Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know when it's time for surgery on my foot?

Surgery is usually indicated when we tried conservative therapies and the foot or ankle is not getting better. While most conditions respond to conservative therapy, if you're still having daily pain from your foot or ankle condition, we go ahead with surgery.

2. What is an arthroscopy?

An arthroscopy is a technique used for repairing a joint, using a minimally invasive approach. A small incision, also known as a portal, is used to introduce a camera into the ankle joint to inspect the condition of the joint surface, and surrounding capsule and ligaments. Through a separate portal, we introduced different instruments into the joint, such as shavers or graspers to clean and repair joint structures.

We commonly used arthroscopy on the ankle joint to fix things such as scar tissue, bone spurs, cartilage damage within the joint itself. The benefits of arthroscopy tend to be quicker recovery times, and a faster return to activity

3. Do you offer emergency foot surgeries?

In certain circumstances emergent foot surgery is necessary. These commonly include foot infections and in some instances, trauma. Although we don't actively participate in trauma call, we will make every effort to accommodate urgent needs.

4. Where can I find custom orthotics?

Custom orthotics are medical devices prescribed by physicians. Podiatrists are uniquely qualified to prescribe custom functional foot orthotics, as they have undergone specific biomechanical training, especially as it relates to the lower extremity. A qualified podiatrist can prescribe orthotics that are unique to your foot type and condition.

5. Does diabetes have an effect on my feet?

Diabetes has a significant impact on your feet. Many people already know that diabetes affects your nerves and can cause your feet to go numb. It also can cause your feet to become very dry and the skin to become brittle. In addition to this diabetes affects blood flow to the lower extremity. Each of these problems can lead to breakdown of the skin, diabetic foot ulcerations, infections, and amputations. Your podiatrist is instrumental in keeping your feet protected from these outcomes.

6. How long is the recovery time after a foot surgery?

Recovery after foot surgery can vary significantly depending on the actual procedure performed and on your body's unique physiology. Skin procedures typically take about 2 weeks to heal, or as soft tissue and bone procedures may take weeks or longer to heal. Physical therapy is often utilized after surgery to restore the affected area to full function.

7. What are the stages of recovery after a foot surgery?

Recovery from foot surgery takes place in 4 stages. The first stage, hemostasis, occurs in the operating room and shortly afterwards, where the surgery sites stop bleeding.

The second stage, inflammatory, is a response mediated by your immune system after surgery. This is the stage typically associated with pain and swelling. This stage typically lasts from 2-5 days, and is the time when he will have your foot elevated with frequent icing.

The third stage, or the proliferative stage, is typically the stage we consider the healing stage. During this time, the bones are healing together, the skin is healing together and new cells are being performed at the site of the procedure. The bone typically takes 6-8 weeks for this process and skin typically takes about 2 weeks for this process.

The fourth stage, the maturation or remodeling stage, takes place after the other stages and it is during this time that the tissues regain flexibility and strength. Aggressive rehabilitation is often taking place during this time for joint mobilization.

8. What should I do to speed up the recovery process?

Recovery takes time, but strictly following your doctor's post-operative instructions will help you significantly. Immediately post-operatively and for 3 days and afterward as needed make sure that you are icing and elevating your affected foot as much as possible. Decreasing the swelling will help significantly with pain and throbbing. If you quit smoking prior to surgery, maintain your nicotine free lifestyle. Making sure that you are eating a well-balanced diet will ensure your body has the materials needed to rebuild itself. If you were instructed to use crutches or remain off the foot, do so. Many foot surgeries require non-weight-bearing as an important part of the recovery process.

9. What is a bone spur?

A bone spur is a bony outgrowth either at a joint, secondary to arthritis, or at the insertion of a ligament or tendon into the bone, secondary to tension on the area. Many times a bone spur is a symptom of an underlying condition, rather than the actual cause of pain. X-rays are used a diagnosis bone spur and their associated conditions.

10. What's the difference between a foot fracture and a sprain?

Fractures are what happens when bone breaks. A sprain is a generalized turn for stretching or tearing of soft tissue structures such as ligaments, tendons and muscles. Fractures and sprains are diagnosed with a history, physical exam and in the case of fractures typically x-rays, and in the case of soft tissues, we used ultrasound or MRI if needed. Both require a recovery time, however, depending on the severity, the recovery time may be different and surgery may also be indicated for certain conditions.