Post op and sore

Options
GraceB
GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
edited 30. Jul 2015, 17:06 in Living with Arthritis archive
Well I had my ankle op yesterday. I had a decent night's sleep although as I went to bed early (getting up at 5.30am on your op day rather encourages you to go to bed early!), I was awake today before 6am so am flagging now.

Am all bandaged up with an awful sole & velcro thing to wear when I'm on my feet. Thankfully I only have to have this awful thing on until the bandages come off at 48 hours which is tomorrow afternoon. Can't come quick enough for me!

I'd bought some Crocs before the op thinking they'd be big enough but there's so much padding there wasn't a hope. Hence this dreadful contraption. :oops:

By the time I got home yesterday afternoon my foot had been down for a good half an hour and I suspect the back of this sole/velcro thing had pushed against the incisions so I'd had a little bleeding. I elevated the foot from then until when I went to bed and it stopped, thankfully. Wasn't much but I did keep an eye on it just in case I needed to pick the phone up and get some advice.

The consultant seemed happy enough with the op. He spoke beforehand of microfracture as well as tidying the joint up and trying to buy me as much time as possible so we could put off a fusion for as long as possible. I only saw him briefly after the op and -thanks to the oramorph :roll: - cannot really recall what he said.

I do know that he went in through two openings at the back of the heel because of where the damage was. My instructions are to weight bear with two crutches for at least a week or until the ankle feels comfortable. Bandages off at 48 hrs. I return to clinic 2wks post-op to have stitches out and see him. I'll find out then how long it'll be before the fusion.

Usual challenges at the moment of using two crutches and getting drinks to/fro. I've resorted to my flask mug which helps and a small clutch type shoulder bag to put mobile and landline phones in.

Because this is my left foot and I drive an automatic car, I can drive when I feel well enough as long as I am 48 hours post-op or more. I'll be off work for three weeks due to the location of where my department is based in the building (my emergency route out involves stairs and I can't risk knocking my heel.

I'll post again tomorrow.

Take care everyone,
GraceB
Turn a negative into a positive!
«1

Comments

  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hello Grace I am glad that us all done and dusted for you. I think you deserve some time off work ..the rest will do you good..I hope the pain stays at a lower level you never know with any op..,hopefully the fusion is some time away.so.now be kind to yourself..x
    Love
    Barbara
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hope all goes well with your recovery, take it easy and don't be tempted to try and do too much too soon. Glad you've got a reasonable amount of time off work too.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    So far, so good, eh? You'll get there, Grace. Well done :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hope your recovery goes well Grace - and speedily.
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Thanks for your replies.

    Hit a snag today unfortunately. :roll: It was time to take the bandaging off, unwrap the wadding and remove that and replace the dressing. We got the bandage off, and started carefully cutting through the wadding and then hit a snag.

    Because of the bleed I'd had coming home, the wound had bled through the dressing and soaked the wadding and bandaging. As a result, the wadding was stuck to the dressing which was stuck to the wound.

    I picked the phone up and rang the ward. They were excellent. They said I could soak this off but as I didn't have any saline available, or bottled water, I wasn't happy with this so my lovely neighbour kindly drove me back to the hospital so this could be done there.

    Naturally the nurse made light work of this and within minutes had got me sorted out! The wound is clean and has been re-dressed. The whole area is, as I expected, bruised and swollen and extremely tender. As a precaution I've re-bandaged and padded the wound area so I don't knock this overnight. Very awkward to protect the area though as the wound is on my heel. :roll:

    I'm now hoping we don't get a monsoon as the nurse said there's no way I'll be wearing shoes for a good number of weeks so it's the Crocs or slippers for the foreseeable future for me.

    GP visit tomorrow for my sick note but apart from that and getting a daily newspaper it'll be back to my sofa with my foot elevated.

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hello Grace,

    How are you doing today? The shoe situation does sound tricky. I know certain parts of the UK are due a storm tomorrow but hopefully it will be brief.

    Take it easy and keep that foot up. :)
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Thanks. Not doing too badly. Saw my GP today and got a sick note. Due to go back to work 3rd August.

    By the time I got home my ankle was like a balloon. Swollen on both sides of the joint plus the heel area at the back. My ankle is now going black and blue with bruising. I expected this, but have taken photographs so that when I'm asked on my return to work what my ankle looked like, I can take perverse pleasure in seeing my colleagues' faces go green! :lol:

    It's been more painful today than yesterday but probably repercussions of yesterday's trip to get the dressing changed and the GP visit today hasn't helped that.

