Foot & Ankle Surgery FAQs
When you live in constant pain, you have questions about what causes your pain and how you can get the relief you crave. Get the answers you need from our podiatrists and physical therapists.
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Can I straighten out a hammertoe?
Hammertoes are common conditions that can be straightened out with treatment. Most treatment for this minor deformity is conservative. Since painfully bent toes are often related to wearing tight shoes, you may need to change your footwear to roomier, more supportive styles. Orthotics may help if arch trouble is contributing to the problem. Stretches or exercises can help as well by loosening tightened tendons and strengthening the foot overall. Special pads can alleviate rubbing or pressure on the bent joint.
If the hammertoe is too rigid and doesn’t improve with noninvasive measures, your joint might need to be straightened surgically. The extent of the surgery will depend on how severe your condition is. It might involve releasing or moving tightened tendons, or cutting and moving bone tissue in your fixed joint. Ultimately how your hammertoe gets straightened out will depend on your unique feet and situation. Our experts at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will help you determine the best way to care for your bent digit. Contact our offices in Castle Pines, Parker, and Cherry Creek, CO, for more information or an evaluation today. Simply call (303) 805-5156 or use our website contact forms.
How can I prepare my child for foot surgery?
Preparing your child for foot surgery is important—when your child knows what to expect, he or she is more likely to remain calm, making the procedure and the recovery easier. Talk with your child and his or her doctor about why the surgery is necessary and just what it will do for his or her feet. There will be plenty of pre-operative tests and a discussion with an anesthesiologist about the anesthesia your child will need and the pain relief afterward, as well. Through all of this, answer your child’s questions in an age-appropriate way while remaining calm, so your child feels reassured.On the day of the surgery, have your child wear loose-fitting pants or shorts that won’t get in the way of the protective boot he or she may need to wear afterward. Stay relaxed and help your child remain comfortable through the check-in and procedure prep, especially with any needles involved. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will take good care of your child and do our very best to make sure he or she is comfortable through the whole experience. For more information, contact us online or by calling (303) 805-5156 to reach our Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, or Parker, CO, offices.
How soon can I walk after bunion surgery?
When you can walk after bunion surgery depends on many different factors, including how serious your bunion was and the specific procedure done to correct it. Immediately after the surgery, you’ll wear a special boot or a cast to protect the newly corrected forefoot. Putting full weight on that foot right after the procedure risks damaging the bones, which could potentially cause the problem to reoccur in the future. However, not everyone needs a full cast and crutches, either.
The simpler the bunion and the procedure, the sooner you can walk on that foot again. Some situations can allow partial weight-bearing afterward, so you may be able to walk for short periods of time, particularly with assistance. More advanced and complicated bunion surgeries will need full cast and crutches; it may be several weeks before you can even start to walk on that foot again. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will discuss all of this and your full recovery with you before you have your surgery. Contact us for more information or for a bunion appointment today. You can reach our Parker, Cherry Creek, and Castle Pines, CO, offices online or by calling (303) 805-5156.
How can I prepare for bunion surgery?
If you are to the point that you are ready for bunion surgery, proper preparation it important. First, you’ll need to have your bunion carefully evaluated with X-rays or other diagnostic images to determine how serious the damage is and consider the type of surgery that will be best for you. During this time, our experts at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will also discuss your expectations and what will happen during and after the procedure.
Depending on your current health, you may need a physical exam from your primary care physician to determine if it’s safe for you to have surgery. This extra step is common for patients living with heart or lung conditions. Before the procedure, you may have to stop taking some regular medications. You might need to arrange for a driver to take you to and from your appointment on the day of your surgery as well. We will discuss all of these preparations, as well as any others you may need, in more detail with you at your pre-surgery appointments. Contact our offices in Cherry Creek, Castle Pines, and Parker, CO, for more information about bunion surgery. You can reach us online, or by calling (303) 805-5156.
When is bunion surgery necessary?
There are plenty of conservative bunion treatments you can try to ease your bunion pain -- from footwear with deep and wide toe boxes, to custom orthotics, splints and spacers, and even exercises. However, if you have exhausted these options and still can’t find relief for your bunion pain and symptoms, that is a sure sign it’s time to consider bunion surgery. Other signs a surgical procedure has become necessary to maintain a good quality of life include:
- Persistent pain
- Increased size of bony protrusion
- Difficulty walking or wearing shoes
- The pain is forcing you to alter or give up activities
- The joint is stiffening and causing balance issues
- The big toe is drifting so far over that it is overlapping or causing friction with the second toe
When you start noticing these symptoms, and they are only getting worse, it’s time to give us a call and discuss your surgical options. We will help you determine which procedure best suits your needs and lifestyle, and get you back to the pain-free days you thought were long gone! Schedule an appointment by dialing (303) 805-5156 or by using our online contact form. When you’re ready for bunion surgery, you can count on us.
