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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index

I had different surgery but went in expecting that I would forever wear the same incredibly supportive shoes I'd been wearing since my injury, especially because I developed PTTD (mild) while untreated. When I was getting ready to wear shoes I ordered a bunch of different styles from Zappos because I didn't know what would feel good and I thought that it might be better to have a more flexible sole while I was learning to walk again (I had to basically start over because I'd walked very wrong for 5 years with a heavy duty brace and a gait that developed to protect my ankle but which didn't do anything a normal gait does). I wound up choosing the shoe with the least flexible sole because when I tried the shoes on I liked feeling what I was stepping on with that foot. I've been walking for almost 3 months now and I don't really see going back to my old "moderate to severe pronator" shoes. Maybe if I get into some high impact sport but I doubt that will happen because I have a knee that isn't in good shape because it was injured by my unstable ankle. I am still wearing a very good quality, highly supportive shoe (it's a New Balance and they give their shoes numbers that apparently correspond to the support level; this is an 850) but the flexibility makes me feel more secure and compared to the other shoes it is so light. Plus it is cute and I haven't been able to wear cute shoes in so long. Next year I'm going to get a shoe that isn't a sneaker (probably Keens since they are still very supportive). That's my one year mark reward. As far as Birkenstocks go, I'd guess maybe? They are pretty supportive and were recommended by my home health PT for a PTTD flare-up in my good foot when it wasn't liking my use of crutches while NWB. There are also sandals called Orthoheels that may work; they are designed to promote neutral alignment. I had a pair of them a few years ago and wasn't thrilled with the quality for the price but hopefully that's improved. And honestly I was very hard on them with the overpronation being much greater than the sandal was meant to handle so I can't really say the shoe was the problem.

The other thing for you is that you are just going to reach your 6 months at the beginning of summer so you may miss sandal season 2015 but be much better of in 2016. I am 6 months out now and couldn't possibly wear sandals of any kind safely but in another 6 months perhaps I will feel differently. I have a lot of stability exercises to go. That year to recover thing seems to be very true.

One thing I just never thought about pre-op was that my shoes that I've worn while my ankle was in bad shape were not in any condition to be worn with the new and improved ankle. I have one pair of shoes that were very stable, hard to wear down and weren't worn a lot that I can wear without being thrown into overpronation. Everything else, even my slippers, had to go. I assume my snow boots will be ok since I didn't wear them much but I need to check those still. So far I've not gone out in snow and intend to avoid that as much as possible this year.

I remember feeling much more calm the night before than I had for a couple weeks of trying to be "ready". I went out to dinner the night before and managed to get several hours of sleep before the early trip to the hospital which is a 2.5 hour trip. I don't think I ever got nervous again even though thanks to some communication issues and disagreement between my ortho and I about nerve blocks I was stuck in a nerve block room for I think 2 or 3 hours waiting while someone was bumped up into my surgery time and I waited for a nerve block at an unscheduled time and even then I didn't get nervous about anything except whether my bladder would explode since they had me on fluids going rather quickly for all that time and no place to go to the bathroom. I was out long before a catheter was put in but I kept picturing it being put in and gallons of urine filling the bag immediately. Funny enough that was most of what I thought about before surgery and after surgery I first woke to a nurse gently holding my hands and repeating over and over that I couldn't take my dressing off which I was apparently determined to do (I maybe thought the dressing was what hurt? Or it was just so heavy and I blamed it for the numbness? No idea) but I woke fully and immediately began needing a bedpan about every 30 minutes for the 4 hours until I went to my room. When I went to the room and asked to get up to go to the bathroom they were very skeptical that I could do it but I did it many, many times since my ortho kept the fluids pouring in until just before I went home. Urination was my main motivator in the hospital :).

Anyway, good luck tomorrow and let us know how you are doing when you can.

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