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Old 06-11-2011, 09:24 AM   #1
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82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

Calcaneal osteotomy, lateral ligament repair (modified Brostrom procedure), removal of bone fragments, calf lengthening (gastrocnemius slide).

Just want to give an update for people considering a similar procedure.

It's been 82 days since my surgery. I am no longer using the boot or crutches. The swelling is down enough in the morning so that I can see my achilles. If I'm on my leg for more than a few hours, it does swell up. Pain comes and goes, sometimes worse than others. My range of motion is about 70%. I can't walk down stairs yet but can pretty much do everything else. My leg is incredibly weak. Therapy consists of exercises in a therapeutic pool, strengthening, range of motion, and massage. My calf is very sore and I can feel the knots of muscle. The bottom of my foot is still very sensitive and stepping on anything (including a grain of sand) feels like a needle. My heel still feels very awkward. I bumped the back of it during therapy and it was incredibly painful. The fat pad is still quite sensitive. I could definitely work now if I were able to elevate at the office. Anything that requires an extended amount of time on my feet would not be possible though. Standing still for more than a few minutes is painful.

Good luck to anyone considering this procedure. I still don't believe my osteotomy was necessary so I highly recommend getting a second opinion before committing to surgery.

 
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:43 AM   #2
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

Hi Lurchy24,
Thank you for your post. I'm 6 weeks out yesterday - from calcaneal osteotomy, debridement posterior tibial tendon, transfer flexor digitorum longus tendon to navicular, and gastrocmenius release. I'm still in my cast for another 1.5 weeks. I haven't gone back to work yet. I'm debating on calling my doc and seeing if I can work part time from home. I've noticed that if my foot is hanging down - at 1/2 hour my toes are blue and puffy. I'm not sure if I need to have them down more - or if I could be keeping them up in the hopes that it all heals quicker.
Thanks for sharing - it helps give people like me some hope in getting through this. 8-)
I'm sorry your heel doesn't feel right...I was wondering how that will all feel when all is said and done. Although, remember lots of people on here say that things change clear up to a year after the surgery.
Good luck!
Angela

 
Old 06-11-2011, 12:17 PM   #3
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

Angela, you are still very early in the recovery process. It took awhile before my foot stopped turning blue when it was down for any period of time. If your toes are getting puffy, your body is telling you it doesn't like what you are doing. Give your body a chance to heal and don't push things. If you have any questions at all, call your surgeon. I am 11 months post op and can honestly say that I am happy I had the surgery done

 
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:46 PM   #4
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

Thanks Roxygirl1~! You are always so encouraging...I really appreciate that. 6 weeks feels like a long time...but i know in the grand scheme of things it really isn't.
Part of me feels like I'm being a big baby for not being up and trying to do more...or for not being back at work yet. I think this is just something I need to get over...that it does take time and I'm going to have to have my foot up for awhile.

thanks for you encouragement!

 
Old 06-11-2011, 05:57 PM   #5
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

Definitely don't rush it. Better to take it easy now so it will heal faster and better in the long run. I'll be 12 weeks post surgery on Monday and can honestly say that I could not have been working full time up to this point. Even now, if my foot is down for a few hours, it swells. If you can stay home and keep it elevated, do it. Once you get the cast off, it will be much easier to gauge how your foot is responding.

Good luck!

 
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Old 06-11-2011, 07:43 PM   #6
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

Thanks Lurchy24!
Hmmm...I might need to really look at working from home...I was thinking when I get the cast off...I'll be using crutches and the boot...but that I would be able to hobble into work. I'm thinking now...that that probably isn't going to happen like that. For one thing...I have almost an hour commute to get there...and then it's a good hike into the building and then to my desk. I'm used to working 50+ hours a week...at the desk...for meetings...sometimes it's a mile walk. (I work at a large manufacturing site..and do costing for the testing area - so of course the rest of finance is at the opposite end of the plant...) I've been told my work will "work with me"...so I guess I'll see.

I'm surprised at how weak I am. I mean I get so exhausted just hauling myself in for a shower! So, to do a load of laundry, clean bathrooms, kitchen or anything...takes me forever....very tiring. I would think that I would have more strength back by now.

Thank you for the encouragement!
Angela

 
Old 06-12-2011, 08:06 AM   #7
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

Sounds like you are coming along well. My foot is similar as the more I stay up on it the more I swell. Oddly enough the past week things are starting to level out for me. My heel hurts off and one and somedays my Achilles is very sore. Do you still have a limp? My gait is slow and the PT tells me not to worry about it. I find people get so impaitient when walking behind me. I guess I need to not worry so much about the people around me and focus more on my self.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:32 AM   #8
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

I barely have a limp but I do walk slowly. I haven't done any long walking trips yet as I don't need to. Up until last week, I had to use a crutch in the morning or in the middle of the night as my foot would really tighten up and be pretty painful first thing. I'm not using the crutch at all now. I still have a decent amount of pain that ibuprofen wont touch. I haven't taken the Norco for almost 2 weeks (after being on it for 66 days!) and have been taking a decent dose of tramadol (50 mg) that seems to help. I have bad knees and they ache like crazy which makes everything worse.

