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    Old 07-29-2016, 01:08 PM   #1
    stacie448
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    PTTD surgery decision time

    Where to begin? I am 62 and I work part-time at a University. I have had the following surgeries due to illness and accidents: 2 total knee replacements, 2 rotator cuff repairs, a 3 disk anterior cervical disc removal, Open heart surgery to repair a sick valve and many minor arthroscopies.

    After finishing cardiac rehab I joined a gym because I really enjoyed the workouts. I have always stayed moderately fit, from dance to aerobics to dance dvds. Well, I injured my left ankle at the gym and ignored it for a month until finally going to my ortho surgeon. MRI. Referral to Ankle specialist.
    PTTD which is worsening. Wore a boot for a month and the uneven gait caused a stress fracture in my right foot (had an MRI today for that). Now I am wearing an AirCast on my bad ankle. This is the only way I can stand walking. Without the support I am in major pain.

    However, even with the AirCast I am in pain and now developing bad pain in my upper hamstring (anyone had that?)
    So I am faced with this awful surgery or what? status quo? Forever?
    I am thinking long and hard about this. My surgeon said Stacie, this is a hard surgery. I said, harder than knee replacements? I find that hard to believe, but I guess it is.

    To complicate things, my aged mother just recently moved in to a cottage we had built for her adjacent to our home. Us being me, my husband, and our 8 indoor cats.
    So I have to plan all this out. Will I be able to use a knee scooter with a knee replacement knee? Skeptical about that.

    Wheelchair? Yes, I suppose. When they say non weight bearing, how can you even use crutches or a rollator?

    Please help with answers to any of these questions. I am bummed out about yet another difficult and painful surgery!

    When can I go back to working the desk? maybe a month?
    Thank you all!!!!

    Last edited by Administrator; 07-30-2016 at 02:52 PM.

     
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    Old 07-30-2016, 07:15 AM   #2
    arthritis lady
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    Re: PTTD surgery decision time

    Hi, stacie!

    Your litany sounds a lot like mine. I’m 67 and fortunately retired. I’ve had both hips and my left knee replaced. The other knee and shoulders are arthritic and worsening, and I have other health issues. I had foot reconstruction surgery on my left foot seven weeks ago. It involved not only repair and transfer of my severed PTT, but also calconeal osteotomy (shaving heel bone and straightening the foot with screws), and mid-foot fusion with pins. I see the surgeon this week and hope to start PT shortly. I’ve been in a full boot and on a knee scooter for the last five weeks. I can’t wait to move on to the next step, which should be in a week or so.

    First off, breathe and find a cat to pat. I have two Maine Coons and they’ve given great moral support. Then read the HB posting on "tactics coping while non-weight bearing after foot surgery," if you haven’t.

    The tips have been very helpful. You have someone to help, which is good. A friend of mine is freaking out because she is about to have similar surgery and lives by herself. My husband isn’t as helpful as he might be because he is recovering from a stem cell transplant for lymphoma. His doctors told me to have the surgery now, as he was getting better and would be able to take care of me. He hasn’t been able to do nearly as much as they predicted, but he cooks and we’re managing. When friends stop by, let’s just say that I’ve stopped worrying about the look of the house!

    I was also skeptical about a knee scooter, as it hurts to kneel on the replaced knee, but my knee surgeon suggested “gel pads like they use for wheelchairs that have individual jello-like pads.” No-one seems to make them for knee scooters, but I found rectangular strips of them on-line. Google “Com4ort Gel Ovations,” and find a size that fits the knee platform on your scooter. Mine needed two. I layered the platform with a hand towel and another hard gel cover underneath them, affixed them with both their adhesive and shock cords, and put a sheepskin cover on top. After all that, if I don’t kneel in the right place, it still hurts, but I can find a place where it doesn’t.

    On the other side, the knee that has to propel the scooter is weak and gets tired very quickly, especially inside my house which has wall-to-wall carpeting that acts like sand to slow down the scooting. I last much longer on hard floors. Expecting problems, I did six weeks of “pre-hab” PT to strengthen my quads, but there was a limit to how much they could do. It’s getting worse with the strain and looks like I’ll have to have it replaced as soon as the foot recovers.

