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Old 08-14-2009, 12:16 PM   #1
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Question Gastrocnemius recession and Arthroscopy of ankle

So the doctor and I have finally decided that an ankle Arthroscopy and Gastrocnemius recession are the best options to treat my chronic ankle pain. I know what the Arthroscopy is going to entail for the most part...but the calf lengthening is not something I'm familiar with. Anyone else have this done? How's the recovery for a surgery like this?

Thanks,
Liz

 
Old 08-14-2009, 02:10 PM   #2
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Re: Gastrocnemius recession and Arthroscopy of ankle

I just had a gastroc recession done a 10 days ago. Like you, I had a great deal of trouble finding information and people who had this done. Try search for gastroc slide, as I seemed to find more information that way. Myself and "TailWagger" both just had this done.
I went in the day of surgery, got hooked up to an iv, and once in the operating room I was given a nerve block in the back of my knee. This was a bit painful, but was over soon enough. They knocked me out after that. I woke up an hour later in very little pain, some soreness. I had on a surgical splint, which looked like a cast, but without the fiberglass, and also on crutches. The doctor had made a small incision (1-2" long) which allowed him to cut the "sheath" around the gastroc. He put in disolvable stitches. My nerve block wore off very fast and I was a little behind in my pain meds taking them every 6 hours, so the next morning after was a little rough, but once I started taking them at 4 hours it was very manageable.For the next few days I really didn't get out of bed. I just kept it elevated. It would hurt when I sat up, and all the blood rushed to it, and even now still takes a moment to feel "normal." I got my cast cut off after 7 days, and was put in a CAM boot, and told to begin adding weight as tolerated. At first I had a really big problem adding weight as it felt like my calf was going to tear, but after a couple days I'm doing much better. I just use the crutches to assist me, but have made good progress.
After being in a cast for a week, I will now wear a boot for a month (I'm able to take it off when sleeping). After 2 weeks I can begin wearing a tennis shoe around the house, but must put the boot on if I leave the house. Once I had the cast removed the doctor said I could drive which is great. No Physical therapy, but he gave me a few exercises to do (wall stretches and toe/calf raises). I do still have some pain, but it feels more like the calf cramping. I feel like the more I walk on it the better it feels though, like it loosens up. I did ask the doctor about exercising and he said I could begin biking as tolerated, but no running until 5 or 6 weeks out.
Sorry so long, but hope it helps!

 
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Old 08-14-2009, 05:23 PM   #3
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Re: Gastrocnemius recession and Arthroscopy of ankle

Quote:
Originally Posted by cj1986 View Post
I just had a gastroc recession done a 10 days ago. Like you, I had a great deal of trouble finding information and people who had this done. Try search for gastroc slide, as I seemed to find more information that way. Myself and "TailWagger" both just had this done.
I went in the day of surgery, got hooked up to an iv, and once in the operating room I was given a nerve block in the back of my knee. This was a bit painful, but was over soon enough. They knocked me out after that. I woke up an hour later in very little pain, some soreness. I had on a surgical splint, which looked like a cast, but without the fiberglass, and also on crutches. The doctor had made a small incision (1-2" long) which allowed him to cut the "sheath" around the gastroc. He put in disolvable stitches. My nerve block wore off very fast and I was a little behind in my pain meds taking them every 6 hours, so the next morning after was a little rough, but once I started taking them at 4 hours it was very manageable.For the next few days I really didn't get out of bed. I just kept it elevated. It would hurt when I sat up, and all the blood rushed to it, and even now still takes a moment to feel "normal." I got my cast cut off after 7 days, and was put in a CAM boot, and told to begin adding weight as tolerated. At first I had a really big problem adding weight as it felt like my calf was going to tear, but after a couple days I'm doing much better. I just use the crutches to assist me, but have made good progress.
After being in a cast for a week, I will now wear a boot for a month (I'm able to take it off when sleeping). After 2 weeks I can begin wearing a tennis shoe around the house, but must put the boot on if I leave the house. Once I had the cast removed the doctor said I could drive which is great. No Physical therapy, but he gave me a few exercises to do (wall stretches and toe/calf raises). I do still have some pain, but it feels more like the calf cramping. I feel like the more I walk on it the better it feels though, like it loosens up. I did ask the doctor about exercising and he said I could begin biking as tolerated, but no running until 5 or 6 weeks out.
Sorry so long, but hope it helps!
Thanks so much for the detailed response! You answered a lot of my questions! I'm still worried about the time out I'm going to have for my ankle itself so it's good to hear it sounds like you are healing up relatively quick . Just curious, what condition did you get this done for? I'm getting it because it is straining my already damaged ankle and foot.

