Recovery after an ankle injury or surgery can be mentally and physically challenging. Even a short recovery can seem like forever! Here are some tips form other patients you have been in your shoes (make that shoe) to help you for a fast, full recovery.
1. Keep OFF your healing ankle
When your doctor warns you to stay non weight bearing (NWB), he means it! It can be very risky to put weight on your ankle, as it might get you re-injured, cause improper healing of bones which could lead to another surgery. Even if it doesn’t result in long term damage it can result in short term pain and swelling.
2. Time to beat the clutter
Less stuff and more room to move around. Dealing with a messy home in two feet is hard enough, so make sure that all the clutter in your house is put away especially in spaces you would be accessing throughout the day. For example - your living room, kitchen, and toilet. Strewn clothes and toys are especially a safety hazard when you are on one foot and dealing with those awkward crutches. Knee & Seated scooter may give you the stability & balance you need, but you'll still need the clean space & room to maneuver.
3. Keep heavy physical activities to a reasonable level.
Healing can take a lot of energy. Crutches can be a work out them selves, so while you are recovering use reason on the outings to the mall and dates at the park. Unless of course someone is driving you or you are using a modern alternative to crutches like a roll a bout scooter - then you can just whizz by.
4. Be kind, you'll need willing help.
There are a lot of reasons to be grumpy- the pain killer not working, crutches chaffing your skin, sore arms, lack of sleep etc... but all of those are no reason to snap at family & friends. Remember, you can't do much now and they have been so kind to be around and do things for you. So try to watch that temper and keep a grateful spirit.
5. Don't pig out, eat healthy.
While in recovery mode, be sure you are eating healthy and not using it as an excuse to get those dozen boxes of donuts you were always craving for. A balanced diet will help you heal much faster and it will ensure that your weight won't put excess strain on your healing foot once you start to walk on it.
6. Take care of yourself.
Eat, sleep and exercise to get the best chance of healing fast. Are you consciously helping your recovery and unconsciously hurting your recovery
7. A positive attitude goes a long way.
Start the day by courting your blessings. It can be easy to focus on all you can’t do. As the day goes by, shoot down each dark cloud that comes along, by remembering the things you are grateful.
8. Acknowledge and appreciate the things people do for you.
It not only allows you to feel grateful, but it also warms the heart of the person helping you, knowing their efforts are appreciated and that they are making a difference in your life.
9. Be prepared for lots of time.
Plan activities you can do at home to keep you entertained. Read books you've always wanted to read, but didn't have the time; do arts & crafts, catch up with a friend, watch movies, play games and plan visits outside. Adding a goal will keep loneliness away. Here's a list of 101 ideas to do while recovering.
10. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Once in a while, you will find yourself alone and in need of help. Instead of trying to do it yourself, reaching for that cereal box high in the grocery shelf, better ask someone for help. Being shy is not a good enough reason to risk injury.