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Old 09-03-2011, 07:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Georgia
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LittleFoot22 HB User
A long road to recovery.

So I began:
Hello All! My name is Heather and I had a life changing experience on March 15, 2011. I was driving to my boyfriendís house after going in to work to cover someone's shift and I lost control of my car and hit a cement covert head on. I was removing my pharmacy lab coat. Something I have done hundreds of times. I guess it just finally caught up with me. I am trying to stay positive and keep a smile on my face. I look at this as a message from God that I need to get my life in order. Please please stop your car next time you go to remove your jacket or any article of clothing.


My injuries:

Broken right Calcaneus- I have two screws and the specialist that did my surgery built a cable just for me so I feel somewhat honored. It's was also 30% less likely for become infected.

Broken right pelvis and femur bones- I have 13 screws and a metal plate holding my hip together.

Broken left foot- There are 2 screws in there also.

Six broken ribs- Will heal over time.

Lacerations on my liver- After 3 days of close monitoring it finally clotted.

Punctured Lung-




I came home with LOVENOX shots which had to be take twice a day for blood clots, Oxycontin,Tramadol, and hydrocodone- All for pain
Last but not least Neurontin aka (Gabapentin)- for the the burning, stabbing pain and aches from the
sciatic nerve damage.

I did not like being on pain medicine and they didn't seem to help with the pain for more than an hour so I stopped taking them.


Now my doctor wants to remove the screws from my feet. I REALLY don't know if I should or just let them be. He said that over time they could eventually break......any thoughts?

Oh I am walking with crutches but my doctor wants me back on my 4 wheeled walker in hopes to rebuild the muscles in my hip. He say's we will leave the extra bones that are growing in there alone on account that removing them could make me lose mobility in my right side.


I know I have a long road still ahead of me but I get better daily. I don't have too much trouble with the nerve damage and the fat purple foot is starting to go away. It is very strange to feel that my foot feels cold like from the ac but I cannot feel hot/cold shower water on it.


ANY FEEDBACK WOULD BE FANTASTIC

 
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:18 AM   #2
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Re: A long road to recovery.

Wow, you reallt went through a lot!!!! Once everything is completely healed, I suspect that the screws may not be needed. I had a calcaneal osteotomy and had my screws removed 6 months post op due to discomfort. You have multiple injuries and I really do not know about all of the proceedures you had done. I would discuss your concerns with your doctor. Does he want to remove ALL of the screws or just certain ones? It sounds like you trust him. He really knows the details of the multiple surgeries best. I do know that it is not unusual to have screws removed for a variety of reasons.

Good luck with your recovery

 
Old 09-04-2011, 08:15 AM   #3
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Location: WI
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Zerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB User
Re: A long road to recovery.

I had somewhat simialr injuries. 12 broken ribs, both lungs punctured, femur on other side broke. I was on lovenox too, but got a clot and went on comadin.

All you can do it wait is out. Keep your feet elevated, really elevated. I slept with my foot on two pillows and two pillows on my recliner tilted back.
__________________
Heelie since 09
The good thing is, no one asks me to help them move anymore.

 
Old 09-04-2011, 08:16 AM   #4
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Zerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB UserZerk HB User
Re: A long road to recovery.

Here is the crash course in being a Heelie.

Lots of stuff to read about here.

But most people are non weight bearing 12 weeks, some get partial before that. Some where the boot and walk, I was told not to, cause it would make me uneven.

Keep your foot elevated, I mean elevated. I slept with it on 2 pillows, and two on recliner, with it all the way back.

Circulation will get better when you start walking. Yes, you may have a purplish look to your foot when it is down. yes you will get weird shooting pains and sensations from time. Yes, most of the feeling will hopefully come back.

The severity and recovery time really varies. But a year is ball park, with gains until 18 months, with people saying it still gets better for a few years.

You may want to wear a compression sock when you start to walk. Sorta knee stocking, that is very tight and helps with swelling. I wore one until about 10 months, and was told some do forever. I still get a bit of swelling around 24+ months. Wear a sock over it.

I wear light wool hiking socks year round. Get good cushiony socks.

Physical therapy is very important, be strict and do it. I started with range of motion at about 6 weeks.

