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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index

Hi Hurtfoot -

I'm 13 weeks out from my surgery for Hallux Limitus / Hallux Limitus and I remember it being a bit mind boggling at the beginning, and it really must be more for you with the 3 children, so hang in there!

I found that the best bet for me for bathing was using a shower bench (or if you can get one, a transfer bench that straddles the tub would be ideal) and a hand held shower. I wrapped my foot in a plastic bag, then in a towel and sat on the stool inside the tub with my foot hanging out of the tub and supported on another stool outside. A plastic outdoor chair would work well too.

I also have hardwood floors and my computer chair on wheels was very handy in getting around!

My house is 2 floors, so I basically camped out downstairs on my big comfy sofa for the first few weeks - I even slept there - I was so concerned that my husband would kick my foot while he was sleeping or that I would fall out of bed or bang my foot on something if I were to get out of bed in the middle of the night to use the bathroom - so sleeping on the sofa was great. It was easier for me to get my pillows arranged for propping my foot while I slept, and I had a much better night's sleep in the confined space of the sofa than I would have in the big expanse of my bed. I made the trek upstairs once every other day to shower.

For the first two weeks, my foot was elevated 23 out of 24 hours (I'm not joking!) After that, I elevated it as needed, and whenever I was sitting down. I also elevated it when I was sleeping for the first 6 weeks - it really helped.

Also, just because you can't bear weight on your foot doesn't mean you can't exercise! Laying around with my foot propped up was just plain exhausting and stressful on my hips and sit bones, so I did as many of my yoga stretches/poses as I could, modifying many of them, to work out the kinks in my body. A favorite was "legs up the wall" sometimes modified to laying on the floor with my legs up and over the sofa or a chair - it is very restorative while also keeping your foot elevated. I put on some relaxing music (sometimes I even used my old lamaze tape - my daughter is now 25, so it is old) and tried to focus on relaxation.

I basically did not leave my house, except to go out on the deck, for the first 2 weeks. After that, I really kept close to home for the next few weeks except to go to PT or to short trips that were absolutely necessary. Healing takes time and your body needs rest to work on the healing. I was regularly elevating and icing my foot for the first 6 weeks after surgery, and I still elevate my foot as much as I can when I am at home. I also ice it after my daily walks or yoga.

Additionally, make sure you are eating as healthy as you can - your body and mind need it.

This is not an easy time, especially with young children, but you will get through it. And as far as you husband and friends getting tired of it already - I am shocked by their behavior! I am so sorry that you have to deal with their attitude! I hope that they will step up and help you.

Hi Hurtfoot!

I thought of a few other things that I would pass your way. I have to agree with Grace that the recovery period seems like forever. I know that from my first surgery which was supposed to be simple (nothing is simple when it deals with your feet). I knew going into this that I would need most of the winter to get back to full speed. Part of it was that this was more involved, part was the fact that the first surgery failed and part is that I am 62 (but in good shape-really).

Just like you, I had waited for years to get my foot fixed. I was an elementary administrator and knew that I could not go back to work in a wheelchair or crutches. So I waited until I retired for the first one. And my husband, who is also retired, was ahead of me in the "getting fixed" lane-needing a rotator cuff repair in both shoulders and most recently the removal of his gall bladder. When I finally found out that my first one failed, I tried to see how it would be to just deal with a foot that didn't work. When it began to interfere with my life, I sought several second opinions and then had it fixed.

THe recovery time is long. LIke Grace said, you have to eat right and just rest a lot. I, too, iced my first foot for months and whenever I exercised. I also never sit with my foot hanging down. It hurts. So I sit with it up-a lot and I expect to do that for many months. So I would expect that you will need to do that, too. Yes, your foot will eventually be better. But it won't be fast. And doing the foot up the wall feels really good, Grace. I found that out too right away.

The isolation is also a thing that I was unprepared for. My children do not live in the same town so they are not close by. My husband, bless his heart, is my constant companion. He is unaccustomed to this since I am really active and he has plenty of time to putter around doing what he wants. He has been on call for me for almost three weeks now and I am sure he is tired of it. But too bad. I have heard from friends but they call or email me. So it's just the two of us and that gets old. I have read like 20 books. I haven't gone anywhere really. From the time I had surgery until I went for my first follow-up visit, I did not leave my house at all. Period. The day of my doctor visit, I was out pretty much all day because it is a 7 hour round trip. I went to the hospital yesterday for my flu shot (I work as a volunteer in PT and the shot is free and they give away 3 $500 gift certificates to all those who get them) and then we stopped to eat dinner. That is the extent of my going out.

My dress has changed, too. I wear gym shorts because they fit easily over my boot and I can manage them easily in the bathroom. That is it. It is a lot cooler here today and may have to change to flannel jammie pants.

I have rolley chairs, ottmans, and step stools in places all over my house. My house doesn't look too terrific right now. I have learned to not look at some things. My hubby gets the mimimum done in a different time frame than me.

I have given up some things-like regularly shaving my legs! The day before my appt I do them-not in the tub but sitting on the floor in the bathroom. And as far as the shower goes, I was unable to use it for a long time even after my first surgery because of the balance issues. THe tub was just easier. I got really fast with it. So your tub bathing will get better-I promise you.

So I would say to you to focus on how great you are going to be in a while. Don't push yourself to do things to soon. Recover. This period of time is critical for the future of your foot.

Here's a {HUG} for you!

Here I am posting for the first time after lurking for the last few weeks..... I've had cheliotomy on great joint in both toes, joint replacement on great joint in left foot, and now on OCtober 14th I am getting joint fusion on great joint in right foot.... Anyway...

The swelling will probably start once you dont have it elevated as much -- just know ice is your friend.

If you can't do bedrest for the next week, then just figure on elevating it as much as possible, and listen to your foot when it yells at you. In my past experience I started with being up about 5 - 10 minutes an hour, then icing it for the next 20 minutes.

Crutches are tough and really painful after a while - I have a knee walker for this coming surgery, but used office/secretary chairs every other time . And the whole shower bathing thing is one I have never figured out -- closest thing is the chair in the tub solution.

As to the depression aspect -- I'm trying to get ahead of it by making a list of things to work on post surgery..... a) plan turkey day and christmas, start online shopping and doing xmas cards really early. b) actually sort thru a bunch of accumulated photos c) learn how to use photoshop software, d) try to send somebody a note/letter/email every day that would brighten their day.

Finally, after my last 2 surgeries I stayed at home thru my first post op, and then started getting out to stores that had electric scooters, which I viewed as FUN. The downside is it all takes planning so you're not out and unelevated for too long.

Hang in there

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