Foot and Lower-leg Surgeries and Therapies

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Pain and discomfort in your lower legs and feet can make it difficult for you to stand, walk, and complete many other activities essential to daily life. Thankfully, podiatric medicine provides various treatment methods to alleviate this pain.

Reasons for procedures

There are numerous issues that can lead to surgical treatment or other therapeutic procedures for the feet and lower legs, including: 

  • Achilles tendinitis. 
  • Arthritis. 
  • Bone fracture.
  • Bunions. 
  • Cysts. 
  • Fungal infections, including athlete's foot. 
  • Gout.
  • Neuropathy. 
  • Plantar fasciitis. 
  • Tear of Achilles tendon. 
  • Toe and foot deformities. 
  • Various diseases.

Types of corrective treatments

Depending on the specific issue, there are several surgical procedures and non-surgical therapies to treat disorders of the feet and lower legs.

Surgery

Surgical procedures will depend on the specific problem; however, some general surgeries for the feet and lower leg include: 

  • Arthroscopy (diagnostic tool and treatment method to see inside joints). 
  • Bone fusion. 
  • Open-reduction fracture setting.
  • Surgical removal (i.e. of bunions, cysts, nail, etc.). 
  • Tendon repair.

Non-surgical treatments

Like surgical procedures, there are numerous non-surgical therapies that can be used to treat problems with feet and lower legs. These treatments will vary based on the condition; some common therapies include: 

  • Anti-inflammatory medication. 
  • Change in footwear. 
  • Closed-reduction fracture setting. 
  • Cryotherapy (wart removal). 
  • Drainage or needle aspiration. 
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). 
  • Heat and cold treatments. 
  • Oral medication. 
  • Orthotics. 
  • Physical therapy. 
  • Protective pads. 
  • Shoe modifications. 
  • Steroid injections. 
  • Topical medication.

Post-treatment/recovery information

Some foot and lower-leg treatments, especially non-surgical therapies, have little or no recovery time. More invasive treatments will require a longer recovery period. Depending on the extent treatment needed, following the procedure a patient may be required to: 

  • Complete physical therapy. 
  • Follow the R.I.C.E. therapy method of rest, ice, compress, elevate. 
  • Keep foot/leg elevated.
  • Use crutches.

Because treatment methods vary so greatly, it is important for you to visit a skilled podiatrist to determine the most effective procedure or therapy for your foot or lower-leg problem.

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