I was just diagnosed with ankle OCD. I am schedule for Arthroscopic surgery in November. I originally saw an OS but didn't like him. I ultimately chose a DPM surgeon to do the surgery. He is well qualified. Has anyone had experience with either? I want to make sure I am making the right decision. Also, if anyone out there has been through this, can you offer any helpful hints for and during recovery? I am really freaked about the whole thing. Thanks for your help!
I've been through this 3 times. I have/had 2 OCD's. One very large, the other not as much. The first time I had microfracture which is probably what you'll be having done. THe 2nd I had another more complicated procedure (OATS) on one and microfracture on the other, the last time I had microfracture on one.
It is the right decision. I waited way too long to do anything and that is why I had so many problems. If you can get it fixed while your OCD is smaller than that is good.
You'll probably be on crutches about 6 weeks NWB.
Get a shower cast cover or lots of trash bags and duck tape.
I found the pain not so bad as long as my leg was up. It will throb a lot when it is down and you are crutching around. Your foot will look purple too until you start walking on it.
I agree with Kris, the sooner you get this fixed the better.
I would search within the Foot Problems board for "OCD" & "Microfracture" to see what we all have written about it already. I wouldn't search on "OATS" yet because you hopefully will never have to learn about that, but I think you will find enough helpful tips to get you through your recovery.
I too had the microfracture for my OCD which didn't work only to have the OATS 10 months later BUT I am not the norm .. you will see in past posts that microfracture is successful for OCD and some have even gotten back to LONG distance running. Following doctors recovery orders are key and PT will help you get back your range of motion. Just don't rush recovery as that can hurt your chances of success.
Thank you all so much for your help. I am planning to follow orders to an absolute "T"!! I know how difficult the OATS procedure can be. One more question, has anyone found the perfect machine to help stay fit while you are NWB? I am a little concerned about not being able to exercise for 6 weeks. Am I crazy?
It sure helps to speak with people who have been through this. Thanks again!
I would highly recommend a knee walker or rollabout for the possible 6 weeks of NWB. This allowed me to be able to get out of the house move around with out crutches. I took it to the local park which has a nice walking track so I could still be active. It took me about 3 weeks before I could be out on it for an expended period of time.
I'm 5 months post op and remember having the same feeling of wondering if it was the correct thing to do. I'm back now to doing things that I couldn't before the surgery without having a lot of pain. Yes the recovery can seem like forever but its well worth it.
I found crutches to be the thing to help me stay fit. Seriously, the first 6 weeks, since you can't really put any weight down and having your foot down for any period of time will hurt. After 6 weeks, a stationary bike is good.
I was thinking of buying a Total Gym to keep me active while home but it sounds like I won't much be up for it. It is really nice to hear some positive things about the surgery and people healing quick. I have read so much gloom and doom. I am very excited to hear that you are doing well after 5 months. I was concerned with the healing time. If you can think of any additional helpful tips, please let me know. They would be very appreciated. I have to wait until November (job) to do my surgery. The anxiety may be worse than the surgery!
Was told by ortho I need microfracture and ligament repair. When you guys say 6 weeks NWB, what does that mean? Can you go back to work or school and just use crutches or rollabout? I was in such shock when ortho reviewed MRI and told me about my OCD that I missed alot of details. He said something about 2 weeks not moving and then a new cast and 6 weeks NWB and then after 6 weeks starting PT. How soon after surgery will I be ready to face the world? Fortunately it is my left foot, but are you allowed to drive during NWB stage?
NWB means for those 6 weeks you are not able to place any weight on that foot while walking or standing. I was able to return to the desk part of my job part time 2 weeks after surgery once I had my hard cast on. Depending on your type of work your OS may also let you return to light duty. I would check with the OS just to be sure though. He was most likely talking about a large soft surgical splint for the first 2 weeks and than a hard cast for the rest of the time. My OS took my surgical splint off after 2 weeks and removed the stitches at this time also. At about a week and a half after surgery I had total cabin fever an managed a very short trip out. (less than and hour) I'm not sure on the driving end because mine was my right foot.
Another thing I found helpful and I know others have written in other posts about it was to make sure that everything you needed for the day was accessible for you. Make sure the telephone, laptop, glass of water, pain pills, magazines, remote, lunch or muchies are all with in reach. At first its hard enough to just balance yourself an move around, trying to carry stuff doesn't help with this either. Also I would recommend having a few ice packs on hand it make it easier to rotate and keep it iced. Hope this helps.
