How to Take Care of Yourself after Ankle Surgery
Having ankle surgery is not fun and you might feel a bit helpless when you first get out of the hospital. This is normal as getting around can be a chore and you are a bit tired from the combined stresses of the injury and the surgery.
One good tip is to plan in advance. Before you go into the hospital, stock up on supplies and make sure they are easily accessible when you come home. This includes mundane items like toilet paper. But you might also want to get some popcorn, so you have something to eat whilst binge-watching Netflix.
Remember even the simplest of tasks will tire you out. So plan ahead. Try to have important items within arm’s reach and even plan to have someone visit you on a regular basis. Also, try to have some home cooked meals prepared in advance. These can include items with a long shelf-life and items you can freeze and easily reheat later. Don’t forget your fruits and vegetables as well. These will help you feel good.
Another tip is to watch your weight. Being sedentary during your recovery means you are not burning as many calories as normal. As such, cut back on your portion sizes and go by the mantra less food more often. Replace carb-laden manufactured snacks with garden-fresh options and cut out the fizzy drinks altogether. These empty calories and process sugars are not good for you when you are healthy so they should be avoided while you are in recovery mode.
Pain management is another important item to consider while recovering. Whilst you have probably been prescribed painkillers, it is best to avoid using them as much as possible. Instead opt for more natural options such as alternative ice and heat, elevation, gentle stretching and massages, and rubs or balms. The goal is to stimulate your injured foot or leg without risking addiction to painkillers or re-injury.
Another highly effective pain management technique is deep breathing. This will help you to clear your mind and will refocus your thoughts. If you absolutely have to take a pain medication, then opt for a non-opioid painkiller and remember to follow the pharmacist’s directions.
Regarding the surgical area, remember to keep it clean and dry. You might ask how can you do this when using ice? One way is to wrap the ice bag in a thin terry cloth towel, other way is to use a thin plastic sheet to separate your leg from the ice bath. This way you will still get all of the benefits of the cold ice without getting the surgical area wet.
Remember constipation is normal after surgery. To ensure it is not too bad remember to drink at least 10 to 12 glasses of water per day. Also, bulk up on fruits, vegetables, and fiber – basically anything which will help to stimulate bowel movements.
As mentioned ankle surgery is not fun. But if you follow these tips you will have a much smoother recovery.