MedStar Health's foot and ankle specialists offer a wide range of treatments and care options that include:
Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to repair a variety of foot and ankle conditions and injuries. During the procedure, your surgeon will insert an arthroscope, or thin, flexible tube, into the affected area of your foot or ankle. The arthroscope uses a small camera to beam images onto a large screen.
Ankle fusion is a surgical procedure that locks the ankle joint with screws, prohibiting the upward and downward motion of the ankle. It is a way to relieve pain in patients who have a worn-out ankle joint due to arthritis or a traumatic injury. It is also an option for people with a severe deformity, such as a flat foot, high-arched foot, or a club foot in which the ankle joint is also deformed, unstable, or damaged.
Ankle replacement is an available treatment for those suffering from arthritis in the ankle. Previously, the traditional treatment for severe arthritis in the ankle was to fuse together the bones of the ankle joint, restricting movement. In total ankle replacement, the diseased, worn out ankle joint is removed and replaced with a prosthetic joint made of steel, chrome, and polyethylene.
Bunion care can range from nonsurgical methods, such as wearing roomier shoes and using protective pads to cushion the painful area, to surgical methods employed to realign bone, ligaments, tendons, and nerves so the big toe can be brought back to its correct position.
Fracture care treatment is different for each individual and depends on the extent of the fracture. Treatment can range from a special shoe or cast to surgery for more severe fractures. A surgeon may use plates, metal or absorbable screws, pins, staples, or tension bands to hold the bones in place. Physical therapy is the second stage of treatment for a fracture, following the cast removal or surgery.
Tendon reconstruction is a treatment employed to repair tendon tears. For less severe tears, suturing may suffice. If you have an acute tear, your doctor will use tendon tissue grafts, taken either from elsewhere in the leg or from a tissue bank, to make the repair.
Wound care can be critical because wounds on the foot and ankle are slow to heal on certain people, especially diabetics. Wounds can develop into ulcers from such conditions as a lack of feeling in the foot, poor circulation, foot deformities, irritation, and trauma. Diabetic patients sometimes develop neuropathy (lack of feeling) in the feet that can leave wounds undetected. Vascular disease can also complicate a foot ulcer, reducing the body's ability to heal and increasing the risk for an infection.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome care may include conservative treatments, such as rest, elevation, massage, anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, arch supports (orthotics), and/or better-fitting shoes. If conservative treatment does not provide results, your physician may suggest surgery in which an incision is made in the ligament, located below the inside of the ankle, allowing room for the nerve to expand. If a cyst is impinging on the nerve, it can be removed.
Infected Total Joints
If a total joint replacement becomes infected, the health of the joint and limb, as well as the overall health of the patient, become an immediate concern.
Not all orthopedic specialists are trained to manage and treat infected total joints. At MedStar Georgetown, our orthopedic surgeons appropriately manage and aggressively treat infections. This often times requires removal of the total joint implant and a course of antibiotics, followed by revision joint replacement. While this is unfortunate, it is critical for removing the bacteria from your system and maximizing your overall health and outcome.
Learn more about joint replacement at MedStar Georgetown.
Ankle Replacement Preserves Active Lifestyle
David Kearing, MD, battled for years with post-traumatic ankle arthritis caused by years of repeated sports-related ankle sprains, one of which included a dislocation. In September 2010, Dr. Cooper performed David's STAR surgery. David was in and out of the hospital in one day and able to walk within two weeks. Three months later, he was on skis.
Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgery: Ask Dr. Paul Cooper