The feet are continually subject to stress and malfunction, although often we do not notice it. In fact, there is no part of the skeleton that has no direct or indirect relationship with the feet and posture, from the knee to the spine, from the hips to the jaw. In case of foot and ankle surgery this is important.
Flat foot, hallux valgus, metatarsalgia and ankle problems are just some of the most common pathologies of the foot that affect adults, with disorders both affecting the front of the foot (in the case of rigid big toe, Morton’s neuroma, hammer toes) that of the posterior one (as in the case of plantar fasciitis, ankle sprain and Achilles tendon injury). In children, however, it is more however to detect problems of equinism or flat feet.
All these malformations can be treated and, in most cases, resolved once and for all. Depending on the severity of the pathology, you will choose to intervene with conservative therapy or with surgery, traditional or minimally invasive. Let’s now see in more detail what it means to cure foot pathology and what methods are used.
Treat foot pathologies
The first approach to foot pathologies is conservative. One of the most used tools in this phase are the insoles , particular rigid “insoles” that improve the support of the foot; the materials with which they are made allow to adapt them to almost all types of shoes. In some cases, patients also benefit from physiotherapy therapies, both free and instrumental (Tecartherapy, shock waves, cryotherapy).
When conservative therapy does not bring substantial benefits and the situation tends to worsen over time, surgery is almost always necessary. Until a few years ago, only classic operations were performed which, although often having excellent results, required large incisions and, consequently, greater pain in the post-surgical phase and longer recovery times. In addition, internal fixation means were often used, such as screws and plates, which over time could cause discomfort and need to be replaced.
Minimally invasive foot surgery
Today foot surgery provides cutting-edge solutions thanks to minimally invasive or percutaneous interventions. This approach allows achieving the same results as traditional surgery, indeed better sometimes; simply by making small incisions, this allows to preserve the surrounding tissues, the vessels, the nerves and the muscles, reducing recovery times and the risk of complications.
- The performance of this type of surgery is often quick and relatively simple: through small holes in the skin (4-5 millimeters) the orthopedic surgeon makes corrections with very small instruments, under the control of an image intensifier, a sort of screen that shows the progress of the operation.
- Corrections can be performed on bones, joint capsules or tendons. They are performed with particular techniques that do not require stabilization means either internal (screws, plates) or external (metal wires). Usually only special bandages are used, to be renewed once a week for three weeks.
In the most important deformations, if it is also necessary to use screws, these are introduced percutaneously. By wearing the orthopedic boot, the patient will be able to walk immediately. Depending on the surgeon’s directions, the patient may need to use this special shoe for at least three to four weeks.