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  • Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery

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    Old 06-11-2008, 09:01 AM   #1
    cwbama
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    Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery

    Have just learned that I will be having surgery to correct chronic ankle instability. Additional MRI just showed a partially torn peroneal tendon that will be fixed at the same time. Couple of questions -
    Is there any danger in waiting 6 weeks to have this done. Do I risk further injury or complications since the tendon is partially torn and whole thing hurts like heck all the time?
    How tough a recovery is this really. They are telling me 6 weeks non weight bearing with cast then 6 weeks in a boot. How much pain are we talking about here? Any help is appreciated!

     
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    Old 06-11-2008, 09:41 AM   #2
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    Re: Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery

    I'm sorry to hear that you learned that you will be having surgery. Luckily, you'll be able to put this constant instability and pain behind you once you've finished with the recovery process (not much consolation right now I'm sure).
    I'm thinking I'll end up in the same place you are soon - for simiar reasons, so I am very curious to hear what others offer as advice!

     
    Old 06-11-2008, 10:00 AM   #3
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    Re: Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery

    I'm not sure what procedures you're having, but it's possible I had the same ones.

    I had a Brostrom procedure to repair a detached and torn ATF ligament in my foot and surgery to repair a shredded peroneal tendon in my ankle.

    I know it's frustrating and painful, but in my case, waiting to have the surgery (takes a while to get in, right?) didn't seem to have any effect.

    The recovery -- I mean real, full, total, no-more-swelling recovery took about 5 months. I had it on my right foot so I couldn't drive. I took a month off of work and then worked from home for a month with a few exceptions when I got someone to ferry me in to give lectures. I also got whatever bug was going around in that time, so I was low on energy. You may recover much faster.

    I highly recommend you look into a knee walker or turning leg caddy (they're the same thing) as crutches are a giant pain. I also found the office chair (with wheels) in my home to be very useful.

    Painwise I needed two weeks of vicodin. The doc prescribed vistaril be taken with that which prevented nausea.

    Be sure to stock up on ice packs. I live alone so it was hard to get to the freezer so I prefer the ones used in shipping food. They are inflexible but they stay cold MUCH longer than ones meant for people. You will have a cast on, but you can put the ice pack behind your knee and it will make your ankle feel better.

    You can set up your "nest" so that everything you need (laptop, power source, cell phone, water bottles, cooler, hot pot, cup a soups) is handy. My grabber was very useful too.

    All this may be overkill for you. If you live with other people, they can just do "fetching" for you!

     
    Old 06-11-2008, 10:11 AM   #4
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    Re: Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery

    Very helpful, thanks a bunch. I'm looking at trying to get back to work within a week if possible. I'm a school principal and need to be there the first week of school. Just worried as painful as it is now am I shredding the partially torn tendon walking around on it or just worrying myself for no reason.

     
    Old 06-11-2008, 11:13 AM   #5
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    Re: Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery

    A week seems kinda nutty to me. You're going to be exhausted and in pain. Hopefully you'll still be on big drugs. You may still be in your splint! At the very least, look into wheelchair options.

    In the meantime, your rolly office chair is your friend.

    Good luck to you!

     
    Old 06-11-2008, 01:56 PM   #6
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    Re: Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery

    Between now and the surgery, the best thing to do is just be careful. Don't do anything that is more difficult than walking on flat paved ground. Don't go on any hikes through the mountains, don't play basketball (yeah, right, I know, if you could even think about doing that stuff, you wouldn't be going in for surgery!). If you have a support of some kind, wear it. My lace-up brace was my good friend for quite some time. You probably aren't going to tear the tendon the rest of the way just by walking around your house and the grocery store and whatnot, but the extra support can't hurt.

    I second the recommendations for wheels, either wheelchair or rolleraid. (Just don't get Invacare brand roller, invacare brand wheelchair is probably ok).

    Thing is, you're going to need to keep your leg propped way, way up, above your head most of the time, for at least a week. Failure to do so will cause swelling that will increase your pain a lot. So, that could be a problem as far as going back to work quickly.

     
    Old 06-11-2008, 07:27 PM   #7
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    Re: Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery

    Oh, and meanwhile? If you are having a hard time just getting around, don't be afraid to use a cane. It goes in the hand opposite your bad foot, and it's best to make it short enough that your elbow is almost straight.

     
    Old 06-12-2008, 05:38 AM   #8
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    Re: Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery

    Thanks so much for the advice!

     
    Old 07-19-2008, 08:06 PM   #9
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    Re: Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery


    Hi All!
    I am having a Brostrom next friday and am really nervous about it. I have had severe outside leg pain when I have been walking, especially on uneven ground. It had become so intense it felt like my leg was going to explode. My OS said that is because I ruptured all the ligaments on the outside of the ankle and those muscles are trying to help stablize the ankle, did anyone else experience this?

