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Old 12-08-2004, 05:51 PM   #1
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MichelleAnne18 HB User
Question calcaneal osteotomy & achilles lengthening

Hi everyone, I'm new here... My name is Michelle, I'm 20. I met with the surgeon today and I'm planning to have those procedures done in the beginning of January. I have had the achilles lengthened in the past.. But I am wondering about what to expect after the osteotomy..

Hospital time?
Crutches?
Anyone use a wheelchair?
What kind of pain meds?
ANy other things I should know?

Thanks so much!

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Last edited by moderator2; 12-10-2004 at 02:43 PM. Reason: please carefully review the posting rules - no emails

 
Old 12-08-2004, 11:09 PM   #2
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Re: calcaneal osteotomy & achilles lengthening

I had a calcaneal osteotomy in February, and it definitely did not feel good the first few days. My ortho wanted me to stay over night, but I decided not to, big mistake. I also had a ligament reconstruction at the same time. I was on big time drugs, oxycontins and percocets at the same time. I was on crutches and went to school while recovering, at least until complication arose, but that is rare. good luck!

 
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Old 12-09-2004, 12:59 PM   #3
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Re: calcaneal osteotomy & achilles lengthening

I agree with the staying overnight... I had ankle surgery in March. The doc said it was up to me whether I wanted to stay overnight or go home right away. So in the recovery room I woke up and was in a lot of pain. They gave me two shots of demerol through the IV, then asked me if I wanted to stay or go home. Of course, I felt great, so I decided to go home. As soon as the demerol wore off, I was a very unhappy camper. I lived quite a ways away, so by the time we got my prescriptions filled and took the pills, it was too late and the pain was out of control. I ended up going back to the hospital, getting another IV, and staying for two nights.

So definitely consider staying. And when they ask you, remember the pain you felt before they gave you the drugs....

I had my surgery on a Wednesday and was back in classes the next Monday, although it was maybe two weeks before I felt okay, and four weeks before I was able to take care of myself and send my mother back home. It may be a slow recovery, but if you need the surgery, it's worth it. Good luck.

 
Old 12-09-2004, 04:32 PM   #4
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MichelleAnne18 HB User
Re: calcaneal osteotomy & achilles lengthening

Ahhh.. "take care of yourself".. four weeks? What does that mean??? Like, did you need someone to help you get things, and do things?

I really want to stick with going to school for the Spring term.. is that realistic if I have surgery in very early Jan?

Thanks for much for the help.

I already plan to stay at least one night..

Michelle
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Old 12-09-2004, 05:34 PM   #5
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Re: calcaneal osteotomy & achilles lengthening

I had my mom out here to do stuff for me. I couldn't drive for the first two weeks because of the medications, and then after that because the drive to school was too long for me to keep my foot hanging down and not hurt. I was much more comfortable sitting in the passenger seat with my foot up on the dashboard. And cooking was just a pain. I helped with it a bit, but my main problem was just that every time I let my foot hang down (such as standing or sitting normally) it swelled and my toes turned purple and it hurt. So that makes cooking hard. And I have stairs at home, so I didn't want to be home alone at first going up and down those. And of course it's really hard to carry stuff on crutches. So I had trouble getting my food from the kitchen to the table.

I would say definitely have somebody to help take care of you for at least the first week. After that, you could probably manage on your own. Just make sure that the freezer is stocked with microwaveable meals.

You should be able to go to school. I was back in classes in less than a week. I sat in all of my classes with my leg up on the desk on a pillow. If you have a large campus, check out what they can do for you. I got golf cart rides around campus through my university's disability resources office. I also got a temporary handicapped parking permit through the state DMV and that allowed me to get a permit for campus as well.

 
Old 12-09-2004, 10:38 PM   #6
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Re: calcaneal osteotomy & achilles lengthening

I had surgery in VA, went back to school in NC, and my family and parents are in Florida. So its definitely possible to go to school. Give yourself the time to recover, only takes about a week to be able to get up and about, you may hurt though. May be worth the wheel chair. I know what you mean about school. I am probly facing more surgery this month or Jan... Good luck to you!

 
Old 12-10-2004, 02:40 PM   #7
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MichelleAnne18 HB User
Re: calcaneal osteotomy & achilles lengthening

Hey everyone thanks for the responses. I'm hoping to have surgery the first week of January. My spring term starts 1/19, so I figured I should be good enough by then. I can use a wheelchair and whatever. I'm gonna get a wheelchair with the leg rest so that I can keep it up. My school's disability office has been great.

