Haven't posted in a while. This Friday will be 3 weeks post op for me. I am not in a cast yet, I am still getting splinted at the Doc, I still have stitches in!! Not real happy with all of this, but not much I can do about it. We measured my incision and it is right at 7 inches long, I was expecting a 3 inch incision. Not real happy about that either, but at least it is on the inside of my leg. Went to the Doc again this Monday, the wound was not healed enough to take out the stitches...he could only take out 3 of the 9. Because of this, he could not cast it, and I am now off work at least 2 weeks longer than anticipated. We are having a problem with getting my foot flat, and he is now worried about drop foot which bothers me too. I now officially have cabin fever along with everything else...lol!! At least that part was expected! Oh yes, I forgot to tell you guys, I fell two weeks ago...well, not exactly. I was standing still waiting on my Husband to move a chair and lost my balance, I was going down but out of instinct I put my foot down to balance me and I stayed up. I didn't think it hit real hard, it was really mostly just my big toe (I think), but the next morning my toes were swollen (which hadn't been prior to that), so we went to the ER to get it x-rayed and the ER doc said everything looked fine. BUT....at my Doc this past Monday, when he looked at the films they had just taken at his office.....he asked how hard I fell and said the graft has shifted. He said we are talking less than a mm, but he is still concerned and said for now we will just watch it. SCARY!!!!!!!! Despite the way this all sounds, I am actually doing okay at home. I am not in a lot of pain and really haven't been this whole time. I took the pain pills on a schedule for the first two weeks like he told me whether I needed them or not, but I really don't think I needed them. Now, I am only taking them maybe once a day and always at bedtime.
Sorry for rattling on!! Hope all is well with everyone. Juls, how did your Doc visit go?
Hi all: dbast - wow, you didn't fall but your graft shifted? I had 4 hard falls, but amazingly x-rays each time showed no damage. I see my doc next Fri., 9/11 of all days. I'm wearing a plastic ankle brace - so annoying! Ankle swells from velcro straps & makes my leg stiff, but no pain. What hurts is my ankle - PT said this was normal, but I can only walk for about 15 min. then pain sets in. Last PT visit tomorrow unless doc. wants more. I started driving - yeah! Only short distances & it bothers my ankle. My first highway trip's next week - wish me luck. Still wearing velcro sandals but I need to get some fall shoes - if only my foot will fit into them. Have a good weekend all. Juls
Wow, Juls, 4 falls!! My Doc would have me committed I think! LOL!! He doesn't seem real happy with me for just this one fall/not fall. I wasn't getting up much before it happened, but now....I don't get up at all if I don't need to. Good luck to you at the Doc on Friday, I go Thursday. I am thinking of filing FMLA papers, do you guys think that is a step I should take just in case?? I am now all out of paid days and am dipping into the sick bank, but I can only draw out of that if I am going to miss at least 10 consecutive days, so that works for now. But I am worried about missing a day here and there later on, which FMLA would cover. Did any of you end up missing here and there after the initial surgery?
dbast: Yes, 4 falls - just shows you how clumsy I am. I should probably commit myself. Thanks for the well wishes. I worked w/Labor/Emp. lawyers & we had seminars on FMLA, but I can't remember a thing. I would recommend you looking into it though, as I know they've come out with new laws/policies that benefit employees. Phone calls & research are free, so check into it & let me know what you find out. I never missed work days b/c I've been unemployed all summer & desperately need a job. Good luck w/your doc appt.
Well, my Doc visit didn't go real great. He is not very happy with the fact that I can not flatten my foot. He wants me to be able to make a 90 degree angle with my leg and my foot. This is a problem because at the end of the surgery, they wrapped my foot at a downward angle and it has been that way now for 4 weeks and all the tendons, etc are too tight. He won't cast it until I can flatten it, so I guess I am not gonna get one which is really okay with me. I couldn't care less about having a cast at this point (4 weeks post op now). The Doc tried to manipulate my foot ALOT to get it to go flat so he could cast it, but to no avail. So, now I am splinted again. I have to go back to see him next Thursday and I have to start PT next Thursday afternoon. He wasn't going to give me any more pain pills, but changed his mind due to starting therapy. I am glad he did because my foot has hurt me more since this last appt than it has the whole time!! I am very frustrated!! He acted like I wasn't trying, but I was trying with everything I had, the foot just wasn't going to do it. Is this a normal thing, or did someone totally screw me when they wrapped it wrong after surgery? I am thinking they have just made my PT road a bit harder. The only plus right now is that they were finally able to get all of the stitches out. I know this road is going to be full of ups and downs, I guess I have just hit the first bump.
