Advice about foot care

The skin covering your foot and ankle—including the area over your incision—remains sensitive for a long time after ankle replacement surgery and can be easy broken. This can lead to an infection which should be avoided at all costs, especially during the healing process.

  • Avoid walking around in bare feet, and don’t wear open-toed sandals—you could bump them and break the skin, possibly allowing an infection develop.
  • If you’re used to having pedicures, these procedures should only be done by a trained foot care specialist (a chiropodist) who practices adequate infection control. It’s best to stay away from neighbourhood nail salons.
  • If you develop a cut or abrasion anywhere on your foot or ankle, treat it with antibiotic cream and cover it with a sterile dressing.
  • If your surgeon has advised you to wear a certain kind of shoe or to see a foot care specialist, it’s important to follow this advice (see How a foot specialist can help).
  • After surgery, women should not wear shoes with a heel higher than 2.5-5 cm (1-2 inches), since higher heels place unhealthy stress on your ankle joint.