Well, I am almost ready for foot surgery #3. Just have to do my final cleaning and clean my carpets. Surgery is scheduled for the 21st. Not at all looking forward to the six weeks of non-weight bearing. I do not really feel confident with the microfracture surgery. Trying to be optimistic but after my pre-op appointment feeling kind of down. The surgeon said that a lot of people still have quite a bit of pain afterwards and went on to what the next step would be (fracture of the fibula and after fixing the joint, reconstruction of the ligaments). Left me feeling kind-of sick. This time, after surgery, I will definitely set my alarm clock to wake and take my pain pills. Do not want to wake up in severe pain like after my last surgery! Hoping this will be my last surgery but......
The following user gives a hug of support to Missyluke: ginger62 (08-16-2012)
Good luck with your surgery! I just had mine on monday but it was a
debrisment and oats with a cadaver plug. My ocd got to large to just simply drill again. And 1 failed driling was enough for me. I will keep you in my prayers and hope everything goes well for you. I'm on my 3rd day of nwb and it is going to be a long 6 weeks!
I am new to this board, but I want to wish you the best. Your posts have been so very helpful to me. I completely ruptured my post tibial tendon this spring. I am having surgery on Monday morning, 8/20 - heel cut and shifted, achilles lengthening, tendon transfer, and some sort of midfoot osteotomy. My ortho says at least 6 weeks non-weight bearing. I really can't stress enough how much your posts and the others who have gone through this have calmed my fears and allowed me to be better prepared. Sending you good vibes for your surgery!
Missyluke, don't lose hope! There are pros and cons to this surgery, and the cons aren't dangerous in any way, just frustrating.
Pro: Definitely in my case, and just about in every case I've read about, as long as the patient has followed the doctor's instructions regarding NWB during recovery, etc., there IS significant relief from pain afterward.
I have always had a "renewed" ankle after the microfracture -- so far!
Con: How LONG that pain relief lasts is anyone's guess.
My lesion is big: 10x15, so not everyone will have this problem, but I have to be extra careful, because they only get bigger, not smaller. From experience, I know now that I will not do ANYTHING to jeopardize my ankle, which for me means no faculty volleyball or basketball games against the students, or jump rope fundraisers, or anything of that sort. I made the mistake of just jogging twenty or so feet a few times with my thrilled dog during a walk, and I instantly knew that I had done damage. Some people go right back to their jogging routines or other high-impact activities, and their microfractures fail quickly because they cannot withstand the impact. This CAN be avoided or delayed, but life changes are necessary.
Pro: It's a very quick and simple surgery, with minimal pain or scarring.
I had to be at the hospital around 7am, my actual surgery started around 9am, and I was home by 12:30pm! You'll have two little incisions and just a few stitches. I had absoloutely no pain, and didn't take a single painkiller when I got home. I took a few Advil for the first two days just to make sure I didn't have any inflammation, since the doctor said that was the most important thing to watch out for, but I didn't need it for pain. In fact, I felt absolute pain RELIEF after my surgery, because my ankle felt so much better after he cleaned it out. It was AWESOME compared to how it felt before.
Con: Sit around and wait!
You'll feel like there's nothing wrong with you, so the NWB time feels like forever.
Going forward: I've had several debridement/microfractures at this point, so I've come to think of them as "tuneups" -- routine maintenance for my ankle that is required every few years. My OATS gave me seven years, but required two plugs from my knee, a medial malleolar osteotomy, and was brutally painful, so I can't really say if that was necessarily better than two more mfxs instead.
My surgeon is suggesting a DeNovo as my next option if this mfx doesn't work, since the lesion is so big and we're trying it AFTER an OATS, which isn't typical. We'll see if it works. I know it might not work this time, but our main intent was to clean it out and scope what the new damage was, in order to plan for whatever's next, if I need to try something else. I have my next followup on 8/20, which will be my 6 week mark and I'll start PWB.
Missyluke, I guess my point is, even though it's annoying and we wish our ankles could just be fixed once and for all, occasional mfx are surely better than constant pain or fused ankles or some of the other options available at this point. Don't lose hope just because he's already talking about future surgeries -- that's the nature of this injury, so it's his duty to make sure you're informed.
Ditsy1: Welcome! I haven't had any tendon surgery, but there are plenty of people here who have. Search the board and I'm sure you'll find tons of info.
Be sure to read the tips on preparing for NWB stuck at the top of the board -- lots of good ideas there -- and best wishes for your surgery on Monday!
The Following User Says Thank You to pclare For This Useful Post: Ditsy1 (08-16-2012)
I agree with pclare..following your drs orders are very important..my drilling with scoping failed because the dr who did it never had me nwb...i was up walking the day after surgery. I got new dr now and absolutely love him.. he's the one who did my oats. Heis very happy with my progress and i am only 3 days out of surgery.
Again as pclare said on the boards there is an article for preparing for NWB. Its an awsome article and very helpful. There was tons of suggestions that i hadn't thought of at all and was veey helpful! Good luck on Tuesday and i'll keep you in my prayers.
