An anaesthetist will discuss with you the type of anaesthetic used and the process they will follow so you don’t feel anything. You will be given the opportunity to ask any questions and raise any concerns you may have.
Once you are safely anaesthetised, incisions are made through the skin where the bones are broken in the foot. The bones will be repositioned and held in place with implants which are usually metal. Once the bones are repaired, your surgeon will stitch up where the incision has been made and you will be taken back to your room.
There are specific techniques for the various foot fracture surgeries including the following:
- Heel bone surgery (Calcaneus) – A fracture of the heel bone can often involve disruption of the joint between the heel bone and ankle bone (talus). To restore the anatomy and realign the joint surface, surgery is needed. By creating an L-shaped incision over the heel, the fracture is realigned, and concentrating on the surface of the joint, is fixed with either a plate, or individual pins/screws.
- Inside midfoot (Navicular) – This is a common fracture which causes the bone to break in two. An incision is made over the fracture and the two bones are realigned before being secured with either screws, or a plate and screws.
- Outside midfoot (Cuboid) – This type of fracture is caused by a compression injury resulting in shortening of the outside foot. Cuboid surgery aims to lengthen the outside of the foot with a plate and screws inserted directly to the bone. Once the fracture has healed, the plates and screws are removed.
- Metatarsal fracture – some metatarsal fractures can be treated without surgery, but sometimes if the injury is more significant, surgery is needed. An incision is made over the fractured metatarsal and is fixed with a combination of pins, screws and plates.
Toes (Phalanges) – Most fractures of the toes can be treated without surgery. Deformities as a result of displaced fracture may need surgery to correct them. The toe is placed into alignment, an incision is made, and a pin is inserted through the tip of the toe to hold the fracture in place. Once the fracture is healed in roughly four to six weeks, the pin can be removed.