Here’s why individualized treatment plans matter

This February, Nick Mangold, then an offensive lineman for the New York Jets, received word that the ankle surgery many expected him to soon undergo was no longer going to be necessary. Mangold, who had played for the Jets since 2006, was out for several weeks following damage to his knee and ankles. According to reports, his positive response to rehabbing treatments was enough to at least postpone surgery.

Mangold’s situation is a perfect example of why individualized treatments are so important when it comes to foot and ankle injuries. All bodies are unique — and they deserve unique care to match the injuries they occasionally acquire. Unnecessary surgeries should be avoided at all costs, and a patient’s full situation should be thoughtfully considered before any treatment decisions are made. This helps prevent delays in getting back to the sports or other activities that you love, reduces recovery time, and limits surgical stress. In my facility, I take the time to carefully evaluate all patients who walk through the door and never push for treatments that I feel aren’t needed. This protects your body, as well as your time and wallet. Here are a few things I’ll keep in mind as I assess you.

Extent of injury

Not all injuries need a surgery. If you’re dealing with a strain, a sprain, or a small tear, you might be relieved to learn that going under the knife isn’t always necessary to fix the issue. In many cases, physical therapy, support braces, and just some good, old-fashioned rest can help you heal and get back to your normal routine. In other cases, it depends on the severity of a specific injury. For example, in the case of a foot fracture, if the bones are undisplaced, wearing a boot, using crutches, and taking medication can be enough to resolve the injury. If, however, the damage is more extensive, a surgery may be needed. There’s no need to jump to conclusions; a detailed exam is the best way to determine the right treatment method.

Body condition

Is this your first major injury, or have you experienced others traumas to the same area of your body over the years? How you answer will help determine the best way to treat your case. If you have had past surgeries in the same spot, another procedure might be needed to not only work on the new injury but also do upkeep on the previous one. On the flip side, if this is your first major injury, I’ll want to keep surgeries to a minimum and make any needed procedures as precise as possible to avoid complications down the line.

Activity level

I’ll always be certain to give you the best care possible, whether your injury is as complex as a ruptured Achilles tendon or as routine as a bunion excision. The activities you currently participate in — and what you hope to do moving forward — will also dictate how I approach your treatment. For example, if you are an athlete who stays quite active and plans to continue play for years to come, I won’t stop after treating your current injury. Instead, I’ll develop some preventative injury strategies customized to your position and skill to carry forward.

No matter your situation, you can trust that you’re in good hands under my care. Your foot and ankles are important to me — and so is getting you the customized care you deserve to take care of them.

Posted in: Foot Health

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Dr. Hubbard’s goal as a Foot and Ankle Surgeon is to provide expertise in achieving an accurate diagnosis, implementing exceptional surgical technique whenever indicated, and most importantly, utilizing practical judgment to devise an effective individualized treatment plan that will restore the patient’s foot or ankle health and function, improving their overall quality of life.

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