Help! I had OCD ankle surgery on my right ankle 7 weeks ago. Surgeon originally told me will be in a cast for 2 weeks then out of cast for 2 weeks but still no weight bearing. Then 4 weeks after surgery to start in boot cast. Agony is an understatement. Finally 2 days ago was able to start with crutches and boot cast and put maybe 10-15 lbs of pressure down on foot. I probably walked 20-25 steps 2 days ago with tat little amount of weight bearing, and maybe same yesterday. Well now my ankle is hurting bad. No way can I do it again today. So so sore. Even feels like ankle locking up. is this normal? My surgeon is now back peddling and giving me all different answers than originally. So unhappy. When I called him a couple weeks ago he said well if it hurts then don't do it. I said u and your nurse told me I HAD to start after 4 weeks. He said well I don't know what to tell you. Really? are you kidding me? I need some advice from others as to my dilemma and how long and experiences you had. Please help.!
Did you have micro fracture done? If so, when I had mine it was 6 weeks nwb so it sounds like he is a bit aggressive with his expectations because even at 6 weeks it was tough walking. Do you have access to an indoor heated pool? If so that might help you begin walking.
Sounds like perhaps what he saw was worse than he expected once he got in there. That happened to me and led to OATS just 10 months after my drilling.
All I can recommend, based on my experience with this is even if weightbearing is tough, continue nwb ROM exercises as often as you can. I lost all my ROM after this and have had numerous surgeries in an attempt to get it back and while I did the pt I was told to, can't help but wonder if I should have done more...but who knows?
Good luck, I know this is tough and hopefully your doctor becomes a bit more helpful and understanding. (And you want to find out why what he initially told you isn't the case now.)
The Following User Says Thank You to kimberp For This Useful Post: ChinaDoll123 (01-05-2012)
Thanks so much for writing me back. I just feel so hopeless right now. I don't know what he called it which sounds strange if u knew me cause I a,ways get lots of info. I know he went in with camera and drill in 2 separate places. He drilled some holes around the talus and went into the Pitt that was in there and scraped out pieces of bone and cartilage that were broken off. I have a swimming pool on my back yard but hesitated to heat it so expensive but I will! Should I actually try and walk in the pool? Also after surgery I did ask what he found and he said nothing more nothing less than expected, which he originally said was abt 15-20% of the talus bone. Omg on the oats! So sorry. Did it work? This surgery was horrific! Can't imagine going thru another! What surgeries did u have to have related to loss of rom? Never heard of that. Dr also told me there is no physical therapy for this but obviously that is not true either! I have been trying to work with that rubber band thingy for rom. Think has helped a bit. So 3 days ago I tried the walking boot cast again with crutches. 7 weeks now since surgery. Could put maybe 10-15 lbs weight on it. That is a guess tho. Walked about 20 steps. Did same next day. Was in definite pain but not horrible agony like after trying 4 weeks after surgery. But that second night which was 2 days ago my ankle hurt so ad worse than it has in a couple weeks..just sore and aching and feeling stiff so I didn't do anything yesterday. Is this normal? Should I keep trying e dry day even tho in pain?
I wasn't walking well at all 7 weeks out from my drilling so don't let that discourage you. Try a little each day and when it hurts, stop. Each day you'll notice (or each week) that you can do a little more before you have to stop.
My doc would tell me the same thing...don't do it if it hurts, but you have to keep trying. Everyone heals differently and everyone's bodies react differently to surgery so this is a very individual thing, so don't get hung up on 'normal' or what others might be doing. No two injuries are exactly alike.
