Tips for a Speedy Recovery from your Ankle Surgery
Generally, any incident that results in a severe fracture of the ankle will require some form of surgery to correct. The ankle is a complex joint made up of three bones, interconnected with 4 major ligaments, making each ankle surgery unique. Because of this complex nature, ankles need ample time to recover. Most patients are able to return to their normal daily activities in 3 to 4 months after surgery. There are a few things you can do to promote a full, efficient recovery.
Soothe the Swelling
Swelling is a natural part of the recovery process, but it is important to properly address it when it occurs. The RICE method is very effective:
As difficult as it may be with a busy schedule, it is vital to give your body the resting time it needs to recover.
Ice is a fantastic way to reduce swelling by reducing blood flow to the affected area. Simply placing a bag of crushed ice on your ankle is effective, but don’t leave it on for extended periods. If you notice redness under the ice pack, remove it for a short while.
After surgery, your ankle will be wrapped in dressings that need to be changed periodically. Keep the dressings dry and wrapped snugly, but not so tight as to compromise circulation in the area.
Keep your ankle elevated as much of the time as possible. Elevation helps reduce blood flow to the area, keeping swelling to a minimum. If you can keep your ankle elevated above your heart, even better.
Something else important to keep swelling down and manage pain, is the use of a non-opioid pain reliever, like aspirin or ibuprofen. It is great for reducing swelling, and relieveing some of the pain associated with ankle recovery.
Keep the Ankle Isolated
Keeping your ankle isolated and immobilized is important to both your recovery, and managing your pain levels. Crutches are a common solution for getting around, but you do run the risk of bumping your ankle as you move about. Consider using a knee walker instead. These devices keep your ankle out of harm’s way, while making it easy to get around during your recovery.
With the amount of time it can take for an ankle to fully heal, it is important to take every measure possible to ensure a full, efficient recovery. Our team of Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeons can get you the care you need restore your ankle to perfect working order. Request an appointment online, or contact us today at 904-825-0540 with any questions.
KURTIS HORT, MD
Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and a member of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.