Your ankles dictate the movement of your legs. It is practically impossible to walk, jog, or run without a fully-functioning ankle. Any issue in your ankles would hamper your mobility, making it necessary to see medical help.
This is why people seek ankle replacement surgeries to regain their mobility. Ankle replacement allows you to reduce ankle pain, get over discomfort, and get your healthy ankles back after serious injuries or diseases. However, ankle replacement is not just about the surgery but also about the rehabilitation that follows. Once you get the surgery done, it is important to take the right steps to keep your ankles safe and recovery smooth.
Before moving on to the tips that help you recover effectively, let us briefly understand ankle replacement.
What Is Ankle Replacement?
Ankle replacement is a surgical procedure that involves replacing a part of or a complete ankle joint with an artificial one. Here, surgeons remove the affected bones from your ankle and replace them with artificial fillers that do their job. Serious injuries and bone-related diseases often hamper the normal functioning of the patient’s ankle. Ankle replacement surgeries relieve them from this pain and return complete mobility.
Generally, ankle replacement surgeries are performed under general anesthesia. Orthopedic surgeons make an incision in the patient’s ankle to access the affected joint, followed by removing the affected parts of the bones. Then, the surgeon would attach artificial metal parts/joints to the patient’s bone to make them mimic actual joints.
One of the most common reasons why patients opt for ankle replacement is ankle arthritis. The wearing down of cartilage results in the bones rubbing against each other, resulting in joint inflammation, discomfort, and pain. This is why most patients getting their ankles replaced are older (older than 45). If you or anyone in your family have been suffering from such issues, it is advisable to seek the right medical help to commence with ankle replacement.
Make sure you approach the most skilled and trusted orthopedic surgeons in your city. For instance, if you are a Gurgaon resident and are looking for effective ankle replacement in Gurgaon, look for a facility that uses modern equipment and focuses on extensive rehabilitation after surgery.
Tips To Ensure Smooth Recovery After An Ankle Replacement Surgery
The battle is only half won when you come out of the operation theater. What follows is systematic rehabilitation, where your doctor will advise you to care for your ankle as you recover. It is important to be extremely precise and careful during this stage as it affects how quickly and effectively you recover.
Here are some of the most important tips to ensure a smooth recovery and sound ankle health after an ankle replacement surgery:
Keep Your Ankle Elevated
Once you are done with your ankle replacement surgery, ortho doctors in gurgaon would suggest you keep your ankle elevated. Make sure you follow their instructions and keep your ankle elevated above your heart. This prevents swelling and helps you recover faster.
At least for the first couple of weeks after the surgery, it is important to keep your ankles elevated at regular intervals. This would improve the blood flow to your ankles and boost your recovery.
Perform Your Exercises
Your physical therapist and an orthopedic doctor will recommend exercises that involve minor movements of your ankle after the surgery. Perform these exercises regularly to regain mobility and overcome discomfort. Patients often make the mistake of keeping their ankles completely still after ankle replacement surgeries with the assumption that it would help them recover faster. However, this is not the case, and you need to keep moving your ankles to recover their mobility.
Most exercises start with small ankle movements to taking bigger leaps, ending with full-fledged walking. It is important to be patient and follow all exercise routines to reach the desired level of ankle mobility.
Be Aware Of The Warning Signs
It is important to be extra careful during the rehabilitation stage after an ankle replacement surgery. Make sure you are aware of the warning signs related to infections and other health complications that may hamper your recovery.
Here are a few issues you should be wary of as you recover:
- Discolored discharge from the affected areas
- Increasing pain in the affected areas
- Tenderness in the ankle
- Severe ankle swelling
- A foul smell from the affected areas
If you encounter any of these signs, make sure you reach out to your orthopedic doctor immediately and seek medical attention.
Focus On Your Diet
Patients often overlook their diet after going through an ankle replacement surgery. It is always important to focus on your diet and keep it healthy for several weeks until you have recovered completely. Make sure your body has enough vitamins and minerals to heal your ankles and regain lost mobility. Focus on eating a healthy diet consisting of homemade food until you are back to normal.
Do Not Rely A Lot On Pain Medications
Some pain in your ankles during the recovery phase is inevitable. While pain medications recommended by your doctor help you relieve the pain at times, it is unhealthy to become over-reliant on them.
It is important to understand that these medications are passive treatments that hardly contribute to your recovery. Even if it feels difficult to do so, it is advisable to bear with the pain for a while and allows your ankles to heal themselves naturally. Ankle replacement surgeries are potent enough to help patients recover without relying on pain medications. Being overly dependent on these medications also tends to get patients addicted to them, even after they have fully recovered.
The Final Word
These were some important tips worth considering if you want to recover smoothly while ensuring a healthy ankle after an ankle replacement surgery. The key to successful recovery is to be patient, reduce reliance on pain medications, and exercise regularly. Slow and steady recovery always has a long-lasting impact on a patient after an ankle replacement surgery.