All surgeries imply recovery time, and ankle intervention makes no exception. In this situation, the recovery process takes from 6 to 12 weeks, depending on how severe the injury was.
You cannot avoid a certain period for recovery, but by following certain recommendations you can accelerate the process.
Your surgeon will tell you when you can put weight on the ankle and when you can perform regular activities. It may tempt you to walk a few steps once you no longer feel pain, but it’s crucial for your health to follow their instructions, to ensure that your ankle heals properly.
Here are some pieces of advice that can help you speed up surgery recovery.
Allow your body to rest
If you are an athlete, laying in the bed isn’t the most comfortable thing, but you need to rest if you want to help your ankle heal. Getting plenty of rest the first days after the surgery can speed up the recovery process, and make you feel stronger.
Your body heels while you sleep, and if you keep your leg elevated, you can reduce the strain your body weight puts on the tissues. Your tissues repair themselves while you rest, so don’t ignore this recommendation.
Eat only health food
Your body needs the energy to heal and you get it from the foods you eat. The calories from food generate body energy, but calories must come from healthy food.
Your body doesn’t need only energy to heal, it also needs nutrients from proteins, vegetables and fruits. During your recovery period, you should adopt a healthy diet. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water because hydration boosts injury recovery.
Go back for follow-up visits
Your doctor will write down when you need to go for follow-ups. Ankle surgeries usually imply 2-week, 6-week and 12-week follow-ups. Dr. Hubbard recommends attending all follow-ups because it’s crucial for your health, an expert to ensure the wound is healing the way it should.
Two weeks after surgery, the surgeon will remove the sutures. If you need to wear a cast you should bring your walker boot to the 2-week follow-up because the doctor may want to check it.
Clean the surgical area
Proper cleaning prevents infection, so take great care of the area. Ask your doctor how to clean the wound because various surgeries require different care. During the first weeks, you’ll probably wear a dressing on the wound.
Ensure you keep the wound and dressing dry. If possible, try to keep your leg out of the bathtub when you can clean yourself. The surgeon will let you know when you can wash the leg in the shower.
Avoid applying creams and lotions on the wound if your doctor doesn’t recommend you. The best way to deal with swelling is to rest your foot and to apply ice on the area. A minor surgery will require a minimum elevation, but a major one will probably require elevating your foot for a long period.
The above recommendations can help you accelerate recovery, but to ensure this is the case, ask your doctor for advice.