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Foot & ankle surgery

Expert help for foot or ankle conditions

Your two feet together contain an incredible 25% of all the bones in your body. When you also consider the ligaments, muscles, nerves and other structures and tissues in and around the feet and ankles, it’s easy to see the potential for injury or damage to them.

Every time you weight-bear, your feet and ankle are actively engaged. Any problem in an ankle or foot can quickly cause a significant loss of mobility.

Damage from trauma, ‘wear and tear’ degeneration or disease can all affect the foot and ankle. Foot conditions like ‘flat feet’, bunions or ingrowing toenails are common, as are sports injuries to the ankle.

At The Shirley Oaks Hospital in Croydon, Surrey, our Consultants treat all foot and ankle conditions, helping to get people out of pain and back to better movement and function once again. Would you like them to help you too?

Problems can occur in all the different parts of the foot and ankle. Some of the common reasons people visit our Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeons are:

Toe & forefoot problems:

  • In-growing toenails
  • Toe deformities
  • Pain in the big toe
  • Pain in the forefoot
  • Bunions
  • Bursitis
  • Morton’s Neuroma – caused by irritation or damage to a nerve in your foot

Midfoot & hindfoot problems:

  • Midfoot pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendonitis – inflammation of the Achilles tendon caused by overuse. Leads to pain in the back of the heel
  • Flat feet (“fallen arches”)
  • High arch
  • Tendon disorders

Ankle problems:

The feet and ankles can also be affected by arthritis. The most common type is osteoarthritis, which causes the articular cartilage lining the joint surfaces to break down. The bones in the foot and ankle normally move smoothly against one another, but a breakdown of cartilage causes pain and stiffness in the joint. Given the large number of quite small bones contained in the foot, and the subsequent number of joints formed, osteoarthritis can have a particularly noticeable effect in both function and movement.

If you are diabetics, you are more at risk of developing a foot problem called peripheral neuropathy.

Whether you’ve injured your ankle while playing a game of football or you’ve noticed a lump appear on your foot, you may wish to see a doctor for expert assessment and guidance. The Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeons at Shirley Oaks help manage and treat all foot and ankle conditions and would be delighted to help you.

When you first meet with your doctor at The Shirley Oaks Hospital, they’ll discuss the problem you’re having with your foot or ankle. They’ll want to know things like:

  • How long you’ve had the problem for,
  • When it started (for example, did you twist your ankle while playing football?),
  • If you have pain, what type of pain it is (for example, is it sharp or dull, localised or spread throughout the foot/ankle, sporadic or constant?),
  • Whether it’s been getting worse over a period of time.

They will carry out a thorough physical examination of your foot and ankle, moving it in certain ways as they assess the degree of movement, stability and flexibility you currently have in the joints. This will give them a good idea of the amount of any pain and/or stiffness and how it’s affecting your ankle and foot mobility.

Our imaging facilities include X-ray, CT, MRI and ultrasound, so if additional diagnostic tests are needed, they can easily be carried out within the hospital.

Once the results of any tests are back, your Consultant will discuss them with you and explain treatment options.

When your foot or ankle is affected by an injury or disease, it can make many everyday movements more challenging. For particularly painful conditions, you may find yourself needing to use a walking aid to help you move around safely.

It’s important to know that not all causes of foot and ankle pain will require surgery. There are some very effective non-surgical treatments available that can help, including:

  • Resting the foot and ankle as much as possible
  • Using a walking aid, such as a stick or crutch, when you’re moving
  • Pain relief medication (analgesia). Always ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you’re not sure what to use or if you have any questions
  • Some people find that using a cold compress throughout the day can help to relieve their symptoms
  • Physiotherapy can be helpful, particularly when you need to stabilise and strengthen the ankle joint or foot, either before or after surgery

If non-surgical treatments are not able to provide you with suitable relief, or stop being effective, you may need surgery to treat the problem.

There are a number of surgical options for foot and ankle problems, from a type of keyhole surgery known as arthroscopy through to “open” surgery used to repair more serious fractures. Minimally invasive surgery is particularly useful within the foot and ankle and can help to reduce your recovery time.

Of particular note at Shirley Oaks is our minimally invasive bunion surgery. If you are thinking of bunions surgery and don't like the idea of the traditional open surgery with a prolonged recovery, Shirley Oaks Hospital is one of the few hospitals in the country to provide keyhole bunion surgery (also known as minimally invasive bunion surgery).

Taking under 30 minutes, this minimally invasive surgery doesn't require stitches and patients are able to walk immediately and go home the same day, with the ability to go to the gym the next day for non-impact activities and into stretchy training shoes at two weeks. Running can start at 6 weeks, when the bones have healed. Patients report quicker recovery with less pain, stiffness and swelling and an earlier return to quality of life compared to open surgery.

To learn more about this minimally invasive bunion surgery, please contact us to book your appointment.

Whatever type of surgery you need, your doctor will talk you through everything clearly so that you have the information you need to make an informed decision about whether to have surgery or not.

People living in and around Croydon, and from further afield in Surrey, trust us for their foot and ankle treatments.

Many are referred to us from their GP, physiotherapist or podiatrist. Other have heard about us from family member and friends.

We treat patients with private medical insurance and those who choose a self-pay option.

When you have your foot or ankle treatment at The Shirley Oaks Hospital, you will benefit from:

  • Rapid access: A foot or ankle problem can be challenging to cope with and you’ll no doubt want to get the best treatment as soon as possible. With fast access to assessment, diagnosis and treatment, we can get you out of pain and back to better mobility sooner.
  • Peace of mind: 97.7% of the people we treated would recommend us to their friends and family. The Care Quality Commission noted that we treat our patients with respect, kindness and compassion . It’s normal to feel nervous about needing any type of surgery, but your doctor will talk through any questions or concerns you may have at any stage of your treatment to help reassure you and put your mind at rest.
  • Flexible appointments: We offer appointments for foot and ankle conditions throughout the week. While most appointments are done on-site, we can offer remote consultations by telephone or video call if required (and where clinically appropriate).
  • Multidisciplinary team: Our Foot and Ankle surgeons are highly experienced and provide exceptional care. They’re supported in their work by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists, nurses, occupational therapists and radiologists to ensure you receive the highest level of care and support throughout your treatment and recovery.

If you’re worried about a foot or ankle problem, it’s reassuring to know that there are excellent surgical and non-surgical treatment options available for a range of injuries and conditions.

We are here to help you, so if you’re looking for private foot and ankle treatment in Croydon or the surrounding areas, please contact us to book your appointment.

Specialists offering Foot & ankle surgery

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Mr Jonathan Walczak

Consultant Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeon


Chelsfield Park Hospital 3 more Shirley Oaks Hospital The Sloane Hospital The Blackheath Hospital

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Mr Kumar Kunasingam

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

BSc(Hons), MBBS(Eng), MRCS(Eng), FRCS(T&O), DipSEM, DipOrth

Shirley Oaks Hospital

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Mr Laszlo Zolczer

Consultant Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeon

MD, FRCS (eqv)

Shirley Oaks Hospital

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Dr Rizwan Rajak

Consultant Rheumatologist

MBBCh (Hons), MRCP, MRCP(Rheum), LLM

Shirley Oaks Hospital

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Mr Stephen Hewitt

Consultant Podiatric Surgeon

BSc Podiatric Medicine, MSc/Diploma Clinical Biomechanics, Fellowship Podiatric Surgery, MSC Podiatric Surgery

The Blackheath Hospital 1 more Shirley Oaks Hospital

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