What to expect when expecting: So you’ve decided to have Bunion surgery.

Surgery can be a scary thing. Especially when it is elective. Is it the right time? Do I really need this?

Bunion PainBunions are very common. In fact, if you ask members of your family about their feet I am sure you will find a few of them who also have bunions.

If you have gotten to the point that you are ready to have surgery, you have likely tried and failed conservative treatments. These include changing shoes and using orthotics. You may have even tried a toe spacer or bunion splint, but likely found that these were not helpful.

Bunion deformities are progressive, and will worsen over time. This is a very gradual process. Custom orthotics may help to limit the progression, but only surgery will correct the deformity.

Bunion surgery itself has come a long way. Surgery is now commonly done through small incisions and recovery time is much faster.

Surgery for a bunion is done outpatient, whether at a hospital or a surgery center. You will receive a nerve block either by anesthesia or your physician to help limit your pain post-operatively. You will be given pain medications and anti-inflammatories after surgery to help with your pain. In general, the operative time is between 30 mins to 1 hour.

Depending on the procedure performed and physician preference, you may be placed into a splint, CAM boot, or post-op shoe after surgery. Your weightbearing status will also be determined based on physician preference. Newer procedure techniques and advances in technology have allowed patients to start weightbearing much sooner after surgery. This can be as soon as the day of surgery!

Your physician will place a post-operative dressing which will remain intact until you follow up with them in 1-2 weeks.

You are having surgery, it is normal to have pain! The best thing you can do is take your medications as prescribed and apply ice as frequently as possible. Apply the ice behind your knee and to the top of the foot.

If you or someone you know is considering having bunion surgery, call Dr. Troxell to schedule your consultation today to learn more.

Gruesome Sports injuries of the lower extremity: How are you going to fix that!?!?

sports injuriesWith the return of Fall sports, namely contact sports like hockey and football, you can expect to see traumatic injuries. Most recently, Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys sustained a right ankle fracture dislocation while being tackled.

Dak had notable deformity to his right ankle, and you could see the shock in his eyes as he looked down to see his foot turned the wrong direction.

So the questions many of you ask is “What do you do next?” and “Will he ever play again?”

On the field and immediately after the injury the teams’ orthopedic physician will reduce the ankle back into place by pulling traction, exaggerating the deformity, and then placing it back to where it belongs. The ankle will then be maintained in that position with an air cast or form of splint. The ankle itself is very unstable and if the reduction is not maintained it will likely dislocate once again.

The next step is for operative fixation. Surgical fixation will most frequently entail the placement of plates and screws to reduce and maintain the position of the bones that were broken while allowing them to heal. If the fracture is open, meaning the bone comes through the skin, the patient may need to be placed into an external fixation device until the soft tissue injury heals. Ultimately, they will then undergo removal of the external fixator device with placement of internal hardware.

The patient will then remain off of the extremity completely for at least 6 weeks depending on physician protocol. They are then transitioned into a walking boot which immobilizes the ankle and allows for weight bearing and walking. This is usually done for 2-3 weeks before finally being transitioned back into a normal shoe with an ankle brace for added support and stability.

When all is said and done, one can expect about a 3 month recovery which will most likely include a course of physical therapy to get the patient back to their pre-injury activity level.

If you or a family member sustains an ankle injury, call us at 727-209-6677 to get your same day appointment with Dr. Troxell.