How Long Will it Take to Heal from Foot Surgery?

There are a lot of things I can control in this world and specifically within the confines of our NYC podiatry office such as the coffee flavors, magazines, and TV channels in the waiting room, and other things I cannot, such as how many times we all need to hear about the extended Jenner/Kardashian family and other such characters in this month’s In Touch.  And despite my best efforts, and those of my dear patients, there are times that the rate of healing from foot surgery, fractures, sprains and strains can’t be entirely controlled.

As you may have learned by now, the body is quite an amazing machine.  The ability to excel and achieve is matched only by the ability to repair and heal.  As I tell my NYC podiatry patients, the body wants to heal, we just have to give it the tools to do so.  However, that can be a slow process.   We have previously discussed this in the context of recovery from foot surgery, and it applies to recovery from just about any insult that disrupts the body’s natural processes.  The initial phases of healing, inflammatory and repair, progress exponentially, and we make tremendous progress in the early stages of recovery.  However, the more chronic remodeling phase progresses very incrementally.  Illustrated on a graph this would appear as a line that rises sharply, then plateaus as it progresses.

In practical terms, imagine healing a simple cut.  In the first few days the skin edges bind together and the pain subsides.  After a few weeks, the redness and swelling begin to dissipate.  Yet it takes a few more weeks, sometimes months, for the cut to fully heal.  Now extrapolate that healing curve to a full thickness surgical cut or bone fracture.  And this is why, my dear NYC podiatry patients, I always warn that a sprain or fracture will heal 80-90% within 3-6 weeks, and the remaining 10-20% can take up to one year to heal.  Foot surgery can similarly take 3-6 or even 12 months to fully heal.  But as I have often said, barring any external impediments, the body will heal, under the watchful eyes and hands of your friendly neighborhood NYC podiatrist.

And so while there are events and forces that can be tightly controlled by the remote control of life, some remain just beyond our grasp, such as the healing curve and this rotten cold winter.  But like a polar vortex, this too shall blow over.

See you in the office.

Ernest Isaacson