Hi Missy! On Dec. 16 I had a PTT reconstruction, Calcaneal Osteotomy, and Gastroc Recession on my left foot. This Friday I'll be 6 weeks post-op and yesterday I had my hard cast removed and I went into my walking boot. In some ways it seems like my surgery was just yesterday, and in other ways it seems like it was months ago. But generally, I am doing fantastic!
You may not like my first bit of advice, but I'd beg you to really consider what I am writing. You cannot unring a bell and once you do some things, they cannot be undone. My best advice is in regard the kind of information you seek before your surgery.
There are A LOT of people on this forum and other sites on the internet who have shared their PTTR/CO surgery and recovery experiences, and what I have found is that most of them are not good. And I think I made a HUGE mistake reading their horror stories about surgeries gone wrong and recovery nightmares. The week before my surgery I was a nervous wreck, scared to death, and worrying about what my outcome would be... even after my Orthopedic had told me, with confidence, that he believed my surgery would go well and he expected an excellent recovery.
After my surgery I found myself comparing my recovery to all the horror stories I had read rather than trying to live up to the expectations my surgeon set for me before hand. I almost sabbatoged my recovery in a big way. I'm sure you've heard stories of parents that have a child with a handicap that are raised in the home as if they did not have their handicap. The children, not really knowing any different, end up excelling and accomolishing so much more than a child with the same handicap but raised by parents that tell their child they can't do some things because of their handicap.
Fortunately I recognized early on what I had done and quickly set out to change my thinking when I was tempted to compare my recovery. Instead I relied on my doctor when I had questions and concerns. I called more than once with questions after the surery.
Now, all that said, there are CERTAINLY things you need to know and understand to be prepared, but be very careful to not take in information that could hinder your recovery. Hopefully you have a terific surgeon and he/she recommended surgery because they feel the outcome will give you a better quality of life than you have now. Follow your doctors instruction and do what they tells you to do and you will do great.
Some general, practical advice:
1. Make a list of all your questions and concerns and discuss them with your doctor prior to surgery. If you are not happy with their answers, get a 2nd PROFESSIONAL opinion.
2. Everyones experience is different, make your experience be yours and not a reflection of someone elses.
3. Make absolute certain that you stay ahead of your pain with meds the day of your surgery and those first couple of days. Prepare for this by making certain that whoever is with you immediately after your surgery knows to stay absolutely abreast of you med schedule with the nurse(s). If you wait until AFTER your pain block wears off (usually during the night) to start strong meds, you will be at a 9-10 pain level and it will be almost impossible to consistently stay ahead of the pain in the hospital. Do NOT depend on the hospital staff to keep you on schedule. They get distracted and/or sidetracted and they will overlook you. Have a family member or friend monitor your med schedule for you and tell the nurse(s) to keep them coming in timely manner. Good pain med management will make or break those first few days of recovery experience!
4. I think the single most effective thing I did to accelerate my recovery was to keep my foot elevated, above my heart, for those first couple weeks. If I wasn't in the bathroom, I had my foot up. It was a rule! PERIOD! And 10 days after my surgery when the nurse took off my original soft, flexible cast, I had virtually no swelling with the exception of a very small spot on the outside of my heal (lateral).
5. You WILL have very limited mobility for your first several weeks. Prepare your home for this by clearing wide paths, stock up on essentials with at least a 6 weeks supply (ie. Toilet paper
and if you live alone, try and line up friends and family to be available to assist you for the first couple weeks with meals and tasks such as laundry.
6. If your tub/shower is large enough, the small shower seats are handy.
7. PRE-prepare meals! And make them simple. Especially if you live alone.
8. Go to Walgreens and purchase a cast & wound cover so you can shower. They are less than $15 and work great! With it I was able to take a shower the day I came home from the hospital and whenever I wanted.
I hope at least some of this is good information. I wish you ALL the best and trust things will go as smoothly as possible for you. Keep us posted. Blessings!