A Foot to Stand On

Tips To Help You Recover From Ankle Replacement Surgery

Ankle problems can be quite painful and inhibit day-to-day activities. When an ankle is damaged beyond repair and has no chance of healing on its own, a podiatrist may suggest having an ankle replacement surgery. During an ankle replacement surgery, the damaged ankle joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint that is made of metal or plastic materials. Many people who undergo this surgery have very successful outcomes, but it can take an extended period of time to fully recover from the procedure. If you will be having ankle replacement surgery in the near future, use the following tips to help you with your recovery:

Make a Plan in Advance

It is very important to realize that after ankle replacement surgery you will not be able to bear weight on your foot for an extended period of time. This means that you will not be able to drive right away, and normal tasks such as grocery shopping may be difficult. One of the best things that you can do to help ensure that you have a smooth recovery after your ankle replacement is to make a plan prior to your surgery. It is a good idea to have at least one or two friends or family members available to help you during your recovery so you can focus on resting and staying off your foot.

Stay Comfortable

Immediately following your ankle replacement surgery, there is a good chance that you may experience pain or discomfort in your foot. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help — make sure that you take the medication according to your surgeon's directions to help prevent pain and discomfort. You should also keep your foot elevated as much as possible and use an ice pack regularly. Doing these things will help with the swelling. 

Be Diligent About Rehab

In order to make a complete recovery after ankle replacement surgery, physical therapy is necessary. Before you leave the hospital, you will be shown simple exercises that you can do at home. After your first follow-up visit with your surgeon, he or she will likely refer you to a physical therapist. It is in your best interest to be diligent about rehab and attend all physical therapy sessions. Also, stay on top of doing your exercises at home. Physical therapy will help stabilize and strengthen your ankle while also helping to improve your range of motion.