HealthBoards (
-   Foot & Ankle Problems (
-   -   Elevation questions post PTTD surgery (

ginger62 10-04-2012 02:20 PM

Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
Hey all,
I'm currently 10 days post op. My surgeon's office is closed for the holiday weekend and I had a couple of general questions (cuz I don't remember any of the post op conversation...imagine that!).
How long does "toes above the nose" apply? I've heard 5 days, 10 days, 14 days... Is it as long as possible with a minimum? And just keep it level the rest of the time?
Regarding sleeping. I start out with it elevated, and try to keep it that way if I wake up during the night, but lately have been waking in the morning with it on the mattress. Again, is it just as much as possible? It doesn't bother me to have it level the way it did the first week.
Getting my splint off Monday here at my local ortho office (they didn't do the surgery which is why I'm asking ?'s here).
Tomorrow will my 5 day anniversary of no falls off the scooter! Yay!
Thanks, Happy Columbus Day weekend to all! Hopefully, some of you are mobile and will have a real day off.

LadyKanner 10-04-2012 07:42 PM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
I don't think I was given a certain length of time for elevation. It is just standard procedure to keep it up and elevated when you're experiencing pain and swelling. I did the same thing as you post op. I would go to bed with it elevated but through the night I would put it down to be comfortable. I would sleep on my side with a pillow between my legs propping it up.

My suggestion would be that even though you may not be doing it all the time you might want to make sure you still do it for 20 minutes at a time several times throughout the day. I am not a doctor though.

Because I was in a cast, I would sleep with an ice pack strapped to the cast. It kept it cool but since it was not directly up against my skin I would leave it on forever. Just having the cast cooled down helps some.

I know for the month or so my foot would swell in the cast if I had it down for any extended period of time. My toes looked like vienna sausages! HAHA I would just get it up and ice it and it would go back down. There were days I couldn't wait to get home and ice because my foot felt like it was on fire from the swelling and inflammation.

Hope this helps some! :)

wants to walk 10-04-2012 08:13 PM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
I did mine just whenever was possible and comfortable. Often it was level but when I felt the swelling come on-cast getting too tight, throbbing, I would lay on the couch and prop it up on the back of the couch. I alos used a long body pillow much of the time as it helps elevate the entire leg and easier on the knee. If it doesnt bother you to keep it level during the night, then I would suggest you are fine. How you are feeling should be your best guideline. I also wiggled my toes often as it keeps the blood circulating.

ginger62 10-04-2012 08:29 PM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
Thanks for responding!! I spent almost all day today on the couch with my foot as high as it could go ( trying, I think, to make up for the time I didn't last week). Anyway, thought I'd lose my mind if it went on much longer.
I did check my toes earlier tonight. Lovely and pink. The color is better than before surgery. I know the pretty isn't going to last long so I'd like to enjoy.

One more thing, my surgery is on the right side. I also got a new right knee 18 months ago. It never really healed properly because I went right into an Arizona brace and my gait was all jacked up.The knee scooter and constant adjusting of my ankle in the splint have left it quite sore and swollen. I've tried padding the scooter, ice etc. Any other suggestions?

P.S. Kimberly, how was the job interview? Fingers crossed.

LadyKanner 10-04-2012 08:37 PM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
Hi Ginger! When you have your leg up and elevated maybe take the time and ice your knee too! I think the doctors push for a lot of ice and elevation at first because it is good for it to keep swelling to a minimum. Sounds like we are a lot alike! We are both well on our way to become bionic women!

I felt like the job interview went well. I don't know anything yet though They had four more people to interview. I felt like I clicked really well with the other girls that interviewed me. The one knows some of my family so that's always good to name drop. HAHA Embarassing actually crutching in to the interview and having them make a special interview spot so I didn't have to go up a large flight of stairs. They were really inquisitive about my foot and asked questions. I had to reassure them it wouldn't get in the way.

How is your swelling doing?

ginger62 10-04-2012 08:43 PM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
The swelling from the second scooter dump is all gone. It feels like my stitches are stuck to the inside of my splint though. Kind of gross.

It sounds like they weren't bothered by your crutches and temporary handicap. How soon will you hear something?

LadyKanner 10-04-2012 08:47 PM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
I have no idea what time frame they are looking at. Glad you're healing up. The stitches felt so nasty the last week or so they were in. I could always feel them rubbing. Mine were covered in a sterile dressing under the cast so they weren't really sticking to the cast itself. They did have to put some sterile water on the dressing because they were sticking to the dressing.

