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Foot & ankle surgery

Expert help for foot and ankle conditions

Together, your two feet contain one quarter of the total number of bones in your body. With such a large number of bones contained within a relatively small area, it’s not surprising that damage to a foot or ankle can have a significant impact on many everyday activities.

Trauma, ‘wear and tear’ degeneration and disease can all cause damage to a foot or ankle. Sports injuries to the ankle are particularly common, as are foot conditions like fallen arches, bunions or ingrowing toenails.

At The Chaucer Hospital, our foot and ankle surgeons treat the whole range of foot and ankle conditions, getting people out of pain and restoring movement and function. Would you like them to help you too?

Problems can occur anywhere in the foot, from the toes, forefoot, midfoot and hindfoot through to the ankle. Some of the conditions our consultants are frequently asked to help with are:

Toe & forefoot problems:

  • In-growing toenails
  • Toe deformities
  • Big toe pain
  • Forefoot pain
  • Bunions – bony lump on the side of the foot
  • Bursitis
  • Morton’s Neuroma – caused by irritation or damage to a nerve in your foot

Midfoot & hindfoot problems:

  • Midfoot pain
  • Plantar fasciitis – pain in your heel
  • 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 foot pain
  • Foot drop – Secondary to nerve injury or disease
  • Tendon disorders

Ankle problems:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Ankle pain
  • Stiffness in the ankle
  • Ankle instability
  • Posterior ankle impingement

Arthritis can develop in a foot or ankle. The most common type is osteoarthritis, which causes damage to the cartilage lining the joint surfaces. Bones normally glide smoothly over one another, but the breakdown of the cartilage creates friction and leads to pain and stiffness in the joint. With the number of bones contained in the foot, osteoarthritis in an ankle or foot can be particularly problematic for both function and movement.

Diabetics are at increased risk of developing a foot problem. Diabetes can cause a reduction in the blood supply to the feet and may affect the sensation in them, a condition known as peripheral neuropathy.

Whether you’ve injured your ankle while exercising or you’ve become more aware of pain and stiffness in your foot that has come on for seemingly no reason, you may choose to see a doctor for expert assessment and guidance. The foot and ankle surgeons at The Chaucer help manage and treat all foot and ankle conditions and would be delighted to help get you out of pain and back to better, easier movement.

At your first appointment, your consultant will take a medical history and discuss your symptoms with you. They may ask you questions like:

  • When did first notice your symptoms?
  • Was there an obvious cause (for example, trauma to the ankle)?
  • Do you have any pain in your foot or ankle? If so, can you describe it?

They will carry out a physical examination of your foot and ankle to help them determine how much strength and movement you currently have in them. They may also examine your leg, knee and hip to rule out a problem in one of those areas.

Depending on the medical history and examination, you may require additional tests to confirm a diagnosis or to determine the extent of any damage or disease. Our on-site imaging facilities include X-ray, CT, MRI and ultrasound, so any of these can be quickly and easily arranged for you when required.

Once any results are back and a diagnosis has been made, your consultant will be able to talk through treatment options with you.

A number of foot and ankle conditions can be treated non-surgically, while others will require some form of surgery to fully resolve the problem and restore function.

Common non-surgical treatments include:

  • Resting the affected foot/ankle
  • Using walking aids like crutches to help take some of the load off your ankle and foot when you’re moving
  • Using a cold compress on the affected area
  • Pain relief medication such as a paracetamol. Always ask a pharmacist or doctor if you would like advice about medication.
  • Physiotherapy
  • Bracing/splinting to stabilise the joints and help reduce unwanted movement

Surgical options include a form of keyhole surgery known as arthroscopy and “open” surgery for repair of a complex fracture, or even total ankle replacement

Treatment will be tailored to your particular needs and what would give you the best results. Your consultant will always discuss treatment with you and answer any questions you may have. They will explain the benefits you should realistically expect to see as a result of treatment as well as potential risks or complications.

People come to The Chaucer for assessment and treatment of their foot and ankle conditions for a number of reasons. Some have been referred by their GP or physiotherapist. Others have chosen to self-refer.

Many of our patients are from Canterbury itself, while others travel to us from other areas of Kent.

Regardless of how you’ve been referred to us or the distance you’ll be travelling to visit with us, at The Chaucer you will always benefit from:

  • Access to a consultant, ASAP – Foot and ankle problems can affect mobility and have a significant impact on everyday life. You’ll want to get help fast. With a number of leading foot and ankle surgeons, we’ll be able to book you an appointment at a time that’s convenient to you.
  • Patient Satisfaction – In an independent survey, 97.9% of the people we treated said they were likely or highly likely to recommend The Chaucer Hospital to their friends and family. We continue to focus on delivering the highest level of care for everyone who visits us for foot or ankle treatment.
  • Bespoke treatment – Your consultant will ensure you receive the optimal treatment for your particular condition. You will see the same consultant each time you visit, ensuring excellent continuity of care.
  • Remote consultations available – Consultations are routinely carried out in person at The Chaucer, but we are able to offer remote consultations via telephone or online video call if needed and where clinically appropriate.
  • Multidisciplinary team: Your consultant is supported by a number of other healthcare professionals including physiotherapists, nurses, occupational therapists and radiologists.
  • Location – Located on the southern outskirts of Canterbury, around two miles from the centre and sitting next to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, it’s easy to travel to The Chaucer. Our (paid) car park with 124 spaces makes parking simple.

Whatever foot or ankle problem you’re struggling with, help is available for you at The Chaucer. There are a number of effective treatment options available for a wide range of foot and ankle injuries and conditions.

Your consultant will thoroughly investigate your symptoms, diagnose the cause and discuss treatment options with you. If surgery is needed on your foot or ankle, this will be arranged for you at the earliest opportunity.

Whether you live in Canterbury itself or will be travelling from further afield, please book your appointment online to arrange your visit with us. We look forward to helping you.

Specialists offering Foot & ankle surgery

Mr Baljinder Dhinsa

Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon


The Chaucer Hospital

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