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How Long Does It Take to Recover from Heel Surgery?

August 24, 2020

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Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are two of the most common causes of heel pain. When the pain gets too severe and medication and non-surgical procedures are not working, your doctor might recommend surgery. This approach can minimize pain, help you walk, and improve your ability to engage in daily activities.

Patients often ask how long the recovery from heel surgery lasts. At our Austin, TX, practice, serving Cedar Park, TX, and nearby areas, our doctors can perform heel surgery with the most minimally invasive procedures possible to speed healing. During a consultation, we can determine if you are a candidate for surgery and discuss this concern in detail.

Aftercare at a Glance

Depending on the type of surgery we perform in our office, you might receive local or general anesthesia. Heel surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, and you can return home the same day. We will put a cast or boot on your foot for enhanced stability.

Since you will experience some discomfort, your walking will be limited. For proper recovery, you should take it easy and not do anything too strenuous. You need to have somebody who can assist you for the first day or so with your normal activities.

Typically, it takes up to six weeks to heal from plantar fasciitis surgery and up to three months when the doctor removes bone spurs. Your surgeon will provide detailed instructions on how to care for your foot to ensure you heal properly. The doctor might suggest a range of motion exercises to increase flexibility.

The First Week

During the first few days, most patients experience swelling and pain that usually dissipates within the first week. During this time, you should continue to limit how much you stand and walk. If you put too much weight on your foot too quickly, you can hinder the healing process.

Within the first three to seven days, your doctor should be able to remove any stitches and bandages. Patients should continue to take any pain medication as prescribed by the doctor.

The First Two Weeks

Most patients with desk jobs should be able to return to work within two weeks. Depending on how your heel feels, you might still need to use cold compresses to reduce inflammation. Your doctor might advise that you elevate your foot throughout the day to enhance the healing process.

The First Month

After the first month, patients who have more physical jobs that require more walking and standing should be able to return to the workplace. Your doctor will need to clear you before you return to work to ensure your safety. During this time, patients should be able to walk more comfortably and take care of their daily needs. Any scars should be fading and much lighter at this point.

Possible Limitations

While heel surgery is effective for many patients, it does have some limitations. For these patients, the surgeon might have to try additional procedures. Even if you feel significantly better after bone spur surgery, for example, spurs can return. Seeing a physical therapist and being fitted for proper shoes can help support surgical outcomes.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your heel and want to know if you qualify for heel surgery, contact Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin online or at (512) 476-2830. During a consultation, we can give you more information about surgical options and let you know how long your recovery from heel surgery might last.