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Post Operative Instructions

Swelling and Discoloration

  • About 6 hours after surgery, you should loosen the bandage due to swelling. Unwrap the elastic Ace bandage, but do not remove for white bandage underneath. Immediately rewrap the Ace a little looser.
  • Swelling is usually the greatest 24-48 hours after surgery. The more swelling you have, the more pain you will experience. To keep swelling down, apply ice packs to the surgical area. The earlier this is started, the more effective it will be. Leave the ice on for 30 minutes, then off for 10 minutes. You can gradually reduce how often ice is applied over the next few days.
  • ICE NO LESS THAN THREE TIMES A DAY UNTIL INSTRUCTED TO STOP!
  • Elevation is also very important. Keep your feet elevated above hip level when sitting. Some black and blue is normal and should not cause alarm.

Bleeding

  • Bleeding follows any surgery and should not be alarming unless it is excessive or persistent. If it is more than the size of two silver dollars on the outside of the bandage, please notify the office to have your bandage changed. 

Pain Medication

  • A certain amount of discomfort should be expected. After surgery, eat a light dinner and take one pain pill, even if your foot is still numb. Before going to bed, eat a light snack and take two pain pills (take only one if the one at dinner made you lightheaded). Pain medications should be taken 1-2 pills every 3-4 hours as needed, and always with food. 

Bandage

  • Keep the bandage clean and dry!
  • The doctor will instruct you on how much walking is allowed and how soon as indicated below: If it gets a little wet from the shower spray or ice bag, dry with a blow dryer. If it gets really wet, notify the office so we can change it. Getting your bandage wet or removing it increases your risk of infection! 

Walking

  • Non-Weight-Bearing with Crutches: Do not place any weight on your foot while standing or walking. You may rest your foot on the ground for balance while standing. Long-standing with your foot down will increase swelling and pain. Wear the post-op shoe, cast or splint all the time even while in bed unless instructed differently.
  • Partial Weight-Bearing: Crutches and/or walker is for balance and safety. The first few days, only put weight on her heel. No walking long distances and be careful on stairs. Gradually increase your weight-bearing as tolerated. Pain is your guide. Remember, if you think you are doing too much, you probably are!

Emergencies

  • Call the office regarding any questions or complications. The emergency number is 817-416-6155. Follow prompts after hours and the doctor will call you back. If the doctor does not return your call within 30 minutes, please call again. If you feel your condition is life threatening, please seek help from a nearby hospital emergency room.

Relax!

  • Allow your friends and family to help you for the next few days. Remember that you would be there for them if they needed you.