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Foot surgery

Private surgery to treat conditions and injuries of the foot

Man needing foot surgery pulling his toe to up to alleviate his discomfort
If you have suffered an injury to your foot or are living with a painful condition such as foot arthritis, our experienced foot surgeons are ready and waiting to help you. We have a network of leading specialists across our 50+ UK locations, so you're never far from a foot & ankle surgeon near you.

Depending on your condition and your personal preferences, you may decide to have treatment with an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in conditions of the foot and ankle (often known as a foot surgeon or foot and ankle surgeon). Or, you may have treatment with a podiatric surgeon, which is another type of foot surgery specialist. Whichever consultant you choose, you can be certain of excellent levels of care from start to finish, all in the peaceful environment of our award-winning private hospitals.

To find out how we can help you, call or book online for an initial consultation with one of our experienced surgeons. You can often find an appointment within 48 hours.

Foot and ankle problems

If you're dealing with a condition or injury that affects both your foot and your ankle, rest assured that all our specialists have experience in both. This page has lots more information specific to ankle surgery.

There are many reasons why an ankle or foot might hurt. You may have a condition such as arthritis or bunions (a bony lump that forms on the side of the foot), or you might have sustained an injury. You may be experiencing pain due to overuse, wear and tear, or simply because you're wearing shoes that don't fit you correctly. Your feet and ankles play a prominent role in your support, balance and mobility. When your feet and ankles are working properly, you should be able to bend and twist your feet, flexing them in a full range of motion. They play a vital role when walking and running. As a result, when something goes wrong with them it can have a significant impact on your daily life.

The foot and ankle comprises of thirty-three individual joints and more than one hundred muscles and tendons. As a result, there are a huge range of conditions that may impair the functionality of your feet and ankles. You may experience pain in the ankle due to arthritis or pain in the heel due to a sporting injury. We are proud to facilitate hundreds of foot and ankle specialists who can help improve your mobility and reduce your pain through a variety of treatment options. This might be through surgery or more passive methods, such as physiotherapy.

What is podiatric surgery?

Podiatry is the modern term for chiropody, covering care of the feet. While many foot problems respond to non-surgical treatment, some are best treated by podiatric surgery. This is particularly effective for persistently painful conditions or where the foot is being affected by deformity.

Podiatric surgery is the surgical treatment of the foot and its associated structures. It is carried out by a podiatric surgeon, usually as a day case procedure and often, but not always, under local anaesthetic. Podiatric surgeons are Fellows of the College of Podiatric Surgeons or the Surgical Faculty of the College of Podiatrists, whose qualifications are registered under the Health Professions Council. Podiatric surgeons are different to orthopaedic surgeons (and foot surgeons, who are orthopaedic surgeons who specialise in surgery on the foot and ankle) though they may perform some of the same procedures.

Some of the most common foot conditions our surgeons see include:


A bunion is a bony lump on the side of the foot at the base of the big toe. It may be painful and make it difficult to wear certain shoes. Various surgical procedures can be used to treat this condition.

Hallux limitus (rigidus) - stiff big toe

This condition of the big toe, where movement of the toe is restricted to varying degrees, can cause pain and loss of movement. When you walk you need to bend the big toe upwards. If you're not able to do this, the big toe joint may wear out or seize up completely. Different surgical procedures can be used to treat this condition. Sometimes artificial joints may be used to treat the condition, should the joint be beyond repair.

Foot arthritis

Arthritis is a general term for inflammation of the joints. There are over 100 different types of arthritis with a variety of causes, and most of them can affect the joints of your foot and ankle. Some of the most common types of foot arthritis are:

Big toe osteoarthritis (metatarsal-phalangeal joint)

Metatarsal-phalangeal joint arthritis, also known as MTP joint arthritis or arthritis of the big toe, is a condition that causes pain, stiffness and lack of mobility in the joint of your big toe. It happens when the cartilage in your big toe becomes damaged, and usually develops gradually over time.

Arthritic damage to the joints in the arch of the foot

Arthritis of the joints in the arch of the foot often goes unnoticed until it has become quite advanced. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to affect these joints. Early symptoms include achy joints often occurring after activity. In later stages there may be persistent swelling around the joint or hard lumps around the edge of the joints.

In some patients these lumps may cause added symptoms because they cause pressure on adjacent soft tissue structures. Surgical treatment usually involves removing these lumps or surgically fusing the damaged joints.

