At Carolina Podiatry Group, we’re not just your doctors—we’re your teammates. Never is that more true than during a surgery—say, to correct a hammertoe deformity. While we provide the skilled surgical care, the success of your recovery is a collaboration between doctor and patient. We’ll help you know what to expect, so you can make the most of the time you need to heal properly.

In the first few days, you’ll probably mostly be concerned with minimizing pain and swelling. Make sure you take your prescribed pain meds as directed to keep discomfort to an absolute minimum. Staying off your feet, elevating the surgical site above chest level, and applying ice packs (10-20 minutes at a time, no more than once per hour) can also greatly help improve pain and swelling.

It usually takes about 2 weeks before the stitches are ready to come out. Be careful to keep the bandaged area dry during this time; we strongly recommend bathing with a shower stool and waterproof protection for your feet so you can clean yourself safely and effectively.

Over time, as directly, you will gradually be able to return to normal activities. At first, you’ll probably have to wear a surgical shoe to protect your toes, and you may not be able to bear much (or any weight) on your foot. Typically you can go back to things like wearing normal shoes, driving, or light activity sometime within the first two months. Some minor swelling or pain may linger for several more months; this is very normal.

The more you can rest, the faster your body can heal. It’s best if you have a helper (spouse, friend, parent, child) who can assist with necessary tasks like shopping or cooking. It’s also a smart idea to rearrange your living space temporarily—for example, sleep on the main floor for a few weeks if you have trouble navigating stairs.

Although there’s no “magic bullet,” following your doctor’s orders, getting plenty of rest, and sticking to the plan can help you heal quickly and get back on your feet at full health following a hammertoe surgery. To learn more, request an appointment with one of our expert podiatrists at Carolina Podiatry Group online, or by calling 888-569-9559.

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