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Old 04-09-2009, 08:43 AM   #1
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PTTD surgery 4/1/09 – Recovery begins

Hello, everyone. I am back from my PTTD surgery on 4/1/09. Everything went well; I spent Wednesday night at the hospital. Doctor told my husband that he repaired and corrected whatever needed to be done. I believe this includes tendon transfer, calcaneal osteotomy, and the first tarsometatarsal fusion. I understood that my doctor used epidural IV and block IV for pain management. I was told that epidural does not help much relief of this type of pain. Block IV was inserted by my right thigh and I had no pain at all during my stay in the hospital because my leg from below the knee was totally numb. I was released Thursday afternoon, and I was totally pain free before the block was removed. I took two tablets of hydrocodone and left the hospital at 1:30 p.m., got home at 2:40 p.m., by 5:15 p.m. I could not wait to take another two hydrocodone From that time on, I was faithfully taking 2 pills every 4 hours until the next morning. Hydrocodone was such a strong pain killer with lots of side effects. My next day at home was miserable, nauseas, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, etc. I cut down the pain pill to once a day at night so that I could sleep well. It worked well. I have been taking just one pain pill a day since 4/4/09. I was also given a Lovenox kit to self inject myself on my belly for seven days to prevent blood clot.

The pain was not bad for me, I only take one pain pill before going to bed every night which brings me a good night sleep. However, the daytime life takes a big adjustment. We, sufferers of PTTD all know too well of what we are going through. Surgery is only the beginning of a long journey for recovery. Living with cast and nwb are a lot harder than I expected. I had a walker, a knee walker, and a wheelchair ready before the surgery. I found that I had to use both walker and knee walker. I used walker to go to small area like toilet area. I also have a raised toilet seat with arms which help tremendously. The knee walker is too big to use in the bathroom or small hall way. After a week of using walker, and knee walker, my good leg is sore, both of my wrist and palms are sore from lifting my body up hopping on one leg. One poster here suggested building upper body strength before the surgery; this is a great idea. I also wonder if I need a knee brace for my good leg and knee pad for my injured leg (for using the knee walker).

Next Monday, I am going to have my stitches removed and maybe having a new cast. I’ll report back after my doctor’s visit. So far, everything is fine; and it is just hard hopping in and out of bathroom on one foot, or taking on a very simple task in the kitchen. Hope all these bring good result for the future. Thanks for all your support. I find this message board not only provides us valuable experience, information, but also boosts our spirits.

 
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:16 PM   #2
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Re: PTTD surgery 4/1/09 – Recovery begins

Great to hear your surgery went well and you are now home recovering. Isn't it crazy how hard pulling yourself up from a chair can be?

I'm five weeks post op and I am feeling better and better everyday, so just know it does get easier. I can't believe you're only taking one pain pill a day - that's amazing! I finally cut off the meds at four weeks - I probably could have done it sooner and wish I did since I had horrible withdrawls. No one tells you about that, but it happens. Ugh.

I might suggest you take a pain med before you get your stitches out. A lot of us have issues with the stitches/staples being removed. I know I did! I almost fainted from the pain. Then again, I'm a bit of a weenie when it comes to pulling things out of me and I don't have control over it.

Keep us updated on your recovery!

 
Old 04-09-2009, 06:02 PM   #3
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Re: PTTD surgery 4/1/09 – Recovery begins

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalGal09 View Post
Great to hear your surgery went well and you are now home recovering. Isn't it crazy how hard pulling yourself up from a chair can be?

I'm five weeks post op and I am feeling better and better everyday, so just know it does get easier. I can't believe you're only taking one pain pill a day - that's amazing! I finally cut off the meds at four weeks - I probably could have done it sooner and wish I did since I had horrible withdrawls. No one tells you about that, but it happens. Ugh.

