Bostrom Surgery

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In November 2017 I fell down some stairs and suffered an ankle sprain, I tore 3 ligaments and went to physical therapy. No improvement. Today I went to get my MRI results where it was confirmed I will need Bostrom Surgery on my right ankle.

Since I will be laid up in bed for a several weeks (hopefully max), I'm looking for advice. I have never broken a bone before or have been laid up for weeks. 

I'm getting the Carex EZ Strech Cast Protector, Leg from WalMart (only $6.99) in place of using trash bags for showers and using a tall step stool to sit on in the shower. 

1. Other than those two things what could make life easier when taking showers?

2. How do I stop from gaining a ton of weight? My info sheet says for the first 2 weeks I will be in a splint, non-weight bearing. The third week I will be in a removable walking boot and can use crutches for assistance. I usually go on at least two walks a day, that obviously won't be possible now. Food, drinks, etc what should I stick to? 

3. Pain wise, what can I do to reduce pain? I'm no stranger to surgery and not overly worried about the surgery in itself, I just am not looking forward to the pain that will be left over after the pain meds wear off. 

4. Driving, the care sheet says it will be 4-8 weeks until I can drive, since it is my right ankle. I will have people who can drive me around. But obviously relying on them for 2 months is a tad unreasonable. Anyone else able to drive at say maybe 4 weeks? I do know it's illegal to drive with a boot on (per my surgeon).

5. Probably not the most serious question, but regarding makeup and nail polish. What is the general rule? Not a big deal either way. I've had surgery with a full face of makeup and it wasn't a problem. 

6. Anymore tips to make my life post-surgery a little easier. I do live in a two story house, for the most part of my day I can stay either upstairs or downstairs, but eventually I'd like a change of scenery. 

Thanks for the tips, advice, etc. Personal experience advice is always the best!

None of this information was in great detail on my information sheet. 

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Kimberly, 

    You are on the right path of all things you said. I was not able to wear make up or nail polish the day of surgery. No perfumes, no deodorant, no jewelry . I think that is the norm for going completely under for your surgery. 

      I was in a splint cast for 2 wks, cast for 4 and orthopedic shoe for 3 more.  Hard cast so we are different on that. I think most docs are different. Just follow what yours says. 

    Always best to do that for the most success in healing.

    Don't be a hero and try to do things yourself. YOU will need help for a while. I got myself a scooter! LOVED it! I had the walker and crutch and NO way was that working for me. But again, everyone is different. 

      Get yourself some things to do while siting.  I also bought a nice foam wedge for my elevation. I wish I had done it for the fist surgery, I just used pillows but once I found out there were two more surgeries to come we invested in the wedge. LIFE saver. 

      Stairs are not easy at all. I only had 3 stairs, but big and wide apart and I ended up on my butt to get up and down when needed. 

    Shower: I used a cast/leg cover from Amazon. GREAT investment after 2 weeks. Can't shower for that long. Sponge baths it is! 

     If your going to be alone I would suggest setting yourself up in the morning.  First 2 weeks not much movement so you'll want someone to help you out.

    I gained weight. I had lost a good amount weight before my fall and sadly have gained. I'm working on losing it now.  Just try to eat sensibly. I have a husband who has feels sorry for me so he feeds me! LOL  

      Good luck! 

       Everyone will chime in with their thoughts and advice. Sometimes I wish there was a chat room of sorts to talk live to people! smile 


    • Posted

      Thank you for al of your advice! I live with my parents so they will be around 24/7 if I need anything. Do you mind posting the link to the Amazon shower cast you have? 

      I plan on using my butt as well to get up and down the stairs haha! I have a small wedge foam now, but will probably end up getting a larger one based on your advice. 

      About how long did it take until you were up and moving well? They said scheduling will be about a month out, due to the doctors busy schedule. I go back to school in late August, luckily all my classes are in one building this semester, and my parents can drive me (I feel very fortunate).

      As for food, I'm considering the Boost Nutrition drinks, to at least fill-in meals. 

      Thank you again for all of your advice, I'm definitely here if you have more to give!!

    • Posted

      I also forgot to say they will give you a nerve block. Mine was not in the knee but in two spots (one in the front of my leg/thigh and one in the back of the thigh. I still took my pain meds and Tylenol for discomfort. Pain happened in the middle of the night. 

      I can't share a link for the shower cover for the cast, just look up Shower covers for leg casts. Make sure you get the that has a closure on top of it to go over the cast. Don't get a draw string one.  You don't want the hassle of worrying about the water getting in. This one is seal proof!  


  • Posted


    I’m having something similar done in July.  Annoying thing is that this will be the second time, I had it done in 2009.

    I can honestly say the pain will be bad but only for a day or 2 max and they put morphine in mine so it was fine for the first day.

    I am having a arthrex brace this time so I will be in plaster 2 weeks (non wait bearing) and a boot around 3 weeks - much better than last time - plaster for 8 weeks.  However, you certainly won’t be able to drive.

    Getting round the house will be fine, long distances are hard on crutches.  I had a 18 month baby last time and a 3 story house and had no help looking after her so you can get around.

    Good luck


  • Posted

    Hi Kimberly,

    Surgery can be pretty scary. It's a big commitment and you should treat it this way. ie. You should prepare yourself for not being able to drive for 8 weeks, etc. I've had a similar procedure done twice (not at the same time thank goodness).

    Here are some tips:

    1. Even with the cast protector, you might need to put a towel (or a paper towel) near the area where you tie the cast protector, otherwise water might get in. The first week can really suck if you move around too much, so I didn't really shower the first week (or maybe showered once).

    2. Honestly, you won't be that hungry and you'll naturally want to eat less. This is more of a problem if your parents will want to feed you all the things. Personally I just prepared myself that I would gain weight. A lot of people actually lose weight recovering (Because they're eating so much less). If you're really worried, you can always set up a nutrition plan. In terms of food, you should get a bag /pouch so you can go around carrying things easily. For foods, the key is things that are easy to make and transport. You'll have your parents - it's harder to do it on your own!

    I was NWB for 4-6 weeks, and some people are NWB for 8+ weeks. Two weeks will be like nothing smile

    3. Day of surgery, see if doing a nerve block (in the knee) is an option. This way you will feel NOTHING for about 20 hours. It's the most pleasant post op experience. You also won't have to general anesthesia this way(which is usually preferred by the anesthesiologist). After surgery, obviously elevate your ankle. If you're still on serious painkillers, SET AN ALARM at night. Nobody wants to wake up to serious pain. Otherwise I'd recommend to ween off the opioids as fast as possible

    4. So this one sucks. This depends on your progress, but even if your boot is off, you need to have enough strength (and confidence!) to use the brake pedal. This can take some time and shouldn't be rushed.

    5. No makeup, perfumes, etc. day of surgery

    6. CLEAN YOUR ROOM. Make sure moving around is easy and things you'll need are in easy reach (you don't want to move all that much). Some people get little scooters and they're great. Personally I only had crutches (and had little backpacks / pouches for carrying things around).

    Stairs: This is scary at first (use the butt technique!) but honestly if you're young and somewhat fit, this becomes easy. Just take it slow and use the proper technique. (and make sure your crutches are properly adjusted!)

    Good luck on your surgery and try not to be nervous! I've been through 3 ankle surgeries and I remember how uneasy I felt about my first surgery. Last surgery I had a nerve block done and not having pain for a day and not feeling crappy from general anesthesia was HUGE.



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