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    Old 05-07-2008, 10:52 PM   #1
    copchick
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    Question Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    I am having Ankle Ligament Reconstruction in 3 weeks. Luckily the injury happened at work. It has been 5 months since the injury and still pain and total instability when trying to walk. Has anyone had this surgery? How bad is the healing time? Doc said 6 weeks in a cast, 6 weeks in a walking boot. Any advise? I'm really concerned.

     
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    Old 05-08-2008, 06:18 AM   #2
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    Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    Hi, copchick, welcome to the gang... Of people who don't walk so good.

    So, I take it you are having the surgery known as a Brostrom repair. That procedure is done a lot, and it should treat the instability pretty well. Yes, the recovery time is long. It might be a whole year before your ankle is as good as it was before the injury, but you should be able to walk comfortably well before a year is up.

    You should have physical therapy. A lot of therapy, and you will get home exercises, and it is absolutely vital that you do them--but that's a worry for after the cast comes off.

    For the first week or so after surgery, you want to keep your foot elevated above the rest of your body pretty much all the time, except when you are taking a trip to the bathroom or something. You will be given narcotic painkillers. Take them, do not wait until you are in agony, do not attempt to tough it out. You will rest better and heal better if you are comfortable, and have less pain in the later, more active stages of recovery.

    Do you know what a Rolleraid or Turning Leg Caddy is? It's a device you may want to look into, if you're going to be non weight-bearing for a long time. (Just don't get the Invacare brand).

    Especially for the first few days, it would be good if there were someone around to take care of you, cooking, etc. Do as many chores as possible in advance, pick up rugs and push aside furniture to make it easier for crutches to get by.

    Have a lot of ice packs. You can't have too many, they're the best thing ever.

    And good luck! If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

     
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    Old 05-08-2008, 10:32 PM   #3
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    Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    Hi. Thank you for responding so quickly. I'm not sure what procedure he is doing. He said something about moving things to replace other things. I started to feel really queasy when he said about the time in the cast. He was explaining so much, and all I kept hearing is 6 weeks in a cast..LOL! Thank you for telling me about the Leg Caddy. I checked out a couple of websites. I'll have the doctor order it for me. How long does the serious pain last after the surgery? I'm going to stay overnight (by choice). How long after the cast comes off are you able to drive? I'm not really worried about the down time. I've been off the ankle just about the last 5 months since the injury. I would have one or two good days and then it put me down for three or four days. It was hard at first, but my hubby and the kiddies are happy to have me around the house.
    I'll tell you about the injury. It's kind of a funny story. I'm a police officer. We went on a domestic disturbance call. Another officer was walking in front of me as we were going up the driveway to the house. A HUGE dog ran at us growling. The other officer ran into me trying to get away. I fell. By the time it was over we had ambulances and 6 other police officers on the scene. BTW the husband and wife stopped fighting with each other. I get better results than Dr. Phil...LOL!

    Thank you again for the advise!

     
    Old 05-09-2008, 06:55 AM   #4
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    Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    Hmm, I'd probably stop fighting, too, if it resulted in a police officer getting hurt. Moving things? As in moving a tendon to replace a ligament? That would be a Christman-Snook.

    That wasn't the surgery I had, mine was less. I had pain to the point that I was taking narcotics from 12hrs after (when the drugs they gave me at the hospital wore off fully) to about 48 hours after. The medicine kept me reasonably comfortable. From then on, the pain was tolerable, though I took it at night for a few more days. People who've had something more like yours say 2 days to a week of needing painkillers, depending. The ice is critical, swelling inside a cast is not fun. I think I spent that entire first day with one ice pack over my ankle over the splint and one behind my knee. (cold doesn't penetrate the cast well, so you cool the blood where it's accessible.)

    Oh, yes, you don't leave the hospital in a regular fiberglass cast, you get something called a surgical splint, which is hard plaster on the bottom, wrapped in padding and elastic bandage. It lets the incision get enough air to heal properly, and allows for a little swelling. Then, a week or two later, is a regular cast.

     
    Old 05-09-2008, 09:35 PM   #5
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    Smile Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    I was wondering what the difference was between the procedures. Thanks for the help understanding the splint and the cast. I was wondering how well the stitches would heal if there was no air to them. I'll definitly get the ice packs ready again. I'm still using them now for swelling. I go for pre op on the the 20th. Are there any questions that I should ask? I do remember him saying Christman-Snook now that you mentioned it. I really should have paid better attention, but I went to the appt on 3 hours of sleep.

