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  • Writer's picturePasadena Orthopedics, Inc.

How To Prepare For Foot & Ankle Surgery

Pre- Op Tips We Give Our Patients...

Coordinating for surgery itself can be stressful – but your recovery doesn’t have to be! Taking the time before your procedure to do things like organizing your home, corresponding with friends and family, etc., can help you to take the time to heal without unnecessary worries.

Follow these steps when preparing for foot surgery so that you can focus on a stress-free recovery.


Consult with your physician prior to surgery about the expected time you will need for your recovery. Bringing an authorized note from your physician to your employer can be helpful when discussing the time you will need away from work to heal.

The necessary time off varies depending on your occupation. You can return more quickly to sedentary jobs, or working from home may also be an option – but physically demanding jobs will require more time away so that you can properly heal before returning to work. Make sure to discuss this thoroughly with your employer before surgery.

Typically you will be in a boot for a while after foot or ankle surgery; make sure your employer understands this and is okay with a boot at the worksite.


Before leaving for your surgery, make sure to get plenty of healthy groceries to use in meal preparation or to eat on their own. This will not only cut out the need to have food delivered, but it will also ensure that you are eating balanced meals instead of higher-calorie options.

Preparing meals in advance will also keep you from spending unnecessary time on your feet after your procedure, which can inhibit the healing process. Make and freeze enough meals to span two weeks of recovery time.

Prepare healthy raw vegetables and fruit for snacking as well.


Convenience is key during recovery. Take the time during the week before surgery to organize your room and bathroom with the items you will need while recuperating. Keep phone chargers, electronics, remote controls, and other items you will want during your recovery within reach.

Also note that if your bedroom is located on a second floor, you should move your recovery space to the first floor as climbing stairs can be hazardous or put unnecessary strain on your feet while healing.

Move any loose carpets or area rugs that may impede your movement through the house. Arrange for any needs such as raised toilet seats, shower chairs and similar.


Make sure to have all household tasks finished before leaving for your procedure. Vacuum, change your bedsheets, and finish washing and folding your laundry. Make sure to have plenty of toilet paper and toothpaste in easily accessible areas. Be aware of rugs, mats, and items lying around that can cause you to trip, and secure or remove these before your surgery date.

If necessary, purchase helpful items such as a shower chair, a hand-held shower head, crutches, and raised toilet seats to simplify post-procedure mobility. You may want to invest in a device to keep a splint or cast dry during bathing as well.


If you have animals in your home, you want to ensure that they are also well taken care of while you are in the process of healing. If you are unable to take care of them on your own, make arrangements with friends or family so that your pets are fed and, if needed, taken for walks. Remember to be cautious if your animals move freely in your home as they can become a tripping hazard.

If you need assistance at home during your recovery, coordinate plans with family for daily visits and care. They should be versed in the dosages of your pain medication as well as how to care for the surgical site.

Call Pasadena Orthopedics at (626) 517-0022 if you have any questions!

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