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Post-Op Tips: Foot

At home, you play a major role in your recovery. The better you care for your foot, the faster you may heal. And the faster you heal, the sooner you can resume your normal activities. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about how to care for your foot after surgery

Bearing weight

For the first few days, your healthcare provider may recommend that you not bear weight on your foot. You may use a cane, crutches, or a walker to help you move around. Gradually, you may work up to putting more weight on your foot, as instructed by your healthcare provider. 

Relieving pain

  • Closeup of elevated foot with bandage and ice pack.Take pain medicine to relieve discomfort and antibiotics to prevent infection as you’re instructed.

  • To protect your foot, wear your surgical (post-op) shoe as recommended.

  • To help relieve pain and swelling, apply a bag of ice to your foot as instructed and elevate your foot above heart level the first few days.

Strengthening your foot

Your healthcare provider may suggest ways to get your foot back in shape. You may be instructed to do exercises, possibly using weights. To help strengthen your foot, follow these tips:

  • Start out slowly, then increase repetitions as recommended.

  • Walking strengthens your foot because of the weight you put on it. For the first few weeks, walk only short distances if your healthcare provider says that you can put weight on your foot. 

  • Physical therapy may also be recommended to help you strengthen your foot and increase its range of motion.

 

Follow up with your healthcare provider

You may visit your healthcare provider the first week or 2 after surgery. He or she will remove your dressing, assess your incision, and apply a fresh dressing. Your sutures and your splint or cast, if you have one, may be removed in 2 or more weeks. To make sure you’re healing properly, you may see your surgeon regularly for 3 months or more. You may need follow-up X-rays. Write down any questions you have before going to your follow-up appointment. Having the questions in writing will help to make sure that you don't forget to bring them up with your healthcare provider. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Fraser, Marianne, MSN, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Joseph, Thomas N., MD
Last Review Date: 10/1/2017
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