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Old 12-12-2012, 02:36 PM   #1
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Smile PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

First, I want to say how wonderful these boards are. I've learned so much and ended up with an Orthopedic Surgeon I feel completely comfortable with.
If you check some of my early PTTD posts you can read about some of my earlier experiences in Boston. (Including one doctor who told me I had "a low threshold for pain." (In other words, it was all in my head).

I had my appt. with Dr. D at Hospital for Special Surgery yesterday. Suffice it to say that I was "blown away" by his expertise, his demeanor and the fact that he spent more time with me then all 5 doctors I've seen in Boston combined speaks volumes. I had prepared myself for the worse, another OS who wouldn't ask me questions and barely give me the time of day. Instead it was the most thorough exam I've had. The MRI CD I brought from Boston wasn't view-able. I had a series of x-rays done there and he
really studied my foot. Pushed in areas that no one had examined (I'm
still in pain from one of the prods). Without having read any of the
previous doctor's reports, he gave me the most thorough, detailed
verbal report of what he thought was going on. He told me the situation
was serious and needed to be addressed sooner rather than later. I asked to be put on the cancellation list in case anything opened up in Jan./Feb.

I just got called now with a last minute opening for Monday. I know this is crazy but after talking with my husband we decided I should just do it now.
So, I'm doing it!

My kids are all on break for the month so this is perfect! I will have constant company by my favorite people.

This is what is being done: Calcaneal Osteotomy, Achilles Lengthening, Flexor Transfer, ICBG & IBE, Modified McBride, MT-Tarsal Fusion, Posterior TIbial Repair and possible Spring Ligament repair. I will know for sure after the MRI and most certainly after the surgery.

I'm going down to have another MRI done and pre-op. Then back down on Monday. I'm just waiting for them to call me tomorrow morning to confirm everything.

I've been reading everything over and over again today. Now I have to reread the list of things I need to have. Should I have the scooter before the surgery?

Lastly, please think positive thoughts....I'm a bit nervous. Thanks!

 
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

Good luck! You almost don't even have time to get nervous! It's perfect!

I'm so glad to hear you finally found a doctor you are happy with. I didn't have the time or the opportunity to find differing opinions, but I was super happy with the doctor I ended up with, so I lucked out.

Depending on if you are renting or buying the scooter, you might be able to hold off. If you are buying one, then get it set up before hand. If you are renting, you might be able to hold off. My scooter was a monthly rental that was pretty pricey, so I held off until I was really ready to be out for long times. I couldn't even be out of bed for the first 2 weeks after my surgery. So if you don't plan on going anywhere for the first few weeks, hold off on getting it, otherwise you will just look at it and paying for a piece of furniture (my cat really enjoyed sitting on mine). That's just me though, my house was too small (reallllllly narrow hallways) to really use it inside, so if your house is bigger, it might make more sense. But that's my thoughts on that.

The biggest things, in my opinion to have right when you get home from surgery: good pillows for elevation, a good book/lots of movies/a tv series to watch, ice packs, and easy to digest food. Was it you that said your husband really likes to cook (I can't remember)? If so, that's good. If not, try and make up some easy to re-heat meals, things that can be frozen. Don't try and be a hero and cook the week after you get done surgery. Same goes for laundry and other household chores. Bum around for as long as you can stand it!

Good luck with everything. I'll be thinking of you!

Liz

 
Old 12-12-2012, 04:05 PM   #3
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

Quote:
Originally Posted by exdancer2 View Post
Lastly, please think positive thoughts....I'm a bit nervous. Thanks!
Done! Good luck, and yes, this board is great!

 
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:37 PM   #4
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

Liz, It wasn't my husband who likes to cook. I'd starve to death!
He did promise me lots of healthy food options like salads and soups. I'm really scared of gaining a lot of weight during this whole recuperation period. My eldest, who is a great cook, promised to make me extras.

Mr. Blotto, I was reading on another post of the pain you are having. The recuperation period is starting to make me more anxious than the surgery....

