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Whats in and whats out in foot and ankle orthopedics


Foot and ankle orthopaedics has evolved tremendously in last few years. It is not just about treating deformed feet of children suffering from polio and cerebral palsy anymore, it includes solutions to a wide range of problems starting from sports injuries to old-age related arthritis to complicated fractures to diabetic Charcot. It is no longer just about joint damaging fusions of defective bones; newer technologies have allowed the orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons to treat majority of these issues in such a way that the movements across the affected bones can be preserved.


With the advent of foot scans and gait labs, we can accurately diagnose the problematic areas in our feet and ankles and treat accordingly. Whether the offered medical or surgical management to the patient is working or not, that can also be assessed by these technologies. With newer and a wide variety of orthotics and prosthetics available in the market, patients can get relief from pain and surgery can be avoided in many instances.


We commonly come across people suffering from bad flatfeet or high arched feet that have traditionally been treated in ways where the mobility has been sacrificed causing a lot of distress. Newer surgical methods have been devised which can make our feet feel almost normal.


With ankle arthroscopy (key hole surgery) gaining a lot of popularity in recent times, a lot of sports injuries like sprains and osteochondral defects (tearing of cartilage in joint) can be treated in an amazing way and the patients are back into action in no time. Minimally invasive surgeries (MIS), where there are hardly any stitches, has also come up in a big way. MIS can be used to correct crooked toes, scientifically break the bones where required and to treat heel issues and bunions.


3D printing has revolutionized our practice. We can get artificial bones made in our labs which can be surgically put in the patients having loss of bone due to accident or any disease. We can make artificial models mimicking the deformed foot over which surgical exercise can be done thereby increasing our accuracy in actual surgery and ultimately giving excellent results to the patients. Total ankle replacement for ankle arthritis (damage to the joint causing significant pain and disability) has also made people quite happy with the outcomes.





We no longer have to do repeated dressings and multiple procedures ultimately leading to amputations in people suffering from diabetic Charcot (insensate legs where bones keep breaking on their own). The concept of super construct in surgery has saved thousands of legs from getting amputated thereby giving hope and longevity to these patients.

The field of foot and ankle orthopaedics is constantly evolving and many new things are expected to come in near future which can again bring about a sea of change in the way we have been treating patients.

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