    I've spent the remainder of the day with my foot mostly up apart from when I've needed to move. Can't afford to get a post-op DVT so am trying to remember to move regularly enough.

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    I'm sure you'll do everything right. You seem to have it all under control and are doing all the right things. Keep at it, Grace. How's your OH coping with the housework?
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hello Grace
    glad the hospital helped you out, its so easy to disturbed the wound and delay its healing..when I had my thr, I took arnica never before have I tried theses sorts of meds..sorry mi brains gone forgot what they are called :oops: anyhow I had hardley any brusing even the nurse were amazed..so I would give it a go..hope the recovery goes to plan for you and be kind to yourself.x
    Love
    Barbara
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hello Grace, how are things going now? I apologise for not being around when it was happening but, for what it's worth, I think you are doing all the right things. Any form of surgery is invasive, and of course leads to soreness, but that should dwindle as time passes - and I hope it is. Keep resting, ignore the things that truly don't matter at the moment (including dust and ironing) because you need to heal and heal well. Good luck old girl :wink: (as we say in this household). DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    How are you, Grace? I hope your absence is an indication of good things rather than bad.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Barbara - I have a feeling all the bruising has already come out. I'll get some Arnica in before I have any more surgery as I'm sure that'll help.

    DD - thanks for the reply. Please don't worry re not having seen this before. You had a great break and that was good for you. I'm doing okay thank you. The bungalow is in a right state :roll: but I've had to focus on me rather than housework, ironing, etc.

    Sticky - thanks for the post. Yes I'm okay thank you. Been trying to rest and keep the foot up as much as I can. I looked in on the forum yesterday but thought I'd post today.

    I've been focussing on resting since the op, getting meals - those ready meals have been very useful - reading, watching TV, that sort of thing.

    The ankle is still extremely swollen, bruised and tender. Bruising is still coming out and it's travelled up my leg a bit but I can see it's bruising rather than anything else so I'm not worried about it. There's no heat in the ankle and no redness so I'm confident there's no infection and I'm sure that'd have shown up by now had that been the case.

    I have no sideways movement in the ankle and very little "up and down" at the moment, but I suspect this is due to the swelling. Tomorrow I'll be one week post op so it's very early days for the healing at the moment.

    I have a feeling I'll be having some physio on this after I see the consultant at my post op check next Wednesday. Stitches come out then too.

    I'm protecting the ankle at night with some cotton wool padding around heel/sides of ankle, crepe bandaged on loosely. Even lightly using a wet wipe to cleanse my foot hurts the ankle! My foot is also on a fairly flat pillow so it's not on the mattress direct. During the day I have tubigrip on to try and reduce the swelling. I have a nurse appt tomorrow for a dressing change - it's impossible for me to get to this as it's on the back of my heel.

    I'm planning on using my mum's shower tomorrow morning. We only have an 'over the bath' shower and that's impossible for me at the moment. Mum has a wet room so it'll be loads easier for me. If the dressing peels a little, I can stick it back on and let the nurse change it tomorrow afternoon as I'm due to see her then. I hasten to add that the dressing is a waterproof one.

    I'll post again in a couple of days.

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    It's good to know you're 'as well as can be expected' Grace. Yes, these things take some time and that time can be very frustrating but I'm sure you'll get the balance right. Have a lovely shower :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hi,

    Wound check and dressing change appt went ok. Nurse is happy with the wounds but not so happy with the swelling, bruising, pain and lack of movement. She was a bit reassured when I said I was seeing consultant next Weds - 22nd.

    I've to see the nurse again early Monday morning as she wants to check everything again. She said that if the swelling is still as bad she'll be wanting to get a GP in to have a look. Difficulty is I'm allergic to anti inflammatories so I can't have these.

    I'm trying to stay off my feet as much as possible and am only doing what I absolutely have to. I've been taking photos every couple of days so I can track my progress. Still can't bear any kind of pressure on the back of my feel where the wounds are so am now used to wearing a trainer on my right foot and a purple croc on my left (operated) foot when I have to go out briefly. I no longer care what people think - it's the only version of footwear I can manage. Might become a craze, you never know!

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hm. Could be better: could be worse. let's hope the trend is upwards. At least both you and the nurse are on the ball. Please keep us in the loop, Grace.

    I love your practical footwear solution. Go for it, girl :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hi,

    Nurse did dressing change on Monday and she was happier with ankle.

    Saw the consultant for my initial post op visit today. He took the stitches out himself! :o When I expressed my surprise at this he said he does unusual stitches and has found in the past some nurses can leave a bit of stitching in so prefers to take out himself. Have to say didn't feel a thing.