I could surely use a good masseuse! My back is sore from crutching as are my hands. I just want a nice long massage!!!!

FastpitchSball 10-04-2012 10:00 PM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
For the first two weeks I was told to have my toes above my nose at all times with the exception of when I went to the bathroom. Although I was also hooked up to a cooling machine. Now at 5 weeks post-op I was told that when I'm sitting I should have it up but not necessarily above my heart, just so it's not dangling. And obviously if it hurts, it needs to be up. :)

tenderfoot 10-04-2012 11:20 PM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
Hi! How are you doing with your recovery? How long did it take you to be able to be weight bearing? My DR says 6 -8 weeks, but I have heard others say on here it has taken longer. I finally have a surgery date for Oct 26th....just want to get it over with! I am anxious for the healing to begin! So tired of getting home from work and not being able to do anything because of pain & swelling. Did you have lots of pain before your surgery? I am thinking the post op pain can't be worse than my worst days pre op....hoping anyways! My husband says he will take the day of surgery off (how nice, right!) Did you need someone there to help you or were you ok, alone after surgery that first week?.....curious & anxious......bonnie

LadyKanner 10-05-2012 09:48 AM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
Best of luck for your surgery Bonnie! I didn't have the exact procedure as Ginger but if youre having anything like I did, you may need someone for a few days. I had to spend two nights in the hospital for pain management. This was standard protocol for my surgeon. He said he sometimes made patients stay three nights. I wasn't having that! lol I did not have a nerve block like a lot of people had though. What are you having done? If you don't mind my asking........

ginger62 10-05-2012 11:32 AM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
Hey Bonnie! I understand the whole anxiety thing. It's good that you have a surgery date. It gives you a timeline and a deadline. Just don't put things off til the last minute. My surgery got moved up 10 days and if I hadn't gotten things ready early...
The surgery isn't painless, but roll up a months worth of bad days into 48 hours. Once I got over that hump it was very manageable (with pain meds, I ain't gonna lie).
I didn't spend any time in the hospital after surgery and was home within 24 hrs. I live alone and it's doable but not ideal. I think I overdid it big time in the first few days. If your husband or someone else can be with you, just so you're not constantly up and down every time you think of something. A knee walker is invaluable in my opinion...and a seat riser for the potty.
I'm getting unstitched and booted Monday. The plan now is 8 weeks total NWB, working into PWB then FWB over the next month with PT after that.
At this point I'm very glad I did it. I wouldn't want to have spent another year dragging my leg around. We will see what the next couple of months brings!
Best of luck to you! Don't be afraid to ask questions either!

tenderfoot 10-06-2012 12:32 AM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
thanks for your reply. I am having a tendon transfer from the big toe to replace the ptt, the heel ostemy and my achilles lengthened. I know there are medical terms. but I don't pretend to be a DR! lol

ginger62 10-06-2012 05:07 AM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
I had all that plus an add'l tendon transfer and FDL tendon repair. If you get a knee scooter, be prepared! It's like a core workout every time you are on it. Sore the first few days but feeling a lot stronger the last couple of days. Lost all the "quit smoking " weight I gained before surgery and my balance is a lot better too.

LadyKanner 10-06-2012 06:41 AM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
Wtg quitting smoking! You should be very proud of that!! Now if I could get my parents to do the same!

Grumpstress 10-06-2012 01:02 PM

Re: Elevation questions post PTTD surgery
[QUOTE=tenderfoot;5067390] Did you need someone there to help you or were you ok, alone after surgery that first week?.....curious & anxious......bonnie[/QUOTE]I'm coming to this thread sort of late but wanted to respond anyway. You will definitely need help the first week or so. If for no other reason than your medication. You will need someone to help you keep track of when you took what. Plus getting you food. You won't be able to carry anything with crutches. I can get around fairly well but we have a two story house and although I could scootch up the stairs I couldn't get upright once I got up there. If I didn't have my hubby here I would have had a much harder time of it.

One thing that has helped me is to get a bag that will go over my shoulder and I can put everything I need in there. It helps a lot with the crutches keeping both hands full. But this is more for after you've been out of surgery for over a week and are a tiny bit more mobile.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:04 PM.