Many thanks for starting this thread! I go in Monday Found out at my preop that one of the surgeons thinks he should open the outside of my ankle and cut off a bone spur too. If I am there, they might as well, I would hate to go through all this and then have problems from a spur. He is going to discuss it with the other surgeon (the one doing the knee) and get his opinion. Only problem is the spur is big and might be into the ligament.
I so appreciate everyone's advice on these boards. I went into my appointment with a list (wheelchair, handicap placard, ice machine, shower seat etc. etc.) and the doc took the list from me and started writing Rxs and checking off my list, said he didn't want to miss anything you guys suggest!
Thank you all - now to get through this party for 100 people we are throwing tomorrow . . .poor planning on my part!
PS Keep posting about your progress Abby and take it easy!
I'm thinking about you today because I know you've had your surgery! I hope everything goes very smoothly and you will feel well after the anesthesia. You sound like you're totally prepared and that will help you so much in the next few weeks!! When you feel good enough, let us know how you're doing on this board.
Thanks for the update, good for you! I am sure the bike ride will be a piece of cake for you!
I am starting to regret putting my surgery off until August as my pain is getting worse .. some days are tolerable but the others are just excruciating and I honestly don't know why. Can't quite figure this out! (But unfortunately I am going to keep the August date... I'll be covered at 100 percent of my salary for the whole time I am out if I wait until after Aug 2)
I was thinking about Margaret as well on Monday and am eager to here how her surgery went. She was very prepared so I am sure she did great, but you know me .. I must know the details
Hopefully we'll hear from her soon, but understand that hopping on her computer is the furthest thing from her mind right now.
Thanks Abby for the update and I look forward to hearing of your continued successes!
Is there anything your Dr. can do for you until August? Some pain med? By the last 6 months before my surgery I had run out of any shoes that were comfortable and just wore sandals (or barefoot). That seemed to help alot - wearing my shoes would get my foot in a funk that took days/weeks to get over. Sticking my foot in cold water helped too. My office is in the woods out of town with a river next to it. My friends and I would walk after work for exercise and when my foot would start yelling at me I would freeze it in cold water for a few minutes and it really helped settle the pain. I know it's hard to wait, I put off my surgery last year for various reasons, but in the end, planning it with work time off etc... was very worth it!
PS When I would go barefoot at work my coworkers would make fun of me but I would just tell them it was medically necessary!
Thanks for the shoe tip I actually found a pair of extra wide sneakers that are one size larger than my normal size that I wear every day (they look awesome with a business suit!)
I called my surgeon yesterday for pain meds .. I already have Vicodin at home that I take at night when I am ready to scream and during the day I take 5 Alleve, but that doesn't always work and my stomach is starting to get annoyed .. I wanted something somewhere in the 'middle' of the two, so he gave me Darvocet. (although I took one last night and I assume it worked for pain but wouldn't know as it knocked me out in about 30 minutes but at least I didn't feel like a zombie when I woke up this morning like I do with Vicodin.
I think I will take your advice on the freezing of the foot .. I am off next week on vacation and we just opened our pool which is nice and cold now, so might have to try it out!
Wow - I don't think I suffered with that much pain before my surgery. My injury happened almost 3 years ago so I guess you do get used to a level of pain over time. The surgery decision was hard for me because I would feel good one day and then the next day I could hardly walk. The pain could be very random. When I was first diagnosed the Dr. couldn't believe I had been running around on my foot for almost a year. She said I must have a very high pain tolerance because most people would be in terrible discomfort. So that has been a blessing (however, it kept me from getting treatment sooner).
Yeah, freezing my foot in cold water was pretty miraculous. I could be limping with shooting pain and then after soaking it, it felt like I was starting anew. Of course, it is only a temporary fix ... Of course the other day after alot of activity my Advil was doing nothing and I broke out the hydrocodone and that was a very good pain relief!
Hope you have a good vacation! I kinda took my memorial weekend vacation this last weekend while our weather was good and family was visiting. I'm also hoping to hear from Margaret soon!
14 staples holding the ankle together and four holding the knee together (I saw everything yesterday). I got lucky and they were able to remove the bone spur from the same incision on the ankle (went into surgery with the outside marked for second incision, glad they didn't use it). !0 mm plug taken out of knee and put into the ankle - both Doctors pleased with surgery (they each called my father-in-law to report to him as he is a retired OS).
The anticipation for this was just awful!!!! But I needed the time to get schedules and help worked out. Hang in there Kim. I took a shower today, amazing what clean hair can do for your mood.
I am so glad to hear from you and glad to hear you seem to be doing well and in good spirits! And one less incision is always good!!
You know me ... I have tons of questions and as you know first hand, tons of anxiety which I will have to deal with until August.
Ok, here I go
How is the pain?
How did they manage your pain while in the hospital? How many days did they keep you?
