Foot & Ankle
Foot and Ankle
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Foot and ankle injuries occur in sport and in higher energy trauma.
Sports injuries can include sprains, stress fractures, joint instability, overload and tendon ruptures. Much discussion has been made recently about the need for surgical repair of the Achilles tendon. For adequate function in sport the Achilles tendon has to be maintained at its correct length. Surgical repair can be performed early or late after the injury using less invasive techniques to avoid wound complications and swelling. However the earlier the surgery is performed the better the result.
Ankle sprains remain a common sport related injury. Not only are the ligaments stabilizing the joint damaged, but the ankle itself can be damaged at the same time. Both need to be treated at the time of surgery, and arthroscopy is indispensible in the management of these sports related injuries.
With the development of air bags in cars legs remain unprotected resulting in an increase in serious foot and ankle trauma. The area of complaint 2 years after admission to hospital with motor vehicle trauma is often the foot and ankle region. Sometimes the presentation to the Specialist Referral Clinic is the first time after the injury that the foot is x rayed because the more life threatening injuries have taken preference in treatment.
These injuries can be assessed and treated. The latest techniques in foot reconstruction are particularly beneficial in treating these injuries with the development of minimally invasive surgery, joint replacements, and new methods for joining bones together. This includes methods for stimulating bone healing and implants (screws and plates) to hold the bones in the correct position. This results in a straight and less painful or painless leg. This, even if stiff, functions much better than a deformed and /or painful leg.
Arthroscopy, combined with new devices, is now being used at the time of fracture to reduce the swelling and pain caused by surgery to improve the outcomes of treatment.
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