Post-Op Myths Make for Rougher Recovery


“You need foot surgery,” are not words we at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC know that a patient enjoys hearing. For many conditions, however, surgery may be the best or only path to helping you get back to enjoying an active lifestyle free from pain and discomfort. Sometimes our foot and ankle surgeons Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko find that patients are more anxious than they need to be about a foot or ankle surgery. One of the reasons is because they have false ideas about what surgery and recovery will be like.

Below are some common myths we’d like to dispel:

I’m going to have to stay in the hospital for a while. Many foot surgeries today are performed on an outpatient basis. When the foot doctor explains the surgical procedure, you will find out if you will go home the same day or need to stay in the hospital. You’ll also learn about the type of anesthesia used and the anticipated amount of time the surgery will take. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and get anything you don’t understand clarified before your surgery.

Surgery and recovery will be very painful. Your foot surgery will be done under some form of anesthesia. The foot and ankle surgeon can also discuss pain management options with you prior to the procedure. Some options include over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, icing, compression and elevation. The foot doctor might also prescribe a boot, knee scooter, can or other medical equipment which will lessen pain by helping you avoid putting weight on the foot.

It will be weeks before I can get back to my normal life. The amount of downtime your surgery will require will depend on the severity of your condition and the procedure the foot doctor performs. Be realistic and plan to clear your work and personal schedule for the amount of time the podiatrist tells you. Rushing back to your regular routine after surgery can slow recovery and even cause a re-injury or further complications.

I won’t need any help afterward; I can take care of myself. For starters, you’ll need someone to drive you home after the surgery. Depending on when you are able to walk and drive, it may be helpful to have someone assist you the first few days after your procedure with meals, errands and household tasks.

Knowledge is power when it comes to podiatric surgery and its recovery! If you have concerns about a surgical procedure, contact our Valley Stream (516-825-4070) or Lake Success (516-327-0074) office.