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Ettore Vulcano, MD Orthopaedic Surgery Assistant Professor | Orthopaedics Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York

FAQ


Do I need to quit smoking prior to surgery?

Yes. Smoking will increase the risk of intraoperative and postoperative complications, including blood clots, pulmonary embolism, and infection. Smoking will compromise bone healing and soft tissues healing.

 

I have diabetes. Will this affect the outcome of surgery?

Yes. Diabetes increases the risk of blood clots, pulmonary embolism, infection, bone and soft tissues complications. Hemoglobin A1c levels directly correlate with the complication rate: the higher the HbA1c, the higher the risk of postoperative complications. Ideally your HbA1c should be under 7.5%.

 

Will I be in pain after surgery?

Unfortunately, yes. Our anesthesiologists will often provide a long-acting nerve block and a pain pump to go home with that will significantly help with pain. The pain is typically the most intense during the first 3-4 days after surgery.

 

What can I do to improve pain?

Icing the surgical site will help very much. If interested, we can provide a cold machine that will be incorporated in your postoperative splint.

Leg elevation (toes above the nose) will also help with pain, especially the first 2 postoperative weeks.

 

My foot is swollen months after the surgical procedure. Is this normal?

Yes. Expect the foot and ankle swelling to last up to 6-12 months after surgery.

 

How long will it be before my foot feels normal after surgery?

The foot is the part of the body that takes the longest to heal. The first 6 weeks will be the toughest. Depending on the type of surgery, most patients should expect to be back to “normal” 6 to 12 months after the procedure.

 

Will I need physical therapy after surgery?

Not necessarily. This depends on the type of surgery performed.