Most patients stay overnight or go home the same day. You will have a “back-slab” cast below the knee, and will be required to non-weight bear for 7-10 days. Your back slab and wound dressings will be changed and stitches removed (if applicable) at the clinic during your follow-up appointment, which is usually 7-10 days after the operation. Swelling is quite common after foot and ankle surgery and this is best managed by elevating the foot at regular intervals. You are advised to elevate the operated foot/ankle on a pillow every night and during the day on three separate occasions, e.g. 11am, 3pm and 6pm for about one hour each time.
The above measures will help to reduce swelling of the ankle. These instructions should be followed for at least 10-14 days.After 10 days, you will be allowed to weight bear in a special removable ‘walker boot’ or sports ankle brace, although some patients may require the use of a plaster cast. If you have a boot or brace, you may remove it to wash and perform exercises. At six weeks after the operation, any boots or casts are discarded and you will commence physiotherapy using a sports ankle brace. Over the next six weeks, you will gradually increase activity to running, whilst wearing the brace.
Patients having had the left ankle operated on will be able to drive an automatic car within two weeks. Those who have had an operation on the right side will be able to drive after about 6-8 weeks. You are advised not to fly after surgery for about six weeks. Swimming will be possible after about 4 weeks.