On Your Feet Again: Recovering From Foot Surgery

Foot surgery of any kind is followed by a unique recovery period. Since you depend on your feet to walk around and stand, you need to be very careful about your activity levels during this time — and your recovery will seem to impact every facet of your life. 

So how do you ensure a successful foot surgery recovery with as little pain and discomfort as possible? By following these tips, of course!

1. Have someone else around so you're not tempted to walk too much.

It's easy to start making excuses to start walking before you should or to walk more than you should. You need to get your vitamins out of the cupboard; it's just a few steps! But walking too much too early could cause your stitches to rip open. In some cases, such as if you had bunion surgery, it could even push bones out of alignment. You'll be a lot less tempted to overdo it if you have a friend or family member staying with you. They can get up and run these little errands for you, so you can truly just rest. Have someone with you for two weeks at least. 

2. Keep the compression bandage on.

Chances are your surgeon will send you home with a compression bandage of some sort. This may feel tight and uncomfortable, but it's important that you keep it on for as long as your doctor recommends. When you're off your feet for a while, as you are after foot surgery, you become prone to blood clots in your legs and feet. These blood clots can travel to your heart, lungs, or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke. If the compression bandage truly feels too tight, call your doctor. They can take a look, and if they agree it is too tight, they can send you home with a slightly looser one.

3. Elevate your leg.

As much as possible, sit with your foot elevated. This will help keep the fluid draining back up your leg, towards your heart. Keeping the swelling under control will help speed up the healing process. An easy way to elevate your leg is to put a pillow or two on a footstool and put your foot on top of the pillows while you are resting. When you go to bed at night, put a pillow under your recovering foot to raise it up a bit. 

For additional tips for recovering from foot surgery, reach out to your doctor. They can give you more specific guidelines based on the specific surgery you had. Check out websites like http://www.elmhurstpodiatry.com to learn more.