PATIENT CARE

General Post-Operative Advice

The most important instructions are to rest and elevate your foot after your surgery. This will reduce bleeding and swelling and ultimately reduce pain

  • Keep our foot elevated as much as possible for the first 10-14 days after surgery.

  • Sit or lie with your foot elevated above your hip. Try resting it on 2-3 pillows.

  • In bed, put 4-5 pillows under your foot if you are able.

  • Use ice packs or a bag of frozen peas on the affected limb. Do this for 20 minutes every 4 hours. Remember to place a towel between the cold pack and your skin to avoid injury.

  • Never in direct contact with your skin.

  • Use compression bandages or garments if these have been supplied by your treating therapist.
  • We recommend that you take your prescribed pain management medication regularly during the post-operative period.
  • Take painkillers a couple of hours before bedtime, before your outpatient appointment and any therapist appointments.
  • Take your painkilling medication at the prescribed intervals. Don’t wait until you feel pain.
  • If we’ve used a local anaesthetic nerve blockade during your foot and ankle surgery, your foot will feel numb for up to 24 hours (more usually 12-16 hours). You should feel no pain during this time. Dr Platt advises that you take your painkillers before the effect of the nerve blockade
    wears off.
  • Most people who have had foot surgery do not need medication to prevent blood clots in their legs (DVT).

  • If you are allowed to put weight on your foot, keeping your foot moving and having enough to drink is all you will need to do.

  • If Dr Platt has advised you not to put weight on your foot, taking 100mg aspirin per day to reduce the risk of DVT.

  • If you cannot take aspirin or require a different treatment Dr Platt will advise you accordingly.

  • If you have a previous history of DVT or added risk factors, Dr Platt will discuss and prescribe appropriate medication.
  • Wear your post-operative shoe or boot even when walking around the house.
  • Wear it in bed until your first post-operative visit.
  • Keep your cast or bandages dry.
  • When you have a shower or a bath, wrap your dressings in a plastic bag that you can seal around the leg.
  • Do not smoke as this will weaken the wound healing process.

Dr Platt works closely with a range of therapists to optimise and accelerate your recovery 

Remember to ring and confirm your postoperative clinic visit (07) 5530 0770

In the first 24-48 hours after surgery you are likely to experience swelling and pressure in the
foot. This is normal; the more you keep the foot elevated, the quicker this will settle. 

Do some gentle exercise. Dr Platt will tell you what exercise is right for you. Depending on your surgery, this will probably involve gentle movements to your ankle (up and down and rotation), and regular flexing and extending (wriggling) of toes. 

You will find out what exercises are right for you before you leave the hospital, and again at your first therapy visit.  

Recovery and return to function

Recovering from foot and ankle surgery can take up to 18 months, depending on the type of surgery that you have had. Your foot may be swollen for a few months. Most swelling settles down within 6 months.

Most people return to comfortable, day to day activities within 3 months and usual activity and
function generally returns within 6 months to a year. 

If getting back into sport is your goal, your physical therapist will start your return to sport regime about 3 months after your surgery. Again, this will vary from individual to individual, and depend on the type of surgery that you have had.

These guidelines for recovery are broad and will vary between individuals. Dr Platt works closely with a range of therapists to optimise and accelerate your recovery. Therefore, your treatment and recovery journey will be customised to you. 

Dr Platt will liaise directly with your therapy team with specific post operative instructions. Your initial therapy visit will address wound care, oedema management, cast/ brace fitting or modifications, and the prescription of your individualised rehabilitation exercises.

Please contact Dr Platt’s rooms if you experience any of the following: 

    • Swelling that is not improved by elevation
    • Pain that is significant and is not relieved by painkillers and elevation
    • Shortness of breath and or chest pain
    • Significant discharge/bleeding or ooze from your wound
    • You feel unwell; particularly if you have a temperature, fevers or chills

Contact number (07) 5530 0770

Email [email protected]

  • Email
    [email protected]
  • Gold Coat Private Specialist suites, Gold Coast Private Hospital
    14 Hill Street, Southport 4215

About Us

Led by orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Simon Platt, Coast Foot and Ankle Surgery provides high quality, empathetic care to all patients.

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- Acute fractures
- Arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery
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To make an appointment with Dr Platt, please call (07) 5530 0770. Remember, you will need to get a referral from your General Practitioner or medical specialist before your appointment.

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Phone: (07) 5530 0770

To make an appointment with Dr Platt, please call 07 5530 0770. Remember, you will need to get a referral from your General Practitioner or medical specialist before your appointment. 

ABOUT US

Led by orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Simon Platt, Coast Foot and Ankle Surgery provides high quality, empathetic care to all patients

[email protected]

  Gold Coat Private Specialist suites,
Gold Coast Private Hospital,
14 Hill Street, Southport 4215 QLD

CONTACT US

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