Everyone is different when dealing with pain or managing an injury, but when it comes to putting off treatment of a foot and ankle condition, there comes a time when you can’t put it off any longer. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many opted for virtual appointments over in-person visits to avoid the risk of exposure, but as safety precautions are put in place to keep patients and staff safe, surgeries should be rescheduled to avoid further complications.
Elective surgeries may not seem like something that needs to be done, but if left untreated, these conditions can worsen necessitating more surgical correction in the future or can create other problems, which increase the risk of worsening the original issue. If you have pain or discomfort in one foot or ankle, you may favor that injury with a slight limp to protect the limb. This change in your walk can create more strain and pressure on the opposite foot, even affecting the knee, hip and lower back.
Plenty of foot and ankle conditions start small and seem minor at first, but if left untreated, they can turn into a much bigger issue or affect more than your foot and ankle. Most issues can be treated conservatively, but if left too long, it may require more complicated treatment. Here are some common conditions that can create other issues if left untreated:
• Foot deformities, such as flat foot, can cause strain on tendons and ligaments or joint arthritis.
• Pes Cavus, or a high-arched foot, can cause calluses or foot ulcers because of more pressure on the weightbearing parts of the foot.
• Bunions left untreated can encroach onto the second toe creating a crossover toe, which can lead to a ligament tear.
• Hammertoes can progress quickly and cause a painful blister, callus or even an ulcer if left untreated. They can also progress to a rigid (or inflexible) deformity, which can only be treated surgically if not addressed early on.
Don’t wait to see a foot and ankle surgeon if you notice any changes in your feet and ankles; even a “small” injury should be examined. You don’t know how bad it is until you have an X-ray or have it checked. If you’re experiencing pain or notice a change in the way you’re walking, make an appointment with our office as soon as possible.