How Long After Ankle Surgery Can I Walk? (and Other Ankle Surgery Faqs)

Ankle Surgery

When your ankle is painful, stiff, and swollen, your first thought is probably not to visit a surgeon. In many cases, doctors can treat ankle conditions with medication, therapeutic exercises, and other conservative methods. However, these methods are not always effective. Either an injury is too severe or a chronic condition has advanced beyond the treatment capabilities of conservative methods. If this becomes the case for you, your doctor may recommend ankle surgery.

You probably have some questions if you have an ankle surgery coming up soon or are thinking of talking to your doctor about surgery. Take a look below at some of the more frequently asked questions about ankle surgery to give you an idea of what to expect.

How long after ankle surgery can I walk?

The answer to this question (and each of the following) depends on the severity of your condition and the type of operation. In general, you’ll be able to walk the same day after your ankle surgery with assistive devices like crutches and a protective boot. As far as walking independently goes, you may need to get through a week or two of post-op recovery first.

Complete recovery can range from a month or two to five or six months depending on the type of operation you had.

How long do I need to stay in the hospital after the operation?

After minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, most patients are able to return home the same day. Those who have open procedures may need to stay a night or two so medical professionals can monitor your initial recovery.

After a week or two, your doctor may ask you to return to the office for a post-op check-up. This is to make sure you’re healing at a normal rate and have no infection.

Will I be in pain after the operation?

You can expect some initial discomfort after your operation where the incisions were made. If you had arthroscopic surgery, this pain should not be very intense. If you had open surgery, you may have more pain to contend with since the surgeon will have had to make incisions through muscles and other soft tissue.

Doctors will usually prescribe pain medication to help you deal with post-op pain.

Do I have to exercise?

An important part of recovery from most operations is physical rehabilitation. A health care professional can guide you through exercises and mobility techniques to help you regain strength and flexibility in your ankle.

It’s important to be at each of your physical rehabilitation appointments and follow any instructions for home exercises if you want to have an optimal recovery outcome.

Visit the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute for ankle surgery

Do you have ankle pain that isn’t responding to conservative treatments like medication or physical therapy? It may be time to consider surgery. Our orthopedic surgeons at the Florida Spine and Joint Institute can examine your condition and determine if you’re a good candidate for ankle surgery. Contact us today to talk to our team about ankle surgery or to schedule an initial appointment.