Guide to Prepare For Foot & Ankle Surgery

If you require foot & ankle surgery, what is the best way to prepare? Here is a simple, quick guide to help you:

The Day Before the Surgery

· Pre-testing

A pre-admission testing will be done to determine your physical fitness level. This will include blood samples, heart and chest x-rays, and a full physical examination.

· Medications:

The meds you may be asked to cease taking include aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, or certain steroids.

· Eating/Drinking

You must have as little food in your stomach as possible before surgery. This is so that the anesthesia doesn’t cause you an upset stomach, which could lead to vomiting. You may have to stop all liquid and food before midnight on the night before your surgery. The morning of your surgery, you are allowed small sips of water.

· Nicotine and Caffeine

Because of their chemicals, these substances may increase risks during surgery, causing healing problems or blood clots. Your physician will speak with you personally if this affects you.

The Day of Surgery

· Arrival Time

You will need to arrive at the hospital at least one-to-two hours before your surgery in order to prepare.

· What to Bring

Always bring the following: medical insurance card, identification card, list of current medications, immunization record, previous surgery results if any, and any personal belongings you may want to have with you. A small crutch or walker may be necessary for moving around after your operation.

· What to Wear

Come prepared with loose, comfortable clothing. You will later have a plaster splint on your leg, so your pants and clothes should be easy-fitting. Non-slip shoes are recommended. Bring a robe to wear over your hospital gown.

· Options for Anesthesia

You may receive either general or regional anesthesia via a nerve block. With the regional anesthesia, you are less likely to experience nausea or a sore throat, as is common with the general anesthesia.

· Expected Length of Hospital Stay

You may stay a couple of nights in the hospital, as it will be difficult to move around on your operated foot. This time is also for post-op check-ups to be performed. The policies vary according to hospital, but before you are released you will need to be able to safely walk and stand alone. This means you should not be feeling dizzy, or experience loss of balance. You must be able to eat and drink unassisted, as well as use the bathroom alone.

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