10 Essential Pre-Op Activities Before Your Ankle Surgery

things to do before ankle surgery

If you're preparing for ankle surgery, there are several important steps you need to take before the day of your operation. These pre-op activities are essential to ensure that you're physically and mentally prepared for what's to come. Whether you're having a minor procedure or a more complex operation, following these 10 crucial steps can help increase your chances of a successful recovery and a smooth surgical experience. From getting your home ready to arranging transportation, let's take a closer look at the essential pre-op activities you should do before your ankle surgery.


Follow pre-surgery instructions provided by your surgeon

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If you are scheduled to undergo ankle surgery, then you have made a major decision to take control of your health and improve your quality of life. Ankle surgery is not a small undertaking. Therefore, it is essential that you prepare for it both mentally and physically. In this article, we will discuss the importance of following pre-surgery instructions provided by your surgeon.

Your surgeon will provide you with a list of pre-surgery instructions to help you prepare for the procedure. These instructions are critical to ensuring that you have a successful surgery and a smooth recovery. So, what should you do before ankle surgery? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Follow your surgeon’s recommendations regarding medications: Your surgeon may ask you to stop taking certain medications or supplements before your surgery. This could include blood thinners, aspirin, or herbal supplements that could cause complications during the surgery. Make sure you follow these recommendations to avoid any potential complications.
  • Prepare for the day of surgery: Your surgeon will give you specific instructions regarding what to eat and drink before your surgery. This is important to avoid any digestive issues that could cause complications during surgery. Additionally, make sure you have comfortable clothes to wear to the hospital, and that you have someone to drive you back home after your surgery.
  • Get your home ready: After your ankle surgery, you will not be able to put weight on your leg for a while, so it’s essential that you prepare your home for your recovery. Make sure you have a comfortable place to sleep, get a shower bench or chair, and prepare easy-to-reach snacks and beverages.
  • Follow the exercise program provided by your surgeon: Your surgeon will provide you with a specific exercise program that you should follow to aid in your recovery. These exercises will help you regain strength, flexibility, and range of motion after your surgery. Make sure to follow these instructions to help you recover as quickly as possible.

In conclusion, ankle surgery is a significant undertaking, and it is essential that you follow pre-surgery instructions provided by your surgeon. Doing so will help ensure that you have a successful surgery and a smooth recovery. If you have any questions or concerns about your surgery or pre-surgery instructions, be sure to contact your surgeon.


Arrange for transportation to and from the surgical facility

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If you have an upcoming ankle surgery, it is important to prepare in advance to ensure a smooth and stress-free recovery. One important thing to consider before your surgery is arranging for transportation to and from the surgical facility. Here are some tips to help you plan your transportation needs.

  • Discuss your transportation options with your surgeon or healthcare team. They may have recommendations or restrictions depending on the type of surgery and anesthesia you'll be receiving.
  • Ask a friend, family member, or caregiver to accompany you to your surgery and provide transportation. They can help you get dressed, support you when walking, and ensure that you get home safely after surgery.
  • Consider hiring a medical transport service. These services specialize in transporting patients to and from medical appointments and surgeries. They can provide a specially equipped vehicle and a trained driver who can assist you with mobility if needed.
  • If you're unable to arrange transportation on your own, ask your healthcare team about community resources or organizations that offer free or low-cost transportation assistance for medical appointments.
  • Plan ahead for your recovery period. You may need several follow-up appointments or physical therapy sessions after your surgery, so make sure you have transportation arranged for those visits as well.

Remember, arranging transportation to and from your surgery is just one aspect of preparing for an ankle surgery. Talk to your healthcare team about any other pre and post-op instructions they may have for you. By taking the time to plan ahead and ask for help, you can have a smoother and more successful recovery.


Purchase any necessary medical supplies or equipment, such as crutches

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If you’re scheduled for ankle surgery, you are likely already in communication with your doctor or surgeon and following their pre-surgery instructions. However, as the day of your surgery approaches, there are some things you can do to ensure a smooth and stress-free recovery. One important step is to purchase any necessary medical supplies or equipment, such as crutches.

Crutches are essential to support your weight while you are healing and unable to put pressure on your foot. They also help to prevent further damage to your ankle and allow you to remain mobile while you recover. Here are some tips for purchasing crutches:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider: Before purchasing or renting crutches, it is essential to talk to your doctor or physical therapist. They can help you determine the appropriate types and sizes of crutches you might need based on your weight, height, and injury level.
  • Choose between renting or purchasing: You can either rent or purchase crutches depending on the duration of your healing process. If you are only expected to use them for a short period, such as a week or two, it might be more affordable to rent them. However, if you know that you will need them for a more extended period, such as several months, purchasing might be a more economical option.
  • Select the right type of crutches: There are several types of crutches available in the market, including underarm crutches or forearm crutches. Underarm crutches are the most common type and are placed under the arms, and the top side touches the ribcage. Forearm crutches are also called elbow crutches and strap around the forearms. They generally require more upper body strength but are often more comfortable to use.
  • Ensure the right fit: It is essential to choose the appropriate size of crutches to avoid any discomfort or injury. The crutches should be adjusted to fit your height and be comfortable to use under the arms and hands. Be sure to test them out before leaving the store or before using them for the first time.
  • Learn how to use them correctly: It is crucial to learn how to use crutches properly, which can prevent further injury or discomfort. Ask your healthcare provider or the medical supply store if they can show you how to use the crutches or provide instructions on how to use them safely.

