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Podiatric surgery

Expert treatment for complex foot and ankle problems

Podiatric surgery is a specialist field of practice within the podiatry profession. Podiatric surgeons are podiatrists who have undergone extensive postgraduate training in the surgical management of foot and ankle problems. A podiatric surgeon is to feet very much like a dentist is to teeth; an independent clinician in the field of surgery and not a medical doctor.

If you have problems of any sort with your feet, your first port of call may well be your GP, or if you've broken a bone or are experiencing sudden intense pain, it may be the accident and emergency unit of your local hospital.

Either way, if the GP or doctor at the A&E department, after examining your foot, is unable to help or has difficulty diagnosing the underlying cause or problem, they will refer you to a podiatrist or podiatric surgeon for further investigation.

That will also happen if you have private medical insurance and have contacted your insurer to find out what to do next. 

If you live anywhere in Northamptonshire or its surrounding region, one hospital you may be referred to is Three Shires Hospital.

Three Shires Hospital is a private hospital that includes a podiatry team ready to help you with any foot problems you have. You will be seen by a top professional in the podiatric field, and after an initial consultation, and where necessary relevant scans, your options will be explained to you clearly so you can make the right choice of what to do next.

If you've been suffering from conditions affecting your feet for years and are simply fed up with it and want to be seen and have something done about it quickly, then Three Shires are here to help.

We will explain everything you need to know from how long any treatment is likely to take, the risks involved if surgery is thought necessary, along with the likely costs.

If you have medical insurance and have been referred to Three Shires, we will be in touch with you very quickly, but you can also contact your insurer, explain your condition and ask about being referred to us, or you can contact us directly if you want to go private and are happy to self-fund your treatment.

Three Shires has the services of two of the region's top consultant podiatric surgeons, so along with its private rooms with full en-suite facilities and 24 hour medical care, you will be well looked after whatever your ailment is. 

You've probably never heard of plantar fasciitis before, yet it's the most common condition affecting the heel of your foot (plantar fasciitis translates as 'sole inflammation').

You'll know you have it (or something similar) because you'll be feeling pain in that region. That pain may be sharp, or you may experience an ache or soreness.

It can come on when you walk, although exercise can relieve it, however when you get up after a rest you'll most likely feel it again.

The inflammation can die down on its own if you take certain precautions such as wearing comfortable wide fitting shoes, resting your foot in a slightly raised position, or putting an ice bag on it, but if it's still painful after a week or so, or you are just fed up with it, then other treatments are available to relieve it or completely remove it. 

Many conditions of the foot can be treated successfully with corticosteroid injections. These help reduce inflammation sometimes within 24 hours, although it usually takes a couple of days depending on the condition and the level of inflammation. For a few patients, an injection may have very little effect. We will discuss all of this including the risks at your initial consultation.

Part of our aftercare service includes a checkup after 4 to 6 weeks to see what progress has been made and if a further injection is required. Note that 3 injections is the maximum recommended within a 12 month period.

It's also worth noting that in some cases, corticosteroids may not always cure problems long term, although in many cases, there are other options, all of which will be discussed with you.

There are some cases where corticosteroids are not recommended at all though. These include people who are susceptible to heart failure, have an existing infection, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are allergic to any of the ingredients in the injection. 

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease commonly associated with aging (due to natural everyday wear and tear on our joints), so it will come as no surprise to learn that we can suffer from it in any of the 33 joints in our feet.

The most common area of the foot to experience arthritis is the mid area where the metatarsals (that join to our phalanges - toe bones) join the tarsals (the bones at the rear end of the foot). The big toe joint is also susceptible to arthritis.

It's easy to understand why osteoarthritis affects certain joints more than others, since these tend to be the joints that take most of our weight or are used more often, for example, in our work, sport, or exercise.

Just like plantar fasciitis, some types of arthritis can be treated with corticosteroids using an intra-articular injection. 

Bunions and most other deformities of the foot are caused by excessive or abnormal bone growth and joint dislocation, and the only solution to their removal is surgery.

This can also apply to sebaceous cysts (the old term for epidermal or inclusion cysts), which are lumps formed in the skin, which in the worst case can be excised or removed with surgery.

It's not just bones that can cause problems with the feet. Trapped nerves can also be problematic and sometimes the only course of action is surgery to free the pressure on the nerve, that in turn will reduce any inflammation and allow the foot to heal.

Other conditions that can be helped with surgery include hammer or mallet toes, where a toe is permanently pulled out of shape, osteoarthritis of the big toe (called hallux limitus) where some of the bone can be cut away or fused together to remove the pain. 

There are many other conditions that we can help you with concerning the foot here at Three Shires Hospital in Northampton.

You can call us direct on 01604 620311 if you'd like to go private or need a second opinion or just want to know what can be done to help you get back to your old self again.

We have 14 consulting rooms, 49 private rooms with full en-suite facilities should you need to stay overnight (or longer), 24-hour medical help, 3 operating theatres (2 of which include a laminar flow ultra clean air system), a physiotherapy suite, MRI and ultrasound scanners, and X-ray equipment. 

Three Shires Hospital is situated in the grounds of St Andrews Hospital close to Northampton General Hospital with easy access to the city centre, railway station, bus and taxi services. 

Specialists offering Podiatric surgery

Mr Ian Reilly

Consultant Podiatric Surgeon

BSc, HPC Reg, MChS, FCPodS, Cert MHS, DMS

Three Shires Hospital

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