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Old 11-05-2010, 05:47 PM   #31
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Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

Dear Lisa,

I had a PTT transfer, bunionectomy, gastroc recession, and evans calcaneal osteotomy on Oct. 25 2010. I want to thank you for your wonderful list of tips! Maybe my experience is unique, but although my doc is really great, there was a lack of information given to me to prepare for the surgery. I stumbled on your list and it helped me so much. I hope your recovery went well and wish you the best.

Here are a few tips that worked for me.

If you are a "knowledge is power" person, go to Youtube and find videos about your procedures. It is hard to watch at first, but it helped me understand what was going to happen. Also, I have a two story house, so steps were an issue. I practiced going up and down for 2 weeks to help build upper body strength and it has helped me.

 
Old 11-05-2010, 06:30 PM   #32
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Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

I agree. I watched all of the procedures prior to having surgery so I could understand exactly was being done.

 
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:11 PM   #33
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Cool Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

Hello, I've been reading posts before and after after my PTTD surgeries. Post surgery 5weeks today. Found tons of helpful info. Thanks everyone.

One suggestion I haven't seen is an odd apparatus intended for camping or hiking so women can pee standing up. I got a Freshette funnel that was wonderful when I couldn't get out of bed to urinate. I could however then use the funnel, comes with a short hose that extends out 6inches, to pee into a container. I also have used it in public bathrooms where the toilets were too low to be able to stand back up. Or there were no handicapped rails. I suggest practicing before your surgery! I am heavy and my biggest fear was that I wouldn't be able to be NWB or fall. This solved it.

My second favorite item is the knee walker. It's only good in the house and for short distances. But for that it's great. If you have narrow halls ways or bathrooms get one with swiveling wheels. It's harder to steer (just go slow) but best in small spaces.

My 3rd favorite and one I used all day long until I went back to work (tele-commuting by remote PC) was my IPad and Netflixs. I have watched dozens of movies Nd old TV shows. Have you ever seen all the old The Avengers Programs? I didn't know it as a kid, but are they odd!!

My final fav is a gizmo that is designed for people who need to lie down in bed and work with a laptop. It's called "laptop laid-back". And it's worth every dollar of the $99 it cost. If you need to work and you can't spend more than a few minutes upright in a chair.

 
Old 11-06-2010, 08:46 AM   #34
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Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

Dear Frankenfoot, Missyluke, and FlatfootDiva,

What a day brightener! Thank you for your kind words and great additions. I suspect many of us didn't get much in the way of post-surgical tips from our surgeons. I certainly didn't. I've thought to put all of these together in one giant list, give it to my surgeon, and suggest that he include it in his patient hand-outs. I'm kind of glad I haven't accomplished that yet because so many good ideas keep coming in!

I'm a "knowledge is power" person, too. So much of this is out of our control. I have a strong need to feel in control, to the extent it's reasonable, of my own self. My surgeon was literally ready to divorce me as a patient because of the detail and quantity of my questions. He thought I was scaring myself unduly. He thought I was questioning his ability. He thought it meant I was going to be a nightmare of a post-surgical patient. He didn't understand that it was all part of my process of readying myself, and he was pleasantly surprised that I was a breeze, afterwards.

But I gotta say, you are all braver than I--watching the icky stuff on that popular online video site. I can (and did) read descriptions. I can pore over diagrams and illustrations. But the photographs?--oh hell no. NoNoNoNoNoNoNo, uh-uh. Nope. And VIDEO?! Not. In. This. Lifetime.

Guess what? Two and a half years post-surgery, and here I am with a new tip:

I continue to have swelling on that foot. If I elevate and ice and all that stuff, I can get it way down, but never entirely gone. When I get it that far down, it's clear that it starts right along the line of my calcaneal osteotomy scar. So I've just started seeing a massage therapist trained in lymphatic drainage massage.

Apparently I have quite a lot of adhesions (internal scarring) under that particular incision. That's impeding the flow of lymph and causing a back-up. To start with, he did some very firm massage all along the incision to break up scar tissue. That will continue over several visits until he's got it gone. He also massaged my calf and foot, then taped the back of my calf in an interesting criss-cross pattern. That's supposed to help keep the passages open for a while. When I start to see swelling increase again, I will go back for another session--probably in a week or two.

