Your surgeon made an incision (cut) in your skin to expose your toe joint and bones.
Your surgeon then repaired your toe.
You may have a wire or pin holding your toe joint together.
You may have swelling in your foot after surgery.
Self-care at Home
Keep your leg propped up on 1 or 2 pillows for the first 2 - 3 days to decrease swelling. Get up only to use the bathroom.
If it does not cause pain, you will be allowed to put weight on your foot 2 or 3 days after surgery. You can use crutches until the pain lessens. Make sure you put weight on your heel but not on your toes.
Most patients wear a shoe with a wooden sole for about 4 weeks. After that, your doctor may advise you to wear a wide, deep, soft shoe for up to 4 - 6 weeks. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
You will have a bandage on your foot that will be changed about 2 weeks after surgery, when your stitches are removed.
You will have a new bandage for another 2 - 4 weeks.
Make sure to keep the bandage clean and dry.Take sponge baths or cover your foot with a plastic bag when you take showers. Make sure water cannot leak into the bag.
If you have a wire (Kirschner or K-wire) or pin, it:
Will stay in place for 2 - 3 weeks
Is usually not painful
Will be easily removed in your surgeon’s office
To care for the wire:
Keep it clean and protected by wearing a sock and your orthopedic boot.
Once you can shower and get your foot wet, dry the wire well afterward.
For pain, you can you can buy these pain medicines without a prescription:
Ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin)
Naproxen (such as Aleve or Naprosyn)
Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol)
If you use pain medicine:
Talk with your health care provider before using these medicines if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, or have had stomach ulcers or bleeding.
Do not take more than the amount recommended on the bottle.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your health care provider or surgeon if you:
Have bleeding from your wound
Increased swelling around the wound, wire, or pin
Pain that does not go away after you take pain medicine
Notice a bad smell or pus coming from the wound, wire, or pin
C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.