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Old 08-08-2008, 08:42 PM   #1
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Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

Hey all you lovely, smart people!

I'm two months post op, doing so much better than I thought possible at this point. Getting around reasonably well at 50% or so PWB in a boot with a walker most of the time. Some of the time I still use the Roll-a-bout (I can't carry much when I'm using the walker--a lunch plate in the totebag is so messy). I almost never use anything for pain anymore, and while I'm still swollen all of the time, iceing daily isn't an imperative (did get some Jobst hose, though). Pretty much everything I was concerned about at my last post is not overwhelming, and I'm grateful.

My PT's wife had the same surgery by the same doc one week before me. At my last PT appointment, she came sashaying in, WALKING!--NO CRUTCHES! I am elated to think that may soon be me. My PT says it will likely depend upon how the osteotomy looks in an X-ray, and that the PWB will actually have helped the bone to heal more quickly (more weight-bearing exercise, more bone growth). Too late to not get my hopes up, but I see my surgeon again Monday...

It occurred to me today that, at this point, I might actually do as well or better with a cane than the walker. Then I'd have at least one free hand. Might be moot by Monday, but right this minute, I'm sort of chafing at the bit. I crave that little bit of extra freedom. Did any of you use a cane at some point?

 
Old 08-08-2008, 10:24 PM   #2
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Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

lisaBdot...glad you are doing well. i find with a cane, i am still putting lots of weight on the foot, but if you are partial wb perhaps it is ok. only 1 1/2 more days to see your doc right? better safe than sorry. i am using a cane, but i think due to nwb i have trained myself to walk different and finding it tricky to get back to normal. at this point i am beginning to suspect i may always need the cane for long distance,like shopping. but then i had previous MVA injuries-back, leg, and hip. being off the foot for 6 weeks then becoming wb again is really messing with my muscles. i was told 23 yrs ago to use 2 canes, 1 for each side, to put as little stress as possible across the hip joint. i was 27, so of course i didnt, now i will start to pay for it. i went shopping and forgot my cane. ow, my back and leg muscles were so stiff and sore, so next store i used a crutch i found in the car. worked so much better. i like the stability of the crutch, and all your weight doesnt go on the handle as in using cane. because i get extra leverage from my whole body, hard to explain. not sure what surgery you had, i only had a bunionectomy. if yours was more complicated you may want to see what doc says monday. good healing!

 
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:04 AM   #3
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Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

I had a different problem, but I used a cane for months before my surgery, and briefly during recovery. It was helpful. Make sure it is the right height, and goes in the hand opposite your bad foot.

 
Old 08-12-2008, 04:21 PM   #4
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Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

YAY! Got the go-ahead. I'm to use the walker with full weight bearing, then switch to a cane, then no cane, as I feel comfortable. The cane is supposed to be just for balance. All of that while still in the boot.

My surgery was for a torn posterior tibial tendon (repaired, then bolstered with another tendon), and involved moving my heel bone over and screwing it into place. While you could still see where the bone was cut, it looked fuzzy. Earlier, the line was quite definite. My doc was pleased with the healing (said I'm "ahead of the curve!").

At first it seemed counter-intuitive to have the cane on the good side, but I'm getting the knack of it. I got a quad cane--its sturdiness seems comforting. He cautioned that, while they are that, they also have more bits that can grab and trip you. Aaaand...I've already done just that. I'm wearing very stretchy knit pants these days, and managed to grab the hem with the rubber tip of one of the cane's prongs. Luckily, I was next to a wall and just leaned real hard. (Grandma Lil used to call that an "awakening.")

I have tried to walk a bit just carrying the cane. Wow, but my heel does hurt. Tomorrow, I'll work on mechanics of walking with my PT.

I'm feeling pretty positive right now.

 
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:50 PM   #5
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Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

Two reasons cane goes on opposite side:

It's natural to swing your right arm and left foot at the same time, that's how babies and four-footed animals get around.

More importantly, you're more stable if you have a support on either side of your body, rather than two supports on one side.

