Navigating our complex health care system can be challenging and hence finding the right podiatric surgeon can be difficult. Here we discuss 5 things to look for in a foot surgeon to ensure a positive experience and the best results.
1. Excellent Communication
Having great communication with your podiatric surgeon is vital when considering upcoming foot surgery. Your surgeon should openly discuss your problem and the reasons for recommending foot surgery, as well as offering you alternative options, including conservative measures. Ask your surgeon open-ended questions about your diagnosis, proposed treatment and recovery expectations. They should make you feel comfortable and reassured and should be happy to answer as many questions as you need to be answered.
2. Background and Training
Research the qualifications of your surgeon and look at their previous appointments, or alternatively, ask your surgeon what their previous training and experience is in relation to your specific problem. Podiatric surgeons or foot specialists complete a Bachelor’s degree (or higher) in podiatric medicine and must be registered as a podiatrist with the Podiatry Board of Australia. Those who meet the eligibility criteria are then able to apply for entry into a surgical training course, taking 3 years of equivalent full-time study as a Podiatric Surgical Registrar. Upon completion, Podiatric Surgeons must be registered as a specialist with the Podiatry Board of Australia.
3. Experience in the newest procedures
Look for a surgeon who remains up-to-date with the most recent technology, and seeks to continue learning and improving their surgical skills and techniques. Surgeons who travel internationally to attend conferences and training courses gain vast experience in the latest techniques to improve outcomes for their patients. New techniques often mean reduced recovery times for patients, for example, see how minimally invasive foot surgery techniques are reducing recovery times for patients.
A surgeon’s reputation in the community can tell a lot about the quality of foot surgeon they are. Online reviews provide honest feedback from real patients and can be valuable sources of information when choosing who is the right surgeon for you. It can also be helpful to ask friends and family, as often someone you know has had similar issues and may have consulted with someone in the past. Knowing a friend has had a positive experience with a foot surgeon can make the whole experience a lot less daunting.
5. Ask about hospital privileges
Surgeons go through an extensive accreditation process to be accepted to provide services in a hospital or day surgery. The hospital undergoes relevant background and training checks as well as referee checks by trusted surgeons in the community before appointing a surgeon with hospital accreditation. A trustworthy foot surgeon will have hospital privileges and should be able to provide you with options for where you have your surgery performed.
Book a consultation with our experienced and qualified foot surgeon, Dr Andrew Knox, or phone (08) 9383 3851.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for general information purposes only. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.