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 experience with recovery much easier.
First and foremost, you’ll 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, or a knee scooter, or a cane?
- What about pain control?
- How long will it take before you can walk and wear a regular shoe?
- And when can you start driving again?
Beyond getting answers to these questions, there are also some good tips you can follow to help your recovery go smoothly. These tips relate to:
- scheduling and planning
- preparing your home
- getting around
- and 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 post-op 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’s 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’ll 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.
- And third, make sure there’s a clear path so you can easily move from room to room.
Driving is another issue you’ll need to address. If your right foot is being operated on, find out how long it take before you can resume driving, and whether you’ll need to get a temporary handicap parking placard. Until you’re 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’s great. But if you need to be at work and can’t yet drive, see if a coworker can drive you.
Your Foot and Ankle Surgeon is Your Partner in Care
Don’t forget to start with asking questions of your surgeon; they are here to guide you through the surgery process. And remember, getting things lined up before your procedure can truly make a big difference in your after-surgery experience.