Did you guys have plaster casts afterwards, or removable casts? The only thing I can't figure out is how I'm going to shower (I live in a dorm). A bath would be so much easier, and I know there are a couple of girls permanently in wheel chairs in my building, so I'm sure the school will be able to offer me something.

How many times a week did you go to PT, and when did you start doing it?

How long til you were off crutches/wheelchair..

I'm looking for any information you would like to share.. any thoughts, feelings, recommendations, etc. etc.

Thanks so much!

Michelle
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Old 12-10-2004, 03:55 PM   #8
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Re: calcaneal osteotomy & achilles lengthening

I don't know how similar the recoveries will be, but Ill give you my story. I had a modified bromstrom and cartilege repair over spring break last year. I went back to school after about a week ( a little longer). I used crutches around campus, but my campus is pretty small. I was NWB for five weeks, ad PWB for 2. I was in a fiberglass cast for 5 weeks, then a boot, then an aircast. I propped it up during classes, and took a lot of naps in the afternoon. I lived on the third floor of my dorm with no elevator, so I tried to only come and go once or twice. For the shower, I had a littel stool that I put in out shower so I woudl sit, and I left it in the bathroom all the time. I just taped a bag over the cast, and stuck it out the curtain. It was tiring, but I dealt with it. Just make sure your profs know ahead of time, and they can usually make arrangements.... Campus security was good with me... they would give me rides. Some tips: make sure you put a towel in the bathroom so you don't have to use your crutches on a wet floor. If it is raining, dont go onto tile without drying the tips... otherwise, you will slip Slipping can hurt.. be careful. It is doable to be on crutches, just tiring. Let me know if you have any more questions! Good Luck!

 
Old 12-10-2004, 05:46 PM   #9
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kehorner HB Userkehorner HB Userkehorner HB Userkehorner HB Userkehorner HB Userkehorner HB User
Re: calcaneal osteotomy & achilles lengthening

I had a brostrom with Evans (lateral ligament repair with tendon graft through a hole drilled in the fibula). I was in a huge surgical bandage for a week. That reminds me... you should take a pair of comfy pants (or shorts, if you prefer) that have really wide legs so that you can get them on over your bandage or cast. I got a soft pair of pajama pants with really wide legs and that really helped. I think I actually manage to get some capri pants on over the bandage to wear to school, but I don't really remember.

So after a week I went in and got a fiberglass cast. I got that changed after another week when I got my stitches out and was in that one for 4 weeks. So a total of 6 weeks in a cast NWB. I showered by sitting down in the bathtub with the shower on and my foot up on the ledge behind the curtain. But I lived in a dorm for one year and I definitely wouldn't recommend sitting on the shower floor!!! Look into getting a stool (or two... one to sit on and one for your leg). There may be a handicapped shower with a bench already in it. If you guys have curtains for the showers, you can put your leg on the other side of the curtain. I also used a plastic garbage bag and wide masking tape (like 2 inches wide). The masking tape sticks okay to your skin but doesn't hurt when you peel it off.

I didn't use a wheelchair at all, except those motorized scooters at stores.

I started PT after my 6th week when I was put into a removable boot and allowed to start walking. I don't remember how long I was in PT. Maybe a month or two, probably closer to two months. It was slow at first because my incision still had a small open spot and it really hurt to stretch things out. But it was worth it.

 
Old 12-10-2004, 06:22 PM   #10
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Re: calcaneal osteotomy & achilles lengthening

I think I ended up being in PT for i think 4.5 months. I stopped when I had to go back to school, but do stuff on my own. After I was full WB (7 weeks post op I think) I started doing some up and down movement, but wasn't allowed to do any inversion or eversion for at least the first 4 weeks of therapy, maybe longer. It was August (had my sirgery in March) before I was allowed to jog at all, and the end of august before I could do any lateral agility training... I was still in a brace for most of that. I still wear a brace when I do any type of contact sport (so far I have played a little soccer, basketball, and volleyball). I don't wear the brace when I just run, but I wear it most other times. I am hoping to get back to rugby in the spring, but I am trying to get rid of a little secondary tendonitis in my achilles. Let me know if you have any more questions. Hope this helps!!!

 
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