Frequently Asked Questions

  • My splint is starting to feel loose. Is that okay? +

    A few days after surgery you may feel that your splint is looser. This happens as your swelling comes down and as the cotton padding gets matted down. There is no harm in leaving it this way.
    If it bothers you and you feel that your foot is moving in it too much, you can unwrap the outer ace bandage and re-wrap it a bit tighter.
  • I’d like to go to a physical therapy place that is convenient and recommended by HSS. +

    The hospital provides a list of multiple locations around the tri-state area that go through an approval process. You can check here and find a place convenient to your home or work: (Include link to PT list)
  • Why does my foot turn a darker color when I have it hanging down? +

    This is a totally normal occurrence called dependent rubor. It is a result of increased blood flow. You will notice that when you elevate, the blood will drain and the foot will return to normal color.
    Many people notice this when they are seated in the shower. It will improve as time goes on, but it is nothing to worry about.
  • I feel okay during the day, but at night I am woken up by an intense, burning pain that makes me want to remove my splint/boot! +

    This is a common problem and one that is frequently corrected by lowering your foot. If you are sleeping with your foot on a pile of pillows, remove the pillows to lower the foot. This will allow the foot to get blood flow.
    In addition to that, be sure that the ace bandage and boot straps are very loose before you go to bed to avoid this from happening.
  • My splint is off and stitches are out! Why does my foot hurt more after the first post-operative visit? +

    Your first post-operative visit can be a bit shocking to your foot since you spend the first two weeks fairly sedentary. Traveling in to the office, having the stitches removed, and starting some gentle motion may leave you feeling more achy that evening than you had before. Plan on going home after your visit.
    Elevate your foot and put some ice on it so that it does not make you too uncomfortable.
  • Surgery was a couple of days ago… Is it okay that my foot is still numb? +

    If you had a nerve block, it can sometimes last as long as three days after surgery. It may even take a few days beyond that to feel that your sensation has completely come back. This is expected.
    Be sure that your toes are pink and warm to ensure that there is good circulation. The splint and swelling can often cause numbness as well and will improve after the splint comes off at two weeks and as your swelling comes down.
  • Can I use my knee walker the first two weeks after surgery? +

    You may use your knee walker if you find it easier to maneuver around your home. However, we do not want you to be up on it for any extended period of time.
    During the first two weeks you should avoid leaving the house and keep your foot elevated at all times unless you are changing rooms or getting up to the bathroom.
  • Should I be icing during the first two post-op weeks? +

    Unfortunately ice won’t penetrate the bulky bandages that we put over your foot/ankle. Icing will start after two weeks when you no longer have the splint. You can also try an ice pack behind your knee to see if that is helpful.
  • I received a bunch of prescriptions when I was discharged from the hospital. What do I take and when? +

    We provide you with different medications to manage your pain as well as any nausea.
    1. Pain medication that is typically given is a narcotic. You can take this as needed for pain. If you have had a nerve block we recommend that you start this medication before the block wears off. This will make your pain much more manageable when the time comes. It is also a good idea to take a dose before you go to bed in case your block wears off while you are asleep. Once your block has worn off and you have a handle on your pain, take the pain medication only as necessary in order to avoid its side effects, the most common being constipation and drowsiness. It is okay to take an over-the-counter laxative if needed.
    2. Lyrica is a medication that helps with nerve related pain. We give you this to take for the first few nights. It may cause drowsiness, so take it before bedtime. Avoid using any other sleep aides while you are on this to avoid over-sedation.
    3. Ibuprofen is the generic form of Advil or Motrin. You should take this over-the-counter medication for the first three days after surgery. The anti-inflammatory dose is 3-4 200mg pills every 8 hours. We recommend you do this initially. After 3 days, you can take it as needed if you prefer to avoid narcotics for pain management. If it starts to irritate your stomach you should discontinue this. You can also take Prilosec OTC to help protect your stomach while you are taking these medications.
    4. Zofran is an anti-nausea medication. This is given just in case the anesthesia or the pain medications leave you nauseated. You can fill this right away or hold off and fill it if nausea is becoming a problem.
    5. Aspirin is one medication that we like you to take regardless of your pain. The purpose of this is to decrease your risk of a blood clot. As long as it does not irritate your stomach, we like you to take one 325mg aspirin once a day while you are non-weight bearing. If you have problems with aspirin or have had ulcers in the past, be sure to let the team know so that we can prescribe something else.
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