Seeing your surgeon again
If there are no problems during your recovery, you will probably be given an appointment to see your surgeon again 6-12 weeks after discharge from the hospital.
IMPORTANT: It’s a good idea to have someone—a friend or family member—come with you to this visit to listen and take notes. If you have questions, write them down and bring them with you.
Not all surgeons do the same things during the post-operative visit, but here’s what you can expect:
- The doctor will ask how you’re feeling and if you are having any special problems with your rehabilitation or your daily activities. Be honest! This is the time to speak up if you have any concerns or questions.
- He or she will probably examine your incision to see how well it’s healed and observe how well you’re walking on your new ankle joint.
- During this visit, your doctor may review any current prescriptions for pain medication or blood-thinners (anticoagulants) and tell you when you can stop taking them.
- The surgeon may remind you about precautions against developing an infection around your new ankle joint. Such precautions must be followed for at least two years and possibly longer.
- If you have some other surgical procedure or a test that involves inserting instruments into your body, tell the specialist doctor about your joint replacement operation. This includes dental work—even routine cleaning which could allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream and travel to your new ankle joint. It may be necessary for you to take antibiotics before such procedures are done.
About having a metal implant
Your new ankle joint contains metal, so it may set off metal detection devices at airports or government buildings. In the past, some hospitals gave patients a special card explaining the reason for this and detailing the date of their surgery. This may not be the case today. Even if you have such a document, you should expect to be more closely screened by security staff at such locations.