I was lucky enough last week to attend and observe surgery at London Bridge Hospital with top London foot and ankle surgeon Mr Amit Amin. Mr Amin works from St Georges Hospital in Tooting, London and from London Sports Orthopaedics on Old Broad Street in the City.
He had two patients that needed sugary on their bunions and one that needed and Achilles repair. I must admit Mr Amin made what is obviously a complex surgery look very simple. The first two bunion operations were interesting to watch. Mr Amin told me that bunions are mostly genetic and are exacerbated by wearing high heels. He cut through the first toe bone and essentially straightens out the first toe and put a few screws in place to hold it straight. It’s almost like going DIY on a live person. Both patient’s were stitched up and would be out of hospital that day.
People that have had bunion surgery would benefit from physio to get the foot and toe moving again, to start strengthening the area and to start doing balance exercises again.
The final operation I watched was an Achilles tendon repair. Once the ankle was opened up I could see the severed ends of the tendon. Mr Amin essentially stitched the two ends together again.
I once saw a patient that came to me described playing basketball and feeling the sensation of being kicked in the calf. He turned around and no one was there. He came to physio about 3 weeks later saying that he had pulled his calf and had no strength to stand on his toes, but didn’t think it was too bad as he been skiing the previous week and had no problems.
When I examined him he had torn his Achilles and I calmy suggested he go to A and E straight away. Turns out he needed to have surgery to repair the tendon and he was operated on within a couple days.
An Achilles tendon tear can take 6-9 months to recover from and needs extensive physiotherapy.