    Then he manipulated the joint. :roll: I felt that well and truly! This was all done with my back to him, and my leg on a chair - which didn't help the knee at all. He therefore could see my heel.

    He said that he took out a lot of damage to my subtalar and calcus joints. Cartilage is confirmed as thin but intact at the moment. He hopes this will buy me 2 or 3 years before I have to have the fusion. I have to go back to see the consultant in 8 wks for a further check.

    He's happy for me to go back to work on 3rd Aug as long as I can elevate the ankle during the day.

    The ankle is still very swollen, tender to the touch and I have a limited range of movement. By the end of the day it looks like I've got a small melon at the end of my leg where my ankle is meant to be. I've had a couple of sessions of pain deep in the joint - the same type of pain that I had before the op. (I did mention this to the consultant and he was a little surprised when I told him this).

    Late afternoon is my worst time at the moment, it's more painful then, the swelling is well and truly in full throttle and I'm struggling. However, as I am only 2 weeks post-op today I'm trying to remember those words we all hear when we are post-op after orthopaedic surgery - "it's early days yet". :roll:

    I'll update again at the end of the week.

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    It is incredibly early days. If the stitches have only just come out, then the wound has only really started healing and that's just the surface. Someone recently told me that inflammation naturally increases towards the end of the day, so I'm not surprised that it's a tough time of day for you. Make sure you pace yourself to conserve energy for the latter part of the day. Take it easy and take it slowly, you will get there.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Good to hear from you, Grace, and good also that the surgeon is happy. I hope the progress continues.

    I confess, if a doc tried to remove my stitches I'd be afraid – I'd be very afraid :shock: They're usually better with the hammers and saws than the fancy embroidery :D Glad it went OK.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • jamart
    jamart Member Posts: 27
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hello Grace it's good that the consultant is happy with your ankle. My physio advised me to keep my ankle above waist height (sat upright with it up on a chair and a few cushions did the trick) and place a frozen bag of peas wrapped in a tea towel on it for about 20 mins, twice a day. It seemed to work for me, it might be worth giving it a go.

    Hope it carries on improving for you.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hello, we're a couple of days on now, how are things going? I hope you are resting, elevating and (if required) icing. Healing is a slow process which is why it's very frustrating at times! DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Thanks for your posts.

    Progress is still slow. I'm now also getting the same type of pain again that I had before the op. The weather has changed to extremely wet and all my joints are flaring. Unfortunately, the operated ankle is joining in! :roll:

    Still have restricted movement in the ankle, and the swelling remains extremely evident, despite the fact I've been keeping my feet up for the majority of the day. The ankle feels especially tight around the heel area. The bruising is disappearing so that's good.

    I have one more week before I am due to go back to work so hope that things continue to improve in that time. I still feel wiped out at times from the anaesthetic but that's usual for me.

    I've got my follow up appointment letter through so I'll be able to talk to the consultant again end of September. I suspect by then I'll know whether or not this op has done the trick or not. I really want it to have worked but with my "before the op pain" starting to come back I have to be honest and say I have my doubts, sadly. Still, we'll see.

    Take care,
    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    It can take a while for things to settle after an op, if the swelling is hot to the touch have you tried icing? That can help things to settle, I have a couple of frozen pea bags clearly labelled 'Do not eat!' - I like them because they drape nicely over the sore parts.

    These are still comparatively early days and no, the weather won't be helping - our heating came on this morning! Keep up the good work, Grace, and I hope things begin to improve soon. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    You are, as usual, doing all the right things and it must be disheartening to feel the old pain might not have been banished. Typically, you are ploughing on and hoping for the best. I join you in that. It's all you can do and, if the old pain is just the blip we hope, then you are giving yourself the best chance of success. I hope it comes.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hello Grace...like someone said its still early days..might not seem it to you.. :shock: hopefully your ankle will carry on improving, then you can delay the fusion..be kind to yourself..x
    Love
    Barbara
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Thanks. I hope too, that the fusion can be delayed.

    I'm still plodding on, spent all afternoon with my feet up. This swelling is certainly persistent! It's not hot to the touch so I'm not generally icing it but I'm making a point of checking for heat, just in case,

    I'm now starting to focus on getting mentally ready to return to work next Monday. I have my return to work interview with my line manager on Friday (he's on leave next week so I've volunteered to do this Friday, that way I get his support with a couple of tweaks for next week). I'll only need to go into work Friday for half an hour for this so it won't take too long.

    In the meantime, I intend to relax as much as possible over the next few days.

    Take care everyone,
    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!