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Foot & ankle surgery

Expert help for your foot and ankle condition

Our feet and ankles bear the entire weight of our body when we’re standing. We rely on them countless times every day for so many movements and activities. Each time we sit down in a chair, climb the stairs, drive our car or just potter around the shops, our feet and ankles are heavily involved in making these things possible.

A foot and ankle combined contain 28 bones and an incredible number of ligaments, tendons and joints, which all work together to give a large amount of mobility and function. Given the complex anatomy and highly varied functions involved, it’s no surprise that a structural or functional problem in any part of the foot or ankle can have a significant effect on our ability to move freely and easily.

When you visit BMI Bath Clinic for help with a foot or ankle concern, you will have access to some of the most experienced Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeons in the country for best-in-class investigation, diagnosis and treatment.

Our leading experts have together helped many thousands of adults of all ages, abilities and activity levels to get out of foot and ankle pain and back to better mobility and function once again. They would be delighted to help you too.

Your feet and ankles have many weight-bearing joints in them, each one dispersing and redirecting the different loads and forces put through them to avoid causing damage.

Trauma, ‘wear and tear’ degeneration and disease can all affect how well the foot and ankle are able to handle these loads and forces. Sporting injuries to the ankle are particularly common, as are foot conditions like fallen arches or ingrowing toenails.

With many people increasing their activity and fitness levels during the recent pandemic, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of referrals for injuries related to these activities.

Problems can occur in the toes, the midfoot, or the hindfoot (including the ankle). We have listed some of the common reasons people come to us for help below. Do you have any of them?

Forefoot problems (including toes):

  • Toe deformities
  • Big toe pain including arthritis
  • Bunions – bony lumps on the side of the feet
  • Bursitis (inflammation)
  • Morton’s Neuroma – results from irritation or damage to a nerve in your foot.

Midfoot problems:

  • Plantar fasciitis – characterised by pain in your heel
  • Achilles tendon pain
  • Flat feet (“fallen arches”)
  • Foot drop – Secondary to nerve injury/disease
  • High arch foot pain
  • Tendon disorders
  • Midfoot arthritis

Hindfoot problems (including the ankle):

  • Ankle arthritis
  • Ankle sprains (ligament injuries)
  • Ankle pain
  • Stiffness in the ankle
  • Ankle instability
  • Posterior ankle impingement

Arthritis causing pain can develop in any part of the foot or ankle. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis cause a breakdown in the cartilage lining the joint surfaces with resultant inflammation and pain. Given the large number of joints in the ankle and foot, arthritis can cause significant problems with function and mobility.

With so many different conditions and symptoms possible in the foot and ankle, it can be a sensible course of action to see a specialist for assessment and advice if you have any concerns.

It is very easy to arrange an appointment at BMI Bath Clinic with an experienced Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeon. With appointments available throughout the week, you will be able to book your visit for a time that is most convenient for you.

If your symptoms are relatively mild, you may find that you’re able to ignore them most of the time. If they become more severe and begin to affect your daily activities, you will probably be more motivated to get things investigated and treated quickly.

Any type of treatment for a foot or ankle problem has two aims:

  • To get you out of any pain as quickly and fully as possible
  • To restore function to your foot and ankle

It is important to know that even though this page is about Foot and Ankle Surgery in Bath, and that you will be seeing a Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeon when you visit, many foot and ankle problems can be treated without the need for any form of surgery. Conservative (non-surgical) treatments will often be used first as these can be very effective, particularly for less extensive damage.

Weight loss

If you are overweight it means that your weight-bearing joints, including the feet and ankles, knees and hips, have more load placed on them. Losing weight will reduce this load and may help to improve any pain you have in your feet or ankles.

Physiotherapy

For pain caused by arthritis, muscular weakness or previous surgery, physiotherapy may be helpful. It is important to do the correct exercises and stretches to avoid causing more damage, and to do them at a sensible pace so that your body has time to adapt and adjust to any new demands being placed on it. Our dedicated on-site Physiotherapy team will work closely with you and your consultant to tailor a programme to safely fit your specific needs and current abilities.

Orthotics (insoles)

Custom orthotics (insoles) can be helpful to correct the structural and functional characteristics of your feet when needed. Your consultant can arrange for you to meet with an experienced orthotist to help with this if required.

Pain relief medication

Pain relief medication such as anti-inflammatories may help to reduce pain and inflammation. Where your pain isn’t being suitably managed by over-the-counter medication, your consultant may prescribe stronger painkillers where appropriate. If foot or ankle pain is affecting your sleep, there are some medicines that can help with both pain relief and sleep.

Injections

A steroid injection may provide some degree of pain relief, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory. In the foot and ankle, steroid injections are frequently used and can be very effective at giving you a period of time with less pain. The effects of this injection can wear off over time and repeat injections may become less effective.

Foot and ankle surgery

If your symptoms are not improved by the above non-operative interventions, then surgery may be an option. There are a multitude of operations that would be specifically tailored to treat the needs of the individual. An example of the surgical options available for a patient with ankle arthritis is outlined below.

