Although most foot and ankle conditions will respond positively to conservative treatment methods—especially if you seek help early—the truth is that sometimes surgery will be necessary to relieve your pain and help you return to full, healthy activity.
We understand that the decision to go ahead with a foot or ankle surgery is a big one, so we would like to provide you with more details about our surgical philosophy, our process, and our specialties.
Our Surgical Philosophy
Dr. Keith McSpadden has a strict set of criteria for determining whether surgery is warranted. Specifically, he believes surgery is necessary only if:
- You experience pain on a daily or routine basis.
- Your condition prevents you from achieving an activity level or living a lifestyle you desire.
- Conservative treatments have been attempted and failed, or would be ineffective based on your diagnosis.
If these conditions have not been met, we will encourage you to make the most of conservative options available to you first. If they have, we will still make sure you fully understand all of the considerations of your decision, including any necessary recovery time and rehabilitation, work restraints, financial obligations, and other concerns. We strongly believe patients get better outcomes when they’re better informed, and our goal is to give you all the information you need to make the best possible choice for your life.
Our Surgeon and Surgical Specialties
Dr. Keith McSpadden is an experienced surgeon with years of experience fixing a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions. Although this is not an exhaustive list, some of our top surgical specialties include:
- Minimal Incision Surgery. Although most surgeons prefer to limit the size of incisions as much as possible, specialized training is required for mastering the best minimal incision techniques. Compared to traditional open surgery, minimal incision surgery produces less scarring, faster healing (1-2 weeks), much lower infection rates (less than 3 percent). Techniques used include arthroscopic surgery, endoscopic surgery, radiofrequency ablation for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis, and percutaneous repair of fractures or lengthening and release of tendons.
- Arthroscopic Surgery. A type of minimal incision surgery, arthroscopy requires 2 or 3 small incisions for tools and a small camera to help visualize the joint during the operation. Conditions treated with arthroscopy include arthritis or stiff joints, ankle impingement, ankle instability, plantar fasciitis, synovitis, damage to cartilage, and more.
- Reconstructive Surgery. The primary purpose of reconstructive surgery is relieving pain by restoring your body to its optimal position. This type of surgery includes fixes for progressive deformities such as bunions, flat feet, and hammertoes, as well as repair for acute injuries such as a fracture. Other conditions that may call for reconstructive surgery may include Achilles tendon ruptures, ankle instability, or certain types of arthritis.
- Plastic Surgery Techniques. While we don’t recommend that you consider surgery purely to improve looks, plastic surgery techniques may often be used in combination with other procedures (such as a reconstructive surgery) to achieve the best possible cosmetic result, in addition to restoring form and function. These techniques, including intracuticular sutures, skin grafts, and skin flaps, can be extremely useful for treating and closing diabetic foot wounds, as well as minimizing scar tissue formation for other procedures.
The Surgical Process
The vast majority of surgical procedures are provided on an outpatient basis, meaning you will not require an overnight hospital stay and can go home the same day. Surgery is performed at an accredited surgery center or hospital.
Dr. McSpadden is credentialed to perform surgery at the following facilities:
- Cedar Park Surgery Center
- Cedar Park Regional Medical Center
- Oakwood Surgery Center
- Seton Medical Center Williamson
- Seton Northwest Hospital
- St. David’s Georgetown Hospital
- St. David’s Round Rock Hospital
After your surgery, you’ll have detailed instructions for aftercare. This includes follow-up appointments, information on caring for the surgical site, when you’ll be able to restart weight-bearing activity, a schedule for rehabilitation, and more. Carefully following all instructions for aftercare is an important part of your recovery, so never hesitate to ask us any questions if you’re unsure about what to do. As always we want to ensure that you’re as informed as possible about what you’ll need to get better.
Making the Call
It is important to remember that surgery is an investment in yourself. Although a surgical procedure may put some limits on you for a time as your recovery, the potential benefit is years of pain relief and return to a mobile, active, healthy lifestyle.
Trust your feet and ankles to North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute for the best in evidence-based, high quality surgical care. To schedule a consultation at either our Cedar Park or Round Rock, TX office, please call today at (512) 593-2949.