Surgery in early November questions and hints for healing

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Hi Everyone:  I had my surgery November 9th.  I had a preneus brevis repair on my right ankle.  I used a knee scooter and was off perscription pain meds within 3 to 4 days.  I still take Advil.  Not much pain except in the evening my foot feels like it's on fire. The only way I can fall asleep is to place a cool gel wrap foot sleeve around my foot.

 Thirteen days after surgery I had stitches removed and was placed in a walking cam boot and told to do range of motion exercises. I was not allowed to place weight on my foot.  On December 20th my surgeon gave me the okay to walk with boot (60 to 80 percent on right foot) and use one crutch. After one week, I am walking with just the cam boot.  My only issue is the swelling.  Any suggestions, besides elevation, to get that swelling down? I am in Physical Therapy now.  

For those considering surgery, make sure you get several opinions.  I did a lot of research and I am so grateful.  My surgeon is great.  He is as compassionate as he is skilled.  It really can make all the difference when you have trust in your surgeron and when he communicates well.

Some suggestions: I did Physical Therapy prior to surgery. I got a script from my GP.  This was to strengthen my legs, core for the surgery.  Within a week, I continued leg lifts, the push ups with my knees on the floor and sit ups.  Also, some arm exercises.

 Purchases that assisted me (all from Amazon or borrowed from friends) were a wedge to keep my leg elevated (enough room for both legs); a borrowed shower chair; a borrowed potty chair for the first three days after surgery (I live alone and didn't have any assistance in getting from point A to B.) 

Now that I am walking with my cam boot, I am wearing compression stockings.  I want to buy stock in them, they are so great.  Also, I got a thing called "EvenUp" from Amazon.  It slips over your shoe or sneaker and keeps your non-injurd leg at the same height as your leg in the walking boot.  Best of all, I got a gel boot for heat or ice.  It has the perfect temperature and when I fall asleep with it on, the gel cushions the site of my incision.  

Once you start PT, you will be asked to massage your incision.  My brother lent me a lacross ball.  When I am laying on the couch at night (with an ace bandage on or compression stocking on) I just gently turn my foot to the side and roll my foot back and forth over the lacross ball.  It actually feels good and I think it helps break up the scar tissue better than doing the massage just with your hands.  

I guess that's it.  My only complaints are being so tired.  The surgery took it out of me.  Too, I find it difficult to get into a routine.  When my foot feels really good, I always over do it.  I went out the other day and walked for about 4 hours.  The next two days I had to take it real easy because my foot was too sore and swollen.  I really don't have guidelines from my physical therapist . . .  except if I reach a level of pain that is a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10, then I need to get off my foot.  

Oh . . . I tried an Epsom Salt bath in the hopes that would help the swelling. It didn't seem to do anything for me.  

Hope this helps and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.  I am 64, live alone and this surgery is a pain in the butt, but manageable.  I did not need a caregiver, but I had a friend check on me in the mornings and evenings for the first couple of weeks to help me out.

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  • Posted

    Hi Cindy;

    Thank you for your healing tips. I am going to take your advice and order some of the items you mentioned from Amazon.

    In the area in which I live you can rent wheelchairs, crutches, bed bars, etc. from the Red Cross for a donation only. A really great service of which I have used and appreciated.

    I have a couple of questions; what brand name of compression socks did you order and what brand name of gell pack. Also what wedge did you order. I have been using pillows. I have found the other items you mentioned.

    I sustained a trimaleolar fracture back in the beginning of October. I had surgery and now have a nice variety of ankle hardware (plates, screws and bolts).

    At the moment I am only allowed to be partial weight bearing but hope to be full weight bearing and into physio after I see my surgeon next week. I am 61 years old and can't wait to get the ball rolling and start moving.

    Thank you for your suggestions. Hope to hear back from you soon.

    Karen

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    • Posted

      Hi: the items from Amazon are the A-Swift compression socks for women and men. They come in 25 colors. I wear a 9 shoe and the medium size works well for me. I have tried other compression socks but these seem to control the swelling the best. Also, I wear a sock on my "good" leg, too. It has made a great difference since I am putting more weight on that foot. For icing I use the Elasto Gel Hot/ Cold foot and ankle wrap. As mentioned, I fall asleep with it on and it cushions my incision. ... an added benefit. The wedge is Herman Products, Inc. Elevating Leg Rest with white poly cotton cover. I like having the option of elevating both legs. I found I was more comfortable with the wedge turned in the opposite direction. The downward slant side was furthest away from me.

      I used a knee scooter. The crutches were terrible for me when I was non weight bearing. Once I was weight bearing I used one crutch. Also, for down the road, you will probably need to massage scar tissue at the incision site. I took my brothers lacrosse ball and place it on the sofa near my foot. While watching TV, I gently roll my incision over the ball ... bath and forth ( not length wise). This actually feels good and offers a bit more pressure than when I massage with my hands.

      One other thing.... try and stay away from candy. That is my downfall but I notice more inflammation when I have too many sweets.

      Oh, one more thing I tried was an air boot (with pump) from Amazon. It helped with cushioning foot while you sleep. I didn't use it for a long time though. But, that is something to think about if you find your foot hurts while sleeping.

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    • Posted

      Hi Cindy,

      Thank you for your reply. I will be sending off my order today to Amazon and will be looking forward to its arrival!!

      All the best as you continue on your healing journey.

      Happy New Year!!

      Karen

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    • Posted

      Happy New Year to you, too. You are going to do great. Did you know that when a bone is broken or fractured that after it has healed it ends up being stronger than it was before the injury? You will have a bionic ankle! 😀

      All the best to you and if you have additional questions do not hesitate to ask.

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    • Posted

      Hi Cindy,

      Woo hoo!!! With three broken ankle bones it is going to be one tough body part. Actually I am really surprised at how well I have coped. When it first happened I thought "how the heck am I going to manage for 3 - 6 months but it is amazing what we do when we have to. I have kept my hands busy with needlepoint, catching up on reading and oh yes...Netflix. For the most part I have been pretty content. I have learned to have patience and to try to keep positive. I have cursed a lot, laughed a lot at myself and had a few bouts of tears but it is all good. Looking forward to getting out more and driving. I have missed being out and about!! Looking forward to my Amazon delivery. I love the colorful socks!! I was fitted with an air cast after the splint came off in October and I still sleep in it. I find it keeps my ankle very comfortable. Thanks again. Karen

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