Several factors influence a person’s recovery time after foot surgery, including the unique characteristics of that patient and what specific procedure needs to be done. The shortest foot surgery recovery time frame anyone might expect is approximately two months—but three or even four months is more realistic in even the best of cases and least complex surgeries. In circumstances when a procedure is more complicated, or a person just heals more slowly, it can take up to six months before your foot and ankle feel normal again and a year for recovery to be complete.
If you’re scheduled for foot surgery at Canyon Foot + Ankle in Twin Falls or Burley, we have a detailed conversation about your specific recovery timeline and what you can expect. Here’s what else you should know.
How to Reduce Your Foot Surgery Recovery Time
There are several ways the experts at Canyon Foot + Ankle advise patients like you to look after themselves before and after surgery so that they can get back on their feet as soon as possible.
You’ll need to rely on your support system, especially in the early days and weeks of your recovery. Not only will you need someone to drive you home after your procedure, but help to complete your errands, check on you, and do tasks you’re not able to do just yet. If you don’t have a family member or friend who can do this, services may be available through your health insurance or a community agency.
Set up Your Home for Healing
Before your foot surgery, go through your home to remove navigation hazards like clutter, cords, and rugs with loose edges. Install grab bars and non-skid mats where you need added stability. If your bedroom isn’t on the main level, consider a place where you could sleep temporarily that doesn’t require you to use stairs.
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
This includes numerous factors including, but not limited to:
- Adhering to weight-bearing restrictions
- Keeping your foot elevated
- Ensuring your bandage stays clean and dry
- Wearing post-surgical shoes for at least six weeks—or longer if your doctor has not indicated that you have sufficiently recovered to wear regular shoes
You mustn't push yourself too hard during the early stages of your recovery, as this slows your progress. We recognize that you still need to be able to get around, and we’re happy to help you make arrangements for appropriate medical equipment to assist your mobility, such as crutches, a knee scooter, or a seated scooter.
Complete Your Exercises
It’s vital to rebuild your strength and flexibility after surgery. This might mean physical therapy or we may provide you with exercises to complete at home on your own.
Take All Medications as Prescribed
After your procedure, you may be directed to take certain painkillers, anti-inflammatories, and other types of medication to aid your healing process. Follow your doctor’s directions and monitor your progress with and reactions to medications.
Follow a Lifestyle That Promotes Healing
This includes adhering to a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and nicotine, and whatever movement is available to you. Some medications you might receive can lead to constipation, so be sure you are getting plenty of fiber.
Monitor Your Incision
Surgical incisions can become infected. If you develop a fever or the incision becomes painful, warm, or swells, call your care team immediately.
Keep Follow-up Appointments
Your doctor needs to be able to monitor your progress to ensure your foot surgery recovery time frame is on schedule. There are various stages of healing they’ll review, too, such as bandage removal, cast changes, switching adaptive footwear, and so on.
After Your Recovery
Once you have made adequate progress in your healing, your care team gives you permission to resume wearing regular shoes. You may need to purchase new shoes that accommodate your foot, which may be larger than normal due to swelling.
You want to wear shoes that:
- Offer room for your toes to wiggle around
- Have non-slip soles
- Have a heel that is less than one inch
- Offer good arch support
Feel free to ask the professionals at Canyon Foot + Ankle in Idaho’s Magic Valley any questions on how to ensure a full recovery from your foot surgery.