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Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

Posted by GinaC on 2/04/01 at 17:32 (038184)

I plan to have open PF, TT release with heal spur removal next month. Will be totally nonweightbearing for two weeks, then on crutches 6-8 weeks after that. I'm worried about the outcome, pain, etc., but am especially concerned about how I will manage at home for the first few weeks. Those of you who have survived this, what did you do to make things easier for yourself and pass the time without ending up with a raging case of cabin fever. I'm also wondering about a walker versus crutches. And I'm very concerned about trying to spare my other foot, which has all the same problems as the surgery foot, but is not as severe. Anything you want to share will be appreciated--I can't even imagine getting dressed in the morning on crutches and one foot!

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

Kay S on 2/04/01 at 18:18 (038187)

Gina---I have mentioned this before several times, but hey! those who don't need this info can skip over it.
When I had tt surgery this past fall, I used a 'rollabout', which is a stroller kind of thing that you rest your knee on (the operative one), it has four wheels and a handle, and I thought it was the best thing invented. I was able to do everything, and I mean everything, myself after the first day. I scooted around on that thing for almost three weeks, and hated to give it up. My other foot didn't take a beating because I could actually rest that one too and just used it to push myself around. I cooked dinner for my family, carried my own drinks to the sofa, did the laundry, and after about ten days, I even went to the mailbox with it!
I couldn't use the crutches because I think I am just too weak in my arms, and probably would have broken something else if I used them instead of this wonderful invention.
Email me if you want more info. Good luck on your surgery.
Kay

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

Donna Y. on 2/04/01 at 23:01 (038201)

Hi Gina,

I suppose I now consider myself a survivor of surgery, even if it has only been 2 weeks since mine was done. One of the things that helped me immensely in the first few days was an ice chest. More like a large soft sided picnic type. My husband would pack it for me with drinks and some sandwiches so I didn't have to get up and try to carry those things.

Another thing I found incredibly helpful was a household stool. It's a barstool type with adjustable height metal legs. I had it adjusted to knee height and would have someone set it in front of the kitchen sink, bathroom sink or bathtub when I wanted to use one of them. Or you could have one set at each so it didn't have to be moved. I'd stand with my good foot on the floor and my knee on the stool to help me keep my balance. I placed a folded towel on the stool since it's wooden and very hard on the knee if you're putting your weight on it. Kay's rollabout would likely take care of this, but I didn't find out about it until very shortly before my surgery.

Another thing I found useful was an Ace bandage. If you're simply bandaged post-op rather than in a cast. I would get my ice pack (I should have had at least 2 of those) and wrap it over my heel area over my bandage, which was very thick, and secure it with the other Ace bandage. Not wrapped too tightly, just enough so I didn't have to try to hold it in place. I experienced swelling if I didn't have my foot elevated for even a short amount of time and the icing seemed to help with that if I'd been on my feet to wash my hair at the sink or otherwise get around out of bed for a few minutes. Keep a few spare pillows bedside to elevate your foot.

I hope these things help. I'll be very interested in hearing about your surgery and recovery and I'm sure everyone else will be as well. You have definitely come to the right place for post-op tips.

Best wishes,
Donna Y.

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

Lauire R on 2/04/01 at 23:11 (038202)

Hi Donna,
I am glad you are doing so well. Also I know this post was for Gina ,but it will help me too. I will also be having surgery too. I still don't have a date yet . The ice chest is such a good idea. Thank you again for your post. I am sure it will help many. My best to you in your recovery...... Laurie R

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

Ellen W on 2/05/01 at 13:27 (038230)

Hi Gina, the rollabout device that Kay describes sound like it would be really helpful.

I posted my 'crutch tips' a couple of weeks ago -- I'll try to find them and repost them.

I found padded bicycle gloves especially helpful -- took some of the weight off of my palms, and helped avoid callous formation.

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

GinaC on 2/05/01 at 21:07 (038266)

Ellen,
Thank you...I did a search and found your crutch tips. I may try to alternate between crutches and a walker this time around, after using just crutches when I was in a cast. I appreciate your help and hope you are now doing well. Gina

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

marie r on 2/06/01 at 22:31 (038323)

Kay, I just had surgery and am very interested in the rollabout chair. Did you get it at a durable medical supply store? no one seem to know anything about them. thanks for sharing your story.

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

Donna Y. on 2/06/01 at 22:56 (038324)

Wow, just read Ellen's crutch tips and wish I had read them -before- my surgery. Awesome and infinitely helpful information for all of us who have to use them. Thanks so much for that wonderful post!

Donna Y.

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

Kristi on 2/11/01 at 22:32 (038717)

I just had surgery a week ago and I didn't have a special roll about chair but I did use my office chair on wheels to get around the house. I have wooden floors so it worked great getting arount the kitchen etc. My doctor wanted me to put weight on my food immediately but the pain was too great and I ended up hurting my good foot. I recommend using crutches as much as possible at first. Good luck! Kristi

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS:Ellen's crutch tips/other tips?

