If your ankle is painful, swollen and not able to be flexed, you may have a degenerative ankle problem. With feet and ankles, issues can often be related to old injuries, a lot of standing and walking, or being overweight. These issues could also be hereditary or arthritis.
Arthritis occurs when cartilage, which covers the smooth articular surface of a joint, is worn down. This causes inflammation, restricted movement, and pain.
Given how many factors can be at play, you want to find an expert orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon who specializes in this part of your anatomy. Serving the Queens area, the office of Dr. David S. Levine will be able to provide you with everything you need to make the best decisions about your care.
You can develop arthritis at any joint, including the joint between the lower leg and talus, or main ankle pivot, and the sub-talar joint, between the talus and the heel bone, or calcaneus. Eventually, the cartilage can wear away, leaving bone grinding on bone. This in turn causes the joint to change shape, sometimes developing sharp spurs of extra bone growth.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease. The body stops distinguishing between its own cells and other cells or particles, such as wound debris, or infection, and begins attacking its own joints. The area will become reddened, very painful, and the joint surface can erode or change shape.
Post traumatic arthritis
Post traumatic arthritis can arise years after a broken bone or surgery. It is the same process as osteoarthritis, but related to previous injury.
Congenital and neurological problems
Club foot can lead to arthritis, as can neurological conditions that affect the muscles acting over the joint. The distorted foot position will lead to wear and tear.
Many ankle problems can be managed with physical therapy and medication. In some cases, however, a person can have a new lease of life after surgical intervention.
Experienced orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons, like Dr. David S. Levine, serving Queens, will be able to offer a range of advice, including conservative, traditional, and new treatments using the latest technology.
Surgical options will include arthroplasty and joint replacement, where the surgeon removes damaged tissues and replaces with artificial implant or fuses the bones together. This can relieve pain.
If you live in or around Queens, contact us for more information on our orthopedic foot and ankle services.
Many people who have bunions are brilliant at discovering different ways to avoid the pain in their feet. They wear wider shoes, use special insoles, and even make holes in their shoes to decrease pressure on the base of their big toe. But, if those steps do not alleviate your symptoms, our orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon serving the Queens area, might suggest bunion surgery.
There are various types of surgeries that correct a bunion. Returning a big toe to its proper position might include realigning ligaments, bone, nerves, and tendons.
Are You a Bunion Surgery Candidate?
Generally, if the bunion you have is not painful, you may not require surgery. Even though bunions usually enlarge over a period of time, surgeons typically do not suggest surgery unless there is pain and it is affecting the patient’s quality of life. Most people can slow a bunion’s progression with the right shoes and additional preventive care, and some bunions will never cause pain or additional issues.
It is important to note that bunion surgery should not be performed purely for cosmetic reasons. After your surgery, it is possible for pain to develop within the affected toe. If you were in pain before surgery, you may still feel some pain, but it is likely to be less painful afterward.
Appropriate bunion surgery candidates typically have:
- Substantial pain in the foot that restricts their daily activities, such as wearing reasonable shoes and walking. They might find it difficult to walk more than a couple of blocks without marked pain.
- Severe swelling and inflammation of the big toe that does not improve with medications or rest.
- Toe deformity—the big toe leaning towards the smaller toes, sometimes to the extent of crossing over one another
- Toe stiffness—if it has become difficult or impossible to bend and straighten your big toe
- No pain relief, even with footwear changes
- No pain relief from NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), like naproxen and ibuprofen. The effectiveness of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in controlling toe discomfort greatly varies from one person to another.
Deciding to Undergo Bunion Surgery
When you research bunion surgery, you should be alert to all the facts. Even though most bunion treatments are performed on a same-day basis and don’t require hospitalization, a lengthy period of recovery is the norm. Often, it takes approximately six months for complete recovery, requiring follow-up consultations with our orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon. In some cases, these aftercare consultations are needed for up to one year.
It is important that you have realistic expectations concerning bunion surgery. For instance, bunion surgery might not permit you to dress in a smaller shoe size or wear pointed, narrow shoes. As a matter of fact, you will have to make sure that you always chose healthy shoes that are kind to your feet – as we all should.
If you are considering surgery, do not hesitate to ask our foot and ankle surgeon questions about the procedure and your recovery. It is vital that you understand the possible bunion surgery limitations and benefits.
Our foot and ankle surgeon will give you the best possible options – the last thing they want is unnecessary surgeries or confused patients.
If you live in or around Queens and are looking for help with your foot and ankle issues, contact Dr. David S. Levine today.