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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board


Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index


Thx Jen, I wasn't given any instruction when I left hospital re elevation at all. Just told to rest and not weight bear. There seems to be such a difference in treatments between you over there and us here. I had a large cast put on straight after surgery when I was still anaesthetized whereas it seems you guys have 5 days and then its put on. I wasn't told not to take anti inflammatories but just given the codeine to take.
From what you are saying perhaps I have been overdoing things by going downstairs and pottering about and cooking meals, cleaning the kitchen and so on - using my knee scooter but still I guess that amount of time on the scooter places weight down the leg. Even hopping on and off the scooter and couch to scooter etc is all jarring of the ankle.

Time to tone it down and elevate I think.
I was in casts all summer here as well. I'm kind of glad now though because even though it was hot it was just easier than trying to get around on crutches in the snow and ice. As it is I am not going out on snow and ice unless I have to because I just don't think that I am healed enough to risk a fall (I'm at 8 months of a 12 month recovery and my ankle is pretty stable now but a fall on ice could hurt the best of ankles and I'll never have that again) and it's a small price to pay to stay in for one winter. I am getting a little sick of being inside though. My original injury was in Dec. 2009 and I was braced heavily after that but still managed to tear everything I'd previously torn except my Achilles last March. And so it's almost a year now that I've been waiting to do things. Small price to pay to be able to actually use my ankle but just a long time. I was fortunate that after the first month of being SO HOT (my mom froze every time she came over b/c I kept it so cold in here but the cast kept me hot) we had a pretty mild summer and I was eventually able to go for rides in the car (in my pajamas, I gave up all dignity) and when I was in the walking cast I would go for tiny walks while my mom let the puppy exercise at the dog park.

Hormone pills sound terrible. I went into peri-menopause early (34) and had a lot of issues with bleeding, anemia, and pain. Because I was so young they didn't want to do a hysterectomy and birth control pills were out because I had been very sick on them in the past and because I'm bipolar and the pills made my mood ridiculous. So we agreed to do the Mirena IUD which has such a teeny amount of hormone that it shouldn't affect anyone. Unfortunately it did me and after 8 months of being tortured by it we removed it. I had a hysterectomy a few months later and while they normally would have removed my ovaries because of pain (which fortunately turned out to be from malformed tubes) they couldn't because I can't have hormone supplementation of any kind based on how horribly I reacted to the almost nothing of the Mirena. So instead I've had menopause without any treatment. I've been fortunate that aside from the first year after my hysterectomy the hot flashes etc were pretty mild and now are very rare as it seems I'm about done with the whole mess and I've been so glad that I wasn't in a position where I needed the hormones. If the pain hadn't been from my tubes and they'd had to go back and remove the ovaries and cause immediate and total menopause I'm not sure what my body would have done. I'm just so glad to be done with hormonal fluctuations in general; my life is easier now. But I did have a brief upswing in hot flashes and hormonal stuff after surgery and that contributed to living in an iceberg for a while.

If you are going to have this cast replaced with another take some kind of wipes (I took baby wipes) with you so you can clean up a bit. After my 3rd cast they gave me a washcloth with alcohol on it that got a lot of the dead skin off (and I took nail clippers to that appointment because my nails were annoying me and I couldn't clip them in the cast) but I still had incredible amounts of nastiness to get off when the final cast was removed. Because my toes were casted they had so much dead skin I couldn't even move them and getting that off was the best feeling I think I've ever had. I set myself up with the shower seat outside of the tub and filled the tub nearly completely full and soaked the leg in there with bath oil until all the dead stuff was gone. I can't even describe how good it feels to get that summer nastiness off. You'll love the feeling. The last week of the cast I thought my steri-strips were finally coming loose and sticking to me and it was really a big glob of dead skin that was floating around in the cast. I was ready to take the cast off myself just to get that sensation to stop. The steri-strips actually remained stuck until 10 weeks and even then there was one I left for the dr to remove because it was still scabby (they had me remove the rest after my cast came off and before the dr came over). The cast really didn't bother me much besides being hot until that last week but it was hard. Mostly I liked feeling secure and knowing that my ankle was absolutely not going to get twisted or give out on me while it was casted.

I hope the naprogesic (I think that's how you spelled it) helps. I don't think tylenol does much so when this worked well I was really happy. I think it took a few doses to really work. I can't remember. I actually was given it because I have mild PTTD in both feet, worse in the right (surgery was on the left) and my foot was on fire every time I hopped with the crutches and came down on the foot. I was in so much pain from the non-surgical side and that prescription was so helpful that my foot cleared up within a week or so. The PTTD pain did help keep me immobile but oh it was awful. We'd go to the hospital and on the way back I'd need the bathroom (it's a 2.5 hour trip each way) and would have to hop in and by the time I got back to the car I'd be ready to cry and never from the side that had surgery. If I ever have foot or ankle surgery again I'm renting a wheelchair. This time I struggled with a walker in the house (it's tiny and a knee scooter wasn't justified) or crutches and whatever wheelchair/scooter places provided if I was out. We did rent a wheelchair to go to the fair later in recovery and after bedrest which was a good time to get out of the house but they didn't give me the legrest that would elevate my foot so I got pretty swollen and I was left watching nothing a lot which wasn't so much fun. This year I intend to do anything I want at the fair. Nieces want to go on 16 rides? Aunt Jen to the rescue. Baby is napping and grandma resting? Aunt Jen is going on her OWN. I have PLANS :).

I'm glad elevating more has helped and the blood clot risk seems gone. It's too bad you weren't told to elevate from teh beginning. In another example of different drs, different rules I was told no ice packs anywhere near my casts. I was allowed to ice until I was in a hard cast but after that no ice until I was in the boot 10 week post-op. By then I always forgot about it and the PT would remind me.

One other thing that kept me amused for some reason was that I kept track of what day it was and frequently would post "on day 56 I continue to be trapped by my mealtray at every meal" with a picture of my semi-reclined eating off a bedtray position on Facebook. Somehow keeping track of the days made it feel like I'd made it 21 days and could make it 21 more or whatever. That's probably just me but I did it clear out until I was well into the shoe and brace and then I kept going with weeks until after I finished PT and was discharged from the orthopedist. Mind games helped, esp. in the hard 3-4 week part. In fact I still converted weeks to days a little at the end; I think I was done with the doctor at day 252 or something like that. A long, long time but one that went fast b/c once you start PT you have appointments and home therapy as well and so you go from nothing ever happening to having stuff to do every day. That helps a lot.

Hope that you are having a better day





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