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Old 12-29-2009, 11:14 AM   #1
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Question Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

I have a split in my tendon on the posterior side of my ankle, which may have been caused by a severe sprain 6 years ago. After the first year of healing from that, I was fine, so I'm thinking that something else has happened in the last few months. I recently had x-rays and an MRI. I didn't have a specific injury to cause a split/tear, so I don't know how it happened. MRI shows the split, and also collapsed arch as well as a lipoma and lots of swelling. My podiatrist has ordered orthotics for me, but they don't seem to do much more than my birkenstock shoes do. They were made from a mold of my foot.

He wants me to try the orthotics, but thinks surgery will be the best option if they don't work. He wants to put a small implant in between the ankle and heel bone to keep the arch lifted, remove the lipoma, repair the tendon.

I am in intense fear of this surgery. I have never had surgery before. I am 43 years old and weigh 400 pounds. I cannot get up from the toilet or couch without using both legs. I am in tears with fear, I don't know what to do or how I will manage. I have my husband to help, but he of course can't lift me. I fear how long I may have to be NWB and how I will get around, because I can't lift myself without both legs. Please don't bash me about the weight, that is a whole other story, I know I need to lose weight. I also worry about the effects anesthesia or just the surgery in general.

I know there is probably not another person on this board with my weight issues, can I even do this surgery? Please be kind.

Last edited by xSunnySmilex; 12-29-2009 at 11:15 AM.

 
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:21 PM   #2
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

You have to put your faith in the profesionals, its what they do every day.

Swimming may be a good exercise, keeps weight off the foot, before the operation, while you are trying orthodic.

 
Old 12-29-2009, 01:59 PM   #3
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

my advice to u is dont be scared.with the modern technology u should not worry about surgery.Offcourse there are always complications but they could be fixed.Everyone goes thorough with this phase when they go for surgery.U need to relax,Trust your surgeon and the medical staff u will come out with flying colours after surgery.The orthopedic surgeries are very successful.After the ankle surgery usually the 2nd day they will have a physical therapist working with u.They will try to give u a walker or any other device that will be perfect for u.They make sure that u are able to do partial weight bearing.u would be able to walk arround normal with in few weeks might need to continue physical therapy after discharge.If u need a rehab then the dr will advice u about that.u will be discharged home with in 2-3 days depends, as long as u dont have any other medical issues come up after surgery.

You should go ahead with the surgery if the dr advised u to do so.Because u will feel much better once u are done with your surgery.Before undergoing surgery talk to your surgeon who will explain all the information to u.

I recently joined here.will stop by daily now.If u have any questions dont hesitate to post.I will try to help u as much as i can.

 
Old 12-29-2009, 06:02 PM   #4
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

Don't be scared.
I also have a weight problem and sometimes the only answer you get from a doctor is LOSE WEIGHT even if all you've done is broken a fingernail!
I've had 2 peroneal surgeries this year and was apprehensive to say the least. I used to faint at the mere mention of blood at one time but it really isn't as bad as you think it will be.
Just bear in mind you'll have a nice deep sleep and when you wake up it'll all be over and you'll be on the road to recovery. All you have to do is show up and let the pro's do the rest.
I promise you it'll be ok. If I can do it - anyone can!
Fluffy. xx

 
Old 12-29-2009, 07:56 PM   #5
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

I guess I am more concerned about after the surgery...about how I am going to be able to get around if I can't bear weight on my foot. As I said, I can't get up from a sitting position without weight bearing on both feet. Is there anything I can do? I just don't see how I can....

 
Old 12-30-2009, 05:49 AM   #6
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

Lose some weight before the surgery. My physical therapist has told me many times, to make sure I don't gain weight when I get older. Swimming would not put alot of weight on your foot. Maybe biycle depending on your ROM.

Either that or your going to be in assisted living with the old folks.

 
Old 12-30-2009, 06:00 AM   #7
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

I broke my femur one side and shattered my heel other side, and was completely non weight bearing both sides. I had a transfer board, to get from wheel chair to chair bed or toliet. Which is a board. You put one side on wheel chair and the other on whatever you want to get on. Then use your arms.

I was busted up bad all over. I got lucky and was able to use my arms to move, other wise I would have been in assisted living. I am not trying to be a jerk, but a few weeks of exercies may be the best thing, otherwise it may not go good trying to dall all that without the muscles being ready.

Also everyone needs there feet to get up, no matter there weight.

 
Old 12-30-2009, 05:37 PM   #8
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

Hi Sunny -

I sure can understand where you may be coming from in terms of getting around on one leg - I'm having similar thoughts myself with surgery coming up on Jan. 19. I trust you will feel comfortable enough to discuss them with your Dr. or nurse or someone who is aware of products you can rent to assist you. I was told that a knee walker will be good since crutches are almost impossible for me. Other ideas are to have a riser for your toilet -and perhaps a wheel chair. I've also seen some nifty grab bars that are like one of those old fashioned pole lamps - you position it where you can reach it like in the bathroom. I'm sure anyone who works in a medical supply place can help you look at what your options may be. I know that with the proper equipment and supportive people around you you'll make it

Since I'm pretty much NWB now just waiting for the surgery - I'll probably be on here a lot - keep us posted on your decisions - and take care.

Mary

In the meantime

 
Old 12-31-2009, 12:08 AM   #9
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

U should not be worried what is going to happen after surgery?R now u r not using any assistive devices to get up from sitting position.Once after your surgery u will be using your hands for the support with the use of walker.U have never used it before so once u practice using it u should be fine.I am an RN working in a hospital.I have seen many patients recover from these surgeries.so u shouldnt worry.just trust and have self confidence.u should be fine.