I might suggest you take a pain med before you get your stitches out. A lot of us have issues with the stitches/staples being removed. I know I did! I almost fainted from the pain. Then again, I'm a bit of a weenie when it comes to pulling things out of me and I don't have control over it.

Keep us updated on your recovery!

I'm with you SoCalgal, I didn't stop the heavy duty meds until four weeks and then went to a milder one which I took on PT days and at night for a while.
They make me sick, too so I always use Phenergan along with any pain meds.

emmie

 
Old 04-09-2009, 07:26 PM   #4
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Re: PTTD surgery 4/1/09 – Recovery begins

Salcalgal09 - Thanks for the encouragement. When you said that you get better everyday, what exactly you meant, physical or spirit? Because of I have not felt better everyday. Instead, I feel tired everyday hopping in and out of bathroom, getting up and down on chairs. Every little task is so hard to achieve. This may have to do with my age, 64, but I have always been healthy. I can’t help if my bone is getting old and my muscle is getting weak. I eat healthy and well. My husband took one week off, he returned to work yesterday. However, his day starts early in the morning, so he gets home around 2 pm. He helped around the house a lot, all of these patient sitting activities are new to him, but he is very patient and learns quickly. The only thing that he does not do well is cooking. But I told him that I can live on Costco food. The last few days friends and family have been bringing food. So we have enough food to last for a few more days before the Costco food kicks in.
Before leaving for my doctor's appt on Monday, I will take a pain pill as many of you suggested. I am not very brave either. I would rather go through a peaceful visit with my doctor. Is the new cast (hard cast?) shorter? The cast I have now is right below the knee covering the whole leg and foot. It is very uncomfortable kneeling on the knee walker. I am hoping that the new cast is shorter. You are 5 wks post-op. Do you start PT after you are 6 wks post-op? I am glad that you are feeling better; hope my better days are nears soon!

Emmie, I am down to one pain pill a day, which does not mean I don’t have pain during the day. I still do occasionally, but it is tolerable.

 
Old 04-10-2009, 03:57 PM   #5
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Re: PTTD surgery 4/1/09 – Recovery begins

Great to hear that everything is going good. Sounds like surgery went well and your recovery is at hand. For the sore knee try a egg type foam it does help. You must really have a small bathroom and hall way. My bathroom is a little small but the knee walker turns great in there. Hope each day brings you more healing and less pain.

 
Old 04-10-2009, 05:18 PM   #6
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Re: PTTD surgery 4/1/09 – Recovery begins

Glad you are doing better.

Some ideas that might help. (I am 60 years old...so I do not hop well either)I am 13 weeks post triple arthrodesis (which I had for statge 4 PTTD)

The door to our toilet area and the area itself was narrow. Could never turn a knee wlaker around in there. I needed to learn to back in and sit You can do it.

I wore and ankle elastic brace at first on my good leg...Helped on those days that it hurt.

Good luck

Shelly

 
Old 04-10-2009, 06:56 PM   #7
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Re: PTTD surgery 4/1/09 – Recovery begins

Yaohua, I think I was a little misleading with my previous post - it was so hard for me the first few weeks! Some days I would sit and stare out the window for lack of energy to do anything else. If I had to go to the bathroom, I would wait until absolutely necessary because I just dreaded the thought of having to haul my bum off the chair and crutch all the way to the bathroom. I think getting off the meds really helped with my moods, but I still have the off day.

This is definitely a mental thing as well as physical. The hardest part for me was to go from being so active, even in that stupid boot, to being totally sedentary. My mind wanted to get up and run, but my body said no way.

Just keep going through each day keeping positive and pretty soon you'll be feeling better and better too. And this board helps so much. We all totally understand where you are mentally and physically. As much as my husband and kids love me, they don't understand how hard it is to just go to the grocery store for 30 minutes.

But I know you all do. And that keeps me sane.

