What should I expect during my recovery period?
For most patients who have undergone this procedure, the physiotherapists at Peak Physical Therapy will recommend that you use crutches or a walker for 10 to 12 weeks following surgery. During this time, you'll probably wear a cast or ankle splint and will be advised against putting weight on your foot when standing or walking.
Our physiotherapists* at Peak Physical Therapy will provide you with a personalized recovery program. Although the time required for recovery from ankle replacement surgery varies for each patients, as a guideline you may expect rehabilitation to take up to three months. When you begin rehab, our therapist will check to make sure you are using your walker or crutches safely and that you are placing only the prescribed amount of weight on your foot.
You first few physiotherapy treatments at Peak Physical Therapy will focus on controlling the pain and swelling from surgery. Our therapist may use heat treatments, gentle massage and other hands-on therapies to ease muscle spasm and pain.
Range-of-motion exercises are used to maximize the mobility of the new ankle joint, and strengthening exercises help improve stability around the joint. As with any surgery, you need to avoid doing too much, too quickly.
Our physiotherapists sometimes design pool physiotherapy programs for patients after artificial ankle joint surgery. Exercising in a swimming pool puts less stress on the new ankle joint, and the buoyancy lets you move and exercise easier. Once you've gotten your pool exercises down and the other parts of your Peak Physical Therapy rehabilitation program advance, you may be instructed in an independent program.
Other exercises you'll do are designed to get your leg and ankle working in ways that are similar to your work tasks and daily activities. Our therapist will help you find ways to do your tasks that don't put too much stress on your ankle joint. Before your physiotherapy sessions end, our physiotherapist will teach you a number of ways to avoid future problems.
At Peak Physical Therapy, our goal is to help you control your pain, improve your strength and range of motion, and walk smoothly and without a limp. When you are well under way, regular visits to our office will end. Although we will continue to be a resource, you will be in charge of doing your exercises as part of an ongoing home program.
Peak Physical Therapy provides physiotherapy in Lethbridge.
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