There are two stages of post operative rehabilitation in foot and ankle surgery.
Whilst in hospital, you will usually be seen by a Physiotherapist for:
Once you have passed the early recovery period, your rehabilitation will be tailored to your exercise goals and achieving a full recovery of the operated foot.
During the early recovery period, you may need help at home. You must follow your post-operative instructions from our team to allow a good outcome.
It is important to rest and keep your foot elevated above the level of your heart for 23 hours a day for the first 2 weeks after your surgery. Elevating of your foot will encourage healing and decrease the chance of wound infection and break down. It will also help with pain and swelling.
In addition to this, some surgeries will require you to ‘non-weight bear’ for anywhere between 2-8 weeks from the time of surgery. This means you can rest the affected leg on the ground with no more than one kilogram of weight through that leg.
In some cases you will only be required to ‘partial weight bear’ (eg. 50% of your bodyweight), after surgery. A reasonably good way to understand this is to weigh yourself and then place only one leg on the scales with increasing weight until it reaches half your bodyweight.
We advise using the time leading up to surgery to anticipate issues with following your post-operative instructions and prepare accordingly. For example, if you live with family who are dependent on you. Options may include home help assistance through your local council, respite care or a period of inpatient rehabilitation after your surgery. This should be discussed with our team at consultation.
Mr Goldbloom is selectively encouraging some of his forefoot surgical cases to use the GEKO device to help with getting you through your initial 2-week post-operative period.
This device is used to reduce post-operative swelling which can be a long term source of frustration and increase the risk of wound complications.
Mr Goldbloom still expects you to be elevating your leg for 23 hours a day during this period.
When we are walking, there is a veno-muscular pump that pumps the blood from your foot and leg back up to the heart. This pump is activated when the calf muscle contracts.
When lying down and elevating post-surgically, this pump is not activated and the blood has a tendency to pool in the foot and leg leading to increased swelling.
The GEKO device sits high up on the calf muscle of the affected leg and triggers a nerve to contract the calf muscle and replicate activation of the pump. This results in an increased blood flow compared to when just elevating alone.
The device weighs 10gs and is easy to fit and to remove.
Mr Goldbloom’s team will be in contact with you prior to your surgery if they believe that your surgical rehabilitation will benefit from the use of this device. The overall cost is $100 for multiple single use GEKO devices This can either be fitted by the nursing staff in the hospital or pre-purchased in the rooms where you will be instructed on how to fit the device yourself.
Following surgery, there are a few options for ambulation. A hands-free option is the i-Walk 2.0.
This is suitable for people with:
The i-Walk device has a 90 degree splint for the lower leg to rest on. The bottom of the i-Walk then functions as a peg like substitute for the foot and leg.
It is worth trialling the i-Walk prior to your surgery to make sure that you have the balance and coordination required.
The i-Walk 2.0 is suitable for the following injuries and conditions
No surgery is risk free. General risks of surgery include infection, blood clots and complications related to the anaesthetic. Numerous precautions are taken to reduce risks and your surgery is meticulously planned to ensure the desired outcome. Some precautions taken are the administration of antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection and blood thinning medication is given to prevent blood clots. Mr Goldbloom will talk to you about general and specific risks related to your surgery at consultation.
If you experience any of the following, please contact Mr Goldbloom’s room on (03) 9928 6188
If your concern arises outside of normal working hours Mr Goldbloom’s team suggests you choose one of the following options depending on how urgent you feel your situation may be.