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Need for Rehabilitation following Surgery

A foot injury or foot surgery may leave you immobile for a period of time. To return to your regular activities and more strenuous recreational activities, it is necessary for you to follow a well-planned activity and exercise program.

Aim of Rehabilitation following Surgery

A good exercise program to rehabilitate foot and ankle conditions focuses on strengthening and stretching the muscles and tendons of the lower leg, feet, and ankles to relieve pain and soreness, keep the muscles flexible, provide stability and prevent future injury.

Foot Rehabilitation following Surgery

You are encouraged to start walking with crutches or a walker following your surgery. Your doctor will help to structure and supervise an exercise routine that is ideal for you. Begin with a few warm-up exercises, followed by stretching, then move onto the strengthening exercises, followed again by stretching. If you experience pain, stop and contact your doctor, who will modify the routine to suit you. 

Exercises Prescribed

Some of the exercises that are prescribed include:

  • Heel cord stretches: Stand in front of a wall. Put your unaffected foot ahead of you with the knee bent and your affected foot straight behind you. While supporting yourself against the wall, urge your hips forward with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
  • Ball rolling: Sit on a chair with both feet on the ground. Use your affected foot to roll a ball under the arch of the foot. Perform this activity for 2 minutes.
  • Towel stretching: Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Hook a towel under your affected foot, and holding both ends, pull it towards yourself, keeping the leg straight. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds with 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
  • Calf raises: Stand behind a chair and support yourself as you raise your unaffected leg behind you putting all your weight on your affected foot. Lift the heel and raise your body up. Perform 10 repetitions.
  • Toe writing: While sitting down on an elevated chair, use your big toe of your affected foot to write alphabets in the air. Perform 2 sets of this activity.
  • Marble activity: Sit down on a chair and place 20 marbles on the floor near your affected foot. Use your toes to pick up one marble at a time and place it into a container.

Follow the routine three to five times a week for four to six weeks or as specified by your doctor. After this, you may continue the program to maintain strength and range of motion.

Following rehabilitation, you can gradually start walking, running and return to sports activities, as advised by your doctor.

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • Athe American College of Surgeons
  • American Shoulder And Elbow Surgeons