Preparing for lapidus

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hey all this forum has been so helpful and encouraging to read.most forums gave me second thoughts and fears but this one just encourages me and gives me determination! so I am scheduled for a lapidus next Thursday and I'm going in wide eyed and nervous for recovery! I have a couple questions though.

1)how high does the foot need to be elevated and ballpark figure for how long to elevate it for?

2)I've found crutches to be surprisingly difficult! any suggestions on their use? and I am considering a knee scooter for back up as well but have heard it's easy to injure yourself on them.thoughts?

3) what is the stitch removal process like? what's done and what's the pain level?

4) has anybody had to go back to have some hardware that was out in removed?

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  • Posted

    Keep foot elevated per docs orders. You may have other health issues that need to be addressed for timing.

    A knee scooter is so much easier. Ask ur doc to write a script and insurance will cover the rental.

    last ? Not so far.it clicks a little at first I have a pin in the toe area. It's takes a few months for the bone to grow around it and stabilize the pin. 

    Pain varies. I didn't feel a thing. Just slight poking.

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  • Posted

    I found I I only used the crutches for a couple of days, the special shoe was enough for me.. However saying that I have just had my achellis tendon fixed and a haglands deformity and large bursa removed and I am using a Zimmer frame as I find crutches near on impossible with my weak wrists..this time I am unable to put weight on my foot at all. Not sure what your situation is with your feet and what type of operation you have had..

    I hardly felt a thing during stitch removal, no I have not had any hard wear removed as yet, but my case is different because I feel and broke my toe week two so need the operation done again, so be careful and rest as much as you can x last of all to prevent swelling try and keep foot raised above the heart if you can ...wishing you a speedy recovery x

     

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  • Posted

    Hi nemo

    I had both done together 27/11/14 lapidus Atkins and hammertoe release.

    not really recommended, so I applaud you for having one done at the time.

    elevate for 55 minutes an hour, above waist, and move around the other 5.

    stiches out about 14 days, they tickle being removed, but not in a nice way

    then elevate for at least 45 mins an hour for the next 4 weeks. 

    With one being done, might be easier to forget the knee scooter as you've got a good leg, and get a walking stick for balance. 

    i managed to get up and down stairs within 2 days, and wander back & forth to the bathroom, no problem.

    youll need plenty to projects to keep yourself occupied, and although time seems to stand still, it flys by.

    the only hardware I have are the plates screwing the bones together, and they'll stay in there - just hoping I'll set the alarms off when going through airport security.

    good luck and keep us updated

    caroline

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    • Posted

      Crutches ... Shows you how naive I was, doesn't it!

      yes you have to be off your feet, but, you still have to move around to keep the blood flowing and to stop DVT. So basically feet up, totter to bathroom, drink lots of fluid, totter back, knit, and repeat.

      what I didn't expect is to have to 'walk' 50 feet up and downstairs the morning after the op, and to just get on with things, on my own, in the hospital. And soon as they kicked you out of the door,nit was bye bye and see you in 2 weeks. 

      The worst part is getting yourself out of the car and through the front door, upstairs and into bed, if you can manage that you can manage anything!

      also if I can do 2, you'll be flying with only one.

      anything I can help with, post on here, or pm me.

      caroline

      x

      oh ..... The other nasty part is being in hospital waiting for the trolley to get you - you'll be nearly running out of the building screaming with fear - totally normal.

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    • Posted

      thank you Caroline your experience is very valuable to me.its great to be encouraged and not just scared away from the operation.out of curiouaith how long had it been since your surgery and do you ever still have pain from your feet?
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    • Posted

      Nemo

      i had the op 9 months ago on 27th November, just in time for Christmas, and the lovely boots I had bought for myself - they are still in the box.

      one thing about this op, you'll be scared stiff before hand, and totally depressed about what you did to yourself afterwards.

      i thought yay, six weeks after the op I'll be running around doing back flips,

      NOT! 

      Recovery is a long process, minimum of 12 months, so at nine months I still have a way to go.

      and yes I still hurt, and no, you don't get straight feet with this op, well you might do if they shave the major joint well.

      at 12 weeks I took up pole dancing, and now  6 months on I'm still rubbish at it! I can go on a walking holiday, a good 10-12 miles a day, for 13 days with no blisters, and more importantly no raging infections which need antibioctics, and I don't limp. So did the op work, yes, did I think it was worth it, ummmmmm, the jury is still out, but, my consultant said that I had to

      have it within 2 years or I probably wouldn't have been able to walk in 5

      years. It's hard to think back to where you were pre op, everything is so rosy in the past.

      anyway, take measurements of your feet, pictures before, and then afterwards so you can see the difference, and be prepared to have your

      patience tested to the extreme.

      oh.. I'm 60, had very large major joints all my life moving into bunions in my later 20s - loved wearing high heels until I had my first daughter,nthen I though I looked stupid pushing a pram in them and virtually gave them up 20  years ago as I was walking to work and back, and I needed something more sturdy to stomp in. 

