When Do Problems with Ankles and Feet Require Surgery?

Most individuals who have problems in their feet or ankles will not need surgery. This decision whether to have surgery depends on several factors such as:

  • How bad your symptoms are – pain effecting every part of your life;
  • Your needs;
  • Response to other treatments.

Usually a patient will respond to other treatment such as drugs, special footwear and orthoses. A discussion with your healthcare professionals, can advise you on whether they believe surgery would be an option that is suitable in your case.


This decision on having ankle and foot surgery is normally made on the patient’s lifestyle and information given by surgeons rather than being important to life or death. But when you skin is affected or your feet are becoming deformed, it is vital to get a valuation for surgery to evade infections as well as letting your healthcare professionals to the possibility of stress fractures. But you will be the one who makes the final decision on surgery or not.


A Vista CA Podiatrist will list the advantages of having surgery as being:

  • Long-lasting relief of pain;
  • Better mobility and function;
  • Greater choice of comfortable footwear;
  • Improved appearance of the foot;

Most patients with foot and ankle problems will have received other treatments from their family physician, rheumatologist or podiatrist prior to seeing a surgeon about surgery. These treatments may have included:

  • Exercise;
  • Footcare;
  • Painkillers and NSAIDS for pain and inflammation;
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs for rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Injections of steroids;
  • Various footwear styles;
  • Insoles or orthoses and specially altered shoes.

Many patients have pain in foot and ankle but do not need surgery. An experienced ankle and foot specialist will scrutinize you and give his professional judgment as to whether surgery on the ankle or foot is needed. One help in making this decision is what your condition is from:

  • Arthritis;
  • An injury;
  • Osteoporosis;
  • Ongoing problem;
  • General “wear-and-tear”.

If the patient and the surgeon together determine surgery is the best option for you, the surgeon will explain the procedure thoroughly for you so that you will fully understand just what to expect during surgery and while you are healing. All this information will help you in making the decision whether you are a good surgical candidate.