BMI Woodlands HospitalMorton Park, Darlington, County Durham, DL1 4PL Directions
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Dealing with foot and ankle pain
When something goes wrong in your foot or ankle, it can affect almost every part of your life, making simple movements like walking incredibly difficult, disturbing your sleep, or leaving you in constant pain. Over-the-counter painkillers may help at first, but when these start to become ineffective, you will undoubtedly be looking for other solutions.
Fortunately, our orthopaedic consultants at Woodlands have extensive experience in making the right diagnosis, finding appropriate treatments to bring you relief without unnecessary delay.
Providing patients locally, nationally, and even internationally with treatment for various foot and ankle conditions, Woodlands offers the entire scope of surgeries, whether your condition relates to your forefoot, midfoot or ankle.
Your foot or ankle may be bothering you with any of the following symptoms:
These symptoms could indicate a number of common conditions, such as:
Certain conditions benefit from steroid injections directly into the joint, and with optional ultrasound guidance for added accuracy, these have proved very effective in managing pain. Injections can be repeated periodically if they have successfully given you relief from symptoms.
If your symptoms are severe, or they haven’t responded to other conservative treatments, surgery may be the best option. Many of these surgeries can be offered arthroscopically (keyhole surgery), making it minimally-invasive. The main advantages to keyhole surgery include:
One of our consultants specialises in big toe joint replacement, which is very rarely provided on the NHS. This involves replacing the damaged big toe joint with an artificial one, which has the dual benefit of reducing your pain while also maintaining a level of mobility in the toe joint. The recovery period is often shorter than other surgeries, and you won’t have to wear a cast, making it a great option for suitable candidates.
Ankle ligament reconstruction is another procedure offered by one of our specialists. This is performed arthroscopically, where a number of small incisions are made over the ligament, allowing your surgeon access with surgical tools to shorten the ligament and reattach it with special bone anchors. When successful, this surgery restores ankle function and reduces pain, making it a highly sought-after procedure for patients with ligament tears.
Your consultant will then wish to investigate the symptoms you have mentioned. This is done with a physical examination, where they will press and manipulate your foot and ankle to assess the health and gauge notable symptoms.
Normally, your consultant will require an X-ray, and this can be arranged on-site if it hasn’t been done previously. The X-ray can show the bone structures of the foot and can highlight various conditions. This usually allows your consultant to make an accurate diagnosis, but some symptoms may require an MRI, CT or ultrasound scan for further investigation. This may be the case if your consultant wishes to analyse the soft tissues in your foot or ankle, such as with a suspected tendon tear.
With a firm diagnosis in hand, your consultant can outline your potential treatment options, based on your condition. It is often best to start out conservatively, so your consultant may refer you to our physiotherapy team, or offer steroid injections to help alleviate symptoms. Re-assessing your footwear can have a significant impact as well, making sure your shoes are wide enough for your toes, or adding padding to the soles for support.
If surgery offers the best route to recovery, your consultant can advise you on all available surgical options, outlining potential outcomes and expectations.
If your feet or ankles have been causing you problems, why not book a consultation with one of our orthopaedic specialists today? Our consultants can outline all treatment options for you promptly, arranging any necessary diagnostic scans, treatment and surgery if required. For peace of mind and expert care, please contact Woodlands to book an appointment now.
Consultant Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeon
Queens University Belfast: MB BCh BAO (1985) Fellowship of Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh: FRCSEd (1991) Fellowship of Orthopaedic Surgeons of the Combined Royal Colleges UK: FRCS(Orth) (1997)
BMI The Priory Hospital 1 more BMI Woodlands Hospital
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