How to Prepare for Foot or Ankle Surgery

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Foot and ankle surgery can be a scary thought, but it can be easier with non-invasive treatments. Of course, you have standard surgery options, but non-surgical options are also available and have proven the be safer and more effective. Either way, you still need to take the time to prepare for your surgery or treatment. The last thing you want is to have issues during your recovery and being prepared will eliminate these issues. For a smooth surgery and recovery, be prepared and make sure to get plenty of rest!

Surgical & Non-Surgical Options

Most podiatrists offer regular foot and ankle surgery options, but at the Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona, we offer other, non-invasive options. Non-surgical treatments such as shockwave therapy, platelet-rich plasma, and stem cell therapy are effective and affordable treatments that remove the risk of surgery.

Shockwave Therapy

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 downtown, 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.

Prepare Your home

Before you head into surgery or receive one of the above non-surgical treatments, you should prepare your home for your recovery. You will want to avoid going upstairs, so make a setup downstairs. Keep essential items ready and nearby such as food, water, and medications as well as your equipment such as a walker, crutches, wheelchair or boot. It is also a good idea to have a friend or family member to stay with you for a couple of days. To avoid trips and falls, have a clean walkway and pick up rugs, loose carpet, electrical cords or anything you could get caught up in. Good lighting near your bed, in the hallways and near bathrooms, will also help you get around and avoid tripping.

Listen to Your Doctor

Always listen to your doctor when you are getting ready for surgery. Per your doctor, you might need to discontinue certain medications well before your surgery such as blood thinning medications, aspirin and ibuprofen. Of course, each surgery and each patient is different, so listen to your doctor carefully and follow their specific instructions and recovery tips.

Tie Up Loose Ends

Before you go into surgery, make sure all of your loose ends are tied up so that you don’t have to worry about anything during recovery but resting and healing! Depending on the surgery and treatment, you might need to miss work, so make sure everything is set up with that. Also, make sure all of your doctor appointments are set and that you have all of your medications readily available. To help kill the time while recovering, since you will need to get plenty of rest and stay off your feet, have books, movies, and television available to occupy your time. Also, a computer and comfortable backrest will help pass the time.

Arizona Foot and Ankle Center

The Arizona Foot and Ankle Center offers a variety of surgical as well as regenerative medicine and non-surgical options for foot and ankle pain. We are home to the highly trained and experienced Dr. Kris DiNucci, who delivers exceptional patient care and treatment options. Our entire staff is friendly, efficient and strive to deliver only the best results for each patient. If you are suffering from foot or ankle pain, schedule an evaluation with the Arizona Foot and Ankle Center today.