Helping a loved one after surgery

Foot and ankle surgeries are helpful, but they can also be worrisome, frustrating, and painful. And it’s not just the injured individuals who have to deal with side effects of foot and ankle procedures. Often, loved ones serve as caregivers to those in recovery, and that role comes with responsibilities of its own. Here are a few things to keep in mind if someone you care about is preparing for a foot or ankle procedure. We hope these tips will help assist you as you support a recovering patient at home.

They might be afraid to ask for help

A lot of the individuals who come into our New York clinics are used to being in full control of their bodies. Many are fabulous athletes, and others are experiencing their first serious injury. The bottom line is that they are sometimes stubborn about the reality that comes with their injury. Some are only seeking assistance under the advisement of a coach, while others have put off a procedure for as long as possible and are finally facing the truth that they need professional treatment. Unfortunately, these attitudes don’t always change once the surgery is complete and they are in recovery. Many are eager to get back on their feet and want to rush the healing process. This might mean that they attempt to get back into their normal routines sooner than they should. While this is ultimately their choice, it might simply be because they are hesitant to ask for support from loved ones as they heal. If you notice this behavior, understand that they still might need assistance. Don’t hesitate to help them up or down stairs, or help with household chores like cooking and cleaning. They will appreciate it, even if they feel frustrated.

Kids might need special attention

Just as recovering from a foot or ankle surgery is tough on adults, it is also tough on children who experience them. If you have a teen or young child who is dealing with an injury, know that they might have special requirements during their recovery. For example, an injury might put them at risk of damage on a growth plate, so being careful as they heal is especially important. Likewise, they will probably depend on you for more things, like help getting dressed or getting to a vehicle for transportation. Remember and remind them that slow and steady wins the race, and that is certainly true when it comes to recovering from a foot or ankle surgery. If your loved one is too quick to get back on his or her feet, a complete recovery might not take place and additional surgery or injuries may occur. You will also need to make sure that their teachers, coaches, babysitters, and other adults in their life are aware of their condition as they may not feel comfortable advocating on their own. You might need to help them set up special accommodations at school or in recreational activities.

You might feel overwhelmed

Unfortunately, it can be rough to serve as a caregiver after a surgery. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out to others in your life for assistance with meals, chores, and life’s other responsibilities. You can also find resources for caregivers online and at local counseling centers. The important part is that you don’t face your struggles alone, so look for an outlet where you can share your concerns without the worry of upsetting those who have undergone surgery.

At the start, the idea of assisting a left one following the surgery might seem nerve-racking or stressful, but with the right tools and resources, you can be an awesome support. If you have any questions about the procedure or the healing process, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions.