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Foot and Ankle Osteotomy Surgery

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Learn more about foot and ankle osteotomy surgery at King Edward VII’s Hospital

Why would I need foot and ankle osteotomy surgery?

An osteotomy procedure is any kind of surgery that cuts and reshapes or realigns a bone to relieve pain and discomfort.

One of the most common reasons for requiring foot and ankle osteotomy surgery is the formation of bunions. Also called a bunionectomy or hallux valgus correction surgery, this kind of foot and ankle osteotomy surgery is used to treat swellings on the outside of the big toe that’s causing the big toe to point towards the other toes.

What symptoms does foot and ankle osteotomy surgery address?

Most patients requiring foot and ankle osteotomy surgery need it because they have a deformed bone in the foot or ankle that’s causing considerable pain and discomfort and is making walking and wearing certain types of footwear difficult.

When should you speak to your specialist about foot and ankle osteotomy surgery?

If you have unexplained pain in your foot or ankle accompanied by visible bone deformity or a change in shape that’s affecting your mobility, speak to your GP. They may perform some tests and scans and may then refer you for foot and ankle osteotomy surgery.

How is foot and ankle osteotomy surgery performed?

Foot and ankle osteotomy surgery is performed whilst you’re asleep under a general anaesthetic.

Your surgeon will make a small surgical cut to the skin around the affected area, for example, your big toe if you’re having surgery to correct a bunion. They will then use surgical instruments to cut away excess bone or tissue and straighten the affected bone.

The newly straightened bone is then fixed into place using permanent medical screws or staples. Your wound will then be stitched or clipped together and a dressing applied.

What is the recovery like for foot and ankle osteotomy surgery?

Your recovery from foot and ankle osteotomy surgery will depend on multiple factors, including your age, fitness level and the nature of your procedure.

Most patients are able to return home the same day as foot and ankle osteotomy surgery. You will be given full advice on how best to recover and this will usually include rest for two weeks before gradually getting back to your normal daily tasks over the following weeks and months. It may be up to six months before you can engage in sports or high intensity activities.

You will also be advised on footwear which should be loose fitting, flat and comfortable.

Are there any risks/complications associated with foot and ankle osteotomy surgery?

As with any medical procedure, it’s possible for risks or complications to arise. Speaking with your specialist or surgeon beforehand will help you avoid any adverse reactions.

Foot and ankle osteotomy surgery has a relatively low risk of serious complications, but the following risks and complications can occur in a small number of cases:

  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Stiff toes
  • Toes that aren’t as straight as before caused by tendon damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Blood clots
  • Wider feet than before
  • Infection
  • Pain in the ball of your foot
  • Bunions or other bone deformities returning

How can I prepare for foot and ankle osteotomy surgery?

Prior to foot and ankle osteotomy surgery, your surgeon will discuss with you how best to prepare, as each patient is different with differing needs.

Common preparations for foot and ankle osteotomy surgery include:

  • Routine blood tests, x rays or scans as requested by your surgeon
  • Taking steps to stop smoking if you smoke
  • Losing weight if you’re overweight
  • Remaining active and doing regular exercise

Are there alternatives for foot and ankle osteotomy surgery?

You may be able to manage your pain and discomfort by wearing flat, wide, soft shoes and taking painkillers. Applying ice packs to the affected area and wearing special pads in your shoes may also help.

Call 020 7467 4344 or fill in your details below to make an enquiry
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