How to Prevent Swelling With an Orthopedic Boot

An orthopedic boot is a specialty shoe made for patients to wear after foot or ankle surgery 1. The boot keeps you from moving that part of your body. Unfortunately, swelling is common after surgery. Finding ways to reduce swelling when you are wearing an orthopedic boot may be frustrating. However, there are some things you can do to reduce swelling and relieve your pain. Remember to take your prescribed medication as directed by your doctor, and be patient.

Try on the orthopedic boot to make sure that it fits correctly. The boot should fit perfectly around your foot and leg. Most boots are adjustable at the leg, but the foot part is sized to you. Your heel should fit snugly in the boot and your toes should not be jammed in.

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Make two ice packs using plastic baggies and ice. Fill a baggie half way up with ice. Do not place too much ice in the bag, as you will need the pack to be as flat as possible. Crushed ice is optimal for more flexibility with the ice pack. Double the baggies to prevent leaks.

Place the ice packs inside the boot down to your feet and ankles. No more than two ice packs per foot is necessary. Ice decreases the amount of blood that gets to your foot and numbs the area to reduce pain. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes, unless it gets uncomfortable, at which point you will need to remove it.

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Keep your foot elevated at heart level as much as possible, according to Wearing an orthopedic boot may be necessary, but your swelling and pain will decrease more if you stay off of your foot.

Loosen the orthopedic boot whenever you can. Every time you sit down, loosen the straps. This will allow the fluid that builds up to escape. This works best if you elevate your foot after you loosen the straps.