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:
- Your operative extremity changes color
- Your dressing/splint/cast gets wet or becomes overly strained
- Your medication does not help your discomfort (remember, pain medicine does not take pain away completely)
- You develop a fever of 101.5 F or greater
- You injure the operative site
- Remember, if you are concerned, we are concerned!