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How can I speed up recovery time after foot or ankle surgery?

Andrea Metcalf
Fitness
This takes time to heal--usually a 6 week recovery until all swelling and pain is eliminated is normal.  However, there are a few simple things you can do to speed up recovery time.  The first is nutrition and diet.  Eating a healthy diet high in antiflammatory foods like peppers, cinnamon, berries, beets, spinach and salmon can help speed recovery.  Proper rest and hydration helps, too.  But moving through range of motion for the joint can help, as well.
Simple ankle exercises like drawing the alphabet with your toes helps increase circulation and improve blood flow.
Toe pulls towards the body (flexed feet) is another way to help strengthen the muscles without resistance.
Once swelling is absent, simply walking front, sideways and even backwards (while holding onto a treadmill) can help. 

A speedy recovery comes with simple consistent movement and, of course, icing (rest, ice, elevation) after each training session.
 Wade Kenney
Orthopedic Surgery
Keeping the foot or ankle strong going into the surgery will aid in a faster recovery afterwards, explains Wade Kenney, MD, Greenville Health System. In this video, learn exercises which can help you heal faster.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.