Martin H on 4/02/01 at hrmin (043294)

I am at day 3 at home after a Lis Franc surgery (3 pins
in my foot to replace destroyed ligaments).Am using a combo
of office chair,walker,and crutches. Having a real hassle
making sure that walk around phone is with me,having to
switch from chair to walker to crutches because of
sills between rooms that office chair won't roll over,
getting really tired half way through the day.
Could someone send me Ellen's crutch tips in the body of
an Email? I am new to this group and do not know how to
search for old messages.And am a bit internet search 'challenged'
so to speak.
THanks. Martin H.

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

Kay S on 2/04/01 at 18:18 (038187)

Gina---I have mentioned this before several times, but hey! those who don't need this info can skip over it.
When I had tt surgery this past fall, I used a 'rollabout', which is a stroller kind of thing that you rest your knee on (the operative one), it has four wheels and a handle, and I thought it was the best thing invented. I was able to do everything, and I mean everything, myself after the first day. I scooted around on that thing for almost three weeks, and hated to give it up. My other foot didn't take a beating because I could actually rest that one too and just used it to push myself around. I cooked dinner for my family, carried my own drinks to the sofa, did the laundry, and after about ten days, I even went to the mailbox with it!
I couldn't use the crutches because I think I am just too weak in my arms, and probably would have broken something else if I used them instead of this wonderful invention.
Email me if you want more info. Good luck on your surgery.
Kay

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

Donna Y. on 2/04/01 at 23:01 (038201)

Hi Gina,

I suppose I now consider myself a survivor of surgery, even if it has only been 2 weeks since mine was done. One of the things that helped me immensely in the first few days was an ice chest. More like a large soft sided picnic type. My husband would pack it for me with drinks and some sandwiches so I didn't have to get up and try to carry those things.

Another thing I found incredibly helpful was a household stool. It's a barstool type with adjustable height metal legs. I had it adjusted to knee height and would have someone set it in front of the kitchen sink, bathroom sink or bathtub when I wanted to use one of them. Or you could have one set at each so it didn't have to be moved. I'd stand with my good foot on the floor and my knee on the stool to help me keep my balance. I placed a folded towel on the stool since it's wooden and very hard on the knee if you're putting your weight on it. Kay's rollabout would likely take care of this, but I didn't find out about it until very shortly before my surgery.

Another thing I found useful was an Ace bandage. If you're simply bandaged post-op rather than in a cast. I would get my ice pack (I should have had at least 2 of those) and wrap it over my heel area over my bandage, which was very thick, and secure it with the other Ace bandage. Not wrapped too tightly, just enough so I didn't have to try to hold it in place. I experienced swelling if I didn't have my foot elevated for even a short amount of time and the icing seemed to help with that if I'd been on my feet to wash my hair at the sink or otherwise get around out of bed for a few minutes. Keep a few spare pillows bedside to elevate your foot.

I hope these things help. I'll be very interested in hearing about your surgery and recovery and I'm sure everyone else will be as well. You have definitely come to the right place for post-op tips.

Best wishes,
Donna Y.

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

Lauire R on 2/04/01 at 23:11 (038202)

Hi Donna,
I am glad you are doing so well. Also I know this post was for Gina ,but it will help me too. I will also be having surgery too. I still don't have a date yet . The ice chest is such a good idea. Thank you again for your post. I am sure it will help many. My best to you in your recovery...... Laurie R

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

Ellen W on 2/05/01 at 13:27 (038230)

Hi Gina, the rollabout device that Kay describes sound like it would be really helpful.

I posted my 'crutch tips' a couple of weeks ago -- I'll try to find them and repost them.

I found padded bicycle gloves especially helpful -- took some of the weight off of my palms, and helped avoid callous formation.

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

GinaC on 2/05/01 at 21:07 (038266)

Ellen,
Thank you...I did a search and found your crutch tips. I may try to alternate between crutches and a walker this time around, after using just crutches when I was in a cast. I appreciate your help and hope you are now doing well. Gina

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

marie r on 2/06/01 at 22:31 (038323)

Kay, I just had surgery and am very interested in the rollabout chair. Did you get it at a durable medical supply store? no one seem to know anything about them. thanks for sharing your story.

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

Donna Y. on 2/06/01 at 22:56 (038324)

Wow, just read Ellen's crutch tips and wish I had read them -before- my surgery. Awesome and infinitely helpful information for all of us who have to use them. Thanks so much for that wonderful post!

Donna Y.

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS: want to share tips, tricks?

Kristi on 2/11/01 at 22:32 (038717)

I just had surgery a week ago and I didn't have a special roll about chair but I did use my office chair on wheels to get around the house. I have wooden floors so it worked great getting arount the kitchen etc. My doctor wanted me to put weight on my food immediately but the pain was too great and I ended up hurting my good foot. I recommend using crutches as much as possible at first. Good luck! Kristi

Re: Surgery SURVIVORS:Ellen's crutch tips/other tips?

Martin H on 4/02/01 at hrmin (043294)

I am at day 3 at home after a Lis Franc surgery (3 pins
in my foot to replace destroyed ligaments).Am using a combo
of office chair,walker,and crutches. Having a real hassle
making sure that walk around phone is with me,having to
switch from chair to walker to crutches because of
sills between rooms that office chair won't roll over,
getting really tired half way through the day.
Could someone send me Ellen's crutch tips in the body of
an Email? I am new to this group and do not know how to
search for old messages.And am a bit internet search 'challenged'
so to speak.
THanks. Martin H.