I assume your knee is bandaged now ... do you have to keep it straight until the stitches are out? When are the stitches coming out?
Are you in a cast now or a splint?
8 weeks NWB?
I have more but don't want to overwhelm you
Glad to hear it was a success and you are over what I invision as 'the hump' and are on your way to recovery!
(I know what you mean about the shower ... after my drilling I waited about a week to take a shower and what an improvement in my mood afterwards! I didn't have it in me to blow dry my hair, but who cared, it was clean!
The pain: yikes! Much much better now. I was kept in the hospital for an extra day, the surgeon said go home Tuesday, the nurses told him no way then announced to me I was staying. So I went home Wednesday. Morphine every hour in the hospital along with Oxycontin and Dilaudid.
Knee and ankle heavily bandaged and a plaster splint. Thursday that was all cut off and put into a Fx boot. He was going to xray but is waiting until next Thursday when I will be more comfortable and he will also take out staples then (14 in the ankle and 4 in the knee). Boot is so much better, in the short time I had the plaster splint I developed bursitis in my hip which is very painful. I can't take ibuprofen because it hinders bone growth so I have to take muscle relaxers for the hip.
No to keeping the knee straight. He wants me to gently move it as that will help the cartilage heal - just have to be gentle moving it so I don't knock out the blood that is currently in the hole. I can also take the boot off if I want but I have to sleep with it and also remember that the bones are only held together by a couple of screws.
He expects 8 weeks NWB -fx boot no cast. And I am wearing the Game Ready almost all the time now that I don't have the splint and bandages - the compression and cold feels good.
Thanks for the details although the 'yikes' can't be good, but glad it's gotten better.
My OS already told me that my surgery will be first thing Monday morning and he'll come see me in the hospital Wed afternoon to make a decision on my going home, so your experience sounds about what I expect.
Did you have an osteotomy? I am surprised he said you can take the boot off. When I begged my OS for a boot and not a cast he first said that he needs to see the integrity of my bone to consider the boot but I could not ever take the boot off ... it's great that you are allowed to take yours off and use the Gameready.
You are on the road to recovery and I guess no matter what we have to do / not do at least we are getting better.
Please keep us posted on how you are doing ... I know doing nothing can get tedious and I am sure watching TV is already getting old, but keep up the great work! (I think less than a week after my surgery I will still be feeling sorry for myself
I am already pretty bored. I did have an osteotomy and have 2 screws holding it together. While I was told I 'can' take the boot off, I honestly haven't felt up to taking it off. I am looking forward to seeing the xrays on Thursday.
I have been exhausted all day, don't know where that came from but I am giving into it alot and napping. My knee makes a double popping noise when I move my leg. It doesn't hurt but it sounds like someone is cracking their knuckles.
Most of the yikes pain was in the hospital. It is funny how much I 'missed' while I was in my morphine hazes. My husband got pretty familiar with how much of a comprehension window I had between the hourly shots and turns out he was timing his coffee and phone calls around my 10 minutes of lucidity each hour!
Meals that friends have prepared and brought over have been wonderful. I normally would have thanked everyone and told them it wasn't necessary but from reading other peoples posts before I went in, I have learned to say 'Great, what night works for you?' Quite a change from someone who NEVER asks for help.
We have a friend who will be in town next week to pick her son up from school for summer break and when she emailed and invited us out to dinner, I explained I couldn't go out but they could bring food to the house - subtle! So pizza, beer and friends arrive Tuesday.
I am telling you all this so if people offer to bring a meal, take them up on it. And try to schedule it so you don't end up with three lasagnas the first night home.
Feel free to keep reminding me I am on the road to recovery because I often think 'What the hell have I done to myself and my family?'
Last edited by demogoat; 05-25-2008 at 05:12 PM.
I know the recovery is difficult but you are doing great .. don't give into these feelings of 'what did I do?' since what you did is give yourself the oppty to do all the things you want to with your family. Give it some time, it is only a week today since you had your surgery... I am sure each day you'll have less of that thought.
The knee popping sounds interesting, but glad to hear it doesn't hurt. Does it hurt to move your knee with the staples in it?
I already told my husband that I'd rather him not sit the whole day with me in the hospital after my surgery ... he did after the drilling and I slept while he watched tv .. was kinda silly and at times I tried to keep myself awake just because he was there and that was real tough with all the morphine I was on.
Thanks for the tip on the food. My parents are retired and my mom has already asked what she can make ... so I have some trays of something coming over, but I know what you mean ... they made the same offer for my last surgery and I didn't take them up on it.
I noticed when I am not feeling well I like to be alone ... I'm not normally the type of person who likes anyone to do anything for me (I'm absolutely a Type A person) and I notice I get worse during times like this which I have to get over
Well I hope you are having a nice Memorial Day ... I actually managed to get outside yesterday to stain a fence and now am nursing my first sunburn of the year .. although have to admit, the new sunburn pain is a nice distraction from my foot pain - how sad is that?
