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Old 05-11-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
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Out and About after flat foot surgery

I am going to have flat foot surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, fdl transfer and spring ligament repair) in the fall. We will be traveling from Las Vegas, NV to Los Angeles for the surgery. My doctor's protocol calls for 1 to 2 nights in the hospital. In addition he wants to see me the Tuesday after surgery and at two and four weeks post-op. I plan to ask the doctor to please keep me in the hospital for 2 nights. Our plan is to stay at a hotel in LA for two to two and a half weeks, rather than driving back and forth to LA.
I know I will be NWB for about 6 to 8 weeks. My question for those of you who have had the surgery is how soon after the surgery were you able to get out of the house for a short period of time such as a quick dinner, trip to the grocery store, etc? I thinking about "cabin fever", especially since the first two weeks or so post op will be spent in a tiny hotel room. At least when I get home, I'll have different rooms I can go into and I can go out into our back yard during what is the best weather time of the year in Vegas, but I'm sure after a while even that will get old. LOL

 
Old 05-11-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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Re: Out and About after flat foot surgery

The first three weeks, I was in bed with toes above nose except to go to the bathroom and to go to doctors appointments. You most likely will have no desire to go out early on. Any time my foot was down, I would get miserable blood rushes. It seems that most people who post say the same thing. We borrowed a wheel chair from a relative and at about 3-4 weeks, my husband pushed me a few blocks to a local bagel place. It felt so good to get out. Everyone is different but don't be suprised if you have no desire to go out for a few weeks. The recovery is frustrating. For me, the long term outcome (22 months post op) was well worth the miserable recovery

 
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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Re: Out and About after flat foot surgery

roxygirl, Thank you for your reply. Sounds like visiting my doctor will be the highlight of my life for the first month post op. I was hoping to be able to get out and about a little earlier. I lost my Dad last year and it's been a difficult time for me. My father was an Alzheimer's patient who lived with us. I am an only child so we were his only caregivers. I'm really not looking forward to the surgery, but I know it is something that I need to do. I probably should have had something done sooner, but you know caregivers always put everyone else before themselves. My left foot is stage IIb and my right foot is stage IIa, so it will have to be done after the left foot is healed. I will be living foot surgery for a long time. Your comment about the surgery being worth the misery makes me feet better. At least when it's all over I'll be pain free.

 
Old 05-11-2012, 05:36 PM   #4
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Re: Out and About after flat foot surge

I was also 2 to 2b when I had the surgery. Luckily my other foot was ok but I still wore an aso brace on it to protect it from the extra stress and strain. When I had the surgery, my ptt and spring ligament were not ruptured but a mess. By the time I had the surgery, my ankle was starting to tilt toward the floor. I was in pain even wearing my custom brace. My husband reminded me that I was in tears even waling from room to room around the house. I would get a sharp stabbing pain along the ptt.

I was in the hospital for three nights which is typical protocol for my doctor. He does that for pain management reasons. I am vey happy that I was in for three days because by the time I went home, pain was manageable with rx pain meds. The worse part was how difficult it was to simply go the the bathroom. I slept on the pull out couch because trying steps were not an option at that point. I was just exhausted doing the smallest amount of ambulation. I remember the frustration at being so reliant on others for the simplest task. For me the pain was not that much of an issue. Full recovery takes 7-12 months but by 3-4 months, you will be a much happier camper.

Be sure that you have a raised toilet seat which can be purchase for about %50.00, a shower seat and also a knee walker- which can be rented. The knee walker would be good for you as it helps take some of the stress off of the other foot. We also borrowed a wheel chair so that my husband could take me out for a bite to eat and to doctors appointments.

If the surgery is on your right foot, expect it to take awhile before you can drive. You have to be able to put enough pressure on the foot to slam on the brakes in an emergency.

Have you had more than one opinion? Have you cheked out your surgeon to be sure that he/she does a lot of flat foot surgeries?

 
Old 05-11-2012, 07:22 PM   #5
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Smile Re: Out and About after flat foot surgery

I had flat foot surgery (all American procedure) with a bunionectomy (Lapidus procedure) on my right foot on 4/10. I spent one night in the hospital and even though I have a very high pain tolerance, almost asked to stay a second night. But, I didn't have a morphine pump, just Percocet. I think I went out in my wheelchair about 7 days post surgery. I rode in the back seat so I could keep my foot up and had my foot elevated with the wheelchair. It was a very short trip to the store with my in-laws but I was sick of being cooped up. I had no problems other than a slight blood rush to the foot when I was on my crutches.

I had actually been out quite a bit by the time I had my first post-op appointment 2 weeks post surgery. I went back to work (theoretically light duty) at 3 weeks. Since returning to work I've had swelling issues because I don't elevate the foot often enough or high enough but even that seems to be getting better. In fact, when my foot isn't swollen, my cast almost feels too loose in the ankle area! I do ice it (an ice pack strapped on behind my knee and one strapped over my foot-yes, the cold does penetrate the cast!) often, even at work.

So you see, it really does vary from person to person. And even from day to day! The first week or so you'll wish you hadn't done it, but then you'll start thinking how much it will be worth it! Oh-and definitely don't be surprised if you get very depressed. It's completely normal. Just warn those around you so when you cry at the drop of a hat they don't freak out!!

Good luck-you can do this! And this board will be your most valuable tool!

