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Post orthopaedic foot surgery general exercises

This resource has been made to help you remember the exercises your therapist taught and practiced with you.

The exercises should be done slowly and smoothly. You may feel some discomfort while doing these exercises after your surgery or injury.

If pain limits your ability to do your exercises, then timing them around your pain relief may be helpful. However, if your pain becomes worse, please seek advice from a healthcare professional and stop the exercises.

How many times should I do these exercises?

You should repeat these exercises 10 times each, and do them a minimum of 3 or 4 times throughout day.

What happens next?

You may continue to be seen for therapy at Sheffield Children’s Hospital or you may be referred for ongoing treatment at a local NHS Trust.

It is important to continue with the exercises you have been given during your stay in hospital to help get the best outcomes after your surgery or injury.

How can I manage my swelling?

Swelling is common in the first few weeks following an injury or surgery. This can be improved in a few ways:

  • Elevate your limb so it is above your heart so it is harder for blood to be pumped to it. Lay down, and use pillows or cushions at home to do this.
  • Limiting the amount of time you spend walking and standing, particularly just after your operation.


Exercise 1

Lay down on your back.

Point your foot and toes down to the floor or bed. Then slowly pull your foot and toes up towards your knee. Keep your leg straight.

Photograph of person laid on their back with one leg extended and pointing their toes upPhotograph of person laid on their back with one leg extended and pointing their toes pointing forward

Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 2

Lay down on your back or in sit up straight.

Turn your foot inwards so your sole points towards your other leg. Then turn your foot outwards so your sole points away from your other leg.

Photograph of person laid down with their legs outstretched trying to make their foot's sole face the other legPhotograph of person laid down with their legs outstretched trying to make their foot's sole face away from the other leg

Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 3

Lay down on your back or sit up straight.

Bend your knee by bringing your heel towards your buttocks. Return to the starting position.

Photograph of person laid down on their back with their legs outstretchedPhotograph of person laid on their back with one leg outstretched and the other knee in the air with their foot flat on the ground

Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 4

Lay down on your tummy. You may need support to change position to lie on your tummy as this can be difficult after surgery.

Put your head and arms wherever comfortable. Make sure your hips are level and in contact with the bed.

Photograph of person laid on their front with their legs outstretched relaxed

Lie for 30 minutes.

Contact us

If your have any questions or concerns, please contact Physiotherapy Orthopaedics on 0114 271 7148.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

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