Recovering From Hammertoe Surgery

I guess it’s the training I received combined with a dry sense of humor and no nonsense approach that filled my practice with patients other doctors considered too hard to heal.  Because of the level of patient I treat at Desert Foot Surgeons, I take your recovery seriously as should you.  The most prefect surgery can still hurt, swell, and even go horribly wrong if you’re not on the same page as your doctor.  I have many patients who can run a mile in under 6 minutes, but their recovery might not be as fast as a patient who smokes.  If we work together, even patients with diabetes who have sores on their feet can heal.

With that said, recovering from hammertoe surgery is usually not that hard.  You should do a few thins to make sure that your healing experience is the most pleasant possible.  Before your surgery is the most important time.  The more you can do for yourself before surgery, the happier you will be after.  Simple things like preparing meals before hand, practicing walking in your special shoe or boot, and planning for time spent resting your foot.

What room in your home worries me most?

Believe it or not it’s your kitchen.  Those kitchen cabinets have that little ledge at the bottom.  Be careful not to hit your toes against this edge.  The shoe or boot you will be wearing is higher than regular shoes and has grabbed hold of more than one of my patients’ bandages.  That’s a good reason to prepare meals before your surgery, but the real reason is you are recovering from surgery.  You shouldn’t have to cook for yourself.  Give yourself at least a little few meals off to rest and stay off your foot.

Since we’re talking about hammertoe surgery most of you will be allowed to walk, but in a special shoe or boot.  You might not think this is going to be hard, but if you’re weak this can be a challenge.  I can send you to physical therapy before the surgery to be sure you can handle the shoe or boot.  This way you and I know exactly what to expect after surgery.  I can even prescribe a strengthening program for you through physical therapy if you need.

Easier Hammertoe Recovery

Other things that can make your recovery from hammertoe surgery easier include getting your house set.  Firsts of all, do you have stairs?  If walking on flat floors is hard in the shoe or boot, stairs might be impossible.  You might want to sleep downstairs the first few days.  You will need to clear a path to the bathroom.  Think about removing area rugs that can slip and slide out from under foot.  Small tables and chairs can have legs that stick out, which could bump your toe.  Think about the ways you can set up your house to help you recover.  My staff has many more ideas that they will be glad to share with you.

Before surgery we developed a plan to help you heal as fast as possible.  After your surgery you need to stick to the plan.  The game plan we designed together before surgery will be given to you in writing.  Obviously there will be a special shoe or boot and pain medication that you should have before you get to the hospital.  That leaves swelling and pain to discuss.  A toe is small and there is not much room for swelling.  The more your foot is down, the more it will swell.  Since there is so little space in the toe this swelling can hurt.  Both of us want your surgery to be as free of pain as possible.  You will need to rest with your foot up.  That means lie flat on the couch or bed and put your feet on pillows.  Make sure your knees are bent a little so this is more comfortable.  Ice can go behind your knee or at the inside of your ankle to prevent swelling.  The ice should be on 20 minutes and then off for 40 minutes.  This can be repeated as often as needed, but usually no less than 3 times per day for the first 3 days.

I like to prepare before surgery as much as possible.  I tell my residents to review a surgery in their mind 5 times before they even step into the operating room.  If your surgeon prepares before surgery shouldn’t you?  I hope this information shows you how Desert Foot Surgeons helps you heal after hammertoe surgery.  Remember, feet are like snowflakes, no 2 are alike.  Choosing your foot surgeon is very important.  Your surgeon needs to have the training and artistic talent to fix your toe.  Equally as important is your ability to communicate with your surgeon.  Ask questions and prepare before your surgery.  You’ll be glad you did.