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Old 11-05-2010, 03:28 PM   #1
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Help! How long to elevate?

Ok, I'm 3.5 days post-op (medial calcaneal slide osteotomy, cuneiform osteotomy). I currently have my foot elevated 99% of the time, since when I try to use crutches or "hop" it is rather painful... the cast/dressing is very heavy.

My question is... should I gradually begin to lower my foot for short periods? (For example, if I'm laying on the couch, removing the pillows under my leg.) Or, is there a certain number of days you should keep it 100% elevated? I tried to call my doc but they didn't get back to me before the weekend.

I know I'm not at all ready to move around a lot with crutches. I'm just wondering if there is an interim period where I help my foot/leg "get used to" not being elevated, and then it won't hurt so much when I do use them.

 
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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Re: Help! How long to elevate?

Jess, elevate, elevate, elevate. The more you elevate, the less swelling and less complications and pain. I pretty much spent the first month after my calcaneus fracture on my back. This is not the time to push yourself. Relax, watch some movies, read some books and get lots of rest. Give your body a chance to heal. Take it from me and everyone else, it's difficult but worth it in the end. Feel better soon!

 
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:00 PM   #3
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Re: Help! How long to elevate?

After shattering my heel, my foot would turn light purple when down. It got better when I started walking, because the muscles started pumping.

If your foot is swollen, put it up. Once it stops swelling then put it down. But I don't think you can train your foot, by leaving it down for short periods.

So if it was me, I would leave my foot up, as much as possible or as much as the doctor tells me to.

 
Old 11-05-2010, 09:36 PM   #4
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Re: Help! How long to elevate?

I'm 5 weeks post op of similar procedures and I feel best with it up to some extent. I started with 4 pillows while lying nearly flat then I've lowered to 2 sometimes none all while lying down. But today i am achy so I'm using 4. You might find that Its not really the height of the pillows it's how high your leg is relative to your heart. Try to keep higher than your heart. That's so the blood isn't pumping into the foot but going away.

 
Old 11-05-2010, 09:42 PM   #5
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Re: Help! How long to elevate?

Oh, you also mentioned your heavy cast. That swing of the cast can hurt I know. Ask your doc if you can rent a knee walker. It's a chair height scooter that you kneel on with the surgery leg. Saves the arms and is very stable if used in doors and slowly.

 
Old 11-06-2010, 05:41 AM   #6
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Re: Help! How long to elevate?

For the first couple of weeks, elevate and icing is what you really need to do for swelling. I know it gets uncomfortable and at times boring. But for your foot to heal it really is the best thing to do.

 
Old 11-06-2010, 08:34 AM   #7
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Re: Help! How long to elevate?

I wasn't elevating my foot as good as should, I thought I was. I had to pillows under it night, and sat in my recliner. Went and saw doc, first appt out of the hospital, after 3 weeks, thought we were going to schedule surgery. Well he talks about ya never know may have to cut it off.

BY the next week after doing whirl pool and putting two pillows on my recliner and putting my recliner all the way back. He is talking about how good it looks and that we turned a bend.

 
Old 11-06-2010, 09:11 AM   #8
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Re: Help! How long to elevate?

Thanks Missyluke. I don't think I can ice it (dressing is too thick) but you're probably right regarding elevating the foot.

I have a friends wedding reception on the 10th (9 days after the surgery) and another on the 14th (12 days after surgery). I'm wondering if it would be possible to attend either, in a wheelchair or scooter for an hour or so? Or is it still necessary to have the foot elevated 24/7? Maybe I will have to play it by ear...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missyluke View Post
For the first couple of weeks, elevate and icing is what you really need to do for swelling. I know it gets uncomfortable and at times boring. But for your foot to heal it really is the best thing to do.

 
Old 11-06-2010, 09:24 AM   #9
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Re: Help! How long to elevate?

You can use ice behind your knee if you want. This does help by cooling and resticting the blood vessels that circulates down to the foot. I have also iced through a cast. It takes longer to feel relief but as long as it stays dry, it can help as well. You might be able to try it through the dressing it you can ensure it stays dry. My favourite ice pack is a bag of peas.

Last edited by Canadian Chick; 11-06-2010 at 09:28 AM.

 
Old 11-06-2010, 10:30 AM   #10
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Re: Help! How long to elevate?

Thanks everyone! (Sorry, in my earlier post, I had only seen one response posted.) Sounds like I should just stay put and try to elevate as much as possible. Canadian Chick - thanks for the tip on the ice. I didn't know that.

I am 32 yrs old and 100 lbs, so my frame isn't very good at handling a 20-lb cast. I think the knee walker sounds like a good idea.

 
Old 11-06-2010, 12:54 PM   #11
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Re: Help! How long to elevate?

I used a wheelchair for awhile, jusy make sure you get the leg rest rather than the foot rest for the affected leg. This will at least keep it elevated and more comfortable. Good luck

 
Old 11-06-2010, 04:39 PM   #12
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Re: Help! How long to elevate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firelady1 View Post
I used a wheelchair for awhile, jusy make sure you get the leg rest rather than the foot rest for the affected leg. This will at least keep it elevated and more comfortable. Good luck
This is what I did too. It helps around the house. You can carry stuff around. Also if you have to go long distances someone can push you.

I took the doors off the bathrooms and put up curtains. Bathroom doors tend to be narrow. I took the door off the bedroom to, just to save it from knicks. I could get through.

I was nonweight bearing on both legs.

 
Old 11-07-2010, 02:43 PM   #13
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Re: Help! How long to elevate?

Elevate? All day every day.

 
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