Our focus this week is on a new service that is now available. Sentara Martha Jefferson recently expanded its orthopedic offerings, adding foot and ankle surgery to the list of specialties they treat.  

“In the office, the most common things I usually see are acute sprain and fractures,” said Dr. Crystal Dickson, a foot and ankle surgeon at Sentara Martha Jefferson Orthopedics.  “I also see a lot of deformities, such as bunions or hammer toes, and these are things I can normally treat conservatively, and if need be, surgically as well.” 

Dr. Dickson likes to start by taking a conservative approach to treatment and always makes recommendations based off individual patient needs. 

“I always talk to patients about their conservative vs. surgical options and really leave it up to the patients to decide.  Very rarely do people absolutely need surgery on their foot or ankle, most of the time it’s elective,” noted Dr. Dickson. 

Typical surgeries include fixing fractures or acute injuries, tendon surgeries and Achilles work.  Most of the surgeries though are done as an outpatient and don’t hold people down for long. 

“There are a lot of surgeries that can be done on the feet that don’t require a lot of time off,” said Dr. Dickson.  “Most times people can start weight bearing the same day.”

In terms of preventing foot problems in the first place, Dr. Dickson’s advice is: “The best thing I can say is wear good shoe wear.  Anything cute is bad for you. The most important about shoes is that they are comfortable, not that they are expensive, but that they are comfortable for you.”

For more information on this subject, please call 1-800-SENTARA. If you have questions about a health topic you’d like us to answer, email healthquestions@nbc29.com