I am scheduled to have this surgery next month on my ankle.I need the good,bad and ugly about it.I have never had surgery in my life and i am scared to death.I fell in september and after PT and all these months in a ankle brace my ankle isnt healed.My doc says it is very unstable and i have swelling in the ligament.So surgery is the only way to fix it.How long does the surgery take?Is it outpatient?What are some questions i should ask at my pre op appt?I have 3 kids so i need to know what i need to do to prepare them and me for this surgery.I am guessing the first week will be the toughest?So please give many any advice you can.Thanks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had this surgery Nov 17th. I am coming up close to the 3 month mark. There are several others who will probably have something to add also, who had their surgeries a couple weeks after me. This was my second ankle surgery, both of which were in 2010.
My surgery was outpatient, and lasted 124 minutes as I remember them telling me in recovery. I also had arthroscopy done and I also had some hardware taken out from the first surgery that wasn't really doing what it was supposed to do, so I am sure that added some time on my surgery. Will you be having a scope done also? You could ask them how long they have the OR blocked off for you. I had a sciatic nerve block which was done in the back of the top of my thigh, along with twilight anesthesia. I don't even remember being wheeled into the OR. The block was wonderful after the surgery, but hurt so bad when they were doing it. They gave me drugs through my IV before they did it, but they didn't seem to give the drugs long enough to kick in to knock me out. All the nurses were amazed that I could remember getting the block after my surgery. It was really nice because I had no feeling for a good 20-24 hours. I only had some pain on the medial side (the sciatic block doesn't cover that portion of your ankle), but only because they made an incision on that side to take out some metal. I also had one of those ice machines hooked up to me and that was very helpful. It did go through the splint and helped with the pain management.
I seemed to have more pain than the others who had their surgery done around the same time as me. I was on pain killers for about 10 days, and then was just taking advil from there. I was nonweightbearing and on crutches for 3 weeks and went into a boot at the 1 week mark. You will want to ask your doctor about his post-op protocol. Ask him about non-WB and how long you will need to use crutches. Will you have a cast or a boot? I started therapy at week #4 and I am still currently going 3x's per week.
As of right now, at almost 12 weeks post-op, I do feel like my ankle is more solid. It feels like it fits together right, and doesn't feel like I am going to fall over whenever I am walking. My ankle feels very tight with certain movements, as though it might tear, but my doctor has told me that will subside over time.
I am still having some issues with pain and limited range of motion, but I seem to be in the minority.
Goodluck with your surgery and feel free to ask any questions. This place was great before surgery for me, especially going back and reading all of the old discussions on brostroms and reconstructions.
Hi,Thanks so much.My doc has already said i will be in a cast and no weight bearing for 6 weeks and then a boot for 6 weeks.I have 3 kids and a husband that works 2 jobs so my biggest concern is how i am going to get around LOL.We are also unsure how long my husband should take off work to help me?And yes i believe they are also doing a scope to see if there is any cartilage damage?Not sure really I guess i will find more out at my pre op appt.
I just had this done mid-December on my right ankle.
The prospect of having surgery is definitely scary, but try not to worry. I've had 3 surgeries (and some other procedures with IV sedation), and the staff has always been very nice and professional. The surgery will be outpatient, so you show up at the time they tell you, check in, and head back to the pre-op area. You'll need somebody to drive you to and from the hospital, and they will be allowed to come with you in pre-op. The standard procedure varies depending on the hospital, but generally you answer all kinds of questions (including "what are you having done today?" don't worry, they know why you are there, but they want to confirm that you know, and that they have the right location on record), pee in a cup (pregnancy test), change into a gown, and get into bed. Then all sorts of people stop by to see you. You'll get an IV started, they may have to take an antacid, you'll get warm blankets, they might put compression sleeves on your legs, etc. The anesthesiologist and the surgeon will stop by to see you and answer any last-minute questions. The surgeon will confirm the surgical site and initial it with a marker.
When it's time for the surgery, you'll say goodbye to your companion and get wheeled down to the OR, then you slide over onto the table and they put you out. How much of this you remember depends on their procedures and what medications they give when. My first surgery, I was fully awake all the way to the OR. My second one, I don't remember leaving my mom or getting wheeled down the hall at all, because they gave me "something to relax you." This last one, they gave me "something to relax you" and I still remember getting wheeled in and sliding over, but it's hazy. They may or may not tell you before they inject the drugs to knock you out. I honestly don't remember them ever telling me. One minute you're laying there waiting, the next minute you wake up in recovery. The stuff they use now works so fast, that you probably won't even know what hit you.
