The complexity of the foot and ankle combined with the daily physical demands that the lower extremities withstand make foot and ankle injuries relatively common for individuals of all ages.
Dr. Innes provides comprehensive diagnosis and treatment options for Alaskans suffering from foot and ankle pain. Many conditions of the lower extremities can be treated with conservative methods such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In instances where surgery is recommended, minimally invasive, arthroscopic procedures are are often a possibility and can help minimize recovery time.
If you are unable to find relief with non-surgical treatments for bunions, Dr. Innes may suggest bunion surgery to help reduce pain and pressure. The aim of bunion surgery is to bring the big toe back to its original position, and may involve realigning the ligaments, tendons, nerves, or bones.
Bunion surgery is recommended for those who have:
There are several forms of bunion surgery, generally involving:
Dr. Innes has extensive experience performing bunion surgery on the Peninsula. If you are suffering from bunions, make an appointment to discuss with the doctor whether or not surgery is right for you.
A hammertoe is a deformity in the foot that causes a toe to become bent upward in the middle, causing it to resemble a hammer. When non-surgical treatments have not been successful in relieving the pain, hammertoe surgery may be necessary. The procedure is usually performed as an outpatient procedure.
Flexible Hammertoe Procedure
If the afflicted toe is still flexible, an orthopedic surgeon may be able to straighten it with a tendon transfer procedure. In this procedure, the tendons are rerouted from the bottom of the toe to the top of the toe. As a result, the joint is pulled into a straight position.
If the hammertoe is stiffened, joint resection or fusion may be used to correct the condition. With joint resection, an incision is made on top of the toe and ligaments and tendons are cut to help straighten the toe. The bone end is removed, allowing the toe to be straightened with the use of temporary pins to hold the toe straight. The fusion method involves the bone, ligaments, and tendons being cut to help straighten the toe. Pins and screws are often used in this procedure to keep the bone straight while it heals.
If the achilles tendon is overstretched it can tear - either partially or completely. Tears most commonly occur just above the heel bone, causing a sharp snap or crack sound audible to the patient. Pain and swelling near the heel and an inability to bend the foot downward or walk normally are signs that the achilles tendon may be torn.
Surgery is typically needed for a complete rupture. After surgery, the ankle will be kept stable in a cast or walking boot for up to 12 weeks. A torn ligament may also be managed non-surgically with a below-knee cast, which allows the ends of the torn tendon to heal on its own. This nonsurgical approach may take longer to heal, and there is a higher chance that the tendon could re-rupture. Surgery offers a better chance of full recovery, which is why it is often recommended by Dr. Innes for active people who wish to resume sports.
When nonsurgical methods of healing an ankle fracture have failed, surgery may be necessary to help the joint heal with a normal shape and with normal movement.
In an ankle fracture surgery, Dr. Innes will make an incision in the ankle where the bones are broken. The breaks in the bone will then be carefully re-positioned and held together with synthetic implants. The ankle will then be put in a protective splint while the bones heal.
Most ankle fracture surgery is conducted using open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). This is a procedure where an incision is made over the ankle to see the fractured bones and the pieces of the broken bones are placed back together (open reduction). The broken bones are then held together (internal fixation) in their original position with plates and/or screws made from metal. This internal fixation provides stability, and movement can begin shortly after surgery as the ankle fracture heals.
Ankle/foot fusion, also known as ankle arthrodesis, is a orthopedic procedure where the bones of the ankle are fused into one piece. Surgeons generally use this procedure to treat severe ankle arthritis.
Arthritis can affect the joints in the ankle, over time wearing away the cartilage on the surface of the bones. This results in pain, inflammation, and swelling in the joint. Ankle fusion helps stop the pain and swelling.
Amputation is the removal of a limb or extremity: an arm, leg, hand, foot, finger, or toe. It is a treatment of last resort, performed only after all other treatment methods have proven ineffective. Amputations are used to treat severe infection, disease progression, removal of a tumor on a bone or muscle, or persistent pain.