What is Triple Arthrodesis?

Walking with pain is a very frustrating and difficult thing to have to live with. Whether the pain is from arthritis or from other deformity’s in the foot, it can be hard to find a solution to assist you in walking with little or no pain at all. One of the ways that doctors can assist you in getting rid of the pain is with triple arthrodesis. This procedure helps to stabilize the foot and decrease or completely rid your foot of pain as you’re walking. Take a look at what this procedure is and what you can expect from it if you need this surgery.

What is triple arthrodesis?

This procedure is one where three joints in the foot are fused together to offer pain reduction and more stability to the foot itself. It helps to align the foot better than before the procedure in hopes of the pain being reduced to nothing. This procedure has been used for several years in the medical industry and is proven to help those who are having problems walking.

This procedure is good for those dealing with severe arthritis, deformity of the foot, or those who are dealing with severe flatfoot or high arches. However, this is not recommended for those who are not fully grown as they can have deformities form later in life even after the procedure has been done. This is also only after other nonsurgical methods have been tried and have failed in relieving pain.

What to expect

The procedure involved two incisions, one on each side of the foot. The three joints in the foot are prepared and then fused together using hardware to keep them in place. After the hardware is in place and confirmed via x-ray, the surgeon will close everything up and apply large bandages to protect the incisions. They may also decide to numb the nerves in your ankle or knee to help reduce the amount of after procedure pain you will experience.

After the procedure

Once the triple arthrodesis is complete you’ll have a time of recovery. This will involve keeping your foot elevated and weight off of the foot when you’re walking. In most cases, triple arthrodesis procedures are effective and help to reduce the pain or get rid of it completely after the surgery.

You do need to realize that after the procedure your range of motion in your foot will be limited. You’ll still retain up and down motion but side-to-side motion will be limited after it is complete. Most people do not have a problem with this because their pain has been done away with and they can deal with a range of motion deficit.

What is Naviculocuneiform Joint Fusion?

As you age and grow older, there is a tendency for arthritis to settle in to your joints of your body. This can make it difficult to do everyday tasks such as walking, lifting items or using your hands. While there are various treatment options for this problem, some of the areas that arthritis attacks need a little more attention. If you are having problems in the joints of your foot, naviculocuneiform joint fusion may be what you’re needing.

What is Naviculocuneiform Arthrodesis or Joint Fusion?

Basically, this is where the naviculocuneiform joint of your foot has had arthritis settle in and caused the bones of the joint to start rubbing together. The joint itself consists of four different bones and it is in the middle of the foot. When this sets in, it makes it hard to bear weight on the foot, walk like you normally would, and can also cause a problem called drop foot if it has gotten severe. This problem is typically caused by having a trauma to that region of your foot.

What the joint fusion will do is help to relieve the pain that you’re dealing with in that area of the foot. The procedure itself will fuse your joints together with pins and screws to hold the joint in place as it should be. This will help to alleviate the pain and problems that you’re currently having due to the joint cartilage wearing away.

What to Expect

This procedure is an outpatient procedure and you’re generally back home by the end of the day. You’ll be administered general anesthesia and possibly a nerve block in your foot and ankle to help with pain control after the procedure. A small incision is made on the inside of your foot where the doctor can access the joint area. The pins and hardware are then put in place and you’ll be ready to go shortly after you wake up.

You’ll receive a cushioned splint to wear for the following days after surgery. Typically, you’ll spend around two weeks with your foot elevated to help reduce the swelling that can occur after the procedure. When you go back for your two-week checkup, the doctor typically removes stiches or staples and you’re placed in a boot where you’ll remain non-weight bearing for around four to six more weeks.

After your six to eight-week checkup, you’ll come out of the cast and slowly return to normal use of the foot. You may have x-rays performed as well to make sure your foot is healing properly. Range of motion should not be affected after surgery and with a little time you’ll be back to normal.

