Foot & Ankle Discharge Instructions

  • Go directly home. Do not make any important decisions for at least 24 hours.  DO NOT drive until you have been instructed that is it safe to do so.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid alcohol and excessive caffeine which can dehydrate you. Avoid tobacco/nicotine. Not only is this bad for your overall health, it can compromise your circulation and healing.
  • Keep the operative extremity elevated above heart level as much as possible for the first 48 hours.  This will help reduce swelling.
  • Keep your dressing/splint clean and dry.  Do not remove unless instructed to do so by your physician.
  • A small amount of bruising and drainage can be normal.  You may reinforce your dressing once with a clean dressing (gauze/ACE wrap).  If the drainage continues or is excessive, notify your physician immediately.
  • Take your pain medicine as prescribed.  Surgical pain can be intense for a day or two after surgery, so regular use of your pain medicine is appropriate.  If you had a nerve block, start taking your pain medicine as soon as you notice any pain, burning, tingling, or itching.  This means your nerve block is starting to wear off.
  • If you do NOT have diabetes, you may use the ice cooler system or a bag of ice or frozen peas on top of your splint/dressing up to 20 minutes at a time for the first 48 hours.  Do NOT get your splint or dressing wet.
  • Obey your weight-bearing restrictions AT ALL TIMES

______Non-weight-bearing (do not put any weight on the operative extremity)

______Weight-bearing as tolerated (you may put weight on your operative extremity as much as is comfortable)

______Heel-weight-bearing (you may put weight on the heel only; avoid weight on the front of the foot, i.e. the toes)

  • Notify your physician immediately for any of the following or with any questions or concerns:
  1. Your operative extremity changes color
  2. Your dressing/splint/cast gets wet or becomes overly strained
  3. Your medication does not help your discomfort (remember, pain medicine does not take pain away completely)
  4. You develop a fever of 101.5 F or greater
  5. You injure the operative site
  • Remember, if you are concerned, we are concerned!