What are the treatments for a swollen foot after surgery on the leg?

Updated July 19, 2017

Swelling that builds up in the foot after surgery is called oedema and can be detrimental to the healing process. It's important to minimise this swelling after foot surgery so the body can heal properly.


You can buy compression stockings or wraps that will apply constant pressure when they're used. This will help minimise swelling when you cannot elevate your feet.


Whenever possible, lie down on your back and elevate your legs above your heart by putting a few pillows underneath them. This helps drain fluid back towards your core.


Ice packs can be applied alone or in combination with a compression bandage. The ice will cause vasoconstriction and a reduction in swelling.


Massage can be performed on the swollen foot while the patient lays on her stomach and bends the knee up (if possible) to 90 degrees. Massage down towards the knee to push fluid out of the foot.


Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can help alleviate swelling also. Check with your doctor before taking any medications after surgery.


Make sure you speak with your doctor before attempting to alleviate swelling. The surgery type may prevent you from using one or more of these techniques.

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About the Author

Dave Brummert has been a writer since 2002. He earned a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from the University of New Hampshire, and is a certified athletic trainer. He is new to Demand Studios, but looks forward to producing some high-quality articles.