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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index

Looks like we had similar stuff done. I had my surgery april 26th.

I never got casted but used a splint. I was on narcotics for 2 weeks, then over the counter stuff during week 3, and take a couple advil sometimes depending on my activity at this point.

The worst part of recovery for me was the throbbing pains when putting my foot down during the first few weeks. Pain meds never helped that for me.

But I think the other thing is kind of what you describe. I couldn't mess with the foot/ankle obviously and was told it need to setup in neutral position so I just had to deal with it. I also got spasms and shooting up my leg. I would get swelling around my splint straps and this and pressure made it feel like somebody punched me in the foot. Was very annoying along with bouts of pins and needles, and being itchy, etc.

If anybody poked or ran their finger along the bottom outside of my foot from the incision to my pinky toe, it killed me with a tingly pain.

For whatever reason for me I went into the knee high air boot at just under a month and was told to walk just around the house to start. Only took me a couple days to get used to the weight. The foot started to dramatically get less swelling/redness/tingly. At that point my complaint was depending on how you moved it felt like the boot was hard and pressure was put directly on the wound area, which at this point still hurt to poke at, etc. I had to wear a big ace bandage on my foot/ankle to provide a buffer and safe spot for the wound which for me still wasn't done scabbing.

I am massaging my wound daily now as well as pt and I can't put full pressure in that area or it feels like a deep ache/bruise. It is way better at this point and I didn't actually have an issue with these wound sensations when being allowed into my normal shoe with a brace 2 weeks ago.

So hopefully that helps? For me I believe it was around the 6 week mark where I had some dramatic changes after being able to walk in that boot. The throbbing was going away when putting my foot down on the ground bare. Allot less swelling and redness. Bruising was going away. And my foot was going to sleep nearly as much when down.
[QUOTE=damac2004;5303027]Again of course listen to your doctor and this is the tricky part. If you search here and google you will again find crazy different varying periods of time for recovery. BUT perhaps you might mention to them about others experiences and why yours is different? But lets say if they say recovery is 4 months and you end up having 2 months of pt. I don't know if my case is normal but august 1st makes just about 2 months of pt for me and unless a miracle happens I won't be ready for my previous lifestyle. Now if I had an office job, I already feel like I could handle that. I have always been very active and am 38 years old. My job was physical and ever since I started rehab I feel like they are teaching me how to walk again.

I went through all the stages you mention and honestly did not think I would ever walk again until the week after going into my regular shoe and noticing that I could actually stand and balance and take steps without my peroneols popping out. Thank goodness up until now not a hint of this happening again.

Like you I hated everything about being stuck in that bed for the first month. They had me wearing an electric sleeve on my left leg with compression sockings for the dvt. I hate those to and had to keep adjusting. I too was worried about the spasms but didn't have the other warning signs so I got lucky, but definately watch out for it. The medicine also made me mumble and send shockwaves through my body shortly after a dosage and I hated it because I tensed and jerky my foot and it would hurt.

I took those narcotics, 2 every 4 hours for the first 2 weeks before they yanked me off because they said to stay ahead of the pain and I'm glad I did. I did hate the in/out sleepiness they brought, I had no normal sleep schedule.

Another annoying thing for me was I was in a fatigue and mental fog until after physical therapy started. I had been doing what exercises I could in bed but that was nothing compared to my previous activity level. I'm still building all that other stuff back up in stages.

I snapped out of that a few weeks ago and started to feel like I could attack my exercises and go about they day. Before that I had to force myself to get it all done and would fall asleep right after, etc.[/QUOTE]

Honestly I just need to stick to my dr's program. I'm at a big hospital with one of the top orthopedics departments in the country and he's one of the biggest ankle specialists. He does this surgery a LOT. So some things are different, actually even my casts are shaped much differently than any cast I've ever seen, but for the most part what's being done is ahead of the game. What I did not like about my dr was that he did not give me much information prior to surgery about the recovery period. His nurse is supposed to provide that but she is not very helpful. So I have to base everything off of getting bits of information; my mom was told reduced weight bearing for 12 weeks after surgery and I was told I would start weight bearing at 8 weeks at my first post-op so I assume it will be limited weight bearing for those 4 weeks and that I'll stay NWB my first few weeks in the boot. But he could change things and I think if he does it nearly certainly would be positive (unless something isn't healing well) so that's fine.

I would have lost my mind if I had been kept on the vibrating boot things. I HATE those things. In the hospital I was getting up to go to the bathroom every couple hours from the time I went to the floor because I was getting a lot of fluids and I was so happy when they started not putting it back on and not worrying because I was up so much more than they were used to someone doing so soon after this.