 
Old 12-31-2009, 10:16 PM   #10
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

Dear Sunny,
I can really understand your fear. I am very overweight, near 300, and I had a hind-foot triple arthodesis (fusing) on Sept. 2, 2008. I had already made it through knee replacement on each leg 2 years apart but had the 2nd one done 3 mos. before my foot. Because of the knee surgery, I was never able to use a knee-walker. I was terrified about just the issue of getting up, as you mention. I knew going in my nwb time would be 12 weeks. I worked some with the physical therapist who helped me rehab my knee but she made it clear from the beginning that I should prepare for some time in a wheel chair, which I did.

In the hospital, after surgery (which I must admit seemed more painful than the knee but only for a far shorter time) the pt there tried to get me to hop on one foot with a walker. It was a horrible experience as I didn't have the strength to hop like until a few weeks after surgery. However, the one thing that I did get was how to get up with only one foot and the walker. From there, everything I did was primarily in the wheelchair until I could hop a bit. When I came home, a friend helped my husband lift the wheelchair with me in it up the three steps to our house. It was a difficult effort but we made it. From there I went to bed and spent much time there for about a week. The wheelchair was good but didn't go through the bathroom door. So I settled for a bedside commode. My husband was great about dealing with it. As I began gaining a bit more strength in my arms, I was able to hop from the bathroom door to the toilet with my walker. I used a toilet raiser to make it easier. I already had a shower seat from my knee surgeries. I never could get the hang of crutches and was discouraged from using them by PT.

I had to make arrangements for help with dinner meals because my husband worked nights. My friends from church were great. They also even let the dog out for awhile. The interesting thing is that after several weeks, I started gaining a bit of strength and a routine for getting through with the wheelchair. I had to scoot on my bum to get out or into the house. And raising myself up at the top of the stairs...well, we worked out a multi-step process that involved a short stool that got me up high enough to get in the wheelchair. Eventually I could handle things in the kitchen and letting the dog out from the wheelchair. It has to be said, it was a tough time but I was very careful to do all the surgeon directed meaning I did not voluntarily put weight on my foot for the full 12 weeks. I began minimal weight bearing around the 2nd of Dec, 2008 and progressed to full weight in a boot within a couple weeks. I did lots of therapy and had some bad days when I wondered if I would ever walk without pain again.

However, I returned to work Jan. 12, using my walker but bearing weight. I think I gave up the walker by mid February. Quit using my cane by late March and took on extra work for the summer by May. I haven't looked back except to say that 2009 was a wonderful year! I made up my mind on Christmas 2008 that I was going to get out of that wheelchair and work my way back. I've never been so glad about anything. Work that was a misery for me for about 10 years (I teach and work on my feet all day, everyday) became fun again.

I understand the fear. The coping is hard and you will have to depend on pro's to help you figure out what works for you. You will have a time of dependence. But unless you are doing a fusion, you may only be non-weight bearing for 6-8 weeks. And even with fusion, some people do less time nwb and more time in air casts and boots than I did. Take the time to talk to a PT that you feel you can trust. Be honest about your limitations and concerns regarding your weight. If you can take it, do some upper body strengthening. But realize that there are many people who are large sized that still need foot surgery and the professionals have had to figure out how to make it work. And there are a huge number of people who are tiny who have just as bad a foot problem as we have had. Don't let your fear rob you of trying to make the best life possible for yourself.

Best to you.
Your foot buddy in South Dakota, Linda

The result of this difficult time i

 
Old 02-10-2010, 12:18 PM   #11
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

May I say in defence of Sunny that simply telling someone to lose weight isn't very helpful.
If it was that easy everyone would be tiny and running marathons every Sunday. It can be very hard - especially if you have alot of weight to lose and whilst there's no denying that you have to help yourself before you can expect anyone else to help you it's a very flippant comment just to tell someone to lose weight.
IT'S NOT THAT EASY!!! Positive comments regarding fear of surgery is what's needed. You don't need to tell someone who is overweight to lose weight - THEY KNOW THAT ALREADY!
It takes courage to come on a public forum and not only admit surgery and the aftermath scares you but also that you have a weight issue as it's an automated response in people who don't have a weight problem to judge.

Sunny - I hope you're feeling better. Good wishes and happy thoughts to you.
Fluffy.

Last edited by fluffy999; 02-10-2010 at 12:22 PM. Reason: response to stupid post

 
Old 02-10-2010, 12:43 PM   #12
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

I know I need to lose weight, for the overall helth of my foot in the long run. But I had pizza today. Its tough.

Last edited by Zerk; 02-10-2010 at 02:40 PM.

 
Old 02-11-2010, 01:03 AM   #13
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

I wasn't telling you to lose weight and I know it's tough. I have a weight problem myself.
It's just I think it was you suggesting Sunny lose weight before her surgery - I just thought that was a bit cheeky, especially as you've just told everyone above that you're overweight too! Sorry.

 
Old 02-11-2010, 05:51 AM   #14
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

I gained weight after the accident. I could stand to lose 20lbs. I was trying to be nice.

Last edited by Zerk; 02-11-2010 at 09:11 AM.

 
Old 02-13-2010, 02:24 PM   #15
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Re: Intense surgery fear...how will I cope?

I'm sure you were. No harm done.

 
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