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Old 04-22-2011, 10:49 PM   #1
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part of incision still open 5 weeks post op

On 2-27-11 I fell from ladder and shattered my heel and broke my ankle. It took 3 weeks for surgery due to swelling, plate and 10 screws in heel and 2 screws in ankle. Never got casted due to swelling I just had a splint/soft cast until wed. 4-20-11 when they removed the stitches and put me in a boot. They put steri-strips on and said I could do range of motions. I was able to move ever so slightly. I had done ROM about 3 times for maybe 3-5min ea. (scared of messing up hardware). On my cast sock I noticed a little blood drainage and would turn the sock and I noticed the spots were geting bigger, so I went to see dr. today 4-22-11 and he gauged it and put an ace bandage told me to come back in 10 days to clean and check wound.

My question is has anyone else had swelling problems? I stay elevated probably 6-8 hrs day plus while I sleep, I ice at nite on foot and behind knee (which seems to work better). I am nwb I use a knee walker which I highly recomend. Also 4 days after surgery I was hospitalized for a week because I was so sick, they thought it was a virus, but found out it was 2 ulcers due to meds. So I have been med free since exactly 1 week after surgery, tried tylenol but dont help. They say that ibuprofen is absolutly horrible on stomach and ulcers, well I prefer this over hydracodone, because it alleviates swelling therefore alleviating the pain. I am a single mom and I need to get this incision healed so I can begin pt and get back to normal. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Today is 5 weeks post op and Easter will be 8 weeks post fall. BTW... Hoppy Easter all and Thank You Jesus
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File Type: jpg foot3.jpg (41.0 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg xray.jpg (39.0 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg xray3.jpg (55.0 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg foot4.jpg (44.9 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg xray1.jpg (47.2 KB, 4 views)

Last edited by justtlc; 04-22-2011 at 10:59 PM.

 
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:19 AM   #2
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Re: part of incision still open 5 weeks post op

Quote:
Originally Posted by justtlc View Post
On 2-27-11 I fell from ladder and shattered my heel and broke my ankle. It took 3 weeks for surgery due to swelling, plate and 10 screws in heel and 2 screws in ankle. Never got casted due to swelling I just had a splint/soft cast until wed. 4-20-11 when they removed the stitches and put me in a boot. They put steri-strips on and said I could do range of motions. I was able to move ever so slightly. I had done ROM about 3 times for maybe 3-5min ea. (scared of messing up hardware). On my cast sock I noticed a little blood drainage and would turn the sock and I noticed the spots were geting bigger, so I went to see dr. today 4-22-11 and he gauged it and put an ace bandage told me to come back in 10 days to clean and check wound.

My question is has anyone else had swelling problems? I stay elevated probably 6-8 hrs day plus while I sleep, I ice at nite on foot and behind knee (which seems to work better). I am nwb I use a knee walker which I highly recomend. Also 4 days after surgery I was hospitalized for a week because I was so sick, they thought it was a virus, but found out it was 2 ulcers due to meds. So I have been med free since exactly 1 week after surgery, tried tylenol but dont help. They say that ibuprofen is absolutly horrible on stomach and ulcers, well I prefer this over hydracodone, because it alleviates swelling therefore alleviating the pain. I am a single mom and I need to get this incision healed so I can begin pt and get back to normal. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Today is 5 weeks post op and Easter will be 8 weeks post fall. BTW... Hoppy Easter all and Thank You Jesus
First and foremost, everyone heals a little bit differently. You are on your own time line, although there maybe commonalities, you are an individual and it sounds like you had a very significant injury to your foot!! Last year I had a subtalar joint fusion, on a relatively 'well' foot and was told it might be 8 to 12 months or longer before I would not have any swelling. So, if swelling is your question, it is quite normal at this stage in the game to have swelling--5 weeks post-op. It sounds like you are elevating your foot a large portion of your day which is good, but I would suggest icing at least 2 to 3 times a day. Additional icing may help with your swelling. Keep your chin up, as it is a long process. Check out this foot board as there are lots of us who have written about our own stories, and reading through these posts may be very helpful to you and your recovery. I wish you luck in your recovery!!

