Podiatric Surgery

Podiatric Surgery is the surgical treatment of the foot and its associated structures. It is carried out by a Podiatric Surgeon, usually as a day case procedure and often but not always under local anaesthetic. 

Whilst many foot problems respond to non-surgical treatment, some are best treated by podiatric surgery. This is particularly effective for persistently painful conditions or where the foot is being affected by deformity. Common problems include hallux valgus (bunion surgery), hammer, mallet and claw toes, foot arthritis, plantar corns, neuromas (enlarged nerves) and plantar fasciitis (inflammation of connective tissue).


Podiatric surgery has been shown to have comparable clinical outcomes to orthopaedic surgery and audit has shown that there is high patient satisfaction with the podiatric surgery service and low complication rate.


Foot surgery has traditionally been performed by departments under general anaesthetic requiring overnight or several days hospitalisation.  Podiatric surgical procedures are carried out on a day case basis under local anaesthetic with the aim of correcting the deformity, providing symptomatic relief and restoring/improving function.



The range of surgery / conditions seen includes:


  •        lesser toe deformities
  •        hallux valgus
  •        hallux limitus/ Rigidus
  •        Fore and mid foot arthritic conditions
  •        tailors bunions
  •        Neuroma’s
  •        Plantar fasciitis / heel pain
  •        Heel bumps (Haglunds Deformity)
  •        Cysts, ganglions and other soft tissue problems
  •        Subungual exostosis
  •        Nail surgery
  •        Achilles tendon problems


Non Surgical management is an integral part of a podiatric surgery service and includes:


  •        Injection therapy
  •        Acupuncture
  •        Orthoses/insoles
  •        Splints
  •        Stretching / exercise programmes
  •        Other physical therapies



Podiatric Surgeons undertake a comprehensive training programme involving;


  • BSc (Hons) Podiatry – 3-4 years
  • Post graduate clinical experience – min 1 year
  • Passport to surgical training , leading to a surgical training post – min 2 years
  • Attendance at an approved course in podiatric diagnostic imaging
  • Clinical pharmacology and research  paper on a topic relevant to surgery
  • Fellowship examination – Surgical assessment (practical/oral) leading to award of Fellowship in Surgery of the College of Podiatrists - FCPodS
  • Thereafter a minimum 3-year period spent in a Specialist Registrar or synonymous grade leading to the award of the Certificate of Completion of (podiatric surgical) Specialist Training, enabling the individual to then seek a clinical lead position (Consultant)

Sharon Bell

Sharon qualified from Durham School of Podiatric Medicine in 1990. She took up a post in Durham Health Authority and developed an interest in biomechanics, sports injuries and podo-paediatrics.


In 1999 Sharon began her surgical fellowship training at Lewisham General Hospital, London and qualified as a podiatric surgeon in 2002. She took up Clinical Fellow posts at Doncaster and then Newark.


She has established podiatric surgery services for North Durham, Hartlepool and North Tees where she continues to work as a Consultant Podiatric Surgeon and Clinical Head of Service. In 2005 the newly established Hartlepool Podiatric Surgery Service, won 1st prize in the category “New Ways of Working and Extending the Boundaries” at the Allied Health Professions and Health Scientists Annual Awards.


She has a specialist interest in forefoot surgery including hallux valgus correction, hallux limits, big toe joint problems, foot pain, and arthritis, Morton's neuroma, hammer toe deformities, ganglion so and cysts of the foot.


As a "LEAN" certified leader Sharon is committed to developing services to deliver the best possible outcomes and improving the patient journey.


Main clinical specialty: Foot Surgery, Hallux valgus (bunions), lesser toe deformities (hammer toes), neuromas, subungal exostosis, ingrowing toe nails, Cysts, ganglions and other soft tissue problems of the foot, sports injuries, Biomechanics and podo-paediatrics.

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