Arthroplasty – this is used to treat claw, mallet and hammer toes. The surgeon performs a number of minor procedures including releasing trapped or pinched soft tissue, and tendon lengthening to allow the toes to straighten.
Arthroscopy – the surgeon makes small incisions and inserts a tiny camera (an endoscope) into the joint. The image is shown on a video monitor, enabling the surgeon to make a thorough examination of the area. Once the diagnosis has been made, other small incisions are made to allow small surgical instruments to be inserted. The entire operation is carried out while looking at the monitor..
Bone scan – a scan which involves injecting the patient with a small amount radioactive material. Tumours, fractures and infections in the bone absorb a greater amount of radioactive material than normal bone. A Gamma camera (scanner) is used to detect where there is more uptake of the material.
Claw toe – all three bones in the toe should form a straight line. With claw toe, the first bone in the toe is raised, the second two bones are pointing downwards. It is the result of one of the tendons in the foot contracting.
Gait analysis – examination of the way the foot falls (foot function) as you walk or run. Often done on a treadmill with hi-tech video and measuring equipment. Used to help diagnose poorly functioning muscles, ligaments and bones in the lower leg and foot.
Graft – bone or tissue is taken from another part of the body and attached to another piece of bone. A hole may be drilled or a section cut off the bone to enable the donor tissue to fuse with the bone.
Hammer toe – all three bones in the toe should form a straight line. With hammer toe, the first bone of the toe is slightly raised, the second bone is tilted downwards and the bone at the tip is almost flat. It is the result of one of the tendons in the foot contracting.
Mallet toe – all three bones in the toe should form a straight line. With mallet toe, the first two bones of the toe are in line, but slightly raised. The bone at the tip is pointing downwards. It is the result of one of the tendons in the foot contracting.
MRI scan – or magnetic resonance imaging, is a method used by doctors to scan the human body to obtain diagnostic information. MRI uses magnetic fields, radio waves and sophisticated computers to generate images of the inner parts of the body in a non-inv`sive manner.
Open surgery – the procedure is carried out while looking straight at the area under surgery, without using cameras and monitors. Scarring is usually greater and healing takes longer than arthroscopy
Osteoarthritis – there are about 100 different types of arthritis, but the most common is degenerative or osteoarthritis. It usually occurs in people over 50, often as a result of previous injury to a joint, or simply the wearing away of cartilage. The disease causes bones to become misshapen, which affects the movement of the joint, and usually also results in soft tissue damage.
Sprain – the over-stretching of ligaments, usually as a result of a violent twisting action on a joint. A sprain results in stretching or tearing of the ligaments. Minor sprains only stretch the ligament. A tear may be either a complete tear of all the strands of the ligament or a partial tear of only some of the strands.