Post-Op Tips: Foot

At home, you play a big 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 get back to your normal activities. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about how to care for your foot after surgery.

Standing or walking

For the first few days, your healthcare provider may tell you to not bear weight on your foot. This means you should not put your weight on it when you stand or walk. You may use a cane, crutches, or a walker to help you move around. Over time, you may work up to putting more weight on your foot, as instructed by your healthcare provider. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions. If you put weight on your foot too soon, the repair may be damaged.

Relieving pain

Closeup of elevated foot with bandage and ice pack.

  • Take pain medicine to relieve pain. Take antibiotics to prevent infection as you’re instructed.

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

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

Strengthening your foot

Your healthcare provider may advise ways to get your foot back in shape. You may be told to do exercises. You may use weights for these. To help strengthen your foot, follow these tips:

  • Start out slowly, then increase the repetitions as advised.

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

  • Do physical therapy as advised. This is to help you strengthen your foot. And it helps you increase its range of motion.

Follow up with your healthcare provider

You may need to visit your healthcare provider the first week or two after surgery. They will remove your dressing, check your incision, and put on a new dressing. Your stitches (sutures) and your splint or cast 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. This will help to make sure that you don't forget to ask these questions.

© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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