      The scary part starts now, after Thursday, you'll have other things on your mind!

      Caroline

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    • Posted

      one of the biggest things I've been wrestling with is doing it or not! I know on going to I just am worried the first thing I'll think after waking up from surgery will be 'why did I do this' and that's scary especially when the pros don't outweigh the cons.on hoping since I'm in my early twenties I'll have an easier recovery than expected.I don't wear heels or much so I'm not too worried about that.but I really want this surgery because I can't go running or walking or Mich exercise without bad pain.I'm hoping to be able to do that soon after.hopefully..
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    • Posted

      oh another question is about sleeping.I'm a side sleeper I tend to sleep on my left and right side and I'm having the left foot done. do you have any advice if its possible to sleep on the side if the foots still elevated or will I not even went to may my foot on it's side? hopefully with the pain killers I'll be so tired I just fall asleep on my back.I'm just nervous about rolling to my side out of habit and forgetting.
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    • Posted

      Every time I go thru the airport I'm pulled aside a checked individually. It doesn't take them long. I wear slip on shoes it take forever to get tie type shoes off & on. 

      Also wanted to comment on everyone's contribution to the list of things to help get thru this surgery! All terrific!!!!!! biggrin

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  • Posted

    Good luck for next Thursday.

    I was sheduled for Lapidus, but when I came around the surgeon said my bones were not as good as he thought on x-ray.  So ended up with a pin and two screws.  I also had the next two hammer toes done and woke up to see 2 pins sticking out.  (Op was on July 16th)

    Caroline has been a huge support to me and I am sure her humour and advice will help you.

    What can I say..... although I didn't have the Lapidus procedure in the end ... to me going through this is made it somewhat harder because it can feel like a voluntarily decision i.e. it is not as though you have had an accident.  (I know I need it done but I could still walk!)

    So, for me, right up to being put to sleep (yes - I opted for that) in my head was 'Why did I let myself' in for this and this is like a bad dream.

    After the op, I am 70, it seemed I just didn't have any strength in my arms to use crutches, the physio immediately said do not use crutches and gave me a walking frame - got on much better with that.  I was also given an 'Air Cast Boot'.

    Caroline gave me a useful list of items to get in ready - think it is on here.  Now I did find a commode by the side of the bed really helpful for the first two weeks.  

    I made sure I was drinking a lot of water so instead of having to keep getting up and struggling to bathroom it was quick.  Useful partner is also a huge asset.

    (Yes - a little funny - I bought the commode for my 92 year old Mum when she came a few Christmas ago which she refused to use and got put in the attic.  So the joke was guess who ended up using it!)

    I also found working out the timing of my pain relief meds on a piece of paper and then setting my mobile alarm.  That way through the night I was also keeping myself 'topped up' - but - pain I think can depend on the individual and the surgery. 

    Just do everything your surgeon advises as all our operations and feet are unique to us.  Before and after the operation I was always getting my list of questions ready for the surgeon.

    At my check up appointments I would have my questions ready because if I thought of something I would like to ask I made a note of it.  I was determined not to go to a 'Check up' and come home thinking 'I forgot to ask, etc.'

    Sitting around gives you plenty of time to make lists, get in all the things you want to do around you.  I even went off and chose a knitting pattern and wool - hadn't done any knitting for a long time.  Think of all the jobs you can do sitting down that you felt in the past you didn't have time for.

    Out of interest are you in the UK?  Would I be right in saying knee scooters seem to be more widely used in America?

    Gilly 

     

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    • Posted

      wow thanks for sharing so much! yeah I find myself going back and forth a lot about if I want to do it haha but I am in my twenties and its the best time to.it is harder having the surgery be voluntary.and my pain from the bunions has never been anything I couldn't handle but I am tired of them especially how far over my left foot is getting.it'll be a mental game to get myself on board until after the operation.and NP I am in the US knee scooters are very common here.
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    • Posted

      Ah!! In your twenties you are just a baby and I put mine off for years! Always something more important, family, work, etc, etc - so no pain - will have to think about this 'one day'!

      So when 'one day' came - it was still tough e.g. 'Why bother now at my age?'   The right time, I think, unless you are in real pain is when you are mentally prepared and you are.smile 

      I agree with Caroline - it will be normal to feel like running away up to the last minute.  Then as soon as it is done you are then on the road to getting better.

