Ankle Surgery Recovery with 8+Tips

Any accident that causes severe ankle fractures requires ankle fracture surgery. The type of your fracture will have a huge impact on the type of procedure your doctor uses. It is often quite challenging, both mentally and physically, to recover after an ankle surgery. There are certain ways to help you with ankle surgery recovery, but it is important to stay in touch with your doctor to ensure everything is on right track. Keep reading to learn more about it.

Ways to Accelerate Your Ankle Surgery Recovery

Once you have undergone an ankle surgery, you will have to deal with so many quiet annoying things at times, such as swelling and difficult to walk, and the list goes on. Here are some ways to help you with ankle surgery recovery.

1. Take Care of the Surgical Area

You need to take good care of the surgical area and your sutures, or you may end up dealing with infections. Always clean your wounds regularly as directed by your doctor and keep your wound' dressing dry. Never put any lotion or cream on your wound.

2. Soothe Swelling

You will notice swelling after a few days of surgery and the following steps will help you deal with it.

  • Make sure to keep your leg elevated – it is even better to keep it elevated above your heart.
  • You may have to use a cold-circulation device to reduce swelling. Use it properly.
  • You can also use icepacks to help alleviate swelling and pain. Simply placing a bag full of crushed ice on your ankle will do. It is even better to use icepacks behind the knee-op while keeping your foot elevated because surgical dressing is often too thick for ice to penetrate. Don't apply the ice for extended time – stop doing it if you see red skin under the icepack.

3. Take Bath with Care

  • Always use your waterproof cast when taking a bath.
  • It is even better to use bathtubs because they offer more control and even help you elevate your leg while bathing.
  • A sponge bath is a better choice if you've had a procedure done on both ankles.
  • Take special care when bathing during the first two weeks of surgery. Your bandages can be changed after that.

4. Treat Infection

One important part of ankle surgery recovery is to prevent infections and treat them if they occur. Taking antibiotics is a good way of dealing with infections, but you should go to see your doctor if you notice swelling, redness and a foul odor coming out of your incision. Other common signs of infections are chills, drainage from the incision site and a temperature over 101°F.

5. Take Medication

Don't skip the pain medication your doctor prescribes during ankle surgery recovery phase. You will need it, especially when the anesthesia begins to go away. A non-opioid pain reliever, such as Tylenol, works well for small to medium amounts of pain, but you will need an opioid pain reliever, such as codeine, morphine and oxycodone, to deal with severe pain. Don't exceed the prescribed dosage. For example, never take more than 3200mg of Tylenol per day.

These medicines can lower your blood pressure and make you feel sleepy or dizzy. An upset stomach is another common issue associated with these medications. For better effects, drink a full glass of water when taking these medicines. This will also help prevent constipation. It is important to bear in mind that it takes times for these pain relievers to work, so take them when you notice the pain and don't wait until your pain become worse. Besides, if you are on birth control, you may have to take an additional contraceptive when you're taking antibiotics.

6. Deal With Constipation

While taking pain relievers and drinking less water, you may end up dealing with constipation. With leg surgery you will be less active, which can also lead to constipation. Here's what you can do about it:

  • Drink plenty of water – at least 8 glasses a day – and enjoy low-calorie fluid as well.
  • Add more fiber to your diet in the form of veggie, prunes, beans, bran, fruit and lentils.
  • Try to be as active as possible.
  • Discuss with your doctor about a stool softener if you have a constipation history.
  • Talk to your doctor about taking a laxative if you don't have a bowel movement for several days.

7. Schedule Follow-Up Checkups

Your surgeon will tell you about the time when you have to come back for a checkup. Most surgeons would want you to come after 2 weeks, 6 weeks and 12 weeks of your surgery. This will also help them see how well your wound is healing. Be sure to bring your walker boot with you on your first follow-up appointment. Your surgeon will take your sutures out after a couple weeks of surgery.

8.  Other Methods

  • You will have to get plenty of rest because this puts your body into a restorative state when your body heals itself.
  • Don't put weight on your ankle or foot until your doctor gives you a green signal. Rely on your mobility devices to ensure you keep your foot off the ground.
  • Try deep breathing exercises to relax your nerves because it may be mentally challenging to cope with the fact that you cannot walk at will.

Ankle Surgery Recovery Time

It is hard to predict how long it will take you to recover after an ankle surgery mainly because it depends on the type and severity of your injury. It usually takes up to 6 weeks for your broken bones to heal, and it may take even longer for tendons and ligaments to heal completely. Your doctor will monitor everything with x-rays throughout your recovery process. In most cases, you will return to normal daily activities in 3-4 months.

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