Thanks so much for your help, comments and suggestions. I was hoping to go back to work after the first week but that seems a bit aggressive after hearing about the recovery time. My surgery will also be on my right foot. I am slowly teaching myself to drive with my left foot since I am a wholesaler and pretty much live in my car. You didn't drive for 6 weeks, right? I am guessing that the left foot thing won't work too well and I will have to make other arrangements. What a pain!
I'm a sales rep and also feel like I live out of my truck at times. I didn't drive for about 9 weeks post op. When I began driving it was just short distantaces until the strength built back up. I also had a tendon repaired so after my 6 weeks of NWB I had to gradually work my way back up to FWB and was in a walking boot for another 4 weeks. I'm not sure if you will have to go through that same process or not. My first full trip back out on the road was 13 weeks post op. (A normal traveling week for me is about 1,500 miles) My OS said if I attempted to drive with my left foot he didn't want to know about it. lol. One of the sales reps for the company I work with was free one week so he drove me around so I could see my clients. Don't know if that would be a possibility for you. Sorry its not very encouraging but trust me taking your time and not pushing it is worth it.
Best of Luck!
I had my OCD surgery in February, had microfracture and drilling.
NWB for 6 weeks, and don't even be tempted to walk on it before that... the key word to recovery is patience, gotta have loads of it.
One thing I done even when I was NWB was to massage the sole of my foot, that kept the circulation going and I had no pins and needles in the foot when I started walking.
About 10 weeks after the surgery I was back on FWB, and now after 2 weeks of playing in the sea while on holiday, I can get up on the tip of my toes ONLY on the fixed foot, thing I couldn't do since the surgery... So later on after you are back on FWB, you might want to go swimming and walking in the pool, it helps alot to rebuild the strenght.
Nope, no driving... my OS didn't let me drive untill I was able to do an emergency stop, because if I couldn't do it, would be 2 possibilities... 1 kill someone, 2 damage the ankle. didn't want any of them.
Take it easy and when you get frustrated (which you will) come give us a shout
Thank you all for taking the time to share your experience, tips and encouragement. You are telling me things that never crossed my mind. No driving for 10 weeks?? I really do need to start planning. My doctor mentioned 4-6 weeks NWB. That's it. I'm not sure I heard anything after that. I'm a bit of time away from surgery and already getting frustrated. Thanks for all of our help!
By the way, has anyone had this surgery done by a Podiatrist Surgeon? I chose to go to him instead of an OS for his ankle expertise (and I really liked him). Not sure if anyone has had the same experience.
Thanks again. You guys are great. It is awesome to know I have people to talk to that have been through this!
I only missed one day of work after the surgery (I have a desk job and was able to prop my foot up). My OCD was on my R ankle, but I learned to drive left-footed, and was driving myself to work, and to my son's school, within 5 days of surgery.
As soon as I had the stiches out, I sealed my wounds with waterproof tape & taped my ankle into a neutral position, and was able to swim for exercise. I used a hip buoy so I was sure not to use my legs. I'm not crazy about swimming in pools (I'm an ocean gal), but it felt heavenly at that time!! I did get some stares as I crutched myself poolside and eased myself into the water, leaving my crutches close. (I checked with the lifeguard first!) [It took a year before I was able to handle walking in sand and swim in the ocean.]
The only thing my dr. released me to do in the early days after surgery was upper body weight lifting on machines. Given all the crutching I had to do on any given day, my arms and hands were too tired to even consider that! But, swimming was aerobic and it felt so great to get my heartrate up!
Good luck to you! Make sure you get your biceps, triceps, trapezoids and pecs in shape BEFORE your surgery!!
I went to an OS. I don't think I'd be comfortable with a Pod. Surg. doing the surgery, unless he's done several of them successfully. I see you're in SFO. You might want to go see Dr. Eric Giza near UC Davis/Sacramento. He did my surgery before he relocated up north.
Please make sure that whoever does your surgery is board certified and has experience doing the procedure you need. A few good questions to ask -
How many of these surgeries do you do per year? What is the outcome of your average patient? What is the best/worste outcome? What is your infection rate? (I was scared to ask these questions at first, but learned the hard way that you really should). If your doc trains residents ask who will be doing the actual surgery - your doc or the residents? Sometimes the doc stands back and watches while the residents do all your work. I read a book by Dr. Oz called You, the Smart Patient. It gives really good advice on how to make decisions on surgeons and facilities. My doc was impressed by my list of questions and said more people should be asking the same ?s of their surgeons. They may be surprised by their answers.
Take care and keep us posted!
By the way, if anyone is caught driving with their left foot while their right foot is casted or in the walking boot, they can be charged with driving while impaired. Furthermore, if you are in an accident it is automatically deemed to be your fault.