Sometimes, a foot injury is too severe to be treated with non-operative methods. After being evaluated, your physician may determine that surgery is the best option to treat your injury. While you may be apprehensive to undergo foot surgery, it may be the only option to regain normal function in your foot.
It’s best to be as prepared as possible for your foot surgery so that you can rest during recovery. The following tips will help you get ready for surgery and the recovery period:
Preparing around the house
If your bedroom is on the upper level, make a bed on the first floor. This will make recovery easier so you can avoid the stairs altogether. You’ll also want to prep for surgery by filling your home with essential items so you don’t have to leave your home. It’s also important to make sure these items are easily accessible.
Prepare enough meals for the following two weeks because standing on two feet to cook will be difficult. Put your meals in freezer bags and freeze them, then thaw them out the day you’re ready to eat them at mealtime.
Dressing after surgery
Because it will be difficult to get dressed when you can’t put any weight on your foot, make sure you have a clean supply of loose-fitting clothing such as sweatpants for the next week or two. It’s also best to avoid shoes so you don’t aggravate your incision.
Your doctor will instruct you to discontinue certain medicines a few days or weeks before your foot surgery. Medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen should typically be discontinued one week before surgery, while blood thinning medications should be stopped five days prior to surgery.
Avoid driving after surgery
You’ll be unable to drive after surgery, so arrange for someone to take you home. It’s also discouraged to even be in a car for a week or two after surgery because it’s difficult to elevate your leg above your heart. Ask a friend or family member to help you with errands so you won’t have to leave the house.
What to expect the day of surgery
On the day of surgery, take off any nail polish, makeup, or jewelry and wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Arrive about two hours early to leave enough time for filling out forms and other preparations. Patients are usually required to have someone stay with them during surgery.
Your physician will give you anesthesia and make sure you’re comfortable before beginning the surgery. The length of your foot surgery depends on what type of injury is being treated.
Personal care after surgery
It’s crucial to avoid getting your cast or dressing wet after your surgery because it can lead to an infection in the incision. To cover your foot, wrap a few waterproof plastic bags around the cast and hold them in place with duct tape. Use a towel at the opening to avoid leaks.
Now that you know what to expect from your foot surgery and how to prepare, you should be more comfortable going into surgery. Be sure to speak with your surgeon if you have any questions or concerns.
For more information about foot and ankle pain, download our e-book, Pains and Sprains: A Complete Guide to Foot Injuries and Disorders. This educational guide will provide you with everything you need to know when dealing with a painful foot or ankle injury, condition, or disorder.