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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board


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Hi all,

I'm so glad I found this sight. There is so much reading and sharing. Of course everyone has a slightly different story, but we can take a little out of each story for ourselves to help our long, arduous recoveries.

I'm sharing my experience with everyone so others who follow in our unfortunate footsteps knw what to expect during the recovery process.

I was forced to jump from a ladder while cutting down a tree for a friend on July 19, 2008. My feet were approximately 8-10 feet when I jumped. I landed square on my right heal and broke it into 6 or 7 pieces. I knew instantly I did something but didn't know exactly what until I saw the Xrays and CT Scan.

The initial pain level was less than 3 unless I tried to move my foot, but never felt more than a 5.

The 1st orthpedist I saw said flat out, I don't want anything to do with repairing your heel. I'm so glad he was honest. The 2nd orthodist specializes in ankles and feet. He shared pros and cons of surgery vs non-surgery healing. He strongly suggested since my heel broke outward upon impact that he surgical approach would bring my heel closer to pre injury status than a non - surgical approach.

I scheduled the surgery for July 31. They placed my foot in another cast, I came home and elevated my foot. Again the pain level never really went hgher than a 5.

The day of surgery they did a leg block with general anesthesia. The procedure took 1:15 minutes. The surgeon said, technically everything went perfect. He installed a plate and 8 screws.

I woke from surgery and felt fine. I still could not feel my foot or leg which is desirable with the block. I spent the night in the hospital. They gave me in IV pain medication which I really didn't need.

About 16 hours (about 2 am) after the leg block was administered, I started feeling pain in my heel. The incision, the heel etc....then up to my toes. At 1st the pain was a 2 or 3 managed by the pain medication pump. Everything was fine. Within a half hour the pain went to a 5 then immediately to a 9/10.

The nurse gave me a different pain medication but it took 2 hours to finally find my heel and bring the pain level down to a 2/3. Six hours later I came home and promptly elevated my leg again.

I used vicadin and percocet to manage the pain, but never felt anything stronger than a 5/6 and it was concentrated more with the incision than the screws and plate.

Unfortunately my cast was rubbing the incision in 2 places, which hurt more than anything. The doc asked me to come in for a check up. He looked at cleaned and redressed the incision, put me in a new cast and sent me home.

Five days later I went back for a follow up. The stitches were removed and the incision was cleaned and redressed again. I was originally told I would go back into a hard cast, but they gave me a walking boot/ air cast.

I am now to remove the cast on a daily basis and wash my foot when I bath.
I am still required to elevate, elevate, elevate. Of course I am not to put any weight on my foot what so ever.

My next appointment is in 4 weeks. He will take another Xray to see if there is evidence of bone growth and repair. If so, he will recommend PT and slow, slow weight bearing again on my foot.

After the stitches were removed, I could feel the skin trying to move back to its normal position. It felt more like pins and needles like after your foot or arm fall asleep. No real pain. He did make 3 punctures (orthoscope assistance, or to steady the bone as he drilled) which at times throb from time to time. The incision still gives me some discomfort but comes and goes. I can go from no pain, to a 4/5 in a matter of minutes for no reason.

I also feel an occasional shot of pain in the bone from the various screws too.

The most difficult thing I am facing is finding a comfortable position to sleep and still keep my foot elevated.

So there is my story and I'm sticking to it. I will post more as my recovery progresses. If anyone has any questions I'd be happy to answer them.





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