    I was wanting any and all information, success stories, advice from everyone regarding the procedure. I hope you are all well!

     
    Old 07-21-2008, 10:22 AM   #10
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    Re: Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery

    Hi, Hillary12, welcome to the board.

    Sorry it took me a couple of days to get back to you, was out of town.

    A Brostrom repair involves tightening the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, so that they are once more able to do their job, which is holding the ankle joint in a normal position. You will be on crutches for several weeks, the exact length of time varies depending on your situation.

    Pain on the outside of the leg is pretty normal in your situation. The anterior talofibular ligament is supposed to keep you foot from twisting in when you walk. If it is too stretched out, then the peroneal tendons have to do that, while usually they just "help" with that job. Look up a picture of ankle anatomy if this is news to you. The peroneal muscles pull your foot out and down, and right now, they are under abnormal strain every time you walk. You might want to try rubbing or stretching them a little bit.

    Before the surgery, make sure that you have lots of ice packs and convenience foods in your freezer. Also, clean up your house a little, (the only thing worse than being stuck on the couch is being stuck on the couch looking at a dirty room) and make sure halls and aisles are clear enough to negotiate on crutches or wheelchair. Put away any throw rugs, as their main purpose is tripping up crutch feet. You might want a device called a Rolleraid or Turning Leg Caddy, (do not get invacare brand knee walker).

    The post-op pain is usually manageable. Managing it means spending at least one week resting, with your foot propped above your head whenever you don't have to move around, and elevating frequently for about a month. Trust me, swelling inside a cast is totally unfun. An ice pack either on top of the cast or behind the knee helps with pain and swelling, too. Also, take your pain medication. Don't wait to see whether or not you really need it, start off taking it as often as you are allowed, and then cut back as you start feeling better.

    Do you live alone, or will there be someone around to help you during recovery?

    Once you get out of the cast and start doing again, there will hopefully be physical therapy. Give it your very best effort, ask the PT for homework, and do the exercises as often as possible. Exercise several times a day until you are walking, and at least once a day for a long time.

     
    Old 10-24-2008, 12:49 PM   #11
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    Re: Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery

    Well it has been a while but has pretty much been a nightmare. Had brostrum on July 23rd and ligaments appear to be holding fine. They also repaired a torn peroneal tendon in the process. Unfortunately according to my new MRI that didn't heal or retore, or has failed in some way. So we get to do it again - Now I get to continue to be in a boot with ankle pain until the surgery and start the whole process again. Anybody else dealt with a failure of this type?

     
    Old 10-24-2008, 05:57 PM   #12
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    Re: Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery

    cwbama,
    Oh How I can feel your pain!! I just had my 3rd surgery June 30. My 1st was the same as yours 3 years ago. Ligaments tightened with peroneal tendon tear fixed. I knew about 3 months after surgery that it didn't work, I had the same pain but then a new clicking in my ankle that is very painful. Dr. kept telling me nothing was wrong and that he didnt know what he could do for me. So I got another opinion from a new Dr. he did a new MRI right away and it was torn again. I also work in a school as a child advocate so he said I could wait the couple months to summer(2007). Had that surgery which was more involved with cutting the bad part of the tendon out and moving over my heel thinking it would put less strain on my tendon, This was a very painful and long recovery and long summer .
    Sooo well I was recovering in the walking boot I was in the grocery store and slipped and fell right on my ankle!! Doc said i would have to wait until December (2007) to get new MRI because my tendon would show it was torn no matter what since it was still healing. Well the MRI showed it was torn bad and I had to have 3rd surgery, so working for the school and having over 2 months off for the summer I talked Doc into letting me wait until June 30. This time the tendon was so bad he did a tendon transfer from the inside of my ankle. He wouldn't have let me wait if he wasn't going to do the transfer.Again I had a long miserable summer 3 years in a row , in a cast , non weight bearing and not being able to drive.I am still in pain and the clicking is so bad now that my ankle tightens up and I cant move it until it clicks. To top it all off I fell on the play ground yesterday, my ankle just gave out and I went down. The kids thought it was great that I needed an ice pack too! They do cure everything in their minds!!!
    I do wish you luck and hope you have better success than me!!
    Heidi

     
    Old 11-03-2008, 11:07 AM   #13
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    Re: Upcoming Ankle Ligament/Tendon Surgery

    That sounds sooo familiar. The clicking is unbearable pain. It swells and bruises and is driving me nuts! Two weeks to go until surgery. MAybe it will work this time.

     
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