Should I have Foot Surgery?

Anthony Robinson13th of December 2018www.completepodiatry.com.au / blog / family-advice / should-i-have-foot-surgery

Should I Have Foot Surgery?

Foot surgery has the potential to greatly improve your life and, potentially, significantly change it for the worse.

Forever.

Here are the things anyone considering foot surgery needs to know before going ahead with the operation.

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One of the most common questions we are asked in our clinic is “should I have foot surgery?”

Having foot surgery is a big decision to make.

Even with the best surgeon in the best hospital with the best nurses, there is always a chance things might go wrong.

The human foot is a very complex structure and while there are some amazing Orthopaedic and Podiatric Surgeons in practice that can deliver incredible surgical outcomes, sometimes surgery may not go as planned.

Try all conservative options first

There are many conservative care options we can help you with before considering foot surgery.

The great thing about conservative treatments is that they are all reversible whereas, once you have surgery, you will never be able to go back to the way you were before the surgery.

Before committing to surgery, try these simple changes:

  • Change your shoes to something more appropriate
  • Use appropriately designed orthoses to reduce stress in painful joints, bones or ligament
  • Build strength in the muscles in the feet and legs
  • Mobilise the joints to get everything working as well as it can.

Once you have tried all conservative option, the choice to have surgery is often much clearer.  

Get a 2nd or 3rd opinion

I am often amazed that if we need to have major work done on our cars we wouldn't think twice about checking out a few repairers to see who we feel most confident with.

Unfortunately though, when we are referred for foot surgery, our GPs usually give us one referral to see one surgeon who expects to perform the surgery.

I have had clients proceed with surgery even though they didn’t feel comfortable or feel they didn't get enough information from their surgeon.

Crazy isn't it?!?

We always advise our clients to consult with a couple of surgeons before going ahead with foot surgery.

Firstly, to see if they are all giving you the same advice and secondly, to see who you feel you can talk to and feel most comfortable with.

Discuss your expectations with your surgeon and Podiatrist

Discussing the expectations of your surgery is very important.

No one will be happy if you think you will be able to run a marathon in 4 weeks and your surgeon thinks you just might be able to start running again in 6 months.

You both need to be on on the same page with the potential outcome of the surgery to ensure you feel satisfied after the surgery.

Ask lots of questions

  • How long do you need to be off your feet for after the surgery?  
  • What are you allowed to do in the first few days after the operation?
  • How much pain can you expect?
  • When can you return to work?
  • When can you drive again or return to sport?  
  • What sort of postoperative rehabilitation does your surgeon recommend?
  • What are the options if things go wrong?

Ask lots of questions to give you the best idea of what to expect after the surgery.

When to have surgery

Choosing to have foot surgery is all about weighing up the potential benefits versus the potential risks.

Ask yourself the following questions when you are considering foot surgery:

  1. Can I walk normally and exercise with minimal discomfort?
  2. Can I find shoes to fit my feet properly and keep them comfortable?
  3. Can I perform my normal activities without pain?
  4. Are my Podiatrist’s conservative foot care options still helping to keep my feet comfortable?

If you answer no to one or a number of the above questions, maybe it is time to consider foot surgery.

I'm so confident I can help you that I'd love to chat with you personally about your potential foot surgery, it's what I'm passionate about!

Just enter your details in the field below and a rough time that you'd like me to contact you & I'll be more than happy to explain how we can help you BEFORE you need to have foot surgery!

Yours in helping to build healthy families, from the feet up

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Anthony Robinson

Complete Podiatry, Owner and Principal Podiatrist

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