Thanks again so much!
Liz

 
Old 08-14-2009, 10:26 PM   #4
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Re: Gastrocnemius recession and Arthroscopy of ankle

2 days ago... I was really concerned about the amount of discomfort I was feeling when I added weight. Then it was just kinda like all of a sudden it wasn't so bad. I think it definitely had to loosen up a little. Infact, today I was out running errands all day, in and out of grocery stores and didn't feel too bad. My calf feels a little "crampy" now, but I've basically been on it ALL day, and will be again tomorrow for a party.
I had this done for issues resulting from flat feet. I'm only 23, and have had foot problems for 10 years now. I was always a serious athlete, and had Sever's disease (growth disorder) diagnosed around 12 or 13, and then have just had ongoing and progressive problems ever since. When I was 20, while playing soccer, I tore my Plantar Fascia, but continued to run on it causing a slight tear in the posterior tibial tendon. I'm very active but ave a great deal of pain after being on my feet for an extended period of time. My calf, being so tight, supposedly contributes to the chronic heel pain, and the alignment of my foot. The goal with this isn't to correct my flat foot, but to hopefully reduce or eliminate the heel pain, which is the biggest complaint at this point.
What about yourself? Whats the arthroscopy for? My gut instinct, is that with the scopy won't add any time to your recovery. I think you'll still be on the regular timeline for the gastroc recession. They arent usually too invasive unless they find something in there, and even then it likely wont be too bad.

 
Old 08-15-2009, 04:12 PM   #5
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Re: Gastrocnemius recession and Arthroscopy of ankle

Well I have had pain for years in my left ankle and foot. I've had several major sprains in that ankle including tearing of some of the tissue. About a month ago the pain suddenly became much worse and so I decided to finally go to the doctor about it. I also have been having grinding, popping, clicking, and even sometimes somethings catches inside my ankle and cracks loudly. The doctor said he feels the worst of it right now is the amount of scar tissue in my ankle, although he thinks I may have some crushed bone inside my ankle joint as well. I have a fracture on the backside of my ankle, but the doctor said it is old and shouldn't have anything to do with the current problem, so I do not know if he is going to attempt to correct that or not...but I'm thinking he won't. I've had plantar fasciitis kind of off and on for almost a decade now. I've tried just doing calf stretches, but nothing will loosen it up. I cannot raise my toes up at all, which makes it difficult when I walk, causing me to twist my feet to the side to push off, it is much worse on my left side though. Currently he is not going to mess with my right leg, which it doesn't have any pain so hopefully we won't have to do anything at all with it.

But anyway, thanks again so much for telling me about your experiences. Did the doctor say how long from the surgery it will be for a complete recovery for you?

 
Old 08-16-2009, 09:48 AM   #6
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Re: Gastrocnemius recession and Arthroscopy of ankle

No specific timeline for complete recovery. He said at 6 weeks I should be back to running. once the pain subsides, I think the biggest factor will be weakness in the calf, as I can already visibly see the calf has shrunk. It'll take some time but actually focus on stretching and strengthening it will be key.

 
Old 08-17-2009, 03:25 PM   #7
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Re: Gastrocnemius recession and Arthroscopy of ankle

oh dang, the calf shrunk from just the surgery? I already have major muscle wasting in that leg. It is about half the size of my other leg. That scares me a bit.

 
Old 08-17-2009, 05:04 PM   #8
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Re: Gastrocnemius recession and Arthroscopy of ankle

I never measured my leg, or paid much attention to is prior to surgery. I know my left leg was bigger from sports, as this was my plant/push off leg, but now comparing the two I can see a difference (then again I am looking for it). I was non weight bearing though for a week, and partial weight bearing for basically another week. I've just not begun walking without the crutches for the entire day. I know once I start exercising again it'll come back no problem.

 
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