Our foot & ankle consultants
Specialist expertise in foot and ankle conditions and treatment
Orthopaedic Specialists’ foot and ankle team is led by specialist Professor Nima Heidari, a leading orthopaedic and trauma surgeon with a dedicated focus on foot and ankle conditions including trauma, sports injuries and lower limb reconstruction.
Professor Heidari is very aware of the profound effect foot and ankle pain or injury can have on a person’s quality of life and he aims to provide his patients with the optimal treatment, whether surgical or non-surgical, to achieve the best possible outcome.
As a consultant at The Royal London Hospital, the largest trauma centre in the UK and one of the busiest in Europe, Professor Heidari treats the most severely injured patients.
Patients are often referred to him at Orthopaedic Specialists by other consultant orthopaedic surgeons, particularly for difficult fractures and fixation and post-operative infection.
Professor Heidari is joined by Mr Thomas Hester, a highly regarded consultant orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in foot and ankle conditions and works as Trauma Lead at Kings College.
Mr Hester is a conscientious, proactive and caring consultant with a keen interest in research and innovation in his field of expertise. He specialises in a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including minimally invasive surgery (arthroscopy), ligament injuries, ankle fractures, cartilage damage, bunions and heel pain.
Specialist Paediatric Consultant Mr Thomas Crompton is available to see children for any orthopaedic condition, including foot and ankle.
Foot and ankle anatomy
The feet and ankles are highly flexible, complex structures containing multiple bones, tendons and ligaments. Our foot and ankle team treat all conditions ranging from bunions, bone deformity and arthritis to painful ligament and Achilles tendon injuries.
The foot is divided into three parts:
- The forefoot consists of five toes (phalanges) and five longer bones (metatarsals).
- The midfoot forms the arch and consists of the three cuneiform, cuboid and navicular bones.
- The hindfoot forms the heel and ankle. The calcaneus is the heel bone. The ankle is described below.
The ankle is formed of the talus bone, which supports the tibia (shin bone) and fibula in the leg. The tibiotalar joint (ankle joint) allows the foot to move up and down. The lateral malleolus is the bony protrusion on the outer ankle, formed by the distal end of the fibula. The medial malleolus is the inner ankle bone, formed by the distal end of the tibia.
Cartilage cushions the bones and allows them to glide smoothly over one another. Tendons connect muscles to bone to provide support. The Achilles tendon, which wraps around the heel bone, is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. Bursae, small sacs that contain synovial fluid, help to decrease friction between tendons and bones or skin.
Ligaments connect bones to other bones. The plantar fascia is the longest foot ligament, acting as a shock absorber and supporting the foot arch. Other ligaments include the talo-fibular and calcaneo-fibular ligaments.
There are 20 muscles in the foot, categorised as intrinsic (responsible for toe movement) and extrinsic (located in the lower leg and responsible for foot movement).
Foot & ankle conditions
There are several foot and toe pain problems including: Freiberg’s disease, Morton’s neuroma, plantar plate problems, sesamoiditis and tarsal tunnel syndrome. If they are diagnosed early, many of these painful conditions can be treated non-surgically, returning patients to their normal...
Arthritis occurs when the cartilage encasing the bones, which aids fluent movement in the joint, is damaged, resulting in friction. Any joint in the body can be affected by arthritis. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, big toe arthritis (hallux rigidus), midfoot arthritis...
Foot & ankle treatments
Ankle ligament reconstruction surgery is used to treat lateral ankle instability and sprains. The objective is to prevent the ankle from giving way and stabilising it. Frequently, this procedure is performed once other non-surgical treatments, including physiotherapy, have proved ineffective.
Scarf osteotomy and chevron osteotomy are two of the most well-known types of bunion surgery. They are usually day case procedures carried out under a general anaesthetic. An additional pain-relieving local anaesthetic is administered to the foot post-operatively.