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3 Habits To Avoid During Foot Surgery Recovery

Embarking on a journey of foot or ankle surgery can stir up a whirl of emotions, from relief at the prospect of reduced pain to apprehension about the inevitable recovery time. While surgery successfully tackles foot and ankle challenges, a crucial part of your healing journey takes place once the procedure is over. Indeed, recovery encompasses much more than simply lying in bed with your foot elevated.

Nifty exercises, careful management of swelling, and learning to choose footwear wisely all form vital paths for navigating your post-surgery terrain. However, some habits may hinder, rather than help, your healing process.

Did you know that about 31% of complications following surgery come from poor post-operative care? This article focuses on three habits to avoid during your foot surgery recovery. Stick around to ensure your steps toward healing leave no room for stumbling. 

Some Foot And Ankle Specialists recomend the use of orthotics.Habit #1 to Avoid: Overexertion

Overexertion, in short, doing too much, too soon following surgery. After your foot or ankle surgery, it’s natural to be eager to get up and move, push those boundaries, and regain former functioning. Resist that urge. Overexertion can not only be harmful and delay recovery time, but it may also complicate your healing process, leading to swelling, unnecessary pain, or even injury.

So, how do you avoid overexertion when your energy is itching to be spent?

  • Listen to Your Body: If your foot or ankle aches or starts swelling, it’s a clear sign—pause, rest, and elevate your foot. Remember, pain is not a badge of honor in recovery; it’s a red flag.
  • Follow Professional Advice: Stick to the exercises recommended by your medical team. They’re designed to aid your recovery, not to test your limits.
  • Keep the Heel Down: Keep your heel down when you walk. Using a crutch can help with this. On that note, the proper fit of the crutch is as essential as the crutch itself.
  • Patience is Key: Remember, recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. Gradual progress trumps a hasty return to regular activities.

Consider keeping in regular contact with your medical team. If you have questions on dos and don’ts or want to gauge your progress, don’t hesitate to call us.

So, overexertion—in post-surgery recovery, it’s the habit you didn’t know you needed to kick. Let’s put it in the rear-view mirror. It’s one step closer to successful foot surgery recovery.

Plantar fasciitis is an injury that requires foot surgery.Habit #2 to Avoid: Neglecting Doctor’s Advice

Think of your road to recovery after foot or ankle surgery as a map; your doctor’s advice are the directions that guide you out of the woods of pain and swelling to a land where you’re ready to get back on your feet- literally. Ignoring these instructions would be equivalent to tossing your map into a ditch.

Why? Well, overlooking post-operative advice carries grave risks. Foregoing essential steps like taking pain medication, following rehabilitation exercises, keeping your foot elevated, or even attending follow-up appointments can create an avenue for nasty complications. 

Among the many hazards, a looming nemesis is an increased risk of infection – something you don’t want to mess with.

To ensure a successful recovery, consider these measures:

  • Follow-post surgical Care: Care for your operated foot as instructed. Clean, apply, and change bandages as directed to prevent infection at the incision site.
  • Attend Follow-up Appointments: These appointments are scheduled for a reason – to track your progress, address any concerns, and prevent any complications. Ensure you attend them all.
  • Rehabilitation is Crucial: Undertake only approved exercises and physical therapy to maximize recovery. Toss out the myth that “No pain, no gain.”
  • Map your Home: Remove clutter and trip hazards. Consider installing grab bars for extra stability. You’re going to be less mobile initially, and you need to navigate your home safely.

The advice given by your orthopedic or podiatrist is custom-tailored for your situation, depending on the type of surgery. It’s crucial not just to hear it but to heed it. If you have doubts, reach out and contact your doctor. 

Skipping post-operative advice in your recovery period isn’t a shortcut or a daring adventure; it’s a pitfall that can ironically put you off your feet longer than necessary. So, follow the map; your road to recovery after foot or ankle surgery is clearer when you do.

Habit #3 to Avoid: Poor Diet and Hydration

“Food is medicine” may seem like an old cliche, but it rings particularly true following foot or ankle surgery. Your body is in healing mode post-surgery, and what you consume can fuel or foil your foot surgery recovery. Likewise, while hydration might seem disconnected from your foot and ankle, adequate water intake is central to your recovery journey.

Eating a poor diet and failing to keep hydrated can slow your recovery time, increase swelling, and even impede your body’s ability to heal itself.

How can you align your hydration and nutrition habits towards a speedy recovery?


  • Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Water aids nearly all body functions. It reduces swelling and keeps your tissues healthy. Aim for 8 glasses every day.
  • Protein Power: Foods rich in protein—such as lean meats, eggs, and legumes—provide your body with the building blocks to repair surgical wounds.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds are high in vitamins and minerals crucial for healing.


  • Skip the Salt: High sodium intake can increase swelling, delaying recovery. Keep those salty snacks at bay.
  • Minimize Sugar: Sugary foods may compromise your immune system, hindering the healing of your foot or ankle after surgery.
  • Avoid Processed Foods: Overly processed foods often lack necessary nutrients while being high in inflammatory components.

Your diet is one part of your recovery you can control. Own it. Feed your recovery; don’t starve it. If you need customized advice on what to eat and drink for optimal healing following surgery, don’t hesitate—contact Southernmost Foot and Ankle Specialists.

Eat-wise and hydrate right: that’s your credo for the healing journey post-foot surgery. Don’t let poor diet and hydration habits trip you up on the path to getting back on your feet.

The Road To A Successful Foot Surgery Recovery

Foot or ankle surgery isn’t the end of your journey; it’s just a pivot to the road to recovery. A successful comeback hinges on avoiding these three cardinal missteps:

  1. Overexertion: Pushing too hard too soon after surgery is a no-go.
  2. Ignoring Doctor’s Orders: Skipping out on your podiatrist’s advice is a direct detour off the recovery route.
  3. Poor Diet and Dehydration: Neglect your nutrition and water intake, and you’re hobbling your healing.

Here’s what else you need to nail your foot surgery recovery:

  • Stay in Check: Post-surgery, monitor for signs of swelling and heed if you need to elevate and cool down that foot or ankle.
  • Mind Your Gear: Rehabilitation might call for specific footwear or a crutch. Use them. They’re your allies, not options.
  • Dial Back on Exercise: Give recovery time its due. Overloading the healing limb can rewind progress.

Southernmost Foot and Ankle Specialists have been anchoring successful recoveries since 1982, proving to be a lighthouse for those navigating the murky waters of post-surgery. Contact us, because our experienced team has the map, the compass, and the dedication to guide you through when it comes to foot and ankle care.

Remember, after the scalpel, the real healing begins with you—your commitment, care, and the routine you embrace. Stick to these tips, tag in Southernmost Foot and Ankle Specialists, and you’ll be back on your feet, moving forward, with a story of resilience in every step.

Call us, visit urgentfootcare.com, or walk into one of our locations. We’re ready to assist on your recovery journey. © Southernmost Foot and Ankle Specialists, where healing is stepping forward.



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