Official Blog of Dr. Peter F. Gregory and his Foot Health Team
Posts for: March, 2015
Foot Surgery is often followed by a long recovery process that may be helped or hindered by a patient’s actions. The list of common actions that may waylay a podiatrist patient’s road back to foot health includes, but is not restricted to tobacco use, weight-bearing too soon, comorbidities, secondary infections, age, poor nutrition and medication regiments that include immunosuppressant’s. With that said, we’ve assembled some general, post-surgery recovery tips for podiatry patients of all ages:
· Stop smoking at least one month prior to the scheduled surgery, if at all possible. To do that effectively, speak to your doctor about which smoking cessation products may be best for your unique situation. In addition, make sure that if medications are involved in the smoking cessation plan, they won’t interfere with bone remodeling, bone production and blood clotting.
· While you are at it, speak with all members of your healthcare team to ensure that the medications you are on for unrelated comorbidities won’t interfere with the healing process either. If the products are prone to inhibiting the mending process, ask if it is safe to change medications, reduce dosage or stop taking those pharmaceuticals until your bones have sufficiently healed. Should making changes to existing medication regimens be impossible, ask what may be done to counteract the products’ negative effects and promote bone health.
· Contemplate investing in mobility aids that are in line with your existing comorbidities, physical abilities, age and recovery environment too. There are many non-weight bearing options to choose from including knee walkers, motorized wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, shower chairs and crutches. As long as they are deemed medically necessary, the cost of purchasing or renting the items may be covered by insurance plans. It may also be wise to make a few home modifications and hire an aide to at least run outside errands.
· Furthermore, work with your doctor, in advance, to purchase additional items needed to keep your foot clean, dry and healthy during the recovery process. For example, people that have comorbidities which negatively impact circulation may need to wear compression stockings or inflatable boots. Others may have to don custom orthotics like walking boots or adjustable sandals. However, don’t buy any of them until you’ve spoken with your podiatrist and had the items fitted. Otherwise, the mobility aids could end up doing more harm than good.
· Finally, work with a nutritionist to come up with post-foot surgery menu options that are conducive to speeding up or supporting healthy bone production and remodeling. Such diets generally require an increase in calories, protein, minerals, anti-inflammatory nutrients and vitamins. Some of the ones podiatry patients typically need to bulk up on are vitamins K, C and D as well as calcium, zinc, copper and phosphorous. Oh, and by the way, ask about taking dietary supplements too.