 
Old 04-12-2009, 09:07 PM   #8
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Re: PTTD surgery 4/1/09 – Recovery begins

My bathroom is big, I think, but the toilet is in a small room inside the bathroom which my husband just measured and it is only 4 ft by 2-1/2 ft with the door opening only 2 ft. I also have two other bathrooms. They are bigger but they are far from my bedroom. Just out of my curiosity, my hallway is 3-1/2 ft wide, not very wide for knee walker. The knee walker I have takes a lot of space to turn. I have since learned to go backward, forward, backward, forward several times to get to the right direction. So when I want to go to potty, I first get into the bathroom by knee walker, then switch to walker to hop sideway to the toilet area. The bathroom is like a central station, I do my transfer there.

I bought a pair of knee pads before the surgery. But they are too small to go over the bulky cast, so some egg typed foam should help, good tip. I need also to find my old knee brace, or ankle brace to protect my good leg. I have been wearing my tennis shoe with orthotics on my good foot to give my walking/hopping a support. So far I don’t have very much pain on the surgery area, but my back is killing me because my posture is out of line with leg pop up all the time. Does anyone get back pain by popping up leg all day long? I am seeing my doctor tomorrow for stitches removal, and new cast. I will report back how it goes. I will remember taking a pain pill before I go. Wish me luck!

 
Old 04-13-2009, 02:31 AM   #9
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Re: PTTD surgery 4/1/09 – Recovery begins

You seem to be getting the hang of using the knee walker..it became my best friend.

I developed back problems from keeping my leg raised all the time around week 6 (sacroiliac..not sure of spelling) A few days of muscle relaxants and a heating pad and the problem was solved.

Shelly

PS (really...try to learn to back in to toilet on your walker...much easier on other ankle and knee)

 
Old 04-13-2009, 04:03 PM   #10
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Re: PTTD surgery 4/1/09 – Recovery begins

I had some back pain too. It helped if I propped both feet up side by side then at least I was "even". But that's not always possible. I had to do the heating pad thing, too.

 
Old 04-14-2009, 11:51 AM   #11
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Re: PTTD surgery 4/1/09 – Recovery begins

I keep both feet up too and I haven't had any back pain. I will get some pains when I use the knee walker or the regular walker.

Great news for me today! (and I would have started a new thread, but I for the life of me can't figure out how).

I'm six weeks post op and I get to start bearing weight! I got a cute little shoe for my cast (which I immediately put rhinestones on) and now the recovery takes a whole new direction.

I'm terrified and thrilled at the same time. I don't want to hurt myself, but I really want to get walking again. Baby steps.

And here's a bizarre question for you all - I've got a rash just under and behind my armpit from the crutches. It is very painful. Have any of you had this and if so, what did you do to resolve it? I'm trying to wear a tight fitting camisole hoping there won't be any friction with the crutches, but otherwise I'm at a loss. Any ideas would be great!

Oh, and just to let the newly operated on know, my foot looks ghastly right now. Be prepared for FrankenFoot. Seriously. I have pictures if you'd like to see. Ewwwwww!


 
Old 04-14-2009, 05:49 PM   #12
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Re: PTTD surgery 4/1/09 – Recovery begins

Hey, that's GREAT news! Just don't do what I did. My doctor told me I could weight bear "as tolerated" so I just started walking and that night I thought I was going to die! My PT said, "let me work you up to FWB" and he had me add about 25 lbs every couple of days (you can tell what this feels like by pushing down on a scale) so I worked up to FWB over 2-3 weeks. That worked out much better. I was just so happy to be walking I went crazy.

As far as crutches, my PT also told me that I should not be putting weight on the crutches with my armpits and they adjusted them so that the armrests were a couple of inches below my armpits and told me to put all the weight on my hands. (which is kind of hard on the hands, though) Now that you can put a little weight on the foot when you start PWB that may help. So you could lower the crutch but raise the hand grips. Maybe someone else will have a better idea. That sounds miserable.

but congratulations on reaching a new milestone!!

 
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