Later, after the scar tissue is more broken up, he will do the actual lymphatic drainage massage. That's an odd technique. Doesn't seem like it could possibly be doing anything, but it's a well documented effective modality. It looks as if the therapist is lightly brushing your skin with fingertips with no more pressure than the weight of two nickels.

I was feeling guilty because I thought I must not have done enough incision massage of my own, but he said that what he was doing wasn't something you can really do for yourself. I went in yesterday with considerable swelling, and it's not bad at all this morning. I will keep you posted.

Big hugs to all,
Lisa

PS. Frankenfoot, I love your name. Made me laugh because, being a woman wearing an 11 C, I've called my nether appendages Frankenfeet for years. And now, with all the cute scars...

PPS. FlatfootDiva, The Avengers showcased the very best of 60's style--clothing, interior design, all of it--have you noticed? And I wanted to [I]be[/I] Emma Peele.

 
Old 11-06-2010, 10:24 AM   #35
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Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

Hey all!
I have never done one of these message boards and am so jazzed that after only one day people actually respond! Pretty cool! This is my 11th day post op with 3 procedures. Things are going pretty well. The swelling is getting better and I go back in 3 days to get stitches out. All the meds made by brain SO fuzzy! Today I feel pretty focussed! Yes!!!

I have to admit that it is a bit scary to read about how long the recovery process is and how much swelling is still present after 1 year, but I guess compared to the pain I've had over 20 years its still worth it. If I had not had this done now, (I'm a high stage 2) the repairs would have been much more difficult. So, I consider myself very blessed to have found a doc that made me feel confident enough to go forward.

After reading all of these, I haven't seen anyone who had to do both feet. Yikes, am I the only one? My doc hinted from the beginning that this may be necessary, but I asked him straight up at my 2nd post op and he said that it would most likely be the case. It's a bit overwhelming, but at 49, I would like to have this behind me and be able to spend the rest of my life being limp-free. After the 2nd one is done I will have to change my name to frankenFEET. Ha ha.

Anyway, thank you all for sharing your stories and insights. After a while your friends and family get tired of hearing about it!

 
Old 11-07-2010, 09:05 AM   #36
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Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

Hi Frankenfoot,

This board is fabulous, and all who post here, too. So many different experiences with the same procedures--before, during and after, I just read and read and read. It was comforting. It was scary. It was useful.

So keep on reading old posts. This would be a good one to start with: [B]PTTD-How Many People have both feet go bad? [/B]It might be useful to then read threads that those folks have posted to.

My personal opinion (worth every penny you paid for it) is to do the other foot after the first one is healed enough, but before you've moved out of Warrior Mode. It's the "enough" that's the tricky part. Pay attention to what you're asking of your "good" foot right now, because that's what this one will be doing after a second surgery. It's worth pointing out that the "good" foot is taking a beating right now--if there's pathology with that foot, too, it's bound to be growling at you. Baby it a bit, if you can.

Many people haven't had much swelling at all. My 74 year old mom (who doesn't post) had the same surgery only bigger--what stage is it when the PTT has become completely unattached? She's sailed through it. No swelling to speak of unless she overdoes in a big way (like walking all day, sightseeing).

All the best,
Lisa

 
Old 11-07-2010, 10:19 AM   #37
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Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

Lisa,

What an amazing idea to provide your surgeon with this list. Let's hope he/she agrees to give it out. Even here in Canada you don't get much information after any injury/surgery that affects your weight bearing capabilities. I knkow for sure I will be mentioning them to my surgeon as well.

 
Old 11-07-2010, 10:53 AM   #38
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Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

Welcome to the message board Frankenfoot. I love the name. Why did I pick 12 girlygirl. There are a lot of Missy's and I thought I was getting on just once to see what it was. Now I am hooked. You will be to. So you will see me on here a lot as well. I am 41 and am 8 weeks post op. Justed started pwb.

LisaBdot. Your wisdom has been so helpful through these last 8 weeks post op. Along with all the others that post. Thanks everyone.
Lisa - I am going to do your suggestion and give my Doctor a list too. Also, have you tried Bromelain Vitamin? I take it and it seems to help with my swelling. It is a vitamin derived from Pineapple extract which is a natural anti-inflamatory.

