Foot and ankle reconstruction comprises of array of surgical procedures aimed at restoring alignment, function and appearance to the foot and ankle affected by various congenital and acquired conditions, injuries, or deformities.
Foot and ankle reconstruction is indicated for a wide range of conditions, including but not limited to:
Foot or ankle reconstruction might not be suitable for individuals with:
The specific benefits and risks can vary depending on the type of surgery and the patient’s individual circumstances. Here are the main benefits and risks associated with foot reconstruction surgery:
Pain Relief: Foot reconstruction surgery can provide significant pain relief for individuals suffering from chronic foot pain due to conditions such as deformities, arthritis, or injuries.
Improved Function: The surgery aims to restore or enhance the function of the foot, allowing individuals to walk, stand, and perform daily activities more comfortably and effectively.
Enhanced Mobility: Foot reconstruction can improve mobility and gait, enabling patients to regain their independence and quality of life.
Correction of Deformities: Foot reconstruction surgery can correct deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, or flat feet, resulting in better foot alignment and appearance.
Joint Preservation: In some cases, foot reconstruction procedures aim to preserve joints, preventing further damage and the need for joint replacement surgery.
Reduced Risk of Ulcers: For individuals with conditions like diabetes or Charcot foot, foot reconstruction can reduce the risk of ulcers and other complications.
Infection: Infection is a potential risk with any surgical procedure, including foot reconstruction. Proper wound care and antibiotic administration are essential to minimize this risk.
Nerve or Blood Vessel Damage: There is a risk of damaging nearby nerves or blood vessels during the surgical procedure, which can lead to sensory or motor deficits.
Blood Clots: Foot reconstruction surgery carries a risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in the deep veins of the leg and its catastrophic consequences. Measures such as blood-thinning medications and compression stockings are often used to mitigate this risk.
Implant Issues: For surgeries involving the use of implants, there is a risk of implant wear, loosening, or failure over time. This may require revision surgery to address implant-related problems.
Wound Healing Problems: Some patients may experience issues with wound healing, which could result in delayed recovery or the development of complications such as wound infections.
Anaesthesia-Related Complications: Patients undergoing foot reconstruction surgery are at risk of complications related to anaesthesia.
Scarring: Surgery typically results in some degree of scarring at the incision sites. While efforts are made to minimize scarring, it may still be visible.
Limited Activities: Following foot reconstruction, patients may have restrictions on high-impact activities and sports due to the potential for implant wear or other limitations.
Foot and ankle reconstruction procedures may include a combination of:
It’s important to note that the specific surgical approach and combination of techniques chosen for foot and ankle reconstruction will depend on the individual’s condition and their overall health, age and demand.
Regular follow-up appointments with the team will help monitor your progress and address any concerns:
After that, a 3-month postop, 6-month postop, 1-year postop and further an annual follow-up with an x-ray will be mandatory.
A tailored rehabilitation program will help regain strength, flexibility, and mobility.
Recovery from foot and ankle surgery can take between 6 weeks to a year, and commitment to rehabilitation as well as follow-up appointments is essential for optimal outcomes. Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance and recommendations.
If patients are worried about their level of pain, experience significant bleeding, or notice fever or redness around the surgical site, they should contact the office immediately. If assistance is needed after hours, patients can contact the hospital where the surgery was performed, and they will contact Professor Al Muderis on their behalf.
Norwest Private Hospital: (02) 8882 8882
Macquarie University Hospital: (02) 9812 3000