Foot and ankle surgery is most likely necessary if recommended by a doctor. Common foot and ankle surgeries include Achilles tendon repair, fusion surgery, foot fracture surgery, metatarsal surgery, toe deformity correction surgery, and Morton’s neuroma surgery. All these procedures require some downtime as your body recovers from surgery.
Here’s how foot and ankle surgery may affect your everyday life.
Rest and Recovery
Rest is an important part of recovery. Today’s advanced foot and ankle surgeries allow patients to recover faster than before, however, it may still take between a few weeks to several months before you can get back to your normal activities. The length of time will vary depending on the procedure you’ve had done and your overall health. You must allow time to recover from surgery, which means you may need to take some time off work.
Specific Instructions and Movement Limitations
With every surgical procedure, doctors provide specific instructions on how to properly care for your foot and ankle. For instance, after Achilles tendon repair surgery, you will need to wear a splint and may need to use crutches, as well. You may also need to keep your leg elevated during the first few days after surgery. It is very important to stay off your feet. If you keep moving around while on crutches, it could lead to an injury and other complications. If you end up putting weight on the affected foot or ankle, you could damage the work the doctor has done and prolong your recovery. Depending on your needs, the doctor may recommend other assistive devices, such as a seated scooter. Patients who undergo arthrodesis (fusion) surgery for foot arthritis may need to use crutches for 4 to 10 weeks.
Using Post-Surgical Equipment and Orthopedic-Friendly Shoes
After being able to put weight on your foot, you may need to wear a boot. The boot provides greater protection and support as you slowly return to your normal activities. Once you are ready to take the boot off, the doctor may recommend orthopedic-friendly shoes, which are low-heeled, roomy, and comfortable, and offer great arch support. Such shoes can help avoid a recurrence of the foot or ankle problem and prevent other issues from arising.
Physical therapy is an important part of recovery. After not using your foot for some time, it may feel stiff or inflexible. The range of motion may not be there, and it may feel weak. A physical therapist will teach you exercises that you can do at home to gradually restore flexibility and function to your foot and ankle. Physical therapy exercises are performed at least once per day and gradually become more challenging as you build strength and become more flexible.
Foot and Ankle Surgery in Central Maryland
At Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (OACM), we have on-site diagnostic and physical therapy services and a world-class ambulatory center where we perform foot and ankle surgery on our patients. We have everything you need to successfully treat your foot or ankle condition. To make an appointment with one of our foot and ankle surgeons, call (410) 644-1880 or use our online request form.