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    Old 06-17-2008, 11:32 AM   #1
    LBB33
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    Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    Good afternoon,
    I've been reading these boards non-stop and it's such a great help. I'm having surgery early next month and am getting very anxious. I have had stability problems for about 15 years, due to gymnastics injuries. I'm finally doing something about (since I roll my ankle on flat pavement for no reason). There is not really any ligament left to tighten, so my doctor is going to take a tendon from the inside of my leg and transfer it to the outside to create a new ligament. Has anyone had this procedure?
    Once I'm fully recovered...probably next year...I'll have the other foot done, since they're both bad.
    Any advice would be very much appreciated.

     
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    Old 06-17-2008, 12:18 PM   #2
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    Hello, and welcome to Healthboards. The surgery you've got scheduled is called a Christman-Snook. Copchick is going to have that done next week, and ChiHoosier just recently had a Brostrom (repair of the ATF ligament). And, a lady I know had that done last year, and was doing sports 6 months later! (It might take longer, depending on what sports you do).

    It's not an easy thing to recover from, but if you are turning your ankle just walking down the street, it's clearly time to take action.

    You're going to be immobilized for several weeks (protocols vary) and then start having physical therapy.

    Read through some of our getting-through-recovery threads for advice on what to have around. Any specific questions?

     
    Old 06-17-2008, 12:45 PM   #3
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    Thanks for the quick reply. I've seen so many names of different procedures, I didn't know which one I was having. That probably sounds stupid. I see a lot of them where the tendon on the same side is used, but haven't been able to find too much on where they take the tendon from the other side. My doctor has written me out of work for 6 weeks. I didn't think it was going to be that long, but I guess I'll see. I'm definitely going to keep on reading and any tips would be greatly appreciated. I plan on staying put for at least 10 days until I have a follow-up at the doctor's office.

     
    Old 06-17-2008, 01:30 PM   #4
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    My understanding is that Christman-Snook can refer to any tendon transfer procedure to replace the AFTL. (I could be mistaken)

    6 weeks is not unreasonable, depending on your job. If you have a job you can do lying on the couch, you could likely return to it much sooner, if you have a physically demanding job, definitely longer.

    You'll need to spend a lot of time with your foot propped up above your head, one ice pack on the cast and one behind the knee. Swelling inside the splint or cast is totally not fun, but it can be minimized. Oh, painkillers help, but you won't be moving around much the first week or two. (You will be prescribed narcotics. Start taking them as soon as the anasthesia wears off, continue until you don't need them any more.) Then, once you start moving again, you're going to be tired from staying on the couch for so long!

     
    Old 06-17-2008, 03:17 PM   #5
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    That makes sense. It gets confusing with all the different names. I went to so many doctors that all proposed different solutions to my problems. I went with the top specialists in town and trust that they're doing the right thing.
    I sit at a desk most of the day at work, but can't do everything from home. It's a very professional environment, so I can't sit around with my leg propped on my desk all day. I'll definitely be out three weeks and will go from there. I'm looking forward to the rest, but know I'll get bored after a while.

     
    Old 06-18-2008, 06:22 AM   #6
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    Hey LBB33, I am having surgery on the 24th. My anterior and posterior ligaments are completely torn. Also damage to my deltiod ligament. I'm not sure the exact name for what procedure it will be. I know he said he will have to use a tendon to replace the ligaments. In my case, I will be in a splint for 10 days, a cast NWB for 6 weeks, a walking boot for another 6 weeks. Realistically, I'm looking at 3-4 months before I can go back to work light duty. 6-8 months before I can go back full duty. If you are having the surgery, ask for the On Q pain pump. I'll keep you updated after I come out of the drug induced fog after the surgery...LOL! Jane has been a great help.

     
    Old 06-18-2008, 06:57 AM   #7
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    Good luck!
    I don't think I'm going to be in a cast at all. I'm not sure why. I know I have the splint for the first 10 days until I go back to the doc. Then it's another splint....or something else. The nurse says he doesn't use casts. I guess I'll plan on 6 weeks at home, and hope that it's sooner. I've had ankle issues for probably 15 years, so it's nice to finally do something about it. The ligaments in both my ankles are pretty much non-existent.

