How will I feel after my surgery?

  • You may feel slightly nauseated after surgery.
  • You may feel light-headed, dizzy or sleepy for 24 hours after an anaesthetic.
  • You may have a slight temperature for two (2) days.
  • It is normal to have a slightly red, swollen incision.
  • It is normal to have a small amount of oozing from pink to dark red from your incision.

You need to call your doctor if…

  • Your temperature is higher than 101°F or 38.5°C;
  • You have bright red bleeding from your incision;
  • You have more than a small amount of swelling around your incision; elevate the limb on pillows above heart level;
  • You have changes in your circulation such as a change in colour from normal to white or blue, or persistent numbness or tingling in the limb;
  • You develop an infection, e.g., increased redness, swelling and pain at your incision and/or you develop a “smelly” discharge;
  • You develop nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, which persists after 24 hours.
If you cannot contact your doctor, go to the nearest Emergency Department.

For 24 hours after your surgery do not…

  • Drive a vehicle
  • Operate heavy equipment
  • Drink alcoholic beverages
  • Smoke
  • Make any important decisions.

How should I care for myself after my surgery?

  • Nutrition: eat light foods for the first day, such as tea, toast, soup or Jell-O® and drink extra fluids.
  • If you are diabetic, follow your doctor’s orders for diet and medication.

Activity and Exercise:

  • Have a responsible adult stay with you for 24 hours.
  • You will need to rest for a few days following your surgery.
  • Avoid any activity that strains the area of your surgery.
  • Ask your surgeon when it is safe to return to your regular activities and work.


  • Your surgeon will tell you when you may have a bath or shower.


  • Take only the medication for pain that your surgeon prescribes.
  • Follow your surgeon’s order about when to start taking your routine medications.

Surgical Area:

  • Keep area clean and dry.
  • Keep the affected foot raised above the level of your heart as often as possible to reduce swelling.
  • Your doctor may prescribe a special shoe to wear to protect your foot. Your doctor will advise you when to start wearing the shoe.
  • If a block is done (freezing) foot may be numb for quite a few hours.

Follow-Up Care:

  • Be sure to ask your surgeon if you need to return for a visit.
  • By following your instructions and taking good care of yourself you should recover quickly and safely.
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