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:
- 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.
- Make travel plans– This definitely isn’t the same as planning a dream vacation, but it’s a very important consideration! Due to the 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.
- 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.
- 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 regards to hygienic practices during your recovery period.
- 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.
Postoperative Care for Optimal Healing and Recovery
Planning beforehand is a huge step in making sure your recovery is a successful one, but so too is actually taking the appropriate postop measures.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of postsurgical care in the recovery process. After all, this stage is essential for your health and safety. As such, it is incredibly important for you to follow the specific postoperative instructions we provide.
Some general considerations and components we may include in your postsurgical plan include:
- Rest – Surgery is a big deal. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t take as many measures as possible to avoid using it as a treatment option. Since it is, though, you will need to give your body the chance to perform its natural healing processes after the procedure.
- Medication– Depending on your procedure and situation, we will likely recommend or prescribe some form of medication for you. The pain-relieving properties of medicine certainly play a role, but the anti-inflammatory ones can be immensely helpful in assisting with your recovery.
- Restricted movement– In time, the amount and range of movement will increase, but we may recommend you limit how much you move the affected area for at least a certain period of time.
- Assistive devices– We may issue or prescribe braces, casts, or other devices to help you keep weight off of the repaired, but still allow you to be mobile.
- Physical therapy – As you recover, it will be necessary for you to gradually ease into physical movement. To that end, physical therapy is a key part of postsurgical care. Stretching and strengthening exercises are essential for making sure your movement is as natural as possible.
- Hygienic practices– The potential for infection is one of the risks of surgery. This risk doesn’t end once the procedure is completed, though. It is essential that you keep any insertion points clean to reduce your infection risk.
- Follow-up appointments – Don’t worry, you’re not on your own after the surgery! We will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and ensure everything is mending as it should.
Foot and Ankle Care at Richardson Podiatry Center
As we noted earlier, there is a good chance we will be able to treat your foot or ankle condition using nonsurgical methods. If we do recommend surgery, you can take comfort in the fact we’ve been able to help many patients find relief from pain and improved foot function through surgical intervention – and we can do the same for you!
For more information about foot and ankle surgeries, or to request an appointment with Richardson Podiatry Center, simply give us a call at (972) 690-5374 or fill out our online form and contact us online right now.