Your podiatrist may have recommended total ankle replacement if you have a degenerative joint disease such as severe osteoarthritis. You'll need to follow your doctor's post-operative instructions to help ensure that you heal properly after your procedure. Here are some things your foot doctor may recommend to help ensure that you have an uneventful recovery following your podiatric surgery.
After your ankle replacement surgery, you will need to wear a protective boot for up to a couple of months. For the first couple of weeks, your podiatrist will advise you to limit your movement so that your incision is not overly disturbed. Overexerting yourself, getting your incision wet, and disturbing your suture line in any way may impair healing and may raise your risk for an infection.
Recovery timelines from ankle replacement surgery vary between patient to patient. There are a variety of things that can affect your recovery, including your existing medical conditions, your age, and even the medications that you take.
Complete Your Physical Therapy Program
After your total ankle replacement surgery, your doctor may recommend that you participate in a physical therapy program. It will help promote healing, enhance blood flow to your surgical site, decrease pain, and increase strength in the affected limb.
While you may not notice any measurable results when you first start your therapy program, your condition will improve as time goes by. It is important that you do not get discouraged with your results because you will get stronger each time you complete a therapy session.
Your podiatrist will advise you to take your pain medication before you go to therapy because when you do so, you will have an easier time with your exercises. If, however, your prescription pain medications make you sleepy, dizzy, or weak, ask your doctor if you can substitute them with non-prescription pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
If you feel as though you are unable to complete the entire physical therapy program, talk to your doctor. They may recommend alternative treatment options to promote healing such as riding a stationary bicycle at home or massage therapy.
To help promote healing after your podiatric ankle surgery, consider the above interventions. Be sure to talk to your foot doctor about any concerns you may have about your ankle surgery or aftercare. Being an informed patient helps you make better decisions and may help speed your recovery.