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Old 05-16-2008, 09:29 AM   #1
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Cool OATS Recovery

Hi,

I thought I would start a thread on OATS recovery so we can all compare notes.

Here's my timeline:
Jan. 25 OATS surgery
2 days in the hospital

12 weeks NWB
Cast change/stitches out Feb. 15th (3 weeks)
Hard cast until March 11th (6 weeks)
Boot until April 18th and then started weightbearing (12 weeks)

Started PT April 23rd
Finally got totally off crutches May 1st!! (14 weeks)

Started driving my stick shift - May 11th (ouch ...)

This weekend I think I will go for my first (easy) bike ride - cool!

I won't lie, my foot aches/swells from lack of fitness, but so far that stabbing, deep bone pain I had prior to the surgery has not reared it's ugly head!

Last edited by akirka; 05-21-2008 at 09:30 AM.

 
Old 05-16-2008, 10:55 AM   #2
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Re: OATS Recovery

Abby,

Thanks for starting this. My OATS procedure is scheduled for August 11th and hearing the recovery stories will help with my anxiety until then.

I am glad to hear the stabbing pains haven't resurfaced again ... those are the hardest for me to deal with now.

Keep up the good work. It sounds like you are on the road to recovery! (be careful on that bike ride

Kim

 
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:19 PM   #3
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Re: OATS Recovery

Many thanks for starting this thread! I go in Monday Found out at my preop that one of the surgeons thinks he should open the outside of my ankle and cut off a bone spur too. If I am there, they might as well, I would hate to go through all this and then have problems from a spur. He is going to discuss it with the other surgeon (the one doing the knee) and get his opinion. Only problem is the spur is big and might be into the ligament.

I so appreciate everyone's advice on these boards. I went into my appointment with a list (wheelchair, handicap placard, ice machine, shower seat etc. etc.) and the doc took the list from me and started writing Rxs and checking off my list, said he didn't want to miss anything you guys suggest!

Thank you all - now to get through this party for 100 people we are throwing tomorrow . . .poor planning on my part!

Margaret

PS Keep posting about your progress Abby and take it easy!

 
Old 05-19-2008, 01:07 PM   #4
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Re: OATS Recovery

Margaret,

I'm thinking about you today because I know you've had your surgery! I hope everything goes very smoothly and you will feel well after the anesthesia. You sound like you're totally prepared and that will help you so much in the next few weeks!! When you feel good enough, let us know how you're doing on this board.

Abby

 
Old 05-21-2008, 09:09 AM   #5
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Re: OATS Recovery

Hey Margaret and Kim,

Didn't get to my bike ride this weekend, but yesterday I walked 1.5 miles on a paved lake trail. I took a few rests on a bench but other than that felt pretty good! So going for walks at 16 weeks!

Abby

 
Old 05-21-2008, 01:08 PM   #6
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Re: OATS Recovery

Abby,

Thanks for the update, good for you! I am sure the bike ride will be a piece of cake for you!

I am starting to regret putting my surgery off until August as my pain is getting worse .. some days are tolerable but the others are just excruciating and I honestly don't know why. Can't quite figure this out! (But unfortunately I am going to keep the August date... I'll be covered at 100 percent of my salary for the whole time I am out if I wait until after Aug 2)

I was thinking about Margaret as well on Monday and am eager to here how her surgery went. She was very prepared so I am sure she did great, but you know me .. I must know the details

Hopefully we'll hear from her soon, but understand that hopping on her computer is the furthest thing from her mind right now.

Thanks Abby for the update and I look forward to hearing of your continued successes!

Kim

 
Old 05-22-2008, 10:22 AM   #7
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Re: OATS Recovery

Hey Kim,

Is there anything your Dr. can do for you until August? Some pain med? By the last 6 months before my surgery I had run out of any shoes that were comfortable and just wore sandals (or barefoot). That seemed to help alot - wearing my shoes would get my foot in a funk that took days/weeks to get over. Sticking my foot in cold water helped too. My office is in the woods out of town with a river next to it. My friends and I would walk after work for exercise and when my foot would start yelling at me I would freeze it in cold water for a few minutes and it really helped settle the pain. I know it's hard to wait, I put off my surgery last year for various reasons, but in the end, planning it with work time off etc... was very worth it!

