It's been 10 days since I had my ankle reconstruction. The swelling haven't gone down since the surgery, as a matter of fact, has gotten more swollen. This afternoon got particularly uncomfortable as it was applying pressure against the hard part of the splint. Once I got home from work, I took off the splint and elevated my foot and iced it. The foot looks massive, it's not cold, but it is numb. I try to keep my foot elevated whenever possible, but can be hard during meetings.
How long do swelling typically last? 10 days seems awfully long for an ankle to remain swollen. Is this normal?
It will most likely remain swollen for months. That's normal for most foot surgeries to have some swelling for a long time. Ten days is not near long enough for it to go down substantially. And with an ankle reconstruction, aren't you supposed to be off it (NWB) for some time?
My great toe (cheilectomy for Turf Toe) was swollen for about 6 months....so, I wouldn't be worried about 10 days! And you really should keep that foot elevated - no matter whether you are having a "meeting" or not...just tell the boss or client you've had surgery and grab a chair and elevate.
Good to know! My surgeon didn't say it'll be swollen for months, the impression was it'll be a couple of days, not months. I was worried that I have circulation problem from the surgery. I'm suppose to get casted in 4 days and remain in the cast for 6 weeks. Next problem I'll be facing will be cast claustrophobia.
If it helps, I am now 5 weeks post ankle surgery and my foot is just as swollen as it was 1 week after.
Seeing my surgeon yesterday he said that once it starts moving more, the fluid which is making is swelling will go down. I was just given clearance to start PWB yesterday and must admit, putting pressure down on my foot feels like its going to explode at the beginning of each step, but once down feels ok.
I know what you mean about the cast claustrophobia .. I had that with the splint after surgery and admit I didn't make it past 4 days ... I took it off. I also found that taking the Vicodin they gave me made me more anxious .. my husband noticed that about 45 mins after taking Vicodin my heart would race, I would break into a sweat and I had to even take the bandages off as the feeling of being confined was freaking me out.
Please let me know what they say about your concern about being in the cast. My biggest fear is that I might need a second surgery where they would take bone from my knee and put it in my ankle which would require a full length cast for starters followed by one for my ankle. Not sure I would be able to do it.
But back to your initial question .. it is completely normal to still be swollen just 10 days after surgery. As the others have said, expect it to be for month.
I had a cast for 6 weeks for a lapidus bunionectomy, and 7 days post-op, I developed contact dermatitis which they put a cast over, which I had to get taken off after several days because the dermatitis turned into blisters (I shouldn't be telling you this), and I didn't want any more casts, but the surgeon said I had to have a cast because non-fusion would have been a possibility, so I compromised with having a cast with a square cut-out over the top of my foot so I could treat the blisters. Perhaps if you had to have a cast, they could cut out a window in it, which may make you feel a little better. I felt a little better knowing I could see my foot. Good luck to you.
I had foot surgery for a Lisfranc sprain (no ankle problems), and was nwb for 6 weeks.
I had swelling issues until I was able to put weight on it. I would wake up in the morning, and my foot would look almost normal and not swollen. However, as soon as I swung my legs off the bed and towards the floor, my foot would swell up within minutes.
When I was allowed to start putting weight on it again, my OS advised that this action would help pump the fluids back up my leg. He was right - the swelling issues subsided greatly after I was able to start walking on it again.
I had ankle reconstruction (posterior tibial tendon repair and an Evans calcaneal osteotomy) in May and now, just about 6 months later, am getting back to normal. I actually have an achille's tendon visible, no swelling around it. The swelling is a normal part of the healing process...you'll likely have it for a number of months to come. Think of all of the structures, tissues, bones, vessels, etc that are having to heal and adjust and heal in there. I learned here that it takes 9-12 months for everything to settle in and be "normal" and to see the more "final" results. Keep that foot elevated as much as possible...simple laws of gravity mean more swelling when its down. Icing on the ankle and behind the knee are helpful as well. Good luck as you heal!