Walking in the pool is supposed to be good since it helps take some weight off your foot, decreases gravity, etc. ( and I hear you on the pool heater, I am in NY and would love a heater for my pool, but in the summer it gets warm enough) and I know warm water helps loosen things up but I can't imagine a regular temp pool wouldn't be beneficial. As long as your pool is at least 80
The surgeries I have had have been mainly for post traumatic osteoarthritis which started after my drilling and has limited my ROM, so other than OATS which worked for the most part in helping my talus, but not the arthritis in that joint, I've had ankle distraction twice, a subtalar fusion, and now 2 nerve decompression surgeries which started from trying to fix my ROM. The second nerve surgery was 2 weeks ago so I, like you, am starting ROM exercises, again, and once I get my 44 stitches out next week will start the pool walking. So trust me, I know what you are going through
Keep doing what you are doing, including the therabands for ROM (currently staring at a yellow, blue and green one on my dresser). I know it doesn't feel like it now, but you are making progress..just think of where you were just 2 weeks ago compared to now.
I know u said don't have to thank you but u have no idea what u have done for me! I a, so very very sorry for what u r and have been going thru! Awful!! I don't know how u r hanging in there, truly! U r one brave person! No one can understand unless u r going thru it. My husband just said why don't we just heat our jacuzzi? Duh. Way less to heat and I can walk in that. U r the best! I am taking all your advice! Will start jacuzzi walking tonite. Made appt with surgeon for tomorrow with all going on. I will b asking lots of questions and demanding answers for a change. One more question. How long days or weeks were u walking bits in the boot before tried walking without it?
The following user gives a hug of support to ChinaDoll123: MrsHeidi (01-17-2012)
Thanks...not brave though, just playing the cards I've been dealt. (trust me, I have/do cry a lot) my husband has been great, but admittedly doesn't understand what's its like to go through this.
We have a jacuzzi tub and I asked my surgeon about that and he said the warm water would be good when lying there for my ROM exercises but he said wouldn't be as helpful for the walking since the water would not be deep enough. He said at least waist high was best and not sure how deep yours is, but my jacuzzi tub, even when full only goes past my knees, lol. If you have a bigger/deeper one it could work! Just check that your incisions are completely closed and might want to run this by your doc to make sure he is ok with you submersing your foot at this point...just to be on the safe side.
Hmm, after my 6 week nwb period after drilling it was about a month before I got out of the boot and was then given a lace up brace which I was in for awhile...and then they realized it didn't work. Then had OATS and started the whole process over again...(sigh) lol...
Good luck at your appt tomorrow. Write down your questions and ask for a copy of your OR notes. Those will tell you a lot as well.
you are a plethora (sp?) of info!!! Even my husband is now thanking you...knowing the hell I have been going through and no answers from stupid surgeon and he feels helpless...and I am sure he is sick of me being a total _tch..lol My jacuzzi is pretty deep (built in to side of pool) and for me it is VERY deep..I am only 4'9..lol It goes up probably above my waist at a pointor higher.. I am heating it now..lol Will take a few hours...even tho i am in FL it is chilly here! Jacuzzi water is at 57..brrr...My incisions are for sure closed...ok gonna go see him tomorrow but then plan on starting boot little bit at a time as you said. I guess I have gotten so worried (since going thru this crap for 2 yrs) that was afraid i was making myself worse or screwing up the surgery. Again I am so sorry for what you are going through! How old are u if you don't mind my asking. I just turned 54..never an exerciser by any means but always a run arounder..lol and LOVE to dance..so upset about that...at this point would be happy to walk...as you know. So, I guess I will know if this works in a couple months? I am praying it works. Having such bad feelings about it but trying to send myself good karma..not easy to do. I am sending some to you too friend! OATS is a terrible surgery, correct?
You are welcome. Unfortunately the only way to learn this stuff is by living through it and thankfully I have great doctors guiding/treating and teaching me. It is 5 years I haven't been able to walk pain free and with 8 surgeries in that time I am for sure coming back in my next life as an ankle OS, lol. Way more knowledge than I ever planned on having
I just turned 44 which is part of my dilemma, too young for an ankle replacement. All these surgeries to buy time until I get older or ankle technology improves...how ironic, huh?
Your jacuzzi idea sounds like it will work, although quite entertaining for your husband as he watches you walk around in circles . Just be careful please and don't overdo it. My surgeon said 20 minutes per day was enough.
