Recovery After Midfoot/Hindfoot/Ankle 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.  You will be prescribed pain medicine to help control this pain, but it will not take away all of the pain.

    • Norco- Start taking this medication before your block wears off.  The goal is to be off Norco on and all narcotics 2 weeks post op or sooner. 

    • Tylenol - When you are off of Percocet and Norco, you can transition to Tylenol.  Use as directed on the bottle.  

    • No NSAIDs (Ibuprofen)/Aleve) for 6 weeks if you have a fracture or if we are waiting on bone healing from your procedure.

  • 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 you will be in a splint that goes from just below your knee to your toes.  You must keep your splint clean and dry until your post op appointment unless instructed otherwise.   Obtain a cast cover from your local pharmacy to use for showering.

    • Weight bearing – You will need crutches, a knee scooter or and i-Walk to remain non weight bearing for 6 to 8 weeks.  Dr. Kemp will give you specific instructions for activity beyond this.

    • Post operative visit #1 at 10 to 14 days after surgery.  Sutures will be removed.  X-rays done.  You will either be placed into a post op boot or a cast.  

    • Post operative visit #2 at 6 weeks after surgery.  X-rays done.  If healing well, then you may begin weight bearing in the boot.  

    • Post operative visit #3 at 10 weeks after surgery.   X-rays done.  May transition from walking boot to a lace up ankle brace.  PT to start at 10 weeks. 

    • Post operative visit #4 at 4 to 6 months after surgery. Final visit unless there are unresolved issues

  • TIME OFF WORK:

    • Recommend 1-2 weeks off after surgery.

    • May return to Sedentary or desk work for up to 6 weeks after surgery

    • Light duty after 6 weeks.

    • If you are a laborer, you may not be able to return to full work duty for 6 months or more depending on the extent of your surgery and recovery. 

  • 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 if you are in a removable 

  • Reasons to contact the office:

    • If your dressing feels tight, is causing pain, gets soiled

    • Fever over 102.4

    • Uncontrolled pain

    • Shortness of breath

    • Or if you have any other concerns

    • Please contact our office immediately if any of these issues occur.  (208) 855-2410.  Do not call the hospital for post operative questions.