 
Old 12-12-2012, 07:01 PM   #5
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

Considering it a blessing in disguise that you got in so early. No time to sit and dwell on it like I am doing. HAHA I so happy you found a surgeon you are comfortable with and that understands your situation. Everyone here has great suggestions. If there is anything you need to ask, don't hesitate to do so.
~Kimberly
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April 2012
Double Arthrodesis
Achilles Tendon Lengthening
January 2013
Subtalar Arthrodesis Revision
Talonavicular Fusion Hardware Removal

December 2013
Screw Removal

 
Old 12-12-2012, 07:48 PM   #6
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

That's good. Make sure you eat stuff with lots of fiber! I feel like I wished someone had stressed that more to me. Them narcotics really do stop you up!

I might be an exception, but I ended up losing about 15-20 pounds during my recovery. A lot of it was leg muscle weight, I atrophied a lot, but I also dropped a pant size or two, and I was pretty skinny to begin with. I've gained some of it back now, because my appetite returned, but my activity level didn't. But again, much of it is in my leg as I'm starting to get muscle mass back there too. Just eat healthy and work out the parts of you you can work out without exhausting yourself! Let your body focus on healing for a while.

The recoup seems like it is hell, but think of the benefits you'll have once it is done and over with! Just take it slow, and take it one day at a time. Don't get caught in the trap of "8 weeks no weight" "12 weeks" "how many months til I'm normal"...one day at a time

 
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:15 AM   #7
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

ADKLizard46, thanks so much for writing about weight. I actually was just going to post about it. I've been concerned about weight gain and instructed everyone to only bring healthy foods in the house and no junk food whatsoever (No matter how much I beg!).

I'm already looking at the surgery as a first day of the rest of my life and will take it day-by-day for healing. My goal is by July 2014 to go on either an African Safari or River Cruise in Viet Nam/Cambodia. I've got lots of time to plan this.

I'm also v. excited in that we decided to have my 21 year old son be my buddy during the first week in NY. He keeps joking about, "lucky him" - but it will be 7 days to spend some quality time together and just catch up.
Trying to keep everything positive.

 
Old 12-13-2012, 08:41 AM   #8
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

Hi Everyone,
I am 4.5 weeks post op from a Calcaneal osteotomy, FDL transfer and Achilles lengthening. I am 31 years old. I have a 7 year old and a 6 year old. It's been a rough month but they are enjoying the change in structure. thankfully they are in full day school.
I didn't use my scooter for the first 2 weeks.....the pressure and throbbing was better if I used crutches because of the way that your foot hangs off the scooter .Expect to be in bed for the first 10 days. If you can, buy a cold therapy machine...SO much better then leaky ice packs that could leave your cast wet plus it ices for up to 8 straight hours.
As far as the weight gain....just be careful when you start feeling better. I lost my appetite and barely ate the first 10 days because of the narcotics. The Percocet just made me sick...once I switched to a stronger 12 hr release narcotic, I was feeling much better and got my appetite back. Load up on healthy snacks (apple sauce, fruits, water bottles, low sodium soups and fiber bars).
I did the surgery on my right foot first....knowing it would be the toughest foot because of the driving issue. I still can't drive I am so glad I did my right foot first because my left will be SO much easier when I have to get it done. I would be able to drive 2 weeks post op next time.
I have to say that there have been a few ups and downs....but every time I look down and see an arch, it gets me very excited! I hope to start PT next week and start walking!

 
Old 12-13-2012, 08:53 AM   #9
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

Hi, I had my surgery on Nov 9th on left foot. I would ask for cryo/cuff its amazing instead of those ice packs. Also get stool softeners take when you get home from hospital. Hope that helps you some.
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Surgery on November 9th,2012. I had extra bone removed, bone spur shaved down, calf muscle lengthened and a titanium wedge put in.

 
Old 12-13-2012, 10:14 AM   #10
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

Megan2828 - thanks so much. I'm going to hold off on the scooter until after I get my cast on. Honestly, I know I will be resting and focusing on healing. It must be really hard with two young children. I suppose I should be thankful that it is my left foot.

Where do I purchase or rent a cold therapy machine? Is it through a supply company or hospital?

Erin 2828 - thank you too! I actually just ran to do a post hospital shop at a local pharmacy. I bought the stool softener and Miralax that the doctor suggested. Also bought some todler wipes and ponds facial wipes just to have while in NY. Also bought tylenol, baby aspirin and advil just in case they tell me I need any of them. If not, we can use them in our household. Healthy snacks for my son and I while in the hotel.

So here is my question for the moment...Anyone have major PANIC moments before surgery? I'm having one now. Actually my heart is pounding in my chest and I feel like having a good cry.

