You’ve just had foot surgery, perhaps for bunions, plantar fasciitis, hammer or claw toes, flat feet or toenail conditions. Congratulations on taking this big step forward towards resolving an issue which no doubt was causing you pain and discomfort or limiting your mobility. But you are not ready to get back on your feet just yet. While your surgery may have been the centerpiece of fixing your foot problem, how you take care of yourself after the procedure will determine how quickly you can get back on your feet and ensure that the surgery accomplishes what you wanted it to.
In addition to following all specific post-surgery instructions your doctor gives you, consider these helpful, easy tips which can aid in your recovery:
Prepare Your Home
As discussed below, the single most important thing you can do after your surgery is rest and keep any pressure or weight off the affected foot, especially during the first week. That means you will want to minimize your need to get up to get a snack or beverage, grab a book, laptop, phone, or remote, or do any of the things you normally do around the house. Before your surgery, set up an area of your home where the things you anticipate needing will be within reach. Ideally, you also have someone who can help you with your needs while you do the important work of staying off your feet.
When you do get up, you may be unstable, off-balance and more prone to falls. Make sure that the areas of the house you walk through are free from obstacles or other fall risks and move any furniture if needed so that you have ample room to maneuver with crutches or other aids.
Follow the RICE Approach
Following your foot surgery, you can speed your recovery with RICE. Not the food, but a recovery protocol which can be easily remembered by the mnemonic R-I-C-E: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
- Rest. As noted, keeping weight off of your foot as much as possible is imperative. Rely on crutches or other mobility aids if necessary and directed by your doctor. Don’t get cocky as you start to feel better; listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard or too quickly.
- Ice. You may experience some pain and swelling after your surgery. Cold and ice can quickly constrict the blood vessels in your skin and underlying tissues, which decreases blood flow and reduces inflammation. For the first 48 to 72 hours or until the swelling goes down, apply an ice pack for 10 to 20 minutes every one to two hours throughout the day.
- Compression. Swelling can also be reduced by using an elastic compression wrap for the first 24 to 36 hours after the injury. Compression can also reduce the chance of blood clots and deep vein thrombosis.
- Elevation. While you are staying off of your feet lying in bed or sitting on the couch, try to keep the injured ankle elevated above your head for a couple of hours each day to further reduce swelling and pain.
Keep Yourself Occupied
Being stuck on the couch or in the house can take a toll mentally, especially if you live an active lifestyle. Make sure you keep yourself busy or distracted so you don’t spend your mental energy lamenting your temporarily restricted movements. Work, games, books, binge watching a TV show – whatever works for you to keep your spirits up while you get better.
Call the Hollywood, Florida Foot and Ankle Specialists at JAWS podiatry Today
Surgery is just one of the many ways we treat foot and ankle problems at JAWS podiatry. Our foot and ankle specialists will explore all possible alternatives to see if a non-surgical solution can address your problem. But if we do recommend surgery, our experienced podiatrist will perform your procedure with the utmost care and precision, using the most advanced technology and methods. Please call us today at (954) 922-7333 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.