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Old 09-19-2011, 01:06 AM   #1
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Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

Hey there,

This is my first post on this website.

I am still in the hospital the second night after my surgery for the reconstruction of my calcaneus.


I was walking down the street in Victoria, BC late night and on a dark side street. I fell 15 feet down an unmarked open hole that someone had taken the grate off of. I am very lucky i didnt break my back or smash my skull on the generator that was below. I still am in shock about what happened.

It happened on september 1st, 2011. surgery on september 17, 2011.
this is Day 1 of my long road to healing and recovery.

I have so many questions and have grazed the site already and have found many answers. I know its going to take a lot of adjustment and patience to allow myself to heel the heal properly and i am not going to rush anything.

Call me vein but im scared of deformity to the point where i wont be able to wear the types of shoes i want and also im scared that i will have a limp and mostly Im scared that i wont be able to dance how i used to. Does any one have stories about that?

I know i will be able to deal with this as it comes, and i am very lucky to have family support so i hope that this site will be another outlet on this road to recovery....

Ive heard about ultrasound bone stimulators to speed healing, had anyone used them?
and what nutrition supplements have people taken to support full re-calcification and bone support. what are your go to healthy and healing meals ? being bed ridden for 4 months is going to take a tole physically and i do not want to get suckered into emotionally eating and gain 20 pounds while im trying to heal my injury ! food is going to be a major part of my consciousness in these next months....

anyways as u can see i have a tonne of things im thinking about and want answers to them all !!! anything helps and im excited to find such a place on the internet that provides for us injured ones... !

peace and health to all


Last edited by allydownthehole; 09-19-2011 at 01:24 AM. Reason: more to add :)

 
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:07 AM   #2
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

" I am very lucky i didnt break my back or smash my skull on the generator that was below."
Keep this attitude in mind while going thru the "process".

Love that User Name!!!!

 
Old 09-19-2011, 03:59 PM   #3
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

Hi allydownthehole,

So sorry to hear about your accident. It sounds pretty bad. The good news is that you are on your way to recovering.

I can't address all of your questions, but I'd like to speak to one thing you mentioned in particular. FOOD! I had my heel cut off and moved over as part of a flat foot reconstruction surgery almost 6 months ago now. Part of the recovery orders was to be in bed with the foot elevated only to get up to use the bathroom for 2 months. I was TERRIFIED I would way 500 pounds before it was all overwith! In bed not able to do my exercises and boredom looming. Much to my delight, I lost 6 pounds. I had been seriously trying to loose weight for 10 years and not one pound did I shed until this surgery. There are a few things that changed during that time. First of all, I was CONFINED to bed, so I literally couldn't do anything at work (except for phone/e-mail) or around the house. I was relieved of all that responsibility. People had to come see me if they wanted to visit me. It was a time where I had the least amount of stress I've ever felt. My one job was to heal myself and get better. I think my hormones got into balance without all that stress around.

But the thing that surprised me most was the way I thought about food. For the first two weeks after the surgery, I was confined to my bedroom and on painkillers. The painkllers made me loose my appetite. When I did eat, I made sure I had high quality foods...good quality grains for fiber, lots of protien and things that contained calcium. Since I was in one room and couldn't stand in front of the fridge or pantry, I had to ask for everything that went into my mouth. I had to remember what we had or what people brought me. Many times, I never knew we had left overs and they spoiled because I couldn't get a visual on them. Many meals I also thought to myself, "how much do I really need to survive and heal myself?" I tried to be kind to my food prep people and keep my requests as simple and easy as possible. And I never asked for seconds.

I didn't find myself to be bored either. As with everything in life, you fall into a schedule. Though it was very different from my former life, it was, none the less, a schedule. More toward the meal ritual, getting washed/dressed for the day, weekly shoppng lists for my husband, the "changing of the guard" when my mother in law would come for the day to my husband coming home at night from work to relieve her. TV programs and e-mails from work kept my brain on a schedule, too.

