Step Toward Healing
Surgery isn’t something you undergo lightly. No one wants the risk of opening up the body if you don’t really need it. Sometimes, however, the body develops injuries or deformities that don’t respond to conservative treatments. When this occurs in the heel or the ankle, your best chance for recovery may be ankle or rearfoot surgery.
Why Have Surgery?
Rearfoot surgery is any type of procedure that works to correct a deformity, injury, or other problem in the back of the foot. Your heel is a vital part of your foot structure. It supports your body and is a main point of impact when you walk. The back part of your foot helps you balance your body evenly and is an anchor point for the bones that make up the arch and the ankle.
Similarly, ankle surgery works to repair damage to the main ankle joint. This joint is responsible for a significant amount of your foot’s movement. It allows your whole foot to point and flex as well as rotate side to side. The joint also directs your bodyweight into the foot and helps absorb some of the impact of your foot falls.
Since the back of the foot and the ankle are both such important parts of the lower limbs, and are frequently under heavy pressure, there are a wide number of injuries and issues that can develop. In most cases, these can be handled conservatively. Rest, ice, support, and rehabilitation help the foot heal. Conservative, noninvasive care doesn’t always work, however. That’s when surgery becomes your best option.
The type of surgery depends on your particular needs. A few procedures are especially common:
- Heel Surgery – This is usually reserved for highly chronic plantar fasciitis. If the plantar fascia thickens and stiffens enough that it doesn’t respond to conservative efforts and still limits your mobility, a procedure can help release that ligament and offer relief. Sometimes heel spurs that contribute to the discomfort can be excised as well. Other heel surgeries may include bursitis, Haglund’s deformity, or trapped nerve repairs.
- Tendon Repairs – There are many tendons that attach to or surround the heel. When they tear, they may need surgery to connect the ripped ends and fully recover.
- Ankle Fracture Surgery – Three bones make up the main ankle joint. Sometimes a fracture in any of these heals without invasive treatment. Other times, however, the bones are unstable and unable to recover on their own. In such cases, surgery is used to align bone pieces and pin or screw them in place with hardware so they recover correctly.
- Fusions – Arthritis is a complicated group of conditions that progress with time. If the damage is severe, conservative care probably won’t be enough to alleviate the discomfort. Fusing the bone pieces together eliminates the damage in the joint altogether. This can limit your mobility, so it tends to be a last-resort procedure.
- Reconstructive Surgery – This is a general term for multiple procedures. Sometimes damage to the back of the foot and ankle from various conditions, such as osteochondritis dissecans, causes deformities and impairs function. Reconstructing the rearfoot or ankle allows experts to repair these issues and restore function and comfort to the limb. Joint implants, tumor excision, cutting and moving bone, soft tissue repair, and even amputation fall under this category.
The Big Steps to Recovery
Both rearfoot surgery and ankle surgery are big steps address your foot and ankle pain. Dr. Noah Levine will carefully examine your lower limbs to determine if a procedure will benefit your recovery. This may include tests and diagnostic images to get a clearer picture of the problem. Then we will work with you to plan out the surgery and your recovery.
Any type of surgical procedure can be intimidating. However, if your foot isn’t responding to normal, conservative therapies, this may be your best option to fully heal problems in your heels and ankles. You don’t have to limp around or live in pain. Absolute Foot Care Specialists in Las Vegas can help. Just call (702) 839- 2010 or use the online request form to make an appointment with us.