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Post-Op Off Loading Footwear: How to Advise Patients

If you are a doctor or medical professional working with patients who have undergone surgery to the foot and/or lower leg, it is often the case that they will need to be discharged with off loading footwear to promote healing. Though off loading footwear has a simple design, there is still the potential for patients to utilise them incorrectly, which can cause further damage and antagonise the existing injury.

In this edition of the Reed Medical blog, we offer some tips on giving the correct information to patients who will be wearing off loading footwear post-surgery.

It is vital that the patient is advised on the correct procedure of donning a post-operative off loading shoe. This process should be carried out slowly and methodically, while checking to be sure that the patient has understood each step.

First, seat the patient comfortably and gently guide their foot into the shoe: take extra care when placing a boot-type shoe on the foot. Check that the fit is correct and then fasten the shoe, ensuring that no clothing has become caught between the foot and the shoe's sides.

Tighten the shoe and ask the patient if the shoe is comfortable, remembering that the shoe should limit the foot's movements without interfering with blood supply. It is absolutely critical that the patient is aware of how much the shoe should be tightened.

When you are sure that the shoe is secure, ask the patient to stand and take a few steps to see how it affects their posture, gait and movement. Check again if the shoe feels comfortable to the patient and readjust if necessary. After this process, ask the patient to be seated again and demonstrate the procedure in reverse to remove the shoe. The patient should then be asked to put on the shoe and remove it again so you can check that they have correctly understood the procedure.

Inform the patient that they will need to check their feet often for signs of redness or swelling, which may be caused by over-tightened straps. The patient should be made aware that the straps may need to be tightened further as swelling from the injury begins to reduce. Inform the patient that they should take extra care when walking with the shoe in place, particularly when climbing stairs or when walking over uneven ground and wet surfaces.

Reed Medical is an expert supplier of off loading footwear engineered by leading brand PODartis. Discover the complete collection on our website.

NB - information in this article taken from https://­www.­rehabmart.­com/­category/­post-op_shoe.htm