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Janesfoot 07-14-2012 03:00 AM

Nerve Block "Happy Problem"?
I had bunion/Tailor bunion surgery on my left foot yesterday morning, specifically an Austin osteotomy 1st met and a reverse Austin osteotomy on the fifth met. I had a similar surgery on my right foot four years ago, and I suppose I went into this surgery thinking I knew what to expect. I have screws this time unlike the first time when I had K-wires. Now to my concern: This time around I was given the super-duper nerve block. I thought it would be similar to the last time where the pain was significantly abated for the first 24 hrs. but I could still feel and move my foot, but I was in error. I can't feel or move my foot and ankle. I was told the block can last up to three days.
So why am I complaining?? This is freaky! I'm very concerned I'll accidently do damage because I can't heel walk (not shouldn't, but can't due to no sensation/control) and have put my foot down for balance, but clueless if I'm hurting my foot. I'm basically trying to get around NWB with my walker to be safe. I did take vicodin yesterday, but decided I didn't need it......yet. My doctor said I could take ibuprofen, which I'm doing to help any swelling. Of course, I can't feel if it is swollen, and from what little I can see, which are only the toes, everything looks good. I'm icing and elevating constantly.

Soooo, as odd as this may sound, can anyone give me some reassurance through their own experience that I'll soon start feeling something? I remember being in agony about 36 hours after my last surgery, and my current situation seems a bit surreal. I appreciate your thoughts.

pilko 07-14-2012 05:11 AM

Re: Nerve Block "Happy Problem"?

I've gone through a similar experience (nerve block wise)

In first stage recovery I was able to "wiggle my toes" but by the evening I had no sensation or movement in my foot.

My surgery by the sounds of it was more basic than yours but my advise would be:-

Follow your post OP advise/ surgeon's orders

I was told "weight baring as possible" I had a bone fragment removed, bone spur removed and a general wash out.

Like yourself because I wasn't in pain I moved around a fair bit. The only issue this caused me in the end was increased swelling and bruising.

In hindsight I would have stayed off my foot until the nerve block wore off and I would have kept it elevated a lot more. (foot generally higher than they heart) yes I'm aware that's not the easiest thing to do.

In regard to concern for your foot that's healthy, I couldn't move or get sensation out of my foot for the first 24 hours.

I rang the hospital for advise (I was a day surgery patient) as long as their is a healthy color and warmth in the foot you should be ok.

The nerve block took a good three days to wear off, I actually wanted it to wear off as like your report I was worried about it.

I didn't know what pain was until that happened, although I was happy to know exactly what I was dealing with.

That said, just keep up with your pain meds when then nerve block wears off, it's not worth "pushing through it"

I wish you will on your journey to recovery.

LadderMan 07-14-2012 05:20 AM

Re: Nerve Block "Happy Problem"?
I had 2 subtalar arthrodesis and 1 fixator removal in between. I woke up during the fixator removal, long enough to hear the nurse telling me "it's okay. He's almost done. How long is that thing?" and the sound of what must have been a ratchet (that clicking sound they make when you turn them) as the surgeon removed the bolt from my Talus. After the second Subtalar Arthrodesis, I was sleeping on the couch and had one of those leg spasms, like when you feel as if you're falling and your whole body jumps. The muscles in my calf spasmed and the pain it caused in my ankle were horrid.
I'd say, if you aren't feeling anything (pain!) for the time being, you're lucky. Just keep it in a safe place and don't bump it around. Your first experience is a good guide, but surgeries won't always follow the same line. Do remember, your body talks to you. Listen to it and definitely ask questions and inform the doctor of what's going on.
I'd settle for sleeping for the first two months after my upcoming 3rd fusion, but I know that won't happen and wouldn't be good. I had general anesthesia, so I don't have any experience with how long nerve blocks last, or what happens as they wear off. Good luck and pay attention to your body talking to you.

Janesfoot 07-14-2012 08:01 AM

Re: Nerve Block "Happy Problem"?
Thank you for the replies. I know I should be grateful for the lack of pain, and I am thankful that I do not need the vicodin yet, and so feel relatively "normal".
Pilko - your response has reassured me that I'm experiencing a normal reaction. I read out loud to my husband your line regarding not knowing what pain was until the third day, to which husband replied "Hmmm". He apparently remembers last time around! I can wiggle my toes a bit and move my foot sideways, but not up and down. I am very good about ice and elevation as I know from my past experience it gave me the most relief. I had only very moderate swelling the first time and hope that will be the case again. I know from reading this forum that each surgery has its own unique recovery aspects, so I'm being the patient I can be. Thank you again for the replies.

Titchou 07-14-2012 09:15 AM

Re: Nerve Block "Happy Problem"?
I've had 3 foot surgeries and only once - this last one - did I have a nerve block. I'm not sure I would have another. It started wearing off late evening after the surgery and kept me awake all night with the intense tingling, burning feeling. Was slap worn out by morning and finally got some sleep around 8 AM. They called me the next morning (2nd day) to make sure it had worn off. I had the same procedure 9 years ago on the other foot with no nerve block. Pain meds were adequate. I would have to be convinced to do another nerve block....I am certainly not leaning in that direction.

Janesfoot 07-14-2012 02:06 PM

Re: Nerve Block "Happy Problem"?
Yes, the nerve block is pretty overwhelming. The good news is I can move the foot side to side and up and down. Before that, it just flopped which is why I stuck to NWB as much as possible. I'm definitely feeling some slight pain, so as much as I didn't want to, I just took a vicodin. I know from last surgery not to let the pain get ahead of me. I managed to have a nice bath with a good "cast" cover because this time it is the foot is on the side that can be draped over the tub, yeah! It is great to go into the pain mode nice and clean.

Titchou 07-14-2012 03:36 PM

Re: Nerve Block "Happy Problem"?
If the cast cover is intact and fits properly, you should not have to put your leg over the side of the tub. The one I have has worked great thru 3 foot surgeries, 2 broken feet and is 10 years old! Never leaked a drop of water for me or a friend to whom I loaned it (she had a broken foot).

pilko 07-14-2012 06:24 PM

Re: Nerve Block "Happy Problem"?
So pleased that you seem to be on top of everything and I hope your husband dosn't hold my comment against me :)

For me being NWB was really hard, as a result I sprained my shoulder.

Your comment about having a bath in getting ready to face the pain, reminded me of when I had a shower stool delivered.

It's amazing how the really basic things are life are so imporant.

Just having warm running water run over me was just devine.

Pleased that you have movement back, while I was told what I experinced was "normal" it did freak me out a bit.

Janesfoot 07-16-2012 03:49 AM

Re: Nerve Block "Happy Problem"?
I think I can safely say my husband and I are both pleasantly surprised by the lack of extreme pain. The block was out of my system when I woke up yesterday. I mostly feel the pull of the stitches. I'm glad to have sensation again even if it is a bit "ouchie". I'm not happy to be to be taking the vicodin, but I'm supplementing with ibuprophen, and I think that it helps a lot. I see the doctor on Thursday and will be getting an aircast, something I did not have last time around (due to the K-wires sticking out I suspect). I think having screws and not the the wires has helped to keep the pain to a minimum. The wires were the bane of my existence, and weren't removed until week four. Thank you all for the words of support and advice!

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