A person may experience discomfort or pain in the ankle due to number of reasons, such as injuries, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and tendonitis. When it comes to addressing the issue, doctors start by exploring non-surgical options, and recommend foot and ankle surgery if non-surgical options fail to adequately treat the condition. Specialists recommend foot and ankle surgeries to treat various issues, such as degenerative and post-traumatic arthritis, forefoot conditions, sports/stress injuries, ankle deformities, and a number of other underlying causes. Physicians who are members of the Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center referral line provide treatment options for a variety of orthopedic conditions including foot and ankle surgery.
1. Keep the Foot Elevated When Resting
Patients who undergo foot and ankle surgery may feel discomfort and pain accompanied with numbness around the surgically repaired area due to accumulation of fluid. To address the issue, keep the foot elevated while resting for at least seven days after the surgery. Loosen the ACE bandage, but leave the underlying dressing intact if there is significant pain or swelling.
2. Apply Ice Packs
Applying ice packs to the operated area reduces swelling and pain. Patients, however, should not leave the pack over bare skin for more than 20 minutes as it may lead to a frostbite. The time limit of applying ice packs may exceed if the dressing is in place. The dressing insulates the skin, thereby protecting it against adverse impact of overexposure to low temperatures.
3. Keep the Cast Clean
Unclean casts are a breeding ground for harmful microbes and may lead to infections. Use cast covers or double plastic bags when taking a shower can help avoid the problem. Use a dryer to dry the cast immediately if it gets wet. If the wound still has dressing, it is advisable to get it replaced every day or as suggested by the surgeon.
4. Follow Weight Bearing Instructions
Patients need to use crutches, wheelchair or a walker to avoid causing undue stress to the operated area. Both non-weight and weight bearing patients, however, need to limit their movement to avoid complications. Patients who use a postoperative shoe can transfer weight to the heel and the foot’s exterior, but should refrain from putting any pressure on the operated area.
5. Exercise Regularly
The following exercises can help patients improve the strength and flexibility of the operated area:
- Isometric quadricep – Lie on your back on the floor or bed. Hold the knee straight for 3-5 seconds and tighten the thigh muscles.
- Straight leg raising – Lie on their back and hold the knee on the operated side straight. Bend the opposite knee and tighten the thigh muscles. Stretch your legs few inches off the floor and maintain the posture for few seconds.
Patients should also try bending and straightening the knee while sitting or lying down. That said, it is important that to consult a doctor before trying any exercises.
6. Do Not Exert
Taking proper rest post surgery is important to speed up the recovery process. Patients who have a desk job need to take a break for at least a couple of weeks. Those who have a job that requires moderate levels of physical labor can return to work after 2-6 weeks and should avoid carrying heavy objects or standing for prolonged periods. Patients who have a physically demanding job must rest for at least four months before reassuming their responsibilities.
Final Few Words
In addition to the tips we have discussed, patients must also attend all follow-up appointments. If there are any signs of complications such as sudden increase in pain, discoloration of the toe, high fever that lasts for more than a day and redness or drainage around the dressing, consult the doctor. If you wish to learn more about knee and ankle surgery or are looking for surgeons in Plano, TX, look no further than Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center. To book an appointment, simply call 1-888-608-4762 or fill out our online booking form.
Disclaimer: Physicians who are members of the referral program practice independently and are not employees or agents of Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center.