The foot and ankle joints are very important for the mobility and ability to stay active.
The ankle is made of 3 bones: the distal tibia, the distal fibula and the talus. Multiple ligaments, tendons and muscles are important for its proper function.
The foot is the most distal part of the leg, multiple bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles allow for an adequate stance and gait. Both the foot and ankle joints have cartilage covering the articular surface of the bones.
Multiple foot and ankle conditions can be treated with conservative measures such as insoles, shoe modifications, physiotherapy. Occasionally once all the non-surgical treatment has been exhausted, surgical intervention might be indicated.
Foot and ankle injuries
Foot and ankle trauma can injure ligaments, tendons and cartilage.
Ankle sprains, instability, fractures amongst others can cause significant pain limiting function that even after healed and adequately treated by physiotherapy might require surgery.
The most common foot and ankle injuries can cause ankle stiffness, injury to the cartilage and or bone in a focal area (osteochondral lesion), persistent pain, limited range of motion, instability and foot deformities.
Surgical intervention might be required such as: an arthroscopy (looking and cleaning with a camera inside the joint), with ligaments reconstruction, fusions, joint replacements.
Foot and ankle pathologies
Common foot and ankle pathologies are: hallux valgus (bunion), hammer toes, claw toes, hallux rigidus, metatarsalgia, morton’s neuroma, flat foot and cavo/cavovarus foot.
Surgical treatment might be required for reconstruction such as deformity correction with osteotomies (cut and realign bone and joints), fusions, soft tissue reconstruction, resection of neuromas, tendon transfers, ligaments repair and hemiarthroplasty.
Important! Some foot and ankle pathologies might recur, some others might require revision.
Ankle Osteoarthritis (OA)
The ankle joint might loose its cartilage for different reasons, if this is the case an ankle fusion or total ankle replacement might be indicated.
An evaluation by the orthopaedic surgeon is important with a discussion of the different surgical procedures.