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Old 02-01-2012, 11:29 PM   #1
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Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

Hey guys! Surgery is scheduled for 2/22/12 and even though I'm glad I got my requested date, I'm kind of anxious about it. I mean, who isn't right? But because I'm in the healthcare field and I've had this done once before AND this will be a more in depth surgery, it's made it harder for me to commit to signing up. But I'm tired of being in pain and my ankle not being stable. I'm tired of being scared of my ankle. It was easier to commit the first time b/c I didn't know what I was getting myself into, but now I do and it's going to be worse pain wise and recovery time wise. Anyway....I am having a left ankle Brostrom-Gould lateral ligament reconstruction with peroneal groove deepening and peroneal tendon repair with possible Evans weave. What a mouthful. Last time, I had a modified Brostrom repair. I was back to work in a boot working 13 hour days by week 5. This time, I will be NWB for 6 wks in a cast (3 wks hard cast, 3 wks boot) and then the boot some time after that while transitioning into weight bearing. So my questions are what do I need to do to prep for this? I have been reading and will continue to read the sticky thread on tips for coping while NWB. What else do I need to do? I've thought of the big things such as someone with me for a while, shower bench, clearing paths, bought extra pillows and an extra duvet since I won't be able to have my covers tucked for a while, a power strip so I can plug in my phone/computer/kindle/etc chargers, cooler with drinks and ice packs, stock house with household stuff (toilet tissue, detergent, paper towels, plates, plastic silverware, etc) to last at least 6 wks, stock up on pet food, etc, stock fridge with easy stuff. Online I found a pouch to go on crutches to carry water bottle and other small things and even a cover that goes on a cast to cover your toes, cast protector for shower, etc. Besides these obvious things, what other things can you all think of that might not be obvious, but are really helpful? I am SO not looking forward to this and not b/c it's going to be painful, but b/c I'm going to be on crutches for 6 wks and have loss of independence. Thankfully it's my left foot so I can drive once I'm not on painkillers. Any advice would be SO appreciated!!! Thank you!

 
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:17 PM   #2
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

Anyone???

Also, this hexagon shaped orthopedic pillow I've heard some of you talk about that keeps your leg from falling down at night while you sleep, where do I get that?

Thank you!!

 
Old 02-02-2012, 03:35 PM   #3
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

I just had my ankle surgery today for an osteochondral defect and have 6 weeks of no-weight bearing ahead of me too! You are WAY more prepared that I was..hahaha...I did stock up on the household cleaning supplies and pet food but other than that, I didn't do anything special.

Don't be afraid to ask people for help. I had all kinds of people say "let me know if I can do anything for you" and normally I say thanks but then never actually ask for help. This time though, I have lined up friends and family to come visit every weekend (we live about 5 hours from family) and they are bringing all kinds of homemade meals to stock my freezer for the week. They will also help with running the vacuum and catching up on stuff my husband gets behind on. Since it was my right ankle, I will not be able to drive the entire 6 weeks but I have a co-worker who will take me to work one day a week so I can get out of the house and work on paper work and get some hours in so I don't blow through ALL my sick time.

Good luck with your surgery! I've been home for 6 hours and am already going stir-crazy

 
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:24 PM   #4
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

Well, admittedly, I have been through this before so unfortunately, it isn't my first time out of the bull pen! But in reading through other posts, I realized there was so much more I could do to prepare. Also, this surgery is a much longer recovery than my first. So just trying not to miss anything! I am DREADING the loss of independence and being cooped up. However, I am glad it's my left ankle so I can at least drive. For a while though, I won't be able to have my foot down b/c it will hurt too much. That's great that you have family and friends lined up for company, meals, and chores. I have lined up some as well and I'm hoping my SS class at church will do the whole meals thing like we usually do for people who've had surgery or babies. I bet you are going stir crazy already! I totally get it! How has the pain been and what are you on for pain? How did your injury happen? Running?

 
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:29 PM   #5
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

I am a runner and that is when I was having the most pain but my doctor wasn't exactly sure what caused the OCD to begin with. It could be from all my years of playing soccer and just recently started to show it's symptoms and be especially problematic when running. I was in a lot of pain when I left the Surgery center and for the first 24 hours...a lot more pain than when I had my ACL reconstruction. They gave me a prescription for Percocet for severe pain (it seems to work but makes it hard for me to sleep and makes me have weird dreams), Lortab for moderate pain, and another pill for nausea. You are right though, as soon as I start letting my foot hang down to go to the bathroom or something, it starts hurting even more. I'm still just about 30 hours out from my surgery. I am doing well since my mom is still here to get me things and cook, but I am dreading Monday when she leaves and my husband goes back to work!

Good luck and happy healing to you!

 
Old 02-03-2012, 03:03 PM   #6
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

Some friends at my church have graciously asked me to stay with them for the first two weeks & then another couple offered to prepare me individual wrapped meals to have once I come home. Church groups are awesome!

 
Old 02-03-2012, 09:48 PM   #7
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

JOYFUL--That's awesome!! Yes, church groups are fantastic!!