 
Old 12-13-2012, 10:43 AM   #11
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

I was a mess before my surgery. And it didn't help that I was HUNGRY. They had me stop eating at midnight, but my surgery wasn't until 2pm the next day. I had to be at the hospital at 11 for entry testing and all that...my surgery was delayed a little about an hour...so all that just added up. It was also my first major surgery, first time having general anesthesia...etc.

The nursing staff at my hospital (pre-op) was great. They were constantly telling jokes, and just talking to me to make me feel better. When it was finally time for my surgery, they gave me something to help calm me down. I don't remember this one...but my mom says I was quite loopy and funny. Then in the hallway outside the OR, I started to cry again and they were super comforting and able to dispense medication....they gave me another something for anxiety before giving me the blocks.

It doesn't help now when you are home waiting, but if you are anxious at the hospital--tell them! they hear it all the time and are experienced in how to help you.

Good luck!!!

liz

 
Old 12-13-2012, 11:44 AM   #12
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

Thank you both of you!

I've been coordinating with NY to make sure I'm not doing or taking anything I shouldn't since my scheduling was so last minute.

Here's my next question...We had to make the decision very quickly. We own a store and this is the busiest time of the year. I told my husband to drop me off Monday morning and to head back to Boston. My surgery is scheduled last but I have no idea what time. I have to be there at 7:30AM for an MRI and testing. I figured after surgery I will be loopyloo and exhausted so I won't really notice who is around. HSS also doesn't allow long visits the first day anyway. I believe 20 minutes if I'm not mistaken. I had planned to have one of my daughters be there on Tuesday and for my son to come down for the rest of the week.

Should I have someone wait at the hospital anyway? I know the doctor usually speaks to family members after surgery and I assumed he can make a phone call too. Am I making mistake?

Another question, wheel chair (the ones that can be pushed) do I have to rent these before or do I need to get it from the hospital? I'm going to need one to get from the hospital to the affiliated hotel next door. I'll need it again when heading back to Boston.

Thanks!

 
Old 12-13-2012, 12:11 PM   #13
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

Before surgery I started taking Celebrex... Supposedly it can help with post op swelling and pain. I figured why not....and I am still taking it
I did my procedure in outpatient. My surgery was scheduled for 8:00 and I was home around noon (I think, haha). I thought that because I am relatively young (31) for this procedure and plus the fact that I had 2 children that I would be good as far a pain management. I did have a nerve block during the surgery. I woke up feeling great, COMPLETELY numb from the knee down. The knee block lasted only 24 hrs. I was taking Percocet every 4 hours to "stay ahead" of the pain and it just wasn't enough. For my next surgery, the dr told me that I could stay I the hospital a few nights and not do outpatient (everyone is different). So with that said, can you stay in the hospital for at least 2 nights just in case??? I would have rather of had stronger drugs readily available....my pain started in the middle of the night and there was nothing my poor husband could do for me to ease it up. The first24 hrs were easy and then the next 48 were tough.
As for wheelchairs, I used my crutches right away. I never used a wheelchair..... But I am guessing that you could rent one from a local medical supply shop?!?!?!?

 
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:13 PM   #14
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

Megan, I just got off the phone with the doctor's office and the nurse told me to plan on being in hospital for 3 nights. He had told me 2-3 nights. In Boston one of the doctors wanted to have me do it outpatient too.

The nurse also said no to the polar care soft ice or cryo cuff for the beginning due to the cast. I suppose I'll order it when I get the cast off. It looks great - wish I had it when I was having all the pain for the last couple of years.

There are so many things I was supposed to do to get ready and now I believe I'm just going to have to "wing" it.

 
Old 12-13-2012, 03:03 PM   #15
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Re: PTTD - Surgery on December 17!

Exdancer2-

Wow, just getting caught up and I see you are having your surgery on Monday at HSS. When you say the affiliated hotel next door, are you referring to the Belaire guest house? I hope all goes very well for you. I always found the days leading up to my 3 ankle surgeries to be very stressful and worrisome. At least you don't have too many more to go!! I'm sure you'll do great seeing that you are in wonderful hands. Thanks also for responding to me in the other thread.

 
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achilles lengthening, calcaneal osteotomy, hospital for special surgery, posterior tibial repair



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