You have just undergone a correction of deformity affecting your lesser toe(s).
The operation was performed through incision(s) over the involved joint(s). At the end of the procedure, a local anaesthetic agent was infiltrated, in order to reduce post-operative pain. The wound was closed with small sutures and has been covered by bulky dressings. A post-operative shoe was then fitted.
If a wire was used to internally splint your toe(s) in the straightened position, you will need to be careful not to stub or snare it. It should remain covered by the dressings.
If a flexor tenotomy was performed, there will be small wound under the toe, which will not have been stitched.
Expect some pain in your foot, particularly when the local anaesthetic wears off, but this should be controllable with elevation and oral pain-killers, and should improve dramatically over the next 48 hours. When you are able to comfortably stand and mobilise independently, you can go home.
The nursing staff will let you know when it is safe to get out of bed. You should stand and walk in the post-op. shoe. Crutches should not be needed.
There can be blood seepage into the dressings causing staining. This is rarely a cause for concern, but the dressings could be changed in my office after a few days if they become offensive. Contact my secretary for an earlier appointment if this proves necessary.
You may shower, but it is important to keep the dressings dry.
Keep your foot elevated as much as possible. Hip height is ideal when you are seated. Minimise your activities while the wound is healing.
If you have any concerns regarding your progress before your first post-operative appointment, please ring the rooms, during normal hours, or your local doctor, if available after hours. If you require urgent out-of-hours attention, please ring or present to a hospital Emergency Department at any time. Both Norwest Private and Sydney Adventist Hospitals provide this service.
At the 2 week post-operative visit your dressings and sutures will be removed. If a wire has been used in your toe(s) you will need to keep its tip covered with a bandaid at all times. This can be changed daily, with care. Additionally, if you have a wire, you should continue to wear the post-op. shoe at all times, including at night, and walk in a strictly “flat-footed” manner to avoid bending the wire!
Wire(s), if used, will be extracted at the 6 week post-op. visit. An anaesthetic will not be need. Swelling can take as long as 3 months to disappear, and as it recedes, you can return to conventional shoes, but initially, these should be roomy in the toe-box and firm-soled. You can keep using the post-op. shoe for longer, if necessary.