Podiatry is a medical speciality involving the feet and ankles. Here at Blakelands Hospital in Milton Keynes we specialise in the treatment and diagnosis of podiatric conditions.
The foot is made up of an astonishing 26 bones and 33 joints – making it particularly intricate and susceptible to damage. It also contains over 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments allowing for extreme flexibility.
This complex system allows for a variety of movements ranging from walking to jumping – making them increasingly vulnerable to injury. At Blakelands we offer a variety of non-surgical and surgical solutions to ease your pain and discomfort. We also provide surgeries e.g. for bunions for aesthetic reasons.
Podiatric Surgeries on offer:
Bunions (Hallux Valgus)
A Bunion is the bony deformity of the joint a the base of a big toe.
The main signs of a bunion is where the big toe points inward towards the other toes on the sane foot, which then forces the bone attached to it, the metatarsal, to stick out to the side.
In some cases, the management and treatment of bunions can be managed non-surgically, this includes the use of insoles, painkillers and steroid injections. However, surgical intervention may be necessary if you do not get any relief from these options and that if their is no improvement after a period of 3 months, then surgery is most probably the only course of treatment left - note that surgeries for aesthetic reasons are no longer provided by the NHS.
Osteotomy or bone surgery, is the most common surgical procedure in the treatment of bunions. It involves the removal of bones and/or segments of bone within the large toe and then realignment to complete the operation.
Read more about Bunions (Hallux Valgus)
A metatarsal osteotomy is an operation for bunions (hallux valgus). The exact type of osteotomy can vary and may be known as a ‘Taylors’, ‘SCARF’ or ‘Chevron’ osteotomy but the principles of the operation are the same.
Fungal Nail Infection (Onychomycosis)
Many people develop a fungal nail infection at some point in their life. It's not usually serious, but can be unpleasant and difficult to treat.
Slow to develop the infection causes the nail to become thick, distorted and discoloured, with toenails being more frequently affected than the fingers.
Most fungal nail infections occur as a result of the fungi that cause athlete's foot
infecting the nails.
These fungi often live harmlessly on your skin, but they can sometimes multiply and lead to infections. The fungi prefer warm, dark and moist places like the feet.
To prevent a fungal nail infection it is essential that you to keep your feet clean and dry, as well as keeping them covered in communal areas where infections are likely to spread.
Most fungal nail infections can be treated non-surgically with a liquid that is painted onto the nail(s).
However, if the infection is or becomes severe and medication will not clear the infection up then the only option is surgical.
The surgical solution involves the complete or part removal of the nail affected.
Ingrown Toe Nails
Ingrown toenails are caused when the nail grows outward instead of upward and pierces the surrounding skin. This enables the nail to grow into the skin on the sides and the nail and causes it to become inflamed, tender to the touch and painful to walk when wearing shoes.
To prevent ingrown toenails the nail needs to be cut in a straight line across the top of the nail and to clean your feet regularly.
If pus or bleeding comes from the edges of the toenail it is best to seek advice from your GP, Podiatrist or Chirpodist.
If your toenail does become ingrown and is causing pain or is not improving through the use of non-surgical methods, nail avulsion (part or whole removal of the nail) is probably the only treatment remaining.
Our Podiatric Surgeon Mr Wardlaw is happy to consult with you if you are experiencing this problem.
Also known as Morton’s metatarsalgia, Morton's Neuroma is a condition which affects the ball and base of the toes and the nerves in the foot.
Caused by a nerve, usually between the third and fourth toes, the nerve becomes thickened and painful and may make you feel that your are standing on a pebble in your shoe. It may also be the cause of other pain, sometimes burning or at other times like an electric shock has been received.
This is caused a lot of the time when the bones of the surrounding toes are pressed against the nerve and leads to a thickening of the nerve tissue.
Morton’s Neuroma starts to present at the beginning stages as a tingling and/or numbness between your toes. It then leads on to a sharp pain residing in the ball of the foot.
There are a some non-surgical solutions such as the use of orthotic equipment and pain killers and relief has been found by some people changing their footwear. However, if you have been suffering from this condition for a while and are gaining no relief from non-surgical methods surgery may be your best option.
The procedure involves removing part of the affected nerve or increasing the space around the nerve to provide relief. The surgery is normally a day a case and usually is completed under general anaesthetic.
Treatment for Hammer, Mallet & Claw Toe
A hammertoe is a contracture (bending) of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth (little) toes. This abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing problems to develop.
Hammer toes usually start out as mild deformities, but get progressively worse over a period of time. In the earlier stages, hammertoes are flexible and the symptoms can often be managed with non invasive measures. However, if the condition is left untreated, hammertoes can become more rigid and will not respond to non-surgical treatment.
Because of the progressive nature of hammer toes, they should receive early attention. Hammertoes never get better without some kind of intervention.
The surgical procedure to treat this condition involves freeing the trapped tissue and altering the length of the affected tendon.
Here at Blakelands Hospital we offer a range of podiatric treatments from non-surgical solutions to full surgical procedures. We are happy to talk through your treatment options in order to relieve your pain and discomfort. Our treatment plans are fully flexible and arranged around the individual’s needs.
Mr Michael Wardlaw
Mr Cyril Marek
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01908 049 665
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