There’s no doubt that ankle replacement surgery can significantly improve your quality of life. This procedure, called an ankle arthroplasty, involves the removal of damaged bone and tissues from your damaged joint and reconstruction using prosthetic components.
At the Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers offices in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, Ryan N. Lawrence, DPM, and Joe T. Sutherland, DPM, have the training and expertise needed to ease your pain and restore ankle function.
We also know that a successful recovery involves careful planning and close adherence to your post-surgery plan. Here’s a look at our top tips to ensure your home is as ready for your recovery as you are.
Recovering from ankle replacement surgery doesn’t happen overnight, and getting your home ready for post-procedure life also takes time. Being prepared and planning ahead helps ensure a smooth recovery and improves your likelihood of success.
You won’t be able to walk for some time after your ankle replacement, and you can expect to wear a boot or splint and use crutches or a wheelchair for about six weeks after your surgery. This may require you to move into a different part of your home to make getting around easier.
Don’t wait until after your surgery to make changes to your home. Go through your space and evaluate any problem areas that may need rearranging. For example, if your bedroom is on an upper or lower level, consider making a space on the main floor your temporary residence.
Take time before your surgery to organize supplies in places that will be easy for your reach or access during your recovery. Consider your different daily activities and how you can arrange things to make life as easy as possible.
For example, place your bathroom toiletries on a low shelf near the tub or in a waterproof carrying case that can be easily transferred to the shower. You’ll also want to keep all supplies needed to protect your ankle when you wash in one convenient place in the bathroom.
In the area where you’ll be spending most of your time, surround the space with the things you use. Place similar items together to make grabbing what you need easy, such as putting your laptop, tablet, and chargers in an easy-to-reach basket, or having a dedicated spot for your water bottles and medications.
Whether you live alone or with family and friends, making time ahead of your surgery to plan for post-procedure meals will make things easier on you and your support team. Good nutrition is key to a smooth recovery, and prepping meals in advance helps make sure the foods you grab after your ankle replacement are designed to support your health.
Look for recipes that can be made ahead, then reheated when it’s time to eat. Constipation is a common problem after any type of surgery because of anesthesia and pain medications, so be sure to incorporate high-fiber foods, like fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
The last thing you need when recovering from ankle replacement surgery is to trip and injure the affected joint. Prepare setting up night lights in places like the hallway or bathroom so you can move from one place to another at night without crashing.
When friends and family members offer to help, don’t hesitate to say yes. Allowing the people who care for you to run errands, bring in the mail, gather supplies, or help you dress — especially in the early days following surgery — can help you stay focused on recovery.
You’ll also want to line up a driver or two to help you get to and from any appointments you may have. And if you live alone, consider hiring someone to help with household chores for the first weeks after your procedure so you can stay off your feet and keep your ankle elevated.
To learn more about ankle replacement surgery and what you can expect during recovery, contact the Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers office nearest you, or request an appointment online now.