Foot or ankle surgery is sometimes necessary to address bunions, Achilles tendon injuries, fractures, and other conditions. If an operation is required, you will be advised on how to care for the affected area afterwards. One thing that is often recommended is at-home exercises that will improve strength and mobility after surgery, and speed up the process of recovery.
Before you begin any exercise routine, you should first consult your doctor. If you experience pain during the activity, stop and contact the office to make sure that you should continue. While some degree of soreness is common after the trauma of surgery, pain may be a sign that your foot or ankle isn’t quite ready for particular movements or positions.
One exercise that may help reduce swelling after surgery is known as the “ankle pump.” Place your feet in front of you (legs stretched out) while seated on the floor. Now, point your toes, and then flex. This motion is easy to do if you are recovering in bed after surgery. Do ten repetitions, and repeat as often as twice every hour.
If you’re ready to get up and around, sit on the edge of the bed or chair and place your feet flat on the floor. Lay a hand towel flat on the floor, and using the toes on your injured foot, grab the towel edge and bunch it. Don’t cheat by raising your heels and feet off of the floor! Try this exercise twice a day (two reps each time).
Finally, don’t forget to throw in a stretch. This time loop your towel around the affected foot while holding the ends in your hands. Keep your foot with toes pointed up and gently pull your toes toward you until you feel a stretch in your Achilles tendon. Try to hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds. You can do three reps twice per day.
Are you looking for a speedier recovery after foot or ankle surgery? We understand and will prescribe an exercise plan that fits your needs. Call or visit our website today for an appointment. You can reach us at the Hillsboro office at (503) 648-1713, the Newberg office at (503) 538-0466 or the Beaverton office at (503) 292-9252.
K.G. Gauntt, DPM