Your calf is going to shrink a lot and your thigh. You can help your thigh a little by doing leg exercises, with out weight.

Calve raises will help the calf, when the time comes. You will have to do them with both feet. As time goes on put more weight on the bad foot. I still can’t do one footed, and probably never will, but many can.


This is a life changing event, that’s just the way it is. IMO you got to be tough and push, you will now when it really hurts and time to stop.

Many people get custom made orthotics a few months after they start walking. Wear them for short periods at first, increasing time. You will need a deeper shoe to fit it. New Balance plus others make them. You will probably never wear cheap footwear again.

Some people say don’t spend much on shoes the first year, but I say you got to wear something. You will probably need a wide shoe. Some wear two sizes, some just tighten the other, which is what I do.
When I went back to work I started with 6”lace up boots, cause my ankle was weak, I eventually moved up to 8” and find 8 a lot better. I wears 8” lace up boots for pretty much everything.

Fusing is a common treatment for this, they screw your foot together. Which limits movement, but you may have lost it anyways. I didn’t have surgery, cause I was in to bad of shape. I may someday, if the arthritis gets to bad.

Yes, you will most likely get arthritis.

As for pain, for me its not so much the heel but the outside ankle, because I also shattered my subtalar joint, which is not uncommon. I also have problems with my achilles. Not a lot of pain until I started walking. But it gets better, every week and month. Things were decent by month 11.

I started walking at 12 weeks, still used wheel chair a bit for couple weeks. Wheel chairs do help. Some people get knee walkers or scooters. Then I moved to walker some of the day, then walker and cane, and then just cane. I was to cane in 3-4 weeks, but still using waker when I went places for awhile.

By 5-6 months I think the walker was gone. In the beginning you will notice improvement almost weekly, if you try. Then it slows up a bit. After year it got slow for me.

It is illegal in many states to drive with just your left foot, so keep that in mind. Many people start driving with 3-5 months.

Many heelies have problem on uneven surfaces, due to less range of motion. This may be worse when it fused.

As for pain, I don’t have a lot on normal days around the house. But if I do a lot I feel it, with increased activity. Everything has a price. You have to spend some pain currency.
__________________
Heelie since 09
The good thing is, no one asks me to help them move anymore.

 
Old 09-04-2011, 03:08 PM   #5
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Georgia
Posts: 3
LittleFoot22 HB User
Re: A long road to recovery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zerk View Post
Here is the crash course in being a Heelie.

Lots of stuff to read about here.

But most people are non weight bearing 12 weeks, some get partial before that. Some where the boot and walk, I was told not to, cause it would make me uneven.

Keep your foot elevated, I mean elevated. I slept with it on 2 pillows, and two on recliner, with it all the way back.

Circulation will get better when you start walking. Yes, you may have a purplish look to your foot when it is down. yes you will get weird shooting pains and sensations from time. Yes, most of the feeling will hopefully come back.

The severity and recovery time really varies. But a year is ball park, with gains until 18 months, with people saying it still gets better for a few years.

You may want to wear a compression sock when you start to walk. Sorta knee stocking, that is very tight and helps with swelling. I wore one until about 10 months, and was told some do forever. I still get a bit of swelling around 24+ months. Wear a sock over it.

I wear light wool hiking socks year round. Get good cushiony socks.

Physical therapy is very important, be strict and do it. I started with range of motion at about 6 weeks.

Your calf is going to shrink a lot and your thigh. You can help your thigh a little by doing leg exercises, with out weight.

Calve raises will help the calf, when the time comes. You will have to do them with both feet. As time goes on put more weight on the bad foot. I still canít do one footed, and probably never will, but many can.


This is a life changing event, thatís just the way it is. IMO you got to be tough and push, you will now when it really hurts and time to stop.

Many people get custom made orthotics a few months after they start walking. Wear them for short periods at first, increasing time. You will need a deeper shoe to fit it. New Balance plus others make them. You will probably never wear cheap footwear again.

Some people say donít spend much on shoes the first year, but I say you got to wear something. You will probably need a wide shoe. Some wear two sizes, some just tighten the other, which is what I do.
When I went back to work I started with 6Ēlace up boots, cause my ankle was weak, I eventually moved up to 8Ē and find 8 a lot better. I wears 8Ē lace up boots for pretty much everything.

