Foot orthopedics is a sphere of medicine that specialized on musculoskeletal problems related to the foot. Orthopedics doctors deal with different types of disorders including muscles and bones diseases, nerves damage and vascular problems in cooperation with other specialists. Modern German orthopedics clinics provide multidisciplinary services on foot orthopedics offering complex diagnostics, conservative treatment and surgery if needed.
Among the tremendously wide range of foot and ankle problems the most common are:
- Foot and Ankle Arthritis
- Bunion disorder (deformation of big toe joint)
- Achilles Tendinitis (Achilles tendon enlargement)
- Heel pain
- Claw toe
- Hammer toe
The above disorders have different origin and each of them require different approach. Orthopedics specialists in Germany make their efforts to choose optimal treatment for every patient.
There are many kind of arthritis but rheumatoid arthritis is more common for the foot. In simple words, arthritis is inflammation of synovium (a lining that covers your joints). Rheumatoid arthritis can affects bones, joints, muscles and nerves and results in degenerative changes in the foot. The symptoms of disorder are swelling, pain and stiffness and, when severe, they can significantly influence the quality of your life. Further development can cause most of above mentioned diseases as a result of joints and bones deformities, e.g. claw toes, bunions and others. Modern orthopedics suggests many solutions to people with chronicle and acute problems.
Among conservative treatments the orthopedists suggest:
Change of moving activities and rest. Patient is advised to stop activities harming the foot and relax not giving much load to the affected foot.
Oral medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are common option for rheumatoid disease.
Injections. Cortisone can be used to decrease symptoms of arthritis in earlier stage if disease.
Orthopedics appliances. Some special devices as orthotic or braces and orthopedic shoes can be used for correction a number of problems.
In severe stages your orthopedics doctor may recommend you surgery.
Foot orthopedics operations can be divided depending on problems treated, methods applied and part of the foot. Based on problem the foot surgery can be divided as following:
Fusion is the type of surgery when two bones of the joint are fused in one. It is applied to restore severe destroyed bones though the joint becomes less flexible. The two bones are held together with stabilizing plates or screws and over time they are grown together as a result of activation of natural processes. Sometimes donor bone from the other areas can be used for better coupling that is called bone graft.
Depending on area undergone to operation fusion can be split as following:
- Ankle fusion (surgery of ankle joint)
- Hindfoot fusion (heel and surrounding)
- Midfoot fusion (middle part of the foot)
- Forefoot (toes)
Bunions are bony bumps that develop at the junction of the big toe and the foot. They can form for a long time while the big toe gradually bend to the next toe and, finally, lean over it. When advanced, the condition might be painful and cause difficulties while walking and, then, it requires surgery. During this rather simple procedure surgeon will remove the bumps. Operation may or may not include joint alignment which is considered by orthopedic surgeon.
Hammer toe is a condition when the toe become permanently bent and claw. The problem can be improved with arthroplasty or arthrodesis (fusion) depending on stage and patient’s preferences.
Ankle replacement is a procedure to replace degenerative ankle joint with artificial implant. Newest types of implants provided better result than it was before and gives reliable and long lasting result.
Most of the foot orthopedics operation can be performed both with traditional open operation and advanced minimally invasive technique.
Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery can be used as alternative to open foot surgery in many cases including fusion surgery, ankle replacement, removal of loose cartilage, repairing torn ligaments, fixing foot fractures and others. Arthroscopy is also often used as a tool for diagnostics for determining joint, muscles and vessels problems. Comprehensive approach applied in German clinics allows treating complex problems in one surgery.
If you consider on foot surgery and need advice of expert please apply online via GMG. With us you have a choice of the best orthopedists in Germany who are accessible online. Please make an appointment with experienced English speaking doctor in one of suggested German clinics.