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 all heal differently.
Most patients will have their sutures removed after about two weeks 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 with darker skin tones 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. If you, or family members, have a history of keloids, we will have a treatment plan that begins with meticulous surgical dissection in place. 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 the 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 may be prescribed.
In the case of patients who come into the office after the keloid has already formed, a steroid injection or the application of steroid-based cream can be performed to thin the scar and reduce discomfort.
If you need a foot procedure and are concerned about possible keloid formation, let us create a surgical and post-operative plan for your treatment to reduce your risk for this unwanted complication.