When to Schedule Your Foot or Ankle Surgery
The recovery time for foot surgery ranges depending on the specifics of your case. The type of surgery, the location of the problem, the extent of damage, and your age could all influence the amount of recovery time. Even if you can walk after a few days, you may have movement limitations that prevent you from performing your normal daily activities.
In general, a good time for surgery is when you can:
- Depend on childcare. Autumn is a good time for parents to have surgery since the kids are back in school. Some people opt for surgery just before Thanksgiving to make the most of their time off, relying on visiting family members for babysitting over the holiday. For minor surgeries, patients might be able to transition into a surgical shoe or ankle brace before the end of the year.
- Stay off your feet. Many people are opposed to recovering from surgery over the end-of-the-year holidays, but winter can be an excellent choice for your procedure. In addition to being more sedentary in the winter, patients may have relatives and older children back in town from Christmas to New Year’s to give them an extra hand. An added bonus: casts, bandages, and compression garments are less likely to cause sweating or discomfort in cooler temperatures.
- Work from home. Working from home is extremely helpful when planning a long recovery. The ability to take one or two weeks off entirely and ease back into work slowly through remote meetings or telecommuting is critical. If you have this option, you should consider having foot surgery as soon as possible—especially if you have limited unpaid vacation time.
- Maximize immediate recovery. The days following surgery are crucial for healing; your activity and weight-bearing should be minimal. A long weekend or calendar break in your work or school schedule (such as spring break or midterm exam week) could afford you a few extra days of immobility when you need it most. Some patients make the most of paid days off by adding a few days to both ends of a break, allowing them to return to their normal routine more quickly.
- Escape the heat. Summer offers more time flexibility for some patients, including teachers, retirees, and students. Depending on the number of weeks needed for recovery, you may be able to take your summer vacation before your surgery date. However, there are a few considerations for summer surgeries, such as keeping incisions and wound sites away from direct sun exposure. If you’re not a fan of the heat, a few weeks indoors (and in the air conditioning) could be an ideal recovery solution.
- No longer take the pain. No matter what time of year you choose, you should know that the worst time to have surgery is when you have no other choice. Early planning is key to avoiding stress about work deadlines, school runs, or other commitments while your body is trying to heal. If you wait until the condition is unbearable, you will have far less control over your recuperation—and your condition might get progressively worse the longer you delay.
Speak to a Podiatrist About Your Surgery Options
It’s vital to take control of your foot or ankle condition before it’s too late. The skilled podiatry team at Northwest Extremity Specialists can assess your condition and find a time and procedure that works for you. Call us today at 503-245-2420 to make an appointment in the Portland-area office closest to you.