What is Tenotomy?
Let's be clear, we don't need a hammer for the procedure! ;-)
Sometimes, issues with our feet arise that require more care than what custom orthotics or routine podiatric care can offer. In some cases, surgery is involved to help correct a problem with your foot and to help ease the pain or discomfort that you may be experiencing. One of the surgery options that may be used to treat your feet is called a tenotomy.
A tenotomy is a minimally invasive surgery that is performed on patients who have a tendon in the foot that is overly tight, causing a misalignment in the bone position (typically) of the toe. A tendon will typically become shortened and tight when there is a muscle imbalance.( That is, when one muscle becomes too strong and overpowers the opposing or balancing muscle.) The resulting imbalance will cause the toe to buckle under the strain. A tenotomy is performed to reduce the strain the tendon is placing on the joint. Once performed, the toe will straighten and return to its normal position. Typically this procedure is performed when more conservative treatments such as stretching and the use of toe props have become ineffective.. An example of where this procedure can be highly effective is what is commonly referred to as a hammertoe. Hammertoes can be extremely painful and should be corrected as soon as possible to avoid any additional damage to the joints in your foot.
Can a tenotomy be performed at any time?
The short answer is, no. Unfortunately, if you have had a hammertoe for a long time it may be too late because the involved joint may have become arthritic and is fixed into the misaligned position. Early intervention is the key for a successful outcome. In many cases you can prevent these issues by ensuring you're wearing properly fitted footwear, which is especially important if you partake in any of the above-mentioned activities. Find shoes that provide good cushion and support to protect your feet while you're playing sports or enjoying physical activity.
Common Symptoms that a Tenotomy Can Correct
There are a few symptoms and ailments that you may be experiencing that a tenotomy can resolve. If you have already been diagnosed as having a hammertoe, abnormal bends in your joints, or crooked toes, you may want to discuss the procedure with your chiropodist. If you are experiencing severe pain and discomfort or the inability to wear certain types of shoes, you may also be an excellent candidate for a tenotomy.
Try Alternative Treatments First
Before having a tenotomy done, your chiropodist will want to try other, non-invasive options. These can include things such as changing your footwear, using custom orthotics,. However, if your pain and discomfort continue despite these non-invasive solutions, then a tenotomy might be an option.
To be eligible for surgery, the joints in question must be flexible enough to handle the procedure. The surgery is performed in-office without the need to miss any work or school, and most patients can walk immediately after the procedure. Contact the dedicated chiropodists at Medical Foot Solutions if you are suffering from foot-related issues or if you think a tenotomy might help you get back to feeling normal.