Tips for a Successful Foot Surgery Recovery
Not all foot surgeries are the same. The type of surgery you have will greatly determine your recovery time. At Triad Foot Center, we have a few tips and tricks to make getting back on your feet faster and less painful. Foot surgery recovery doesn’t have to be a lengthy or overly painful process.
Here at Triad Foot Center, we regularly advise patients to use the ‘RICE’ acronym when prescribing aftercare to patients, which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. It’s easy for patients to remember and covers most of what we need them to do when recovering from surgery at home.” Whether the surgery is for bunions, plantar fasciitis, hammer or claw toes, flat feet or toenail conditions, the RICE acronym promotes healing, decreases pain and reduces swelling around the surgical site.
It may sound easy, but those who have foot surgery quickly realize that limited mobility is anything but a breeze. Rest is the most important part of recovering from surgery. Plan ahead to make sure you can get adequate rest after your surgery. Listen to your body and take it easy; pushing too hard too fast usually results in injury.
Using ice helps to alleviate pain and decrease swelling. If you are using ice or ice packs from your freezer, apply the ice for 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off. Don’t forget to place a thin piece of cloth between the ice pack and your skin to protect it from frostbite. Triad Foot Center has a heating and cooling pack designed for ankle and foot use.
Depending on the type of surgery you have, compression can significantly reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis. This condition occurs when a blood clot develops in one of the deep veins, usually in the legs. Wearing a compression stocking reduces your risk of blood clots. Other types of compression treatments, such as toe or ankle wraps, are used to control movement and swelling.
Swelling after surgery can significantly contribute to post-operative pain, especially with foot and/or ankle surgery. By elevating your foot after surgery swelling can be greatly reduced, therefore significantly reducing pain. When elevating your foot, always elevate above hip level. The goal is to bring blood flow away from the extremity, which ultimately reduces pressure and alleviates pain.
It is common for foot surgeries to be accompanied by swelling for several months after surgery. Don’t be discouraged. Continue to use the “RICE” technique, as well as the specific recommendations given to you by your podiatric surgeon.
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