The most serious and disabling podiatric errors are usually made in surgical cases. Even though much foot surgery is performed in the office, foot surgery is just like any other surgery:
There are no short-cuts to be taken just because the surgery is performed in the podiatrist’s office.
Your podiatrist should take a thorough history, perform a careful examination, review x-rays and have a specific surgical plan.
You must be given a written consent form and you must be allowed to read it and understand it without being rushed. You should not be given the form for the first time in the operating room, minutes away from the beginning of surgery.
In addition to the written consent, your podiatrist should fully explain your condition, the proposed surgery, and its risks and alternatives including not having surgery and instead trying other treatment.
You should not be rushed into surgery. You should be given sufficient time to consider your options and not be convinced to have the surgery the first visit to the podiatrist especially if the surgery is merely elective and not an emergency.
As with any other surgery, the postoperative course is important and you should be fully aware of what is involved and the degree of temporary disability you can expect. The patient has the responsibility to follow the podiatrist’s instructions and return for all scheduled visits. On the other hand, the podiatrist should give specific instructions so that the patient knows exactly what they should and should not do during the healing process.
As with any other kind of treatment, you have the right to get a second opinion and for most foot surgery the patient should get that second opinion. At times, if the condition or treatment is complicated, the patient may need additional opinions.