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Old 04-06-2009, 10:07 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2
Snickering HB User
Red face OATS, ankle and knee, degrees of pain

I had a fairly large OCD in my ankle that went undetected for three years. I originally had arthroscopic drilling with debridement, which failed to create enough cartilage.

7 weeks ago I had two cartilage plugs removed from my knee, only one implanted into the defect in my talus. X-rays showed that now it is smooth and has healed quite well.

The doctor told me I could progress from partial weight bearing with boot to full weight bearing as I could tolerate it. At the time I was just ecstatic I was allowed to walk, and looking back the statement was very vague.

How much pain is normal when beginning to walk again?

I am experiencing painful locking and clicking in my knee, and pain on the inside of my ankle, where the bone was pulled back and screwed back together. It is irritated when I wear the full boot. When I have tried walking without the boot, the pain there is minimized.

Should I keep pressing through the pain and keep walking, or should I back off completely?

Last edited by Snickering; 04-06-2009 at 10:07 AM.

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Old 04-06-2009, 10:26 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bitterroot Valley, Montana
Posts: 372
akirka HB User
Re: OATS, ankle and knee, degrees of pain

I had the same procedure 15 months ago. I didn't start walking until 12 weeks. When I did I had very little pain in my ankle but lots of sharp pains in my knee with popping and catching. I would go really slow and not try to push it for at least another month. If it hurts, back off. I would wear your boot walking but if you're sitting I would take it off to minimize the irritation. I think at 7 weeks your foot is still too fragile to walk without the boot. Sounds like everythings going good though! Don't be too impatient!


Old 04-06-2009, 10:48 AM   #3
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Location: USA
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Re: OATS, ankle and knee, degrees of pain

I'm 6 mos out from the OATS procedure and it still hurts to walk, although I think it may be getting a bit better. My knee hurt for probably 5 mos before it felt good. It'll take awhile. You are still early. My dr. said that he won't pass judgement on if this worked or failed until after the year milestone.
Brostromx2 peroneal tendon repairx2 Peroneal subluxation PTT tendon repair microfracturex5 OATS Distraction arthroplasty ORIF talus & fibula subtalar fusion ankle replacement (failed) TT fusion

Old 04-06-2009, 10:52 AM   #4
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Re: OATS, ankle and knee, degrees of pain

I too had OATS 8 months ago (and the drilling 10 months before that) ... I agree with Abby that it is too soon to try to walk without the boot, I wasn't allowed to begin PWB with the boot until 8 weeks and gradually began to FWB with the boot for quite awhile more.

Sounds like you are doing great though, but I wouldn't rush it and jeopardize the success of the surgery. The boot irritated my incision too, kinda felt like there was something in the boot that was sticking into my leg, but that went away after week 10 or so for me. If it does bother you, I would loosen the boot but only if you are sitting/lying down.

I too had the sharp pains in my knee, on the inside not on the side of where the plugs were taken and mine went away after a few weeks of PT. It still makes some insanely loud cracks, but my OS said that is normal and just scar tissue filling back in.

Just a last word of advice to leave you with regarding your 'pushing through the pain' - my OS said 'if it hurts, stop doing it' .. and I have to agree as I tried to push through some of the pain at times and it's causing me a few problems now. Better safe than sorry!

Good luck!

Old 04-06-2009, 11:20 AM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2
Snickering HB User
Re: OATS, ankle and knee, degrees of pain

Thanks everyone for your replies.

I'm glad that the knee popping seems to be normal, as it was quite worrisome, and that the irritation around the incision is also normal.

Don't worry, I'll keep the boot on. No walking without it.

Old 04-06-2009, 11:48 AM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 107
demogoat HB User
Re: OATS, ankle and knee, degrees of pain

Ditto what everyone said (my OATS was 10 months ago). About the boot bothering you, when I was given my boot, before they even put it on my foot, they bent the metal supports that run up the leg, way, way out so there wouldn't be anything but the soft fabric near my ankle. Hope that makes sense.

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