What Can Patients with Planned Foot Surgery Expect?

There are many different surgical options for the foot (e.g., hallux valgus, arthrodesis, etc.), and the aftercare often looks very similar. The most important goal for you is to move independently after the surgery and get along with the specific orthosis.

There are different possibilities to secure the wound area to relieve the foot at the beginning. A so-called bandage shoe or forefoot relief shoe is used in the case of hallux valgus. This is a type of sandal with a very firm sole and practical hook-and-loop fasteners that can also be put on securely around thicker bandages. These orthoses serve to relieve the strain when rolling over since the toe is not fully capable of weight-bearing at the beginning.

A Vacoped shoe or air walker is often used for ankle surgeries. This looks a little like a ski boot (but weights much less) and is intended to stabilize the foot as a whole, even down to the lower leg. It consists of a plastic shell (with a sole and a part that goes up the lower leg) and a soft inner lining to protect the foot from external pressure.


The Support of our Physiotherapy

Depending on the surgery carried out, the orthoses are ordered from the medical supply store. Our physiotherapists bring it to you and explain its functionality on the very first day after the surgery. Once the shoe has been put on, and your circulation is stable, mobilization will begin immediately and, an early walk through your room will be attempted. You will also have various aids at your disposal, for example, a high walker, a walking frame, or possibly even the forearm crutches.

If partial weight-bearing has been prescribed, this will, of course, be practiced together with the therapist, and you will learn to move around the hospital independently with the given weight-bearing. Since most patients with foot surgery stay in the hospital for only a few days, climbing stairs is promptly included in the program.

In some cases, depending on the extent of the intervention, manual lymphatic drainage is also prescribed to improve drainage and reduce possible bruising more quickly. It also relieves the feeling of pressure caused by the edema.

If you can move around independently, the medication is well adjusted, and the wounds heal well, you will be allowed to leave the hospital after just a few days.

Follow-Up Care after Foot Surgery

It is advisable to have a treating physician prescribe physiotherapy and, if necessary, manual lymphatic drainage. The particular orthoses are usually worn for 4-8 weeks, depending on the surgery, which usually means resulting muscle atrophy and a loss of strength in the operated leg. During these weeks, you can still do specific strengthening exercises for the thigh and light mobilization for the foot. After complete mobility and weight-bearing are restored in the surgery area, proper muscle-building training can begin, and any mobility deficits that may have developed can be restored.

Physiotherapy for the Foot at a Glance

From preventive to rehabilitative – we offer our foot patients a comprehensive range of physiotherapy services:

  • Surgeries for hallux valgus
  • Stiffening ankles
  • Achilles tendon suture
  • Physiotherapy – individually adjusted to the specific clinical picture
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Manual therapy according to Cyriax and Maitland
  • Gait training or mobilization PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation)