Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube


What should I bring to the appointment?

Please bring all appropriate insurance information. Bring a current list of medications. Do not wear new shoes, the wear pattern on shoes will be assessed. Bring current arch supports or braces. Bring MRIs, CT scans and other imaging studies.

Will I need new X-rays?

Often new X-rays will be obtained so that we will have current images. Frequently the X-rays are obtained without weight bearing. New, weight bearing X-rays will be obtained for deformity assessment.

When to drive?

Driving should not be performed with fractures in the foot or ankle. Current studies have demonstrated that after an ankle fracture, driving should be delayed for 9 weeks. Specific concerns should be raised.

Do I need to stop smoking?

Tobacco use has been demonstrated, in multiple studies, to be associated with delayed wound and bone healing. Every effort should be made to completely stop tobacco use.

What is medical optimization?

Surgery and injury create significant stress. It is critical that all aspects of the body need to be addressed. Often, this will require coordination with other healthcare professionals. For example, diabetic optimization is very important. Poorly controlled diabetics are at significant risk for a wide variety of complications, particularly infection.

Why do I have to wait for surgery after my fracture?

The trauma that caused the fracture can also severely damage the soft tissues. This can be seen with extreme swelling and occasionally blisters. It is critical to allow for the soft tissues to mend prior to the surgery. There are times that this general principle will not be used such as fractures with exposed bone.

When to return to work?

The answer is very much dependent upon the type of work. Sedentary jobs can usually return to work soon after surgery or injury. However, it is critical to keep the foot elevated to heart level as often as possible. This will reduce the pain, swelling and allow for a more rapid recovery.

I live by myself, what should I do?

Please let us know if this is the case. Making appointments is necessary for proper care. You may be on narcotics after surgery and may not be able to prepare your meals and perform basic hygiene. You are not permitted to drive yourself home after surgery. In order to heal correctly, let us know if you do not have assistance.

Should I use ice or heat after surgery/injury?

Icing is very helpful soon after surgery/injury. Ice bags, frozen vegetables and portable ice units with specialized pads are available.

When should I walk on my foot?

If you are unclear on this, do not walk on the foot/leg and call for further information.

When will I be better?

All surgery is associated with swelling and limited use of the limb. Immobilization is needed for the early stages of healing, however there needs to be gradual return to normal function. There will be a graduated rehabilitation program that is very dependent on the injury/surgery. Initially this will be simple range of motion exercises. Next, a home strengthening program is instituted. This may be followed by a graduated, supervised physical therapy program. Full recuperation may not be seen for up to one year. Please ask on your specific problem for guidance.

Will the hardware make noise at the airport?

Small screws and metal plates are used to stabilize the bone. While it is possible for these to be detected by airport metal detectors, this usually does not occur. Larger metallic implants and joint replacements are more likely to be identified. Cards are not usually used.

When to wear shoes?

After surgery/injury, there can be even mild swelling that can interfere with shoes fitting correctly. Wider and longer shoes may be needed. Also, the type of shoes should be discussed.

Where do I buy shoes?

Shoes are an essential part of treatment. Studies have demonstrated that many women are wearing ill-fitting shoe wear. Frequently a change in the size and style of shoes is all that is needed to address the problems. It is important to wear the shoes before purchase and to to walk around the store. Feet are frequently different sizes. The shoes should fit the larger foot and pads can be used to create the correct sizing. The feet should be measured as a guide, every company uses a different last or mold to create the shoes. Please ask for guidance to shoe stores that will spend time for correct fitting.

What is the best shoe?

There is no best shoe for everyone. As a guide, stand on a piece of paper and trace the outline of the foot. Place a shoe and count toes falling outside of the tracing. The best shoe will have no toes outside of the tracing. Avoid fads in shoe wear.

What are the differences in arch supports?

There are three types of arch supports or foot orthotics.

Inexpensive over the counter(OTC) supports. Only mild problems are addressed by this type of support. The materials tend to wear rapidly.

A high quality OTC support is often a better alternative than the inexpensive and custom support for many problems. A recently published study would indicate that this type of support is as effective as custom supports. Be sure to remove the support in the shoe prior to inserting the new support.

Custom supports are used for specific problems particularly that are difficult or recalcitrant. The materials can be cork and leather, soft plastics, hard plastics or carbon fiber composites. There are newer muscle stimulating “braces” for specific nerve injuries.

Where can I learn more?

There are a few excellent web sites that are non-commercial and patient oriented. Be wary of web sites that promise extraordinary results with non-surgical or surgical treatment. Suggested web sites:


Will my insurance cover the cost?

Insurance plans are changing and all are very different. Please consult with your insurance company on specifics.


Come prepared with questions. It’s best to write them down prior to the visit. A medical visit can be intimidating and many patients forget their questions. Please write down your concerns so that they can be answered.

This is a list of general guidelines and as such your individual problem management may be different from the FAQs.

Meet Dr Kay
Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Specialist

View Profile

Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center
Cleveland Magazine 2013 Best Doctors
Bookmark and Share
Your Practice Online