Foot and ankle surgery should only be considered if you have a thorough understanding of your condition. Your doctor should discuss possible non-surgical and surgical treatments as well as what could happen if the condition is left untreated.
The aim of all foot and ankle surgery is to provide pain relief, improve function and/or enhance quality of life to carry out normal activities of daily living.
It is important to fully understand any procedure you are about to undergo and to consider the experience of the surgeon with that particular procedure.
The following is a general outline of what you might expect after an operation on your foot or ankle. For specific enquiries, speak to your orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon.
- Organise for someone to drive you home after surgery
- Rest and allow time off from work and/or family to give the wounds a chance to heal without complications
- Elevate your leg for at least seven days after surgery as feet do swell
- Pain relief (strong) should be taken regularly for the first 2-3 days as prescribed
- General pain relief medication, such as paracetamol, should be taken every four to six hours
- If the pain is not improving with medication, check the bandages to ensure they are not too tight
- Most people feel comfortable using crutches in the first 1-2 weeks to help get around
- Keep bandages dry. A plastic bag will usually do the trick
- If there is excessive redness, pain or swelling near a wound, it is possible that you have an infection. This is rare but needs urgent attention
- Speak to your surgeon about the right time to put weight on your leg and foot