Flexor to Extensor Tendon Transfer (Girdlestone-Taylor)

Dealing with pain during walking or standing is a difficult way to go through life. When you’re dealing with a hammertoe deformity that you’ve developed, it can be difficult to do a lot of different daily tasks. Things such as finding shoes that fit comfortably, standing on your feet or walking can seem impossible. There are several ways you can try to correct this problem and considering a flexor to extension transfer is just one. Discover below what the Girdelstone Taylor procedure is and how it can help those who have the hammertoe deformity.

What is a hammertoe?

Basically, a hammertoe deformity is one in which the toe itself is bent in a shape that appears like a hammer. It can also cause the toes to cross over each other. This makes it very difficult to find proper shoes and also can cause corns to develop over time.

How is it treated?

Before surgery is considered there are a few things that should be tried to see if it will correct the deformity. Those include such items as splinting or toe sleeves and finding shoes that will assist in keeping the toes in the proper place. While these may help some, they may not be the solution and the Girdlestone Taylor Procedure should be considered.

What is flexor to extensor transfer?

This procedure is done as an outpatient procedure in the office of your physician. An incision is made on the bottom of the toe that is affected. There are two tendons that help the toe to bend and flex. One of the tendons is basically rerouted from the bottom of the toe to the top of the toe to help straighten it out. At times, there may also be a pin inserted during surgery to help keep the toe in place.

After Surgery

Typically, you’ll be able to go home the same day as the procedure unless there are other extenuating circumstances that you need to spend the night. You can generally walk while using a sandal but if you’ve had both feet done at the same time, you can expect to have some difficulty bearing weight on your feet. You’ll visit the doctor again in a few weeks to have the stitches removed and see how your foot is healing. Within four to six weeks after surgery you can return to your normal footwear. After the procedure, it should be easier to find shoes that are comfortable than it was before.

As with every surgery there are risks that will be discussed with your physician. If you’re dealing with a hammertoe deformity, talk with your doctor about the flexor to extensor procedure today to see if you’re a suitable fit.

Bunionette Deformity Correction

If you’ve been dealing with pain in your foot due to a bunionette, you’re probably wondering what can be done to reduce or get rid of the pain. Perhaps your pain has gotten worse or you’re just starting to deal with pain as the bunion is growing. When you’re looking into bunionette deformity correction, you may think that there’s no hope. However, in some cases the bunionette surgery can work wonderfully and reduce/completely get rid of your pain and issues you’re having. Here are some things to think about when looking into correction and surgery processes.

What is a bunionette?

Basically, this is a bone growth on the outside of your foot near your pinky, or 5th, toe. While you may not even notice a bump or growth there to start with, over time as the bunionette continues to grow, it can become quite painful. It’s also called a Tailor’s bunion in some circles.

Some people can do well with the bunionette deformity correction without surgery. Things such as getting shoes that are roomier on their feet, padding that area to protect it from rubbing on the shoes, and even custom inserts to help protect the area are tried. While this may help some, it doesn’t always work and the next step would be a surgical procedure.

What should you know about the surgery?

First, those who may benefit from surgery are the patients who have not gained any relief from the other methods already tried. Surgery is not the first line of defense for this ailment but it can relieve pain in those who do not receive relief in any other form.

This is an outpatient procedure so unless there are other complications to deal with, you’re going to be in and out in the same day. The surgeon you work with will go into detail on their plans, but generally the bunionette surgery entails the tissue on your outside of the foot and sometimes an incision is made into the bone itself. There are several different methods to help rid the foot of the bony growth and straighten out the curve that may have developed. Once your surgeon has looked over you records, they will go over the best options.

People who have a cut on their foot, lost circulation in the foot area, or that have an infection in the foot will not be good candidates for the procedure. Your doctor will advise the best route of dealing with the bunionette deformity correction to help relieve your pain and get you walking again.

If you have the surgery you can expect recovery to vary depending on your specific case. Most people are in a boot or splint to help the foot stay in place for anywhere from three weeks up to twelve. Be sure to follow all of your doctor’s orders afterwards so that you can make sure it heals properly and you can get back to business as usual.

