What Happens?

PAIN

You will have had injections to numb your foot so that you are not in pain after the operation. This injection will wear off after 18-24 hours, so you must take regular painkillers so that you are not in severe pain when the injection wears off. Ibuprofen and Diclofenac should not be used for more than a few days after the operation as they can interfere with bone healing.

The pain will settle over a few weeks. You may see blood stains on the dressings. This is normal and not a cause for alarm. If blood is dripping from the dressings however, return to hospital.

SWELLING

The ankle will be swollen as well as sore. You should keep the foot elevated as much as possible for the first two weeks. Keep walking down to a minimum - going to the toilet or for meals. Letting the leg hang down will cause the foot to become more swollen.

If you are resting on your sofa, keep your foot elevated on the back rest or arm rest. If you are resting in bed, then place a few pillows under the foot to keep it elevated.

WALKING

You will not need a plaster cast or a plastic boot. You will have thick dressings which will stay in place for two weeks You can fully weight bear through the operated ankle, although this may be sore to begin with. The shoe is for your comfort when walking, and when the stitches have been removed, you can return to normal shoes.

EXERCISES

Although any bony block to movement has been removed, you will initially not notice any change in your range of movement. This is because your Achilles tendon and other structures are still tight, and these need to be stretched through exercises to allow movement at the ankle to increase. After the stitches have been removed, and the pain is settling, you will need physiotherapy to stretch the structures behind the ankle. These stretches can be seen on the exercises page.

RETURNING TO WORK

You will have a sore ankle for at least a few weeks, and in some cases a few months. I recommend that you have at least two weeks off work with a possibility of requiring another four weeks if you are very sore from having bone shaved off the front of the ankle joint.

Some patients have recurrent pain around six weeks after surgery. This is due to inflammation and scarring around the ankle and may need an injection into the ankle to settle it down. Remember that not everyone is the same, and some people take a longer time to recover from their surgery. Please request a sick note before you leave hospital, if you need one.

postoperative shoe

about this conditionAnkle_Impingement.html
what your 
operation involvesAnkle_Impingement_Surgery.html
what to expect
after surgery
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