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What Do Podiatric Foot and Ankle Surgeons Treat?
Foot and ankle surgeons treat a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions:
• Structural conditions
• Trauma-related injuries
• Skin and nail conditions
• Congenital deformities
Foot and ankle surgeons are uniquely qualified to detect the early stages of diseases that exhibit warning signs in the lower extremities, as well as manage those foot conditions which can pose an ongoing threat to a patient’s overall health. Such illnesses include diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
In general an Orthopedist who specializes in Foot and Ankle surgery complete a general residency in Orthopedics and a 1 year fellowship in Foot and Ankle Surgery.
Prior to Surgery
• Arrange for a ride home.
• Do not plan on any long trips for at least two weeks after surgery.
• If you have significant medical problems, you may need medical clearance through your Primary Care Physician (PCP) since they know the most about your medical history. Schedule a history and physical with your PCP, no more than 30 days prior to surgery.
• If you live alone, it is best to arrange for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours.
• Wash your foot the night before and morning of surgery to reduce bacterial count.
• Stop using anti inflammatory medication 5 – 7 days before surgery (examples: aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil and Aleve).
• If you are taking any blood thinners, such as Coumadin, we will need to determine whether you can just stop the medication or go on a shorter acting blood thinner prior to surgery.
• Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery.
Day of Surgery
Surgery is performed in the hospital or a multispecialty surgery center. Most foot and ankle surgeries are day surgeries and you will go home the day of surgery. You will generally be given a local anesthetic and anesthesia per your Anesthesiologist. You will be constantly monitored by an Anesthesiologist. You will speak with the Anesthesiologist prior to your procedure and he/she will help you choose the best anesthesia based on your medical health and complexity of your case. Anesthetic choices are typically local anesthetic with sedation, general anesthesia and spinal anesthetic. Most forefoot cases can be performed with local anesthesia and sedation.
After surgery you will possible be given a long acting anesthetic. You will also receive pain medication. You will need to arrange for a ride home. Patients are not allowed to drive home on the day of surgery.
Recovery from surgery
Weight bearing on your foot depends on your procedure. A head procedure allows for immediate weight bearing but we still feel that it is best to use crutches for 1-2 weeks. Base procedures require crutches for a longer period of time.
• First week after surgery keep your foot elevated as much as possible.
• Keep your foot dry for at least 2 weeks after surgery.
• One week after surgery you will have your dressing changed.
• Second week after surgery your sutures will be removed.
The Doctor will advise you when you can increase weight bearing and activities depending on your surgical procedure.
Best results are achieved when patients are compliant with after surgery instructions.
If you have any questions after surgery always feel free to call .