The recovery experience for Syndesmosis Surgery is a unique journey back to normal foot functionality. Our patients typically report very ‘linear’ improvement over 6 months, meaning the foot gets better steadily and predictably, with few exceptions. To realize the best possible outcome, patient participation and cooperation is critical.
You may experience moderate pain for the first 1-2 days, but little afterwards. Painkillers should not be necessary after 2-3 days. Walking is allowed any time, but only indoors and with your surgical shoes. Elevation will keep swelling down and ice is for pain relief. Big toe mobility exercises: hold your big toe back for 30 seconds; push and release your big toe 30 times; and press your big toe against your hand for 30 seconds – repeat 3 times hourly until your big toe achieves a 90° extension.
Your surgical wounds are healing and small forefoot casts will be applied 10 days after surgery. The casts serve to protect the internal holding sutures while the new ligament is forming. Walk lightly and less than 3,000 steps a day. Always use crutches for outdoor walking. Still rest and elevate your feet whenever possible. Continue your big toe mobility exercises to maintain flexibility.
You will find it much easier to walk and you can take up to 5,000 steps per day. Your new ligament formation is well underway, but the entire process requires two more months. The internal holding sutures will further weaken with each step. Big toe strengthening exercises: The Michael Jackson anti-gravity lean.
Without your casts, you may very gradually return to normal walking at a slow pace. You will be given specific shoe inserts to wear in your sneakers or trainers. Continue your big toe strengthening exercises, adding balancing and walking exercises.
The Final Stretch
The bones in your feet and your new ligament(s) are strong enough to support normal walking. Since there is no method to test their actual strengths, we recommend low-impact exercises such as swimming and stationary bicycle. Continue all our exercises for strength, balance and a normal gait.
AFTER 6 MONTHS
Your new ligament should have reached its peak strength. As you become accustomed to your restored feet, it’s now safe for you to gradually venture back to any high-impact exercise and any heel heights as tolerated. We hope each and every patient will be motivated by their renewed feet to reach even higher levels of a healthy, active lifestyle.
AFTER 6 MONTHS