October 7th, 2011
During the recovery from ankle surgery, I am often asked, “Is swelling after ankle surgery common?”
Swelling after any surgery is expected. Certain areas of the body are more predisposed to post operative swelling. The ankle is one of these areas for two reasons. Firstly it is very far from the heart and therefore receives less nutrients and oxygen for healing as they have been ‘gobbled up’ along the way. Secondly and more significantly, the foot and ankle are the most dependent part of the body.
As a result, gravity drives fluid into the ankle and with little motion after surgery it is very difficult for the fluid (swelling) to be pumped out.
Swelling after ankle surgery can be short lived, but in other cases can be present for extended periods of time, even up to one year. Elevation in the early postoperative period is usually very helpful.
I hope this helps you better understand the possibility of swelling after an ankle surgery or operation.
Until next time,
|About the Author: Dr. Stuart Gold, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who has 23 years experience specializing in sport injuries, joint replacement, arthritis and limb salvage. As the Director of the Orthopedic Institute, Dr. Gold recently published The Patient's Guide To Orthopedic Surgery to help patients better understand the challenges, risks and opportunities of orthopedic care.|