Relief of pain

The local anaesthetic that you have had will wear off in the next 1 to 2 hours.

Provided you do not have an allergy to the painkiller, it is safe to use over-the-counter painkillers to reduce your pain so you can be more active.

But it’s important to use painkillers carefully, as they have side effects. Paracetamol is the simplest and safest painkiller.

You could also try anti-inflammatory tablets like Ibuprofen as long as you don’t have a condition (such as a stomach ulcer) that prevents you using them.

Always take your painkillers at regular intervals at the recommended dose / exactly as prescribed. This is to make sure they work as well as possible for you. The aim is for pain control to be constant.

Putting off taking painkillers can make the pain more severe. It may then take longer to get it under control when you do take them.

If over-the-counter painkillers do not work, ask for help from your GP or pharmacist.

Changing position and using a pillow to support the wound can help reduce discomfort.

Please do not use a hot water bottle as this can lead to scalding of the skin. 

Check with your GP if you have been prescribed other analgesia.

If you experience persistent pain after 48 hours you may need advice from your GP.

(Circle the correct answer)

You have absorbable stitches
Yes No

Non-absorbable stitches will be removed at your own surgery by the practice nurse in………….. days

You will need to book an appointment with the practice nurse well in advance of needing stitches removed or dressings renewed.

If you are concerned about discomfort when the stitches are removed or dressing looked at, consider taking a simple pain killer, such as paracetamol, an hour before your appointment.

Remember once the stitches have been removed / absorbed the wound may appear healed but it will not be strong. It can take several months for skin to regain its strength and flexibility. Treat the area with care.

A greasy ointment, e.g. Vaseline, can be applied after removal of the dressing to prevent crusting.


Strict elevation with your foot elevated higher than your heart to encourage healing. For two weeks you will only be allowed up for five minutes every hour.

You will normally be given a post-operative shoe, which should be worn continuously until you are seen in the dressing clinic and thereafter whenever you are walking for the first six weeks.

The shoe is specially designed to prevent you putting too much weight through the front part of the foot whilst the bone is healing. You will be guided on how to walk in the shoe by the physiotherapist / nurse around the time of the surgery.

For the first two weeks after surgery, you will essentially be housebound, doing only the bare minimum of walking.

However you should keep moving regularly and should perform the exercises described below.

  • Wriggle your toes regularly
  • Move your ankle up and down and in circular movements
  • Bend and straighten your knee

These exercises are for both legs to minimise the risk of blood clot formation and improve circulation. This in turn will help reduce swelling.

No sport until advised by the surgeon or Physiotherapist.


Please keep the dressing on and the area clean and dry for 2 weeks.


The signs of infection can be any of the following:

  • Increasing pain at the site
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • A pus-like discharge

If you are concerned about any of the above, see your practice nurse promptly, taking this leaflet with you. Your practice nurse is the first point of contact. They will be able to assess your wound if you suspect it is infected. You may also get reoccurrence, pain under the ball of your foot, stiff big toe joint.


The operation site will be checked for bleeding before you leave the department. If bleeding occurs at home, do not disturb the dressing. Press firmly on the area, for a full 15 minutes (by a clock). Do not take the dressing off, put an additional “pressure dressing” on top of the original. If possible, elevate or raise the area as high as possible.

If bleeding persists you will need to visit your practice nurse or local Emergency Department for assessment. A clean dressing will be provided once bleeding has settled if this is necessary.

Be vigilant for bleeding if you take anticoagulants, e.g. Aspirin or Warfarin.


You can usually drive after six weeks, you will be informed by your surgeon / Physiotherapist when you can start to drive. You must also be able to perform an emergency stop safely. Always start with short journeys

Outpatient appointment

Your will be sent an appointment in the post.

Post anaesthetic instructions

  • You must be accompanied home by a responsible adult age 18 year +
  • You must not be left alone for 48 hours after your anaesthetic.
  • Do not lock the bathroom or toilet door for the next 48 hours.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise for the next 24 hours
  • No alcohol or sleeping tablets for 48 hours.
  • No using anything that could potentially cause harm, such as a kettle, cooker or iron for the next 48 hours.
  • No signing legal documents for the next 48 hours.
  • No looking after young children alone for the next 48 hours.

Practice Nurse Appointment

Date of surgery:
Check wound and Re-tape in ……….. days
Remove stitches in ……………….  days   
Remove outer dressing in ……………..   days   
Remove dressing in ……………..  days       
Check wound in……………….  days

Monocryl stitches (absorbable) Yes No (Circle the correct one)
•  Remove steri-strips and trim ends of suture (including knot)
•  Do not pull the suture out
•  Please observe the wound for signs of infection
•  After 14 days, 20% of original strength remains  

If you have any questions or require further advice, please contact:

8am – 7pm
Day Surgery Unit
01935 384339

If you have any serious concerns outside of these hours please contact either your own GP, 111, Accident and Emergency or the Minor Injuries Unit.

Ref: 04/21/04
Review: 06/21