How Do I Know If I Need Foot Surgery, and What Should I Expect?

If you have recently injured your foot or suffer from deformities caused by bunions or hammertoes, you may be wondering if you should pursue surgery to fix these conditions. Surgery is a serious and usually the last step for most injuries and deformities, but it may be a permanent fix for your concerns. This guide will walk you through signs that may point to needing surgery as well as what you can expect from foot surgery.

The best way to get an accurate assessment of your status and need for surgery is to talk to a podiatrist. A foot doctor is best qualified to understand your condition and recommend surgery.

How to Know You Need Foot Surgery

There are many types of foot surgery, the most common cases involving bunions or hammertoes. If you have one or more of the five symptoms listed below, you may want to talk to your podiatrist about the possibility of surgery.

  • Chronic ongoing heel, foot, or ankle pain
  • Pain when you move
  • Pain that makes you limp
  • Bunions or hammertoes
  • Foot or ankle pain that keeps you up at night

These conditions could signal a chronic issue that may require surgery to solve. However, this is not always the case. Alternative treatments to surgery could help an untreated injury or pain. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about alternative treatment methods.

What to Expect from Foot Surgery

After-surgery care for podiatric surgery requires considerable patience, below are some of the most common types of foot surgery and the estimated recovery times. Keep in mind that these are for reference only – your particular condition may require more or less time to recover.

  • Toe surgery (including bunions, hammertoes, and claw toes) does not require you to be off your feet completely, but you may not be able to put weight on your toes or the ball of your foot for 5-6 weeks for bunion surgery and 2 weeks for hammertoe surgery.
  • Neuroma surgery requires you to use a post-op shoe until stitches are removed and generally takes about two weeks to heal. In addition, you should regularly move your foot to help the nerves heal.
  • Front arch surgery will take two to four weeks before your foot can bear weight. After eight weeks, you may be able to wear regular footwear.
  • Back arch or ankle surgery requires you to stay off your surgical foot for a minimum of six weeks. After 12 weeks, you may be able to walk normally.
  • Achilles tendon surgery varies, but you can expect at least six weeks to recover after surgery.

We hope that these estimates give you an idea of the seriousness of foot surgery. Talking to your podiatrist is the best way to assess your condition and recovery time accurately.

How to Find a Foot Surgery Doctor in New York City (NYC)

If you have questions about foot surgery or think you may be a candidate, call us today to schedule an appointment. Our experienced staff will help you understand your position and walk you through your treatment options.

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