      So keep looking forward and planning things you can have around you to make life easier whilst recovering and not so mobile. 

      Caroline will be there for you, and anyone else who has had this procedure, to hold your hand thoughout your recovery.

      xxx

      Note: It was interesting actually I told the nurse I was thinking about hiring a knee scooter and she said she had one for a tendon injury, I think it was, but thought I should think very carefully about it and in her opinion keep to the walking frame.

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    • Posted

      its so helpful to have people like you two to be reassured by! it really helps the nerves.I'm very much a worrier and a planner therefore almost every hour I've had twenty different worries and thoughts about this.what kinds of things did you do to occupy yourself? luckily I'll be starting a class a few weeks after.I just want to stay busy so I don't get restless which tends to happen even when I have a cold.
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    • Posted

      OK - I go by the motto 'Fail to Plan - Plan to Fail' I will only admit it on here - maybe I take it to the extreme sometimes still who cares.  

      Get out that Note Pad and keep it by you at all times.  You will find on this laptop - documents headed Appointment - Date 2015 and time.Then Questions 1, 2, 3 etc. with spaces to write answers.  At my first two meetings prior to surgery I handed my questions over for the surgeon to write the answers down. (I already had my folder at home titled 'Foot Surgery' and filed everything.)

      After surgery, even during the night, if I thought of something I would write it down ready in the morning to decided whether to add to Master WP File or not.

      As Caroline said take photos.  They even help me now if I get days when I think why did I do this - I look at the photo of my foot before surgery.  (My right foot is not as bad, but getting there, and I know deep down it will be most likely on the list for next year. BUT - it is not the unknown to me now as it is for you at this point in time.)

      If you are going to start a Class a few weeks after, can you have your tutor set the work now?  My Tai Chi teacher (had just started going back to this after 20+ years) actually wrote down for me some exrecises I could do sitting down. 

      Now - sleeping on side - that's me!  I worried about this and thought about getting a 'cage' to go over my foot as I didn't like the thought of duvet on my poor foot.  I didn't get one but managed to get myself comfy with several pillow, usually only had one, almost in sitting position with foot up on another pillow.  Then duvet on me but poorly foot left uncovered with its 'boot' on.  My foot never got cold with dressings, then sock, etc.

      In fact I still keep my foot out in the open, on a pillow, with a cosy sock on.  Just getting the confidence to get back to 'norma' sleeping now I can sleep on my side with pillow inbetween my legs.  So operated foot still slightly elevated.  (Maybe Caroline sleeps hanging onto her polewink-  need to get my own back on her remarks about my commode. lol)

      I think you will find a way to get comfortable.  You may keep those 'should I have done this' thoughts as soon as you wake up from surgery - but - it is done and you will  manage.  Get quite inventive as to what you need around you.  

      Will you have help 24/7?  Did I miss you mentioning this?

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    • Posted

      Nemo

      im a left handed sleeper, and with both done, I had to lie on my back, a couple oF pillows under my feet, fleece blanket on top, duvet over the rest of me. It's took about 6 months for me to get a de son nights sleep.

      one thing you must do, is to find any leg/ankle exercises that you can do on your back, in bed. Also those that you can do with your feet raised. Don't put your feet up with your knees locked, try and keep them slightly bent. I didn't and had problems with my left knee locking, and refusing to bend, but that was probably due to my age.

      also restrict your food intake, remember you're going to have a sedentary life style for many weeks, what goes in, ends up on the hips, which makes you feel more useless and pi$$ed off.

      vitamins d & b, taken from now helps.

      youll be fine,   honestly .

      Caroline

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    • Posted

      especially in the first week I'll have 24/7 help and then a goof amount but not tons.more of a helping hands with meals.wow so this far out of the surgery you still elevate your foot and don't sleep naturally.slow recovery for sure.yes pictures is a very good idea and one I will do!
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    • Posted

      Good to know you've got help in the first week, it's when you need it most. If you're put on codeine you're going to be under its influence and not really in the real world. 

      I came off all pain killers etc after 5 days as I didn't like the effect they where having on me. Rather have a large scotch prior to bed. Also it allowed me to monitor the pain I was having and I knew how much I could do before the pain set in.

      to say the least I'm a tough old bird.

      keep posting, anything I can help you with, I will, Gilly is well versed with air boots, Zimmer frames, visiting relatives, karma sutra, and of course the commode.

      xxxx

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    • Posted

      I'll be on perocet and hydroxzine.the only supplies I really have is a knee scooter crutches and a shower bag that goes over my cast.I realized the other day my jeans won't fit over a cast and got some sweatpants for that.nows the time when I'm trying to think of a to do list to have things in place! I'm thinking of planning meals soon too so i can an be eating well and waytchj g what heat while I'm immobile.
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    • Posted

      You sound like you are getting realy organised - well done.  My surgeon said that patients who are 'prepared' (not for surgery that's his job) do far better.  So keep up the good work!

