Preparing for Your Surgery
If your foot and ankle surgeon has recommended surgery as the best treatment for your foot and ankle condition, here are some guidelines you can follow to make your recovery experience much easier.
First, you will need to discuss various details with your surgeon well in advance of your procedure. For example:
- What can you expect on the day of your surgery and the days immediately following?
- What do you need to do the day before surgery?
- What will the recovery period be like?
- Will you need crutches, a knee scooter or a cane?
- What about pain control?
- How long will it take before you can walk and wear a regular shoe?
- When can you start driving again?
Beyond getting answers to these questions, you can also follow some good tips to help your recovery go smoothly. These tips relate to:
- scheduling and planning
- preparing your home
- getting around
- handling your work
Scheduling & Planning
If your surgery is elective and you can choose when to have it done, schedule it for the best time in terms of work, school and personal things going on in your life.
Plan ahead and be proactive. Get as many things done in advance as possible. For example, go shopping and stock up on supplies. And make sure tasks and chores will get done by lining up family, friends, neighbors and others to help out.
Preparing Your Home
The next thing you need to do is prepare your home to suit your special needs during the postop weeks. If your bedroom is upstairs, consider setting up a temporary bedroom on the ground floor because negotiating stairs will be difficult for a while.
Here is how you can set up a personal environment that will work well for you during your recovery period:
- First, create a home base. Have things that you will need handy, such as a work table or TV tray, phone, computer, clock, television, books, snacks and medications.
- Second, put a shower stool in the bathroom.
- Third, make sure a clear path is available so you can easily move from room to room.
Driving is another issue you will need to address. If your right foot is being operated on, find out how long it will take before you can resume driving and whether you will need to get a temporary handicapped parking placard. Until you are ready to drive, enlist the help of others to provide transportation for you.
Handling Your Work
As for returning to work, your surgeon will let you know when you can go back. Many people can work from home for a while, and that is great. But if you need to be at work and cannot yet drive, see if a coworker can drive you.
Your Foot & Ankle Surgeon Is Your Partner in Care
Ask your surgeon questions to help guide you through the surgery process. And remember, getting things lined up before your procedure can truly make a big difference in your postsurgery experience.