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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A toe amputation is surgery to remove all or part of your toe.
You may need any of the following:
- Pain medicine takes away or decreases pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
- Antibiotics help fight or prevent an infection. Always take your antibiotics exactly as directed. Do not stop taking your medicine unless your primary healthcare provider (PHP) or surgeon tells you to. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your PHP or surgeon as directed:
You will need to return to have your stitches removed in 7 to 10 days or as directed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Ask how to care for your wound. You may need to keep your wound dry until your stitches are removed. You may be told to carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
- Use a handheld mirror to look at your stump every day. Report any redness, swelling, or blisters on the stump.
- You may need an orthotic or prosthetic device to help keep the pressure on your foot even. For example, a custom insert can be made to fit into your shoe. You may need to wear a foam spacer in place of your missing toe. Ask for more information.
- You may need shoes with a rocker sole. This is a special shoe that takes pressure off your toes so you can walk with comfort.
- Choose soft, sturdy shoes with a thick sole and plenty of room for your toes. Avoid high heels and shoes that are tight around your toes or made from stiff material.
You may need to use a cane, crutches, or a walker for a while after surgery. These devices will decrease the stress on your foot when you walk. Ask for more information.
Contact your PHP or surgeon if:
- You have a fever or chills.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- Your wound is bleeding.
- You have pain that does not go away even after you take pain medicine.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your stitches come apart.
- You see a rash, blister, or sore on your wound, or the skin around your wound changes color.
- You have severe pain.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.