What Happens?

If you have had any bony surgery in the back half of the foot, you will require plaster treatment for six weeks. If you have only had bony surgery in the forefoot, then you may be able to manage with a special shoe that only allows weight bearing through the heel.

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 foot 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. Most of the swelling will settle within the first few months, but swelling can continue for up to one year.

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 normally be in plaster for a total of six weeks after surgery. During this time, you should not weight bear on this foot. You will need crutches or a walking frame to get about.

Two weeks after the operation, you will have your plaster removed, and the stitches removed. You will then have a further plaster applied for four more weeks.

After this, you will have an xray and if this is satisfactory, you will be given a removable plastic boot, in which you can put your weight through the operated foot. You will use this for a further six weeks. This can be removed for washing, performing exercises and at night.

If you have only had forefoot surgery, then you will be able to return to normal footwear at six weeks, if the swelling allows this.

BLOOD CLOTS

If you are in plaster for a prolonged period, you will be at risk of developing a blood clot in your leg. You will be given injections to thin the blood to cut this risk down. These can be self-administered, even in the elderly. You can stop taking these as soon as you progress to a plastic boot.

EXERCISES

While you are in plaster, you can perform exercises to keep the leg muscles above the knee strong, as these will become weaker as you are not weight bearing.

You can remove the plastic boot to wash, and perform exercises depending on your operation. If you have had a triple fusion, you will still be able to perform up and down movement of the ankle.

After twelve weeks, you will be seen in the clinic and a further xray will be taken. From this time, you will start to wean yourself off the plastic boot, and have physiotherapy.

RETURNING TO WORK

You will be unable to weight bear while in plaster. I advise that you do not return to work before the plaster is removed, especially if you are on your feet all day at work. Most people will be off work for four months as a minimum, but if you have a workplace with disabled access that allows you to use crutches and you are sitting down most of the day, you may be able to return to work while wearing the plastic boot. 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.

six weeks in plaster

if surgery to the

back of the foot

then six weeks in

plastic boot

postoperative shoe for forefoot surgery

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what your 
operation involvesCavus_Foot_Surgery.html
what to expect
after surgery
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