Injuries to the ankle are extremely common, occurring frequently as during sports activities, slip and fall accidents, and vehicular crashes. Not all ankle injuries require surgery. Even fractured ankles can sometimes simply be cast to heal on their own, as long as the bones are properly aligned. Displaced fractures and many other ankle injuries to bones, tendons, and ligaments of the ankle however, do require surgery. If you live in New Jersey and an operation is necessary, it is best performed by an adept orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon.
New Jersey Ankle Surgery
Dr. Hubbard is an experienced and highly skilled foot and ankle surgeon. He has expertise in performing all of the following operations:
Achilles Reconstruction with FHL Tendon Transfer
The Achilles tendon is the strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel. If the tendon is stretched out too far, it may tear, rupture, or degenerate, causing pain in the ankle and lower leg that can make it difficult, or even impossible, to walk. The flexor hallucis longus, or FHL, tendon, which runs from one of the leg bones to the rear of the ankle, is most commonly used to reconstruct and augment the Achilles tendon.
If the Achilles tendon is stretched beyond its normal limits, it may tear or rupture. When patients rupture an Achilles tendon, they experience severe pain and swelling near the heel of the foot and are unable to walk normally or bend their foot. Although frequently resulting from the same stresses that cause Achilles tendonitis, an Achilles rupture is a far more serious injury.
An ankle fracture, commonly known as a broken ankle, involves any type of break or crack in the tibia, fibula, or talus. If more than one bone is broken, the fracture is more severe and more complicated to treat. Stable fractures, that is, those in which the bones are not out of alignment, usually heal on their own once casted, while more complicated ones may require surgery to reposition the misaligned bones so that they heal properly. This surgery most often necessitates the use of surgical hardware.
Ankle fusion, medically known as arthroscopic arthrodesis, is a surgical procedure used to treat severe cases of degenerative osteoarthritis of the ankle. This procedure involves fusing the bones of the ankle in order to manage pain and restore function to the joint. Ankle fusion involves removing all cartilage from a joint and then joining two or more bones so that they do not move. Fusions may be performed with screws, plates or pins, or a combination of these materials. An open surgical approach is most often used for this procedure. An ankle surgeon might opt to use bone graft material to be used to promote the fusion.
Ankle ligament reconstruction is a procedure typically performed on patients experiencing chronic ankle instability and repeated ankles sprains. It is effective in repairing torn ligaments, tightening loosened ligaments and improving the overall stability of the joint. During the procedure, torn ligaments may be repaired with stitches or sutures; ligaments may be reattached; or part of a lateral ankle tendon ankle may be used to repair the torn ligament.
While ankle surgery is considered safe and effective, not every patient who undergoes surgery will experience a positive outcome. If the patient continues to suffer from problems related to the foot injury postsurgically, such as debilitating pain, ankle revision surgery may be necessary to improve the results of the unsuccessful procedure. Ankle revision surgery may involve repairing or repositioning tendons or ligaments within the foot or around the toes, removing misaligned or damaged joint surfaces or surgically realigning damaged or misplaced joints.
The peroneal tendons, located along the outer edge of the lower leg provide stability and function to the ankle joint. Injuries to the peroneal tendons are typically due to repetitive stress. When surgical repair or restoration of the tendon is required a direct repair of the tendon is usually possible. If there are significant tears of one of the peroneal tendons then that part of the tendon can be excised and a tonodesis can be performed. If both tendons are severely damaged, then a flexor hallusis (FHL) can be utilized. When surgical repair or restoration of dislocating peroneal tendons is required, there are two surgical options: retinaculum repair or grooved reconstruction.
Total Ankle Replacement (Arthroplasty)
Total ankle arthroplasty (total ankle replacement) is a surgical procedure used to relieve pain and restore movement to damaged ankle joints. During a total ankle replacement, the damaged ankle joint is surgically removed and replaced with an artificial replacement joint, which helps restore function and support. While it is difficult to restore full function to the ankle, many patients experience an improvement in ankle function after this procedure.
The ankle arthroscopy procedure is less invasive than traditional surgery and allows the doctor to view and repair the joint without making a large incision. Ankle arthroscopy requires only a small incision. The surgeon uses small instruments guided by a tiny camera that transmits images onto a video screen. The procedure can be used for removal of bone spurs, osteochondral lesions, or scar tissue or to relieve symptoms of arthritis. There are many advantages to arthroscopic surgery, including: less pain, less scarring, less bleeding, and shorter recovery time.
Schedule An Appointment With A NJ Ankle Doctor
When something happens to your foot or ankle resulting in pain and reduced mobility, you should consult with a trusted NJ ankle doctor immediately to make sure you do not cause more damage. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Christopher Hubbard today to see if ankle surgery is right for you.