If you've recently scheduled surgery for your foot or ankle, you may be worried about a lengthy recovery process and wonder how you can speed up the process to regain motion and mobility (or simply return to work). Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take both before and after surgery to increase your odds of a successful, complication-free recovery. Read on to learn more about the ways you can help make the most of your recovery process and gain healthy movement as quickly as possible.
One of the most foolproof ways to speed your recovery is to prevent complications, which can set back your recovery process or even require you to undergo additional surgery. The following steps are a great way to increase your odds of a successful operation.
Eat (more) healthily
Whether you're always looking for the newest health food or your diet could use an overhaul, your body can benefit from an extra dose of vitamins and minerals during the surgical process. Vitamin C helps prevent blood clots and speeds the healing process, while extra protein can help give you strength through the stress of general anesthesia and the surgical intrusion into your body.
Prevent blood clots
Vitamin C alone often isn't enough to keep you from developing blood clots, particularly if your recovery involves limited motion for the first week or two following your operation. Your doctor may prescribe you a blood thinning medication or instruct you to take some baby aspirin each day to try to prevent your blood from becoming too sluggish while you're inactive. A blood clot in the surgical area can lead to hematomas or other complications requiring additional procedures to heal, while a blood clot that travels to the lung or brain can be very dangerous.
Follow doctor instructions carefully
Each patient and each recovery is different, and your surgeon and his or her staff are the best resources to learn how you should tackle your recovery process. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully, and contact your surgeon or staff if you have any questions or if any issues come up. If you do have a surgical complication, seeking attention and advice early will undoubtedly speed your recovery time.
Invest in orthotic and assistive devices
There are a number of different medical devices that can help reduce the pain, pressure, or stiffness in your recovering foot. In most cases, your health insurance or prescription policy should cover at least part of the cost of these devices. In other cases, you may be able to rent the devices for a reduced cost and return them when your recovery is complete.
If your knees are healthy and your doctor has instructed you to keep your foot elevated or immobilized for a period of time after surgery, a knee scooter may be a good option. This scooter allows you to walk with your "good" foot and rest the recovering foot behind you, as your knee is supported by a wheeled scooting device. You'll have a set of handles to steer your path, much like an actual pedal scooter. Because knee scooters are adjustable and can be easily cleaned and sterilized, these are a good rental option if you'd like to minimize your post-surgery costs. For more information, contact a company like Knee Walker Shop.
Once you're able to walk on your recovering foot, you'll want to invest in some professionally-fitted orthotic inserts for your shoes. These inserts will help balance the pressure being applied on your foot as well as the pressure your foot position is applying on your upper body. By minimizing the strain to your recovering foot, these devices can help train you to walk in a manner that reduces impact to the rest of your body.Share