When it comes to using foot or ankle surgery to resolve your medical issue, the actual procedure one of our highly skilled surgeons performs for you is obviously quite important. For optimal recovery following the procedure, though, there is work you need to do. Now, you might think that is just a matter of following postop instructions—and this absolutely is something you must do if you want to recover! —but there are also steps you should take beforehand.
As is true in virtually any area of life, better results come from making plans ahead of time. With that in mind, let’s look at components of postsurgical care and identify measures you can take before your surgery for smooth results:
- Make travel plans – Due to anesthesia used for your procedure, it is rather unlikely you will be able to drive home following your surgery. Give your loved one or friend enough notice so he or she will be able to make their own plans.
- Plan for rest – Surgery can be partially defined as “planned physical trauma.” Your body is not designed to be cut into and have parts removed, rearranged, or otherwise altered. That said, the human body has a remarkable ability to heal itself and recover from procedures. For this recovery to happen, however, you need to rest.
Since you need to give your body the opportunity to heal itself, take the time beforehand to make plans for rest. This means requesting time off of work (even if you have a “desk job,” since you will likely need to keep your affected limb elevated). You also need to take child care into consideration, especially if you are a parent to younger children.
- Dress appropriately – When planning your outfit for the day of your surgery, pick clothing that is loose and comfortable. Why is this important for your recovery? Well, putting on a pair of skinny jeans or other tight-fitting pants can potentially irritate the surgical site or remove scar tissue, which creates the possibility of infection.
- Review your hygiene routine – Your postop instructions may include keeping the surgical site dry. This could, naturally, affect your normal hygiene routine, especially if you shower or bathe daily (which is good practice). Before you come in for your procedure, take time to figure out what you will need to do with regard to hygienic practices during your recovery period.
- Make meal plans – The odds are pretty low that your kitchen is in your bedroom, which means you probably have to walk to the kitchen. Depending on your home layout, this can even entail having to go up and downstairs. If you have a spouse or children who aren’t really young, you may have to enlist their help. Communicating this with them early is a good idea so you can stay off your feet when you need to.
A big part of your recovery will be follow-up appointments with our office, and possibly appointments for physical therapy at Three Lakes Physical Therapy & Wellness Center. Now, we will schedule appointments after your surgery, but you might want to keep this in mind ahead of time for general planning purposes.
Of course, the best way to have a smooth recovery after your surgery is to make sure your procedure is being performed by the surgical experts here at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists! Contact us or book your appointment online right now, or give us a call at (512) 328-8900 to speak with one of our helpful staff members.