Arthritis, or DJD (degenerative joint disease), can result in joint pain and stiffness in the foot or ankle when the cartilage lining the joint wears out and allows bones the bones to rub together. Your surgeon may need to join the bones together with staples, screws, or pins.
Bone spurs are small bony outgrowths, which may irritate nearby soft tissues and cause pain. Bone spurs generally develop in the mid-foot and hind-foot, but can appear anywhere in the feet. Surgeons sometimes need to remove spurs to alleviate symptoms.
Bunions, also called hallux valgus, is an often painful, bony bump at the side of the first toe caused by a misalignment of the middle joint and can limit shoe wear tolerance. There are many techniques to help remove a bunion and straighten the toe. Often surgeons take one or more of the following steps: shift the soft tissue around the joint, remove the bony bump and other excess bone, or remove the joint and connect (fuse) the bones on the two sides of the joint.
Curled toe problems involve the joints of the toes, and cause the inability for toes to straighten. Hammer toes result from the middle toe joint, mallet toes are from the end toe joint, and claw toes involve the toes closest to the arch. Surgeons may need to remove part of the raised bone, release the soft tissue, or fuse the bones.
A toe which crosses over or under an adjacent toe is referred to as a curved (deviated) toe. A surgeon may release the soft tissue to reposition the toe or reconstruct the toe joint, and often both procedures can be done at the same time.
DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASE (DJD)
DJD causes stiffness and pain, due to the wearing out of the joints, causing bone-on-bone wear and the creation of bone spurs. Surgeons typically need to remove spurs, fuse the bones or replace the joint.
A fallen arch is often caused by a ruptured (torn) tendon, sometimes resulting from an injury or aging. When the tendon wears out, the joint begins to fall and may become inflamed, painful and weak. Surgeons may transfer a tendon or fuse bones in the hindfoot to stabilize the arch.
A ganglion is a fluid filled sac near a joint or tendon that feels like a small, sometimes painful, bump on the foot. Many times, more conservative treatment is attempted prior to scheduling a surgery; for instance, fluid may be extracted to reduce swelling. If symptoms do not improve, the ganglion is typically removed.
Ingrown nails usually occur on the great toe, and are caused because the nail is too wide for the toe. The nail grows into the skin, causing pain, swelling and often infection. Trimming the nail straight across will sometimes help, but the nail may need to be surgically repaired.
A neuroma is a painful thickening of the nerve, usually occurring between the third and forth metatarsal bones. It may not be easily seen, but it can usually be felt as a lump under the skin. If the neuroma needs to be removed, the foot will probably be left with out part of the nerve.
Plantar fibromas (also called plantar fibromatosis or Ledderhose's Disease) are non-cancerous firm, nodular masses that may form within the ligamentous portion of the arch of the foot, the plantar fascia. Oftentimes fibromas slowly enlarge, causing pain while walking.