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Preparing yourself mentally and physically before surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems. Before surgery, the pre-assessment team will complete a medical assessment to make sure you do not have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or the outcomes.

Preparing for surgery

Medical and physical optimisation

  • Routine tests, including health questionnaires, blood tests and X-rays (when indicated), are usually performed a week or two before surgery at your pre-assessment clinic.

  • Discuss any medications you are taking to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery.

    • If you are taking any blood thinning medication, you will need to stop taking them a few days before surgery to minimise bleeding. Discuss this with the pre-assessment team.

    • Patients on oestrogen-containing oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy should consider stopping medication 4 weeks prior to surgery to reduce the risk of post-operative blood clots. However, if you take oestrogen through the skin via a patch, gel or spray, or are on micronised progesterone, there is no need to stop taking your HRT.

  • Report any infections as surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up.

  • Smoking has many detrimental effects on your body and it can affect your recovery after surgery. Wounds and the bone can heal slower and the risk of infection is greater if you smoke. If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce surgical risks and improve your recovery. NHS Quit Smoking App

  • If you are overweight, losing weight before surgery will help you recover better. However, you should not diet during the month before your surgery.

  • If you have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems, get them treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later.

  • Consume a well-balanced diet


Home arrangements

  • Arrange for someone to help with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry.

  • Set up your home for single floor living if possible e.g. moving downstairs to have easy access to kitchen, bathroom and entrance.

  • Remove rugs and tape down electrical cords to avoid trips and falls

  • To aid mobility especially when non-weight bearing you may consider hiring a knee scooter / walker as an alternative to crutches; e.g. StrideOn or Kneescoot

  • To keep your dressing / plaster cast / boot dry during showers / baths, considering purchasing waterproof protectors; e.g. LimbO or Drypro

Home arrangements

After surgery

  • ​Have someone available to take you home, you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours.

  • Do not drink or eat anything in the car on the trip back home - the combination of anaesthesia, food, and car motion can quite often cause nausea or vomiting.

  • After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first 24 hours.

  • Keep the limb elevated - this will help decrease swelling and pain.

  • Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as you start getting uncomfortable, but before you are in severe pain. 

After surgery

Driving and flying after surgery

  • There will be driving restrictions after any intervention. The length of restriction is dependent on the nature of your operation and which side is operated on; check with your surgeon. It is advisable to check the terms of your car insurance to ensure your cover is valid, as some policies state that you must not drive for a specific time period after an operation.

  • It is generally recommended to wait at least four to six weeks to fly after any lower limb surgery. It may be possible to fly on short-haul or domestic flights at an earlier time, but you should always check with your GP or surgeon. (Note: Always consult your doctor, your health insurance provider and the airline you are flying with before making your flight reservation)

Driving an flying

Outcomes registry

  • Patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) calculate the health gains after surgical treatment using pre- and post-operative questionnaires. Mr Mahadevan uses the British Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (BOFAS) Registry to monitor long-term PROMs.

  • We would very much appreciate your participation in this registry as this will help monitor your long-term outcomes and maintain surgical standards. Participation is entirely voluntary. Click here for further information on participating in this registry.

Outcome registry
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