If lifestyle adjustments haven’t done enough to eliminate your foot pain, or if you have an injury or deformity that interferes with your mobility, you may need foot surgery. Even routine foot surgery, such as a bunionectomy, requires pre-planning so your home is recovery-friendly.
Dr. David B. Glover and his team of expert practitioners at Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute in South Ogden, Utah, recommend a few tips that can make your recovery comfortable and trouble-free.
1. Camp out downstairs
If your bedroom or home office is on an upper floor, transfer your quarters to a downstairs room. Ask Dr. Glover if you need to rent a hospital bed to keep your foot elevated. If not, fix up a sofa or a portable bed and make it as comfortable and inviting as possible. Set up a table to keep things you need within easy reach.
You can even turn your foot surgery recovery into a mini glamping adventure. Sleep on a screened-in porch or sunroom with plenty of luxurious pillows and bedding to help yourself recover in style.
2. Stock up on healthy, easy-to-prepare food
Let’s face it. Cooking a three-course French meal is challenging if you’re on crutches, use a cane, or wear a surgical boot. You also don’t want to engage in any activity where you could drop something heavy on your foot — such as a 2-pound cast-iron pan.
Before your surgery, stock your refrigerator and freezer with portion-sized meals that you can easily reheat in a microwave or eat cold. But don’t cave in to junk-food options. Healing requires plenty of nutrients, so be sure to include vegetables, fruits, and high-quality fats and proteins.
3. Go on your weirdest shopping spree yet
If you’re going to be immobilized for a while, you may need hospital-type equipment to make your everyday tasks easier. While heading to the nearest medical supply store might not be your idea of a fun shopping trip, ask Dr. Glover if you might benefit from special accessories, such as:
- Raised toilet seat
- Walker or cane
- Shower seat
- Gauze bandages
- Other medical supplies
You might also arrange to have safety bars installed near your toilet, tub, and shower to reduce your risk of slipping or falling.
4. Clear out the clutter
If you have kids at home or just like the lived-in look, it’s time to Marie Kondo your living space so it’s free of clutter and items that put you at risk for tripping. Stash away toys, books, and clothes in closets or bins. Move chairs with legs that could get in the way of crutches.
And if you’re used to stumbling to the bathroom in the dark, or navigating your hallways by touch, now’s the time to lighten things up. Add night lights and guide lights where you need them.
5. Indulge in (practical) new shoes
If shopping for quad canes and surgical gauze didn’t light your fire, getting new shoes just might. After your cast comes off or your stitches dissolve, you don’t want to stress your feet by wedging them into heels or narrow loafers. Look for comfortable, flat-soled shoes that give you arch support and have plenty of room in the toe.
6. Get some help
All successful managers delegate. Because you’re the manager of your own recovery, enlist family, friends, and even professionals to take care of the tasks that you can’t accomplish on your own until you’ve recovered.
Make arrangements for someone to wash the dishes, take care of the pets, and mind the kids. You can hire services to do your laundry or clean, too.
Some simple preparation before your foot surgery can ensure your home recovery goes smoothly. If you have any questions about your healing process, feel free to contact the caring staff at Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute.