Questions to Ask Your Orthopedic Surgeon Before Surgery

Research shows that 77% of American adults experience foot pain at some point in their lives. There are many medical explanations for this, and each diagnosis comes with its own treatment options.

Some treatment options include medication and lifestyle changes, while other conditions require surgery. In fact, Medicare insurance alone pays out around $11 billion a year for foot and ankle surgeries.

Regardless of the severity of your condition, surgery can be a daunting prospect. This is why it is important that you make sure to ask any questions you need answered before the big day. 

Not sure what you should ask your surgeon about? Here is a simple guide of questions you can ask before surgery on your foot or ankle. 

 

Do I Need to Do Anything to Prepare for Surgery?

 

The best thing you can do to get yourself ready for surgery is to keep yourself healthy. However, it is always a good idea to check in with your surgeon about anything they may want you to do that is specific to your operation. 

If you need to take medication for your condition, then you should check with your doctor about the appropriate dosage. They may want you to stop taking certain medications early when you are having an anesthetic. This is because some drugs may react with your anesthetic. 

It is important that you provide your doctor with your full medical history in advance. There could be details that do not seem important to you, but they could make a lot of difference in surgery.

Beyond that, you just need to make sure that you are healthy before your surgery. If you smoke, then it is required that you quit before undergoing elective surgery. Smoking can affect your blood flow, which means your wounds like take longer to heal. This can lead to infection. It can also affect the ability of soft tissues and bones to heal, leading to complications like non-union.  Everyone knows that smoking isn't good for your health, so why not use your foot surgery as a reason to quit today?

 

Can I Eat or Drink Before My Surgery?

 

The general rule with surgery is that you must not eat or drink anything after midnight before your surgery.

If you do eat or drink before your surgery, there is a chance you will be sick. This can be very dangerous during surgery, especially if you are fully anesthetized. There is a potential that you would be sent home if you have eaten and be asked to re-schedule your surgery on another day.

Unless your doctor says otherwise, stick to this rule to keep yourself safe. If you do eat anything in the lead up to your surgery, make sure you tell your surgeon immediately.

 

Do I Need to Bring Anything to the Hospital? 

 

Something on most people's list of things to do before surgery is packing a hospital bag.

A lot of people like to bring things to the hospital that will make them more comfortable. Often people pack a dressing gown or slippers if they know they're going to be there for a while. You might also like to bring something to entertain yourself while you wait to go in for surgery.

However, it is important to check during a surgical consultation whether or not there is anything you must bring with you. For example, you should always bring a valid form of ID with you to the hospital. You will also need any paperwork your doctor has asked you to bring, and your medical insurance information. 

Make sure that you check with your surgeon on whether or not you'll have somewhere secure to leave your valuables while you are in surgery. Most hospitals will help you with this, but it's worth checking so don't have to worry on the day of the surgery.

 

Will I Be Unconscious During Surgery? 

 

Whether you are going in for bunion surgery, or for help with your arthritis, you will receive an anesthetic. There are varying degrees of anesthesia, however. 

Some anesthetics numb a localized area of your body, which stops you from feeling any pain during surgery. Others will render you completely unconscious during your procedure.

During your surgery consultation, your surgeon will ask you a number of questions to figure out the best anesthetic for you. For example, it is often safer to keep older patients awake during surgery. Some patients also have allergies that limit the type of anesthesia they receive. 

Feel free to ask your surgeon any questions you might have about your anesthetic options.

 

How Long Will My Recovery Take? 

 

When it comes to foot or ankle problems, surgery is often only the first step on the road to recovery. It is important that you know what your recovery plan will involve before your surgery. This will help you prepare for it in the best way possible. 

You will need someone to pick you up after foot or ankle surgery to help get you home. Knowing how long you need to stay in means you can have a loved one ready to come and collect you.

To support your recovery, some surgeons may also refer you to a physical therapist. They will give you gentle exercises to help support your recovery from surgery.

While recovering, you may also need to take time off work so that you can rest your foot and ankle. In that case, you will need a letter from your doctor to organize it. Make sure you do this in advance so that you aren't worried about it before your surgery. Provide them with any forms from your job so that there is ample time to have them completed.

 

Enjoy the Peace of Mind from Your Investigation

 

With these questions to ask before surgery in mind, you will be able to go into your surgery feeling calm and confident. This will be sure to help you on the road to recovery.

For more information, or for help on how to find a surgeon's success rate, get in touch with one of our team today. We're here to help.