Amputation of the Foot or Toe
(Toe Amputation; Foot Amputation)
Reasons for Procedure
- Treat infections
- Remove dead or damaged tissue, such as gangrene or serious trauma may cause
|Gangrene of Foot|
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- Difficulty healing
- Stump pain (severe pain in the remaining tissue)
- Phantom limb pain (a painful sensation that the foot or toe is still there)
- Continued spread of gangrene, requiring amputation of more areas of your foot, toes, or leg
- Nerve damage
- Limp or trouble walking (depending on which toe or how much of the foot has been removed)
- Contracture deformity
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Blood tests
- X-ray of toe and foot
- Bone scan to see if the bone is infected
- Tests to evaluate blood circulation and help the doctor determine how much of the foot or toe needs to be amputated
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs (may need to stop up to one week before)
Blood-thinning medicines, such as:
- Arrange for a ride to and from the hospital.
- Arrange for help at home after the surgery.
- The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- You may be asked to shower the morning of your procedure. You may be asked to use a special antibacterial soap.
Description of the Procedure
|Amputation of Crushed Toe|
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Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Your foot will be kept elevated.
- The remaining toes or foot will be wrapped with a bulky dressing. This will protect it from injury.
- You will be encouraged to get up and begin walking as soon as the wound allows.
- A physical therapist will likely assist you in walking at first.
- You may need to wear a cast, a special postoperative shoe, or a regular shoe with the foot box removed until the stitches are taken out. Stitches will be removed in about three weeks.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- You may be advised to begin an exercise, physical therapy, or rehabilitation program.
- If you are a smoker, you should quit .
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions about activity and medicines.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to drive and return to work
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
- Chalky white or blackish appearance of foot, other toes, or leg
- Decreased sensation, numbness, or tingling in the rest of your foot, toes, or leg
- Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given after surgery, or that persist for more than one day after discharge from the hospital
- Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Joint pain, fatigue, stiffness, rash, or other new symptoms
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/
American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org/
Canadian Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.ca/
The Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org/
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- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 11/26/2012 -