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Diabetic Foot Debridement

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Diabetic Foot Debridement

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Achilles Tendon Lengthening

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Tenotomy (the removal of scar tissue)

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Hammertoe Repair

What is Plantar Exostectomy?

A plantar exostectomy, also known as plantar spur removal, is a surgical procedure performed to remove a bony growth called a plantar spur or plantar exostosis. The plantar spur is a bony prominence that develops on the bottom surface of the heel bone or occasionally on other areas of the foot. It is often associated with chronic inflammation and stress on the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot.

The goal of a plantar exostectomy is to alleviate pain and discomfort caused by the plantar spur. By removing the bony prominence, pressure on the surrounding tissues, such as the plantar fascia and nearby nerves, is reduced. This can lead to pain relief and improved function in the affected foot. Read on to know more about the procedure.

When is a Plantar Exostectomy Recommended?

A plantar exostectomy may be recommended when conservative treatments have failed to alleviate symptoms associated with a plantar spur or plantar exostosis. It is typically considered when the pain and discomfort in the affected foot significantly affect a person's daily activities and quality of life.

Some common indications for a plantar exostectomy include:

  • Persistent pain: If conservative treatments such as rest, orthotic devices, physical therapy, medication, and other non-surgical measures have not provided sufficient relief from the pain associated with a plantar spur, a surgical intervention like a plantar exostectomy may be considered.
  • Limitation in activities: When the pain and discomfort caused by the plantar spur restrict a person's ability to engage in activities they enjoy or perform essential tasks, surgery may be recommended to alleviate these limitations and improve function.
  • Chronic inflammation: If the plantar spur is associated with chronic inflammation of the plantar fascia (plantar fasciitis), and conservative treatments have not resolved the inflammation or have only provided temporary relief, a plantar exostectomy might be considered as a treatment option.
  • Failed conservative treatments: When multiple attempts at conservative treatments have been unsuccessful in managing the symptoms caused by the plantar spur, a surgical procedure like a plantar exostectomy may be suggested as the next step.

It's important to note that the decision to undergo a plantar exostectomy should be made after a thorough evaluation by a foot specialist or orthopedic surgeon. They will consider the severity of symptoms, the individual's overall foot health, and other relevant factors before recommending surgical intervention.

How to Prepare for a Plantar Exostectomy?

Preparing for a plantar exostectomy involves several steps to ensure a successful surgery and a smooth recovery. Here are some general guidelines to help you prepare:

  • Consultation with a specialist: Schedule a consultation with a foot specialist or orthopedic surgeon who will assess your condition, review your medical history, and determine if a plantar exostectomy is the appropriate treatment option for you. Use this opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.
  • Medical evaluation: Your surgeon may request certain medical tests or evaluations, such as blood tests, X-rays, or other imaging studies, to gather more information about your foot condition and overall health. Follow their instructions regarding these tests and provide all necessary information accurately.
  • Medications: Inform your surgeon about any medications, supplements, or herbal remedies you are currently taking. You might need to discontinue certain medications before the procedure. This may include blood-thinning medications or anti-inflammatory drugs that can increase the risk of complications during and after the surgery
  • Pre-operative instructions: Your surgeon will provide specific pre-operative instructions, including certain lifestyle changes such as dietary and activity modifications. Follow these instructions closely to ensure a safe and successful surgery.
  • Arrange for assistance: Since you may have limited mobility after the surgery, it's advisable to arrange for assistance with everyday tasks, such as transportation, household chores, and personal care, during the initial recovery period. 
  • Preparing your home: Make your home recovery-friendly by creating a comfortable and accessible space. Clear pathways of any obstacles, secure handrails if necessary, and gather essential items you may need during your recovery, such as pillows, ice packs, and non-slip footwear.
  • Plan for postoperative care: Consult with your surgeon about post-operative care instructions. This may include wound care, weight-bearing restrictions, prescribed medications, and any recommended physical therapy or rehabilitation exercises. Understand and prepare for the recovery process, including follow-up appointments with your surgeon.

Remember to communicate openly with your surgeon and follow their instructions closely. By preparing effectively, you can enhance the likelihood of a successful plantar exostectomy and a smoother recovery experience.

What are the Steps of Plantar Exostectomy?

The steps of a plantar exostectomy procedure may vary slightly depending on the surgeon's technique and the individual patient's condition. However, here are the general steps involved in a plantar exostectomy:

Anesthesia: Before the surgery begins, you will receive anesthesia. The type of anesthesia used can vary, and your surgeon will determine whether local anesthesia (numbing the foot) or general anesthesia (putting you to sleep) is most appropriate for your case.

Incision: Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the surgeon will make an incision on the sole of the foot, specifically targeting the area where the plantar spur is located. The incision is typically made along the natural creases or in a location that minimizes scar visibility.

Soft tissue exposure: After the incision is made, the surgeon carefully dissects through the layers of soft tissue to expose the underlying plantar spur. This may involve moving aside muscle, fat, and other tissues to gain access to the bony prominence.

Spur removal: Using surgical instruments such as a scalpel or bone-cutting instruments, the surgeon will remove the plantar spur. The removal technique may involve cutting around the base of the spur or carefully shaving it down to minimize trauma to surrounding tissues.

Bone smoothing: After removing the plantar spur, the surgeon may perform additional bone smoothing or contouring to ensure there are no sharp edges or irregularities left that could cause discomfort or impede healing.

Wound closure: Once the spur removal and bone smoothing are complete, the surgeon will carefully close the incision using sutures or surgical staples. In some cases, absorbable stitches may be used, eliminating the need for suture removal.

Dressing and immobilization: The surgeon will apply a sterile dressing to the incision site to protect it and promote healing. They may also place a splint, cast, or walking boot to immobilize the foot and provide support during the initial healing period.

Post-operative care: After the surgery, you will be given specific post-operative care instructions by your surgeon. This may include guidelines for pain management, wound care, weight-bearing restrictions, and the use of assistive devices like crutches or a walker. Follow these instructions closely to optimize your recovery.

Follow-up appointments: Your surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress, remove any sutures or staples if necessary, and provide guidance on rehabilitation exercises or physical therapy.

It's important to note that the above steps are a general outline, and the details may vary depending on the individual case and the surgeon's approach. Your surgeon will provide you with personalized information and instructions based on your specific situation.

After a plantar exostectomy, it's important to have realistic expectations about the recovery process. Here's what you can generally expect after the procedure:

Pain and discomfort: You may experience pain, swelling, and discomfort in the operated foot for the first few days after the surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medications or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to manage any discomfort. Following their instructions for pain management is crucial.

Weight-bearing restrictions: Depending on the extent of the surgery and your surgeon's recommendation, you may be advised to limit or avoid putting weight on the operated foot for a certain period. This could involve using crutches, a walker, or a specialized boot to offload pressure during the initial healing phase.

Dressing and wound care: You will have a dressing over the surgical incision, which should be kept clean and dry according to your surgeon's instructions. They will provide guidance on how to change the dressing, if needed, and when it's safe to shower or bathe. It's important to follow proper wound care techniques to prevent infection and promote healing.

Swelling and bruising: Swelling and bruising are common after a plantar exostectomy. Elevating your foot, applying ice packs, and keeping the foot elevated while resting can help reduce swelling. However, it's normal for some swelling and bruising to persist for several weeks.

Restricted activities: You will likely be advised to avoid strenuous activities, such as running or jumping, for several weeks following the surgery. Your surgeon will provide specific guidelines on when it's safe to gradually resume normal activities, including walking and exercise.

Follow-up appointments: Your surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress. During these visits, they will assess the incision site, remove any sutures or staples, and evaluate your overall recovery. It's important to attend these appointments and communicate any concerns or issues you may have.