 
Old 08-13-2008, 06:43 AM   #6
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Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

also, it a bit less weight on the bad foot. hope everything is healing well. glad you are able to get around a bit better with the cane. just take 'er slow and easy.

 
Old 10-24-2008, 05:50 PM   #7
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Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

I am 9 weeks postop and was only allowed to start walking with the boot cast and a cane this past Tuesday. I was off meds but had to go back on as it is quite sore. The
p.t. told me in two weeks fromTuesday I can start walking with just running shoes on...I hope I can.......at least I don't have to wear my brace anymore and I have an arch.

 
Old 10-24-2008, 07:11 PM   #8
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Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

How long since your surgery? It sounds like your heel feels like mine. My doctor said I was 70% healed at 8 weeks - does that sound good? I am 68 yrs old so I expect it will take more time to heal. I couldn't walk anymore before the surgery as the brace did not help anymore. My tendon had ruptured and he had to cut the heel - move it and put two screws in. It's been a long ride but thank God for my laptop. Good luck to you.

 
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:30 PM   #9
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Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaBdot View Post
YAY! Got the go-ahead. I'm to use the walker with full weight bearing, then switch to a cane, then no cane, as I feel comfortable. The cane is supposed to be just for balance. All of that while still in the boot.

My surgery was for a torn posterior tibial tendon (repaired, then bolstered with another tendon), and involved moving my heel bone over and screwing it into place. While you could still see where the bone was cut, it looked fuzzy. Earlier, the line was quite definite. My doc was pleased with the healing (said I'm "ahead of the curve!").

At first it seemed counter-intuitive to have the cane on the good side, but I'm getting the knack of it. I got a quad cane--its sturdiness seems comforting. He cautioned that, while they are that, they also have more bits that can grab and trip you. Aaaand...I've already done just that. I'm wearing very stretchy knit pants these days, and managed to grab the hem with the rubber tip of one of the cane's prongs. Luckily, I was next to a wall and just leaned real hard. (Grandma Lil used to call that an "awakening.")

I have tried to walk a bit just carrying the cane. Wow, but my heel does hurt. Tomorrow, I'll work on mechanics of walking with my PT.

I'm feeling pretty positive right now.
Will be 10 weeks postop next Tuesday. Tonight I walked with a cane with just regular running shoes on. It's more comfortable then that (boot) - just had to try it. My doctor
didn't give me the okay to do that yet so I don't want to push it as I don't know if I can
do damage. Has anyone out there started full WB at ten weeks???? let mer know please

 
Old 10-27-2008, 10:41 AM   #10
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Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

Yes. I was 9 weeks post-op when given the go ahead to start full weight bearing as tolerated. For me, that meant down the hall one time while pushing the walker. That was it for day one, and I felt like Rocky Balboa dancing on the steps, music soaring.

After that, I worked up to it gradually, trying to be smart and not overdo. I found I needed to ice a little more regularly again, and take some tylenol.

The part of my foot that got the most sore was the outer rim of the sole. I thought that was so weird because it hadn't been surgically assaulted. My PT pointed out that I haven't walked on that part of my foot in decades--naturally it was sore. Sort of an, "oh yeah, duh" moment.

I've been singing the praises of Arnicare Gel all over the place--it's been an amazing help. I thought it was just for bruises, but it's been even better for sore muscles. Probably any high quality arnica containing gel or cream would do as well. My pharmacist ordered it for me (your's will too, just ask. It usually only takes a day or two to get something that way). Now they stock it since I had such a good experience with it, and are selling bunches to other equally delighted people. I've found the best pain relief if I put it on three times a day, with the heaviest slathering just before bed.

Back to walking--I only had one setback, and it was my own fault. Went to WalMart for the first time without my Roll-a-bout, walked ALL over the store, and ... had to go back into the boot for a week. So be smart. Take it easy.

From this moment on, you will just be amazed at your improvement, I bet.

