Summer is the busiest time for NYC foot surgeons at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. That said, with four board-certified podiatric surgeons on staff and offices in both Manhattan and Westchester, we can treat patients quickly and efficiently. Learn more about common ways New Yorkers injure their ankles and feet in the summer months, what it takes to overcome a traumatic injury, how long it takes to heal, and what the prognosis is for recovering from such injuries.
Why More New Yorkers Sustain Foot Injuries in the Summer
“People are busy—[they’re] out playing sports, they’re working on the house, they’re spending more time on the highways traveling, they’re drinking—these factors all increase the risk of foot trauma in the summer,” explains our founder, Dr. Josef J. Geldwert. With over 40 years of clinical practice as an NYC foot surgeon under his belt, Dr. Geldwert has seen and treated a broad range of injuries related to the foot and ankle.
All these summer activities open up a lot of potential for injury, and, of course, certain types of acute ankle and foot trauma are worse than others. Falls from ladders while patients are cleaning gutters, painting, or roofing can be some of the most difficult, according to Dr. Geldwert. “Pilon fractures that crush the ankle and lower leg or calcaneus heel fractures are particularly challenging repairs,” he adds. “It’s sort of like putting the pieces of an egg shell back together again.”
Recovering From Acute Orthopedic Injuries
The key to a successful recovery from orthopedic injuries lies in seeking immediate medical attention and carefully managing the injury. “It’s about more than the individual skill level of the head surgeon,” Dr. Geldwert explains. “Communication is key. We need to work quickly, and we need to work together. My team and I have worked together for many, many years, so we operate with great efficiency. That makes a tremendous difference in how quickly a patient is stabilized and repaired.”
If these injuries are not cared for with prompt, carefully planned surgeries, the end result can be a lifetime of chronic pain and disability. “We see a lot of post-traumatic arthritis with any type of sudden foot or ankle injury people try to manage on their own for a while before coming in with severe pain.”
Even with the best NYC foot surgeons, surgically repaired feet may never feel exactly the same again. “In the vast majority of cases, we mitigate acute pain and are able to restore mobility and function,” says Dr. Geldwert, “but the patients have to know that their healing comes with some limitations.” You can’t just hop right back to running marathons, slip into a pair of heels to go dancing all night, or pound the pavement for a grueling week of sightseeing and not expect to feel some effects.
Foot Surgery and Spacing Out Procedures
Whenever possible, NYC foot surgeons like to spread out surgeries for patients with critical ankle or foot injuries. First, the trauma team cleans out the wound to lessen the risk of infection, then they apply a fixation device to maintain proper form and minimize soft tissue contraction. Over the next few weeks, the skin heals enough to warrant the opening and closing of an incision. Plates and screws are often used to add stability to the healing structures of the feet and ankles.
After surgery, trauma patients go through a lengthy period of immobilization. “That’s honestly the ‘most traumatic’ part of foot trauma,” says Dr. Geldwert. “You really want to select a surgeon you feel comfortable with, one who feels like a friend who is in it for the long haul, right there with you. I joke that my job is 10% science and 90% psychotherapy because there is so much involved on the emotional side of healing… so many stories we hear in the treatment rooms and rehab center. It’s really incredible to be in a position to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives.”