In conclusion, purchasing or renting crutches is an important step in preparing for your ankle surgery. Choosing the appropriate type and size of crutches can help you recover more comfortably and avoid further injury. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider or physical therapist to determine the best choice for you and to ensure proper usage.

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Pick up any prescribed medications

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Preparing for ankle surgery can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it’s an essential step to ensure that your surgery goes smoothly and that you have a successful recovery. One of the most important things to do before your surgery is to pick up any prescribed medications.

Your surgeon will likely prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort you may experience after surgery. You must pick up your medications before your surgery day, so you have them readily available when you need them. It’s recommended that you fill your prescription a few days before your surgery day to avoid any potential issues or delays.

When picking up your medication, be sure to read the label carefully and ask any questions you may have about dosage or potential side effects. If necessary, have a family member or friend assist you in picking up and organizing your medication to ensure that you have everything you need.

You should also inform your surgeon of any other medications or supplements you take regularly to avoid any potential interactions or complications. This includes any over-the-counter painkillers, vitamins, or herbal supplements. Your surgeon may ask you to stop taking certain medications before your surgery to minimize any complications.

Another critical step is to have someone available to drive you to and from the surgery center. You won’t be able to drive home after your procedure due to the anesthetic used during the surgery. Similarly, you’ll need to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while taking prescription pain medication as it can cause drowsiness.

In conclusion, picking up any prescribed medications is one of the most important things to do before your ankle surgery. It ensures that you’re well-prepared to manage any post-surgery discomfort and focus on your recovery. Make sure to communicate openly with your surgeon about any medications you’re currently taking and follow their instructions carefully. And lastly, arrange for transportation to and from the surgery center with the help of a trusted friend or family member.

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Prepare your home for recovery, including arranging for help if needed

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Ankle surgery can be a daunting process that requires appropriate preparation for a smooth recovery. In addition to preparing yourself mentally and physically, it is essential to make your home safe and comfortable before the procedure.

One of the first things to consider is whether you will need assistance during your recovery. This can include family members, friends, or a professional caregiver. Make sure to have a plan in place and discuss it with your support team before the surgery.

Next, prepare your home by ensuring that your living space is easily accessible. This can involve clearing clutter, rearranging furniture, and removing any tripping hazards. Consider placing important items, such as medication, within reach, and avoid any tasks that may require balancing or uncomfortable positioning.

You may also want to invest in assistive equipment, such as a wheelchair or crutches, to assist with mobility during your recovery period. Make sure to practice using these items before the surgery to ensure your safety and comfort.

It is crucial to plan your meals in advance. Prepare nutritious meals or pre-make them to eliminate the need to stand or move around too much. Stock up on healthy snacks, bottled water, and other essential items nearby. Avoid sugary foods and beverages that can lead to inflammation and other post-surgical complications.

Finally, plan for adequate rest and relaxation during your recovery period. Take time to enjoy calming activities such as reading, listening to music, or meditation. Watching movies, engaging in conversations with loved ones, or playing games can also be a great distraction during the post-surgery period.

In conclusion, careful and strategic preparation of your home environment and support team can make a significant difference during your ankle surgery recovery. By planning ahead, you can ensure a stress-free and safe recovery process.

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Eat a light, healthy meal the night before surgery

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If you are scheduled for ankle surgery, there are several things to consider and take care of before the procedure. One of the most important things to do is to prepare yourself with a healthy meal the night before, which can help you feel more energetic and relaxed during the surgery.

Here are some tips for eating a light, healthy meal before your ankle surgery:

  • Avoid heavy, fatty foods: Refrain from consuming greasy, fatty meals that could upset your stomach or lead to indigestion. Try to avoid fried foods, rich sauces, and anything too heavy that could make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Opt for light, nutritious foods: Instead, eat a light meal consisting of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Some good options include grilled chicken or fish, brown rice, steamed vegetables, and a small salad.
  • Drink plenty of water: It's important to stay hydrated before any surgery, so make sure to drink plenty of water the night before. Dehydration can affect your blood pressure and lead to complications, so aim to drink at least eight glasses of water throughout the day.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine: Both alcohol and caffeine can disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling groggy or dehydrated in the morning. Try to refrain from consuming any alcohol or caffeinated beverages before your surgery, and opt for herbal tea or water instead.

