In a majority of instances non-surgical treatment will alleviate foot problems. If your podiatrist has decided that surgery is needed they will ensure you are educated about the procedure and fully prepared. The goal of foot surgery is to ease pain associated with your individual needs, to restore function, and possibly to improve the appearance and comfort of your feet.
Before surgery your podiatrist will discuss the procedure and possible risks with you. It is important to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Education is the key to a positive surgical experience. Talk to your doctor about any health problems you may have, any medications you are currently taking, and any allergies you suffer from.
The podiatrist will talk to you about possible risks or complications as well. These may include infection, slow healing, limited motion due to scarring or swelling, and the possible return of pain or symptoms associated with your disorder.
Before surgery make sure to have all tests required done, take any medications instructed, do not eat or drink anything after midnight before the day of surgery, arrange for someone to take you home, have ice packs ready and handy, and schedule time off of work if needed.
Your surgery may be done in the office as out-patient, in a same day surgery facility, or in a hospital. Your podiatrist will explain your individual procedure with you making sure you are informed and educated. After surgery you will more than likely experience pain and swelling.
To help alleviate this utilize ice packs, elevation, prescription medication, or over the counter medications. Your incision should be monitored during the healing process. It is important to keep the incision clean and dry. Watch for excessive swelling or bleeding. Call your podiatrists office immediately if you experience excessive pain, cold or blue toes, fever, increased swelling and redness, excessive bleeding, or a painful, warm, swollen calf.
Possibly you may need to wear a cast or a surgical shoe during the healing process, need physical therapy to help regain strength, and use a cane for additional support. Orthotics (custom made inserts for the shoes) may also be used during the healing phase for extra support.
Be sure to follow your podiatrist's instructions following surgery. By taking care of yourself and listening to your body you can return to normal functions in a timely manner.