Whether you’re getting ready for a more in-depth open operation or a minimally invasive debridement surgery, you’re going to have to commit to your rehabilitation once you’re discharged from the surgical center if you want to make the best recovery. But how can you go about ensuring that you’re doing everything to maximize your recovery after foot surgery? In today’s blog, we share some tips for helping you achieve the best results after a foot or ankle operation.
Recovering After Foot Surgery
It’s worth noting that the best recovery plan will be decided by you and your doctor based on your specific surgery, but in general, these tips can also be helpful following a foot or ankle surgery.
1. Prep The House Before Surgery – Being prepared for life after surgery involves taking some action before you head into the operating room. Get your house ready for your return by cleaning, picking up potential tripping hazards and cooking some healthy, easy-to-reheat meals.
2. Early Controlled Activity – Ask your doctor when you can bear weight or walk on the recovering structure. When your foot is healthy enough, walking will help to facilitate blood flow to the area and strengthen structures that are recovering from the trauma of surgery. Controlled exercise and movement is preferred to prolonged rest in many cases, so ask your doctor about activity guidelines.
3. Wound Care – Even if the doctor only made a few minimally invasive openings during your operation, you still need to manage the wounds with care. Change your dressing regularly as advised by your doctor, and the same goes for cleaning and washing the incision site. Look for the warning signs of an infection, which includes redness, discharge and a warm sensation.
4. Follow Through With PT – Some people think that if their foot is “good enough” that they don’t need to continue with physical therapy. You should be going to every single PT session and doing your exercises regularly. It’s not about getting back to a point that’s good enough, it’s about achieving maximum recovery, and you’ll never reach this point if you give up on your exercises.
5. Listen To Your Doctor – We alluded to this above, but it deserves it’s own point. Th best thing you can do for your recovering foot or ankle is to heed your doctor’s instructions. Don’t rush back to work or lay in bed for a week if it’s against your doctor’s orders. They know the best strategies for helping your foot recover, so make sure you are listening.
6. Care For Your Mental Health – While most of the focus will be on your physical health, it is also very important that you care for your mental health as you recover. It can be frustrating to be immobile or unable to work, and that can have an impact on our psyche. Challenge and stimulate your mind during your recovery, and consult with your doctor if you’re having mood swings, depressive thoughts or anxiety, because these symptoms need to be treated just like physical symptoms.