Our receptionists will be happy to help you schedule a time most convenient for you. If, for any reason, you cannot keep a scheduled appointment or will be delayed, please call as soon as possible. Charges may be incurred for appointments cancelled less than 24 hours before scheduled appointment time.
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your first visit to allow ample time to check-in.
We are a smoke-free facility
1. Should I have surgery to fix my foot or ankle problem?
The decision to have foot or ankle surgery is a complex one, as recovering from foot or ankle surgery could require non-weight bearing on the involved extremity for up to several months, followed by a short period of time in a walking cast. Driving and employment limitations may effect your normal lifestyle significantly. However, surgery does provide acceptable pain relief and return to function, and is especially useful for treating conditions that have not responded to non-surgical methods, especially when there is bone, joint, ligament or tendon damage.
2. Why do the foot and ankle take so long to heal?
The foot is the first structure to hit the ground with weight bearing. Because the foot has to disperse greater force than any other joint in the body, it takes a long time to be able to efficiently manage this after surgery.
3. How well does surgery work?
Foot and ankle surgery works very well when the correct procedures are chosen for specific problems. The more we focus on pain relief as our primary reason for surgical intervention, the higher chance of success. Patient satisfaction after foot and ankle surgery is well over 90 percent.
4. Are there complications of foot and ankle surgery?
No surgical procedure is without complications, but most complications are minor and do not effect the final outcome. These include swelling, numbness, excessive scar tissue, superficial infections and acute pain. Complications that can affect the final outcome of surgery include, but are not limited to continued pain, worsened pain, recurrence of the problem or deformity, delayed or non-union of bone correction and hardware failure.
The three most potentially devastating complications following surgery are Osteomyelitis (bone infection), DVT (blood clot), and CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). We do have standard procedures in place to quickly recognize and treat these complications when they arise so long-term complications can be minimized.
5. How much pain am I going to have?
Generally, foot and ankle surgery is not tremendously painful provided you follow postoperative instructions. A numbing medicine is placed around your ankle or foot after surgery and you may not have any pain for four to 24 hours after surgery. Also, the more you have your foot elevated above heart level after surgery, the better you will feel. We give painkilling medications after surgery, but most people do not need to use these medications longer than a week.
6. Can I shower or bathe after surgery?
For most procedures you cannot get your surgical site wet until the stitches are removed, which is usually done 14 to 21 days after surgery. There is a special bag we dispense to keep your leg protected while showering or bathing after surgery. If there is external hardware, you cannot get your foot wet until the hardware is removed, usually about six weeks after the procedure. After the stitches and/or hardware are removed, we require that you avoid soaking your foot in a hot tub, bathtub or swimming pool for a few days.
7. Will I have a cast?
That depends on the procedure. Some procedures only require a protective shoe postoperatively -which you will be provided with. Other procedures require a postoperative cast for one to two weeks, followed by a removable walking cast for protection. The removable walking cast (boot) is then worn for protection during the remaining period of non-weight bearing, and then used as protection to transition from non-weight bearing to weight bearing.
8. Can I drive after surgery?
If you require an anesthetic other than a local or are on narcotics, you will need someone to bring you to your surgery and take you home. You should avoid driving for the first 24 hours after surgery no matter what was done. After that, driving depends on your transmission and which foot was operated on. If you have a manual transmission, you cannot drive during the entire non-weight bearing period. If you have an automatic transmission, you may drive if your left side was operated on. If your right side is operated on, you should not drive during the entire non-weight bearing period, which may be an extended period of time. If you absolutely have to drive after right foot surgery, there are left foot accelerators that you can install so you can drive.
9. How much time do I have to take off work?
This depends on your job. If your job can accommodate non-weight-bearing, then you can usually return to work three to five days after surgery, depending on pain. If your job will not accommodate non-weight bearing, you will have to be off of work during this period and need to have modified duties when you return and until you are out of your protective boot.
10. Is physical therapy necessary?
Physical therapy (PT) is patient and procedure-specific. Usually, PT is necessary for major reconstructive procedures and in situations where transient complications, such as excessive scar tissue or stiff joints occur.
11. What kind of anesthesia is involved?
Anesthesia is based on the length of procedure, type of tourniquet used and your anesthesia wishes. There are many options for anesthesia, which include local anesthesia, regional blocks (popliteal/spinal) or general anesthesia. All local and regional anesthesias are accompanied by conscious sedation so that you are unaware of the procedure. Our primary goal is to provide you the safest, pain-free anesthesia.
12. What is a tourniquet?
A tourniquet is a cuff that is placed around your ankle or thigh during surgery to stop the blood flow to your leg. This allows us to be more efficient. A tourniquet is safe for up to two hours and can be deflated and reinflated for longer cases.
13. Will I be admitted to the hospital?
Unless your surgery is done on an emergent basis, there is a significant complication, or you have an extensive procedure, you will not be admitted to the hospital. Most surgeries are done on an outpatient basis and you can go home the same day as your surgery.
14. Will my insurance pay for surgery?
Most foot and ankle surgery is considered elective but because we are doing it to reduce pain and dysfunction, most insurance plans have good coverage for elective foot and ankle surgery. We do not know the intricacies of each individual insurance plan; therefore, it is up to you to determine whether your insurance will pay for your surgery. We can provide you with procedure codes to give to your insurance company and you can contact our billing department to find out how much we will charge your insurance for certain procedures. In addition to surgeon's fees, there are anesthesia fees and facility fees that come with using the operating room.
15. Who do I call after surgery if I have questions?
Your surgeon will be available to answer any questions you have after surgery and will give you information on how to contact him or her for questions. There is always a physician on call for our patients.
1. What is an orthotic?
An orthotic is an insert, either soft or firm, which replaces the insole of your sneaker. Orthotics can be expensive; therefore, we recommend not spending much more than $60 on an over-the-counter orthotic. We carry affordable over-the-counter inserts that are $40 or less.
First, orthotics help disperse forces across your foot so one specific area of the foot is not getting overloaded.
Second, orthotics help slow down pathologic motion, such as overpronation or oversupination.
Third, orthotics improve what is called proprioception, which is your foot's awareness of its position in relation to the ground. This is a subconscious, neurological pathway, which probably contributes to why orthotics usually feel good when you put them in your shoes.
3. Do I need a custom orthotic?
Although over-the-counter orthotics work, custom orthotics work better and are more comfortable; therefore, we use them when over-the-counter orthotics fail to relieve symptoms. Custom orthotics are made out of higher-grade materials that last longer and are more expensive. When a custom orthotic is necessary, it is crucial that a podiatrist is involved, as the wrong type of orthotic can actually make people feel worse or even cause a different problem.
4. How long do orthotics last?
This depends on the type of activity and the material that the orthotic is made from. The more running one does, the quicker the orthotic will wear out. Over-the-counter orthotics typically last about one year. Custom orthotics usually last three to five years – sometimes longer. With children, we usually replace orthotics every two shoe sizes, depending on comfort.