Things to Know Before Your Foot and Ankle Surgery
If you are suffering from uncomfortable foot or ankle pain, you might need to undergo surgery to find relief. Even though there are other treatment options available, such as regenerative medicine, some severe cases will require surgery. If that is the case, you will need to be prepared for what to expect when undergoing foot or ankle surgery.
There are a number of surgical procedures that are common for foot and ankle pain:
Ankle Fracture Surgery – This surgery helps repair the ankle after a serious injury and corrects a fracture, tibia or fibula. A fixation plate is used to heal the bone. The process does take a few weeks and you will not be allowed to put weight on your ankle or leg for at least 3 weeks and up to 10 weeks. In addition, you might need to wear a cast or boot and possibly attend physical therapy.
Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction – This surgery is used to restore the stability in the ankle. It is an intense surgery, so this is a procedure that you might want to consider after other previous treatments haven’t provided you with any luck. When the ligaments are toned and stretched, this can cause instability and pain. Before moving forward with lateral ankle ligament reconstruction, you will need to undergo 6 months of non-surgical treatments, have x-rays taken, and examine the area thoroughly. A small incision is used on the outside of the ankle and is closed with dissolving stitches. A splint might be used for swelling and then a cast is needed for 3-4 weeks. You will be unable to put weight on it for about 6 weeks and then undergo physical therapy. You can expect 6 to 12 months until full recovery.
Surgery for Achilles Tendon Rupture – A significant injury to the ankle or foot, an Achilles tendon rupture could be causing normal movement to be hard and painful. To restore function of the ankle and foot, you need to repair the ruptured Achilles. To close the incision, sutures are used with surgical staples and bandages. You will need to wear a cast for about 4 to 8 weeks post op, and regarding pressure on the foot, the time will vary. Physical therapy will be needed afterward, and you can expect to return to normal activity about 4 to 6 months post op.
There are other non-surgical options available. It is important to know your options before going under the knife as the risks and recovery time can be extreme. To help with a variety of painful foot and ankle issues, you can find relief and return back to normal activity quickly with regenerative medicine.
Shockwave therapy has been used for over 20 years. If you are suffering from foot or ankle pain, shockwave therapy could be the right option for you. Most cases require 3 individual treatments that are scheduled one week apart. Each session takes only about 5 to 10 minutes. The Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona uses EPAT, Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology, making shockwave therapy an advanced and highly effective treatment that is cleared by the FDA. During shockwave therapy, pressure waves are used to stimulate and enhance blood circulation. This also accelerates the healing process. Shockwave therapy is a great non-invasive treatment option that treats foot and heel pain, Achilles pain, trigger points, and tendon pain. With shockwave therapy, there are virtually no risks or side effects. The results start immediately, and after 4 weeks, over 80 percent of patients have reported being pain-free. Some benefits of shockwave therapy include no anesthesia, no down time, faster healing, no scarring and no risk of infection.
Platelet Rich Plasma – PRP
Another effective non-surgical treatment that enhances the healing of muscles, tendons, and ligaments is PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma). This is the process of using human blood that is spun down and separated, which then produces a concentration of platelets that are above normal values. The extremely rich platelets are then injected back into the injured tissue. Using the patient’s own blood, a centrifuge is used to separate the platelets. PRP is known to promote natural tissue healing and treats common injuries such as tendonitis, foot and ankle injuries, osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, arthritic joints and overuse injuries.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy has been gaining popularity over the years to improve or alleviate foot and ankle pain caused by tendon, ligament, cartilage, injury and decreases inflammation. This type of therapy can help with heel and foot pain, tendonitis, Achilles tendon injury, arthritic joints, and soft tissue injuries. Stem cells can come from an aspiration of bone marrow or a donor. Donor cells are harvested from placental tissues and amniotic fluid. A simple injection of stem cells into the injured foot or ankle does require sedation, but in a comfortable outpatient facility. Stem cells from bone marrow will produce cartilage and is usually used in arthritic conditions or sports injuries. Remarkable results have been found from using stem cell therapy and it only continues to improve.
Prepping for Surgery
Just like when undergoing any surgery, you should know what to expect before making any decisions. Always ask your doctor ahead of time what to expect when it comes to recovery, especially the recovery time. Speak openly about your concerns and never be afraid to ask too many questions. It is important to always listen carefully and follow specific instructions from your doctor for a smooth recovery process with minimal issues. It is also a good idea to have all of your medications ready ahead of time and make sure that you are taking enough time off of work. Prepare your home for your recovery and make sure to have extra help if needed to get around the house or take you to needed appointments.
At Arizona Foot, only the best techniques are offered to provide you with relief from foot or ankle pain. Along with traditional surgery options, Arizona Foot specializes in regenerative medicine. If you are suffering from foot or ankle pain, schedule an appointment with Arizona Foot to find the best solution with only the best equipment.