How to recover from foot surgery quickly

How to recover from foot surgery quickly Share this article

Foot pain is one of the most common complaints among Americans. In fact, The New York Times reported that about 75 percent of people in the U.S. experience foot pain at some time in their lives. Many people simply try to ignore the pain or rely on medication to manage the soreness and sharp twinges commonly associated with foot ailments.

For some, though, surgery is the best option for finally finding relief from foot pain. Whether you've had plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, gout, hallux rigidus or another ailment, a surgical option may be the first step toward a life without foot pain.

Recovering from foot surgery can be it's own chore, but the long-term relief is well worth the short-term discomfort. If you've recently had foot surgery, these tips may help you speed up on the road to recovery:

Control the swelling

As with any invasive surgery, there will be some amount of tissue swelling around the site of operation. To help reduce the swelling somewhat, the University of California recommended keeping your foot raised above your heart. The best way to do so is to lie on your back with a large, soft cushion under your foot.

Icing the area is another good way to reduce swelling. Use a plastic bag to control the moisture and ice for about 20 minutes at a time. This may also help diminish the need for pain medications.

Prevent blood clots

The risk of developing a blood clot after foot surgery is actually low, but it's still an important issue that you should monitor. The Hospital for Special Surgery reported that some light exercise multiple times a day can be very beneficial. Depending on the location and severity of your surgery, you may be able to perform some of these simple movements:

  • Foot pumps: While lying on your back, stretch your toes up and back toward your body. Hold for a moment, then point your toes down, away from your body. Repeat this motion several times.
  • Thigh stretch: According to Everyday Health, stretching your thighs will reduce the likelihood of clots in the back of your legs. Hold your knee at a 90 degree angle, then gently pull your leg back toward your chest. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then release before repeating with your other leg.
  • Ankle circles: If you are able to sit comfortably in a chair, do so, then lift your feet several inches off the ground. Trace circles in the air with your toes for 30 seconds, then relax.

Reduce chances of future injury

Once you've fully recovered from your surgery, it's important to stay healthy. Learning how to prevent common foot ailments is the first step. Many injuries are caused by wearing shoes that don't fit properly or do not offer enough arch support. Wearing shock-absorbing insoles may prevent future discomfort.

Every person is different, but these are the general guidelines for increasing comfort and helping the healing process after surgery. Consult your doctor for the best advice.

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