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  • Cast change repositioning and Staple Removal

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    Old 12-04-2013, 11:29 AM   #1
    sinclair34
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    Cast change repositioning and Staple Removal

    I am 10 days post-op for ankle reconstruction. My doctor's policy is to remove cast, examine, and recast every 7-10 days. Yesterday was my first cast change and I didn't expect a difficult appointment so I didn't take pain meds since I am weaned down to only a bedtime dose. My first cast had my foot in a semi-pointed position to allow my gastroc to heal. This time doc ordered "full neutral" position. It took 2 strong young men to get my foot into that position and hold it to make and set the cast. The pain was extreme and unexpected! Has anyone else had this experience? If it is typical, I wonder why in the world they don't provide some sort of laughing gas or pain relief?

    I have 6 incisions held together by metal staples. If healing continues on track, they are to be removed at my next appt Can anyone tell me what to expect when the staples are removed? Medical asst said it wouldn't be too bad, but my trust level is very low right now! Would appreciate any feedback from those who have been through it.
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    Old 12-04-2013, 08:40 PM   #2
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    Re: Cast change repositioning and Staple Removal

    Sinclair,

    Sorry to hear about this painful experience! My foot was originally casted with my toes pointed slightly down as well; however, my doctor gradually repositioned it over 6 weeks. At each appointment, he would flex my foot as much as I was comfortable with and then adjust my boot accordingly.

    I had absorbable sutures, so I'm not sure how painful removing the staples will be...It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to take a pain med before the appointment though. I took one before my first therapy appointment, etc. to make things a bit less uncomfortable.

    Hope your next appointment is less painful!

     
    Old 12-05-2013, 07:15 PM   #3
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    Re: Cast change repositioning and Staple Removal

    Staple removal is right up there .... with plucking eyebrows. No big deal
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    Old 12-06-2013, 12:54 PM   #4
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    Re: Cast change repositioning and Staple Removal

    I didn't go through what you did in terms of casting position. My ligaments and peroneal tendon were what I had repaired so my ankle was always in 90 degrees for the splint and every cast change. But as far as the staples and sutures, I've had those out twice and staples aren't a big deal at all. In fact if given the choice, I'd rather have staples removed over sutures removed ANY day. Sutures grow into/under the skin and can be painful to pull out. With staples, they put the too under the top of the staple (staples look like mini tables with a leg on each side, right? So the top is the actual table part) and they press down on the tool and it pops the legs up some and then they rock it out. As in gentle side to side motions until it slowly moves out and most just pop right out. My recommendation (and I did this after both my ankle surgeries) is to take pain meds about an hour before you are to see your doctor. That way they will have taken effect and things won't be so bad. This means that even if it's your left ankle and you are able to drive, you will need someone to drive you, but I found that worked way better! My appts weren't nearly as painful that way! Good luck!
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    Old 12-06-2013, 01:15 PM   #5
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    Re: Cast change repositioning and Staple Removal

    I had sutures with both foot surgeries and found it quite unpleasant to get them removed - they grow into the skin. But staples on the other hand look very scary but popped right out. At least my experience.

     
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    Old 12-09-2013, 05:45 PM   #6
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    Re: Cast change repositioning and Staple Removal

    Can't believe when cast was taken off today I found one leftover stitch that needs removal... Wished I would have found it at office.... Would do it myself but it is too close to skin.
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