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Old 06-21-2012, 09:13 PM   #1
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Foot surgery fears

I was scheduled for arthrodesis in the fall. I have had arthritis with great pain for years. I am in fair shape but fear the recovery. I am afraid I am too weak to get around on one foot and that the long recovery will knock me for a loop. Now I pretty much limp and can no longer walk for pleasure. Maybe I should forget about it. Age 70 5'10. 180 .

How do I get around?

 
Old 06-22-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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Re: Foot surgery fears

If this foot surgery will improve your quality of life, you should absolutely not forget about it. I am 4.5 weeks out from a bunion correction, and hammertoe corrections on ALL 4 smaller toes. I also had a bone spur on my big toe. So I had a lot done.

I won't lie, the first week and a half were pretty rough. I am young (35) but I have had rheumatoid arthritis 30 years (yes, you read that right, started at 5). I have a lot of hand damage and my left ankle is pretty much shot. I'm glad to be able to tell you that getting around on my left foot only has not been as bad as I feared. I use a knee walker (can be rented or purchased... ebay has them for around $200). The knee walker is the only reason I get around at all. I can not handle crutches with my hand pain and damage, and I can barely hop on one foot with the walker. And, hopping around on my left foot really hurts because it needs operated on... besides my left ankle hurts really badly so hopping irritates that too.

Anyway, I've found a way around crutches in using the knee walker. I scoot down steps on my bottom, and kinda crawl back up to go inside the house. I keep a chair at the top of my steps inside the house so I can pull up and sit there while my helper brings in my knee walker.

Hope this helps.

 
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:40 PM   #3
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Smile Re: Foot surgery fears

I asked myself the same question a few months ago. Like you, I have had arthritis pain for years and it was continually getting worse. Not only did I need surgery on my left foot, but I had arthritis pain in my right foot as well as my right knee being "bone on bone" and needing a knee replacement. I had surgery 5 weeks ago. My knee does bother me at times, but other than that, I have gotten along fine. However, I honestly don't know if I could have done it (with the bad knee) without my knee walker. I haven't used a walker or crutches at all at this point and only have used the wheel chair for the first few times I left the house. There is no way I would have been able to hop around on one leg with my bad knee. I am 63 and 5'8' and appreciated being able to have a raised toilet seat also. I really learned a lot from reading this board. There is so much good advice here. If you haven't already done so, read "Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery". There is a lot of valuable information there.

 
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:34 AM   #4
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Re: Foot surgery fears

I just had foot surgery on May 2nd for mortons neuroma, torn peraneal tendon, and achilles tendonosis. I had purchased a knee scooter before my surgery to help me get around. It was the only way I could have because of shoulder problems I cannot use crutches at all. However I had an injury to the knee of the foot that had surgery so the scooter was hard on it. I am 68 years old and have many physical problems. The surgery has been a nightmare for me and if I could go back I would not have had it done. I read many accounts of long lasting, sometimes years of pain after foot surgery and now fear I may end up with the same problem and worse than I was before the surgery.

Because of my age combined with the many health problems I have, since the surgery I have much worse back pain, hip pain and even a new pain in my wrists from using the walker once I got back to weight bearing. My foot hurt as bad after 3 weeks as it did the first day of surgery. At the present my foot swells every day and one whole side of my foot has a burning feeling when anything touches it. It's sort of like pouring peroxide on a raw wound. I cannot fit my foot into any of my regular shoes and need to wear the clog type with an open back because of the swelling around my ankle. I go to therapy but honestly feel it isn't helping at all.

If you do decide to have surgery, I would recommend that you have help for the first week and if you have other physical problems be prepared for them to get worse while you are making the adjustments to getting back on your feet. A raised toilet seat would be a wonderful aid. I didnt' have one and never realized just how hard getting on and off with just one foot would be until I had to do it.

 
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:02 AM   #5
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Re: Foot surgery fears

I also have a raised seat for my toilet with rails. That helps me get up without using my operative foot. I can heel touch, but not bear weight on it. The raised potty has been a lifesaver.

I just received a set of SmartCrutch crutches in the mail, and I think for the few times I could use crutches to get into Walmart and get a scooter, they will do the job. That way I just have the crutches to haul in the store and my helper doesn't have to deal with my knee walker in the store. The SmartCrutches have plastic parts where your arms go and I do wonder how long they'd hold up but with me only needing them 1.5 more weeks this go around, and 6 weeks next time (other foot) I think for the ease of transport into stores with scooters, the $100 was worth it.

I was pretty depressed at first until I was able to get around and figure out how to move my body to get where I wanted to go without falling over... but I have it down now. So hang in there, and don't get discouraged. It will get better as you get used to life one-legged...

 
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:15 AM   #6
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Re: Foot surgery fears

Thanks, I think. I hope your healing improves. When I read your post it was pretty much what I was afraid of. Good luck.

 
Old 06-24-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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Re: Foot surgery fears

[QUOTE=CgrBuff;5005672]Thanks, I think. I hope your healing improves. When I read your post it was pretty much what I was afraid of. Good luck.[/QUOTE]

Don't be afraid. Knowledge is power. Talk to your surgeon about your concerns, ask what you can do to have the best outcome possible. If you smoke, stop. Just find out and do whatever you can now, before you even have the operation.

I highly recommend seeing an MD who has had specialized training in foot/ankle procedures. From all I've read online, that is your best chance at a good outcome. Of course, things can always happen. My doctor not only did an ortho rotation for her residency, she completed a fellowship in foot/ankle disorders/surgeries. I have complete confidence I am seeing the right person for the job.

Practice getting around now. I wish I had done that more before surgery because I know I would have felt much more confident if I had been more prepared for how I'd need to get around. I'd recommend getting some hand weights even, and doing some exercises to strengthen your arms. I plan to do this before my next operation.

 
Old 06-26-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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Re: Foot surgery fears

I have spoken with my regular doc. She has read the report from the foot surgeon and highly recommends the procedure. I am almost ready to schedule but have questions for the medical assistant. I am very appreciative for the valuable info and encouragement on this site. Just very grand.

 
Old 06-26-2012, 08:53 PM   #9
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Re: Foot surgery fears

I'm glad you got some confirmation. I know it helped me a lot when my rheumatologist highly recommended the surgeries as well.

 
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