Why you might need?
You will need surgery on your foot because the severity and location of your fracture require you to do so by a healthcare professional. Surgery will repair the fractured bone in a better position to reduce the risk of a deformity or loss of function.
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:
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.
Your consultant will provide you with all the relevant information before your procedure along with any preparation you may need to do in the days leading up to your surgery. It is important to tell your consultant about any medicines you may be taking, including any over the counter pain medicines such as paracetamol or aspirin.
You may need imaging tests before your surgery, including ultrasound, x-ray or an MRI.
Do not eat or drink before you are due to have surgery otherwise your surgery may be delayed - you will receive more detailed information on fasting prior to your procedure.
Please ensure you have a companion available to take you home after you leave OneWelbeck Orthopaedics.
As with any surgery, there can be risks with surgery of the foot. Whilst small, they can include:
- Residual weakness in the foot
- Reduced function which may cause difficulty in walking
- Possible further surgery if the bone doesn’t heal properly
- Possible nerve damage
Our leading expert orthopaedic consultants will be able to help with any concerns you may have.
After your operation, you will be watched by your dedicated nurse at OneWelbeck Orthopaedics for the few hours after your surgery. To stop your foot from moving, you will need to wear a cast or boot which will help the foot to heal. Once you have seen your Consultant you will be able to go home the same day. It is important to keep your foot elevated to give your injury the best chance of healing.
Make sure you follow any advice given to you by your consultant orthopaedic surgeon including any advice on pain relief, wound dressing and any exercises you may be given.