Foot and Ankle Surgery: What to Expect and How to Prepare

July 20, 2023


If you’re facing the prospect of foot and ankle surgery, it’s natural to feel some apprehension. However, proper knowledge and preparation can ensure a smoother experience and a successful outcome. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what to expect before, during, and after foot and ankle surgery and provide tips on how to prepare for the procedure. If you’re in Richmond, VA, seeking professional foot and ankle care, look no further than Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates.

1. Understanding Foot and Ankle Surgery:

Foot and ankle surgery encompasses a range of procedures designed to address conditions such as fractures, sprains, bunions, arthritis, and more. The surgical approach depends on the specific condition and the severity of the problem. Common procedures include bunionectomy, ankle fusion, Achilles tendon repair, and ligament reconstruction.

2. Preparing for Foot and Ankle Surgery:

a) Consultation and Evaluation: The first step is to schedule a consultation with a reputable foot and ankle surgeon like Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates Associates. During this appointment, the surgeon will evaluate your condition, review your medical history, and answer any questions you may have. Be sure to provide accurate and detailed information about your symptoms and any medications you are taking.

b) Preoperative Instructions: Your surgeon will provide specific preoperative instructions tailored to your procedure. This may include guidelines regarding fasting, medication adjustments, and ceasing certain habits such as smoking. Follow these instructions carefully to minimize the risk of complications.

c) Arrange Transportation and Postoperative Care: Foot and ankle surgery often requires anesthesia, which can impair your ability to drive immediately afterward. Make arrangements for someone to drive you home and consider arranging for assistance during the initial recovery days.

3. The Surgical Procedure:

a) Anesthesia: Depending on the complexity of the procedure, you may receive local anesthesia (numbing the surgical area), regional anesthesia (numbing a larger area), or general anesthesia (rendering you unconscious). Your surgeon will discuss the most appropriate choice for your surgery.

b) Surgical Techniques: The specific surgical techniques will vary based on the procedure being performed. Your surgeon will explain the details of the surgery, including the expected duration and potential risks.

c) Postoperative Expectations: Following surgery, you’ll be taken to a recovery area, where you’ll be monitored closely. Depending on the procedure, you may have a cast, splint, or special shoe to protect and support the surgical site. Pain medication and antibiotics may be prescribed to manage discomfort and prevent infection.

4. Postoperative Recovery:

a) Rest and Elevation: It’s essential to elevate your foot and ankle as much as possible to reduce swelling. Your surgeon will guide the duration and frequency of elevation.

b) Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy: Depending on your procedure, your surgeon may recommend a rehabilitation or physical therapy program to help restore mobility and strength. Follow the prescribed exercises diligently to achieve the best possible outcome.

c) Follow-up Appointments: Regular follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor your progress, remove stitches (if necessary), and ensure the surgical site is healing properly. Attend these appointments as scheduled and communicate any concerns or questions you may have.


Foot and ankle surgery can be life-changing, allowing you to regain mobility, alleviate pain, and improve your overall quality of life. By understanding what to expect before, during, and after surgery and by following the recommendations of a trusted foot and ankle surgeon like Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, you can prepare yourself for a successful recovery. Remember to consult with a qualified professional, follow their advice, and actively participate in your rehabilitation. You can look forward to stepping into a healthier future with patience and commitment.

Keywords: foot and ankle surgery, Richmond, VA, foot and ankle surgeon, bunionectomy, ankle fusion, Achilles tendon repair, ligament reconstruction, postoperative recovery, physical therapy, Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates.