More is always better, right? Well, it depends. If you’re talking about choosing a product to purchase, having more options may not be in your best interest. Iyengar and Lepper of Columbia and Stanford Universities respectively, found in their 2000 study that consumers were more likely to buy jam when given the option of choosing from six flavors, than when given the option to choose from 24 different varieties. They concluded that the more choices consumers have, the less likely they are to buy anything, and the less satisfied they are with their choice when they do make one.
The question is, does this translate to healthcare? There are many options for treating almost everything in healthcare because we are constantly trying to improve our techniques, more and more studies are being done and more information is available to tell us what is working and what is not, and technology is always improving. All of this means that more treatment options are available in our effort to eliminate your pain, improve function, and eliminate the disease.
Not all treatment options are equal in effectiveness, but then again, not all patients respond the same to every treatment, and there are many variables that have to be considered when faced with choosing the right approach to a condition. Some patients are ok with injections and taking medications, while some can’t because of interactions with medication they are already taking, or in light of other health issues present. Some patients don’t want to be in the same room as a syringe. Some people are ok with minor procedures or even surgery, while others want to avoid any type of invasive procedure, however minor it may be. Some patients only want to consider treatments that are covered by insurance; others just want to get better regardless of the cost. Can you take time off work or is that not an option? Can you be non-weight bearing and use crutches as part of your care, or do you need to be able to walk through your treatment? Are you a professional athlete, weekend warrior or couch potato?
Since every person is unique and has their own individual set of circumstances that need to be considered, the more treatment options that are available to that person, the more likely they are to find the right one that fits their needs and individual lifestyle.
As physicians with Kansas City Foot and Ankle, we believe that it’s an important responsibility to offer ALL of the options for treating foot and ankle conditions. Let’s take heel and arch pain, for example, since our Heel Pain Center of Kansas City specializes in this very common, and often debilitating condition. There are the standard, tried and true treatments including stretching exercises, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, and shoe inserts. Unfortunately, many believe that if these traditional modalities have been tried and failed, surgery is necessary. Fortunately, so many more options are available today in an effort to keep patients with heel and arch pain out of the operating room. In fact, it’s pretty rare anymore, that we need to do surgery for this condition. If surgery is necessary, several of the most experienced and qualified foot and ankle surgeons in the country are right here at Kansas City Foot and Ankle.
Today, we utilize advanced treatment options including Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), musculoskeletal laser treatments, stem cell injections, protein-rich plasma injections (PRP), Tenex and Topaz procedures as well as the latest technology in custom orthotics. Some of these treatments are completely non-invasive, some are injections and some are minor procedures performed in the office setting. Some are covered by insurance, some are not. But the nice thing about all of these options is that they are all proven and effective.
So if you’re looking for the right flavor of jam, or the perfect style of jeans, do yourself a favor and limit your options. Research shows that it will be easier to make a choice, and you will be more satisfied with your decision. But when it comes to your health, the more options that are available, the better. With all the modalities Kansas City Foot and Ankle has to offer, we are sure to find the right combination of treatment options to alleviate your condition and get you back to your active lifestyle quickly and comfortably.