INJURED--I'm sorry you've been in so much pain! That is a fear of mine with this surgery. Last time wasn't too bad, but as I said this one is going to be worse. When my surgeon added "fibular groove deepening" to the surgical consent he said, "it will be worse for you unfortunately". Oh yay! He already gave me lortab a couple of weeks ago because I went on vacation and I didn't want to be in pain, so if he gave me that before surgery, I'm hoping he gives me something stronger after surgery-like percocet. I had that after my first surgery (different surgeon) so hopefully I will get it again. But I will need something for sleep/nausea too. What were you given? Last time I was given Vistaril and it worked well for both. I hope you are feeling better! Keep that foot up! I know it will be harder for you once your mom has left, but that's what we're here for-well to help from keeping you go stir crazy anyway!

 
Old 02-04-2012, 01:37 AM   #8
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

Hollywood: Good luck with your upcoming surgery. I agree that knowing what to expect in some ways is worse. Hopefully everything goes really well and this will be the end. It sounds like you have everything you need already. Good luck.

 
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:38 AM   #9
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

MISSYLUKE--Thanks so much!!!

 
Old 02-04-2012, 07:01 PM   #10
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

Honestly is sounds like you are totally prepared. My only suggestion would maybe be to double up on a few recipes tht you can easily freeze just in case. I had microfracture drilling on 1/23 so I am nearly two weeks out.

As far as the pain goes, can you ask your doctor for a local shot(like a block) given during or at the end of surgery? It lasted about 15 hours after surgery for me. I tried to stay ahead of the pain by starting my percocet after getting home. I was in the most pain The next morning. I know it was due to not taking the Meds in the middle of the night. It took a little whole to get it under control but once I did everything was great. After a few days I was able stretch out the Meds. No I am down to once or twice a day. I am even able to get out and do a small amount of shopping, take in a movie, or dinner out. Not being able to drive is a pain. I am going to miss my hubby when he goes back to work, but I am thankful that friends have offered to help get my kids from the bus.

Wishing you the best with everything.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:21 PM   #11
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

Hi, I had achilles reconstruction in 08 so I have a general idea of the NWB. I also had a cooling machine to help keep the swelling down plus I have hot feet. I didn't see where you mentioned a grabber to pick stuff up with. Also plastic bags to put over you foot while taking a shower.

One thing that happened to meabout 3 days after surgery I ended up with an UTI I guess from not being able to wipe correctly (sorry).

After the cast was off and I was in the boot I used a computer chair in the kitchen to help in there.

I also used a walker with a cushioned seat and put my bad leg knee on that and scooted around and could turn around and sit when needed, that helped. I also got a used wheelchair when I just couldn't push that walker anymore or when we needed to go out (hubby helped).

hope this helps. cj good luck!

 
Old 02-04-2012, 11:00 PM   #12
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

HEIDI--I'm glad you are able to get out and about some now! I can't wait till I am to that point! I remember last time I was SO glad to be able to get out! I wish I could go to sleep before surgery and wake up when I am to that stage! LOL! I have thought about asking for a block, yes. And I have thought about the individual frozen portions of food too! Thanks! I hope you continue to feel better! How long for NWB for you?

NO34EVR--So how did the cooling machine work for you? You put the pad around your cast or splint? And it still worked well? You're right, I didn't mention the cast protector cover for the shower, but it's already on my order list! As far as the grabber, what is that and where do I find it? What kinds of things was it most useful for? I am going to rent a knee walker for home use so I can do different things like get my own food and warm it in the microwave or pick up my little dog who can't jump on the couch, etc. As far as the UTI, I can believe it! I read in the tips for coping when NWB sticky that someone got a Freshette which is something girls use when they are camping or backpacking or whatever. I'm actually looking into that too! LOL!

 
Old 02-05-2012, 07:14 AM   #13
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

I am no NWB for 6 weeks. Only 4 more weeks go. As for the UTI another way the scooter helped was allowing me to wash up at the sink with a wash cloth (kind of like a sponge bath).Definitely a big help before I was ready to get in shower.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:39 AM   #14
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

Hi, I strapped the cooling machine thingy on the outside of my cast and it worked really well. The grabber is one of those long sticks with the squeeze handle on one end and the grabber part on the other so you can pick stuff up off the floor w/o bending so much. They sell them in the pharmacies around here, I have one on the first floor and 1 on the 2nd floor (also have a bad back).

cj

 
Old 02-06-2012, 12:22 PM   #15
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Re: Preparing for Ankle Surgery-Have Questions!

Ok so I'm going to call my doctor to see if they give me an ice machine and if not, I'm going to order one. I really haven't gotten any pre-op instructions except where to go for my anesthesia pre-op and when. Then the guy from my OS office said he'd call me the day before. I'm sure to tell me what case I am, etc. But as far as other instructions, I haven't gotten any. I know most general instructions for pre-op, but I forgot how the nail polish thing went last time. I know it needs to come off my operative foot and so usually you would take it off both feet for obvious reasons, but I'm wondering if I need to do that if my toes aren't going to be visible from the splint? I'm going to ask that they be free b/c I can't STAND for them to be confined! Makes me feel claustrophobic! LOL! But the girl in me can't stand to look down and not see my toes done at least on the good foot. Thoughts? I have very light colored polish on my fingers (French) but it's the gel polish. Will I have to take that off? I'm really hoping not b/c it lasts for up to a month and that would get me through the initial part of recovery where I can't have my foot down long enough to sit through something like that? Total girl I know, but it's the little things that make you feel a tiny bit better ya know? Thoughts?

 
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