Fusing is a common treatment for this, they screw your foot together. Which limits movement, but you may have lost it anyways. I didnít have surgery, cause I was in to bad of shape. I may someday, if the arthritis gets to bad.

Yes, you will most likely get arthritis.

As for pain, for me its not so much the heel but the outside ankle, because I also shattered my subtalar joint, which is not uncommon. I also have problems with my achilles. Not a lot of pain until I started walking. But it gets better, every week and month. Things were decent by month 11.

I started walking at 12 weeks, still used wheel chair a bit for couple weeks. Wheel chairs do help. Some people get knee walkers or scooters. Then I moved to walker some of the day, then walker and cane, and then just cane. I was to cane in 3-4 weeks, but still using waker when I went places for awhile.

By 5-6 months I think the walker was gone. In the beginning you will notice improvement almost weekly, if you try. Then it slows up a bit. After year it got slow for me.

It is illegal in many states to drive with just your left foot, so keep that in mind. Many people start driving with 3-5 months.

Many heelies have problem on uneven surfaces, due to less range of motion. This may be worse when it fused.

As for pain, I donít have a lot on normal days around the house. But if I do a lot I feel it, with increased activity. Everything has a price. You have to spend some pain currency.

Thanks a lot for the advice. I was really nervous when I walked for the first time. I feel like a little baby learning everything all over. It is really frustrating and sometimes I want to cry but then I remember I just want my life back! I miss working and being able to jump in my car and go see friends. I miss my boyfriend like crazy, I miss taking long walks, and getting on the floor playing with my nieces and nephews. Last week at the doctor he told me he was really impressed at how fast I am recovering. I used a walker until about 3 weeks ago when I started using crutches. My doctor wants me back on the 4 wheeled walker in hopes to rebuilt my hip muscles. He has me laying on my left side and lifting my left leg as high as I can (which isn't very high) and holding then repeating 20 times. Where my pelvis and femur broke my muscles are calcifying and there is nothing I can do, he said is he removes the bones I could lose mobility in my right side.

I have driven twice since my wreck. VERY SCARY!! I am also climbing stairs (which the specialist in Gainesville told my family I'd NEVER do again). I am worried about the screws though. The doctor here in Ga says that as long as hey aren't bothering me that they will be fine but if they break I could be in a lot of pain. Also the screws in my calcaneus are starting to back out. you can see them through the skin, bulging. I am afraid that since my doctor in Ga didn't put those screws in that something could go wrong....I know he will consult the doctor who did it but I am still worried. Any thoughts?

My range of motion in the foot with the calcaneus injury is pretty decent. I have a cable in there that holds it all together, rather than a plate. On the x-rays it looks like a tooth pick with a life saver on each end. It's rather amusing to look at.

Oh yeah!! I was going to ask you. Did out have trouble with your toes? My second toe has developed "claw toe" and my big toe is really stiff all the time.


Thank you for your help and time

 
Old 09-04-2011, 03:22 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Georgia
Posts: 3
LittleFoot22 HB User
Re: A long road to recovery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roxygirl1 View Post
Wow, you reallt went through a lot!!!! Once everything is completely healed, I suspect that the screws may not be needed. I had a calcaneal osteotomy and had my screws removed 6 months post op due to discomfort. You have multiple injuries and I really do not know about all of the proceedures you had done. I would discuss your concerns with your doctor. Does he want to remove ALL of the screws or just certain ones? It sounds like you trust him. He really knows the details of the multiple surgeries best. I do know that it is not unusual to have screws removed for a variety of reasons.

Good luck with your recovery

First I want to thank you for reading my post and giving me feed back. I have been through a lot and it really is a lot to take in. I do trust my doctor he has not lead me astray yet and he always answers my questions in great detail. He said by looking at the x-rays that everything looks healed and the screws can come out if I want them out. The only time the really bother me is, in my left foot when I stand for long periods of time and in the right foot which is the one with the calcaneus injury, when I am putting on my shoe the screws in the heel are starting to back out. My only concern is, I have a cable in my right foot. I don't have the metal plate like most people I have read about on here. The cable works to give me my range of motion, so what if he removes the screws and that messes up? I am probably freaking out for nothing, right?

 
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