Adbow - My pain was always pretty bad in the boot. I ended up taking it off every time I sat down. If there is any way you can work from home, I strongly suggest doing it. The more you baby this thing now, the better it will be. You have a very long way to go and the surgeon or therapist will tell you when to push it however the best indicator is your foot. As far as weakness is concerned, you're body is just tired from the healing process. Once you start PT, you will really see how weak you are. I don't mean that to scare you or anything but you will have lost a lot of muscle in the 8-10 weeks since the surgery. I'm down over 20 lbs. I just started being able to go up on my toes. I can also do squats now but my muscles really ache after. On top of that, my upper body is pretty pathetic. If you can do any exercises that don't involve your leg now, I recommend it. I don't like being so weak.

 
Old 06-12-2011, 08:43 AM   #9
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

Lurchy try stretching out your calf before you get out of bed. You will notice a difference in less post night soreness. This surgerey is scary. There were alot of days I felt I would never walk normal again. So glad to be up off crutches and out of the boot. I understand now why the foot takes so much longer to heal and rehabilitate.
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:48 PM   #10
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

Thanks to all who post on these boards. These were a great source of info before surgery, and now 10 days out from calcaneal osteotomy and FDL transfer, encouragement that thing will get better. I had my surgery at HSS in NY and spent 3 days there till pain was manageable. Then a week in subacute rehab facility b/c I live alone.....I needed it b/c I still had some pain issues too. Now I'm home and nervous about the next chapter. So far things have gone very well. I have both a knee walker(fabulous!) and a walker(for tight spaces around the house. I tried crutches but due to other joint problems from other injuries, surgeries, and RA I wasn't stable enough with them. Is there anyone else here who has RA? I'm a bit nervous about being off the RA meds since I was having some bad flare ups a couple of months ago. Hopefully when I get sutures out this week they'll let me start up again. Thanks again, Bunnie

 
Old 06-12-2011, 05:02 PM   #11
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

Hi Bunnie and welcome to the foot boards...
(although that is sad that we have to be here...but you are right this loaded with great information and wonderful support!)
I don't have RA...but my knee opposite of the foot that was done - has no cartiledge (sp?). I'm waiting to have a total knee replacement. So, I too have not been able to use my crutches. The knee roll about has been a life safer!
Take care...get lots of rest and have your foot up as much as possible!

Angela

 
Old 06-12-2011, 05:11 PM   #12
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

Lurchy24...okay the pain in the boot does not sound fun. Is that because your foot was able to move some? I know when I'm up and moving around to much on my knee scooter - my heel and arch really start to hurt. I'm not sure if it's from swelling - but it's definitly not comfortable. I was hoping once the cast comes off ...that is will be such a nice free feeling..hahhaha... I know...but I can dream. I'm actually looking forward to crawling in the tub and taking a bath instead of a shower sitting on a chair! 8-)
My doctor hasn't mentioned PT. I just know for my next appointment I'm supposed to bring my boot and crutches. The nurse emailed and said that a lot of people can walk right away with no problem. While I think that sounds nice...that kind of scares me..but I guess we'll see. (This doc had told me orginially I'd be off work 2-3 months. I told him i couldn't do that and asked if i could work from home after 4...(what a joke)...he said we'd see..and then when I went in at 2 weeks after surgery he said I'd be off for another 6 and asked if that would be a problem...) but the nurse seemed to think that when I get the cast off I can start working part time. Which that will put me at almost 8 weeks out of surgery....but I will see if I can do that from home.
take care...
Angela

 
Old 06-12-2011, 05:35 PM   #13
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

Bunnie...sounds like you are on the road to recovery. I also had my surgery at HSS (11 months ago) and am doing well. I dont know about RA but I wish you luck

 
Old 06-12-2011, 07:21 PM   #14
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

I think the most important thing to remember is that everyone handles the surgery differently. I've heard of some people being able to walk as soon as they get out of the cast but it seems rare. I was able to walk in the boot right away but it took another 2 weeks for me to be able to walk without it.

Today was a good test for me as I did a big grocery shop and then rode in a golf cart while my brother played. Having my leg down that long did cause it to ache and I took a tramadol which helped a bit. The great thing is that it didn't swell very much.

As far as RA is concerned, I don't have it. I do have patella alta in my knees (my knee caps are too high) and have worn through the cartilage and developed grooves in the bone. I've been putting off an allograft or knee replacement for about 3 years. So, I'm no stranger to pain. That being said, these procedures have been the most painful things I've ever been through. It just depends on the person and I was also told it's typically more painful for men then women. I was a bit too aggressive with my PT on Friday and paid for it Saturday morning. I've been doing squats in the therapy pool and decided to try them in my living room. The pain wasn't bad when I did them but I woke up every hour throughout the night due to my legs aching from hip to toe (and especially my knees).

 
Old 06-12-2011, 07:24 PM   #15
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Re: 82 days post surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, brostrom, gastroc slide)

Adbow - as far as the pain from the boot, I think that was unique to me. A lot of my pain went away when I got out of the cast and it seemed the same in the boot. Didn't make a difference if it was swollen or what I was doing. Just the pressure bothered my foot. It's still the same a bit now when I wear a shoe. As long as I'm moving, it's okay. As soon as I stand still, it starts to ache.

 
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