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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index

I had it done 8 weeks ago today and have made an excellent recovery - I'm really pleased.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I'll try to give you my main advice.

In all honesty, the first week is rough. They inject a lot of nerve block when they do the surgery, so the first night and into the second day aren't bad. But when that wears off, there is no mistaking the fact that you've had bones broken and pinned. Stay on top of the pain for the first few days, as in, don't wait for it to hurt before you take the pain relief. If the pain takes hold, it is much harder to get rid of then if you prevent it (they told me that at the hospital but I had to do it the hard way anyway). If your stomach reacts to the painkillers, let the nurses know. I ended up taking omeprozole and an anti-nausea so I could tolerate the painkillers, but it was worth it. Make sure you eat enough to prevent wear and tear on your stomach.

By day 5 I was able to get through the day with just motrin, and the night with 1 Tylenol with codeine and 1 regular Tylenol. By the second week I only took the medication at night, and by the end of the second week I didn't need anything. Also prepare for the fact that the pain relief can be constipating...

Make use of whatever help around the house you have. I literally did not lift a finger for nearly six weeks. They really mean it when they say you should be off your feet for those six weeks, take it seriously and you will have a much smoother recovery. I was able to use elbow crutches to go to the bathroom, take a shower (invest in the rubber bootie things that can go over casts or bandages - I was able to get them on over my surgical shoes, so could shower from day 3), come down the stairs in the morning and up again at night, but that was it. The rest of the time I kept them elevated on pillows. So stock up on books, magazines, dvds, a backlog of emails, friends and relatives who want to visit. I slept a lot the first three or four days, but after that I found that if I slept during the day, it was hard to sleep at night, since I was being so inactive, so I made a real effort not to doze off during the day.

My surgeon had me start physiotherapy at two weeks when the stitches came out and the bandages came off. He literally made me go the next day, and I'm convinced that's been a big factor in my recovery. I was going crazy from the lack of exercise and the physiotherapist found me a personal trainer who came to the house and helped me exercise without putting pressure on my feet.

I was much more comfortable showering with a shower stool after the bandages came off and I could get the incisions wet. I was extremely nervous about slipping and the shower stool alleviated that.

Other than that, be good to yourself and be patient. It was about the three week mark before I stopped wondering why on earth I'd gone through with it. One thing I never regretted, though, was doing both at once. My surgeon said it makes the first week harder, but after that, the recovery is exactly the same. There is no way I was going to spend 12 weeks off my feet if I could do it in 6.

Oh, and FitFlops make excellent first shoes post-surgery.

Let me know if you have any other questions. :)

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