     
    Old 06-25-2008, 11:17 PM   #8
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    Hi!!

    I had a Brostrom done on May 9th. I was in a splint for ten days, then moved to cam boot (but still non-weight bearing) for two weeks, then cam boot partial to full weight bearing and last week I wore a shoe!!

    One thing you might want to ask your doctor about is what he'll be using as far as anesthesia. I had a nerve block in my right leg rather than going completely under -- so my leg was completely numb. I would really recommend it. They gave me stuff to make me goofy and sleepy during the actual operation, but coming out of it was easy AND (the best part about the block) since the block lasts about 24 hours, I missed the worst of the pain.

    Also, I've heard about this and use it at physical therapy - (though my doctor didn't offer it) the Game Ready. It is this ice machine that circulates freezing cold water around the ankle. I've heard that you can rent them from some hospitals.

    Hope this helped!!

     
    Old 06-26-2008, 09:51 AM   #9
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    Hi, Carrie, welcome to the board.

    Congratulations on getting through the surgery. Are you in PT yet? How are you feeling?

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

     
    Old 06-26-2008, 10:55 AM   #10
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    Thanks! I have an EBIce system thing, but was told I don't need it.
    Less than two weeks to go. The wait is driving me crazy. I think I"ve ready everything I possibly can on the web. Lists, lists, lists. I think I have everything covered, and I have plenty of people to help take care of me. I'm just worrying too much now.

     
    Old 07-07-2008, 07:07 PM   #11
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    How did your surgery go? I am also sitting at home with my foot up and ice. I had 2 ligaments reconstructed, 2 tendons repaired, a bunion removed and several bone spurs removed near the big toe as well. I was wondering what a really reasonable time would be before returning to work.

    I had a splint for the first 3 weeks. Then this last week moved into the boot. It has been 4 weeks since the surgery. Started doing some stretching exercises this week and next week, 10% weight bearing with crutches. He said I might be full weight bearing for short distances by July 22. But, on my disability papers he put partial work on Sept. 12 and full time on Oct. 12. Is he serious? I asked him and he just says we will see as we go.

    Since I am a teacher, we start back on Aug. 11. How do I know when to tell them I may miss the first 2 months of school!!!!!! Argh...

    Anyway, didn't mean to go on and on. I hope your healing and doing well. There seems to be several of us in the same situation.

    Anyone out there, let me know what you think. He said the ankle was pretty messed up and the surgery was 3 1/2 hours.

    Thanks a bunch and everyone take care...

    Deb

     
    Old 07-07-2008, 08:42 PM   #12
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    LB, good luck with the surgery. You wil be fine. Plan on sleeping the first week. I really don't remember anything from going to the hospital until about 3 days later. I know I was awake to eat, I just don't remember. I guess that is a good thing. The good news is that I'm two weeks post op and not much pain left. I'm down to two pain pills a day now. Get the transfer shower chair! It is so easy to take a shower because of it. Also the Dry Cast cover. It makes taking a shower simple. I don't think I could do it without those things. The only thing that is still lingering is how tired I am. I'm sleeping about 14 hours a day. I try to stay awake, but I can't. Like Jane said, the best healing happens when you are sleeping. Take care and I'll let you know more on Wed.

     
    Old 07-09-2008, 01:04 PM   #13
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    Thanks for checking in everybody. I'm doing ok. The surgery didn't start until 4:30 last night, and it lasted over 2 hours, instead of 45 minutes. Apparenlty the tendon that the doctor was going to transfer was too little and he ended up doing something with my achilles tendon also. It took a while for me to wake up, so it as 11 by the time I got home. I didn't sleep very well, but wasn't in great discomfort. I'm ok today, although my foot is starting to feel tight. My toes are still numb. I'll keep you updated.

     
    Old 07-09-2008, 01:21 PM   #14
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    Ick, surgery took longer than expected, that's never something you want to hear. When are you supposed to go back?

     
    Old 07-09-2008, 03:37 PM   #15
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    Re: Lateral ankle reconstruction with tendon graft

    I go back next Friday. My foot is starting to ache, but it's nothing horrendous...yet. My dog is being very sweet, which is helping. I was worried about her jumping on me. My boyfriend and parents are taking good care of me. So far, so good.

     
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