During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients with ankle arthritis may have their procedure postponed. And for those patients who did not have a scheduled procedure, this can mean rescheduled doctor or physical therapy appointments.
This abrupt change of events can be disappointing and unnerving, and can make some arthritis sufferers feel helpless. In addition to these emotions, some may still be experiencing pain and discomfort. While we are all practicing social distancing and staying home, here are a few ways you can manage your arthritis symptoms and stay well.
Shoe-wear: It can be tempting to go barefoot or wear slippers but opt for something more supporting. Wear supportive sneakers or orthotic shoes / inserts, even when walking around the house, for added joint support.
Wear a brace: For joint stabilization, wear an ankle brace with your supportive shoes. If you don’t already have a brace, call your physician’s office to ask for a recommendation that you can order to your home.
Use ice and heat: If your ankle is stiff, swollen or red, apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes via ice pack or soak. Likewise, applying heat via heating pad or warm bath for 15 to 20 minutes can aid in reducing chronic pain symptoms.
Medication: Before using any prescription or over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, please consult your doctor.
Ankle Pumps: Remain seated and lift one foot off the floor. Flex foot up towards you and then point it away from you, like you’re pumping the brake pedal on a car. Repeat this motion 10 times.
Calf Raises: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Rise up on your toes and lift your heels off the floor, holding for 5 seconds. Repeat this motion 10 times.
Toe Raises: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your toes off the ground and keep your heels on the floor, holding for 5 seconds. Repeat this motion 10 times.
Remember that it is paramount to care equally for your body and mind during this time. In addition to symptom management, be sure to practice healthful behaviors at home:
Eat a nutritious, balanced diet and consume foods that boost immunity and reduce inflammation, such as citrus fruit, broccoli, garlic, ginger, spinach, yogurt and green tea.3
Stay active. This can mean taking walks, riding a stationary bike, or doing low impact exercises at home.
Don’t forget to practice self-care for a healthy mind. Take time to read a book, call a loved one, watch a movie or meditate.
Take care and make sure to limit your exposure to COVID-19 by following CDC guidelines.
Cleveland Clinic. Foot and Ankle Arthritis: Management and Treatment.
As healthcare providers work to reopen and reschedule appointments, some patients awaiting or considering surgical procedures may still feel hesitant about returning to a healthcare facility. We also understand waiting for treatment might not be an option if you are in pain and eager to improve your quality of life.
To help you make an informed decision about scheduling your procedure, we wanted to make you aware of a joint statement from the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and the American Hospital Association regarding recommended guidelines for healthcare providers to safely resume elective procedures.
Questions to Ask Your Provider
We understand you might have questions or concerns. We have compiled some suggested questions you can ask your physician before rescheduling your procedure.
How do you determine if a procedure is safe to perform? What is required of the physician, the facility, and the patient in order for the procedure to be deemed safe to perform?
Has your facility seen a decrease in patients admitted for COVID-19 infection?
Will my procedure be performed in close proximity to COVID-19 patients?
Does your facility have the appropriate amount of PPE to ensure that both the staff and patients will be protected from COVID-19?
When it comes to testing for COVID-19, what is your policy? Will I be tested for COVID-19 before my procedure? Will my physician undergo testing before operating?
If my procedure requires an overnight stay at your facility, how will that be impacted by COVID-19?
Is there a safe space within the facility for my caregiver to wait for me as I undergo my procedure? Will they be allowed to see me in pre and post-op? If necessary, will my caregiver be given PPE to protect themselves from COVID-19?
At Wright, we realize that facing the prospect of orthopaedic surgery can be daunting. The encouraging news is that our orthopaedic innovation provides hope every day for patients, such as yourself, struggling with pain; unable to live the active lifestyle you once did. We invite you to learn more so that you may take back your active life.
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