Dispelling Treatment Fears


With the New Year upon us, we are legally required to blog about our fears for the upcoming year. (Hey, we don’t make up the laws—we just have to follow them.)

While we could talk about goals, resolutions, or IRS audits, let’s take this in a slightly different direction and look at the nature of fear itself. If you recall from our blog back in July (or if you’re well-versed in FDR quotes), that’s supposed to be the only thing to fear.

The truth of the matter is this:

We consider pain to be a gift because if you can’t feel pain, you aren’t aware of dangerous situations. In the same way, fear can also be a good thing.

If that seems strange to hear, here’s something to consider:

If you were on the African plains and didn’t have a fear of the big, fluffy kitty carefully watching you, it probably wouldn’t end well for you—and especially if you got close to take a selfie with her adorable cubs! 

Fear is an essential tool that can keep us safe.

However, too much can become a bad thing. After all, fear can hold you back from applying to that new job or asking your potential soulmate on a date, right?

When you get down to it, context and balance are both important considerations with determining how healthy a fear can be.

Understanding treatment fears

In regards to various fears, perhaps one of the strangest is when people are afraid of treatments that can help them get better.

Yep, it happens—and it’s not quite as rare as you might think.

scared teddy bear


It would be understandable if you’re asking yourself how someone can fear something that’s actually a good thing, but consider this:

Some people are afraid of dogs (cynophobia), and we don’t know if there’s anything better than our canine companions!

Now, when we start discussing treatment fears, one that is common is the fear of needles (trypanophobia).

We’ve previously discussed trypanophobia here on our blog.You can read about this particular fear by reading the linked post—and when you do, you’ll learn about why there’s no need for trypanophobia here at our office!

Along with needles, another specific (and common) source of treatment fear for patients is surgery.

There’s actually a bit of irony when it comes to a fear of surgery. Some people are so afraid surgery will be needed that they put off coming in for treatment. In doing so, they manage to decrease the likelihood we’ll be able to treat the problem with conservative methods. Since their treatment is delayed, the odds become even greater that surgery is necessary!

(That’s what’s called “painful irony.”)

But here’s the thing:

Anesthesia makes surgery less painful. And we aren’t going to perform a surgical procedure on you without administering anesthesia. Unlike mad scientists in the movies, we aren’t cruel—and we certainly don’t perform unnecessary surgeries.

There might be some discomfort during the recovery period, but we have measures to help reduce this. In this case, the answer may be a matter of medication or controlling inflammation by using an icing regimen, or swelling with a cryo cuff, which are highly effective.

A real fear: unaddressed foot problems

If you think about everything we’ve discussed so far, you’ll see that there’s only one thing to fear, and that is an unaddressed problem.

Actually, two things to fear—unaddressed problems and that unused gym membership from last year’s resolution.

We can’t help much if you are faced with a recurring fitness bill (sorry), but we can give that foot or ankle problem of yours some attention! We’ll determine what is wrong, why it’s happening, and create a treatment plan to resolve it for you.

There are two basic approaches when it comes to controlling foot problems. Treatment choices either involve protection or correction. Protection is non invasive and involves externally controlling the problem. One of the most common ways to protect your feet is through a pair of custom orthotics. However, if the foot problem is more severe, correctional treatment may be necessary. This is internal and indicates surgical correction. The best way to avoid correctional treatment and have a shorter recovery time is to address the problem quickly.

Despite any preconceived notions you may have, there’s nothing scary about orthotics! If this is our recommended treatment, we will perform time-proven testing to ensure that you end up with a pair of custom devices that actually work for your unique foot structure and gait pattern.

For a truly frightening experience, go see our good pals at the Not-So-Good Foot Store!

(Seriously, though, don’t. There are better ways if you want to get ripped off.)

All of this begs the question:



 Where on earth do these fears come from?

This is usually a learned behavior—and there are a couple different ways it might have been learned.

Sometimes, the core issue is that a patient had a bad experience somewhere else. Here at our office, we are trained and take special care in how to perform painless injections. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for every medical practice.

Fears can be induced by hearing other’s experiences. This can be valuable to learn from other’s mistakes, but acquiring a fear of treatment isn’t one of them.

And there’s at least one more source of treatment fear that comes to mind:

We could say that the entire internet provides plenty of opportunity for fear-mongering (of all kinds…) to happen. Some YouTube videos are absolutely cringe-worthy and can cause others to delay treatment—until they have little or no choice but to have the surgery they were so afraid of having in the first place.

Put those fears aside!

Understanding problems and where they come from is a great starting point for resolution. But this isn’t the end!

Addressing a foot or ankle condition needs an action plan. In this case, we’ve identified a couple of steps you can take to reduce your fear of treatment, and that of your loved ones as well:

  • Education. This is an outstanding starting point when it comes to addressing problems. Understanding your treatment options can ease your mind and help you feel comfortable with various procedure.
  • Focus on what you can control. One way to relieve yourself of fear is to focus on what you can control. A lot of fear comes down to anxiety about things that are out of your influence in a given situation. If you realize there isn’t anything you can do—and are able to accept that!—it can alleviate your fears.
  • Have reasonable expectations. Sometimes, the fear isn’t as much about the procedure or injection itself, but rather a worry about you won’t be able to do your previous activities. Starting with reasonable expectations can lessen fear about what’ll happen after the recovery period is over.
  • Help children get past their fears. We have two big tips for getting children past a treatment fear and preventing one from developing. If a child already has some fear, have them bring along a favorite toy. This is even better when the toy is a doll, stuffed animal, or action figure because we can visually show the child what we will do to them on the toy. In regards to preventing a fear from developing, we find that parents can really help by not telling a child a procedure’s going to be painful or making comments during the process like “Does it hurt yet?”


When you come to our Indianapolis office—either for yourself or a child—we provide careful, gentle services in the most pain-free way possible. We have years of experience in this regard, and many patients will attest to this.

One way you can help others a treatment fear from developing is by leaving an online review. It can be a great example if you explain how we were able to help you and let others know that there really isn’t anything to be afraid of

(Except those promised goals, resolutions, and IRS audits!)

If you’d like to come in before surgery is your only option, request an appointment and learn more about our practice. Or simply give us a call at (317) 545-0505 for more information and we’ll be happy to help!


9505 E. 59th St., Suite A
Indianapolis, IN 46216

Phone Number

(317) 545-0505

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