Are you scheduled for ankle surgery? Ankle surgery can be an effective treatment for chronic injuries, arthritis, or other types of ankle pain that haven't improved with more conservative care.
But it’s no secret that the thought of undergoing ankle surgery can be scary. It’s normal to have questions, and the team at The Foot & Ankle Specialists is here to guide you through the process.
Lisa Burson, DPM, and Joe Aoun, DPM, specialize in minimally invasive arthroscopic ankle surgery. We work with people of all ages and activity levels — and one of the most common questions we get from our ankle surgery patients is, “When can I start exercising again?”
Your body needs time to heal after surgery, but with the right care, you can get back to your usual activities once again. Here’s what you can expect after ankle surgery.
Step 1: Recovering from ankle surgery
Immediately after ankle surgery, you may be wearing a cast, walking boot, or another device to stabilize your ankle. Dr. Burson and Dr. Aoun generally recommend resting and elevating your ankle for about two weeks following surgery.
You should avoid weight-bearing activities during the initial recovery period. Our office has a durable medical equipment (DME) license, so we can provide assistive devices, like crutches or a knee scooter to help you get around while your ankle starts healing.
Step 2: Attending your follow-up appointments
You have several follow-up appointments scheduled after your ankle surgery. At each appointment, Dr. Burson and Dr. Aoun evaluate your progress and make adjustments to your treatment plan.
We give you specific guidance on when it’s safe to start adding more weight-bearing activities to your routine. We may give you a different cast or walking boot as you start to move around more. It’s important to follow our instructions and avoid too much activity too soon.
Step 3: Participating in physical therapy
Most people who have ankle surgery will need physical therapy during the healing process. You can expect to have physical therapy several times a week for about four to six weeks.
Participating in physical therapy is one of the best ways to ensure your ankle is healing properly. Your physical therapist gives you guided exercises to increase flexibility and restore strength. If you’re an athlete, talk to your therapist about specific exercises for your sport.
Physical therapy after ankle surgery helps accelerate recovery and get you back to your usual activities faster. Plus, it lowers your risk of suffering another ankle injury in the future.
Step 4: Getting back to your usual exercise routine
Dr. Burson and Dr. Aoun continue monitoring your progress at each follow-up appointment and physical therapy session. As you heal, we recommend slowly reintroducing more and more of your usual activities.
Though your recovery will be unique, you can expect to return to your usual exercise routine in about three to four months following ankle surgery. The exact time you can start exercising again depends on the severity of your injury, the type of surgery you had, and the exercises you like to do.
Our team is committed to helping you live a life with less ankle pain. We’re here to offer personalized recommendations to get you back on your feet and participate in your favorite exercises as quickly and safely as possible.
To find out more about preparing for ankle surgery, book an appointment at one of our offices in Bay City, Caro, and Lapeer, Michigan. Contact us to get started.