Abby

PS When I would go barefoot at work my coworkers would make fun of me but I would just tell them it was medically necessary!

 
Old 05-22-2008, 03:12 PM   #8
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Re: OATS Recovery

Abby,

Thanks for the shoe tip I actually found a pair of extra wide sneakers that are one size larger than my normal size that I wear every day (they look awesome with a business suit!)

I called my surgeon yesterday for pain meds .. I already have Vicodin at home that I take at night when I am ready to scream and during the day I take 5 Alleve, but that doesn't always work and my stomach is starting to get annoyed .. I wanted something somewhere in the 'middle' of the two, so he gave me Darvocet. (although I took one last night and I assume it worked for pain but wouldn't know as it knocked me out in about 30 minutes but at least I didn't feel like a zombie when I woke up this morning like I do with Vicodin.

I think I will take your advice on the freezing of the foot .. I am off next week on vacation and we just opened our pool which is nice and cold now, so might have to try it out!

Kim

PS. I hope we hear from Margaret soon!

 
Old 05-23-2008, 10:06 AM   #9
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Re: OATS Recovery

Hey Kim,

Wow - I don't think I suffered with that much pain before my surgery. My injury happened almost 3 years ago so I guess you do get used to a level of pain over time. The surgery decision was hard for me because I would feel good one day and then the next day I could hardly walk. The pain could be very random. When I was first diagnosed the Dr. couldn't believe I had been running around on my foot for almost a year. She said I must have a very high pain tolerance because most people would be in terrible discomfort. So that has been a blessing (however, it kept me from getting treatment sooner).

Yeah, freezing my foot in cold water was pretty miraculous. I could be limping with shooting pain and then after soaking it, it felt like I was starting anew. Of course, it is only a temporary fix ... Of course the other day after alot of activity my Advil was doing nothing and I broke out the hydrocodone and that was a very good pain relief!

Hope you have a good vacation! I kinda took my memorial weekend vacation this last weekend while our weather was good and family was visiting. I'm also hoping to hear from Margaret soon!

Have fun!
Abby

 
Old 05-23-2008, 04:42 PM   #10
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Re: OATS Recovery

Hi Kim and Abby,

I'm baaack!

14 staples holding the ankle together and four holding the knee together (I saw everything yesterday). I got lucky and they were able to remove the bone spur from the same incision on the ankle (went into surgery with the outside marked for second incision, glad they didn't use it). !0 mm plug taken out of knee and put into the ankle - both Doctors pleased with surgery (they each called my father-in-law to report to him as he is a retired OS).

The anticipation for this was just awful!!!! But I needed the time to get schedules and help worked out. Hang in there Kim. I took a shower today, amazing what clean hair can do for your mood.

What else can I tell you?

Margaret

 
Old 05-24-2008, 07:34 AM   #11
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Re: OATS Recovery

Margaret,

I am so glad to hear from you and glad to hear you seem to be doing well and in good spirits! And one less incision is always good!!

You know me ... I have tons of questions and as you know first hand, tons of anxiety which I will have to deal with until August.

Ok, here I go

How is the pain?
How did they manage your pain while in the hospital? How many days did they keep you?
I assume your knee is bandaged now ... do you have to keep it straight until the stitches are out? When are the stitches coming out?
Are you in a cast now or a splint?
8 weeks NWB?


I have more but don't want to overwhelm you

Glad to hear it was a success and you are over what I invision as 'the hump' and are on your way to recovery!

(I know what you mean about the shower ... after my drilling I waited about a week to take a shower and what an improvement in my mood afterwards! I didn't have it in me to blow dry my hair, but who cared, it was clean!

Kim

 
Old 05-24-2008, 08:14 PM   #12
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Re: OATS Recovery

Hi Kim,

Here are answers to some of your questions.

The pain: yikes! Much much better now. I was kept in the hospital for an extra day, the surgeon said go home Tuesday, the nurses told him no way then announced to me I was staying. So I went home Wednesday. Morphine every hour in the hospital along with Oxycontin and Dilaudid.

Knee and ankle heavily bandaged and a plaster splint. Thursday that was all cut off and put into a Fx boot. He was going to xray but is waiting until next Thursday when I will be more comfortable and he will also take out staples then (14 in the ankle and 4 in the knee). Boot is so much better, in the short time I had the plaster splint I developed bursitis in my hip which is very painful. I can't take ibuprofen because it hinders bone growth so I have to take muscle relaxers for the hip.

