Scheduled for Ankle Replacement Surgery? How to Improve Your Recovery Time

If your doctor has recommended ankle replacement surgery, now's the time to prepare. Of course, you'll need to prepare for recovery. Your doctor and nurses will care for you during your hospital stay. But once you get home, you're in charge. That's a big responsibility. Without the proper precautions, your ankle might not heal the way it should. That's why the things you do at home are so important. Here are four steps you need to take to ensure a good recovery for your Ankle Replacement surgery. 

Read the Post-Operative Instructions

Before you leave the hospital, your doctor will give you a list of instructions. These post-operative instructions are a road map for your recovery. Because you've just had surgery, you may have trouble focusing. That means you may not pay close attention while the doctor goes over the instructions. That's normal. But, once you get home, you need to go over them. In fact, have someone at home discuss the instructions with you. That way, you know you have the details locked in. 

Don't Try to Walk too Soon

After surgery, you'll be eager to try out your new ankle. This is especially true if your ankle prevented you from doing things you enjoyed. Don't try to get active too soon. Your replacement ankle needs time to heal. If you try to walk to soon after surgery, you might slow down the healing process. You might also do harm to your new ankle. You want to avoid that. Instead, give your ankle time to heal. Use crutches or a scooter until your doctor says it's okay to start trying out your new ankle. 

Watch for Ankle Swelling

After ankle replacement surgery, you can expect some minor swelling. That should go down after a day or two. One way to keep the swelling to a minimum is to keep your ankle elevated. You should also give your ankle time to rest. Try to limit your activity for at least a week after surgery. If you notice increased swelling in your ankle, contact your doctor. This is especially important if the swelling causes pain or discoloration. 

Commit to Exercise

Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead, you'll need to start a physical therapy program. Physical therapy is important to the recovery process. After replacement surgery, your ankle will have limited flexibility and mobility. That's where the physical therapy comes into the picture. Physical therapy gets your ankle back into motion.