Eating a light, healthy meal the night before your ankle surgery is just one way to prepare your body for the procedure. By taking care of your health in the days leading up to your surgery, you can help ensure a successful outcome and a speedy recovery. Remember to follow your doctor's instructions and ask any questions you may have, to help put your mind at ease and reduce any anxiety you may be feeling.


Avoid eating or drinking after midnight on the day of the surgery, unless instructed otherwise

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Ankle surgery can be a daunting procedure, but doing a few simple things beforehand can make your experience smoother and more comfortable. One important thing to remember before ankle surgery is to avoid eating or drinking after midnight on the day of the surgery, unless instructed otherwise by your surgeon or medical team.

An empty stomach is necessary for ankle surgery because it reduces the risk of aspiration, which is when food, liquid, or saliva enter your lungs by mistake during surgery. Aspiration can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia or even death, so it's crucial to follow your surgeon's instructions regarding fasting before surgery.

The specific time to stop eating or drinking varies depending on the type of anesthesia used during your surgery and other individual factors, so make sure to ask your surgeon for specific instructions. Typically, you'll need to avoid solid foods for 6-8 hours before surgery and fluids for 2-4 hours.

Your surgeon may allow you to drink clear liquids up to a certain point before the surgery. Clear liquids include water, black coffee, tea, clear juices, and sports drinks. Avoid drinking milk, cream, or any other dairy products before surgery. It is also important to avoid eating fatty or fried foods before surgery, as these can cause nausea, vomiting, and other unpleasant complications.

Fasting before surgery can be challenging, especially if you're used to eating frequently throughout the day. Here are a few tips to make it easier:

  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water up until the designated cutoff time to keep your body hydrated and minimize the risk of dehydration.
  • Plan ahead: If you're worried about feeling hungry before your surgery, plan your meals carefully in the days leading up to the procedure. Eat small, frequent meals that are low in fat and easy to digest.
  • Distract yourself: Keep your mind occupied with activities you enjoy, such as reading, listening to music, or doing puzzles. This can help take your mind off food and reduce feelings of anxiety.
  • Stay in contact with your medical team: Contact your surgeon if you have any questions or concerns about fasting before surgery. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific needs and medical history.

In conclusion, avoiding eating or drinking after midnight on the day of the ankle surgery, unless instructed otherwise by your surgeon or medical team, is a crucial part of preparing for surgery. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure a safe and successful surgery with minimal complications.


Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing on the day of the surgery

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Ankle surgery, like any other surgical procedure, can be a nerve-wracking experience. However, to ensure a successful operation and a smooth recovery, there are several things that you can do in preparation for your ankle surgery.

One of the most important preparations is wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing on the day of your surgery. Here are some tips to help you prepare your wardrobe for your procedure:

  • Choose Comfortable Clothing: When it comes to ankle surgery, you'll want to wear clothing that doesn't constrict circulation or rub against your surgical site. You should avoid tight-fitting clothes such as jeans or leggings, which can put pressure on the foot and ankle.
  • Opt for Loose-Fitting Clothing: Loose-fitting clothes are ideal because they will not touch the surgical site directly. Instead, consider wearing comfortable sweatpants or shorts that have an elastic waistband. A loose-fitting shirt is also recommended.
  • Avoid Clothing with Zippers or Snaps: Clothing with zippers or snaps may not be such a great idea since they can get in the way of the surgical site, causing discomfort or irritation. Instead, choose clothing with drawstrings, which allow you to tighten or loosen the clothing without touching the surgical site.
  • Bring a Pair of Slip-On Shoes: After the surgery, you will need to keep your weight off your ankle for a while. It can be challenging to wear shoes, especially if they have laces. Slip-on shoes are a great option because they are easy to put on and take off without bending down.
  • Bring Warm Clothing: The operating room can be chilly, so bring a jacket or sweater with you. It will make the experience more comfortable, especially during the recovery room phase.

In conclusion, wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing on the day of your surgery is essential. To prepare, choose clothing that is comfortable, loose-fitting, and easy to put on. Avoid clothing with zippers or snaps, and bring a pair of slip-on shoes. By doing so, you will have one less worry on the day of your surgery.

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Bring your insurance card and any necessary paperwork

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If you have scheduled an ankle surgery, there are several things that you need to do before the big day arrives. One of the most important steps is to ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork and insurance information in order. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind before your ankle surgery:

  • Check your insurance coverage: Make sure that you understand what your insurance covers and what it doesn't. Contact your insurance provider and ask them about the coverage for procedures such as ankle surgery. Make sure to ask if you need any preauthorization or referral from a physician.
  • Gather all the necessary documents: Collect all the paperwork related to your surgery, including referrals, medical records, and insurance information. You should also bring your valid photo identification and a list of medications you are currently taking.
  • Discuss your health history: Meet your surgeon and discuss your health history with them. Let them know about any medical conditions you have, such as allergies, heart problems, or diabetes. This information will help the surgeon to provide you with the best care possible.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions: Your doctor will provide you with specific instructions that you need to follow before the surgery. For example, you may need to avoid eating or drinking for a certain period of time before the surgery. Follow these instructions carefully to ensure that your surgery goes smoothly.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home: After the ankle surgery, you will need someone to drive you home. Make arrangements for a family member or friend to pick you up from the hospital and take you home.

In conclusion, there are several things that you need to take care of before ankle surgery, and bringing your insurance card and necessary paperwork is an important part of the pre-surgery process. Be sure to check your insurance coverage, collect all the necessary documents, discuss your health history with your surgeon, follow the doctor's instructions, and arrange for someone to take you home after the surgery. By being well-prepared, you can ensure that your ankle surgery is a success and that you make a full recovery.


Remember to relax and breathe - you're in good hands!

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If you have an upcoming ankle surgery, it is important to take some steps to prepare for the procedure and help you have a smooth recovery. Here are some things to do before your ankle surgery:

  • Speak with your surgeon: Before the surgery, make sure to discuss any questions or concerns with your surgeon. This can help ease any anxiety you may have and ensure that you have a clear understanding of the procedure.
  • Prepare your home: As you will likely need to rest and restrict your mobility for some time, make sure to prepare your home ahead of time. This may involve purchasing any necessary medical equipment, such as crutches or a wheelchair, and re-arranging your living space to make it more comfortable and accessible.
  • Arrange for help: You may need some assistance after the surgery, whether it is with household tasks or just getting from place to place. Arrange for a friend or family member to help you if possible, and make sure to discuss any needs or expectations beforehand.
  • Follow pre-surgery instructions: Your surgeon will likely provide you with some specific instructions to follow before the surgery, such as avoiding food or drink for a certain amount of time, or stopping certain medications. Make sure to follow these instructions carefully to help ensure a safe and successful surgery.

While preparing for the surgery is important, it is also important to remember to relax and breathe. It is natural to feel anxious or nervous about any surgery, but rest assured that you are in good hands with your medical team. Try some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to help calm your nerves and prepare for the procedure. Remember, your healthcare professionals are there to support you throughout the entire process.

In summary, preparing for ankle surgery involves taking necessary steps to ensure a smooth recovery, including speaking with your surgeon, preparing your home, arranging for help, and following pre-surgery instructions. Additionally, it is important to remember to relax and breathe to help ease any anxiety and trust in your medical team.

Frequently asked questions

It is common for patients to undergo imaging tests like an X-ray, MRI, bone scan or CT scan. Some patients may also need to do a blood test or an electrocardiogram (ECG) to ensure that they are healthy enough for surgery.

It is important to create a safe and comfortable space at home for your recovery. This can involve removing clutter and tripping hazards, setting up a bed or area for rest and relaxation, and arranging for someone to help you with daily tasks like cooking, cleaning or transportation.

Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will determine the best type of anesthesia for your ankle surgery based on your medical history, type of procedure, and personal preference. Options can include general anesthesia or regional anesthesia (local anesthesia and nerve blocks).

Your surgeon will advise you on whether you need to stop taking any medications before your surgery. This may include blood thinners, aspirin, or any medication that can increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery.

Recovery time varies from person to person and depends on the type of surgery. In general, it can take several months for your ankle to fully heal and for you to return to your normal routine. Your surgeon will provide individualized guidance on aftercare and rehabilitation exercises to help speed up the recovery process.

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Lloyd Alvarado

I'm scheduled for ankle surgery next month, and this article gave me some really helpful tips. One thing I never thought of was arranging for transportation to and from the hospital. I initially planned on taking a taxi, but having someone reliable to drive me would definitely be more convenient and secure. Additionally, I never considered buying shower aids, like a shower chair or a handheld showerhead. These small adjustments will make bathing a lot easier and less risky. Overall, this article made me realize that there are so many things to consider before ankle surgery, and I'm grateful for the advice provided here.

Aarav Maxwell

I went through ankle surgery last year, and I can totally relate to this article. One thing I wish I had done before the surgery was to prepare meals in advance and freeze them. After the surgery, it was difficult for me to move around and cook, so having pre-made meals would have been a lifesaver. Another thing I recommend is to clean and declutter your living space. Trust me, you don't want to navigate through a messy and cluttered house while using crutches. Lastly, don't forget to stock up on entertainment options, like books, movies, or puzzles. You'll be spending a lot of time at home recovering, so having something to keep you occupied will make the healing process a lot easier.

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