After my cast was removed and I could weigh myself, I was thrilled to find my 6 lb loss, but thought it was probably all muscle and that I would gain it back really quickly as I went through the physical therapy process, but no. It has stayed off. I have found that I am still too sore to stand in the kitchen to prepare much and everything is still quite an effort. I seldom go for 2nd helpings anymore as I'd have to put my shoes on and walk across the house to get it.

It was all so very interesting and I am trying to keep the lessons I have had to learn the hard way (confined to bed!) into my more "normal" life when possible. I am still about 40 pounds overweight and before I reach for that junk food I remember how much pain I was in and how much better it would be on my tendons to be even lighter. Maybe I'll reach my goal somehow and loose the rest. But for now, I'll take a solid 6 lbs!

Best of luck to you!!
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:06 PM   #4
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

Hello Fellow Edmontonian!

What hospital are you at? What surgeon did you have?

Eat HIGH quality food - Lots of fresh fruit, spinach if you can stand it, and tons of protein. You will also need lots of calcium, so take that in supplement form if you are not a dairy person.

It is too early to think about your shoes or your dancing - right now, worrying about that will only slow your recovery. Nothing is impossible. You will get back there, most likely, but right now, you only need to worry about staying on top of the pain.

 
Old 09-21-2011, 07:23 PM   #5
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

To put your mind at ease, I wouldn't worry about the bone healing. The extend of deformity depends on the surgery and how well it was performed. It has nothing to do with you at this point.

The calcaneus bone is very, very vascular and almost always heals without the help of a bone stimulator. The absolute best thing you can do to improve healing of a calcaneal fracture is to NOT SMOKE. If you do, I would stop ASAP.

To be honest, the activity level you will have after complete healing of the calcaneal fracture depends on the extend of the injury and how well the surgery was performed. At this point, there is no reason worrying about how active you will be in several months. Just worry about following the physicians orders, eating healthy and try to progress in small steps.

 
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:01 PM   #6
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

Lightstepper: thanks for your similar account. I have moved back in with my mom so she is making all the meals. She cooks fairly healthy and really deliciously and she knows that nutrition is key to healing. Im lucky that I am being cared for in this way, but do need to keep my sweet tooth in check as sugar depletes the body of nutrients and isnt good for sedentary people. I already notice a decrease in muscle mass in my leg ....

PinkEarthMama: Hello there in Edmonton. I was at The U of A with Dr.Gord Goplen. I herd that spinich has oxalic acid that blocks the absorption of the calcium that it contains.... Im taking a bone basic supplement.

j9879: Thanks and I was an occational smoker but I herd that some surgens dont even opperate on smokers and I am able to give it up because I want to recover as fast and a much as possible.

Thanks for all the info and support....

Last edited by moderator2; 09-24-2011 at 02:17 PM. Reason: please do not post a commercial website, for any reason.

 
Old 09-24-2011, 02:03 PM   #7
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

I saw Dr. Goplin two weeks ago

I see Dr. Pederson now.

How are you feeling?

 
Old 09-24-2011, 02:39 PM   #8
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

I didn't have surgery, cause my foot was to bad. But I was nonweight bearing for 12 weeks, with my foot elevated.

I don't think you have to be bed ridden. I spent most of my time in my recliner, with my foot on two pillows with it tilted back. You could do similar with a couch. Ya, its laying down, but better then being in bed all day.

I had a transfer board, for getting from wheel chair to bed, and back. When I started to get better, I would sit outside with my foot up. This isn't as good, because your foot is bellow your heart. I wouldn't do it right after surgery, but at after you heal up and not so awful swollen, if you are, you could probably do it for awhile.


Wheelchairs work really good around the house. I took the doors off certain rooms to make it easier. Bathroom doors are about 28", hung a curtain on it.
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:33 PM   #9
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

alley,

On 12.9.11, I am having surgery to have the hardware removed. It's been 22 months and this was recommended by a chiropractor, my primary care dr. and 2 orthapedic surgeons. I am so looking forward to this as I, like you, am anxious to wear the cute shoes! It's been a long haul, but the best relief I've had was from a chiropractor who practiced active release technique. Good Luck!