All About Ankle Ligament Surgery

Pain in your ankles can arise from a variety of different things. Perhaps you’re dealing with an injury from playing your favorite sport or maybe due to a fall that you took. Maybe you’re dealing with arthritis in the joints or you’ve had a more significant injury due to a car accident. Whatever the case may be, when it comes to the ligaments in your ankles, sometimes you can get away with lots of rest and a few other topical methods. Other times you may need ankle ligament surgery to correct the issue at hand. Here are a few things to know about this type of procedure and the different options that you have.

Ankle Ligament Surgery

This procedure is what your physician will do to help repair a torn ligament due to an injury to the ankle area. This is used to help treat your ankle when you’ve had a serious sprain or if you’ve had instability in the ankle due to an injury. This is typically a procedure done within a day so you’ll be back home before you know it. You’ll leave in a cast that comes up to your knee and given some directions for follow up and how to handle the ankle itself.

Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

Also known as the Brostrom procedure, this is where the physician will repair one or more of your ligaments in the ankle. It is because you’ve had multiple sprains in your ankle, your ankle has become weak over time due to injury, or there may be a defect in the ankle area that this can help to correct.

If you’ve dealt with problems such as hindfoot Varus, midfoot cavus, or a disease such as Ehlers-Danlos where your ligaments are very loose, this is the surgery that can help you to get some stability back in your ankles. There are some risks involved but you should consult with your physician on your personal risks.

The procedure will involve you being put under general anesthesia or just some local anesthesia depending on the severity of the surgery. The surgeon makes a small incision and uses instruments to carry out the procedure if the surgery is a minimally invasive one. In some situations, the doctor will need to make a longer incision for severe cases.

The doctor will then go in and either shorten your ligaments, remove them, and attach your ankle differently to help give it stability, or do other constructive means to help give the ankle the strength it needs. Lateral ankle ligament reconstruction and ankle ligament surgery can assist you in getting back on your feet. Once you’ve gone through the period of about six weeks after surgery, you can start to bear weight on your ankle and getting back to life.

Achilles Tendinitis: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments

Have you noticed when you’re walking or exercising that you have pain on the back of your lower leg down near the heel of your foot? If so you could be dealing with Achilles tendinitis. This condition is common for those who overuse the foot or after years of walking/running or exercising. This is a degenerative condition that can come on with age or if you’ve injured your leg. Take a look at what causes Achilles tendinitis and what the symptoms and treatment options you have available.

Causes

There are two types of this tendinitis, noninsertional and insertional. In the first type, it is common in those of the younger generation that are more active and it affects the middle of the tendon. This is where the fibers in the middle of the tendon have begun to breakdown after being torn.

Insertional Achilles Tendinitis affects the lower portion of the tendon itself and can happen to anyone at any age. Once the tendons have started to break or have been damaged, they can begin to calcify and become hard. This can also lead to bone spurs in the area as well.

The basic cause of this issue is repetitive stress to the area itself. This can happen because someone decides to push their body farther than they were ready to go. If you have very tight calf muscles and then begin an aggressive program of exercise, you can end up with this type of injury as well.

Symptoms

The symptoms of Achilles Tendinitis include things such as:

  • Severe pain in the area the day after you’ve done your exercise program
  • Presence of bone spurs
  • Experiencing pain along the tendon when you’re exercising or using the ankle area a lot
  • If you notice a thickening of the area
  • Swelling that does not go away

Treatment Options

Once you know that this type of tendinitis is what is causing your pain, there are several things you can try. Anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce the swelling, as well as icing the area to relieve the pain and puffiness. Be sure to get plenty of rest and get off your ankle for an extended period of time to allow the tendon to heal and relax.

Reduce the amount of stress put on your tendon by doing calf stretches each day. Physical therapy and learning how to strengthen the area as well can help you to relieve the pain. Injections and shoe lifts can also help to reduce the pain in the area.

