When it comes to caring for painful foot conditions, we usually take a two-step approach. Step one is conservative care. If you still have pain after that, we start looking at step two: surgery.
Now, granted, sometimes surgical intervention is precisely what you need to get the best result. And furthermore, many common progressive foot deformities cannot be “fixed” by any other means. That said, in general we believe in exhausting conservative options first, and most of our patients prefer to stick with non-surgical treatment whenever possible.
By far the most important tip to prevent foot surgery: don’t drag your feet on seeking help! Most painful foot conditions—especially those that alter the shape of the foot itself—will only get worse the longer you wait before seeing a podiatrist. If you’re proactive, “treatment” may be as simple as finding a new pair of shoes. If you wait until pain is extreme, however, surgery may be the only workable option left.
Here are two other common preventative measures that can help you avoid surgery.
- Be smart with footwear. High heels and pointed toe boxes might be trendy, but they often aggravate bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, or other painful problems. Comfortable, supportive shoes with plenty of toe wiggle room is the way to go, especially if you already have an existing deformity.
- Check out custom orthotics. Unlike basic insoles that you can get at the drug store, custom orthotics are crafted individually in a lab based on measurements taken by a podiatrist. They come in all shapes and sizes and can significantly reduce pain—and even correct irregular motion—from a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions.
Of course, there are lots of other tips, too, but more specific recommendations will need to be made on a case-by-case basis. Again, we’ll refer you to point #1—don’t hold off until it’s too late! The earlier you get help, the more options you have. And if you do need surgery in the end, don’t worry—you have Cincinnati’s best foot and ankle surgical team at your service.
To schedule an appointment at one of the six convenient Family Foot & Ankle Center offices in the Greater Cincinnati area, please give us a call at 888-689-3317 today.