Discharge Instructions for Foot Surgery - Fairview Health Services

Doctors and providers who treat this condition


Discharge Instructions for Foot Surgery

Arrange to have an adult drive you home after surgery. If you had general anesthesia, it may take a day or more to fully recover. So, for at least the next 24 hours: Do not drive or use machinery or power tools; do not drink alcohol; and do not make any major decisions.


  • Start with liquids and light foods (such as dry toast, bananas, and applesauce). As you feel up to it, slowly return to your normal diet.

  • Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water or other nonalcoholic fluids a day.

  • To avoid nausea, eat before taking narcotic pain medications.


  • Take all medications as instructed.

  • Take pain medications on time. Do not wait until the pain is bad before taking your medications.

  • Avoid alcohol while on pain medications.


  • Sit or lie down when possible. Put a pillow under your heel to raise your foot above the level of your heart.

  • Wrap an ice pack or bag of frozen peas in a thin cloth. Place it over your bandaged foot for no longer than 20 minutes. Do this 3 time(s) a day.

  • You can drive again in 7 days or as instructed by your physician.

  • Wear your surgical shoe at all times unless told otherwise by your healthcare provider.

  • Use crutches or a cane as directed.

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions about putting weight on your foot.

Bandage and Cast Care

  • Do not shower for 48 hours.

  • When you can shower again, cover the bandage or cast with a plastic bag to keep it dry.

  • Don’t remove your bandage until your doctor tells you to. If your bandage gets wet or dirty, check with your doctor. You can likely replace it with a clean, dry one.

What to Expect

It is normal to have the following:

  • Bruising and slight swelling of the foot and toes

  • A small amount of blood on the dressing

Call the doctor if you have:

  • Continuous bleeding through the bandage

  • Excessive swelling, increased bleeding, or redness

  • Fever over 100.4°F or chills

  • Pain unrelieved by pain medications

  • Foot feels cold to the touch or numb

  • Increased ache in your leg or foot

  • Chest pain or shortness of breath

  • Anything unusual that concerns you


 Visit Other Fairview Sites 
(c) 2012 Fairview Health Services. All rights reserved.