Ankle Arthrodesis

Care After

Refer to this sheet during the next few weeks. These discharge instructions provide you with general information on caring for yourself after you leave the hospital or surgery center. Your caregiver may also give you additional specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to the most current medical practices available, but unavoidable complications sometimes occur. If you have any problems or questions after discharge, call your caregiver.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Keep your foot raised (elevated) above the level of your heart as much as possible. This will decrease swelling.

  • Use 2 pillows under you knee and ankle to keep your leg elevated while you are sleeping.

  • Only put weight on your ankle as directed by your caregiver.

  • Remove all throw rugs, electric cords, or other trip hazards from your house so that you can move around safely.

  • Bathe and shower as directed by your caregiver.

  • Take all medicines as directed by your caregiver.

  • Do not use over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements without your caregiver's approval.

  • Do not drive while you are using narcotic pain medicines or medicines for when you feel sick to your stomach (nauseous).

  • Follow the diet prescribed by your caregiver.

  • You may be asked to weigh yourself or measure your blood pressure daily. Your caregiver will tell you what results should be reported right away.

  • Follow your caregiver's recommendations for the activities you can do, the amount of weight you can lift, and when you can return to work. These recommendations will depend on the type of surgery you had and your general health.

  • Your caregiver will explain the correct way to care for your splint and incision(s). Follow these recommendations carefully.

  • Write down questions to ask at your next appointment.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your pain level increases and does not improve after you have taken the pain medicines you have been given.

  • You are nauseous or you throw up (vomit).

  • You cannot have a bowel movement (are constipated) or you have diarrhea.

  • You develop a rash.

  • You have a burning sensation when you urinate or you need to urinate more often than usual.

  • You develop a new cough or difficulty breathing.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicine.

  • You have chest pain.

  • You have chills.

  • You have shortness of breath.

  • Your bandages become soaked with blood.

  • Your incision(s) becomes red, opens up, or develops a creamy or bad smelling discharge.

  • You have a severe increase in pain.

  • Your foot becomes very cold, blue, numb, or tingly.

  • You have pain, tenderness, or redness in your calf.

  • Bending or stretching your toes produces severe leg pain.