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Best Practice Guide - Recovering from Foot & Ankle Surgery

There are 5 basic steps to the process of preparing and recovering from foot and ankle surgery. It is recommended that you use this guide as a before and after check list to help you through the adjustments you will need to make during this period of time. Depending on your type of surgery you may find that not all apply to you.

1.Planning for Surgery

Plan your meals. Stock your refrigerator and pantry with a good two weeks’ worth of food, and make some meals to freeze. Put any of the utensils and appliances you use everyday in the kitchen somewhere easily reachable. This includes your coffee maker, your toaster, some silverware, a bowl, plates and cups. So you do not have to reach or bend excessively. Adjust your living space. Put away any throw rugs or exposed electrical cords on the floor that you can trip over. If your living room is downstairs but your bedroom is upstairs, bring some blankets and pillows down so you can sleep on the couch. Getting up the stairs can take a great deal of energy, and the effort is not worth the risk when you are already sleepy. Wherever you sleep regularly, have the following nearby: A phone, a phone charger, a nightlight and a flashlight. A cardboard box can be used to relieve the downward pressure of your bed linens. Get one that is big enough that you can slide your foot into one opened end, and put it under the blankets near the foot of your bed. For your bath or shower, put a plastic chair or stable stool in there if one will fit. Consider non-slip strips in your bath tub or shower during your recovery period. Ask your Doctor about the best strategy for not getting your foot wet. Stock up on movies, magazines, videos or books. This will be a good time to do some binge-watching or reading. Find all your baggy, comfortable clothes because they slip easily over your surgical dressing or immobilization device.

2. Organizing Your Recovery

Discuss with your Doctor the need for an assisted mobility device ( walker, crutches, knee walker) if needed.Arrange with friends and family or any agency that can help with daily chores, errands and possible transportation during your recovery period. Go to your local DMV to arrange for a temporary handicapped parking tag if needed. Make arrangements with your employer regarding short term sick leave and the possibility of working remotely.

3. What to Do Before Your Surgery

The hospital will contact you regarding pre-surgical instructions and arrange an appointment prior to surgery to complete any pre-admission testing that is required. They will also notify you when to arrive at the hospital the day of your procedure. Our office will arrange for a pre-operative consultation with Dr. Marasco to review your surgery in detail and answer any specific questions about the procedure and your recovery.

4. Getting Healed

The keys to a successful recovery are following your doctor’s instructions, rest and keeping weight off your foot or ankle as it heals.Your doctor will let you know when your foot or ankle can bear weight. Until then, don’t put any weight at all on it. If a mobility device has been ordered use it according to your Doctor’s instructions. Any pressure on a foot or ankle that has been recently surgically repaired can compromise the success of your recovery. Do not remove the bandage(surgical dressing) or immobilization device (if you have one). The bandage/dressing is designed to absorb any discharge from the surgical incision. Some spotting is normal. If the spotting becomes excessive call your doctor’s office for advice about what to do. In case something happens to the bandage call your doctor’s office about what to do. Prevent your bandages from getting wet. An incision needs time to heal. If you have been prescribed an antibiotic, take it according to the prescription. Follow the postoperative instructions given to you in the hospital.

5. Maintain a Positive Mindset

Having to spend multiple weeks in recovery mode can become boring and difficult particularly for active people. Plan to fill your time with enriching or entertaining experiences as you recuperate. Read, watch, learn, relax. Do something you been meaning to do but haven’t had the time. Keep in touch with your family and network of friends. Keep up a routine of healthy eating and upper body exercises to keep fit and promote

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