What to bring to the hospital

  • What to bring to the hospitalA list of all your current medications, and the name, phone number and address of your pharmacy.
  • Your health insurance card and hospital cards.
  • The names of your family doctor and your rheumatologist (if you have them), along with their addresses, phone and fax numbers.
  • Enough clothes for at least three days in hospital. This should include: a short bathrobe, comfortable, loose fitting work-out clothing such as T-shirts, sweat pants (without elastic at the ankles) and loosely-fitting gym shorts. Look for athletic pants that have zippers at the ankle which will be easy to pull on when you’re wearing a bulky cast. 
  • Well-fitting, supportive shoes that you can slip into. If possible, bring one pair in your own size and another pair that is half a size larger. Many people find their foot becomes very swollen after ankle replacement surgery and they need a larger shoe for a few days or even longer (see A few words about shoes).
  • If you wear glasses, contact lenses, a hearing aid or dentures, be sure to bring a case to put them in, as well as any cleaning/storage solutions and replacement batteries.These should all be labeled with your name and telephone number.
  • An inexpensive device known as a long-handled "reacher." This is a long aluminum pole with a trigger-action handle that operates jaws which can grasp objects of all sizes so you don’t have to bend over before you’re supposed to put weight on your foot. (Some hospitals don’t supply reachers until patients are discharged, meaning you might not be able to reach things while you are in the hospital.) Be sure to label your reacher with your name if you bring one to the hospital.
  • A long-handled shoehorn (labelled).
  • An address book or list containing the telephone numbers and email addresses of your family and friends.
  • Personal hygiene items such as a toothbrush, powder, shampoo, soap, deodorant, wet wipes, any personal incontinence products you use, and a razor.

ImportantIMPORTANT: It's not a good idea to bring personal devices such as cell phones, smart phones/pads, portable music players or laptop computers to the hospital. There may be rules against using them, and you may risk theft or damage to your property.