Rehabilitation exercises: Depending on your individual case, your surgeon may recommend specific rehabilitation exercises or physical therapy to help restore strength, flexibility, and function to your foot. These exercises are typically introduced gradually as the healing progresses.

Recovery timeline: The recovery timeline can vary depending on the extent of the surgery and individual factors. Generally, it may take several weeks to a few months to fully recover and return to normal activities. However, keep in mind that everyone heals at their own pace, and it's important to follow your surgeon's guidance throughout the recovery process.

It's crucial to closely follow your surgeon's post-operative instructions, including taking prescribed medications, adhering to weight-bearing restrictions, and attending follow-up appointments. If you have any concerns or experience unusual symptoms during the recovery period, don't hesitate to reach out to your surgeon for guidance and support.

What are the benefits and risks of plantar exostectomy?

Plantar exostectomy, like any surgical procedure, has its benefits and associated risks. Here's an overview of the potential benefits and risks:

Benefits of Plantar Exostectomy:

Pain relief: The primary benefit of a plantar exostectomy is the potential relief from pain and discomfort associated with a plantar spur or plantar exostosis. 

Improved mobility and function: Removing the plantar spur can improve the mobility and function of the foot, allowing for a greater range of motion and the ability to engage in activities that were previously limited or restricted due to pain.

Enhanced quality of life: Relief from chronic foot pain and improved foot function can significantly enhance an individual's quality of life. They may be able to participate in activities they enjoy, such as sports, exercise, or walking, without the limitations imposed by the plantar spur.

Risks of Plantar Exostectomy:

Infection: As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of developing an infection at the incision site. Proper sterile techniques and post-operative wound care can help reduce this risk.

Bleeding: Bleeding is a potential risk during and after the surgery. Surgeons take precautions to control bleeding during the procedure, and patients are monitored for excessive bleeding post-operatively.

Nerve damage: There is a slight risk of nerve damage during the surgery, which can result in altered sensation, numbness, or tingling in the foot. This risk is typically low, but it's important to discuss it with your surgeon.

Recurrence: In some cases, a plantar spur may recur after a plantar exostectomy. This can happen if the underlying factors that contributed to the initial spur formation, such as chronic inflammation or biomechanical issues, are not adequately addressed.

Delayed wound healing: Some individuals may experience delayed wound healing, which can prolong the recovery process. This risk is more likely in individuals with certain medical conditions that affect healing, such as diabetes.

Scar formation: Like any surgical procedure, a plantar exostectomy can result in scarring. The size and visibility of the scar can vary depending on individual factors and the surgeon's technique.

It's important to note that the risks and benefits of a plantar exostectomy can vary depending on individual circumstances. Discussing your specific case with your surgeon will help you understand the risks associated with the procedure and make an informed decision. They can provide personalized information and guidance based on your condition, overall health, and any specific risk factors you may have.

Why Choose Medfin?

Surgery can be a daunting aspect, and feeling anxious is absolutely normal. The massive amount of information you can get from the internet may confuse you even more. This is where Medfin can help. Leave us the hefty task of finding the best hospital, the finest doctor, and the latest procedure at the lowest cost. Let us take charge while you sit back and focus on your health and recovery. Think surgery! Think Medfin! 

The power of Medfin in patient’s words


“ Got to know about them from my friend. They got an appointment for only 299. Once the doctor confirmed that I needed the surgery they got me a fixed cost which included ALL the costs. No extra amounts were charged. Thank you Medfin”

Suresh Menon Hyderabad 8 days ago
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“ After my consultation with the doctor, MEDFIN representative got me a fixed package cost that included my mothers initial tests, surgery cost. They also gave me stockings free for Rs. 3000 post the surgery. They kept up their promise they made”

Radhika Iyer Mumbai 8 days ago
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“ Thank you Medfin. They ensured the whole process from selecting a very experienced doctor to offering the latest procedure at a very reasonable price. They also arranged a follow up post my surgery with the doctor to ensure my recovery was on track. Thank you for being there throughout”

Deepa Shree Bangalore 8 days ago
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