FAQs

Is it important to use sunscreen on my feet?

Yes, sunscreen is not only important on your face, arms, and legs, but on your feet as well!

Do I need surgery?

The doctor will examine you, go over your full medical and surgical history, and discuss any conservation treatment you are currently working on to resolve your issues.  Once assessed, the doctor will inform & educate you as to the treatment plan he feels is the best option.

What if surgery is suggested but I am not sure if I want it ?

We feel that an educated person makes the best patient. We are more than happy to see you if you are coming  to our practice for a second opinion, or if you are a current patient and want a second opinion from another source.  We want you to be comfortable with the decisions you are making for your health and well-being.

Let’s say I decide on having surgery with Highlands, what then?

The surgical coordinator will schedule all the needed appointments, contact your insurance company, and mail or e-mail a surgical packet to you with all the information. All you need to do is make a decision on the surgery date, show up to all your appointments, and follow the post operative instructions that your surgeon gives you.  That is it – it is that simple.

What is Podiatric Surgery?

Podiatric surgery differs from other surgical procedures because of the special characteristics and functions of the lower extremity. In addition to supporting your weight, the foot is subjected to repeated abuse with each step. Providing immediate treatment and preserving the best function possible are key factors in podiatric surgery.

Why surgery?

Conservative treatment of many foot and ankle problems often produces temporary relief of pain. If pain persists, surgery is sometimes the more definitive answer to a persistent problem and the best way to prevent more serious conditions. On the other hand, surgery is not always the best approach for all patients.  The doctor at Highlands Foot & Ankle can tell if you are or are not a surgical candidate for your individual foot and ankle conditions.

Does foot surgery require hospitalization?

Not usually. Some minor surgical procedures may be performed in the office, others will be performed in an outpatient surgical center or one of the local hospitals, but very few will require an overnight hospital stay.  The doctors at Highlands Foot & Ankle are well qualified to discuss the needs of your particular case. Surgery may be performed under local anesthesia or with light sedation administered by a trained anesthesia specialist.  Our doctors will advise you on the best postoperative care, so that your recovery will be rapid and as comfortable as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bunion Surgery

  1. Are bunions hereditary? Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanic structure of the foot. It is not the bunion itself that is inherited, but certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion.

  2. Do over-the-counter pads and splints really work? Pads placed over the area of the bunion may help minimize pain from a bunion. However, padding and splinting cannot reverse a bunion deformity.

  3. Will my bunion get worse? Because bunions are progressive, they don’t go away, and will usually get worse over time. But not all cases are alike. Some bunions progress more rapidly than others.

  4. Is it better to have it fixed now, or should I wait? When the pain of a bunion interferes with daily activities, it’s time to discuss surgical options with your foot and ankle surgeon. Together you can decide if surgery is best for you.

  5. How can I avoid surgery? Sometimes observation of the bunion is all that’s needed. A periodic office evaluation and x-ray examination can determine if your bunion deformity is advancing, thereby reducing your chance of irreversible damage to the joint. In many other cases, however, some type of treatment is needed, such as changes in shoes, padding, activity modifications, pain medications, icing, injection therapy, and orthotic devices.

  6. Will my insurance company pay for a portion of the surgery? In most cases, yes.

  7. Is the surgery painful? The amount of pain experienced after bunion surgery is different from one person to the next. Most patients will experience discomfort for three to five days. If you closely follow your surgeon’s instructions, you can help minimize pain and swelling after your bunion surgery.

  8. What type of anesthesia is involved? Most bunion surgeries involve local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. That means your foot will be numb and you will be given medications to relax you during the procedure.

  9. If I need surgery, how long will recovery take? The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed. Your foot and ankle surgeon will provide you with detailed information about your recovery.

  10. Will I be able to walk normally, or even exercise and run, after healing from bunion surgery? In most cases, yes.

  11. How soon can I walk after surgery? It depends on your bunion and the surgical procedure selected for you.

  12. How soon can I go back to work after surgery? The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.

  13. How soon can I drive after surgery? The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.

  14. Can the bunion come back? Yes, there is a risk for bunion recurrence in some cases. Patients can help prevent this by following their doctor’s instructions to wear arch supports or orthotics in their shoe.

  15. If screws or plates are implanted in my foot to correct my bunion, will they set off metal detectors? Not usually. It can depend on the device chosen for your procedure, as well as how sensitive the metal detectors are.

What are some questions I should remember to ask my podiatric surgeon about potential bunion surgery?

If you’re considering bunion surgery, here are some questions to ask your foot and ankle surgeon. As a patient at Highlands Foot & Ankle, you are part of the health care team.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Informed patients make informed decisions. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the doctors at Highlands Foot & Ankle Surgery encourage you to print these questions and take them with you.

  1. Do I need bunion surgery right now?

  2. What happens if I wait a while?

  3. What procedure are you recommending, and why?

  4. What are the alternatives to surgery?

  5. How successful is bunion surgery?

  6. What are the risks?

  7. Should I get a second opinion?

  8. What is your training and experience to do this procedure?

  9. Where will the procedure be done?

  10. What kind of anesthesia will I need?

  11. How long will it take me to recover?

  12. Will my insurance cover this procedure?

  13. How will you make sure you operate on the correct foot?

What are the best running shoes?

Looking for the best running shoes to fit your needs? Whether you need more support, more durability, or more savings, our doctors have the right recommendations for your running shoes, as well as custom orthotics and their importance.

What is the difference between tendonitis and bursitis?

Tendonitis and bursitis are two medical diagnoses. They are often related, and often used interchangeably, but they are different problems. Both tendonitis and bursitis involve inflammation, but they involve different structures.

How long does it take a cortisone injection to take effect?

A cortisone shot starts to work very quickly once injected, although the time it takes to feel relief from your symptoms can vary. Most people find that relief begins within 48 to 72 hours after the injection.

What is an Achilles Tendon Rupture?

An Achilles Tendon Rupture occurs when the tendon attaching the calf muscle to the heel is ruptured. This is a common injury, most often seen in middle-age, male, “weekend warriors.”

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Rupture?

An Achilles Tendon Rupture is a traumatic injury that causes sudden pain behind the ankle. Patients may hear a ‘pop’ or a ‘snap,’ and will almost always say they feel as though they have been kicked in the heel (even though no one has kicked them). Patients have difficulty pointing their toes downward, and may have swelling and bruising around the tendon.

What should I do to avoid pain or swelling if I hurt myself?

R  rest

I   ice

C  compression

E  elevation