Re: hallux rigidus surgery
I would see out an ortho(OS) who is well known with sports medicine and is certifed with foot/ankle. I would see what they have to say. If you do need surgery than I would go with an OS and not a pod but that is just my opinion. If need be I would see two different OS and see which one you like better and compare what they have to say. Plus I would ask around to find a well known one, or someone a lot of people recommend.
You are right that foot surgries are unpredictable but, most of the time if you follow what your OS says than you should be fine. Risk are there just like any other surgery and with feet there is more of a chance for rehurting the foot but, that comes with any surgery. I don't regert having any of the three that I have had on my foot. I feel like this last one is going to be my last and set me on the path to a heathly foot.
So that is my two cents. Feel free to ask any questions.
1/24/11 accessory navicular bone removed
4/5/12 posterior tibial tendon debridement (failed)
2/28/13 FDL transfer