Proper treatment of foot and ankle arthritis addresses both pain and joint deformity. Our goal at Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle is to provide the care you need without using surgical intervention. Sometimes, however, arthritis surgery is actually the best way to relieve pain and restore functionality in an affected foot or ankle.
When to Consider Arthritis Surgery
We may recommend surgery if your pain causes severe disability and is not relieved with the use of nonsurgical treatment. If you exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight, but still find joint pain to be debilitating, it might be time for you to consider a procedure to address your arthritic condition. The type of surgical procedure(s) we use will depend on the type and location of the arthritis and the impact of the disease on your joints. In some cases, we may recommend more than one type of surgery.
Types of Surgical Procedures
Depending on the patient, condition, and its severity, we have several different options for types of procedures we can perform, including:
- Arthroscopic debridement. This surgery is often helpful in early stages of arthritis. Debridement (cleansing) is a procedure we use to remove loose cartilage, inflamed synovial tissue, and bone spurs from around the arthritic joint.
- Arthrodesis (fusion). Arthrodesis is a procedure where we fuse the bones of the joint completely together, thereby making one continuous bone out of two or more bones. The goal of this particular procedure is to reduce pain by eliminating any possible motion in the arthritic joint.
- Total ankle replacement (arthroplasty). In a total ankle replacement, we remove the damaged bone and cartilage, and then position new plastic or metal joint surfaces to restore the function of the affected joint.
Pros and Cons of Arthritis Surgery
Foot and ankle surgery can sometimes be painful. While you should expect to feel at least a certain amount of discomfort, advancements in pain control do make it easier for us to manage and relieve your pain. Of course, you will have to weigh out the downside of temporary pain versus the long-term discomfort and potential disability arthritis can cause.
There are pros and cons of each respective type of surgical procedure we can use to treat arthritis, and we will carefully review them with you beforehand. It is important to us that you are educated on the matter and able to make an informed decision. If you ever have any questions regarding your planned procedure, simply let us know and we will be glad to answer them for you.
For some minimally-invasive procedures we perform, you will be allowed to go home within a few hours afterward or the next day. After an open joint replacement, though, you will likely need to stay in the hospital for three to four days after the surgery.
In most cases, surgery relieves the pain of arthritis and makes it easier to perform daily activities. Full recovery can take from 4 to 9 months, depending on the severity of your condition before surgery and the complexity of your procedure.
In most cases, you will be able to resume your daily activities in 3 to 4 months although, for a period of time, you may need to wear supportive shoes or a brace.
Arthritis Foot and Ankle Surgery in Medford, OR
As with any lower limb condition, our treatment will begin with conservative options before we recommend a surgical procedure. If we do recommend arthritis surgery, you can take comfort in the fact we have doctors who are board-certified and focused on ensuring you receive the pain relief you need.
For additional information on arthritis surgery, or any of the foot and ankle services we provide at Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, simply give us a call at (541) 776-3338 or take a moment right now and request your appointment with our Medford, OR office online today.