Senior Health: Recovering From Foot Surgery

Your feet take a lot of abuse during your lifetime, supporting the full weight of your body with each step. Over the years, this results in a lot of wear and tear on the bones, joints, muscles and tendons. If you have led an active life, participating in sports that put more pressure on your feet, such as running, tennis or contact sports, the damage may be extensive enough to require corrective foot surgery.

Common Foot Problems Requiring Surgery in Seniors

Some common conditions of aging feet that require surgery are:

  • bunions
  • arthritic damage to the big toe or arch of the foot
  • claw, hammer or mallet toes
  • plantar warts
  • plantar fasciitis
  • bone spurs
  • neuromas

While some foot problems can be successfully treated non-surgically, when those treatments are not effective, your doctor will discuss your surgical options.

Recovering After Surgery

You will be required to stay completely off your foot for at least two weeks following surgery, during which you will need someone to help you with your daily tasks. It's important to follow the doctor's directions carefully during this time regarding how much pressure you can put on your foot. It is also important not to remove the dressing or get your foot wet.

Dealing With Pain

The pain will slowly decrease during the first 6 weeks after surgery. Your doctor will prescribe pain medications for times when an over-the-counter medication does not provide relief. Deep breathing exercises can also help relax your body and ease the pain.

Regaining Mobility

During the first two weeks, you need to keep your foot elevated and rest it as much as possible. You will be given crutches to help you get around to attend to your daily physical needs. If you feel unsteady on crutches, you can ask your doctor to prescribe a wheelchair or knee scooter to give you extra stability. If you will be unable to put pressure on your foot for a long period of time, and previously enjoyed an active, independent lifestyle, all-terrain knee scooters are available to allow you added mobility to carry out your daily activities and enjoy the outdoors while protecting your healing foot. You can find out more about them at KneeRover.

The main thing to remember when recovering from knee surgery is to follow your physician's instructions carefully. Aging bodies heal more slowly, so be patient and do what is necessary to ensure a full recovery. Using mobility devices allow you to slowly regain your active lifestyle during recovery.