Do You Need Foot Surgery?
When you have a foot or ankle problem, the podiatrist will most likely attempt to treat it using conservative methods. Some conditions, however, may not respond to non-surgical measures or may progress to a point where the severity of the problem now requires surgery in order to alleviate pain and correct foot function. At NY Foot Health we want patients to know the questions to ask to feel comfortable and confident about an upcoming surgery. These are some that should be part of your conversation with the podiatrist:
What type of surgery do I need? In most cases, whether you need surgery for a bunion, hammertoe, fracture or other condition, there will be more than one type of procedure available. The podiatrist will explain the best option for your individual circumstances.
What will need to be done before the operation? Before undergoing any surgical procedure, you will need to have a complete examination and certain tests in order to help ensure a successful outcome. The foot and ankle surgeon will want to get a medical history and review any chronic conditions, allergies or illnesses for which you are currently being treated. Other tests to evaluate your health may include blood work, urinalysis, EKG, x-rays and circulation testing. The foot doctor will also want to know what medications you are taking and may want to consult with other physicians whose care you are under.
Will the surgery require a hospital stay? Many foot surgeries are done on an outpatient basis. Ask the surgeon how long your procedure will take and what type of anesthesia will be used. You will most likely need someone to drive you home.
What type of recovery should I expect? The type of surgery you have will determine the length of time you will need to recover and the postoperative care that will be required. You may not be able to bear weight on your foot for a while and will need to make the necessary accommodations at home for your recovery time. You should also ask about how much pain you will be in and what measures will be available to relieve it. Most post-operative care for foot surgery involves rest, ice, compression and elevation. You may also need a cast, crutches, cane or scooter for some period of time.
Being prepared before foot surgery will help you feel more at ease and also help you recover more quickly and without complications. To learn more about foot health issues, contact us and consider subscribing to our free e-newsletter.