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Broken Foot Surgery: What to Expect During and After

Broken Foot Surgery: What to Expect During and After

Sometimes a foot fracture requires only immobilization (such as with a cast), but in other cases, our team may recommend surgical intervention as the best course of action for full healing. 

If you find yourself facing the prospect of broken foot surgery, our podiatric surgeons here at Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan, know that understanding what to expect during and after your procedure can help alleviate some of your concerns and ease your pre-surgery jitters.

Here’s what you need to know.

What to expect before broken foot surgery

Before surgery, you can expect to undergo a thorough pre-op consultation and evaluation with your Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, surgeon. During this appointment, they assess the severity of your fracture, determine the appropriate surgical approach, and discuss the procedure's details with you.

Our team also provides any necessary preparation instructions you need. This may include guidance on when to stop eating and drinking before surgery, what medications to pause before surgery, and what time you need to arrive.

It’s also a good idea to prepare a recovery area at home. Stock your fridge with nutrient-dense, nourishing meals so you don't have to worry about cooking in the days after your surgery.

You might also consider clearing a path and moving some furniture aside so it’s easier to walk with crutches when you get home.

What to expect during broken foot surgery

Once you arrive for surgery at our outpatient office based surgical center (OBS) 一 as designated by The Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations 一 you can expect:

Anesthesia

Before your fracture is repaired, the first step is to administer anesthesia, which may include general or regional anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the procedure and your medical history. 

Rest assured our board-certified anesthesiologists offer the anesthesia options that are right for you.

Incision and fracture alignment

Your surgeon first makes an incision at the site of your fracture to access your broken bones. They will then carefully realign the fractured pieces to restore proper bone alignment.

In some cases, internal fixation devices such as screws, plates, or rods may be used to secure your bones in place. This hardware provides stability during the healing process.

In more complex fractures, external fixation devices may be utilized. These devices are attached outside of your body to hold your bones in their correct position during healing. External fixation is more rare than internal fixation devices. 

What to expect immediately after broken foot surgery

After surgery, you spend some time in the recovery room, where our medical staff monitors your vital signs and ensures you're waking up comfortably from anesthesia. You may feel groggy and nauseous as you emerge from anesthesia, and that’s normal too.

Pain management is a priority during the immediate postoperative period. You’ll receive appropriate pain medications to keep you comfortable.

Depending on the nature of your surgery, you may need assistance with mobility. Crutches, a walker, or a cast or boot may be provided to support your injured foot. 

After your initial recovery period, it’s time to head home. Plan to have a friend or family member take you home or consider taking a taxi. Skip the subway.

What to expect in the first few days after broken foot surgery

You can expect discomfort and swelling after your surgery. This is common and to be expected. You can help alleviate pain and swelling with:

 

 

Keep your incision site clean and dry and monitor it for any signs of infection, excessive swelling, or changes in sensation, and promptly report any concerns. 

Don’t try to do too much during your first few days at home. Now is a good time to give yourself space to heal and rest. Load up your tablet with ebooks, watch a few movies, or browse through your favorite magazines.

What to expect in the weeks following broken foot surgery

Your next few weeks look different depending on what type of surgery you have. You may need to have sutures or external fixators removed. Regardless, attend all scheduled follow-up appointments. 

In some cases, physical therapy may be recommended to aid your recovery process. Therapeutic exercises can help restore strength, flexibility, and functionality. Follow all exercises as directed.

Our team will provide specific guidelines on when and how you can start bearing weight on your foot. Follow these instructions carefully to avoid complications.

Questions? If you have questions about your upcoming surgery, don’t hesitate to reach out. Schedule your appointment with our team today and get the relief your foot deserves. Help is just a call or click away.

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