Ankle surgery may be your best option to repair an ankle injury or arthritis, but any surgery can seem overwhelming. What can be even more overwhelming, though, is the recovery period after the procedure.
The downtime after ankle surgery requires a great deal of patience, but there are some practices you can follow to smoothly move along your recovery process and heal faster.
The following are a few key tips to help you recover quickly and effectively after ankle surgery, and where you can go throughout the greater San Antonio area to see an experienced ankle specialist who can help you get back on your feet.
Tip #1: Get Plenty of Rest
It’s no denying that rest, specifically sleep, can kick-start your healing process and help the body heal quickly after having ankle surgery.
First, sleep enables your brain to relax and recognize that certain body parts need healing. The brain releases various hormones to encourage tissue growth and repair.
Second, sleep reduces your blood pressure, causing the rest of your body to relax. This will help to reduce inflammation and promote healing at the surgical site.
Tip #2: Keep Your Post-Op Pain Under Control
One of the main reasons to have ankle surgery is to get rid of ankle pain. Of course, after the surgery, you will naturally experience some pain and swelling while you heal. This pain and discomfort will subside, but your ankle specialist will give you a prescription pain-relieving medication.
Your ankle surgeon and physical therapist may also recommend the RICE method to help quell the pain during your recuperation, and this stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation of the affected area. Do not place ice on bare skin, as it can overexpose your skin to the cold temperature. Also, be careful not to make the compression so tight that it interferes with your circulation.
Tip #3: Keep Your Ankle Immobilized
Keeping your ankle area immobilized for a prescribed period of time will help to avoid post-surgical complications. Your ankle specialist will probably apply a cast to the area, or a splint. Your physical therapist will show you how to use crutches, a walker, and/or a wheelchair to prevent undue stress on your ankle while you move about.
Tip #4: Engage in Gentle Exercise per Your Physical Therapist
During the first few days following ankle surgery, your podiatrist will recommend not putting weight on your ankle. At some point as prescribed by your ankle specialist, your physical therapist will show you how to carefully begin to apply pressure to the area. You will learn gentle stretching exercises to help rebuild your joint flexibility and regain your range of motion.
Tip #5: Keep an Eye Out for Any Signs of Post-Surgical Complications
Adhere to your ankle specialist’s post-op guidelines, and reach out to them right away if you notice:
- Fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
- Severe pain that is not relieved by the pain medication and RICE therapy
- Foul odor, pus discharge, and/or redness at the surgical site
Trusted Ankle Specialist in San Antonio, TX
If you have an ankle problem or ankle pain and are seeking a lasting solution, visit our experienced and skilled podiatrists at The Podiatry Group of South Texas. Our foot and ankle doctors will not only perform a thorough assessment and determine a diagnosis, but we will also explain your treatment options and recommend the most appropriate treatment for you. We can then administer or perform your ankle treatment, and then guide you through the whole recovery process.
We have convenient locations in San Antonio, Boerne, Floresville, Hondo, Kenedy, Live Oak, and Uvalde. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our friendly staff today at (210) 227-8700 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you treat your foot pain once and for all!