No one likes to receive the news that they need surgery. There are many podiatric conditions, however, that can be greatly improved or even completely corrected through a surgical procedure. Some of the more common ones include: toe deformities such as bunions or hammertoes, arthritis, flat feet, heel spurs, Neuromas and fractures. At Central Jersey Ankle & Foot Care Specialists we find the anxiety of surgery can be greatly lessened by providing patients with as much information as possible about the procedure and what they can expect after. Below are some questions to help you get the information you need to feel confident and comfortable with an upcoming surgery:
Where will the surgery take place and what type of anesthesia/sedative will be used? Today, many minor surgeries can be done right in the doctor’s office. Other times a surgical outpatient center or the hospital may be used. You’ll want to know whether you will be unconscious for the surgery or if a local anesthesia will be sufficient. Your doctor will be able to explain the options and best choices for your particular surgery.
What can I expect the day of the surgery? How long does the procedure normally take? Most likely you will need someone to drive you home afterwards. Ask the foot doctor to walk you through the surgery day from the moment you arrive until you are ready to leave.
How long will the recovery take and how much pain will I be in? You will want to know what to expect as far as pain and discomfort and what options will be available to alleviate it—icing, medication, etc. Will you be able to bear weight on your foot immediately following surgery? How long before you can resume regular activities such as driving and going back to work?
Will I need additional therapy or follow up treatment? In many instances the foot doctor can tell you ahead of time if you will need physical therapy and you may even be able to make the first appointment before you go in for your surgery. You’ll also want to find out if you will need crutches, a knee scooter or other special equipment for your recovery. Ask how long you can expect it to take until you are fully recovered.