      Did Caroline say about Linseed?  (at first I thought she meant I had to hobble out to the bird feederwink)  I was too late to get some but would have liked that on my list.

      Keep up the good work.

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    • Posted

      whoops,

      did i mention having your feet done, effects your memory.

      Linseed, also known as Flax seed, 2 table spoons in the morning helps eliminate the blocking side effects of the pain killers.

      Solid shampoo, saves the hassle of getting the tops of bottles, and can also be used for sit-down washes.

      dont rush for a shower, and when you do, get a plastic seat to sit on, also having one foot done you can sit in the bath whilst elegantly holding one foot over the side.

      3 days and counting, i can remember how scared i was at this time. the day before the op i had a professional pedicure (no nail varnish) just to make sure my feet were looking perfect,

      Caroline

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    • Posted

      Yep - me too feeling really scared, then went into a trance state as though I am now somebody else and watching it happen.  

      Shower Stool -

      I purchased a 3 legged adjustable shower stool from that well known online store. It was about £24 but worth every penny.  I find it even useful now (not to sit and read books whilst shower raining down on me Caroline) it means I can sit and wash my good leg without trying to balance on poorly foot.

      Useful for sitting on loo seat and keeping foot elevated whilst drying myself.  Also could be used for keeping leg elevated whilst NOT in shower but sitting in a chair.

      Preparation ideas continued  -

      1. Have we said get your hair cut, etc.  I keep mine short and had it cut extra short to keep me going for at least 6 plus weeks.

      2. Get an online buddy? - Tick - you done that and have Caroline.lol  

      All joking apart Caroline has been a huge support to me and it truly helped me.  I did start to google too much - probably looking for excuses not to go through with it - Caroline had to give me a good talking to.

      3. Check if there are any bills, telephone credit, appointments to cancel if necessary and re-schedue, etc, etc for the next 2/3 weeks maybe, that you can deal with now, so you don't have to think about them - just concentrate on you.

      4. Have we said Wet Wipes (you said that on your list to me) they were very useful just to keep feeling you could freshen up when you wanted to.  

      Will keep looking in....thinking of you.

      Gilly

       

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    • Posted

      Nemo

      try and get a high stool/chair for the kitchen, as you can sit whilst watching things cook, boil etc. also I found that a skirt is easier to get on and off - can do over the head, and makes other things more accessible during ' comfort breaks' you're going to be house bound for the first 2weeks. The start of the third week I managed to walk half a mile to the local 'bistro' ate and hobbled back, with crutches and the dreaded Dracos. I didn't manage to get out by my self until the start of the seventh week, and that was long and painful.

      dont throw out any old shoes, they'll come in useful for the first few months.

      gilly & I will be here for you, ask anything, but don't expect a sensible reply.

      and no, you won't regret it immediately after the op, you'll get into survival mode and work out what you'll have to do next I.e. Getting home, up to bed etc.

      caroline

      xxx

       

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    • Posted

      Nemo

      I too found a skirt was easier - like Caroline.  Found it in the back of the wardrobe a never worn purchase - a sale bargain!   Needed something to make life easier and there it was - just like the commode!!!

      Yes - survival mode will kick in - that's what happend to me when I came out of my 'trance' state and the operation was over.  My surgeon came to see me and said 'I think it won't be long before you are asking me to do the other foot!'  

      Gilly

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    • Posted

      wow thanks for the great reply of suggestions! you know surprisingly enough I feel pretty okay. I have a lot of people telling me encouraging things and its making me feel better. I also have a great doctor who my mom who works in surgery has worked with and loves working with.I think I'll be okaysmile I got a lot of ice packs from someone who recently had it done and my question is how much do you ice your foot? and do you out the ice pack on the foot or under the knee?
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    • Posted

      I don't own too many skirts and am not much of a fan.I was hoping to go between shorts and I bought sweats that will most likely for over the plaster cast.but we'll see.
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    • Posted

      Nemo

      all the best for tomorrow, you'll just sail through it. Don't worry about loosing sleep tonight, you'll get plenty of rest afterwards.

      Good luck, and keep posting

      caroline

      xx

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    • Posted

      Nemo

      Good luck for tomorrow!

      You have everything planned, a great Mum and Doctor - so all good and with the support on here you will do well.

      I second what Caroline said - keep posting we need to know how you are?  

      You do realise that you and Caroline are part of a very special club - The Lapidus Society.  I nearly made it - but got thrown out at the last minute.sad

      Gilly x

       

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