Ankle arthroscopy

Ankle arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) can be helpful when treating ankle conditions such as treating a small area of cartilage damage and bone spurs. As well as giving your consultant a clear view of the inside of the joint, damaged cartilage and scar tissue causing impingement can be removed. This minimally invasive surgery means smaller cuts, reduced pain and bleeding, less visible scarring, and often a faster recovery.

Where the ankle has been more extensively damaged by osteoarthritis and symptoms such as pain are significant, there are other surgical options available. These involve either fusing or replacing the ankle joint.

Ankle fusion surgery

This procedure removes the arthritic joint, and then permanently joins the bones together by screwing them in place. This fixes (fuses) the joint in position. This is a very effective procedure in reducing pain and improving mobility.

Ankle replacement surgery

The ankle joint can be replaced (such like a hip or knee replacement) in certain patients with ankle arthritis. The allows movement to be maintained in the ankle but is not suitable for all patients.

Successfully managing foot and ankle conditions depends on getting an accurate diagnosis of the cause of any symptoms. With fast access to experienced surgeons, you will be expertly guided about the best treatment at the right time for your symptoms and condition. And this all starts with your first consultation…

When you meet with your Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeon at BMI Bath Clinic, they will take a medical history and ask you in detail about your symptoms. They may ask you questions like:

  • When did your symptoms start?
  • Have your symptoms been getting worse over time?
  • Does anything make your symptoms worse? And does anything make them better?
  • Have you received any treatment already, such as physiotherapy or prescribed medication?
  • Do you have any particular concerns about your symptoms (for example, are you worried about losing your independence because of severe stiffness in your foot)?
  • What other medical conditions do you have?

These questions can help your consultant to differentiate possible causes of your symptoms.

They will then carry out a detailed physical examination of your foot, ankle, leg, knee and hip. Even though you may only have symptoms in your foot or ankle, it is important to consider the joints above as they can sometimes lead to problems further down the leg.

You may be referred for additional investigations to help with diagnosis. This will often be an X-ray of the pelvis, but an ultrasound or MRI scan can also be useful when querying soft tissue problems. Our comprehensive diagnostic capabilities include on-site X-ray, ultrasound and CT and MRI scanners, so we can arrange any of these easily for you if required. On-site radiologists provide rapid reporting so that the results are back with your consultant sooner.

Once a diagnosis has been made, your consultant will meet with you again to discuss the results and to talk through suitable treatment options. It may be that referral to another specialist is needed. For example, if it is found that the pain in your ankle is being caused by a biomechanical problem in your hip or knee, you will be referred to a hip or knee surgeon.

If you are struggling with any type of problem in your foot or ankle, we believe you won’t find a better place to come for comprehensive investigation, diagnosis, treatment and post-surgical rehabilitation than BMI Bath Clinic. Here’s why:

  • Fast access to a leading expert– Our team of Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeons are incredibly experienced. When you choose BMI Bath Clinic for your treatment, you will have access to guidance and evidence-based treatment options from a recognised leader in the field.
  • Recommended by other specialists – GPs, physiotherapists, sports physiotherapists, osteopaths and other healthcare professionals in Bath and the surrounding areas refer their patients to us because they recognise the expertise of our consultants and value the exceptionally high quality of care we provide for their patients.
  • Recommended by patients – In an independent survey, 97.9% of the people we treated said they were likely or extremely likely to recommend BMI Bath Clinic to their family and friends.
  • Consultant-led care, always – You will see the same consultant for each visit, so you will never have to worry about seeing a more junior doctor. If you have any questions or concerns at any time, it is very easy to arrange another appointment with your consultant.
  • Remote Consultations – Foot and Ankle consultations are normally carried out in person in the hospital, but we can offer remote consultations by telephone or online video call if required. A multidisciplinary team: With leading Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeons, physiotherapists, nurses, radiologists and many other healthcare professionals working on-site at BMI Bath Clinic, you will always see the most appropriate specialist, no matter how complicated your problem.
  • Location – We’re based around two miles from the centre of historic Bath and are very easy to travel to by private or public transport. Our 100-space private car park is free for patients and visitors.
  • Facilities - Formerly a private home, the hospital is situated within a gloriously landscaped setting right next to a National Trust property. Far removed from the clinical, often impersonal feel modern hospitals can sometimes have, the historic exterior offers access to an extremely modern hospital with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.

If you have any concerns about your foot or ankle, whether in-growing toenails or severe arthritis in the ankle, we can help. For peace of mind and expert care sooner, why not book your appointment today? 

We very much look forward to welcoming you to BMI Bath Clinic and helping to get you back to better foot and ankle health again as soon as possible.

Specialists Offering Foot & ankle surgery

Mr Jamie McKenzie

Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon

BM BCh MA FRCS (Tr and Orth) DTM&H

BMI Bath Clinic

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Dr Paul Jackson

Consultant in Sport & Exercise Medicine

FRCP FFSEM(UK) MBBS

BMI Bath Clinic 1 more BMI The Ridgeway Hospital

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Mr Alistair Charles Ross

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

M.B., B.S., F.R.C.S.,

BMI Bath Clinic

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