Foot Care After Surgery
Recovering from foot surgery requires patience, common sense and self-care. The type of surgery you have had, your age and medical history, and the amount of mobility restriction experienced will also contribute to the type of surgery after-care required.
Tests and AssessmentThere are many different types of foot surgery procedures available. Surgery for arthritis, for instance, requires after surgery care that focuses more on rest and recuperation than on gradual flexibility and movement. The type of medical procedure will therefore determine the level of after-care required.
Special tests and examinations may be carried out prior to surgery as well as post-surgery, and this may take place in a podiatrist’s clinic or in a hospital environment.
Recovery TimeAfter surgery you will be issued with post-operative instructions that will highlight the need for care and rest. Information on correct elevation, medication, bandages and the use of walking aids, if required, will also be included. The surgery podiatrist will also book you in for an assessment appointment, where you will be given the opportunity to discuss concerns, mobility issues and the amount of care required for full recovery. Rehabilitation and/or physical therapy may also be suggested.
Whilst you may be eager to resume normal activities and movement as soon as possible after surgery it is important to understand the reasons why a recovery period is essential. Reducing pressure to the feet, after surgery, also limits the potential onset of symptoms like painful knee, hip and lower back problems.
Rest and RecuperationTaking sufficient rest after surgery is important to the health and wellbeing of your feet. If medication, for pain relief, has been prescribed it is important to complete the course. Elevating the foot, to chest height, will help the healing process, as too will walking with assistance, keeping dressings and bandages clean and wearing surgical support if required.
It is important to keep bandages dry when showering or bathing. This is best done by wrapping your foot in a large plastic bag and taping the end up so that the dressing does not become wet. Should the bandages become wet however, it is recommended that you contact your GP immediately.
Causes For ConcernFollowing medical advice will help you ensure you maintain the correct level of surgery after-care best suited to your recovery needs. Regardless of the care you take sometimes post-surgery pain or symptoms may create a cause for concern.
If you develop a temperature, experience persistent pain and/or blood appears on the dressing it is important to contact your GP. If your foot is cold or numb, or the dressing feels tight and uncomfortable medical advice is also recommended.