When Conservative Treatments Don’t Work

Surgery is a word that unnerves many people. Few people like the idea of an operation, after all.

Whenever we have the option, we will always consider conservative forms of treatment over surgery. There is very often a way to significantly improve a patient’s condition without the need for a procedure. However, sometimes there is not.

Although an invasive procedure is a big commitment and requires a significant amount of healing time, it is sometimes the best way to eliminate your pain and properly recover from an injury.

Making the Choice

Surgery can make a real difference in relieving your discomfort, but it still must be considered carefully. You need to know what to expect before you decide to go ahead.

Unless you have a serious injury that can’t be resolved conservatively, an invasive solution shouldn’t be your first option.

Dr. Evan Merrill understands that most foot and ankle conditions can be significantly improved, or even resolved, using non-invasive measures.

Shoe changes, orthotics, medications, physical therapy, and even some external procedures have been used very successfully to treat a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions. Only if the pain persists after the conservative options have been exhausted do you consider surgery.

Medicine is not an exact or formulaic science; success depends on the physician making the most informed and accurate choices for treatment. Dr. Merrill will need an in-depth look at your foot, so he will most likely request diagnostic images. He uses them to identify what needs to be corrected and how to best approach it.

After that, you will be presented with your options: which procedures are available to you, how they are performed, what the risks may be, and which is most likely to succeed. Together, you choose what will be best for your body and your unique needs.

General Information

Surgical procedures exist for a massive variety of cases. Sometimes, as in the case of bunion surgery, there are multiple techniques to achieve the same results.

Some procudures are more invasive than others, and some require longer recovery times. What is effective for a hammertoe will not be the same for a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. Common procedures include, but are not limited to:

  • Achilles Tendon Repair
  • Arthritis Surgery
  • Arthroscopy
  • Bunion Surgery
  • Hammertoe Surgery
  • Nerve Surgery


Guiding Recovery with MLS Laser Therapy

In some cases, we may recommend Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Laser Therapy as a post-operative treatment.

Using finely tuned wavelengths of light energy, MLS Laser Therapy can stimulate the body’s natural healing processes for soft tissue injuries, accelerating the rate of recovery and providing relief from pain and inflammation.

We will fully discuss MLS Laser Therapy with you if it is an option worth considering for your needs. Standard treatments are short (usually about 10 minutes), and a series of sessions would be scheduled. The benefits of treatment are usually felt after the first session, but stack with cumulative treatments.

Foot and Ankle surgery in Medford, OR

You don’t have to be afraid of procedures to correct a problem. If conservative treatments have been ineffective, or would not be helpful, a surgical solution may offer you a real chance to eliminate your pain and restore your feet to health.

Contact Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle in Medford for an appointment to explore all the options available to you. Call (541) 776-3338 or visit our contact page online to reach us.