Question for all post OATS people....My ankle hurt really bad for about 4 days after this last appt with Doc when he did so much manipulation to get me to flatten my foot. I know that is to be expected in the ankle and absolutely expect it to happen again after my first therapy appt this Thursday. What I didn't expect is the horrible pain and throbbing I have had since then below my ankle and up higher on my leg. I can only assume this is pain from the hardware sites, but I am not sure as I have not seen any of the x-rays to know exactly where the hardware was placed. Do you guys think it is hardware pain, and if so is this normal?
I am sorry Heidi for the situation you are in. I would check out the boards on here dealing with fusion and talk to those that have had it done. It is a big decision and you don't want to make it quickly without being informed. There is a tremendous amount of information on here, take advantage of it!
Not sure where the pain is you are talking about. I definately had pain above the malleolous and still do. I thought it was from the hardware, but now it has been taken out at the last surgery and the same pain is still there. I think at this point, where you are, that any movement, really will stir up some pain. I was a good 8 mos out or so before I felt like the OATS part worked. It may have been a bit sooner, but the other things that didn't work kinda got in the way. But I had weird pain all the time and at about 5 or 6 mos, I think it was, I has intense pain at the OATS site and above it. It hought for sure something was broken, but it wasn't. SOmetimes I think scar tissue moves or gets torn (in a good way) and causes lots of pain. It takes time to settle down again.
congrats on getting to the boot stage! i slept in the boot for months. it sucks!!! and very uncomfortable...i would sleep on my back with my legs elavated on many pillows. I finally slept without it once i was given the OK to start walking on my own and gradually get out of the boot. my doc told me to sleep in it. i think its important to protect your ankle...given the major surgery you just had. Needless to say...i never slept well throughout the whole process...but it was all worth it now that i am feeling better
So it's been one month since your OATS surgery, right? I find it very odd that they did not cast your foot. It seems to me the first 6 weeks is the time your foot needs the most protection. I had a cast, then it was removed and incisions taken out at 3 weeks, then another cast until 6 weeks. Then I was put in a boot and told to eat, sleep in it for another 6 weeks. I had a few falls but I'm glad my foot was always protected. Also, the cast/boot keeps your ankle at a 90 degree angle which is important so your achilles doesn't shorten. Even with all that my achilles killed me when I started walking so I'm not surprised you're in so much pain after the Dr. manipulated your foot. I'm just at a loss why your foot is not casted and why are they doing therapy so soon. They do need to get your foot flat, but they can't be so rough it would irritate the surgery site at just one month out. I would definitely wear that boot at night - it's going to keep your foot flat and achilles stretched!
Thanks for all the replies!! I am 5 weeks out today. The Doc said he wouldn't cast it because of the angle and he is worried about it causing lasting damage. My PT, for now, is only working on ROM. My foot only moves a very little bit. She gave me some things to do at home also, but none of it is very strenuous. The Doc did tell me to wear the boot 95% - 97% of the time. He said to only take it off for bathing and to do my exercises. UGHHHH!!! This boot weighs too much! The boot is fixed at 90 degrees (which my foot will not do yet), so I have a padding in the heel to compensate for what my foot can't do. I was bad and did not sleep in it last night. We wrapped in aces for stability and I still used my pillows for elevation. So, now, I guess I will reluctantly wear the boot at night.
Update -- I will be 5 months post OATS on 1/14. I am still walking in the boot and I still look like Frankenstein when I walk. I can now get my foot flat, but not much past flat and that is why the walking is problematic. I have been weight bearing since mid November, but didn't ditch the crutches until mid December. I haven't used a crutch since 12/18. I am concerned that this is taking too long. At this point, I don't know if it is taking so long because of the ankle or just because of me mentally not wanting to do anything. I don't think it is me, but it could be..... I know someone on hear was talking about dancing at 5 months post op, but I am not anywhere close to that. I saw my Doc last week and he said that it we may be expecting too much too soon with this one because of the size. I go back to see him in June, and he said if I don't have the ROM expected by then, that I would be looking at surgical options to open the joint up to get it moving. UGGGGGG!! What are your thoughts??
Are you in PT? What does your PT say? Have you been walking out of the boot yet? When you first start walking you will be very very slow and your ROM will not be great but it should only get better over time and physical therapy should help you to get the motion back.