Surgery is not something many ever look forward to going through. We will never blame you if we tell you foot surgery may be your best option and you are not overflowing with joy.
However, we would never suggest a surgical procedure unless more conservative methods of treating your specific problem have not worked, or it is clear from the start that they would have little to zero effect. We also would not be considering surgery if we did not have assurance that the benefits of undergoing such a procedure would outweigh the inconveniences and potential risks of doing it in the first place.
Even when you can expect to be feeling a lot more comfortable and mobile following foot surgery, you still must deal with a not-so-ideal recovery period. How long this is and what you experience during it will largely depend upon what type of surgery you had and any factors that influenced it.
A concern or fear of post-surgical pain is completely normal, but it is not something you should let interfere with a plan to provide you much longer lasting relief. However, questions and concerns about pain is also not something you should feel you must remain silent and stoic about.
At our practice, our care for patients does not end once surgery is complete. We also provide care following surgery, and proper treatment of pain is one way we try to keep you as comfortable as possible.
In fact, that care starts before the surgery.
Planning to Treat Pain and Discomfort
Before any type of foot surgery, we must review your medical history, potentially run tests, and determine any factors that might interfere with or disqualify you from the procedure.
This is also the perfect time to address any questions or concerns you may have with post-surgical pain or discomfort. If there may be any factors we will need to address that aren’t part of testing, it is best we know about them now than after the surgery.
The following are some pieces of information we may want to know:
- Are you currently taking any supplements or other medications? We do not want to have any potential pain medications we prescribe to have detrimental interactions.
- Do you have sleep apnea or other conditions that might be affected by certain medications?
- Where will you be recovering? Is it easy to access? Will you be able to limit movement as needed?
- Do you have any history or concerns whatsoever concerning addiction to pain medication?
In regard to that last question, a past addiction is not something you should be ashamed of or feel you need to hide. Having this knowledge will help us ensure a treatment plan that is as safe and comfortable for you as possible.
And here are a couple questions you should feel welcome to ask us, if we have not already provided such information:
- How much pain should I expect to feel in the days or weeks following this procedure?
- How long should I expect pain to last? When may I expect to start feeling things improve?
For both above questions, everyone experiences pain a bit differently. However, there are still generally expected levels of discomfort that can serve as a good guideline. If pain is lasting longer or is more intense than expected, that is a good reason to let us know.
And, of course, if you have further questions related to pain, please do not hesitate to ask us.
Managing Pain After Foot Surgery
Following a surgical procedure, it is important to follow all post-surgical instructions well. This is not only to help remain comfortable, but to aid in healing and avoid any potential post-surgery complications as well.
The following are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Expect more pain than you had before the surgery. During the immediate days following a procedure, it is common to have more pain than you had with the initial condition. The surgery itself is a form of trauma, unfortunately. Please be patient and prepared to take the time and rest necessary to move beyond this point. Speaking of which…
- Were you given a dosage plan? Follow it as directed. Many people make the mistake of only taking pain medication when the pain they are feeling has become too intense to bear. Once you are at that point, you have already placed yourself at a disadvantage. If you were given a medication schedule, follow it completely. This will much more likely keep you consistently comfortable throughout your recovery period.
- Identify and address sources of stress and anxiety. Recovery from surgery is a disruptive time, often keeping you from work, commitments, and even some of the things that make you happy. If you are feeling overwhelmed, communicate this with family, friends—anyone who can help you take some of the stress off. Feeling better mentally will help your physical comfort as well. If things are feeling extremely bad, call us or consult a therapist.
Find the Relief You Deserve
A post-surgery recovery period is never going to be a vacation, but it should not prevent you from seeking the relief you need. Whether a surgical option is best, or a conservative treatment is more than viable, you never know until you come in for an appointment.Call us at (915) 533-5151 for our Sierra Tower Building office or (915) 856-3331 for our George Dieter Drive office to see if we can get you in today. And if you have a friend in need of foot or ankle help, referring them can help them out greatly and get you some foot cream as a thank you from us.