Post Op Protocols

Note: Recoveries can differ from patient to patient based on multiple factors. The guidelines below are a general idea of what the average recovery will be.

NWB = Non weight bearing

FWB = Full weight bearing

WBAT = Weight bearing as tolerated

Arthrodesis/Fusion Recovery

Arthrodesis/Fusion Recovery

Download/Print PDF

JOINT (operated on):
Ankle
“Triple arthrodesis” 
Subtalar
Talonavicular 
Calcaneal-cuboid 
Navicular-Cuneiform 
Tarsometatarsal 

  • Weeks 1-2 in well padded posterior splint – NWB – elevate, ice behind knee, avoid activities except eating and using restroom
  • Weeks 2-6 in cast or CAM  boot – NWB – elevate, potentially use cryo-cuff – may become more mobile if tolerated using knee scooter and/or crutches
  • Weeks 6-8 — start weight bearing in walking boot as tolerated
  • Weeks 10 — start to transition back to shoe with possible lace-up ankle brace. Start physical therapy when applicable to regain strength and work on range of motion and limp elimination. 

NOTES: We will check vitamin D levels at time of surgery and optimize – 50-65 ideal range.

Control edema with compression socks and elevation

Use cryo cuff when ready to help provide comprehensive cold therapy

Use Vitamin E oil, Mederma etc to work on incision healing

Achilles Tendon Tear (not rupture)/Haglunds Recovery

Achilles Tendon Tear (not rupture)/Haglunds Recovery

Download/Print PDF
  • Weeks 1-2 – NWB in posterior splint – ice behind knee, elevate, minimal activities except eating, using restroom 
  • Week 2 sutures come out (usually) – transition to walking boot – HOWEVER remain NWB for 1 more week
  • Weeks 3-6 – Very slowly transition to FWB in walking boot 
  • Weeks 6-10 – transition into sneaker – start physical therapy 

NOTES:

We will check vitamin D levels at time of surgery and optimize – 50-65 ideal range.

Control edema with compression socks and elevation

Use cryo cuff when ready to help provide comprehensive cold therapy

Use Vitamin E oil, Mederma etc to work on incision healing

Great Toe Joint Fusion/Arthrodesis

Great Toe Joint Fusion/Arthrodesis

Download/Print PDF
  • Weeks 1-2 (xrays taken) – NWB in posterior splint – ice behind knee, elevate, minimal activities except eating, using restroom 
  • Week 2 sutures come out (usually) – transition to walking boot – FWB as tolerated
  • Weeks 2-6 – FWB in boot as tolerated 
  • Weeks 6-8 (x-rays taken) — transition to sneaker as tolerated 

NOTES:

We will check vitamin D levels at time of surgery and optimize – 50-65 ideal range.

Control edema with compression socks and elevation

Use Vitamin E oil, Mederma etc to work on incision healing

Lateral Ankle Ligament, and Deltoid Repair and Scope

Lateral Ankle Ligament, and Deltoid Repair, Arthroscopic Joint debridement (scope)

Download/Print PDF
  • Weeks 1-2 – NWB in posterior splint – ice behind knee, elevate, minimal activities except eating, using restroom 
  • Week 2-3 — remain NWB — sutures come out (usually) – transition to walking boot
  • Weeks 3-6 – FWB in boot as tolerated – use cryo cuff, elevate, compression socks 
  • Weeks 6-8  — transition to sneaker as tolerated with lace up brace and start physical therapy 

NOTES:

We will check vitamin D levels at time of surgery and optimize – 50-65 ideal range.

Control edema with compression socks and elevation

Use Vitamin E oil, Mederma etc to work on incision healing

Bunionectomy Recovery

Bunion/1st Metatarsal Osteotomy

  • 1st week post-op weight bearing in short walking boot – heel only
  • 2nd week post-op remove stitches, weight bearing as tolerated in short boot
  • 3rd-4th week full weight bearing in short boot – ice, compression socks, elevate
  • 5th-6th week – release back to sneaker if appropriate – manage swelling

NOTES:

Bunion surgery always causes significant swelling. The biggest hurdles in recovery are preventing stiffness at the joint, and managing swelling. The swelling may last up to 6 months.

Optimize vitamin D levels, use scar cream on incision, and range of motion activities are paramount for desirable results.

Ankle Replacement

Total Ankle Arthroplasty (TAA), and soft tissue balancing procedures

  • 1st week – NWB in well padded splint. Take x-rays, evaluate incision. RICE therapy.
  • 2nd week – Same as 1st week
  • 3rd week – remove stitches if not already taken out at 2nd visit. Transition to weight bearing in tall walking boot once skin heals
  • 4th-6th weeks – FWB in tall walking boot. Range of motion exercises on own. Manage swelling.
  • 7th week – transition to sneaker with lace -up brace – start physical therapy if ready

NOTES:

The keys to success after joint replacement surgery is getting good incisional healing, and maintaining joint range of motion.

The incision site is closely monitored for any signs of infection

Patients are given Vancomycin (assuming no allergies) during surgery to help prevent Staph Epi infections