Ankle Replacement

Recovery and Rehabilitation

What happens after discharge?

We will arrange to see you in the Orthopaedic Outpatients’ Department two weeks following the surgery. The back slab will be removed and your wound will be inspected. If the wounds are healed then a removable boot will be applied for you to walk in. This is to be worn during the day for walking but need not be worn at night. With this boot on, you can begin to take weight through your ankle 2 weeks after your operation. You will need this boot until you are 6 weeks after your operation. During this time it is likely that you will continue to require the use of your crutches. After the backslab has been removed, we will send you to see a Physiotherapist as an Outpatient. They will give you exercises to move your ankle and teach you to walk with your removable boot.

When can I return to work?

If you have an office type of job and you are able to elevate the leg then you may return to work approximately 4 weeks following surgery. However, if your job is physically demanding and usually involves long periods on your feet then it is advisable not to return for up to 3 to 6 months. This decision will depend on where your type of employment falls between these two extremes.

When is it safe to drive?

If you have a replacement on the left ankle and an automatic car, you can usually drive by two to four weeks after your operation. Otherwise, it will take you about 2 to 3 months to drive with your replaced ankle. You must be able to perform an emergency stop. Your insurance company must be notified regarding the type of operation that you have undergone to ensure that cover is valid.

What should I do if I have a problem?

If you experience severe pain, excessive swelling, discharge, excessive numbness or pins and needles please report it to your GP. If you cannot contact your GP you should visit the Emergency Department as quickly as possible.

20 January, 2012