Finally, there are surgical options that should be sought as a last resort to your tendonitis. Discuss these options with your doctor to find out what is right for your situation.

Should I Have Bunion Surgery? – Pros and Cons

When it comes to everyday life your feet play a huge role. They take you from one place to the next, help you get where you need to go, and enjoy life playing sports, hanging out with friends and family, and just in general taking care of you. What happens you’re dealing with the pain of bunions or even embarrassment of the problem? Suffering with bunions on your feet can be painful and make it hard to enjoy everyday life activities that you so want to take part in.

There’s a variety of bunion treatment options and bunion surgery is one of them. Some people opt to have the surgery so they can wear their favorite shoes or sandals again, and to get rid of the pain. Others tend to wait until it’s the only option left before choosing bunion surgery as their treatment option. Here is a look at the benefits and disadvantages of having the surgery on your feet.

Pros

One of the main benefits to having bunion surgery is the relief of pain. Bunions can cause quite a bit of pain in your feet and make it impossible to enjoy your favorite activities such as walking or jogging. By having the corrective procedure, your pain can be a thing of the past. It also means you can become more active as the pain may have stopped you from exercising or moving.

Another benefit to the surgery option is that you will be more comfortable with the look of your foot. As bunions can become quite large, some people feel ashamed to wear sandals or shoes that shoe their feet. By having the surgery, you can start to enjoy your shoes again.

One other benefit to this type of bunion treatment is that you can get the best results with surgery. When you work with a surgeon who specializes in this treatment, you can get the most efficient treatment of your bunions.

Cons

While there are many benefits to this bunion treatment, you should also consider the downsides. There can be reoccurrences of the bunion a year or so down the road. It may come back in the future. You will experience some pain after the surgery still as it takes time to heal the foot completely. It can limit the shoes you wear during the healing process and even after it depending on the type of shoe you are trying to wear.

Of course, as in any surgery, you can have trouble in walking afterwards as your body tries to heal. There’s also a slight chance that the correction will not work or be successful.

Be sure to weigh all the pros and cons with your medical practitioner to make sure that bunion surgery is your best option.

Common Causes for Meniscus Tear & Prevention Tips

Your knees bear the brunt of a lot of your movement. They are where your legs bend to be able to walk or run properly, they bear the weight of your body, and they are how you can make fast or quick turns and movements when you’re in motion. What happens when your knee is injured? There are a couple of common injuries found in the knee region and one of the main ones is a meniscus injury. This can vary in pain levels and treatment options depending on how bad the meniscus tear is. Here are a few things to know about the injury and treatment/prevention tips out there.

Common Reasons for a Meniscus Tear

Some of the most common reasons for this type of injury is due to sports or heavy lifting. It occurs when you turn very quickly or you twist your knee when your foot is firmly planted on the ground. This can happen in baseball as you’re trying to make that out or it can happen when you’re lifting furniture to move into a new home. It all happens as you twist your knee while it’s slightly bent and you do not move your foot. No matter what causes the meniscus tear, it can vary in levels of injury and pain.

Levels of Meniscus Injury

With just a minor injury you typically experience pain and slight swelling, but it will go away after a few weeks or so. You can make sure to ice it and give it a lot of rest to help speed the process. A more moderate level of tear or injury will cause pain at the side of the knee or middle of your knee. You will notice that the swelling gradually gets worse and it can be quite painful to bend your knee or squat.

For those with a major tear in the knee you may find that your meniscus has torn off pieces and it is now moving into the joint area. You may find your knee gives way when you’re walking and the pain and swelling continue to get worse.

Treatment and Prevention

Treating your meniscus injury is usually done with rest, elevation and with ice to keep swelling down. In severe cases surgery and physical therapy are also required. To prevent the meniscus tear, be sure you are cautious of how you move and take care to not turn quickly on your knees. Be sure to always have help when lifting items that are too heavy by yourself. Try to pick up your foot to maneuver instead of keeping it on the ground so that your entire leg can turn with you.

