Swelling that builds up in the foot after surgery is called edema and can be detrimental to the healing process. It's important to minimize this swelling after foot surgery so the body can heal properly.
You can buy compression stockings or wraps that will apply constant pressure when they’re used. This will help minimize swelling when you cannot elevate your feet.
Whenever possible, lie down on your back and elevate your legs above your heart by putting a few pillows underneath them. This helps drain fluid back towards your core.
Ice packs can be applied alone or in combination with a compression bandage. The ice will cause vasoconstriction and a reduction in swelling.
Massage can be performed on the swollen foot while the patient lays on her stomach and bends the knee up (if possible) to 90 degrees. Massage down towards the knee to push fluid out of the foot.
Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can help alleviate swelling also. Check with your doctor before taking any medications after surgery.
Make sure you speak with your doctor before attempting to alleviate swelling. The surgery type may prevent you from using one or more of these techniques.
- "Arnheim's Prinicples of Athletic Training;" William E. Prentice, Ph.D.; 2006
- Foot, Leg, and Ankle Swelling