How to prepare for ankle replacement surgery?

Ankle replacement surgery can be scary especially when you aren’t prepared for it. Hence, we’ve put together this little guide to help you prepare for your ankle replacement surgery.

Before ankle replacement surgery

Before your ankle replacement surgery it’s best to visit your doctor and get your physical exam taken to ensure you’re in good condition to have the surgery. You will also need to visit a physical therapist. A physical therapist will measure your ankle’s mobility before surgery and measure your progress as the joint heals. He can also teach you how to use a walker or crutches.

If you’re a smoker, then you will need to stop smoking before surgery. Smoking will hurt your blood vessels and prolong your recovery time.  If you’re taking routine medications, then find out from your surgeon’s team about when you can stop them. Post surgery you will need to rest your ankle. Therefore, you will need to meal prep in advance for a few weeks post surgery. Consult your doctor regarding the diet plan post surgery and freeze your meals in advance. If you fall sick the week before your surgery, then let your doctor know.

Finally you will need to prepare your home for recovery. Since most of your time recovering will be spent at home, you will need to ensure your home living conditions are best suited for recovery. If you have a multi-tiered home, then you will have to make arrangements to live on the ground floor. Get rid of any tripping hazards like children’s toys. It’s also great if you can arrange for someone to take care of you while you recover.

The night before the surgery

The night before your ankle replacement surgery, you will need to fast. That means you cannot eat or drink anything. You will be given an antiseptic solution to bathe the surgical area. Don’t forget to use it the night before your surgery. 

Day of the surgery

On the day of the surgery, you will need to arrive at the hospital on time and complete the admission process. A care team will assess your vital signs. Once all your vital signs are normal, you will be asked to change into a hospital before being taken to your pre surgery room. Once it’s time for your surgery, you will be taken to the operation theatre where your anesthesiologist will begin to administer the fluids and medication.

After ankle replacement surgery

Once your surgery is completed, your focus should be on recovery. This means you need to get the maximum rest needed. You may experience swelling during the first two weeks of surgery. However, you can reduce the swelling by keeping your foot raised above your heart when resting or sleeping. Try to perform the physical therapy exercise provided by the doctor. These exercises help to teach the new joint how to function properly allowing you to regain your full range of motion in your foot and help with faster recovery. 

Don’t forget to contact your doctor in case you have any doubts or experience any difficulties during the recovery process.

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