Please find some important post operative information for all of our patients. They may answer some of the questions you forgot to ask during the consultation and help put your mind at ease.
Some bleeding can be normal after surgery. It is important to try and control it but if it does happen don’t panic. You should leave the dressings in place and apply further padding/dressings to the area. Sterile gauze, dressings and crepe bandages can all be bought in your local pharmacy and can come in handy for the first couple of weeks after your operation in particular.
If you are worried about bleeding feel free to ask for some extra dressings before you leave the hospital but remember please do not take the dressings down completely, this will increase your risk of unnecessary infection.
Like with any wound there is always a risk of infection. In this case however it is very unlikely to happen as strict sterile techniques and procedures are followed from start to finish. External risk factors can be a factor and it is important to keep your dressings clean and dry.
If you are worried about infection and have noticed an increase in temperature, unusual redness, oozing of the wound site or increased levels of pain despite ample pain relief then you should contact our rooms directly. If you can’t get through try ringing our plaster room on 091-381996 or contact your GP/local A&E where appropriate.
The limb should be elevated when sitting down all of the time. You should place your foot and a pillow, stool etc. every time you sit down and ensure it is above the level of your hip. This will help reduce swelling, improve post-operative pain and promote healing. Remember – “toes above nose.”
Unfortunately swelling is a common part of foot and ankle surgery. That’s why it is so important to take care of your foot for the first 4-6 weeks and follow as much of the advice our team gives as possible. Increased levels of swelling can dramatically slow down the healing process and can increase the risk of wound breakdown and infection. It also increases the incidence in altered sensation, pins and needles and even reduced blood perfusion creating a poor healing environment.
AVOID PROLONGED PERIODS OF INACTIVITY
It is important to exercise any free joints and move your toes where possible. Increased levels of inactivity can increase the likelihood of a DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis after surgery. Important symptoms to be aware of include persistent calf pain, aches and tenderness or increased diameter of the affected calf muscle. Please be vigilant for any of these signs and again if worried contact our plaster room, your own GP or A&E where applicable.
Getting up every 15-20 minutes can help keep the blood flowing smoothly throughout your body but particularly in your lower limbs. Be mindful to avoid any unnecessary periods of prolonged sitting or lying. It is important to keep your feet up to reduce swelling but a healthy balance has to be met in the first 6 weeks after surgery. Remember, BOTH crutches should be used at all times!
Please find our complete Patient Information Guide below.