An ankle replacement can help restore function and independence in patients who have been plagued by troublesome pain, but that doesn’t mean surgery and recovery is always a walk in the park. We do everything in our power to prevent issues and problems after your ankle replacement procedure, but there are some common pitfalls that can make the rehabilitation process a little more difficult. With that in mind, we want to highlight some common complaints that can make life difficult after an ankle replacement surgery and explain how we work to help patients avoid these potential issues. The good news is that all a lot of these complaints are manageable by having appropriate expectations and a good work ethic. With that in mind, here are some common complaints after ankle replacement surgery and how we can help you prevent or avoid them.
I’m In Pain
There is going to be some pain and discomfort following your surgery, it’s just unavoidable. We walk patients through a pain management program and try to help them understand how they’ll feel right after surgery and as they start their recovery journey, but sometimes pain still comes as a surprise to some, and that can be disruptive to aspects of their care like physical therapy. Know that you will be uncomfortable at times, but also know that we’ll do everything in our power to minimize this so that you can continue your exercises or achieve quality sleep.
Rehab Is Long
It’s important to understand that return to maximum physical function is going to take some time. Jumping back into certain activities too quickly can cause the surgery to fail, and nobody wants this. We use minimally invasive techniques wherever possible to help speed up recovery, but it will still be a time consuming process.
You Have Restrictions
We also have some rules that you’re going to need to follow as you progress through rehab. It may be a bit annoying, but these restrictions are put in place to prevent dislocation or hardware damage. We make sure patients know which motions are okay and which ones need to be avoided before they are discharged so that they don’t jeopardize the integrity of their surgery. They may be a bit annoying, but the restrictions are in the best interest of your health.
Function Is Limited
Finally, some people express disappointment that their physical function isn’t as complete as they had hoped it would be following surgery or recovery. In most cases, surgery is performed to improve physical function. We can’t turn back time and have you feeling like you’re 18 years old again, but we can help make actions like walking and sitting much more comfortable. We work hard to ensure every patient is in a better place in terms of pain and function following rehabilitation, but it’s important to understand that you might not be pain free or able to do all types of physical activity just because you have a new ankle. Understanding this helps to prevent dissatisfaction.