What to Expect After Surgery
You may be put into a splint or cast following your procedure. You may also have a surgical shoe. Do not walk around without the surgical shoe. The shoe is there to protect your foot and prevent stubbing your toes. You may also require crutches (depending on the procedure). It is very important to keep your dressing clean and dry to help prevent an infection. You may want to consider purchasing a “shower sock” so that you can safely cover your splint/cast to shower. A prescription for pain medication will be electronically submitted to your pharmacy. The type and duration of medication will depend on the procedure but will normally be prescribed for approximately 2 – 3 weeks.
You will need to keep your foot elevated above the level of your heart and iced as much as possible for the first few days. This will help with the pain and swelling. We recommend cryotherapy* for patients that have certain procedures. We also recommend a supplement regimen of Bromelain** and OPC-3** post-operatively.
Your first post-operative visit (POV) will be approximately 1 week after surgery. At this appointment you will have your dressing removed and may have x-rays (x-rays are not needed for soft tissue procedures). You may also receive a sterile whirlpool depending on the procedure. A new cast and/or dressing will be applied and another appointment will be made for the following week. Limit your amount of walking. It is still important to keep your foot elevated as much as possible to help reduce pain and swelling.
At your second POV your dressing and cast will be removed and you will receive another whirlpool. At this visit, sutures will be removed and steri-strips will be applied. You will now be able to take a regular shower the next day if the doctor tells you it is okay. Trim the ends of the steri-strips when the start to lift. Do not pull the steri-strips off. They will come off on their own.
You may be put into a pneumatic walking boot. You can take it off when resting, sleeping or showering. The boot is for walking around. Do not walk around without it. You will be in the boot for approximately 2 weeks, at which time you will return for your 3rd post-operative visit.
At your third POV x-rays may be taken to see if the surgical site is stable enough to attempt going back into a regular shoe.
DRIVING – if you are having surgery on your LEFT foot then you can drive as soon as you are off the narcotic medication. If you are having surgery on your RIGHT foot then you cannot drive for approximately 4-6 weeks.
* Cryotherapy – Also known as cold therapy or ice treatment, is an application utilized to bring the body temperature down at the tissue and cellular level in order to achieve therapeutic benefits. Helps reduce inflammation and pain.
** Bromelain – Found naturally in the stems of pineapples. It is an enzyme which breaks down protein. Promotes your body’s immune system and inflammatory response, helping support the body’s normal ability to heal itself on a cellular and muscular level. Bromelain has been shown to enhance the body’s ability to repair itself.
** OPC-3 – An isotonic supplement that is made from a combination of bilberry, grape seed, red wine and pine bark extracts, and citrus extract bioflavonoids, all found to be powerful antioxidants. OPC-3 has been shown to help to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as help maintain healthy circulation.