4 Signs It’s Time to Talk to Your Doctor About Foot and Ankle Surgery

It’s natural to wonder if our pain is cause to talk to our doctor. Here are 4 signs it might be time to start a conversation.
May 21, 2020 | 3 min read
Christa S. Plew, MBA
Editor-in-Chief

There’s no one factor that ensures foot or ankle surgery is necessary. For some people, the pain is completely debilitating. Others simply want to wear a cute pair of pumps again. Whether you struggle with pain or deformity, here are a few signs that it may be time to start a conversation with your doctor:

1. Your pain is… a pain.

Always getting in the way, your foot pain has no respect for your social life. Kids’ birthday parties. Sunday barbecues. Your annual girls-weekend-shopping-extravaganza. They’re all victims of your aching foot. It rains… your foot hurts. You sleep… your foot hurts. What used to be a minor annoyance seems to have gotten worse. Sometimes you wonder if the pain’s ever going to end. If pain is interfering with your daily activities, talk to your doctor about your options and associated risks. Sometimes, medication or physical therapy can offer enough support to get you comfortable again. If not, it may be time to consider surgery.

2. You have your mother’s blue eyes, spunky attitude, and…arthritis?

While genetics don’t play a sole role in determining whether or not you will struggle with arthritis or whether you’ll end up with a certain deformity, genetics can predispose you to certain conditions. If arthritis, or a deformity, runs in your family, talk to your doctor about your risks and whether or not your foot and ankle pain could be related.

3. The array of shoes lining your closet has severely diminished.

What was once the pinnacle of your closet, your array of shoes has become dismal. Several foot conditions, such as bunions and hammertoes, can limit your options for wearing comfortable, yet fashionable footwear. If you’re tired of hiding your feet and wedging them into the same old pair of sneakers, talk to your doctor about your options.

4. You’ve developed an unintentional swagger.

Painful feet and ankles can affect our ability to move. Constantly pulling at your arms, your kids don’t understand why you can’t keep up. The combination of pain and hustle has created a noteworthy swagger. There are options to get your strut back. Talk to your doctor about what treatments might be right for you.

If any of these scenarios resonate with you, talk to your doctor about your options. Your primary care doctor may refer you to a podiatrist (DPM) or orthopedic surgeon who will help you determine if you’re a candidate for surgery and can discuss any associated risks. They may first suggest alternative, less invasive treatments depending on the condition of your foot. For more information on the risks of foot and ankle surgery, click here.

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