Surgery can provide relief from a big range of podiatry issues, but recovery following the procedure is nothing to joke about. These techniques have been shown to be beneficial as you’re trying to regain your mobility.
1) Elevate and stay off of your foot.
If you try to walk right away after surgery, you can tear tissues or displace the bones that need to heal in a specific position. Your best weapon to avoid this problem is other people. Get as many individuals as you can to do chores, run errands and help with your hygiene and basic care needs. As you rest, keep your foot on a cushion above the level of your heart as much as possible. This takes advantage of gravity, pulling extra blood and other bodily fluids down so swelling and related pain stays low. Use a walker, cane or crutches when you do need to navigate spaces yourself.
2) Use cold therapy.
Your body naturally will respond to an injury with increased blood flow and inflammation around the injury site. This physical reaction brings white blood cells and essential nutrients to the damaged tissues and helps you heal, but often, the inflammation that occurs is overkill. Cold causes blood flow to slow down around the area, thereby limiting the amount of inflammation that occurs. Ice your foot 10 minutes 3 times per day, keeping a towel between the ice and your skin.
3) Perform massage and physical exercises.
Even though you want to limit the amount of fluids in your foot so swelling stays under control, you still want to make sure that the circulation in your tissues is good, as you need the white blood cells, oxygen and other nutrients the blood delivers to recover. Stiffness is also very common after surgery. Physical therapy movements will work in conjunction to massage to keep circulation adequate, and it will relax your muscles to restore the flexibility and range of motion in your foot.
4) Pop a prescription or over-the-counter drug according to your doctor’s orders.
Narcotic painkillers or antibiotics your doctor prescribes for you after your surgery will make it easier for you to rest and keep infection-causing bacteria at bay. The prescription painkillers also will reduce swelling so it’s easier to perform your physical therapy. After the worst of your pain has subsided, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help, but always check with your doctor before you start taking them, as they actually can hinder the healing of bones, tendons and ligaments.
5) Keep your dressing and boot/cast as dry as you can.
Bacteria absolutely adore damp environments, multiplying in them extremely fast. Subsequently, have your doctor change your dressing if it gets wet. It’s equally important to keep the cast or boot you have dry, not only to keep it sanitary, but also to ensure that the material remains supportive and can keep your foot in place so it heals the right way. You can get a plastic cap or cover for your boot to wear when you need to bathe or shower.
Recovering from foot surgery can be a lengthy process, but doctors and researchers have identified the above strategies as being effective in getting a successful outcome. Use one or all of them to boost your healing after your procedure.