At Gentle Professional Foot Care we know that when we tell patients that they need podiatric surgery there’s bound to be some anxiety and lots of concerns. The best way to be prepared and feel confident about a surgical procedure is by asking questions. Our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, will explain what will take place during surgery and answer any questions you may have. Below is a “cheat sheet” of questions to ask to get all the information ahead of time that you need.
Is surgery the best/only option for my condition at this time? In nearly every case, the foot doctor will try to use the least invasive methods as possible to treat a foot or ankle condition but for certain injuries or when a condition such as a hammertoe or bunion has progressed too far, surgery is necessary. If timing is an issue due to other life events, ask the foot doctor how long you can wait before having the surgery.
Will the surgery completely eliminate my foot pain? Accurate expectations avoid disappointment post surgery. Although exact outcomes are difficult to predict, the foot and ankle surgeon should be able to tell you the expected results of the surgery. Ask if additional treatments, such as physical therapy will be necessary after surgery to complete healing and rehabilitation.
How much discomfort will I be in after the surgery? This is a big question that many patients have. Usually, the foot doctor can tell you what type of pain to expect following surgery. You can inquire what methods will be available to decrease the pain (medication, icing, etc.) ahead of time.
How long will my recovery be? Key questions here are: how long before I can bear weight on the foot that has been operated on? When will I be able to drive, return to work and normal activities? This will help you plan your schedule and also know if you will need additional help at home while you recover. You may need to make modifications to your living space to allow for the use of crutches, a knee scooter or other assistive devices.
A little advance planning can go a long way toward alleviating fears and paving the way for a smooth recovery. If you have other questions or concerns about a foot or ankle surgery, contact our Venice office by calling: 941-493-7999.