Whether you’ve just had your bunions corrected or you need a procedure to repair a ruptured tendon, you may chafe at being kept down while recovering from foot surgery. It’s especially hard around the holidays when there is so much to do. Maybe understanding how staying off your feet affects your final outcome will help you see how important it is not to rush things.
No weight bearing means you do not touch your foot to the floor even for a second. Seem too overprotective? Not so. Even a simple brushing your foot along the floor puts strain on the healing tissues. These are the areas we are concerned about:
- The incision – any slight disturbance may cause the cut to shift and break apart skin that has started to heal. The result is longer healing time and more scarring.
- The bones – repair of this tissue begins with clotting, gradually firms into softer tissue and cartilage, and then hardens into bone. If the tissue moves out of position at all, the repair that has started can break down, and the whole process would need to begin all over again.
- Pins, plates and screws – these are useless at holding bones in place unless the bone begins to grow around them and stabilize. It’s like driving a nail in wallboard instead of wood to hang a heavy picture: the weight will cause the softer material to crumble and disintegrate.
- Swelling – if you stay off your feet and elevate them, fluid is less likely to collect and cause swelling. Edema not only makes you uncomfortable, swollen tissues can also press against bones, tendons, or ligaments, causing them to move out of position and not heal correctly.
So how do you stay off your foot completely? Options include crutches, knee walkers, and scooters you can sit on. The last two can be fitted with baskets to carry your cell phone and other paraphernalia. And if you are worried about losing fitness while you heal, there are seated exercises and even cardio workouts you can do sitting on your bed.
Call Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona in Gilbert, AZ at (480) 981-1800 and in Chandler at (480) 963-9000 for superior foot care in the greater Phoenix area. You can also connect with us through our website, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.