 
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:14 PM   #11
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Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

As long as your heel is fused you won't do any damage. I was completely fused at six weeks so started PWB working to FWB over the next few weeks. The pain level does increase when you start weight bearing though, then gradually goes back down.

 
Old 10-28-2008, 06:43 PM   #12
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Smile Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaBdot View Post
Yes. I was 9 weeks post-op when given the go ahead to start full weight bearing as tolerated. For me, that meant down the hall one time while pushing the walker. That was it for day one, and I felt like Rocky Balboa dancing on the steps, music soaring.

After that, I worked up to it gradually, trying to be smart and not overdo. I found I needed to ice a little more regularly again, and take some tylenol.

The part of my foot that got the most sore was the outer rim of the sole. I thought that was so weird because it hadn't been surgically assaulted. My PT pointed out that I haven't walked on that part of my foot in decades--naturally it was sore. Sort of an, "oh yeah, duh" moment.

I've been singing the praises of Arnicare Gel all over the place--it's been an amazing help. I thought it was just for bruises, but it's been even better for sore muscles. Probably any high quality arnica containing gel or cream would do as well. My pharmacist ordered it for me (your's will too, just ask. It usually only takes a day or two to get something that way). Now they stock it since I had such a good experience with it, and are selling bunches to other equally delighted people. I've found the best pain relief if I put it on three times a day, with the heaviest slathering just before bed.

Back to walking--I only had one setback, and it was my own fault. Went to WalMart for the first time without my Roll-a-bout, walked ALL over the store, and ... had to go back into the boot for a week. So be smart. Take it easy.

From this moment on, you will just be amazed at your improvement, I bet.

 
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:43 PM   #13
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Smile Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaBdot View Post
Yes. I was 9 weeks post-op when given the go ahead to start full weight bearing as tolerated. For me, that meant down the hall one time while pushing the walker. That was it for day one, and I felt like Rocky Balboa dancing on the steps, music soaring.

After that, I worked up to it gradually, trying to be smart and not overdo. I found I needed to ice a little more regularly again, and take some tylenol.

The part of my foot that got the most sore was the outer rim of the sole. I thought that was so weird because it hadn't been surgically assaulted. My PT pointed out that I haven't walked on that part of my foot in decades--naturally it was sore. Sort of an, "oh yeah, duh" moment.

I've been singing the praises of Arnicare Gel all over the place--it's been an amazing help. I thought it was just for bruises, but it's been even better for sore muscles. Probably any high quality arnica containing gel or cream would do as well. My pharmacist ordered it for me (your's will too, just ask. It usually only takes a day or two to get something that way). Now they stock it since I had such a good experience with it, and are selling bunches to other equally delighted people. I've found the best pain relief if I put it on three times a day, with the heaviest slathering just before bed.

Back to walking--I only had one setback, and it was my own fault. Went to WalMart for the first time without my Roll-a-bout, walked ALL over the store, and ... had to go back into the boot for a week. So be smart. Take it easy.

From this moment on, you will just be amazed at your improvement, I bet.

 
Old 10-28-2008, 07:29 PM   #14
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Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

Thanks for the info Lisa - today I was given the go
ahead for FWB - it felt soooooo good to wear running shoes instead of that boot. Of course I did walk for a little too long so my heel did get very sore but that was self imposed.
I do however want to get some arnica gel tomorrow as it sounds like you found it very helpful. I did take the arnica tablets after surgery and it seemed to speed up healing.
My PT has really increased my exercises so I will be kept busy between doing that and icing my foot.
Thanks again - its always nice to hear someone is progressing well -something to really
really look forward to.

 
Old 10-30-2008, 05:18 PM   #15
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Re: Anybody use a cane? (2 months post-op calcaneal osteotomy/tendon transfer, PTTD)

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmie54 View Post
As long as your heel is fused you won't do any damage. I was completely fused at six weeks so started PWB working to FWB over the next few weeks. The pain level does increase when you start weight bearing though, then gradually goes back down.

 
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