5 Tips for Preparing for Surgery in Your Lower Limbs

Sep 01, 2023

5 Tips for Preparing for Surgery in Your Lower Limbs
Whether it’s a knee replacement or surgery for a bad ankle sprain, you’ll need to make a few lifestyle adjustments during your recovery. Here, we review five preparation tips that will help you weather this time more easily.

A surgical procedure on your lower limb, whether it's in your knee or in your ankle, often means you’re going to have a period of limited mobility afterward. While temporary, any steps that you take to prepare for this limited mobility beforehand are steps that are well worth taking;

To get you started, the team here at Los Angeles Orthopedic Surgery Specialists wants to share five prep tips that we’ve learned over the years. As experts in orthopedic surgeries, such as knee replacementsmeniscus tearsACL repairsarthroscopy, and foot and ankle surgery, we know a few things about weathering these procedures as smoothly as possible.

1. Remove tripping hazards

Whether you’re using a walking device or you just have a boot, you want to make sure you have open pathways through your home. This means clearing away stray electrical cords, loose rugs, and anything else that isn’t securely fastened to the floor.

To figure out what these may be before your surgery, pretend you have a leg that you can’t use and hop around to see where you might run into problems.

2. Create “rest stops” in each room

Another great tip is to place chairs or stools to use as rest stops in certain key areas around your house. The shower is the first key place, and you can find shower-specific chairs that will allow you to sit down and wash if you’re unable to stand.

Another good place is the kitchen — if you want to make a sandwich, you might find it easier to perch on a high stool next to the counter.

3. Prepare food in advance

Speaking of the kitchen, we tell our patients that it’s a really good idea to prepare some meals in advance or plan on ordering in. Cooking during the first few days after your lower limb surgery is going to be tricky, so why not prepare a few of your favorite dishes in advance and freeze them? That way, all you need to do is pop them into the microwave.

4. Stick to one level

If you have multiple floors in your house, it might be a good idea to stick to just one during your early recovery after lower limb surgery. If you can have a bed, bath, kitchen, and living area on the same level, you won’t need to navigate stairs during the first few days after your surgery when you might not be steady on your feet.

Of course, within a few weeks, we’re likely going to want you to practice some stairs, depending on the surgery you had. If stairs become a good idea and part of your physical therapy, then you can go ahead and use other levels of your home.

5. Arrange for rides

If you’re using crutches or another device that makes driving impossible, it’s a good idea to arrange for rides in advance. Whether it’s with friends and family or a car service, it’s a good idea to plan or think ahead about your transportation needs.

This list of tips is by no means comprehensive, but we designed it so that it might spur some preparation ideas of your own. For more tips, you can click here.

If you have any questions about your upcoming orthopedic surgery, please call one of our offices around Los Angeles, California. We have offices in Glendale, Wilshire, East LA, Santa Fe Springs, Pico Rivera, Encino, Newhall, Montebello, and Tarzana. You can also schedule an appointment online for a consultation.