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Do I need foot and ankle surgery?

Most people with problems in their feet or ankles won’t need surgery. The decision whether to operate depends on a number of factors:

  • how bad your symptoms are (pain and the effect this has on your life)
  • your needs
  • your response to other treatments, including drugs, orthoses and special footwear.

Discuss these with your healthcare professionals, who’ll be able to advise you on whether they think surgery would be a suitable option.

The decision to have foot and ankle surgery is usually based on lifestyle choices and the information given by surgeons rather than being essential in terms of life and death. But if your skin is affected or your feet are quickly becoming deformed, it’s important to get an assessment for urgent surgery to avoid infection and alert your healthcare professionals to possible stress fractures. You’ll always have the final decision on whether to have the operation.

You may feel nervous, stressed or scared if you’ve been told you need surgery. Finding out as much as you can about the operation and understanding the process will help you feel calmer and more in control.

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