    They say you use regular crutches while NWB by letting the crutches take the weight of the bad leg and hopping when necessary. Between bad shoulders, the bad opposite knee and balance issues, they’re totally out of the question for me. I haven’t wanted to use a wheelchair or a seated knee scooter (Google “Goodbye Crutches”) as I don’t want to lose any more mobility than necessary.

    I have stairs, though I’ve moved to our downstairs guest room for the duration. They say you can go up and down stairs on your butt. That’s fine if you haven’t had hip replacements limiting your ability to even consider such a thing. For occasional trips upstairs, as well as getting in and out of a car, I’ve found that the RAMMTLC knee crutch allows me to kneel on it to go up and down without hopping, as long as there is a handrail or car door on the right. When I head for the car or an unknown building, I strap the crutch to the knee scooter. I look like I’m going into battle, which in a way, I am!

    The good news as I read your situaion is that the surgery would be on your left foot. If your right foot permits, you may be able to drive. My surgeon said I could do so as soon as I stopped taking Oxycodine. I’ve been driving for three or four weeks. My home PT helped me figure out how to get the scooter in and out of the car by myself, and the freedom has really helped the initial cabin fever.

    Is the surgery worse than that for the knee replacement? I had the knee replaced four years ago, and time has dimmed the memory. I’ll have a better answer after the next one. The recovery time is longer, but the facts that I can drive and that people smile when they see me coming on the scooter counter some of the negativity.

    I don’t have to go back to work, but have managed to resume several volunteer activities. I think my stamina would have allowed me to work part-time after three or four weeks. At seven weeks, however, I still collapse after a full day of activity. As I’ve read the possibilities, I may be walking normally anywhere between another five weeks and another year. Sure hope it’s the former.

    Good luck to us both! Let us know how you proceed.

    Last edited by Administrator; 07-30-2016 at 02:49 PM.

     
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    Old 07-30-2016, 07:38 AM   #3
    arthritis lady
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    Re: PTTD surgery decision time

    I thought of something else -- your current pain.
    -----------------
    The Flector patch really helped with foot pain, as the skin is so thin that the drug goes right into the bone. Hopefully your insurance will cover it; mine does. I’ve been sparing in its use – as the pain has spread, I first cut and used it in ’s, then ’s, before I finally needed to use the whole patch. They call for it twice a day; I put it on after showering in the morning and only replaced it at night if I needed to do so. Usually I didn’t and left it on until the next shower. I trimmed the corners so that they were rounded. Otherwise the corners fouled up while pulling on the compression sleeve. I carried an extra patch and sleeve when out, as taking them off for any reason makes me need a new patch, and getting them wet makes both into a gooey, useless mess….I hope to wear it again when my incisions are healed shut, which will hopefully be next week.

    There being several sleeves on the market, the one that has worked best for me is an FS-6 Sports Compression Footsleeve. It’s hot in the summer, but keeps the patch on, covered, and in place. The pain reduction was worth the annoyance of its heat. The patch and sleeve fit in sneakers and sandals when I started, then later in sneakers.

    Finally, shoes that have allowed the sleeve room and allowed me to feel somewhat professional are Ahnu "Karma Latitude." They look like ballet flats and don’t look terribly substantial, but they hold up remarkably well. I like the black leather as it’s more professional looking than their other colors and textures. I took a black marker to the visible cork sole on one pair, and kept that pair for dress use. I learned the hard way to get the Karma Latitude, not their plain Karma, as the latter doesn’t have adjustable straps.

    You'll get there!

    Last edited by Administrator; 07-30-2016 at 02:48 PM.

     
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    Old 07-30-2016, 09:34 AM   #4
    stacie448
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    Re: PTTD surgery decision time

    Thank you so much!!! I have much to look up and investigate thanks to your advice. I hope you do well too, arthritis lady!!!

     
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    Old 08-03-2016, 05:33 AM   #5
    arthritis lady
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    Re: PTTD surgery decision time

    You're welcome. Got the go-ahead yesterday for 25% weight bearing. Woo hoo!

     
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