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spintrimmer 08-18-2011 07:22 AM

Hope for Lisfranc--alone and no support
I want you to know that while it is very difficult to go through a lisfranc injury alone without support--there is hope!

As soon as I was diagnosed I came to this board and only found one positive person--the rest often set me into tears. So try to stay positive.

Going it alone--
I have no family in this area and just a few friends with a car close by. Most live in the city and don't have a car. They say you find out who your friends are when you move, well add lisfranc to that list. People will not understand the extent of your injury--especially if it was first diagnosed as a sprain. They may not offer yo help and if you ask for a ride they may not be able to. I can't stress being prepared ahead of time.

I injured my foot the end of June and the X-rays said it was just a sprain. The orthopedic I followed up with sent me for weight bearing x-rays and he then informed me that it was a lisfranc injury and I would need surgery. I had the surgery about a month later. It was supposed to be an outpatient surgery, but because I did not have someone to pick me up--besides the taxi--they would not let me go home. The doctor put it down as 23 hours for insurance purposes.

I got home and hope the drugs (percocet and morphine) would knock me out for a few days, but I was more or less awake. I spent most of the time at my new "station" that I prepared with all my needs. Yes it is difficult hen you do not have help and everything is twice as hard. I would go to the kitchen and put my lunch in the bag, get back to the living room, sit down, and then realize the drink is still on the kitchen counter. Also, no matter where I put the crutches, they would fall to the ground. Everything that could possibly fall to the ground did and I had to put duct tape on the crutches to pick things back up.

After struggling with crutches, I called the office and complained and the person finally mentioned a knee walker. Yes, they could have mentioned it earlier! I got a prescription for one. I called several medical supply places-- who never heard of it?! I found one who did, but they had to order it and it took over a week to arrive. This was key as you are more mobile and feel like you have a bit of independence back. You can get a basket or just hang bags off the handlebars.

I am 3.5 weeks out of surgery and the first 2.5 weeks were tough. I really just started feeling less pain over the past week and still have pain and it still swells. However, this week was the turning point where I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I sleep with pillows under my leg and keep it elevated when possible. I have the aircast and I am still non-weight bearing. I start physical therapy for movement this week. Everything is very stiff and the sensations and shots of pain in the nerves are still prominent. I go back the end of September and hopefully will be able to put weight on my foot and more involved physical therapy.

Here are a few tips:
1. Prepare for the next 6 weeks and pull everything out the the closets, cabinets that you will need and have it easy to reach. Make food and put in tupperware so all you have to do is microwave it and put it in your carry bag. Get bottles for your drinks and coffee mugs with lids so you don't spill when you carry in the bag. I bought lots of soda/sparkling water in bottles and cans.

2. If you are alone, make sure your doctor puts down 23 hours and you stay at the hospital as long as you can.

3. Get the nerve block to get you home without any pain--the pain will hit when the nerve block wears off, but at least you will be home.

4. Get a prescription for a steerable knee walker BEFORE you go to the hospital. Most insurances will cover it if they put that you can't use crutches.

5. If you only have crutches--screw in a door hook into the holes and glue or tape with with duct tape. You can hang bags there.

6. Prepare you station. Lots of granola bars, water bottles, prescriptions, paper and pens, phone, laptop, pillows, paper towels.

7. Don't wait until you can bear weight to start physical therapy.

8. Take your vitamins especially for joint and ligament health.

9. Take LOTS of fiber--the pain killers really affect the digestive system.

swimbunnie 08-18-2011 05:41 PM

Re: Hope for Lisfranc--alone and no support
Nice list Spintrimmer. I, too was alone after my surgery, a flatfoot reconstruction. A few things that I found helpful...I actually got a walker and bought a tray for it to help carry things back and forth from the kitchen. I also put a small fridge next to my bed. I ordered the kneewalker online and it came in a day later. I actually turned my first one in earlier and upgraded to the atv version since I live out in the pine barrens with a gravel driveway and other uneven ground that the first one couldn't handle. This was necessary for me to go to the end of the driveway to get my mail. My smartphone was a real lifeline for me, giving me the ability to phone, text, go online, listen to music or read a book all in one device. If you don't have that have a WiFi laptop. My doctor has a PA who I was in touch with via email both before and after surgery. If not a PA, don't be shy to ask the Dr. to answer your questions. And most importantly, research and check out several doctors beforehand to get the one you like best.

spintrimmer 09-08-2011 02:27 PM

Re: Hope for Lisfranc--alone and no support
Update 6.5 weeks post-op

I am now 6.5 weeks post-op and hope to be partial weight bearing in a week. The shooting nerve pain has definitely lessened and now is more occasional. I have the aching pain in the arch of my foot that I hope will start to go away when I can really walk. While I no longer take anything for pain, some nights it is still uncomfortable to get to sleep. It is not a lot of pain, but apparently enough to keep me awake.

I had problems with local physical therapists taking my insurance because it does not cover electric stimulation and they would not let me come for just the exercises, so I have stated a bit on my own. When I had the stitches removed, I started the alphabet with my foot and rolling the tennis ball to help my ankle. When that became fairly easy, I moved on to the resistance band to stretch my foot forward and started on the calf muscles--which have greatly deteriorated. I then started all of the leg lifts either standing on the other leg or on the floor. Lastly, I have added 5 lb ankle weights for the leg lifts to help get some muscle back.

I am so looking forward to walking!

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