The recovery period after hammertoe surgery is painful, and stiffness, redness and swelling are also part of the postoperative experience. The doctor prescribes medications to help with pain management during the recovery period, which usually takes between one and three months, reports New York Bone and Joint Specialists.
After the surgery has ended, the patient moves to a recovery room and goes home after a few hours of rest. The medical staff bandages the foot and provides a surgical shoe to assist with walking after the operation. While pain is expected, if the patient experiences numbness, tingling or burning in the foot that elevation and icing do not resolve, it is necessary to call the doctor, notes New York Bone and Joint Specialists.
Some general tips for postsurgical recovery include elevating the affected foot as often as possible for several days and applying ice for pain and swelling for periods of 20 minutes on the foot followed by 40 minutes off the foot and repeating as needed or as indicated by the doctor. Patients should avoid taking long walks during the first month after surgery. Patients who smoke should attempt to quit or at least smoke less, as smoking can lengthen the healing process, as stated by New York Bone and Joint Specialists.