How to prevent swelling

Swelling, also called “edema,” is common both before and after ankle replacement surgery. (In fact, painful swelling of the ankle is probably one of the symptoms that led to you have your ankle joint replaced.)

Such post-operative swelling affects the foot and ankle, although it may affect the knee and upper leg to some degree. Although some people notice swelling while they’re in the hospital, others may not develop this symptom until later on, as they become more active. However, some people never experience swelling after surgery.

To prevent swelling problems or treat them if they occur, your surgeon may recommend that you wear compression bandages or stockings on the affected leg and foot. These tight garments are usually worn for 4-8 weeks after surgery.

Following advice from your physiotherapist should help you minimize swelling. If the swelling in your leg and/or foot doesn’t go down after you’ve slept all night and have rested with your legs up at least twice each day, call your surgeon or family doctor.