Minimally Invasive Foot & Ankle Management in Kansas City

Minimally Invasive Foot & Ankle Management


Treat and manage your foot & ankle pain for long-term relief.

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Understanding the Basics Behind Minimally Invasive Foot & Ankle Management


What is Minimally Invasive Foot & Ankle Management?

Foot and ankle problems vary in severity, but they can meaningfully impact your ability to function,live a normal life, or participate in the activities and hobbies you enjoy. There are a variety of foot or ankle problems that one can face, whether it’s a light sprain or strain or a full fracture.

With over 26 bones and 33 small joints in each foot and ankle, these issues become relatively common. When they occur, The providers at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance are adept at finding the necessary treatments to correct the issue. Our expert orthopedic foot and ankle physicians at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance have the knowledge required to treat numerous issues, both surgically and non-surgically.

When you visit a specialist at KCOA, we focus on creating a treatment plan based on your specific conditions, symptoms, and recovery goals.

Choosing minimally invasive foot and ankle treatments in Kansas City is a decision that typically involves guidance from your primary care doctor and orthopedic physician.

When you choose Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, one of our highly-trained orthopedic foot and ankle specialists will conduct an initial evaluation to better understand your condition. After a complete review of your results, your provider will discuss whether lapiplasty is the best treatment option for you.

Your First Appointment

Symptoms that may require minimally invasive treatments, such as ankle arthroscopy, include:

  • Reduced range of motion
  • Swelling
  • Weakness
  • Stiffness
  • Completely immobile or “locked” joint

Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance Foot & Ankle Injuries Assessment


Assessing the Injury

Determining the proper treatment for your foot or ankle injury starts with an assessment from one of our experienced providers.

You can think of foot and ankle pain as a spectrum, with some instances being more severe than others. The KCOA orthopedic specialists always focus on each patient and their concerns before creating a treatment plan.

Therefore, during your initial appointment, we will often ask questions such as:

  • Does your pain currently limit you or your activities?
  • Has your pain progressed or worsened recently?
  • Have you experienced any tingling or numbness in your foot that makes tasks difficult?
  • Did you notice or hear a popping sound at the time of your injury?
  • What are your lifestyle goals?
  • How has pain affected those goals?

 

From there, we can decide what treatment option will align best with your needs and lifestyle goals. Once we’ve completed a proper assessment, your provider will often begin with a physical examination to help determine the origin point of your pain. In some cases, advanced testing may be required for a full diagnosis.

Examination

X-Ray

Also called radiographs, an X-ray captures a picture of the foot or ankle. Orthopedic physicians may order an X-ray to rule out the possibility of a fracture (broken bone), osteoarthritis, or other bone-related conditions.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI captures images of muscles, bones, intervertebral discs, and tendons to help provide information other tests can’t detail. During an MRI, you will lie on a table that slides into a tube-shaped scanner. The machine creates a magnetic field around you, using pulsed radio waves to form the MRI images.

Electromyograms (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies

Our board-certified physiatrists utilize electromyograms (EMGs) and nerve conduction studies to help determine whether nerves and muscles respond properly to stimuli. The EMG measures the electrical activity of your muscles at rest and in motion, while nerve conduction studies determine how fast and effectively your nerves and muscles receive electrical signals.

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Establishing a Care Plan

Based on the results of your interview, examination, and imaging studies, you can expect a custom care plan catered specifically to you.

Many people believe it’s best to wait until pain becomes severe, leading them to “put off” or delay treatments like ankle joint replacement. If you are in constant discomfort, have shooting or stabbing pains, have limited range of motion, or an inability to perform your daily activities, fracture management treatments may be right for you. New technologies allow patients with severe foot and ankle pain to fully recover and enjoy the benefits of a more functional, pain-free lifestyle.

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Pre-Op

Prior to surgery, you will typically receive at least 2 phone calls:

  1. A hospital registration representative will call to gather insurance and other personal information.
  2. A registered nurse will call to review your health history and medication information.

Dependent on your health history, your physician may require:

  • Pre-surgical laboratory tests
  • X-rays
  • Primary care clearance

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Pre-Op

Pre-operative instructions will vary depending on your physician and the location of your surgery. Always check with your physician before surgery for specific instructions.

Most physicians require that patients not eat or drink after midnight prior to surgery. Additionally, you will need to designate a family member or friend to drive you home on the day you are released from the hospital. Surgical patients cannot drive themselves home.

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Day of Surgery

If you schedule your surgery with a KCOA physician, you can expect the following on surgery day: 

  • A receptionist will check you in at the hospital registration desk.
  • A nurse will take you back and prepare you for surgery. They will start an IV, prepare the surgical site, and review your medical history and medications.
  • Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will visit with you prior to your operation.
  • The surgical team will take you to the operation suite for surgery.

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How it Works

The decision to treat your feet and ankle problems with surgical treatment will be a collaborative decision between you, your provider, your family, and others. Though KCOA providers will exhaust and explore every option before recommending invasive procedures, minimally invasive procedures can be highly effective based on the unique needs of the patient.

Though procedures will vary in length, most patients can expect a minimally invasive foot and ankle procedure to last two hours or less. During your procedure, our surgeons may utilize general anesthesia, or use a local anesthetic with a mild sedative. Depending on the diagnosis our care team may utilize a general anesthesia or sedative to prepare the patient for their procedure.

