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Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are answers to some questions commonly asked by patients. If you don't find your answer here below, please feel free to contact Mr Cozens using the form above.

These are general advice points only. For each of the surgeries Mr Cozens performs, he also issues a leaflet dealing with the specific points relating to the foot problem in question, and how surgery can help.

Do I need surgery?

Surgery is not the answer to all foot problems. However, corrective surgical procedures can provide a solution to many long term problems that otherwise would only be treatable by chronically repeated conservative measures. Surgery should primarily be carried out for the relief of intractable pain or deformity; cosmesis alone can never be sufficient indication for invasive surgery.

Surgery is the treatment of choice when:

  • Other non-surgical methods of treatment are less desirable, impractical and/or unsuccessful
  • Subjective symptoms and objective findings warrant surgical intervention

The patient is informed of the aetiology, course and prognosis of the deformity, as well as the risks and ramifications of surgery.

Can I eat before I come in for my operation?

Yes. You are asked to eat a light meal and a non-alcoholic drink before you attend. If you have eaten, your blood sugar level will not be low and you will feel better. If you do not eat, you are more likely to feel faint or nauseous with nerves.

NO ALCOHOL at all for a minimum of 24 hours prior to surgery.

You insist that I must have someone stay with me after surgery. Why?

This is for your own safety.  It would be better to have someone there if you were to feel dizzy or slip and require assistance. Although exceedingly rare, it is also possible that you may feel unwell after surgery. Because the surgery is most often performed as a day case you will need someone with you in case a problem arises. It is possible in some cases to stay over night, but a carer is still required for when you go home.

My friend/relative had to stay in hospital for a number of days after their operation. How is it possible for me to be seen as an out-patient?

Your friend may not have been a suitable case for day surgery. It is possible that he or she was unable to have someone stay with him or her at home after the operation. Additional tests may have been required, or the operation itself was more extensive. Surgery performed under general anaesthesia can often necessitate an overnight stay in hospital.

If I am ill before the date of my operation should I cancel?

Yes. If you are feeling unwell near the date of your operation or if either you or a member of your household is suffering from an infectious disease you are advised to contact Mr Cozens as soon as possible and an alternative appointment can be arranged.

After surgery, when can I have a bath?

You can have a bath any time after surgery but you must avoid getting the dressing wet. Use of a waterproof cast protector (eg. LimbO) can be helpful. You can only get the wound wet when you have been advised it is safe to do so by your surgeon; this is often one or two days AFTER the sutures are removed (a minimum of two weeks following surgery).

When do I have to return for the dressings to be changed?

You will be seen four to seven days after your operation to review or change the dressing, and again in a further seven days to remove the stitches. At this time the date for further follow-up examinations and any X-rays, if required, will be confirmed. We follow all cases up for a minimum of three months, and in some cases a foot can take six months or more to fully settle down after surgery.

When can I drive a car?

It is illegal to drive while you are wearing a surgical post-operative shoe You will not be able to drive on the day of the operation. You are advised not to drive until your foot has healed. You will be advised as an individual specific to your surgery by your surgeon when he considers it safe for you to drive.

When can I return to work?

Most patients can normally return to work three to four weeks after surgery. Obviously it will depend on the type of work you do as well as the nature of the surgery. If you have a physical job you may be advised to take more time off than if you worked in an office. Although the surgical wound heals relatively quickly, it takes many months for all the bones and tendons to return to full strength. Also remember it is possible for the foot to remain sore and swollen for some time before you reap the full benefits of corrective surgery. If you require a "sick note" you will be able to obtain this from your own family doctor - we cannot provide these. We will write to your GP to keep them informed if your progress.


We cannot prevent the occasional patient from accidentally wetting and contaminating the foot dressings post-operatively. This raises the possibility of secondary infection. However most infections respond readily to normal antibiotic therapy.

As an added safety precaution, patients admitted to bone and joint surgery are screened for MRSA prior to surgery.

A positive MRSA test would then exclude the surgery while infected.

No patient is allowed in theatre who has MRSA – avoidance is the best protection.

The patient can only be reconsidered and admitted for surgery once the MRSA test shows a clear result. Patients are advised to avoid close contact with known MRSA carriers and regular contact with busy hospitals and staff with a risk of MRSA colonisation.

end faq