help us determine what kind of procedure would best benefit your lower limbs. From there we can plan and move forward with your treatment.
All surgeries are performed with some type of anesthesia and are arranged to help make you as comfortable as possible during the process. Here are a few common procedures that correct painful forefoot problems:
Bunion Surgery – There are many approaches to correcting a bunion deformity, depending on how severe it is. These procedures correct the misalignment of the big toe and the first metatarsal, eliminating the bump on the side of your forefoot.
Hammertoe Repair – Imbalanced connective tissues cause hammertoes, claw toes, and mallet toes to form. Releasing the connectors and realigning the toe repairs the painful digit damage.
Neuroma Surgery – There are several approaches to relieving the pain from this pinched and thickened nerve. Decompressing the tissue and removing it entirely are both common procedures.
Arthritis Repairs – This could range from re-sectioning a toe for better movement to fusing a joint to eliminate the damage. The specific surgery depends on how severe the arthritis actually is.
Fracture Recovery – Some bones need to be pinned in place to heal correctly. This requires a surgery to realign the bones and insert the hardware to hold them together.
There are other possible procedures to help correct problems in the forefoot. We’ll recommend the one that will help you the most, depending on your specific needs.
Fully Restoring Your Feet
The forefoot surgery itself is only part of the healing, though. Your recovery after the surgery helps determine how successful the procedure will be for you. Make sure you follow through with all of your post-operative care instructions. Most likely this will mean avoiding all weight-bearing for a time while your foot heals. You’ll need to clean and protect your incision so it doesn’t become infected. Keep your foot elevated as much as possible to combat swelling. Once the limb has recovered enough, you’ll be able to start physical therapy and rebuild your limb strength.
Although a procedure may seem scary, for some people it is truly the best option for healing. It can help correct damage and relieve significant pain. Don’t let fear of surgery keep you from enjoying your activities and a pain-free life. See how Absolute Foot Care Specialists in Las Vegas can help your forefoot problems. Use the website or call (702) 839-2010 to make an appointment with us.