Yes you may have an idea if it helped at about 6 months out at the earliest. Wiith mine I never got any relief from it and once the surgical pain was gone the pain I always had was still there but worse, and just continued to get worse so at the 8 month mark we had already begun the OATS planning for 2 months later. Good thing we did though as more bone crumbled from the OCD and was in my joint and my dr said there was nothing growing even at that point. Not to scare you but OATS is not pleasant...probably one of the 2 most painful surgeries I've had to date BUT we're not talking about it anymore since you won't need it...right? . Good karma...good karma... (And quite honestly depending upon how bad your ankle is you might want to consider a replacement if that's an option for you...). But let's not put the cart before the horse
Omg I just can't believe what u have been thru! There is an age recommendation for ankle replacement ? Why? I am so glad I have ur wisdom cause do not trust my surgeon. Haha at this stage my husband sure needs a laugh. For months all he has been doing is dodging my horrible mood :-( I feel so bad for him.
Ok so I am literally gonna try and actually walk in the jacuzzi? I am freaking. It is still heating after like 2-1/2 hrs. Up to 95. I need at least 100.
Geez 6 months to see if it worked..ugh. Surgeon said 6 months to be like 75% better. Sound right if it worked?
I am afraid to ask. If this is second worse surgery was drilling the first? I can't believe u r actually thinking straight at this point key alone posting!
Keep in mind that those that are in the 80-90% are off running around enjoying life and not posting here, so don't let these boards discourage you. Here, including me, are the ones that are continuining to have problems which is why most of what you may be reading is discussing bad outcomes.
80-90% are good odds but in my experience with the odds I have been given, I've always come out on the losing end...so honestly I am not sure what to believe at this point
Stay positive, don't overdo, and I am sure you will do great!
I feel like such a whiny baby after what u have been through and continue to go though! I know u r right about the boards. I will try to stay positive. I will write u later after jacuzzi. Geeez would b so excited to at least fake walk in jacuzzi..lol
Ok did it! Didn't do too bad! Walked. Wry very slow in circles while holding onto this center pole squirts thing we have in there. Of course turned off jets. Haha. Held on to seating with other hand so ne er had full weight anywhere Didn't put a whole lot of weight on it but didn't do too bad. Did for like 10 or 15 minutes and really started aching and am aching now but I think probably normal right?
Good job! See how bad the achiness is and if still achy tomorrow take a day off, then maybe start with sitting ROM exercises first, then 5 min walking and work your way up each week. We don't want you in pain after you do this.
Did it loosen up at all in the warm water? I know my ankle seems to feel better after a hot shower...curious what happens next week when I hit the pool.
Thanks for the kudos! Yes felt little looser in hot water. Had it at 102. :-). It is definitely pretty achy right now. Trying to just deal with it cause I am so over Percocets ! Hated them. Was so sick. Will see how achy I am tomorrow and will go with you (my doctors) advice :-). You r starting pool already next week?
Yes, I have to start the pool since this was nerve surgery apparently the water will help desensitize my foot, plus I had to stop PT for my ankle because of this, so my ankle needs to start moving as well. What was good for my ankle was bad for my nerve...bad place to be in considering I just got out of the external fixator in September (was in it for 6+ months) so not being able to do anything for my ankle is not good.
Good luck at your appt tomorrow! Hope you get some answers
What is an external fixator? And isn't that the way it always is. One thing effects or is not good for another? Always for me that is for sure! My sciatica and back killing me from crutches and wheelchair and pulling reaching climbing upstairs at night. Geez!
Hmm, best way to describe an external fixator ... It looks like an erector set-like cage around your ankle/leg that supports metal rods that go through your ankle/foot. It is used to pull the ankle joint apart to help the cartilage in your joints repair in my case, but similar uses can be for repair of bones, limb lengthening, etc. if you look up 'ankle distraction arthroplast' you will find pics of it.