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Foot & ankle surgery

Expert help for your foot or ankle condition

Lady-with-painful-foot
Having the ability to move around (if we're fortunate enough to be able walk or run at all) is perhaps one of our most treasured abilities as humans. So it's no wonder that when that ability is reduced or worse, taken away from us, we're going to do all we can to get help to fix it as quickly as possible.

For athletes of course, the problem is made all the worse as it is likely to affect them financially as well as mentally and physically.

The good news is that Three Shires Hospital in Northampton has a dedicated orthopaedic clinic fitted out with all the necessary equipment you'd expect to make not just full diagnostics of your condition, but also to help get you back on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.

Our dedicated specialist doctors and surgeons offer a full range of treatments using the latest technology including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Xray, and Ultrasound scan.

We also have a physiotherapy gym and specialist physiotherapists to help you get back on your feet so you can resume your life again. Please do call us on 01604 620311 if you are worried in any way about issues to your lower leg, ankle, or foot. 

The arch formed by the bones surrounding the central or mid part of our feet helps with our stability as well as the actions we take in order to walk and run. Should that arch fail and flatten out (called flat foot, fallen arch, or medically as pes planus) it can therefore affect not just our ability to balance whilst standing, but also our ability to walk.

Although it's not uncommon for children to have flat feet, in most cases the arch starts to form in childhood and no damage is done, however, if the arch fails to form, then those children are prone to suffer other problems in later life including issues with their feet, hips and knees.

The opposite of flat foot is high arch (medically called pes cavus), where the arch of the foot extends higher than normal. Whilst this is not usually a problem (that is, it's asymptomatic), it can still cause pain due to having a stiff foot causing more injuries. 

There are many tendons in the foot, all of which are there to help us control our physical movement, but the one most of us have heard of, and the one that causes most major problems when it suffers trauma of any sort is the achilles tendon.

If the achilles tendon is subject to too much stress, pain soon follows. This is called achilles tendonitis, the pain of which can be considerable if the tendon is damaged in any way, e.g., a tear - often due to accidents whilst playing sports or other leisure activities such as running. The achilles tendon connects and controls the movement of the ankle, hence its important role in walking and any other movement involving our lower legs.

Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon, but when this condition worsens and degeneration of the collagen that makes up a tendon occurs, this is called tendinopathy.

It's often recommended that rest is of benefit to anyone suffering from tendonitis, but even though it will subside, it does not get to the root cause of the problem, so it will very likely return.

Seeing a specialist is advisable in these cases to discover the cause and find the best remedy to stop it from recurring. 

Bunions are another concern for many people. In the worst case they can cause major deformity of the big toe, and consequently the foot itself, leading to discomfort from wearing shoes, and affecting the ability to walk without pain.

Ironically, bunions are often formed by wearing shoes that are too narrow or that deform the shape of the foot in some way, so one of the best preventions of getting a bunion is to always ensure your shoes are fitted correctly (this can also be a problem for people with high arches).

Other deformities include hammer toe, which occurs when the muscles that control the movement of the toes (not including the big toe) tighten so as to draw the toe upwards at its middle joint (the big toe has two joints, whereas the other toes have three).

One cause of hammer toe is badly fitting shoes. Claw toe is similar although can often affect all four smaller toes at the same time and can be caused by nerve disease or circulation issues. 

If you're having pain of any sort in the foot or ankle area, we can help diagnose why it is happening and recommend various courses of treatment to help you get better.

At the initial consultation we will explore your history and spend some time examining the area that is causing you discomfort.

After this, we may recommend an MRI scan. This is often necessary to identify problems with ligaments and other softer parts of the foot.

From there we can decide on the best course of treatment, discuss how long that will take, and also talk about recovery times as well as any risks involved if surgery or injections are thought necessary. 

Since most problems concern the joints of the feet, a corticosteroid injection is one way to bring almost instant relief, however an injection is only one intervention of many that may be considered.

This is why our consultants spend as much time as necessary with you to diagnose the issues properly and to ensure that you are made aware of all the things you need to know before any treatments are identified and recommended. 

Should it be deemed necessary to carry out an operation on your foot (and this can happen for many reasons including the removal of a bunion), you will be booked in at a time suitable to you (and usually within a few weeks).

Many operations are carried out the same day and no overnight stay is required. This is usually the case with bunion removal (known as a metatarsal osteotomy, which involves cutting away part of the bone, and then realignment to straighten out the big toe).

It also applies to other keyhole operations including ankle arthroscopy, where a small incision is made and a camera is inserted into the wound along with specialist tools so the necessary treatment can be carried out with precision and minimal discomfort. Some more complex operations may require a short stay in hospital. 

Should you need to stay overnight (or longer) Three Shires Hospital has 49 private rooms each fitted with en-suite facilities to make your stay as comfortable as possible and to ensure your privacy.

Our operating theatres are amongst the best in the country including the use of laminar flow ultra clean air systems in two of the three theatres.

We also have a physiotherapy suite fitted with specialist equipment to help you with rehabilitation where necessary. This includes machines to measure things like your gait as well as strength building during recovery.

Contact us on 01604 620311 for more information or to book an appointment.

Our Care Quality Commission rating is Good. 

Specialists offering Foot & ankle surgery

Miss Kom Muthusamy

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBChB, MRCS, FRCS (Tr & Orth)

BMI Three Shires Hospital

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Mr Joel Humphrey

Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon, Foot and Ankle

BSc(Hons) MBBS MRCS MSc(Sports Med) FRCS(Orth)

BMI The Saxon Clinic 1 more BMI Three Shires Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Arul Ramasamy

Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeon

MA(Cantab), PhD, Dip Sports Med, MFSEM, DMCC, PGCert Ed, FRCS(Tr+Orth)

BMI The Saxon Clinic 1 more BMI Three Shires Hospital

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Mr Gurbinder Nandhara

Orthopaedic Consultant

MBchB, MCRS, FRCS (Tr&Orth), Post FRCS

BMI The Meriden Hospital 1 more BMI Three Shires Hospital

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Mr David Stock

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

BSC, MBBS, FRCS, ATLS, FRCS, Dip SEM

BMI Three Shires Hospital

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Mr George Flanagan

Consultant Podiatric Surgeon

BSc (hons), PGDip (Surg), FCPodS

BMI Three Shires Hospital

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Pay for yourself with our fixed price packages. This includes your pre-assessment, treatment, follow-ups and six months of aftercare.

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