Health blog

4 stages your ankle surgery recovery plan may include

April 28th, 2022
Ankle Surgery Recovery

The ankle is a complex joint, with many bones, muscles and ligaments that help us to get around. Because of its complex nature, the ankle needs ample time to recover after surgery. Some ankle surgeries can take up to a year to fully recover from. Recovering from surgery can be a long and stressful process. Having a clear plan to follow can help make your recovery more effective and less stressful, as you mentally and physically prepare yourself for each step along the way.


What should my ankle surgery recovery plan include?

Experts in rehabilitation recommend following these four steps for a smooth recovery from ankle surgery. Every surgery is different, so it is very important that you recover at the pace you feel the most comfortable.

  1. Healing — The first step in recovery is to let your ankle have plenty of time to heal after surgery. Keeping your ankle elevated and keeping the incision clean and dry are key to allowing your ankle to heal. Your doctor may ask you to avoid walking during this time, so your mobility may be limited for a while.
  2. Restoring mobility — Once you have allowed your ankle to heal, you will be itching to get back on your feet again. But your ankle may feel stiff and sore during this process. Physical therapy can assist you in regaining your full range of motion using manual therapy and other techniques.
  3. Restoring strength — The muscles in your ankle will likely have lost some strength during your surgery and recovery. Therapeutic exercise, as instructed by a trained physical therapist, is key to regaining the strength in the muscles and ligaments of your ankle. Be careful not to overuse your ankle during this time, as that will only make your recovery take longer.
  4. Balance and gait training — You may have had to adapt the way you walk after your ankle surgery. Pain and stiffness can often prevent patients from walking properly. It’s important to seek your physical therapist’s help in returning to a normal gait and posture that will help your ankle recover. Improper gait can lead to ankle, leg and back problems in the future.


What are the benefits of physical therapy after ankle surgery

The benefits that physical therapy can offer patients recovering from ankle surgery cannot be overstated. Post-surgical rehabilitation is an important part of recovery and can help you return to your normal quality of life more quickly. Some benefits include:

  • Reduced pain.
  • Improved mobility.
  • Increased strength.
  • Injury prevention.
  • Quicker recovery.


How can Rehab Access Physical Therapy help me recover from ankle surgery?

Patients who actively participate in their recovery typically have a better experience and recover faster. Working together with a licensed physical therapy specialist will help to speed your recovery and contribute to your overall wellness. Post-surgical rehab and recovery will look different for every patient. Our team at Rehab Access Physical Therapy is ready to create a rehabilitation plan that is specifically designed with your needs in mind.


Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.