Soft tissue excision or foreign body surgery on the foot

Last update: 20 February 2021

Soft tissue excision or foreign body surgery on the foot

Soft tissue or foreign body surgery on a fingernail, toe, or foot can be performed by a surgical podiatrist when a foreign body has become lodged in a patient’s foot. It can be anything, including but not limited to: glass, metal, or wood.

It can also be used to perform a biopsy or remove a lesion that has become too large.

What is soft tissue excision? 

In podiatry, a soft tissue excision is defined by any surgical procedure designed to rid the foot of a deleterious element, whether it is a foreign body, a lesion, or a tumor.
A qualified podiatrist can perform this minor foot surgery directly in the clinic under local anesthesia.

Which people are at risk?

Nobody is safe from the possibility of having a foreign object stuck in their foot, because the countless steps that we take every day constantly expose our feet to all kinds of small objects.

The expertise of a podiatrist is fundamental in determining the type of foot surgery that needs to be performed to remove the foreign object or lesion that has affected your foot.

What can patients expect from soft tissue or foreign body surgery on the foot

It is crucial for the patient to entrust this procedure to a reputed podiatrist who can outline and explain it in great detail. The podiatrist must be transparent by presenting all possible options to their patients.

Additionally, in the case of soft tissue excision or foreign body surgery, it is essential to point out the possible consequences of this procedure, especially the temporary pain that may occur when dressing or walking.

In which case should you choose a soft tissue excision? 

The podiatrist usually opts for a soft tissue excision when a lesion has become too large, or the foreign body is so deep in the soft tissue that it affects the foot.

In short, this foot surgery is reserved for more worrisome cases.

How to choose the right foot surgeon for your soft tissue excision?

It is crucial to choose the right specialist, whether for soft tissue and foreign body surgery or any other foot procedure.

You can start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does the podiatrist offer a personalized approach? 

Just like any other medical professional, a podiatrist must pay attention to you and be able to personalize their treatments based on your situation and needs. Do not hesitate to verify that by asking specific questions and comparing each podiatrist’s answers.

  • How versatile is the podiatrist?

This is an obvious criterion because every surgical case has its peculiarities and every patient’s situation is different. Check that your podiatrist has the required expertise to treat all types of patients and problems.

  • Does the podiatrist adopt a human approach? 

Every podiatrist’s values must be rooted in empathy and respect. They must be able to communicate with you in a way that will put you at ease.

  • Does the podiatrist make themselves available? 

You should make sure that your podiatrist has the availability to quickly get you the care you need, in the case of unexpected circumstances or an emergency.

The patient’s medical history is very important

A good podiatrist knows how to actively and attentively listen to their patients. Through specific questions and a keen interest in their medical history, they will be able to adapt their approach to the patient’s reality and offer tailored advice.

Clinical examination

Whatever the nature of the podiatric treatment may be, a clinical examination is a crucial step toward confirming the patient’s pathology and assessing whether surgery will be required.

The clinical examination allows the podiatrist to determine the most appropriate treatment by evaluating the following:

  • Your surgical history;
  • Your medical history;
  • Your vascular system;
  • Your lifestyle;
  • Your medications;
  • Your allergies.

Conservative treatments

In no uncertain terms, a foreign body in the foot always calls for surgical intervention in order to let the podiatrist remove it safely and effectively.

If soft tissue injury is the case, a patient can try some non-invasive methods before resorting to foot surgery:

Soft tissue or foreign body surgery: interesting benefits for your well-being

Soft tissue or foreign body surgery offers a number of benefits:

  • It reduces the amount of pain and discomfort;
  • It restores your posture and gait;
  • It allows you to put on your shoes normally;
  • It gets rid of the lesion or foreign body forever.

The benefits of soft tissue excision done by a podiatric surgeon

This foot surgery does require a recovery and adjustment period, but it quickly pays off:

  • You will be able to resume work quickly;
  • You maintain your daily activities (although you may have to limit some sports);
  • You solve your issue for good;
  • You maintain your foot aesthetically pleasing.

Why a podiatrist?

Only a podiatrist can determine your best options for getting rid of your lesions or extracting a foreign body from your foot.

  • They will make it easier for you to get assistance;
  • They can recommend other medical professionals who can help you;
  • They provide full support;
  • They perform thorough follow-up examinations;
  • They prevent possible future complications.

Choosing PiedReseau offers you several benefits 

Your PiedRéseau clinics give you easy access to a highly qualified podiatrist anywhere in Quebec. With them, you can count on quick assistance and clear answers to all your questions.

 How soft tissue or foreign body surgery is performed

Here are the key steps of your treatment:

  1. Assessment of the lesion to be treated or the foreign body to be removed through X-ray and foot ultrasound imaging;
  1. Delimitation of the area to be operated on;
  1. Local anesthesia and preparation of the foot for surgery;
  1. Dissection of the adjacent vasculo-nervous elements;
  1. Removal of the lesion or foreign body;
  1. Skin graft or skin flap (as required);
  1. Placement of sutures (if necessary);
  1. Pathological analysis of the removed element.

You can also expect a scheduled follow-up visit within the next 7 to 14 days after your surgery, to evaluate and ensure your most optimal recovery.

How long does it take to recover from soft tissue or foreign body surgery? 

Sick leave can vary from a few days to a month, but you will usually be back on your feet in about 3 weeks, depending on the case. While recovering, you should refrain from sport and driving. However, it will be important to mobilize the operated area after the anesthesia.

Normally, you may also experience pain when dressing or walking as you recover.

Closely follow the podiatrist’s instructions!

Your ability to follow your podiatrist’s instructions is crucial for the success of your foot surgery and the subsequent treatment. Be sure to follow them to the letter before and after your surgery.

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