The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

When is Elective Foot Surgery the Best Option?

Posted by on Thursday, September 18th, 2014


Elective foot surgery is an invasive intervention that does not involve a medical emergency. The most common elective foot surgery we do here at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine is bunion removal, but other types include toe lengthening, toe shortening, arch reconstruction, nerve removal, and surgical fusion. Some cosmetic surgeons will give you “Cinderella” foot surgeries designed to make your feet prettier. We don’t do that here. Instead, we do elective surgeries only when they are necessary to prevent worsening of an injury or future biomechanical compromise — and only after conservative measures have failed to correct the issue. Even so, there are many considerations that go into deciding whether such a surgery is for you.

elective foot surgery
Is elective foot surgery for you? Consider these points. Image Source:


How Bad Is It?

Severity and duration of symptoms are typically the first criteria we look at before suggesting foot surgery. How much pain are you in? Have you suffered this pain for more than six months? Does it cause serious dysfunction and difficulty in your day-to-day life, or is it just something you dislike about your physical appearance? X-ray and MRI findings should be taken (in addition to conducting the usual clinical exam) to verify the severity of the condition.

Why Do You Want Foot Surgery?

Patient expectations are important to consider as well. We follow the latest protocols to minimize scarring and give you aesthetically pleasing results from surgery, but you may be disappointed if you are expecting to be a foot model after the removal of your bunions. Some patients come to us after going through extensive treatment for plantar fasciitis elsewhere and want to have surgery done right away, without starting back at square one. Other patients may request bilateral foot surgery because they don’t want to take off work twice. At times, there are “rushes to surgery” due to insurance running out.

What Alternate Treatment Options Exist?

For certain situations, surgery can be the best course of action. Young women do not want to spend their entire lives combating a severe bunion deformity that makes it difficult to walk or find shoes. A patient with advanced arthritis in the great toe will not find reprieve with pain medication and stiff-soled shoes. For patients that have tried all non-surgery options and still have not found relief, it may be best to consider surgery, but only after other options have been exhausted or appear unfeasible.

Foot Surgery in NYC

Patient counseling is something the podiatrists at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in New York City take very seriously. We want you to make the best possible decision for your condition and your lifestyle. There is no point in needlessly suffering for years if surgery can offer a permanent break from the pain and anxiety. However, if there are more economical and non-invasive techniques to heal your condition, we are more than happy to oblige. Our two podiatric medicine centers offer state-of-the-art technology such as ultrasound therapy, cryotherapy, foot lasers, biopuncture, and platelet-rich plasma injections (to name only a few of our services), so we can provide you with the most recent advances in the field of podiatry. Book a consultation with our board-certified podiatrists to discuss whether elective foot surgery may be an option to manage your condition.



If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.