When Do You Need Surgery?

Dr. Anthony Spitz, DPM

Podiatrist & Ankle and Foot Surgeon located in Wheeling, IL

In most cases, we usually know what to do next. When the alarm clock goes off, we get up. When the traffic light turns green, we speed away. When the microwave dings, dinner is ready. It’s that simple! Even when we get hurt, we normally are aware if we need surgery or if a bandage will do the trick – a broken bone pushing out of your skin, for instance, looks and feels a lot different than a sprain or a scrape.

But sometimes, when it comes to foot and ankle injuries, there can be a lot of gray areas. Some symptoms can be confusing and point to several possibilities – though swelling and bruising may mean that you have suffered a sprain, it can also mean that you have endured a fracture (which is a much more serious condition).

Indeed, symptoms can be somewhat misleading at times, which is why it’s so important that you have your injury professionally evaluated. And that is what we are here for – when you come to our Illinois office, Dr. Anthony Spitz will be able to conduct a thorough assessment of your feet and ankles in order to determine if surgery is actually necessary.

Who knows – maybe conservative treatment methods are really all you need. And the good news is that, in most cases, these non-surgical measures are more than enough to get you back on your feet. Dr. Spitz will exhaust all options before recommending surgery to address your condition. Things like footwear modifications, custom orthotics, stretches, and R.I.C.E. treatment will be tried first, if appropriate (of course, if your injury is more like an exposed fracture, then these methods won’t work, and surgery will be required right away).

Now, if all these conservative steps have failed and were unsuccessful in providing relief, then surgery will be taken into consideration. And if that is the case, you can rest assured that you will be in good hands – Dr. Spitz is board certified in advanced foot and ankle surgical procedures, including minimally invasive surgeries, like HyProCure.

Your Feet and Ankles are Complex

In fact, each of your feet are home to 26 bones and hundreds of blood vessels, ligaments, and tendons. When those lower extremities of the body suffer injury, you may be kept from doing the things you love. Even completing daily routine tasks can be painful. Foot and ankle conditions, like bunions and flat feet, can also be disruptive to your life.

And, unfortunately, foot and ankle problems are more common than you might think. Since they are bearing most of the force impact endured by your body each and every day, your feet and ankles are always at risk of injury. All it takes is a trip, a misstep, or an ill-fitting shoe to cause you to twist, sprain, or even break your foot or ankle. What’s worse, once any of the ligaments and tendons in those areas are damaged, they become looser and more prone to injury in the future.

Some of the most common conditions which often require surgery, include:

  • This condition causes changes in alignment of the joints at the base of the big toe.
  • This develops as a contracture of the toe(s), frequently caused by an imbalance in the tendons or joints of the toe.
  • This is an enlargement of a nerve segment, commonly found between the third and fourth toes.
  • Diabetic ulcers. These are infected and often life – and limb – threatening wounds.
  • Plantar fasciitis.This is an inflammation of the connective tissue between the heel and big toe.

Physical injuries, like fractures and sprains, may also require surgery. And, if left untreated, these problems will likely become worse over time, requiring more intensive care in the end. So it’s important that you become familiar with the signs and symptoms that may indicate you need medical treatment, and possibly surgical intervention.

When Do You Need Surgery?

Well, only when you come in to our office will we be able to determine if surgery is the right option for you. We will examine your foot and ankle, observe your walking gait, and maybe even take some X-rays in order to determine the root cause of the problem. Based on what we find, and if we believe your condition can be treated with conservative steps, we will recommend non-surgical treatment.

Now, if these methods prove ineffective, we can then start considering surgery.

Apart from unresponsiveness to conservative treatment, there are also other things that may make you eligible for surgery, including:

  • Chronic foot and ankle pain.
  • Constant heel pain.
  • Pain with motion.
  • Pain that causes you to limp.
  • Blisters that won’t heal.
  • Worsening deformity.
  • Corns that won’t heal.
  • Negatively affected quality of life.
  • Joint swelling, warmth, and redness.
  • Pain that flares up with vigorous activity.
  • Inability to partake in favorite activities.
  • Tenderness when pressure is applied to the area.
  • Increased pain and swelling in the morning, or after sitting or resting.

If one or more of the symptoms listed above sound familiar to you, then your best course of action is to come visit our Illinois office right away! Ignoring the problem will not make it better – if anything, it will likely become worse over time, requiring more invasive treatment methods to repair the damage.

Advanced Surgical Treatment with Dr. Anthony Spitz, DPM

The bottom line is that your feet and ankles should not be causing you pain. And if you are actually wondering if you need surgery, then that in itself should be enough for you to seek medical advice and treatment.

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