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Foot & Ankle Treatments

At London Bridge Hospital Outpatients our Orthopaedic Services provide access to diagnostics, consultation and treatment for a variety of conditions that affect the foot and ankle.

These conditions can impede a patient’s ability to walk and cause on-going pain and discomfort. We offer a number of treatments depending on the location and severity of a condition. This includes:

Achilles tendon rupture repair

This is a condition that typically occurs in physical activities where there is a sudden push off, such as basketball, squash, or badminton. It can be managed either with plaster or surgery, if necessary, with healing times being the same for both. Surgery entails bringing the separated tendon ends together and then resting in a plaster, then a special boot, while the tendon heals. Surgical repair is often linked with a lower chance of re-rupture.

Ankle arthritis

Mild cases of ankle arthritis can be managed by clearing debris and bone spurs from the ankle, using ankle arthroscopy. If there is no good cartilage left then the most proven form of treatment is an ankle fusion procedure. To find out more about ankle fusion and the other treatments we can provide, please visit our ankle arthritis page.

Ankle arthroscopy

This is keyhole surgery done through a number of small incisions. It allows surgeons to use a small camera to look at problems that may not have shown up on an X-ray or scan. Special small instruments are used to treat the problem once it is identified. For some, arthroscopy means a speedier recovery, less scarring, and fewer complications than open surgery. An ankle arthroscopy is performed for pain, clicking, or if there is a build-up of excessive scar tissue and bone spurs at the front of the ankle, which can cause pain and restrict movement. Patients have a short anaesthetic and usually go home on the same day with crutches, resuming normal activities within three to six weeks.

Bunion surgery

Bunions come in all shapes and sizes causing a significant variation in symptoms. If a bunion does not cause pain or crowd the second toe on the foot, surgery is generally not necessary. If surgery is required, the technique varies with the degree of deformity. To learn more about the types of bunion surgery provided at London Bridge Hospital Outpatients, visit our bunion surgery page.

Cheilectomy for big toe arthritis

Arthritis of the big toe can cause a patient pain, which gets worse with motion, stiffness, or bony hard lumps on the top of the toe. This can get sore when the patient’s shoe rubs on them. The initial treatment comprises of anti-inflammatory medication and more suitable footwear (with extra width and stiffer soles). Surgery is suggested for patients who have persistent symptoms. Cheilectomy is performed in milder cases and entails shaving the spur that forms on top of the joint. This eliminates pressure and often improves joint motion. Patients should be able to walk straight after the surgery.

Fusion for big toe arthritis

When no good cartilage is left, we fuse the joint by preparing the bone in a way that tricks the body into thinking the bones are broken. This bridges them, eliminating the arthritic joint and relieving pain. Buried metal screws hold the bones during this process, after which patients are left with a stiff, but pain-free, toe. They can resume sporting activities and can walk without a limp. Joint replacement of the big toe is possible, but there is no evidence that this procedure provides a long-term solution.

Lateral ligament reconstruction for chronic ankle instability

After an acute or repeated ankle sprain, the ligaments in the ankle may be torn and the patient’s ability to walk on uneven surfaces can become limited. We call this chronic instability of the ankle. Repeatedly ‘going over’ on the ankle increases the risk of other problems arising, such as bruising of the cartilage and bone spurs, which can lead to ankle arthritis.

A physiotherapist-led programme for ankle strengthening can be the only treatment needed to help alleviate symptoms. If this fails to stop the ankle ‘going over’, however, surgical repair to tighten up the loose ankle ligaments (Brostrom) can be performed by a specialist surgeon. This allows a patient to return to athletic activity, without risk of recurrent injury to the ankle.

Morton's neuroma

A nerve that lies between the toes, typically in the third webspace, may become squashed or damaged. As a result it can become inflamed and enlarged. Anywhere else in the body, this would not pose a great problem. In the foot, however, squashing it with each step causes considerable pain and numbness. In cases that have not been settled with simple treatments, surgery to release or excise the nerve is necessary. To learn more about the treatments we provide, please visit our Morton’s neuroma page.

Why use the Orthopaedic services at London Bridge Hospital Outpatients?

Speed & ease of access – we aim to provide our patients with same or next day appointments. This helps us to facilitate faster diagnosis and an efficient start to treatment and rehabilitation. We can carry out thorough diagnostics on site, often all in one appointment, facilitating reduced waiting times.

World-class consultants – we work with leading specialists and orthopaedic professionals from London’s top teaching hospitals. These experts assist in overseeing and providing the highest quality of treatment and patient care.

Latest technology – Using the latest advances in diagnostic technology and treatment, we are able to maximise the effectiveness of the services we offer to our patients.

Quality care – we tailor our care to each patient’s specific needs, ensuring the care they receive maximises the effectiveness of their treatment.

Leading outcomes – at London Bridge Hospital we strive to deliver the best possible outcome in terms of treatment, helping our patients return to regular physical activity as soon as possible.

To learn more about our Foot and Ankle facilities or our other Orthopaedic services, please call 02035 532 749 or email info.lbh@hcahealthcare.com. If you would like to book an appointment with one of our consultants, call 020 7234 2009.