7 Healthy Habits Post Ankle Surgery

So you’ve come through your ankle surgery and are recuperating. What should you do to comfortably convalesce? Orthopaedic surgeons recommend these tactics to help you heal completely.

1. Ice 
Applying ice to your healing ankle will help in a few ways: Swelling and inflammation can be significantly reduced, plus your pain level will be much more tolerable as the area is numbed and sore tissue is calmed. Do not place ice directly on skin or use it for too long.

2. Elevation
While you are resting after surgery, an easy way to help reduce swelling in your ankle is to elevate your foot. Place pillows, cushions, or blankets under your foot and ankle so that they are raised above heart level. Swelling is kept to a minimum this way since your body cannot flood the injured part with blood.

3. Monitor and Change Bandages
One of the most important things to remember after ankle surgery is to keep your bandages clean and dry. Use a special cast wrap over your bandages when bathing. Pay attention to incisions for any unusual redness or discharge, which could mean infection. Call your orthopaedic surgeons immediately if you suspect this, especially if you’ve had hardware inserted.

4. Take All Medications on Schedule
While it may be tempting to skip your post-surgical pills, all meds should be taken as directed. You may not be feeling much pain at the moment, but the medication also keeps inflammation down. Managing inflammation with pain will minimize any discomfort that pops up after the anesthesia disappears.

5. Be Mentally & Physically Active
Your orthopaedic surgeons will want you to rest quietly initially but then will generally want you to move around. Muscle motion helps avoid blood clots and gets joints working fluidly. Post-surgical patients can feel bored and helpless, so plan a number of activities like reading or crafts to stay engaged.

6. Follow Instructions!
If your orthopaedic surgeons prescribe crutches, boots, or other equipment, be sure to follow directions. Placing weight on the joint too early can be incredibly destructive and lead to additional surgeries.

7. Eat Healthy
Boredom and immobility can be very hazardous to your waistline. Choose healthy foods in mindful portions to avoid gaining weight. Exercise other muscles to burn some calories.

Ankle surgery can mean that you are down for a while, but following these tips can keep you sane and comfortable while you recover.

 

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