     
    Old 05-10-2008, 02:35 PM   #6
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    Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    I had a Brostrom done last June which is another form of ligament reconstruction.

    I was in a cast for 6 weeks post-op, but walking FWB at 3 weks. Started wearing a lace up brace and started PT at 6 weeks too. Wore the brace until about October or November.

    Definitely ask your surgeon if you can have these two things:

    1) PainBuster. It's this little pump that pumps like Novocaine or something through a little catheter right into the surgical site for 3-5 days post-op. Helps immensely.

    2) An ice water thing. Can't remember the exact name of it, but it's this thing that gets put under the bandages and is connected to a cooler that you put ice water in, and it circulates the ice water around your ankle. It's amazing.

    I had both of these, and they significantly reduced the amount of pain meds that I took.

     
    Old 05-10-2008, 06:47 PM   #7
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    Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    Thank you! I like the Pain Buster idea! I hate the idea of taking so many pain meds. That seems like a great idea if it will cut down on it. I'll ask him about the ice water thing too. Anything that will make this easier. It just sounds so painful. I think that is what I'm stressing the most about. I should be such a weenie but I am. I'll call the doc tomorrow and let you know what he says.

     
    Old 05-10-2008, 07:07 PM   #8
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    Smile Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    Oh!!! Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms!

     
    Old 05-11-2008, 06:31 PM   #9
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    Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    Ok um this might be a little long winded and i apologize but i am little confused to my own situation maybe ppl could shed some light cos i am feeling no one else has the same symptoms for the same injury?
    First let me start off with i injured my ankle at work carrying a compressor on sandy ground when i stepped on a 2x4 hidden in the sand and my foot slipped sideways and twisted crackling then a slight pause then Popped and popped again and i was looking down at the bottom of my foot thinking it was a bad twist i gave it a few days then realizing pain was not retreating i went to doctor he called it a sprain WCB (workman's compensation) through me to physio 2 x per weak it was all considered a sprain and was taking long time at physio after 2 1/2 months i finally had my MRI which showed even with all the physio 2x (per week) that the front two ligaments/ on the outside of my left ankle were non showing Suspected tear and that the big ligament (shaped like a triangle and flat as opposed to a cord shape) i hope some one can tell me the names lol i forget, but that one is i believe not completely torn but has a bad tear or could be completely torn can't remember
    So thats my position its now month 4 and i have seen one general orthopedic who said there were those two tears on outside and then a tear on the inside and lots of inflammation on the tendons at the back of my ankle ,and is sending me to a ankle foot specialist this 21st for weather or not i can go for re-constructive surgery
    now to me i can walk thanks to the physio strengthening all my muscles and i have NO pain on outside of my foot but when i am standing the inside of the ankle is very painful if my knee goes past my toes it is painful across the front of my ankle and cannot bear extra weight also my back is messed up because of weight compensating and to relieve back pain i need to walk evenly well then after about 10 mins of regular walking which feel fine it all of a sudden feels like i can't hold my own weight,
    The physio therapist says that my ankle is REALLY REALLY loose but then i had over flexible ankles beforehand but when twisting ankle inwards i feel no pain and can rotate inwards a full 90 degrees and the only strain is in the back of my outside ankle join i fell no strain or poain or restriction at the fron of the ankle joint i asssume this is because it is so loose but evey one says that thiers roills all time mine used too but scince just before my MRI it does not

    Could this be from the muscle strengthening at physio??
    Could the easy rotating without restricting be from looseness of having no front lateral ligaments (or what ever the front two are called)???
    Could the absense of pain to the front outside of ankle area ( where ligaments are torn) be from no nerves connected to send a pain signal as described by my physio
    HAS ANYONE ELSE HAD THESE SAME PAIN SYMPTOMS and pain to the interior ankle from ligament tear from an inward twist( i stepping on outside of ankle and it rotated to the point of inside of foot touching the inside of leg???


