Follow these basic guidelines after foot surgery to decrease complications and speed recovery. Give yourself plenty of time to prop up your feet and rest.
Walk only as ordered by your physician and always wear a surgical shoe, if prescribed.
Sit with your foot elevated to the level of your chest. Place a pillow under your heel to reduce pressure on the foot. Dangle your foot only as long as is absolutely necessary for the first two to three postoperative days.
Take pain medication prescribed by your physician for surgical pain.
Walk with assistance for the first few days - lean on an arm, cane, or walker.
Put ice on your ankle - 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off - for the first two days. Ice decreases swelling and bruising by constricting blood vessels.
Keep bandage clean and dry. That means keeping it out of the shower or tub. If you want to shower, wrap your foot in a large plastic bag and tape the opening closed around your calf. If you prefer to bathe, have someone help you into the tub, then prop your leg up along the tub edge. Try not to leave your leg extended up too long, because circulation to the foot is reduced.
Leave bandage on.
Call your doctor if the bandage comes off or becomes wet or saturated with blood. You should also call if your foot, leg or ankle turn blue, cold or numb, if your temperature is 100 degrees F or higher, or if you have thigh or calf pain.
Avoid walking a prolonged distance after most types of foot surgery. Back and forth to the bathroom is OK, but walking around the block or going shopping at the mall is not.
Crushed ice for ice packs works better than ice cubes. The cold is more evenly distributed when ice is crushed.
Walking longer distances than advised by your foot surgeon can cause complications in your recovery. Never put ice directly onto the skin. It can cause the skin to burn. Always put ice into an ice pack or wrap a towel around it. If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.