Even just seeing the printed word can bring chills to some patients, especially if they haven’t been through the process before. In the past two years here at the helm of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists, you can bet I’ve seen my fair share of patients before and after surgery. As always, I hope I can offer some insider advice and knowledge for those who may have heard “S” word at a recent visit
Believe it or not, one of the most common things we hear from patients after they are all healed from surgery is “I should have done it sooner.” Some surgeries can be as simple as a bunion correction of the big toe or a tailor’s bunion correction of the pinky toe. Then there are those who have a fracture or condition that requires surgical management that may be a little more in depth. No matter what the situation may be with your feet, you can bet we have a few tricks to help you along the way.
The first step to a simple recovery is first having the best surgeon. Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS is a surgeon, specializing in anything below the knees. He has spent over a decade studying the structure, movement, and makeup of our feet and ankles. Calling him an expert doesn’t even begin to do him justice.
Once the last stitch is in place and the bandage wrapped snug, it’s important that the patient and family members are educated and ready to take the necessary steps ahead to ensure a quick and relatively painless recovery.
Now, don’t get too excited: to my knowledge there still isn’t a technology out there that makes the surgery completely pain free, but rest assured following the doctor’s orders and playing an advocate for your own healthcare can certainly make it pretty easy overall.
If you’re considering a surgical procedure with our office, we make every effort to ensure you have a helping hand every step of the way. Our surgery and benefits team can help get estimates for the cost of surgery, and once the official paperwork is signed our team calls the hospital and schedules the procedure for you. All you have to do is arrive on location on the day of surgery with a freshly scrubbed foot and your insurance card.
Afterward, our team will call to make sure you made it home okay, and ensure you’ve been able to fill your prescription medications for recovery as well.
Post-operative visits usually occur 3 to 5 days after surgery and are also set up by a team member shortly after you arrive home from surgery. In addition to helping with the paperwork, we also have some appliances in the office that can really make recovery a breeze.
We offer a rental program for a knee scooter. Rental fees are affordable and because we’re local, it’s easy to stop by and get the scooter before surgery day or while you’re in the office for your post-operative visits. Sometimes walking with crutches for an extended period of time can get exhausting, and those knee scooters come in handy for getting around when you have a big boot on!
Speaking of the big boot, if this is something that the doctor thinks you’ll need after your procedure we have those at the office for you too, and we can bill them to your insurance carrier if you have coverage.
In addition, did you know most of those incisions are not waterproof until after the stitches come out? This means it is very important to keep those bandages clean and dry! We have waterproof cast bags so you will be able to shower after surgery.
Recently, a patient wheeled proudly into our office with a customized knee scooter, winning the title of “Bling Queen.” We’ve seen sparkly ribbons and tassels, fun air horns for the front, and even one patient asked another in reception “Hey, wanna race?”
We like to make our patients smile, so it’s not uncommon for you to hear “break out the be-dazzler!” when someone comes to the front for checkout. If a glitzy and glamorous set of wheels isn’t your speed, we also offer crutches for purchase.
After surgery it is crucial to ice and elevate your foot/ankle, and we even carry a pneumatic ice splint that offers extra compression, too. Both doctors like to use compression gear or braces after surgery as well to help reduce swelling, and we carry sizes for everyone. No matter what your needs are we are here to help: before, during, and long after your procedure.