Patients who present to a podiatrist for a pain relieving foot surgery can unfortunately experience complications related to their procedure. Complications after foot surgery are rare, however, patients will all heal their surgical incision differently.
Most patients will have their sutures removed after two week s of recovery and have a scar that follows the path of their surgical incision. Meticulous surgical technique usually results in a very thin scar. Some patients can get thickened scars that grow beyond the border of their original surgical incision, these scars are called keloids.
Who is at risk?
Patients who are most at risk for keloid scars are patients that have a history of previous keloid scars or members of their immediate family who have suffered from this condition. Patients of African descent show a greater incidence of this condition.
Prevention and Treatment
The most important way to prevent keloid scars is to discuss your concerns with your physician. Patients that have a history of keloids or strong family history will have a treatment plan that begins with meticulous surgical dissection. Closure of surgical wounds will be performed in a cosmetic manner. During the recovery process, a compressive dressing will be applied to reduce overgrowth of collagen fibers of which the scar is comprised. Your doctor will also have you apply scar cream to wound several times daily. The most common scar cream is Mederma which is available over the counter. In some cases a specialty compounded scar cream prescription may be dispensed.
In the case of patients who present to office after the keloid has already formed, injection of steroids or application of steroid based cream can be performed to thin scar and reduce discomfort when present.
If you need a foot procedure and are scared of possible keloid formation, let us create a surgical and post-operative plan for your treatment to reduce your risk for this unwanted complication.