Hello, I am new to this site... my name is Amanda I'm 29 years old. About 10 weeks ago I had the Oats procedure done. The surgeon took the bone and cartilage from my knee, had to break my ankle to insert it into my ankle and then screwed it back together. The surgeon decided not to put my leg in a cast because he didn't want to weigh down my knee which was causing me pain and was very stiff and hard to bend. This resulted in my foot not being set straight at a 90 degree angle. It has been about 10 weeks since the surgery and I still can't get my foot flat on the floor, my heel will not bend down to touch the ground. I couldn't find any recent discussions about this procedure and wanted to start a new, active thread about it as I would really like to talk to people who have gone through the same thing... I am really scared and it's painful and really hard to imagine walking especially without pain again.
I answered your post in another thread, but I have a question for you.... Were you not even given a boot? What about being put in a boot now if you are walking or some type of brace to get your foot to 90 degrees?
I just got a walking boot and a night splint earlier this week. I read your post from the other thread as well. I can't get my foot to lay flat in either of them, but the boot helps me put a little weight on my foot when I am walking with my crutches. I think that my surgeon was inexperienced at this procedure, possibly had never done it at all. I went to see him last 2 weeks ago and he said that he wanted to see me 4 weeks from then next... which is two weeks from now.. he also said that he expected me to be walking without the crutches by then and FWB....even though up to that point I wasn't even allowed to PWB.... So I absolutely know there is no way in the next two weeks I am going to get to the point that I can just stroll right into his office without crutches, I feel a long way away from that... My goal is just to have my foot flat on the floor by then. And I know he is going to be very disappointed as that will be the 12 week mark and I'll still only be PWB. It's just hard for me to know if this is normal or if my surgeons expectations are realistic... because well I obviously don't know anyone with this problem to compare my situation to. I wish I had gotten my surgery done at the same time as all what was it 4 of you did?
Yeah, there were a few of us back in '08, but there's usually always someone on this board who has gone through it or is thinking of going through it.
I don't remember being allowed to walk much at all before 10 weeks. I agree, walking in to the office at 12 weeks without crutches is a bit far fetched. I think some people are NWB for a full 12 weeks.
I would talk to him about yoru 90 degree issue and also with your PT. Are you going to PT yet? I can't remember. Your PT will really be able to help push the issue of getting some type of brace or something to work on dorsiflexion. I had some flex machine I used. It's usually used for knees, but it helped me work on my dorsiflexion for awhile. My PT was the one that got that set up when he realized what issues I was having with ROM.
Do what you can and don't feel bad if you walk in there with crutches at your 12 week appt. Your dr. has to get a clue that you are having trouble with your ROM and that is causing issues with being able to walk and on top of that, no one can just go from NWB to walking FWB without any issues in a matter of a week or two. All drs. will tell you to gradually put weight on it.
Yes, I have been in PT for 4 weeks now. The first two weeks were NWB mostly focused on getting ROM back in my knee. These last couple weeks we have been really working on getting my foot flat to the floor... I am happy to know that this is possibly a common problem. My job requires me to be on my feet ALL day walking, lifting, pushing, pulling.... When I initially got the surgery I thought I'd be back by now, I know that sounds really silly possibly even stupid... but my surgeon didn't explain this long recovery process. I don't see myself being able to go back to that type of job for a pretty long time, even once I start walking I really doubt at this point that until a lot of time passes I will be comfortable with being on my feet all day with that kind of work. I am really glad I posted here because you are already making me feel a little better about the situation. So thank you
Your surgeon doens't sound like he prepared you, or himself for what this was all about. Does he know that your job requires you to be on your feet all day? I can't remember when I started teaching again, but my guess is it wasn't until 4 mos post op, and even then, I only taught 45 min classes and could sit if needed. There is no way I could do all day. You need to have a frank discussion with him at your next appt. about how many of these he's done and what most people's recovery is like and when they go back to standing all day at their jobs.
You are still going through very normal "stuff" from OATS. Hang in there. I know it's hard at times. I'm recovering from surgery myself and in pain from PT yesterday and I keep wondering about this and that and I have to keep telling myself that I'm not even walking on it yet and of course PT is going to hurt some days. It is very easy to forget.
Oh, I was not prepared for this at all. He made this procedure sound like well yes it was a big surgery for my little ankle... but made the recovery part sound like it was going to be pretty easy and fast. I remember going back to him a few days after the surgery because I was in so much pain I could barely handle it and he said Oh, I didn't realize you would be in this much pain next time I do this procedure I will have the patient stay in the hospital overnight rather than put it down as an outpatient procedure.. (I was kicked out of the hospital 2 hours after my surgery while I was throwing up from the anesthesia (spelling) still) Also, for 2 weeks after I could not lift my leg at all even at my hip, did this happen to anyone else? My whole leg was dead weight. As I read more and more and experience more and more of this... my surgeons expectations get more and more far fetched, which worries me quite a bit.
So what are you recovering from this time? Another surgery on that same ankle? From what I understand OATS has a 75%-ish success rate?
Most people stay in the hospital 3 days with an OATS procedure, although my dr. told me at first it would be day surgery and when I researched it and found out my insurance would pay for 3 days I made sure I stayed and was very glad I did.
Since my OATS, I had another surgery for a tear in the Posterior Tibial tendon, and debridement of scar tissue in my peroneal tendon as well as the PTT, and microfracture on my non-oats OCD site. THen I had a distraction arthroplasty about 2 years after the OATS surgery. THat screwed up everything and left me with a worse ankle before and osteomyelitis in my tibia and the RSD. My OS didn't do it, I actually left to go to Baltimore so I thought I would be having a more experienced OS work on my ankle and my OS here and I had some issues of agreeing on the next procedure. Anyway, that was a big mistake on my part, leaving my OS here, because nothing got as messed up as when I went to Baltimore. They may do more surgeries, but they don't pay the least bit of attention to aftercare and that's where things went bad...
Anyway, that so then I just had an ankle replacement and subtalar fusion and ORIF (fracture fixation with screws/and or plate) of my fibula and talus.
I had no subtalar arthritis before the distraction arthroplasty, and my bones were healthy before the RSD. THe fractures were from them being so brittle. So don't think that this is the fate of OATS. It isn't. I just made a bad choice that will haunt me forever by going to Baltimore for the distraction arthoplasty. But, even with that, I knew my odds were only 2/3 that would work.
SOrry, I rambled. I have days where I get really angry when I start to think about that Dr. in Baltimore. TOday is one of them I guess!
Oh, you asked about lifting your leg. I had an On-Q block for my OATS and my leg was numb for 3 days. I couldn't lift it then. But the good thing about that is that I forgot my leg was numb while I was in the hospital and went to get up to crutch to the bathroom and my leg just flopped to the floor and I got my ROM back in my knee just like that. I never had a problem after that!
My leg was pretty good once the block wore off.