 
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:30 PM   #6
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Re: Out and About after flat foot surgery

roxygirl, you sound just like me, (or I guess I sound just like you!) There are days when I walk around here and just want to cry. It's funny because some days the right foot (good foot) hurts more than the left one. At least they seem to take turns.

After Dad died I decided I needed to take care of me. My feet have always been flat and I have always had pain, but I just motored through. After Dad died they started to bother me more than ever. I went to the family MD first. He sent me to a local podiatrist for orthotics. The podiatrist walked in, said you need surgery. Didn't want to explain anything. I told him I wanted to try orthotics. I don't even know why I went back, but I did. Got the orthotics and a brace. They help somewhat, but I soon realized I probably did need surgery.

After that experience I knew I needed to start looking for a second opinion. Health care in Vegas is not good and I am a healthcare professional myself, so I know. I checked a peer review website for doctors in LA and found my doctor. He is an orthopedic foot and ankle specialist and was highly rated by his peers. I also went on a bunch of patient review websites and found all positive reviews. He went to Columbia Medical and did his orthopedic residency at Roosevelt Hospital. He did his foot and ankle fellowship at the Hospital for special surgery in New York which is where I would go if I still lived in PA. He trained with a Dr. William Hamilton who is the surgeon for the New York Ballet. My doctor was in the Navy and was the team physician for all of the Coast Guard Academy teams.

I have seen him twice and was very impressed. The second time I went armed with five pages of questions. I told him he would probably want to get rid of me because of all the questions. He said he would be happy to answer as many questions as I wanted. He took plenty of time explaining everything to me. The one question I forgot was the one you suggested. It's a great question and one I should have thought of. Practice does make perfect. He gives all of his patients his personal email address and personal cell phone number so they can contact him at any time. I will email him and ask him.

Thank you again for all of the great info.

 
Old 05-11-2012, 07:38 PM   #7
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Re: Out and About after flat foot surgery

It sounds as if you did your homework. My doctor is the head of orthopedic surgery at HSS. He has a special interest in flat foot surgery and does 3-5 per week. He is activiely involved in clinical trials pretaining to pttd. All of my research prior to surgery showed that the overall success rate is not great but if you use the right surgeon, the odds for a good outcome go way up. I consider myself a success so far because I can work full time and then do errands without really thinking about my foot. I continue to have decreased sensation in three toes and the top of my foot but it doesn't really interfere with anything. As long as I stretch my achillese tendons (both feet), I am doing well. My doctor said I could do anything except high impact activities because the repaired tendon/tendon transfer is never a strong as a virgin tendon

 
Old 05-11-2012, 07:50 PM   #8
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Re: Out and About after flat foot surgery

Fenn, Thank you for your info and words of encouragement. Depression is exactly what I am worried about. I've been depressed since Dad's death. I am getting better, but I am not there yet. That's why I am trying to hold off on the surgery for now even though I am in pain. Being cooped up in the house is not going to be fun and as roxygirl mentioned it's not going to be easy to be so dependent. My husband is going to take family medical leave for about three weeks and then we'll see how it goes. There is no one else to take care of me so once he goes back to work I'm on my own while he is at work. When he works he leaves at 7am and doesn't get home until 9:30pm. It would be so much easier if we still lived in Pennsylvania where I have family and friends.

 
Old 05-11-2012, 11:17 PM   #9
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Re: Out and About after flat foot surgery

Las Vegas Girl- You are going to be just fine, just take the recovery one step at a time. No pun intended. Lol
I am so sorry to hear about your dad, loosing someone in your own home is real rough!I can relate to being a caregiver and not wanting to take care of yourself. My father lives with me and he has a very weak heart and an implanted defib. I had him in the hospital 10 times last year and most of those times he came very close to passing away, we said our good byes several times. All the while I was recovering from a 10 foot fall at work where I landed on my left leg. It was absolutely the hardest year of my life! Thank God he was able to get quintouplet bypass surgery and is doing 100% better. I was preparing myself to loose him while I was recovering from foot surgery.
After getting my other injuries taken care of I was finally able to get workers comp to address the problems with my left foot. I was diagnosed with stage 3 PTtd with a torn tendon. My physical therapist recommended a good OS after my first OS told me that I had flat feet and would just have to deal with the pain. I was in a boot for 6 weeks, got custom orthotics and 2 months of PT. Nothing helped and my foot just got worse, I ended up with a "club foot" and my inner ankle and arch hurt so bad when I walked or stood for too long. I am currently 9 weeks post op and I am glad I did it. I'm just getting into the hard part of PT and recovery, but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Those first couple weeks after surgery are rough! You are going to be spending most of your time in bed with your foot elevated and faithfully taking pain meds. I ended up in a nursing home for 10 days because I had no one to take care of me and my surgery was outpatient. The first 3 days I needed allot of help, but after that I got stronger. I would wheel myself outside to enjoy the unseasonably nice weather at the time. I did find that I got tired real easy and felt like I hit a brick wall. I'm sure you will make it out to a restaurant, but be prepared to pay for it. When your foot swells in the cast it is rough. Ice it and elevate as soon as you get back to your room, and don't forget the pain meds. The cast tech at my OS office put memory foam pads over both ankles to make room for swelling. If they don't do that request it because it was a life saver for me. Take a laptop and make sure you have wifi, also a DVD player and some movies. Dont forget the knee scooter, mine was a big help and i bought it on craigslist. Hang in there and good luck!
__________________

Surgery March 6, 2012: Calcanal Osteotomy, PTT repair, FDL tendon transfer on left foot.

 
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