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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board


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They gave me two vials of versed before the nerve blocks. I'm bipolar and have been on benzos for years and apparently am extremely tolerant so I remained wide awake but I was told that I would be pretty out of it for the block. I am pretty sure that they told me I would not remember it at all or be aware. It actually was not bad at all though. The next day when they had to redo the popliteal block they didn't even try to sedate me and the worst part by far was that I had to lay on my belly which was a difficult feat in the cast/dressing. The original blocks and replacement one were done by residents and they weren't very experienced with it. The teaching attending was excellent at teaching and I actually enjoyed listening to him. The first day there were 3 or 4 residents there and one did the procedures while the others answered questions, asked questions and one talked me through. The 2nd day the kid was so nervous and kept breaking the sterile field and having to start over. He was with me a long time because it was a weekend and the attending had to come in from home and the resident was prepping me and so I spent a very long time trying to keep my rear end covered while laying on my stomach and talking to the resident. I would have thought the nervous kid doing the procedure would have scared me but it was not a big deal and that time I actually felt the block work the way it should have; it goes in and you feel a little pop and then it just feels warm and then numb. Very numb in the repeat block case; I couldn't feel or move my toes for about 24 hours after the 2nd block but I Think I was given a high dose bolus because I was in so much pain after waiting for the placement for several hours while they tested the block to see if it really had failed and then got everyone together to do the procedure to replace it. I came home on Saturday and had it in until Monday. It could have stayed until Wednesday but after feeling like I never wanted to have it stopped Saturday and early Sunday it shifted position when I dropped the pump (it's a little fanny pack thing) and it numbed everything again. I called the infusion people and they said I could try turning it off and see what happened and if I needed it I could turn it on and off as needed and if I didn't I'd remove it. I didn't so we pulled it the next day. Not a problem at all.

Practicing the position in the car will help you know exactly how many pillows you'll need and what you'll need behind you. My mom's car is an SUV so I knew I would have to get in and scoot across the seat and the door had something that poked me in the back so I needed a couple of pillows behind me and then I used 2 old couch pillows and I think 2 or 3 bed pillows in the car. I also had a rolled blanket in the car and probably a rolled towel or two but before surgery I made sure I knew what I needed to get the elevation right and to hold that for the entire trip home. We got really good at loading up the car by the end; the first trip back to the dr took 30 minutes to get everything in the car, me down the stairs from my porch and me into the car.
The other thing practicing did was show that my mom was really anxious about helping me with the car and stairs so when I had my PT evaluation in the hospital I asked the PT to help with those things and she worked with us until my mom felt a little safer. In the end I had to have home health come to help me with safety on the stairs. I knew how to do crutches on stairs but my casts were extra large and I couldn't bend my knee up enough to keep the covered toes from catching on the steps and if my knee was extended my toes tended to catch. I was too afraid to practice without someone strong so home health therapy came for 2 weeks or so and helped me get confident enough that I could get out of the house for appointments.

I found that they are really good at anticipating that this surgery hurts and therefore they work very hard at keeping you painfree. In fact I was discharged on 10/325 Norco and the nerve block. I was given a script at my 5 day appointment for more pain meds. That's all they said and I didn't look at it because I didn't need it. I thought it was weird because i had so much Norco but I thought they were just making sure that I didn't run out of meds on a Saturday night or something. I didn't finish the first bottle of Norco until probably 7 weeks out, when I was first walking in a walking cast and had some pain while adjusting to the cast position plus the PWB. When I got it filled it turned out the new script was for Percocet and the nurse hadn't mentioned that part. I never needed it though so they were actually willing to give me stronger meds than I wanted, without questioning it at all. Like I said I wasn't allowed NSAIDs so I pretty much had to take narcotics when an NSAID would have done in other circumstances and even then the Norco was plenty. The nerve block really helps a lot with the initial pain and I was very glad to have it for the first days home. I know it made the trip home much, much better. The trip home also was better because I asked them to load me up with meds before I was discharged. I got IV Fentanyl, oral Norco and a clinician bolster to the nerve block minutes before the man came to push me to the exit. They did say they only agreed to that because they'd seen that Fentanyl did not have a sedative effect on me and so they felt it was safe, but it made it much easier to handle 2.5 hours in the car. I also was given a dose of 2.5 mg of Valium earlier in the day of discharge because when my nerve block was not working I was having muscle spasms. So that probably was also helping me on the trip home. Like I said, I'm not easily sedated but I had very good pain management responses.

Dansko Professionals are the shoes that did me in. :) I loved them but my ankle wasn't in good shape and I didn't know it and so when I stepped on something uneven in them and my ankle turned then the entire shoe went with it the shoe helped me turn my ankle under spectacularly and after that the shoes went to my sister. they were comfortable though....After I fell I went to an appointment and took my shoe off and then it wouldn't go back on so I wound up walking across the pavement in my socks to get to urgent care when it was 20 degrees outside. One Dansko and crutches that night was also a challenge. I thought I was going to have to give up and go sock-footed again when I had to get gas on the way home.


I'll let the people who had the same surgery as you answer the rehab question.
So glad it went well. Blowtorch is about the right description; actually very accurate. I had a 5 day nerve block placed but it failed the morning after surgery when I was fortunately still in the hospital. I was fine one minute and flattened by pain the next and it took a while to fix because I didn't have oral meds strong enough for no nerve block ordered and since it was a Saturday it took a bit to get anesthesia in to replace it. I did not move for the 2 hours I waited. I held on to the bedrails and squeezed and could only whisper or nod if they asked questions. They first came down and turned the block up to max and said it should numb me totally which might be uncomfortable. That was the test of the block and nothing happened at all so I just kept staring at them and blinking when I had to. I will never forget the relief when the new block went in and started working immediately. I never had much pain after that, was coming off pain meds by my 5 day appointment and took the nerve block out on day 3 but those few hours were intense.

Glad that part is over. Sounds like you're getting around pretty well. Showers are such a big deal and feel so amazing at the beginning. I didn't try until I had my real cast at day 5 and while I did sponge baths and my mom washed my hair in the since once I felt so gross until I finally was able to shower regularly.

Sitting around is not fun and it won't get to be more fun but it's worth it. I watched a lot of Netflix'd reality shows because they didn't require concentration beyond the pain meds. I found them so funny the first couple weeks and then suddenly not so funny when I wasn't medicated. I also found awkward family photos HILARIOUS in the first week and less so later.

Good job with the stool softeners. I take magnesium daily for migraine prevention and had to stop it a week before surgery. I never thought about magnesium as a bit of a laxative but as it turned out I went into surgery extremely constipated because I didn't pay attention fast enough. I kept telling everyone in the hospital and all they'd say was "that's not good". I was convinced with pain meds I'd never go again but once I was back on magnesium (and on a lot of stool softeners and drinking tons of Plumsmart) everything was fine again.

Anyway, glad you are on this side and now the good part starts (the part where you get to recover and move past the pain and constant problems).





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