Recovery After Forefoot Surgery
ELEVATE YOUR FOOT: Plan to have your foot elevated above your heart as much as possible for 1 to 2 weeks. This means that you should have your foot above your heart for most of the time during this time period. This is very important to control swelling and allow your wounds to heal. You may get up to eat, bathe, or go to the bathroom, but otherwise should be laying down with your foot elevated.
PAIN MANAGEMENT: You can expect pain after surgery. The most significant pain will occur during the first 2 to 5 days after surgery. Everyone experiences pain differently. Some tolerate it better than others. Please be prepared to experience significant pain. You will be prescribed pain medicine to help control this pain, but it will not take away all of the pain. Please refer to the pain management section of the this website for further details.
NERVE BLOCK: You will likely have a nerve block just prior to surgery. This procedure is performed by the anesthesiologist under ultrasound guidance. Numbing medication is injected around the nerves that supply sensation to the foot. This block is used to minimize your pain. It is not designed to take away all of your pain.
SURGERY AND RECOVERY TIMELINE: Can vary depending on your needs.
Day of surgery anesthesia will provide you with a nerve block
After surgery is completed a soft dressing +/- a post op stiff soled shoe will be applied. You must keep your dressing in place until your post op appointment unless instructed otherwise.
Weight bearing – You will likely need crutches. You will be allowed to either put a little pressure on your heel for balance or be completely non weight bearing. Dr. Kemp will give you specific instructions for activity.
Post operative visit #1 at 10 to 14 days after surgery. Sutures will be removed. Xrays done
Post operative visit #2 at 20 to 28 days after surgery. Wound check and dressings changed
Post operative visit #3 at 6 weeks after surgery. Xrays done. Typcially can begin full weight bearing in post op shoe.
Post operative visit #4 at 10 weeks after surgery. Transition out of post operative shoe and begin PT if needed
Post operative visit #5 at 4 to 6 months after surgery. Final visit unless there are unresolved issues
Recommend 1-2 weeks off after surgery.
May return to Sedentary or desk work for up to 6 weeks after surgery
Light duty or full duty after 6 weeks
Long term recovery:
You will have swelling for 4-6 months after surgery, this is usual and expected
No high impact activity (running, jumping) for 6 months after surgery in most cases
May shower and get foot/ankle wet when sutures are removed but no submersion under water (bath/hot tub/pool) for 2 months
Reasons to contact the office:
If your dressing feels tight, is causing pressure, is causing pain, or gets soiled. Or if you have bloody drainage through your dressing.
Fever over 102.4
Shortness of breath
Or if you have any other concerns that you would like to discuss.
Please contact our office immediately if any of these issues occur. (208) 855-2410. Do not call the hospital for post operative questions.
You may also review this video for post operative instructions after your forefoot surgery.