Oh yeah ..welcome to the boards! There is alot of good information on here and its people who uave dealt with the same things as you! As much as we love our families sometimes they just don't understand what your going through and you will find someonei on here that will!
The Following User Says Thank You to suebob30 For This Useful Post: Ditsy1 (08-17-2012)
Pclare: I guess I feel kind of down about it because this is the first time that the doctor did not sound at all optimistic about the success of it. Most of the time was spent talking about the next step! Left me with the feeling of why bother.
I am not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing to know exactly what to expect after surgery. Having had two other foot surgeries, I unfortunately know how to prepare for it and know how long the six weeks will feel like!
Ditsy 1: Be sure to keep your foot elevated (toes about the nose) as much as possible for the first several weeks as well as icing. It will help lessen the swelling and pain. Good luck.
Suebob: How are you feeling? How is the pain/swelling? I agree it will be a longgggggggggg 6 weeks.
Last edited by Missyluke; 08-16-2012 at 06:12 PM.
Reason: add info
The Following User Says Thank You to Missyluke For This Useful Post: Ditsy1 (08-17-2012)
Missyluke... i am doing ok. The pain the first couple of days was pretty awful but i came home with a nerve block from the knee down. That was awesomeand gave me time to start taking pain meds so i could stay on top of it! That is the key..i even set the alarm on my phone so i wake up at night to take it! Swelling isn't that bad but i am also staying down on either the couch or recliner and keeping it elevated as i was told. I seen my dr yesterday and he was thrilled by the lack of swelling i have as that increases the pain. I have begun to take lower doses of the pain meds already. The biggest pain problem is where the dr pounded in the cadaver bone into the hole. If you think about it though you'd expect some pain from pounding something into your bone.
Good luck on Tuesday and please update us on how your doing! This board is the only thing keeping me sane right now!
Pclare: I guess I feel kind of down about it because this is the first time that the doctor did not sound at all optimistic about the success of it.
Did he give you any indication of why that is? Sometimes there are specific reasons, like age, the size or placement of the lesion, prior surgeries, etc.
There are many reasons why mine might not work this time, and I already know that, but my surgeon and I discussed "if this doesn't work" scenarios before ALL of my prior surgeries, as well, just because that is the nature of this injury. Now I see it less as "not working," but more as "when this treatment wears out, which one will I try next?"
He did not give any reasons why this would not work, just said that many times it does not really work as it should. As far as age, I just turned 53, so maybe that plays into it? It could also be that he knows the requirements of my job and knows the toll it takes. I am an RRT and my job requires me to be able to move quickly and I am all over the hospital. After he repaired my peroneal tendon in November I lasted 1 month at work and he put me back out for two months because of the toll on my foot. I am hoping this really works, and that being non-weight bearing for six weeks will help it to mend.
I just turned 53, so maybe that plays into it? It could also be that he knows the requirements of my job and knows the toll it takes. I am an RRT and my job requires me to be able to move quickly and I am all over the hospital.
Yep, those are both reasons. Chondrocytes can't perform their healing functions as well as they age, which is why the DeNovo graft uses juvenile cartilage tissue. I've read one study that says age 40 is more or less the point of decline for that, so that's one of my negative factors as well.
I'm a teacher, so like you, I'm on my feet all day and racing down the halls between classes, but last year I started to use a tall drafting-type stool while I teach, in order to spare what's left of my cartilage. Not my style, but necessary. Everyone knows why I'm using it, but I still don't like having to "park" myself!
It's amazing, the toll being on your feet all day has. My other foot has already had two surgeries (flat foot reconstruction 8/10 and peroneal tendon repair 11/11) and I have to use a compounding cream to control the pain in that foot as well as wear an ASO to work. I am working part time in home health and may, at some point, have to switch to full time. I also try, when possible to get off feet at work. I hate having to do this at times, but it is the only way to save my feet. Sometimes I feel like I am 90, between the stiffness, pain and limping I'm sure I walk like I am 90 at times!
I couldn't agree more about feeling and walking like your 90! I walked with a limp or hopped around at work cause of the locking my ankle did that it began to affect my back and hips. I work in a small pizza place and i am the oldest person who works there. The teenagers i work with started calling me grandma because of how I walked around the kitchen. So i am praying this surgery works. My pod should me pictures of my ankle opened up and it showed where the tip of the tibia would get caught in the ocd causing the locking and pain. My only thought is wow i can't believe it didn't do more damage!
Yeah, it's amazing how much damage you can do to other body parts by accommodating the injured ones. My right ankle is the bad one, but my left knee is practically destroyed now because of it. I've been standing on one leg and shifting most of my weight to that side for the past ten years, making it work twice as hard every time I get up or down or do anything, without even realizing I'm doing it.
I had to come up with a creative way of raising/lowering myself onto the toilet this time because my knee became so painful, despite holding on to the edge of the tank and whatever else I tried using. I found that it helps if I lean on the tank with my right hand, twist to the right slightly, and sort of "slide" down sideways, rather than just backing straight up/down. Far less strain on the joint.