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Foot & ankle surgery

Dealing with foot and ankle pain

Consisting of 26 bones and 33 joints, it comes as no surprise that the foot and ankle is one of the more commonly injured joints in the body. If you're planning to have treatment for foot and ankle pain in Darlington, County Durham or North Yorkshire, Woodlands Hospital could be the right choice for you

When something goes wrong in your foot or ankle, it can affect almost every part of your life, making simple movements like walking incredibly difficult, disturbing your sleep, or leaving you in constant pain. Over-the-counter painkillers may help at first, but when these start to become ineffective, you will undoubtedly be looking for other solutions.

Fortunately, our orthopaedic consultants at Woodlands have extensive experience in making the right diagnosis, finding appropriate treatments to bring you relief without unnecessary delay.

Providing patients locally, nationally, and even internationally with treatment for various foot and ankle conditions, Woodlands offers the entire scope of surgeries, whether your condition relates to your forefoot, midfoot or ankle.

Your foot or ankle may be bothering you with any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Instability
  • Deformity e.g. clawing of the toes, club foot
  • Stiffness

These symptoms could indicate a number of common conditions, such as:

  • Fracture
  • Ankle sprain
  • Bunion (big toe bending towards other toes)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Dislocation
  • Hammertoe/ Claw toe (abnormal bending of the toes)
  • Achilles Tendon Bursitis (inflammation of the bursa sac at the back of the heel)
  • Achilles Tendon tear
  • Hallux Rigidus (Arthritis of the Big Toe)

Many conditions of the foot or ankle can be treated with non-invasive measures, especially when paired with a personalised rehabilitation programme, created for you by our dedicated on-site team of physiotherapists. These exercises and activity guidance can help rebuild the strength in your foot or ankle, and keep you mobile while you recover.

Certain conditions benefit from steroid injections directly into the joint, and with optional ultrasound guidance for added accuracy, these have proved very effective in managing pain. Injections can be repeated periodically if they have successfully given you relief from symptoms.

If your symptoms are severe, or they haven’t responded to other conservative treatments, surgery may be the best option. Many of these surgeries can be offered arthroscopically (keyhole surgery), making it minimally-invasive. The main advantages to keyhole surgery include:

  • Faster rehabilitation
  • Can be done as a day case procedure
  • Reduced post-operative immobilisation (for example, the time you have to wear a plaster cast)

One of our consultants specialises in big toe joint replacement, which is very rarely provided on the NHS. This involves replacing the damaged big toe joint with an artificial one, which has the dual benefit of reducing your pain while also maintaining a level of mobility in the toe joint. The recovery period is often shorter than other surgeries, and you won’t have to wear a cast, making it a great option for suitable candidates.

Ankle ligament reconstruction is another procedure offered by one of our specialists. This is performed arthroscopically, where a number of small incisions are made over the ligament, allowing your surgeon access with surgical tools to shorten the ligament and reattach it with special bone anchors. When successful, this surgery restores ankle function and reduces pain, making it a highly sought-after procedure for patients with ligament tears.

When you come to Woodlands for your initial consultation, your consultant will begin by asking for a detailed medical history as well as a rundown of any symptoms you’ve been having. Questions they ask you may include:

  • What symptoms have you been experiencing?
  • How long have you had them?
  • Have they got progressively worse?
  • Are you in pain? If so, can you describe the pain? Is it a stabbing pain or does it radiate out? Is the pain localised?

Your consultant will then wish to investigate the symptoms you have mentioned. This is done with a physical examination, where they will press and manipulate your foot and ankle to assess the health and gauge notable symptoms.

Normally, your consultant will require an X-ray, and this can be arranged on-site if it hasn’t been done previously. The X-ray can show the bone structures of the foot and can highlight various conditions. This usually allows your consultant to make an accurate diagnosis, but some symptoms may require an MRI, CT or ultrasound scan for further investigation. This may be the case if your consultant wishes to analyse the soft tissues in your foot or ankle, such as with a suspected tendon tear.

With a firm diagnosis in hand, your consultant can outline your potential treatment options, based on your condition. It is often best to start out conservatively, so your consultant may refer you to our physiotherapy team, or offer steroid injections to help alleviate symptoms. Re-assessing your footwear can have a significant impact as well, making sure your shoes are wide enough for your toes, or adding padding to the soles for support.

If surgery offers the best route to recovery, your consultant can advise you on all available surgical options, outlining potential outcomes and expectations.

Choosing to have your foot & ankle surgery done at Woodlands comes with a host of benefits, such as:

  • Assessments ASAP – Certain foot and ankle conditions are best treated at the earliest possible stage to prevent any deterioration. If you’ve been experiencing any of the associated symptoms, our consultants can see you for an assessment without delay, getting you an accurate diagnosis and the necessary treatment before your symptoms progress any further.
  • Patient Satisfaction – 98.2% of other patients in 2019 said they would happily recommend Woodlands Hospital to friends and family in an independent report, and we’re confident that you’ll agree. 98.3% also said that the quality of care here at Woodlands Hospital was either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. We aim to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible, and these results highlight our continued efforts to ensure this is achieved.
  • Same Day Surgery – Some minor procedures can be done on the same day as your initial consultation, making Woodlands a ‘one-stop shop’ for certain conditions. Your consultant will let you know if this is appropriate for your treatment.
  • Laminar Flow Theatres - At Woodlands, we have two laminar flow theatres, which aim to reduce the number of infective organisms in the theatre air by generating a continuous flow of bacteria-free air, putting your health and safety first. This air may be 'changed' in theatre more than 300 times per hour compared to standard positive pressure theatre rates of 15-25 air changes per hour.
  • Personalised Care – We believe in a bespoke approach to treatment, tailoring each experience to our patients’ needs and whatever may be best for you. This is regularly reviewed, ensuring you get the necessary treatment at every stage of your patient journey.
  • Convenient Appointments – With appointments available between 10am and 8.30pm Monday-Saturday, you are sure to find an appointment slot that suits your needs and availability.

If your feet or ankles have been causing you problems, why not book a consultation with one of our orthopaedic specialists today? Our consultants can outline all treatment options for you promptly, arranging any necessary diagnostic scans, treatment and surgery if required. For peace of mind and expert care, please contact Woodlands to book an appointment now.

Specialists offering Foot & ankle surgery

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Mr Anjum Rashid

Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeon


Woodlands Hospital

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Mr Paul Parker

Consultant Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeon

Queens University Belfast: MB BCh BAO (1985) Fellowship of Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh: FRCSEd (1991) Fellowship of Orthopaedic Surgeons of the Combined Royal Colleges UK: FRCS(Orth) (1997)

The Priory Hospital 1 more Woodlands Hospital

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Mr Louw Van Niekerk

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBChB, FRCS (Ed), FRCS (Orth)

Woodlands Hospital

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Mr Rajiv Limaye

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, MS Orth, MSc Trauma, MCh Orth, FRCS, FRCS Orth

Woodlands Hospital

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Mr Akinwande Adedapo

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS 1989 , FRCS 1993, FRCS(Tauma and Orthopaedic Surgery) 1998 FRCSC (Fellow Royal College of Surgeons of Canada) 2012 Surgical Leadership Fellow 2019( Harvard University, Harvard medical school)

Woodlands Hospital

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Mr Adnan Bawarish

Consultant Trauma, and Orthopaedic Surgeon

MD. Mch ( Orth ) , FRCS

Woodlands Hospital

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