5 Tips to Prevent & Cure Shin Splints

While running is a fantastic way to get in exercise and relieve stress, there’s a downside to this fun and useful sport. Shin Splints can come on if you’re not careful and they can stop your running progress in its tracks. To prevent shin splints or cure them if you’re already suffering, here are a few tips you can use to keep the pain away. Check these tips out so that you can stay running as long as you like.

Keep a Check on Mileage

Be sure you do not increase your mileage you run by too much too fast. This can cause you to have shin splints in no time. The rule of thumb is to only increase the mileage you run by around 10% a week. That is a safe increase during your exercise.

The Right Shoes

In this sport, shoes are everything. They can either make or break your running career. Make sure that the shoes you wear are cushioned properly and fit your feet just right. If they do not fit correctly you can end up with blisters or sores on your feet, plus the possibility of painful shin splints. Both of these running injuries can keep you from moving forward in your running plan. Be sure to protect yourself by having the proper running shoes.

Stretch and Strengthen

Make sure that you stretch properly before running. A good stretch can help to prevent the normal imbalance between your calves and your shins. Make sure that before and after you are giving yourself plenty of time to warm up and stretch those muscles to prevent any running injuries.

Take it Easy

Take it easy when it comes to adding in inclines, running on flat tracks, and your speed. You don’t have to be a speed runner to start off with. Keep it slow and steady to increase your speed properly over the time you run. Slowly increasing speed and your hills will help you to prevent injuries and the painful shin splints that can come out of nowhere.

Tips if You Already Have Shin Splints

Sometimes no matter how careful you are, splints will happen. So to help yourself heal better, here are a few tips. Make sure you keep ice on your shins to help reduce swelling and inflammation. Consider taking an anti-inflammatory while you’re dealing with the pain. Also get plenty of rest and let your body heal itself. Once your shin splints are healed you can get back to running!

Symptoms And Treatments For Osteoarthritis Of The Big Toe

Osteoarthritis is a form of degenerative arthritis that causes pain and swelling in joints. Due to the wear and tear of cartilage in the joint, the bones become more prominent and as a result, rub against each other as they move. While the condition occurs gradually, it worsens over time if left untreated. The big toe is a common area to be affected by osteoarthritis.

Causes

Most cases of osteoarthritis come with age, starting from ages 30 to 60. As the body system slows down, the cartilage deteriorates faster than it can heal, resulting in osteoarthritis to develop.

Obesity also increases the risk of developing the condition. With additional pressure from the body weight, the bones of the feet are stressed and may accelerate the damage of cartilage in the big toe.

Some people are born with an overgrowth of the big toe bone, making the toe joint stiff and difficult to bend, thus more susceptible to developing osteoarthritis.

Symptoms

Some of the first signs of osteoarthritis of the big toe include stiffness, achiness, tenderness and pain in the affected toe, though may also be felt in the arch of the foot and other toes. The toe feels most achy and stiff in the morning and after sitting for a long period of time.

Gradually, you would start to notice swelling around the joint. It might be some time before the bone spur becomes visibly noticeable. However, you would feel the bones rubbing together and causing the area to swell as they get more prominent.

As the big toe gets stiffer, it gets harder to bend the toes. Walking and balancing becomes difficult and painful. The constant rubbing between the toes can cause corns and calluses to form, and even leading to other conditions such as hammer toes.

Treatment

Conservative treatment for osteoarthritis may not cure the condition but can relief the symptoms. Your doctor might prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicine to ease the pain and bring down the swelling. There are also creams and gels to reduce the swelling. Orthoses can be inserted in your shoes to decrease the pressure while walking. It is best to avoid high heels and pointy-toed shoes as these shoes give puts stress on the feet and may aggravate the symptoms.

For very severe cases, your doctor might recommend a joint replacement surgery. The damaged cartilage is removed and the joint is held together in a fixed and immovable position so that the cartilage would not be affected again. However, the results of the surgery might cause a reduction in mobility. Thus, this procedure may only be suitable for elderly patients that do not require as much mobility in daily activities.