Hammer toe (mallet toe, claw toe)

This is a deformity in the lesser toes that is usually caused by tendon or joint imbalance. Hammer toes can be painful and unpleasant to look at. Your foot surgeon will be able to correct this deformity under local anaesthetic as a day-case procedure. Surgery to correct the hammer, mallet or claw toe deformity will usually permanently cure the formation of painful corns on skin overlying these joints.

Plantar corns

Many corns that cannot be resolved with traditional treatment may be permanently removed. Corns under the foot are often the result of a prominent metatarsal bone. Various operations are used to raise the metatarsal so that the corn no longer forms.

Morton's neuroma

An enlarged nerve, usually between the third and fourth toes caused by nerve irritation and entrapment between bones. The podiatric surgeon routinely removes neuromas under local anaesthetic. Delicate surgical techniques generally result in permanent resolution of this sometimes extremely painful condition.

Plantar fasciitis

This is an inflammation of the connective tissue found on the underside of the foot. Orthotic insoles are normally all that is needed, but surgery may be required. Keyhole techniques are used to treat the condition.

Heel bumps (Haglund's deformity)

This is an enlargement of the bone at the back of the heel that can encourage bursitis to develop. Bursitis is the inflammation of one or more bursae (small sacs) of a thick stringy fluid known as synovial fluid in the body. The bursae rest at muscles and tendons. Various operations are possible, ranging from removing the bone to tilting the bones into a better position to ease the problem.

Lumps, bumps, cysts and ganglions

Painful lumps that press and rub on the shoe are common. If changing your footwear doesn't resolve the problem, surgery may be recommended to remove the bony prominences or soft tissue formations. See Excision of a ganglion for more information.

Bone spurs

These are additional growths of bony material that cause pain or limit your movement. Spurs can develop at the edges of joints, tendons and ligaments. They can usually be removed under local anaesthetic.

Achilles tendon problems

If non-surgical treatment doesn't work, the tendon will occasionally be stripped of its inflamed thickened tissue. It may be necessary to lengthen the tendon

Some of the most common types of foot surgery we perform include:

Bunion surgery

If your bunion is causing you pain or distress, limiting your activities or impacting your self-esteem, surgery is a highly effective treatment option.

Toe deformity correction surgery

Toe deformity correction surgery is an umbrella term for any surgical procedure used to treat a toe deformity. These could include hammer or claw toe, corns or calluses, and weakness or stiffening of the toes.

Foot fusion surgery

Fusion surgery involves connecting damaged bones in a way that encourages them to fuse together. This reduces movement, which can lead to significant reduction in pain caused by damaged joints. However, you will also have a reduction in mobility in the joint.

Common types of foot fusion surgery include midfoot fusion, subtalar fusion and triple fusion.

Lower limb reconstruction surgery

Lower limb reconstruction surgery is an umbrella term for any surgery that repairs a part or parts of your leg that have been badly damaged. It is often used to treat problems associated with trauma, nonhealing wounds, infection, malignancy (cancerous tumours), degenerative diseases, or congenital deformities (deformities present from birth). It can involve realigning joints, lengthening your limbs using external fixators, or taking muscle flaps (small pieces of your muscle) from elsewhere in your body to rebuild the area that is damaged.

The first step to access private surgery with us is usually to arrange an appointment with one of our specialists. They will be able to assess and diagnose your condition and talk you through the available treatment options, and together you'll decide on the best route for you.

To book your initial consultation, call our dedicated team of advisors, or take advantage of our easy online booking system.

You can access foot surgery with us using private medical insurance or by paying for your own treatment.

Often foot surgery procedures will be covered by your private health insurance, but not always. Speak to your provider directly to see what's covered in your policy.

If you want to pay for your own treatment, you can either pay in full or take advantage of our flexible payment options, which allow you to spread the cost over a period of up to five years.

Our self-pay customers benefit from fixed-price packages, meaning you'll know exactly what you're going to pay before you book your surgery. Your initial consultation and early diagnostic tests won't be included, but the cost of any procedures and hospital fees are, and so is your aftercare programme. There are no hidden costs down the line.

When you choose to go private with Circle Health Group, you can expect:

  • Flexible appointment times and locations to fit your routine
  • The freedom to choose which hospital and consultant suit your needs
  • Personalised, consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your individual needs
  • Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams
  • Private ensuite rooms as standards and delicious healthy meals
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included
  • Flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your care

If you would like to learn more about the treatments our orthopaedic surgeons can offer, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in June 2023. Next review due June 2026.

  1. Foot and ankle surgery, Versus Arthritis
  2. Common foot problems, Royal College of Podiatry
  3. Different types of foot surgery, Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland

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