 
Old 11-08-2010, 07:26 AM   #39
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Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

Hi All,

LisaBdot....thanks for the info on the additional thread. I will check it out.

12Girlygirl...glad to see you here! I found this board by accident while trying to research the condition prior to surgery. I am hooked as well. This has been the BEST! Today I am 2 weeks post op. I was supposed to get stitches out last Thursday but the doc wanted to leave them in due to swelling. He said if I waited a few more days the scar would be better, so I get stitches removed tomorrow. I have been in a boot for these 2 weeks. My Doc said that he likes a boot first because it is easier to ice and reduce swelling. I am not sure what will happen tomorrow---hard cast or not? Has this been everyones experience?
I went to my local target store for the first time yesterday and used an electric cart (much to the horror of my 14 year old teenage son) but it was great to be out.
I plan to tell my doc about how helpful the list has been. You would think that health care providers would be doing this to help people have good outcomes. I just cant figure out why there is so little information out there.

 
Old 11-08-2010, 08:24 AM   #40
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Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

I think most end up in a cast after the sutures are taken out. I had the cast on for 6 weeks then went to a boot where I am for another week or two. Getting out really helps make us feel better!

 
Old 11-08-2010, 10:22 AM   #41
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Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

[QUOTE=frankenfoot;4619180]Hi All,

LisaBdot....thanks for the info on the additional thread. I will check it out.

12Girlygirl...glad to see you here! I found this board by accident while trying to research the condition prior to surgery. I am hooked as well. This has been the BEST! Today I am 2 weeks post op. I was supposed to get stitches out last Thursday but the doc wanted to leave them in due to swelling. He said if I waited a few more days the scar would be better, so I get stitches removed tomorrow. I have been in a boot for these 2 weeks. My Doc said that he likes a boot first because it is easier to ice and reduce swelling. I am not sure what will happen tomorrow---hard cast or not? Has this been everyones experience?
I went to my local target store for the first time yesterday and used an electric cart (much to the horror of my 14 year old teenage son) but it was great to be out.
I plan to tell my doc about how helpful the list has been. You would think that health care providers would be doing this to help people have good outcomes. I just cant figure out why there is so little information out there.[/QUOTE]

I had my soft cast on the first 10 days, then went into a hard cast for 6 weeks, then the boot for the next 6.

 
Old 11-23-2010, 08:57 AM   #42
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Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

Hello everyone. I have been reading these boards since I first discovered this surgery from my doctor in June. Everyone who has posted their experiences and advice have really helped me in making the decision to have the surgery. I am in the hospital right now and I will have my surgery in about an hour. I want to thank everyone for their wisdom and I will post again after my surgery.

 
Old 11-23-2010, 09:16 AM   #43
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Thumbs up Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

Best of luck, Parrisani! I'm in week 8 post surgery for PTTD surgery and everything is healing well. Right on time. In 10 days the doc anticipates that joint fusion will be completely healed + that I will begin walking in a boot with crutches. It's been frustrating at times getting used to being on one foot or being patient. But this message board has helped me with a lot of questions and to understand that there are many people that have shared the same experience.

 
Old 11-23-2010, 02:27 PM   #44
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Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

Hi Parrasani;
Hope your surgery went well today. Keep us posted. Remember the first 72 hrs are the worst, it gets much better after that. Hang in there. We are all here for you.
Missy

 
Old 11-23-2010, 06:21 PM   #45
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Re: Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery

Thank you for all of the well wishes. I'm at home now elevating my foot. I had an evans calcaneal osteotomy, achilles tendon lengthening, and a bunionectomy. One of the most painful things about this process was getting the nerve block. It was really strange and painful and they do not put you to sleep for that like they do for the surgery. Saying that I am happy that I got the nerve block because I am not in any pain right now. I just have a strange sensation in my leg. It feels numb but it also feels like a weight. I am using crutches and I can't lift my leg at all. For that reason I do not think I will do much moving around this week.

I have ordered a shower cast cover and my doctor wrote me a prescription for a shower chair and knee scooter. I really wish that I read this forum before yesterday because it would be nice to have all of those things now.

I will update everyone as to how I am doing in a few days.

 
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