Foot and Ankle Surgery

In-office surgery: Ingrown toenail procedures, hardware removal, cyst excisions and other small cases can be done under local anesthesia alone in the office under a sterile environment.  You will usually be asked to have someone take you home afterwards and the postoperative requirements will vary depending on the case.

Outpatient surgery:  Our hospital based surgeries will usually be at Overlake Hospital Medical Center or Overlake Surgery Center. You will need to prepare for the surgery by have a preop consultation by your doctor ahead of time and sometime a medical clearance by your general practitioner as well. All of these surgeries will require nothing to eat of drink the night before as well as alteration of your regular medications as decided by your doctor. 

Anesthesia: Outpatient surgeries will have an anesthesiologist who will administer sedation through your IV or give you a 'light' general anesthesia.  Regardless of the type of anesthesia your doctor will give you local anesthesia before the surgery starts and at the end of the case.  Because of the local, your anesthesia requirements will be minimal and you should not have too much nausea or grogginess after the surgery and you should have a numb foot for 1/2 to a full day after surgery. (That's a good thing!)

Pain (or lack of) after surgery: Most of our outpatient surgery patients have little to no pain after surgery.  This is because of multiple factors: long acting local anesthesia given at the beginning and end of the case, a steroid injection given intramuscularly  at the end of the case, ice applied right after the surgery and high doses of ibuprofen given when you get home.  You will be given a narcotic medication just in case, but may not need it.

"Hospital-at-home phase":  When you get home from your surgery, we'd like you to be on your back for 99% of the first three days.  The 1% of the time would be to go to the bathroom.  We'd also like you doing bicycle kicks in the air while still on your back every half hour for one full minute. If you're sleeping, no need to wake up for this. Someone is require to be with you for the first 24 hours preferably longer. You should not get up to cook, clean or wash windows!

Non-weight bearing: If your surgery requires not weight bearing, you will need crutches, a knee scooter, or walker.  You might even want to try a wheelchair, I-walk, or Freedom Walker.  The latter two are new inventions that make walking without putting weight on you foot a bit easier. Most patients use crutches and possibly a knee scooter. 'Touch down ' weight bearing may be allowed during this phase, which means putting 10 pounds of pressure on your surgery foot.

 Cast boot immobilization:  You will sometimes be in a postop shoe, with is a flat rigid velcro sandal. These are dispensed at the hospital and sometimes at our clinic.  A cast boot is also used.  They are also called camwalkers, aircasts, walking boots, and strap on boots.  These will be dispensed at our clinic. 

Relative rest: As you get back to activities after surgery, we recommend 'alternative podiatric exercises'.  We have a specific handout for this. These exercises include cycling, swimming, sitting aerobics, upper body weight lifting......  You will need to beware of overuse injuries as you get back to you previous level of conditioning after surgery.  For this reason, we recommend taking it slowly: increasing you activities by only 10% per week!