Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints. Although surgery cannot cure arthritis, it can repair the damaged joint and restore some function. The type of arthritis and the joints it is affecting will determine the type of surgery done.
In a synovectomy, the surgeon removes most of the synovium that has grown abnormally large and has produced an overabundance of fluid. This fluid eats at the cartilage in your joints, causing the cartilage to erode and bones to rub against each other. Removing the synovium provides relief but the condition may come back at a later time.
Arthroplasty is a joint replacement, but is not used on the ankle very often. An arthrodesis is when the joint is fused together, but this procedure is usually only used as a last resort.
If pain has prevented you from enjoying activities you once enjoyed, such as sports, corrective foot surgery can help you get back to those activities. Pain is also mentally draining and can lead to fear, anxiety, and depression. Correcting the problem and reducing the pain can provide mental relief as well as physical relief.
Your individual recovery is affected by many factors, including the type of surgery that was performed, your general health, and the extent of the disability that was corrected. In general, however, your recovery will depend on how well prepared you were. If you know you will have to be off your feet for a period of time, you can spend the time before surgery arranging time off work, making childcare arrangements, and asking for housekeeping help. The more you can rest your foot, the faster you will recover.
Make sure you follow all recommendations from your surgeon, whether it is applying ice every few hours, elevating your foot, or taking pain medication. You will probably have a follow-up appointment within a week or two after surgery to check on your progress and remove stitches or staples that were used. One of the best things you can do to recover from your foot surgery is to keep in contact with your surgeon or primary care provider about any problems you are having. The sooner a problem is acknowledged and dealt with, the less serious it is likely to get.
Your feet are the foundation of your entire body, and when they are hurting or not functioning, it affects both your physical and mental well-being. If you are having a lot of foot pain, talk to your doctor about possible interventions.