 
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:52 PM   #3
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Re: part of incision still open 5 weeks post op

I can't remember the exact timeline on my first ankle surgery since it was about 7 years ago, but I know my incision took a long time to fully heal. I got my stitches out around 2 weeks after surgery and they put steri strips on and back into a cast, so it was probably around 4-5 weeks that I got out of the cast and into the boot. At that visit, the tech peeled off the steri strips, saying that I didn't need those anymore. I had all kinds of nasty scabs along the incision, and when she peeled off the steri strips the scabs came off too. I was stuck with this 2 inch long open wound for the next several weeks as it slowly filled back in. So it can be completely normal to have an unhealed incision at this point.

In contrast, my second ankle surgery last December healed up really fast. At 4 weeks, the incision was completely 100% healed into a thin purple line.

 
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:12 PM   #4
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Re: part of incision still open 5 weeks post op

I believe I will start icing more also the dr. gave me some voltarin cream which I just began using tonite because one of the side effects is stomach bleeding and with my ulcers that scared me, but I have got to stop swelling or I dont think my incision will close. Thanks again for your advice.

Last edited by justtlc; 04-23-2011 at 09:13 PM.

 
Old 04-23-2011, 09:19 PM   #5
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Re: part of incision still open 5 weeks post op

Quote:
Originally Posted by kehorner View Post
I can't remember the exact timeline on my first ankle surgery since it was about 7 years ago, but I know my incision took a long time to fully heal. I got my stitches out around 2 weeks after surgery and they put steri strips on and back into a cast, so it was probably around 4-5 weeks that I got out of the cast and into the boot. At that visit, the tech peeled off the steri strips, saying that I didn't need those anymore. I had all kinds of nasty scabs along the incision, and when she peeled off the steri strips the scabs came off too. I was stuck with this 2 inch long open wound for the next several weeks as it slowly filled back in. So it can be completely normal to have an unhealed incision at this point.

In contrast, my second ankle surgery last December healed up really fast. At 4 weeks, the incision was completely 100% healed into a thin purple line.
That makes me feel a little better knowing that someone else had a slow healing incision. I think because of the swelling it keeps it from closing. I am an anxious person and my mind races and with me being down it has more time to wonder so I have already jumped to a worst case scenerio. When my mind begins to race I will redirect it to your slow healing. Thank you

 
Old 04-23-2011, 09:58 PM   #6
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Re: part of incision still open 5 weeks post op

Packing material soaked in sea salt healed my friends wound that would not heal for a year. A nurse from Cuba suggested this to her and it worked.

 
Old 04-23-2011, 10:32 PM   #7
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Re: part of incision still open 5 weeks post op

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aradia View Post
Packing material soaked in sea salt healed my friends wound that would not heal for a year. A nurse from Cuba suggested this to her and it worked.
Thanks, sounds interesting....but what kind of packing material? how long do you leave it on?

 
Old 04-23-2011, 11:45 PM   #8
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Re: part of incision still open 5 weeks post op

Gauze squares 4x4, or whatever size will cover the wound surface...the plain ones (no Iodine). Get distilled water(1 cup), add about 5 heaping tablespoons of sea salt. Take gauze squares and soak for about 15 minutes. Take out with safety pin...do not touch with hands ( be as sterile as possible)Dry on paper towel. Do not squeeze extra water off squares. Let them air dry. The salt draws the healing up and out. The first time it will sting a little. My friend says this nurse saved her from having a big hole in her leg that she could stick her pinkie into. She had gone to the best wound center at the university of Miami hospital and they couldn't do anything...one year of packing an no results. I just called her and asked her to come to the board and look at your wound. She says this will work.

 
Old 04-23-2011, 11:48 PM   #9
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Re: part of incision still open 5 weeks post op

Put gauze over stitches loosely. After you see it starting to heal use less and less salt as to not irritate it. Once you see it starting to heal just put regular gauze no salt. She also says it's taking time to heal because of where the wound is...you may be putting pressure on it. The legs and feet take longer to heel. Keep off of it. BTW...my friend is also a nurse (she worked on Miami Beach for 14 years)

Last edited by Aradia; 04-24-2011 at 12:08 AM. Reason: added more info

 
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