I'm so happy to hear you're doing well! Sorry, I was away from a computer there for a few days so I'm just catching up. Wow! I'm really jealous that you get to have a boot right away. I think my hard cast for 6 weeks was one of the reasons I couldn't stand my foot down for 10 seconds! I'm not really jealous, I'm super happy for you that you'll be semi-comfortable.
I don't think they gave me any morphine in the hospital - just alot of Oxycotin and Demerol. And I was a total zombie! I thought I would be so bored at home on the couch, but I was a total zombie there too for about 3 weeks.
My knee still pops and crackles when I step up on a stair - no pain, but noisy. Did they put any type of plug to fill your knee site? I had a calcium sulfate OBI plug put in.
I really appreciated meals. I would tell people to bring me something with no calories! They brought lots of soups and salads - it was wonderful to have that help. My parents are retired too Kim and they helped me a lot with basic housecleaning. My neighbor put my trash can out on the curb every week for 3 months! People are too cool!
So I'm 4 months out and almost back to nornal activity so hang in there Margaret! This time will seem like a distant memory in a short while! Think of it being a great time to show your family how much you do for them so they will appreciate you more when you're better! Take care and enjoy your pizza party today!
I'm 19 weeks out now. Yesterday at PT I biked for 10 minutes at level 7 (at 14 weeks I couldn't even do level 0 ) I did other various exercises that were almost impossible a month ago and now he has me doing balance exercises standing only on my surgery foot. I'm also starting single leg squats trying to build my knee back up. The audible popping in my knee has stopped the last week or so, but there is still pain and crunchiness when I do these. Got a pretty flabby leg leg still so I need to work alot more! I just renewed my gym membership for June. I stopped it the end of Jan. so it 's good to get back to a workout schedule. The best thing, after these exercises, the PT grabbed my foot and noticed it had no swelling and you could see my ankle bones! Yea!
I would say that the worst pain I've had through PT has been in my achilles. So keep that stretched out as much as possible! Also, just walking after NWB so long makes the bottom of your foot very sore! I'm down to maybe one or 2 Ibuprofen a day. Sad to say, but that's pretty good!
I started using hydrocortisone cream once a day on my scars - (they are pretty nasty) and it has made a big difference!
Thanks for the update! It is definitely motivational to hear how well you are doing and I am even getting optimistic that I will be somewhat normal and back to the gym by the first of the year! (my gym membership has been on hold since March 07 - the beginning of my 'saga'.)
Just a comparison point - I tried to do 15 minutes (5.5 miles) on Level 0 on my stationary bike on Monday night ... since Tuesday morning the pain on a scale of 1-10 is an 6 and at night a 12 (after walking on it all day) ... I'm trying to go into this surgery with a little muscle tone in my legs but doesn't look like its going to happen.
I know your knee scar was as you said 'ugly' .. is your ankle one as bad?
Congratulations on your successess and please be sure to keep telling us about them
Sorry you're agonizing so much I would just skip the bike if it hurts that much. My biking now doesn't bring any pain. Before my surgery, I still went to the gym, but I took a pilates class, did weights. Even the eliptical was getting to painful to use. I haven't even tried going back to that yet. So I was pretty limited. But try pilates - you spend the almost the whole time laying down and it really keeps you tone! (It hurts the rest of your body - but it's a good hurt! ) My first workout day was 15 minutes on the bike, some situps and stretching and then I went home, so it was pretty much shorter than most people's warmups but it's a start!
My older sister saw my knee scar and was like - oh, you scar like me - and she showed me her C-section scar that is 20 years old but was pretty thick and raised. So it's probably a genetic thing - I've just never had a big incision before to know I would scar like that. But nowadays they have alot of scar treatments. I already invested in one - silicon sheeting, but I read about how adding cortisone to silicone really helps and I'm finding that's true. My ankle scar is not nearly as bad, but it has a few thick spots that I'm treating too.
Last edited by akirka; 06-05-2008 at 10:55 AM.
Thanks for the tip on the scaring ... I too won't have a scar until this (my 3 scars from drilling are all less than an inch each so I'm not counting them I'm putting together my 'surgery stockpile' as we speak so I'll be sure to add Cortisone and silicone to the pile.
I wanted to go back to the gym just to do some upper body stuff (I need to get my 'crutch muscles' back) but ironically the place I had gone to for PT for so long is located in the back of my gym AND I know the owner of the gym (who saw me in PT) and he politely told me that I am a liability for him to have in the gym so I didn't go back.
I have some DVDs and a fitness ball to exercise with so I think I will go with them and forego the bicycle for now. (but looking forward to reporting back 19 weeks later, like you, that I can do it!)
Thanks again Abby for all your advice...you have certainly been a huge help and an inspiration!