Is foot surgery in your future? Spending a little time preparing for your recovery period can help you relax and focus your energy on healing. These six home preparation tips can help.
If foot surgery is in your future, it’s natural to have some anxiety. After all, even though an increasing number of people have been having foot surgery in recent years, you’re probably wondering what to expect if you haven’t been through it yourself.
The good news: Recovering from foot surgery is a pretty straightforward process, especially if you prepare for it ahead of time. In this post, Weston Angermeier, DPM, and Rachel Hensley, DPM, offer six tips to help patients at Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates prepare for the healing and recovery period following minimally invasive foot surgery.
1. Enlist some help
A lot of people find it hard to ask for help, but this isn’t the time to be shy. During recovery, you’ll need to pamper your feet as much as possible to ensure proper healing. That begins right after your surgery, when you’ll need to get someone else to drive you home.
Most people find that having help during the first few days is essential for their recovery as well as their peace of mind. You’ll probably need help preparing meals, tidying up, and even running the occasional errand. And of course, you’ll also need someone to drive you to and from your appointments in the early days of healing.
If you don’t have family or friends who are able to help out, look to the internet. There are plenty of delivery services that are just a mouse-click away. Rideshare providers and cleaning services are also right at your fingertips.
2. Stock the pantry
When you’re recovering, you don’t want to worry about meals — and you don’t want to spend a lot of your time doing meal prep, either. Before foot surgery, stock your pantry and freezer with easy-to-cook meals, including plenty of options you can prepare in the microwave or reheat in the oven.
Skip the junk food, though. Even though these items might seem convenient, your body needs good nutrition to heal. Focus on healthy options for meals and snacks, including fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole-grain options.
3. Equip your home
Beyond food and beverages, consider shopping for other items to make your life easier, like:
- Raised toilet and tub seats
- Non-slip rubber bath mat
- Grab bars for your toilet or tub
- Long-handled shoe horn or sock device
- Gauze bandages and first-aid items
Find a box or caddy where you can keep everything organized and within reach. And don’t forget to shop for some roomy clothes that can slip easily over your cast.
4. Tidy the clutter
While you don’t have to spring clean the entire house, it’s important to take care of essential cleaning chores before surgery, when possible. A tidy home is more restful, and rest is a key element of healing and recovery.
It’s also very important to tidy your floors. Temporarily remove scatter or throw rugs, install some lights in dark hallways, and make sure there are no electrical cords you might trip over. Also ensure the walkways in the designated recovery area of your home are wide enough to accommodate crutches or a walker.
5. Skip the stairs
Climbing stairs puts a lot of pressure on your feet, and after you’ve had foot surgery, your balance and coordination will be a bit off, too. As you can guess, that combination of factors can make it harder to go up and down the stairs safely. Instead, plan to camp out downstairs.
Stock your temporary recovery area with any personal care items you may need, as well as any diversions you may want (books, magazines, a tablet or laptop) to keep yourself fully occupied on the lower level of your home. If your bathroom is upstairs, consider investing in a portable commode.
6. Role play
One of the best ways to figure out what you need and where you need it is to pretend you’ve already had foot surgery, and then go through your daily routine. Do you have the toiletries you need on hand? Are your clothes within easy reach? Do you have books, games, or other activities to enjoy while you rest?
Now is also the time to practice using a cane or crutches — and possibly that new commode you’ve bought, too. It’s better to acquaint yourself with new assistive tools now, so you can make changes or get some practice in before your surgery date.
Minimally invasive foot surgery can dramatically improve your quality of life, and with just a little planning, your recovery can be smooth and worry-free. For more information about foot surgery and what else you can do to prepare, call 804-358-9031 or book an appointment online at Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates today.