    i ASK ALL THIS COS I FIND NO OTHER DESCRIPTIONS DESCRIBING THE SAME ABSENCE OF PAIN OR PAIN TO DIFFERENT AREA AND AM ALWAYS HARD ON MYSELF THINKING THAT I AM IMAGINING HOW BAD IT IS AND MAYBE ITS NOT REALLY AS BAD EVEN WITH THE MRI SHOWING THESE TEARS I ALWAYS THINK WHAT IF THEY HAVE MAGICALLY JUST ALL OF A SUDDEN HEALED EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE COMPLETE TEARS APARENTLY.Really i am just looking for support in a time where i understand nothing of whats happening and am sick of waiting for 4 months and still not able top do what i want and having days i feel like its fine and great then days i feel i can barely support my body i am confused and am finding no relief in searching the **** please i apologize for the long post but i am lost

     
    Old 05-11-2008, 06:54 PM   #10
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    Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    The pain buster I had was called an ON Q balll and the ice thing is called the Donjoy cold therapy. They are both a godsend!
    good luck!!

    Last edited by moderator2; 05-11-2008 at 09:16 PM. Reason: posted commercial website

     
    Old 05-11-2008, 07:36 PM   #11
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    Smile Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    Thank you for telling me the names of both. To BBOYGOHARD: You are having very similar symptoms that I have. It has been 5 months since the injury. Thanks to workman's comp, I didn't have the MRI until 2 months after the injury. I too, have no pain in the area where they said the posterior and anterior ligaments were completely torn. It is the area around it. I too can't been my knees past my toes. After PT, I got mobility back, but could not put weight on it without it giving way and pain. When I am relaxed my foot turns completely inward. I too, thought maybe I'm thinking this is worse than what it is. After going to the specialist, I realized that I wasn't crazy. It is that bad. I'm not sure why there is no pain around the torn ligaments. I am getting a lot of information from everyone on this board. Check out some of the past ones also. There is sooo much info here. Oh, I have the popping everytime I walk. When it pops it hurts. From everything everyone on this board is telling me, they are so happy they had the surgery. For me it isn't a choice. I either have the surgery or give up my career.

     
    Old 05-12-2008, 09:36 AM   #12
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    Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    thanks for replying so fast that helps a lot i been going crazy trying to prepare for what the foot and ankle specialist may say, i am a 25 yr old construction worker so sitting at home drives me crazy also i miss breakdancing though thanks for the support i will post ltr his decision on the 21st

     
    Old 05-12-2008, 01:30 PM   #13
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    Smile Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    Good luck at the appt. I have a pre op appt on the 20th . I'll give you details of what they tell me. I find it very comforting to read all the posts of people that have gone through it. All the advise is wonderful.

     
    Old 05-12-2008, 05:06 PM   #14
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    Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    BBOYGOHARD:

    Sorry to hear you're struggling with this injury. It sounds like you're on the right track consulting a surgeon, and it's likely he'll recommend some form of ligament reconstruction. Since you have a physically demanding job, you'd likely be off work entirely for a few months afterward.

    If he wants to do surgery, ask him what the recovery time will be like and what the expected final outcome is.

    Copchick:

    At your pre-op, you'll probably get a prescription for whatever medications you're supposed to take afterward. You'll also probably make appointments for follow-up visits.

     
    Old 05-13-2008, 08:13 PM   #15
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    Re: Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

    Hi everyone! I guess I just need to vent. My husband and I work at the same place. Today he was told by our "leader" that he can use his vacation to take care of me after the surgery for two weeks, BUT...workman's comp isn't going to let me have the surgery. They want a second opinion. Of course my hubby blew up. He told them that anything else can be told to our attorney. The crazy part is...NO ONE TOLD ME!!!! After my husband made several calls to the lunatic workman's comp idiots, now they are saying that they just needed a paper from my doctor. Wow, how stories change huh? So as far as I know, the surgery is still on. I guess if they cancel it, they will call the "leader" instead of calling me. Oh, my doctor had no idea what was going on. No one told him the surgery was off. All this stress over nothing. The worst part is, as my hubby is fighting the battle against morons, all I could do is cry, thinking that I will be off of work longer if they drag this out. I really want to go back. Why? I don't know. I'm not someone prone to tears, but I have had it. The fight is all out of me right now. I hurt all the time, I can't sleep much, and I can't do the things I love to do. I'm sorry if I sound like I am whining. Even I have a breaking point. I feel like Scarlett when I say "tomorrow is another day".

     
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