Do you have questions about foot surgery? We have answers.
Do you have questions about foot surgery? Tanglewood Foot Specialists provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about foot surgery. If you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your condition, call Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider at (713) 785-7881.
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Do I need to get my foot surgery done in a hospital?
Most elective surgery that we do in our Houston foot and ankle practice is not done in a hospital setting. I've found it much more efficient and comfortable for my patients to do their surgery in an outpatient surgical center in the Houston area. All they do is outpatient surgery so we know our case won't get "bumped" by an emergency which can happen in hospitals.
Outpatient surgery centers are held to the same levels of sterility as hospitals are, but are typically run more efficiently. They also usually have the most updated Equipment available. You'll be comfortable with their friendly staff throughout your experience at the center. We also do minor surgeries, such as ingrown toenail procedures and skin biopsies, in the office.
Do you do foot surgery in the office?
I limit the surgery performed in my Houston podiatry office to ingrown toenail procedures and biopsies of skin lesions. These are simple soft tissue procedures that are comfortably done under local anesthesia.
More complex surgical procedures, such as hammertoe and bunion correction, require more advanced equipment. They are longer procedures so my patients are more comfortable with sedation during the surgery. Finally, any surgery involving bone should be performed in a completely sterile environment. For these reasons, I choose to bring most of my patients requiring surgery to a Houston outpatient surgical center.
When is foot surgery the right choice?
Surgery should always be the treatment of last resort after more conservative methods of treatment are attempted and fail. There are times, however when I recommend surgery early in the treatment.
If a foot condition makes wearing a shoe impossible or too painful, there is little that can be done outside of surgery to correct such a problem. Other times patients visit my Houston practice and already have exhausted the conservative options and proceeding with surgery is appropriate.
Most importantly, don't let the fear of surgery stop you from pursuing relief from your foot pain. In most cases, there are plenty of treatments that will be effective before surgery is ever entertained.
Will foot surgery solve my problem completely?
If foot surgery does not solve the problem at hand, I will not recommend it. Whether it solves the issue completely is complex issue and depends on the problem that is being surgically corrected.
Some surgeries, for instance for a Morton's neuroma, involves complete surgical correction. A neuroma is a painful enlargement of a nerve that causes ball of foot pain. Surgical correction in an outpatient Houston surgery center involves removal of the enlarged segment of nerve. Because the neuroma is fully removed, the correction of the problem is essentially complete.
Other surgeries, such as for a bunion or hammertoe, are slightly different. The bunion or hammertoe forms as a result of a mechanical instability. Surgery to correct these issues are addressing the result of the instability, but not the instability itself. Even though the surgery will realign the bones and fully correct the deformity of the foot, the correction will not be complete and will be at risk for the bunion or hammertoe to return. Complete correction will involve the use of a custom orthotic after surgery to balance the faulty mechanics that originated the problem.
Who is best qualified to do my foot surgery?
A podiatrist is a highly-trained foot and ankle specialist who has completed four years of medical school with a hospital-based residency afterwards. The foot is a highly specialized organ and must be able to carry your weight after the surgery. A podiatrist is also experts in foot function, called biomechanics, to ensure that your foot will be the most functional after surgery.
When patients come in to our Houston podiatry office asking about foot surgery, we may discover that surgery may not be the best solution for the problem. However, when surgery is the best or only answer for their foot problem, they are confident knowing that the realistic expectations set for them, will lead to the problem being solved and a bright future without foot pain.