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When Do You Need Foot Surgery?

If you’re dealing with a painful foot injury, deformity, or disease, you may beconsidering foot surgery to relieve the pain in order to live a normal, healthy lifestyle. However, you may not be sure that surgery is necessary. Keep reading to learn about the situations that typically indicate when foot surgery is necessary.

When Non-Operative Methods Have Failed

Regardless of the specific foot injury, deformity, or disease you’re dealing with, if you’re not finding pain relief in the methods that you’re using, you should consider surgery. Your injury may be too serious to treat with non-surgical methods, or your condition could even get worse if not treated properly with surgery. If you have found that non-operative methods aren’t working for you anymore, it may be time to speak with your doctor about surgery.

Torn or Ruptured Tendons

When tendons become torn or ruptured, they no longer connect muscle to bone and your foot and ankle cannot work properly. While tendon sprains and slight tears can heal themselves, a major tear or rupture should be operated on.


When you’re dealing with a deformity of the foot, such as a bunion, it can negatively affect your quality of life because you’ll be dealing with constant pain. If you can’t walk short distances without severe pain, or the bunion stops you from participating in everyday activities, you may want to consider having the bunion removed. People often try to cushion bunions with protective padding to reduce pain, but if this isn’t helping or you find it inconvenient or cumbersome, having the bunions surgically removed may be the right choice for you.

Foot Fracture – Realignment of Bone

Some foot fractures can be treated with non-operative methods such as casting, but more serious foot fractures must be operated on to function properly. When a bone breaks into two pieces and separates, it’s called a displaced fracture. Typically, patients who deal with displaced fractures often benefit from undergoing surgery to have the bones realigned. This procedure will stabilize the fracture and reduce the risk of problems in the future.


Arthritis is a painful disease to live with, and there’s not a lot you can do to treat it. If you’re dealing with painful arthritis without relief, surgery could be an option.

A subtalar fusion is performed to correct rigid deformity, instability of the subtalar joint, or to remove arthritis of the joint. This will decrease the symptoms of arthritis and reduce the pain associated with it.

The subtalar joint, located below the ankle joint and between the talus bone and the calcaneus bone, allows the foot and ankle to move from side to side. When this joint is diseased, a fusion surgery is performed, and two bones heal together which allows it to work as one and restore function.

To find out if surgery is the right choice for you, speak with your doctor and get his or her professional opinion. If you’re not having any luck relieving your pain with non-operative methods, it may be time to consider surgery. It could be the answer to improving your quality of life and keeping you pain-free.

For more information about common foot injuries and disorders, click here to download our e-book, Pains and Sprains: A Complete Guide to Foot Injuries and Disorders, to understand all of the treatment options available to you.



Premier Orthopaedics is the largest orthopaedic group in Delaware and Chester counties. Premier provides patients with the full spectrum of orthopaedic services; including bone, muscle and joint care. Patients trust our specialists for their experience, expertise and commitment to exceptional patient care.