Am I ready for surgery yet? Seems like such an easy question to answer huh? Actually, unless it is something obvious like getting your foot stuck in a lawn mower or shattering your ankle putting up Christmas lights, this question is a little more challenging.
Some important questions to ask yourself:
- Do I have pain nearly on a daily basis? Having pain more often than not is a red flag. If your answer is yes, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need surgery, but it does mean you may have let your condition drag out longer in hopes that it would get better on its own.
- Is it difficult to find shoes that are comfortable? This is a "biggie" if the only shoes you can wear is a sandal and fall is quickly approaching!
- Am I unable to perform my day to day activities because of the pain? A good example of this, and one I hear often, is not being able to exercise because of the pain. The lack of exercising causes weight gain and your foot or ankle pain gets worse because of it!
- Have you ever seen anyone about your pain? It is surprising to me how many people I see on their first visit wondering when they can be scheduled for surgery without their ever having seen a podiatrist!
- Have you seen a podiatrist yet to even be evaluated? If you think you are ready, that is a most important step (no pun intended!). There are a number of conditions that we can treat conservatively. We will be able to tell you how serious your condition is and whether or not you can hold off from doing anything as drastic as surgery.
- Is my pain severe enough that I am willing to risk the potential post-operative complications to have a chance of relief? This may be the hardest question to answer. There is no guarantee when it comes to surgery. You have to be willing to accept the risks involved. After you have run the gamut of conservative treatment options with your podiatrist and understand not only what your surgery would entail, but also what complications could occur post operatively, hopefully, this question will be easier to answer.
Unfortunately, we abuse our feet to no end. When they start to hurt, we should not ignore them hoping it will all go away. That is like hoping that cavity in your tooth will magically heal itself! The real message here is getting to your podiatrist before things get this bad.
Be assured that if surgery becomes our only answer, our goals for surgery are the same. We want to eliminate pain. We want to restore function. Simply stated, we want to make your feet happy again!