Typically these less invasive procedures involve the use of arthroscopy. During this technique a tiny camera and other tools are placed into the joint for enhanced precision through small incisions around the affected area. If it’s a simple debridement, the surgeon will extract the damaged tissue. If the procedure involves correcting a malalignment small plates, screws, and surgical nails may be used to correctly align the bony tissue. X-rays may be used during your surgery to ensure proper positioning and alignment have been achieved.

The surgeon will close the incision area with staples, sutures or special glue. Following the procedures, patients can expect to leave in splints or a boot to protect the area.

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Post-Op & What to Expect

A patient’s recovery plan and timeline will vary based on a variety of factors, including age, activity level, goals, and more. However, taking care of your body will be essential to ensure optimal results from your minimally invasive procedure. In the immediate aftermath of your surgery, it’s important to keep your foot elevated to reduce swelling. Your care team will also provide you with pain medication.

When you make a full recovery will depend on the specific procedure performed by your surgeon. You may require a special device, such as a cast, walking boot, or special shoe, to help aid recovery. When you’re able to wear your regular shoes and put full weight on the affected area will also depend on the procedure. Ultimately, it may take several weeks to fully recover from your procedure.

Depending on your individual timeline, patients can start more vigorous activity after a few months of recovery and, if necessary, physical therapy.

Our Process

Symptoms


Common Signs and Symptoms of Foot & Ankle Injuries

With so many different parts working together in your feet and ankles, there are many potential causes of pain. And each of those causes has a unique set of symptoms.

Feet and ankle injuries often cause pain and swelling in your heel, making it difficult to walk or bend downward. In less severe cases, you may feel pain and stiffness in the heel. When a patient visits one of our KCOA offices, a skilled orthopedic specialist will ask you questions regarding your symptoms, what aggravates/alleviates your symptoms, and whether you have attempted prior therapies. Next comes a thorough physical exam. We will then review any images you bring with you and/or take new images. After determining the cause of your pain, we can discuss if the treatment will work best for your needs.

Causes

Causes of Foot & Ankle Pain

The body has different kinds of joints, and they all face different challenges. The foot and ankle combine for a complex region of the body, and the wear and tear builds up over the years. Soft tissue protects these joints and bones and is made up of muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels.

With all of these different bones in your feet and ankles, injuries and degenerative joint issues become relatively common. As the years go on, many people struggle with the effects of years of repeated movements, such as walking, running, or jumping.

Treatment Alternatives

Non-Surgical Treatment

In most cases, surgery is not the first option for treatment at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance. If we can treat your foot and ankle issues with more conservative treatments, we’ll choose those options. We typically exhaust all non-surgical options prior to recommending surgery. Non-surgical treatments for feet and ankle injuries include:

  • Physical Therapy – Movement can actually reduce pain and encourage healing in the ankle, as movement increases circulation and supplies and other nutrients that support joint health and function. Your physical therapist might also recommend a series of exercises designed to strengthen the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and lower leg muscles with stretching.

  • Medications – Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil) or prescription medications. Especially with NSAIDs, you should always talk to your doctor to ensure they are the right treatment for you.

  • Orthotics – Another non-surgical measure that your provider may recommend is an off-the-shelf custom orthotic device. This can be a device that provides custom-fitted arch supports, which allows for more even distribution of pressure for your foot.

F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance is here to help.

Our care is personal. Our team is knowledgeable. And we’re more available than ever.

With access to board-certified specialists across Kansas City, we have the tools to meet almost every musculoskeletal condition.

Use our Symptom Tracker Tool to connect with the right KCOA physician for your unique needs—and get back to the things that matter most.

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Testimonials

Dr. Ting and his staff are the best!

Dr. Ting and his staff are the best! Sarah his nurse is kind and supportive. Dr. Tings nurse for surgery was absolutely the best! Dr. Ting, I have complete faith in. He is who I shall go to for anything he handles! Can’t say enough about him! Thank you all for making a scary time a completely peaceful event. You are the best!!

Valene Vanice

Staff is great

…just did my husbands hands on Wed. last week and can’t believe how well he is doing. We have already recommended you to our son and a few others. Your staff is great and my husband doing well. Thanks to you.

Sandra Lane

I left a very happy patient.

…I arrived a little bit late. I got checked in quickly and was back in a room within 10 minutes. Dr Rhodes was very friendly and took the time to pull up pictures of my surgery and show them and explain them to me. I left a very happy patient.

Michael Bachmann

Dr. Scott Ellsworth is one of the best

Dr. Scott Ellsworth is one of the best I have ever worked with. He is knowledgeable, efficient, caring, and knows his patients. He has a special bedside manner that makes any patient in any situation feel comfortable. All of the nurses and office staff are wonderful as well.

Deb Woodard

I'm consistently impressed

In the process of treating my particular problem I’ve been to Apex probably 4-5 times. I’m consistently impressed by the professionalism of the staff and the amount of care & time they spend with me as a patient. They’re always very careful to make sure I understand the nature of the medical problem, the reasons for the diagnosis, and the type of treatment recommended. Stephanie’s care and concern is especially appreciated.

 

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