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Foot and Ankle Reconstruction Post-Op Rehabilitation Protocol:

  • This protocol provides you with general guidelines for rehabilitation after foot and ankle reconstruction and/or fusions.

  • Specific changes in the program will be made by your physician as appropriate for each individual patient.

  • Foot and ankle deformity and arthritis have a very wide range of complexity and severity, and the type of surgery that is performed is highly variable.

  • Each individual heals at a different rate. It may take up to 12 months to make a full recovery, and it is not unusual to have intermittent aches and pains throughout the course of your rehabilitation.

Instructions For Patients:

  • You will be in a short leg splint for the first 2 weeks after surgery

  • You will be transitioned into a short leg cast for next 2-4 weeks

  • 6-8 weeks after surgery you will be transitioned into a removable walking boot

    • Once you are transitioned to a removable walking boot you may begin to move your ankle up and down to prevent your ankle from becoming get stiff

  • Physical therapy will start at 6-8 weeks post op

  • At 12-20 weeks you may transition to regular shoe wear

  • You may begin driving at 12-16 weeks after surgery depending upon your progression

    • Note: It is illegal to drive while wearing a walking boot

  • Some patients utilize custom orthotics or bracing permanently


Please note:

  • The complexity of foot and ankle reconstruction and/or fusion surgery is variable from patient to patient. When surgery accompanied by additional surgery such as tendon transfer, tendon lengthening, corrective osteotomies, or multiple joint fusion sites, recovery may be quite prolonged with extended swelling.  In the revision situation this may be even further magnified.  Please discuss individual recovery with your surgeon for realistic expectations.

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Post Surgery Foot & Ankle Reconstruction - Dr. Jonathan Hook
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