Fortunately, most cases of foot and ankle pain respond well to treatments like rest, ice, orthotics (shoe inserts), prescribed exercises, and anti-inflammatory medications. Local cortisone injections can also provide pain relief.
However, when these medical treatments fail to provide adequate pain relief, surgery may be an option. Often foot and ankle surgery is performed on an outpatient basis using minimally invasive techniques. These techniques may mean less pain and less risk, as well as a faster recovery time.
* http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/fact/thr_report.cfm?Thread_ID=100&topcategory=Foot – January 2006