No to keeping the knee straight. He wants me to gently move it as that will help the cartilage heal - just have to be gentle moving it so I don't knock out the blood that is currently in the hole. I can also take the boot off if I want but I have to sleep with it and also remember that the bones are only held together by a couple of screws.

He expects 8 weeks NWB -fx boot no cast. And I am wearing the Game Ready almost all the time now that I don't have the splint and bandages - the compression and cold feels good.

Thats all for now!

Margaret

 
Old 05-25-2008, 03:38 PM   #13
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Re: OATS Recovery

Margaret,

Thanks for the details although the 'yikes' can't be good, but glad it's gotten better.

My OS already told me that my surgery will be first thing Monday morning and he'll come see me in the hospital Wed afternoon to make a decision on my going home, so your experience sounds about what I expect.

Did you have an osteotomy? I am surprised he said you can take the boot off. When I begged my OS for a boot and not a cast he first said that he needs to see the integrity of my bone to consider the boot but I could not ever take the boot off ... it's great that you are allowed to take yours off and use the Gameready.

You are on the road to recovery and I guess no matter what we have to do / not do at least we are getting better.

Please keep us posted on how you are doing ... I know doing nothing can get tedious and I am sure watching TV is already getting old, but keep up the great work! (I think less than a week after my surgery I will still be feeling sorry for myself

Kim

 
Old 05-25-2008, 05:11 PM   #14
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Re: OATS Recovery

Hi Kim,

I am already pretty bored. I did have an osteotomy and have 2 screws holding it together. While I was told I 'can' take the boot off, I honestly haven't felt up to taking it off. I am looking forward to seeing the xrays on Thursday.

I have been exhausted all day, don't know where that came from but I am giving into it alot and napping. My knee makes a double popping noise when I move my leg. It doesn't hurt but it sounds like someone is cracking their knuckles.

Most of the yikes pain was in the hospital. It is funny how much I 'missed' while I was in my morphine hazes. My husband got pretty familiar with how much of a comprehension window I had between the hourly shots and turns out he was timing his coffee and phone calls around my 10 minutes of lucidity each hour!

Meals that friends have prepared and brought over have been wonderful. I normally would have thanked everyone and told them it wasn't necessary but from reading other peoples posts before I went in, I have learned to say 'Great, what night works for you?' Quite a change from someone who NEVER asks for help.

We have a friend who will be in town next week to pick her son up from school for summer break and when she emailed and invited us out to dinner, I explained I couldn't go out but they could bring food to the house - subtle! So pizza, beer and friends arrive Tuesday.

I am telling you all this so if people offer to bring a meal, take them up on it. And try to schedule it so you don't end up with three lasagnas the first night home.

Feel free to keep reminding me I am on the road to recovery because I often think 'What the hell have I done to myself and my family?'

Margaret

Last edited by demogoat; 05-25-2008 at 05:12 PM. Reason: typo

 
Old 05-26-2008, 12:59 PM   #15
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Re: OATS Recovery

Margaret,

I know the recovery is difficult but you are doing great .. don't give into these feelings of 'what did I do?' since what you did is give yourself the oppty to do all the things you want to with your family. Give it some time, it is only a week today since you had your surgery... I am sure each day you'll have less of that thought.

The knee popping sounds interesting, but glad to hear it doesn't hurt. Does it hurt to move your knee with the staples in it?

I already told my husband that I'd rather him not sit the whole day with me in the hospital after my surgery ... he did after the drilling and I slept while he watched tv .. was kinda silly and at times I tried to keep myself awake just because he was there and that was real tough with all the morphine I was on.

Thanks for the tip on the food. My parents are retired and my mom has already asked what she can make ... so I have some trays of something coming over, but I know what you mean ... they made the same offer for my last surgery and I didn't take them up on it.

I noticed when I am not feeling well I like to be alone ... I'm not normally the type of person who likes anyone to do anything for me (I'm absolutely a Type A person) and I notice I get worse during times like this which I have to get over

Well I hope you are having a nice Memorial Day ... I actually managed to get outside yesterday to stain a fence and now am nursing my first sunburn of the year .. although have to admit, the new sunburn pain is a nice distraction from my foot pain - how sad is that?

Kim

 
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