Recovering From Surgery

We know that no one looks forward to surgery, but there are timeswhen conservative methods do not produce desired resultswhere it is the best option to relieve painful symptoms, restore functionality, and allow you to do the activities you enjoy doing.

Houston Foot Specialists is committed to providing first-class podiatric services (including lower limb surgical procedures) for all of our patients. Lets take a look at what is entailed with recovering from foot or ankle surgery.

Foot and Ankle Surgeries

There are many different types of surgical procedures that need to be performed at various times for patients, but some of the most common include:

  • Bunionectomy These procedures are used to correct a bunion. Bunions are progressive conditions, which means they do not improve on their own. We can use nonsurgical methods to relive symptoms and relieve discomfort, but only surgery will completely address the condition.
  • Hammertoes This also extends to claw and mallet toes, but these conditions are progressive, like bunions. These toe deformities often develop due to muscular imbalance and outpatient surgery may be needed to correct that imbalance.
  • Arthritis There are several different ways that arthritis can affect feet and ankles, but pain, discomfort, and impaired mobility are symptoms that need to be addressed. Fusion and joint replacements are common procedures used to provide relief and improve lower limb movement.

Postoperative Instructions

Postoperative instructions provide guidelines for medication use, bandage maintenance, and activity restrictions and/or modifications. When recovering from foot or ankle surgery, it is crucial that you follow these instructions. Doing so will allow your body to recover appropriately and in the shortest possible amount of time. This includes using crutches or other equipment as instructed to keep weight off of the affected area.

When patients have problems with their recovery from foot or ankle surgery, we find that is often a result of neglecting or forgetting post-op instructions. Be sure to keep your instructions handy and reference them often during the recovery period.

Recovering from Bone Surgery

When the surgical procedure we perform is for a compound fracture in a foot or ankle, we will ensure that everything is lined up correctly, but the body will do the main work in mending the fractured tissue. In doing so, it uses a healing process that follows three overlapping stages:

  1. Inflammation Bleeding in the area leads to inflammation and clotting, which establishes the initial framework for creating new bone tissue.
  2. Bone production Fibrous cartilage and tissue (soft callus) replace the clotted blood, and soft callus is gradually replaced by early bone development (hard callus).
  3. Bone remodeling Over the course of several months, bone becomes compact and resumes its original shape and density.

The entire healing process varies in time, depending on the patient, nature and severity of the fracture, and other considerations. That said, bones will typically take between 6-8 weeks for significant healing.

Postoperative Symptoms

Commonly experienced postoperative symptoms include:

  • Pain As the body begins to heal, this will lessen over time.
  • Swelling, bruising, and/or discoloration Bruises or other discoloration and swelling following foot surgery is normal.
  • Low-grade fevers These should only happen during the first week and be less than 100.5 degrees. Fevers after that first week or higher temperatures should be reported to our office immediately.
  • Leakage There may be either blood or fluid that leaks from the surgical incisions, especially if swelling is present following the surgery.

Foot and Ankle Surgical Procedures in Houston, TX

It is always our hope that we are able to relieve painful symptoms and address any foot or ankle issues through the use of conservative treatment methods. There are going to be times, though, when surgery constitutes the best option for solving a problem that is affecting you. The good news is that Houston Foot Specialists has the staff, equipment, and sterile environment for successful surgical procedures.

Contact our Houston, TX podiatrist office today to find out how we can help take away foot or ankle pain and allow you to go back to your favorite activities. Call us at (713) 467-8886 and speak to one of our professional staff members for additional information, or simply schedule your appointment with us online.