After most foot and ankle surgery we recommend elevating and icing the site. If the bandage it too thick or you have a boot splint or cast on icing behind the knee can help. Edema or swelling is one of the most common complications of foot and ankle surgery because the foot is often in a dependent position (hanging down). To compensate for this elevation is recommended as much as possible. This is especially important the first few days after the procedure. Often a narcotic pain medication is prescribed. It is recommended to take this as needed for the first few days. If your pain is greater that a 5/10 on the pain scale take the stronger medication. If your pain is less than a 5/10 try to take Tylenol instead. Do not take both at the same time because often acetaminophen/Tylenol is mixed in with the narcotic. As you know there are dependency issues with narcotics so take the least amount possible. Also, be sure you keep it somewhere safe and dispose of it safely. Often times we also prescribe an antiinflamary such as Aspirin Motrin Mobic or Advil. These should be taken with food as directed. They help with pain, inflammation and have a blood thinning affect that can decrease the chance of blood clots.
Things to look out for. Pain not controlled by the medication. Calf tenderness, shortness of breath or racing heartbeat. Fever, chills, nausea, redness or discharge. A small dot of blood on the dressing is not uncommon or worrisome. But if the dot becomes bigger than a quarter or saturates the dressing call us. Lack of capillary refill (when you press on the tip of a toe it should turn white and then turn back to pink in less than 3-4 seconds). Call us for any of these symptoms.
We normally see post op patients within 1 week of the procedure. We change the dressing and evaluate the healing.
Often between week 2-3 we remove the sutures or staples.
Depending on the procedure and your healing we decide when to start range of motion exercises, weight bearing status and whether you will need physical therapy.
Your Doctor can be reached 24/7 by calling our office line 201-445-2288 and choosing option 2 for a Hospital Doctor or Medical Emergency. If you have a concern do not hesitate to call us.
We are happy you are the road to recovery and getting you back to the activities you enjoy!
Complete Foot & Ankle Doctor’s and Staff