Foot surgery has traditionally had a poor reputation. However, with a greater understanding of foot function, advanced surgical techniques and modern pain medication, the results are now much more successful.
Many foot operations can be performed under local anaesthetic avoiding the nausea and drowsiness associated with general anaesthetic. Many patients ask whether this will be a painful process believing that, because it is a local anaesthetic some pain sensation will still be present. Modern local anaesthetic techniques prevent pain sensation completely and it would not be possible to perform the surgery if this was not the case. Although the operation will not be painful patients will still feel pressure and movement but this will not hurt.
Where necessary, general anaesthetic or sedation is available and the risks associated with these techniques are now extremely small.
Podiatric Surgeons should not be confused with Orthopaedic Surgeons as their training is different. Orthopaedic Surgeons train as doctors initially and then specialise in Orthopaedic Surgery. However, this training is for the whole body rather than one specific area. On completion of training, many Orthopaedic Surgeons sub specialise into specific interest areas, including the foot. However, most continue practicing general Orthopaedic Surgery.
By contrast, Podiatric Surgeons are not doctors but are trained specifically to manage the foot and this is their only area of practice.
The training and registration of Podiatric Surgeons, the assessment process, anaesthesia and benefits and risks are outlined in the related link.