How long is the recovery time for bunion surgery?
Recovery time for bunion surgery will depend on exactly what procedure is done. There are many variations—from repairing soft tissues like tendons and ligaments to total reconstruction of the big toe joint.
For the first 2 weeks, recovery involves dressing care, keeping stitches dry, and keeping weight off your foot. You will likely use crutches and wear a protective boot during this time for protection.
Your foot continues to heal over the next 4 to 6 weeks. Any pins will be removed between 3 and 6 weeks after surgery. You may need a walking cast, splint, or special shoes when you begin putting weight on the foot. You might be able to switch to roomy athletic shoes at about 5 or 6 weeks. Serious surgeries could mean no weight-bearing for 6 to 8 weeks, and only partially for a few more weeks after that.As you can see, immediate healing can take 6 to 8 weeks, and full recovery will be several months. If you are considering surgery for your bunion and need more information, call Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Colorado at (303) 805-5156 to set up an appointment at our Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, or Parker, CO office today.
What should I do after foot surgery?
Once your foot surgery is finished, your post-op foot care will be extremely important. Aftercare allows your tissues to heal effectively, manages your pain, prevents injury or infection, and restores your lower limbs to full strength. You might need to avoid all weight-bearing for a period of time. You will use crutches, a knee scooter, or other walking aid that can help you maintain some mobility without your recovering foot ever touching the ground. Once your tissues have healed enough to handle pressure, you’ll slowly begin putting your foot back on the ground and reintroducing body weight to it. Then you’ll start physical therapy to regain your range of motion and foot strength.
How long all of this will take depends entirely on the damage being repaired, the type of surgery, your personal health and fitness, and how well you follow post-op aftercare instructions. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, and Parker, CO, will help you through your entire recovery process. If you’re concerned about caring for your feet after surgery, let us know. Call (303) 805-5156 to reach us, or use our website request page ask for more information.
What do I do about a swollen ankle after surgery?
Developing a swollen ankle or a swollen foot after surgery is normal, but can be concerning. Excessive edema is uncomfortable and contributes to a variety of complications, including an incision breakdown or an inefficient or incomplete healing in the tissues. To prevent this, you’ll need to minimize any swelling or bruising in your lower limbs by taking care of your feet right after surgery.
There are several ways to minimize swelling and bruising. Some of the most effects methods make up RICE therapy: rest, ice, compress, and elevate. Rest your foot or ankle from all activities and ice it regularly to reduce inflammation. If it’s safe to do so, wrap it in a compression bandage to keep fluid from pooling in your soft tissues. Elevate your limb on pillows above the level of your heart to keep gravity from pulling fluid into your soft tissues, too. Our staff might recommend anti-inflammatory medications as well to reduce your discomfort and swelling.
Let us help you through every stage of your surgery, including your recover. Call Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Castle Pines and Parker, CO, for an appointment at (303) 805-5156. You can also use our website.
Are all bunion procedures painful?
The amount of postoperative pain and discomfort depends on the type of procedure performed as well as the extent of the deformity that is being corrected. Simply removing part of the protrusion may not involve a lot of pain. The more displaced the toe is, though, the more difficult it is to get things lined up properly again. Cutting and realigning bones is a more complicated surgery and your recovery may be more painful.
At Podiatry Associates, PC we strive to correct your bunion deformity with the appropriate procedure that will provide the most ideal results and the least amount of pain. Call 303-805-5156 to set up a consultation at our Castle Pines, Cherry Creek in Denver, or Parker, CO location, and we will help you determine the right course for you.
Do I need hammertoe surgery?
Hammertoe is a deformity in the basic structure of your toes. This musculoskeletal imbalance causes your toes to become elevated and bony. As a result, you may have severe pain, especially when you walk or put on your shoes.
Hammertoe can be caused by a number of things. The most common is genetics. Wearing comfortable shoes that allow you enough room so that you can easily wiggle your toes can help prevent pain from this deformity.
Your friend is right that if you do have hammertoe, getting hammertoe surgery may help reduce the pain you feel. Here are a few examples of when surgery may be the right option:
- Your pain interferes with your regular activities, and nonsurgical treatments such as wearing orthotics have not helped.
- Your foot is severely deformed preventing you to do daily activities.
- You have a fixed toe joint deformity.
The best way to determine whether surgery is right for you is to contact a foot and ankle surgeon. At Podiatry Associates, we’ve helped others overcome the pain they feel from hammertoe deformities. We know what to look for and how to determine whether surgery is right for you, or if other treatment options may be able to help.
Call us today at 303-805-5156 to schedule your appointment at our Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, or Parker, CO office locations.