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March 12, 2016

7 Tips for Recovering from Foot or Ankle Surgery

Recovering from foot surgery tips

Now that you’ve had your ankle or foot surgery, it’s time to start healing.  Yes, your body does most of the healing work itself, but your actions can either aid or hinder the recovery process. You’re more likely to get better faster if you follow the doctor’s post-op orders, make healthy choices, and take care of yourself.  The following 7 tips will help get you well on your way to recovering from foot or ankle surgery.

1) Stay off your ankle or foot

One of the first things your doctor will probably tell you is to “stay non-weight bearing.” This means keeping weight off your foot or ankle while it heals. Although this may be challenging, it’s extremely important. The last thing you want is to risk further injury or the need for additional surgery.

2) Use iWalk Crutches or a Steerable Knee Scooter/Roller

If you’ve ever had to use traditional crutches, you know how awkward they can be.  The Steerable Knee Scooter/Roller is a convenient, easy-to-use alternative to standard crutches when you need to keep the weight off of one foot or ankle. It’s durable and lightweight, which makes it easy to transport. Adjust it for your comfort, and then use it around the house, in the grocery store, or at work. We also recommend the iWalk 2.0 hands-free crutches.  This award-winning medical mobility device can end the pain and inconvenience of standard crutches.

3) Tidy up

Life on one leg makes you more vulnerable to tripping and falling. Whether you’re on crutches or using a steerable scooter, navigating around furniture and other large items is challenging enough without the safety hazard of clothes, toys, and other items strewn about. Put away throw rugs, too. The more floor space you have to maneuver around your home, the safer you’ll be.

4) Keep a healthy diet

When you’re recovering from any kind of injury, including foot or ankle surgery, it can be tempting to use it as an excuse to eat for comfort. For many people, this often means high sugar, high fat foods.  But a balanced diet will serve you much better in both the short and long run. Healthy foods will aid your body in the healing process, and you’ll also spare your ankle the strain of excess weight once you start walking on it again.  

5) Exercise

Yes, it is possible to stay active even when you have to remain non-weight-bearing, and it’s great for your recovery, too. Exercise helps keep your endorphins flowing and your muscles engaged. It can also help prevent the depression that sometimes sets in when an injury limits your lifestyle. Try non-weight-bearing ab work, swimming, and weight training to get the benefits of exercise without putting strain on your ankle or foot.

6) Set goals for your downtime

If you’re accustomed to a busy, active life, then recovering from ankle or foot surgery will put some things on hold. It’s important to fill your time with activities that make you feel good.  Is there something you’ve always wanted to do that doesn’t require putting weight on your ankle? Maybe learning to play the guitar? Reading classic novels? Studying French? Setting goals and planning for your downtime can help keep you from getting too restless or depressed while you recover.

7) Respect your limits

Sometimes the hardest part of recovery is recognizing when it’s time to take it easy or ask for help.  We’re so accustomed to what we can do in our healed state that we expect the same even when we’re in the recovery process. While you heal from ankle or foot surgery, you may need more rest than usual, or you may need more help around the house. Remember that it’s ok to be “less productive,” and it’s ok to ask for help. The more you recognize and respect your limits, the faster you’ll recover.

Let us help

 

At PA Healthcare in San Diego, we offer durable, affordable at-home medical supplies for purchase or rental. Our products can aid you with mobility and safety as you recover from foot or ankle surgery.  We have walkers, scooters, wheelchairs, transport chairs, braces, shower chairs, bath and safety home products, and more. Give us a call and let us know how we can help.  

 

For your convenience, we also offer at-home delivery to anywhere in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

2 Comments on “7 Tips for Recovering from Foot or Ankle Surgery

Sarah Anderson
May 16, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Number five is good to do after a foot and ankle surgery, but you want to make sure the doctor approves it first. Exercise done right can actually improve how quickly you heal as well, depending on the surgery. Doing it wrong can make it so much worse though, so use caution.

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Jackie Oliver
June 1, 2016 at 1:59 pm

This was such a great read! My son is getting surgery on his ankle next week, and I want to be fully prepared to help him with his recovery. I really like what you said about tidying up, so that while he’s on crutches, he won’t be as likely to trip and stumble. That is something that I can have him do before hand, so I’ll be sure to!

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