I hadn't thought much about the fatigue but you're right. I'm exhausted all the time and I can't say it is from pain meds at this point. Today I was so sound asleep my mom came in twice to get me lunch (she lives next door) and I slept through it both times. Usually, even when I was on pain meds every 4 hours, I wake up when she comes up the stairs. I definetely am sleeping more than I'm awake and doing anything is exhausting. This would be better if I were better at falling asleep ever in my life but I'm not so that isn't helping. But I know that doing anything at all means I need a nap. A shower is still a big enough ordeal that I'm still spacing them out.

I am pretty sure that I'll feel like I'm learning to walk again just because I haven't had a normal gait in years. I really damaged this 4.5 years ago (the peroneals I didn't really do in until a few months ago) and put off surgery. I lifted people for work and so stability was a big deal and I had a fairly bulky, very supportive brace for years and then this spring as I kept injuring it worse and worse I wound up in a stirrup brace. I haven't had lateral/medial motion for 4 plus years when I was wearing a shoe so not only is that going to be a new feeling from the repairs but it will be a new feeling from years of not having the ability to move a lot. Just getting used to a shoe that is not too big on my good foot is a big change; my shoes have had to be a half-sized bigger and wide width to accommodate the brace and so my right foot has had a lot of extra space for a long time. Now that I can wear a shoe that fits it feels so small but I know it is right because my other shoe hurt my arch terribly when I used crutches and this shoe doesn't (I've had PTTD issues in both feet after my initial injury, making the boot more scary because it caused it in the bad foot and the other foot got it from limping; it was treated non-surgically successfully and I don't want to get it again and not be so lucky).

I have to get back to exercising my leg the best I can. I was doing well at it and then the pain since that last cast made me stop trying. I was getting home PT for stairs only and will be discharged from that this week and they wanted me to move it to keep it as strong as possible, which I know isn't very strong. The fatigue thing also comes into play. I've lost 13 lbs in 3.5 weeks and I think that is partly because of how hard moving is and partly because getting food is so much work.

I am SO GLAD to hear that you are feeling good about walking. That is so far off I've not thought a lot about it but it seems sort of impossible right now, like I'm always going to be NWBing, casted and in bed watching re-runs of stupid reality shows (I will not admit which one :) ) because I can't follow shows with plot lines yet.

Tomorrow I get to go to an appointment which is very exciting. So glad to see something different.

Thank you.
Definately listen to your doc. It would be neat to ask and share here why certain doctors put people in boots within the first month weight bearing to see what he says.

Looking back the biggest mistakes I made was not having a knee scooter to get around better over crutches.

Not having a desk job

Becoming a hermit instead of involving myself with friends/family/community

I wish I would have exercised more, we aren't meant to sit still. Imagine how much you walk and move around in a typical normal day and then you are stuck in bed and the house.

Knee scooter can let you get around more. They have electric carts at stores.

IF you can position yourself safely there are tons of muscles to work out. A gym with fancy machines would be ideal.

You can use dumbbells in bed and do leg/hip/knee lifts

They even have hand bike type exercisers with resistance that will raise your heartrate and get you swetting.

I did tons of little stuff around the house but wished I had done that and forced myself to do an hour/day most days of the week in addition.

The first time I started walking after the boot the foot felt stable. I put all my weight evenly on the foot and was surprised. It did feel like the bottom of my foot was asleep and my mind wasn't connected to where I pointed the foot but that took a few days to get used to. I still wear the brace because i think this part is being built back up as well and if you stumble you might not react correctly until your body starts firing everything at full strength.

For me pain was better by the time I got into the boot, than prior to surgery.

So I am just under 3 weeks in the shoe and making dramatic recovery. BUt I am of course only thinking about the swelling and aching.

Every week they add different exercises which tire me out for a day or two and then they become normal and I do them a bunch each day.

For example I started doing steps last week and it tugged on the repair areas in a different spot depending on which was the lead foot in a way that plain walking didn't. A week later and I was taking breaks from my walk today and going up/down a flight of stairs without the same tugging feelings, just the feeling of being weak.

This week I did a balancing exercise on the bad foot and threw a ball into a return net. Before I was balancing without tugging pains. With this exercise I was forced to jerky suddenly to react to the ball and this put new stresses on the repairs and it was a little tight and achy after but it felt good to work it out when warmed up.

So baby steps. I'm hoping for a solid foundation by next appt. august 1st and was hoping to ask for an advanced pt prescription to get to sports drills, etc. since I had a very active job.

But I could easily handle a normal job right now with my brace. Probably even one that you had to walk around allot. Maybe that will give you something to look forward to in that you will be able to function before physical therapy ends.

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