When you wake up in the recovery room, there will be a nurse right there with you. You will probably be in pain, but they will have drugs at the ready as soon as you ask for them or complain about the pain. If you have any other issues, just ask. They will get you warm blankets, ice chips, a drink, pain meds, nausea meds (I've never had any problem with nausea, but they do have good drugs if you do encounter this), whatever you need. Once you wake up, you'll feel sort of groggy and confused, but it will pass pretty quickly. Once you're more awake, you might be moved to a second recovery area, and your companion will be brought back to see you. They will offer you something to drink and eat (juice or soda and usually graham crackers). They might give you some oral pain meds, because those will last longer than the IV meds. After you're fully awake and the pain is under control, they will let you go. You get dressed, a nurse goes over all of your paperwork, they take out your IV, and wheel you out to the car.
The actual surgery will take 1-2 hours. Your companion might be waiting longer than that, because you'll sleep for a while in recovery. I don't know how old your kids are, but it will probably be easiest to not bring them. First, it's boring having to wait while somebody has surgery. Second, you'll want your companion to be able to focus on you. Third, the kids won't be allowed to come into the pre-op or recovery areas. You'll have to tailor the explanation of the surgery to your kids' ages and curiosity. For young kids, and explanation of "the doctor is going to fix mommy's foot" might suffice. For older kids, you might need to explain the process of anesthesia and assure them that it's safe. A lot of children's hospitals have information about having surgery that is geared toward different age groups, so that might be helpful. It's meant to explain surgery to a kid that's having it, but it would be a good guide.
The first week is definitely going to be the hardest. You'll be in pain, it will be hard to get around, and you'll probably just want to sleep a lot (a combination of the anesthesia and the pain meds). You will absolutely want somebody there with you for the first day or two after surgery to take care of everything. If your kids are old enough, they can help carry things for you (or even cook simple meals). If they are too young to be helpful and/or follow your verbal directions, then you'll want some help in the first few weeks.
There's a thread around here that talks about dealing with being non weight bearing, so you should check that out.
I found this surgery to be relatively easy compared to my last ankle surgery that was more involved. I was miserable the first week, but after that the pain got better. My doctor has a very liberal protocol, so I was allowed to weight bear as soon as I wanted to. The pain was down enough that I was walking about a week and a half after surgery. It took about a month, though, before I was able to sit without having my foot elevated. The worst of the pain should be gone within the first 2 weeks, though. If you have a relative or friend that can come help with the kids during that time, I would highly recommend it.
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Thanks so much,That puts my mind at ease some.lol My biggest fear is not waking up,crazy i know.My 2 older kids will be at school while i have surgery it is my youngest I am concerned about.He has aspergers and has never been away from me and he is already freaking out about it.I am going to try to get my mom to go to the hospital with us,so my husband can help me and my mom can help deal with my son.I plan to freeze some meals that way my 11 and 9 yr old can pop them in the microwave atleast for the first week...again thanks so much for the advice.
I had this surgery in december. My procedure lasted about four and a half hours. I had the same thing done that you did, but when they went in the ligament was so badly damaged they had to make a new one out of other tissue. when you get to the hospital they usually have a general waiting area where you get checked in. Then you will be taken back to a holding room until the surgery. There they will take you vital signs(blood pressure,temperature etc..) to compare it during surgery. You will meet with your anthesiologist and surgeon.
When it is time for surgery they will either give you a drug to relax you or like I did just walk back to the operating room. You will have an IV to get the anthesia, and other medicies during the surgery. I also had a breathing tube put it in during surgery because my asthma started acting up. When you wake up in the recovery room you will not remember anything. (I never rememeber getting the anthesia.)
In recovery once you are alert you will be able to drink some water or apple juice, and once you can keep that down some saltines or crackers to eat. Then it will be time to go home. it will be a long day, I arrived at the hospital at 9:00 AM and left the hospital at 11:00PM, so I suggest not to bring your kids.
For the first week at home you are going to be pretty much bed ridden. The pain killers are the main reason for that. Once you are off those then you can get up and out more. I am still on crutches (11 weeks post op but I can walk without them just not all day long) The pain was very bad for me as I developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome which is why all of my recovery is delayed. I was in a cast for 4 weeks (supposed to be 6) and then into the boot. Each doctor is different.
I could not have done it without my parents. They did everything for me for the first two weeks. (i am 14 year old)