Nobody wants to undergo a surgical operation if it can be avoided, but at the same time, sometimes we end up overlooking some non-operative treatment options until the problem has progressed to the point where surgery is our only option. If you are smart about how you approach foot injuries and your rehab plan, we’re confident that you can significantly reduce your risk of needing a foot or ankle procedure. Below, we share some tips for how you can successfully treat your foot injury without surgery.
How To Avoid Foot Surgery
Even if you follow all these tips, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to completely eliminate the need for surgery. Some injuries are so severe or complex that surgery is the only answer. However, there’s also a large subset of injuries that could resolve with non-operative care as long as the patient follows some key steps. Those are the types of injuries we’re hoping to help treat in this blog. With that said, here’s a look at some ways to reduce your likelihood of needing surgery for your foot injury.
- Treat Small Problems - One of the best ways to avoid the eventual need for foot surgery is by treating small foot problems before they snowball into a major issue. Whether you’re dealing with a new foot pain or a chronic discomfort keeps flaring up, don’t keep going about your day while assuming that it will eventually clear up on its own. Not only is it unlikely to resolve on its own, there’s a good chance that symptoms worsen as you continue to put stress and strain on the area. Don’t let a minor issue turn into a major issue that requires surgery because you ignored the warning signs from your body.
- Proactive Treatments - When treating your foot issue, you need to throw yourself into proactive treatments that target the underlying issue. Far too often people rely on passive techniques like rest and painkillers, which only end up reducing the symptoms and not treating the underlying problem. This may help in the short-term, but it will do nothing to solve your problem in the long term, and that can lead to the eventual need for a surgical procedure. While rest and medications can be an integral part of a comprehensive pain management plan, you’ll want to pursue more active treatments, like physical therapy, controlled exercise and targeted stretching techniques to strengthen supportive structures and address the root problem.
- Stay Committed To Your Rehab Plan - If you really want to decrease your risk of needing surgery and make the best physical recovery possible, you have to jump into your recovery plan with two feet. This means that you’re choosing active treatment options and doing them regularly. If you’re skipping therapy appointments or only half committing to your home-based physical therapy exercises, you’re not going to make the strongest recovery possible, and that can open the door for eventually needing surgery to correct a lingering issue. Really committing to a rehab plan can also help you recover faster, so don’t ignore the importance of sticking with your rehab routine until it’s finished.
- Gradual Reintroduction To High Intensity Activity - When returning to athletics, exercise or a physically demanding job in the wake of a foot injury, you need to slowly work your way back to full activity. Your foot may still be a bit weak and tissues may be deconditioned as a result of your recovery and limited physical activity, so don’t try to jump back into activity at the same point where you left off. Gradually build up your distance or intensity when exercising so that you don’t overload recovering structures.
- Consult With A Specialist In Person - There’s a lot of great advice online, but there’s also plenty of bad advice, and you’ll get the best care for your foot or ankle injury by consulting with a foot specialist who can view your injury in person. Every injury is unique to the individual, and your treatment will be specifically tailored to your injury and your post-recovery goals. It will be much easier to navigate this process and remain on the right trajectory if you work with a professional who can view your injury with their own two eyes and provide individualized advice for your unique situation. If you follow the wrong advice or try to treat your injury based on information you find online, there’s a greater risk of suffering a setback and needing a corrective procedure.
We’ve helped countless patients manage their foot or ankle injuries without the need for surgery, and we can do the same for you. In the event you have a severe or complex injury that requires an operation, we can help with that as well. For more information, or for help with a specific foot or ankle injury, reach out to the team at The Centers For Advanced Orthopaedics today at (703) 584-2040.