With longer days and warmer weather ahead, you may be looking forward to more time outdoors and on your feet! However, if you recently experienced a foot injury, it's vital to ensure that it has completely healed before participating in potentially stressful activities for your lower limbs.
Foot and ankle injuries need adequate time to heal, and depending on the severity, the recovery time could be longer than you might think. For example, a patient with a mild sprain may significantly worsen their condition over time if they delay seeing a podiatrist. Any degree of foot pain is not normal and should be examined by a medical professional as soon as possible. Avoid "playing through the pain," as postponing a visit to your doctor can result in long-term damage to your lower limbs. The key when it comes to injury recovery for fractures, sprains, or surgeries is rest.
A simple bone fracture typically takes six to eight weeks to heal. More complicated fractures that require surgery may require additional recovery time if the surrounding structures (nerves, arteries, or veins) become damaged. For foot or ankle fractures, it is essential to immobilize the foot and keep weight off of it while healing. Giving your foot a break from additional weight allows the foot and ankle to stay in one position and heal properly. In addition, putting your weight on an injury could cause the healing bones to shift and cause re-injury.
Following a sprain, proper rehabilitation and treatment are critical to strengthen the ankle muscles and retrain tissues that affect balance. Improving the strength of your lower extremity muscles will also help prevent further sprains or injuries. A ligament sprain generally takes between three and six months to heal. However, if a sprain is not adequately rehabilitated, untreated or repeat injuries can cause chronic ankle instability, marked by persistent discomfort and a giving way of the ankle from stretched or torn ligaments. Following your podiatrist's recommendations for healing a sprain is vital for a successful recovery.
Recovery times for foot surgery can vary depending on the procedure performed. Sutures from surgery are often removed about two weeks following the operation. Additional care, such as changing dressings or using a brace to hold and protect the foot, may be necessary for 6-12 weeks afterward.
Some surgical procedures require post-operation recovery that includes avoiding placing weight on the foot or feet for up to eight weeks. Partial weight is then incrementally placed on the foot for a period, using a special shoe or boot to keep the foot from moving too much.
Giving your injuries time to rest and heal completely can prevent further lower limb damage and long-term chronic pain. If you have suffered any foot or ankle injuries, prioritize your health and get it checked out. Our expert podiatrists can treat your injury and provide a recovery timeline for when you'll be ready to be back on your feet! So give us a call today at (717) 757-3537 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an initial appointment.