 
Old 12-06-2011, 12:17 PM   #10
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

Ally,
The important thing here is don't get discouraged. I fractured my Calcaneus in on July 13th and had it operated on on July 25th. I was also 12 weeks non-weight bearing and am currently on my 8th week of Physical Theropy. My progress has been slow but steady. I am 64 and we older folks heal at a slower rate. I had a plate and 9 screws installed. I hope to be back to somewhere near normal by spring. Hang in there and keep a positive outlook.

 
Old 01-24-2012, 09:56 AM   #11
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

In my search of RECENT posts on broken heel bones, your's is one of the most recent... I see that it has been a few months since your last post, and I would really like to read and update from you on your progress... I broke my calcaneus on 11/26/11 and had my initial surgery on 12/15... The doctors told me to come back on 12/30 and not to mess with the plaster splint that they put on me unless is had a strange smell or pain that wouldn't go away or get worse... Since I had no outward symptoms, I returned to the doctors on 12/30 and they removed the splint only to find that I had a SERIOUS infection that ate away a great deal of the skin and tissue on the back of the incision... In the past 3 1/2 weeks, I have had 3 surgeries to fix this problem... One of those surgeries was taking skin from the back of my calf and folding it down to cover the part of my foot where all of the skin was lost... Then they took a skin graft from my thigh and put it on my exposed muscle tissue on my calf... I have had a great deal of pain, and I am going to be permenantly disfigured due to this... If I can impart a lesson to others getting surgery, it is this... Keep a close eye on your incision, and do daily dressing changes to make sure there is no infection and the incision is clean and dry... I hope everyone has a quick and full recovery, without incedent... Thank you for your time...

 
Old 01-24-2012, 01:37 PM   #12
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

First, I am so sorry to hear about your awful fall. That must have been truly terrifying!!
Second, I did use a bone stimulator. My bone was not healing and the doctor recommended it. It definitely helped me. I also took 4000 Units of Vitamin D daily and 1800 Units of Calcium. If you have a Vitamin D deficiency, you will have trouble healing.
I also put on 10 pounds while healing but you want to eat well. You will probably need Physical Therapy.
Just be patient. This is a severe injury and takes alot of time to heal. Of course everyone is different. I am now 9 months along and walk with a slight limp but hope that will go away. I am finally back in a normal type shoe but for 2 months I was wearing a large slipper to work.
Hang in there. Keep a positive attitude. You will dance again.

 
Old 01-24-2012, 03:41 PM   #13
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

Hello, I did not have a plaster cast after my surgery. Instead I got a boot that I was able to remove and and allow my insession to get air. Sorry to hear of your troubles. It has been a little over 6 months since my accident and I am still in physical theropy and looks like I will continue into late spring. I go 3 days a week for an hour. I have made great strides, but it has not been without discomfort. The weather has a lot of effect on how the ankle feels. The wet damp weather really sucks. I have regained most of the upward and downward range of motion. Still working on regaining the balance adjustment that the ankle makes as you walk. Uneven ground has given me the most trouble. When they tell you it will take a year or better to regain what you had before the accident, believe them. Take it slow and follow through withthe physical theropy. Good luck

 
Old 01-25-2012, 05:04 PM   #14
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

Amazing how different everyone's treatment is! I was in a solid fiberglass cast for 8 weeks postop and NO problems with healing of any kind. I would very much have preferred a removable cast that would have allowed the swelling to have room to cool down but my doc insisted on it. Had it removed every 2 weeks for checks. Went to a boot for 3 weeks for PWB.

I can only fit into 2 pairs of shoes now 5 months postop. Am doing well considering, can walk with slight limp but only about 1/4 mile at most. A lot of pain every step. PT twice a week, ROM very limited.

I was very careful with what I ate and in fact lost weight due to being sick from the pain meds. I figured I didn't want extra weight on my poor foot so was not about to gain any during recovery, so every bite counts for me. I have been diligent about taking calcium, fish oil and a multivitamin also. Circulation is a big factor in healing this injury so I figure I'll try to help it along.

 
Old 01-25-2012, 08:55 PM   #15
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Re: Calcaneus Fracture - Day 1 of Surgery Recovery - HELP !

My physical therapist mentioned a few times to make sure I don't gain weight. Its hard on the body, knees, ankles, feet.
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