Making the decision to undergo foot surgery can be an anxious time, however being prepared and knowing what is expected during the recovery period can ease any worry and angst about the process. The recovery stage is different for all types of procedures and is also different for every person that undergoes surgery, however these points provide a general guide as to what to expect after foot surgery. These topics will be discussed both prior to surgery and during your post -operative care and recovery period by your surgeon and surgeon’s assistant. It is important that you bring up any queries or concerns you may have regarding your procedure prior to undergoing surgery.
You may require some form of immobilization
Most foot surgery procedures require you to wear a special post-operative shoe with a firm sole that prevents your foot from bending while walking. These are used for most bunion, hallux limitus and Morton’s neuroma excision procedures. They do allow you to walk immediately following surgery, however it is important to limit your weight-bearing time to what your surgeon has recommended. Some procedures such as ingrown toenail surgery require no immobilization and you are able to walk immediately afterwards in an open toed shoe or sandal. Most people can get back into regular enclosed shoes between 3 and 10 days following ingrown toenail surgery. Few foot surgery procedures require you to be completely immobilized either in a cast with crutches, or in a moon boot, however if this is a requirement for your surgery it will be discussed with you prior to the procedure.
Rest and elevation is vital for healing
Most foot surgery will result in minimal swelling, provided that you rest and elevate the area in accordance with instructions given by your surgeon. Excessive swelling at the area results in delayed healing times, therefore it’s best to focus on rest and elevation for a short period of time, rather that risk slower healing by doing too much too soon. Extra preparation prior to surgery such as pre-preparing meals or organising extra assistance around the house is a good idea to ensure you can rest as much as possible.
The area will need to remain clean and dry
To prevent the incidence of infection following surgery, your foot will need to remain clean and dry for a period of time. The bandage will prevent dirt and bacteria from entering the site, however it is important not to expose the foot to potential pathogens by walking in sand or dirt. The area will also need to remain dry at all times; this is easily done using a bag secured around the ankle. Baths are also a good alternative for people who are fit and mobile. You can begin getting the foot wet once the sutures have been removed and the wound is healed. Your surgeon will give you the all clear when it is safe to get the site wet.
Undergoing foot surgery shouldn’t be a negative experience! Getting back to the activities that you enjoy is something to look forward to beyond the recovery period. Making sure you are well informed about the specifics of your procedure and recovery will lead to a smooth and speedy return to activity. For an in-depth consultation with Dr Andrew Knox call (08) 9383 3851 or book online.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for general information purposes only. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.