Foot surgery: Complications arising from operations

November 17th, 2020

Wrriten by Lauren Reed, DPM

Foot surgery: Complications arising from operations

Most Common Complications of Foot Surgery

1. Swelling

After foot surgery, the most common complication is foot swelling. Unfortunately, we can not change gravity, and this usually pulls all the fluid into your feet as you stand. The increase in fluid after surgery is most prominent in the toes and can last from 1- 6 months after your surgery date. Many patients complain to me that their toes look like sausages, this is normal and the swelling will resolve over time. Compression can help, we have included a compression stocking for youherefrom amazon to help decrease some swelling in your feet.

2. Pain

Many patients will have acute pain after surgery. This is a common problem with foot surgery and can be the worst part of having a procedure done. Often times we will prescribe a short course of pain killers also known as opiod medication for pain relief. But there are other techniques and medications that can resolve pain as well. For instance, OTC anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and tylenol can help with pain relief when opiods are not available. Aromatherapy techniques can also induce a pain relieving pathway in the brain when smelled such as theseshower bombs. Ice can help and can be applied above surgical site and bandage, here is anice packthat may help.

3. Scarring

While most incision sites heal well with minimal scarring, some scars are bigger than others. These scars can be known as keloid scars. Another common occurance is delayed healing at the incision site, this can be for many reasons but affects the amount of time it takes for a scar to form. Nutrition is a common reason for delayed healing and adding protein to the diet can heap with healing the surgical wound site.

Swelling, pain and scars are not the only complications following foot surgery but they tend to be the most common. Dr. Reed sees many different complications relating to the foot and ankle following surgery, you can schedule an appointment here.


Dr. Lauren Reed is a specialized doctor in the treatment of foot and ankle ailments. She is one of the greatest in her treatment of ingrown toenails and making them as painless as possible, according to many. Dr. Lauren began her medical training at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Pennsylvania in 2008. She completed her training on the Main Line at Bryn Mawr Residency program. Dr. Lauren is also board certified in Foot Surgery by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. She specializes in foot ulcerations, diabetic foot wounds, trauma to the foot and ankle, and many other foot problems.