• Western Orthpaedic Clinic

Foot and Ankle Conditions


Bunions (Hallux Valgus) are a common condition that causes a lump over the big toe joint. This can result in redness over the lump and pain when wearing shoes. Treatment varies depending on how serious the symptoms are. Surgery is required when the pain is severe or when the big toe causes problems with the smaller toes. Surgery involves cutting off the bump and making corrective cuts in the bones of the big toe (osteotomies).


Gerard Hardisty

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is a painful condition affecting the ball of the foot. A neuroma is a benign (non-cancerous) growth on the nerve in the foot. The commonest site is between the third and fourth toes. It can also occur between the second and third toes. The neuroma causes pain when walking (often described as like walking on a stone) as well as numbness in the toes.


Gerard Hardisty

Ankle Instability

Following an ankle sprain (rolling the ankle) there is usually initial swelling, pain, and some difficulty walking. Over a period of six weeks, the pain and swelling settle and a return to sport and recreation is possible. However, approximately twenty percent of people have a sprain that is severe and does not resolve, resulting in repeated rolling of the ankle. This is referred to as chronic instability. This can be treated with a brace, but for severe instability, an ankle reconstruction may be required. Surgery involves reattaching the torn ligaments to the ankle.


Gerard Hardisty

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis (heel spurs) is a common condition that involves inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot connecting the heel to the toes. It causes morning stiffness and ache around the plantar aspect of the heel. It is usually a self-limiting condition, which resolves with no long term lasting symptoms. However, the time taken to resolve can be prolonged. There are many treatment options to avoid surgery including orthotics, injections, and Extra Corporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ECSWT). Surgery is a consideration if symptoms persist and can now be done endoscopically (keyhole).


Gerard Hardisty

Ankle Arthritis

Arthritis in the ankle is less common than arthritis in the hip and knee. Most cases of arthritis in the ankle are due to previous injury. Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the ankle. For severe ankle arthritis, there are two surgical treatments, either total ankle replacement or ankle arthrodesis (fusion). Patients are often surprised to hear that ankle fusion can result in a very satisfactory and functional outcome.


Gerard Hardisty