ATR Post Op week 2 follow up visit

My follow up visit from surgery couldn’t come fast enough. I had to wait 16 days since my son was born at the 13 day mark. I was so curious to see my jacked up foot and ankle expecting it to be all purple and bloody, it felt like a balloon ready to burst out of the splint at least when it wasn’t elevated. Since the intense pain eventually subsided I was pretty confident I was healing up pretty well even though I spent a few days upright in the hospital and had quite a bit of pain towards the end of the day. I have even started a light upper body workout routine to try and keep some shape, doing pushups and pull-ups and core workouts and stretching throughout the day after the first week to relieve my back and hip stiffness.

Well I crutched into the follow up appointment and the nurse removed my cast and boom! Wait, no explosion, no bloody mess, no major bruising, looked just like it did two weeks ago. I was very disappointed in the lack of visual evidence of the major pain I had felt especially early on after surgery. Outside of the yellow iodine staining and the small incision on the back of my leg there wasn’t much to see. I remember sitting on the table and not knowing what to do with my vulnerable leg once the cast was off, can I set it down on the table should I leave it dangling??

The doctor came in and asked about the baby which caught me off guard, very impressed he remembered we were due. Looked at my foot, said ok throw another cast on it, and then see ya, on to the next patient. I was completely caught off guard I didn’t even get to my detailed question list which was on my phone! I was dying to find out how surgery went amongst so many other questions. I was really offended that he is not taking any time to reassure me that things were going well or at least explain how successful surgery was and how its healing and why it needs to be in a hard cast vs walking boot or anything. He was seriously like halfway out the door and I started with questions and he was just poking his head back in to reply to them with short answers, but after like the 5th question he pulled up a chair and started addressing me like the needy patient that I was! He realized I wasn’t going to stop any time soon.

Most of my questions were along the lines of returning to work and restrictions and getting a letter to get off medical leave, I asked if my workout routine would be ok, he laid out my restrictions and even mentioned I could go to the gym and do leg extensions if I wanted while also telling me I was in the protective phase and one fall could cause a re-rupture. I never thought to go that far as going to the gym yet, I don’t feel like crutching around people waiting for a machine. But, I was glad to hear I could be somewhat active.

I also asked his opinion on the hands-free crutch and he said he loves them and wished more people would use them. I still wonder why he never mentioned them before, I believe I first found out about them on a blog through this website. He must be getting paid more by knee scooter companies!

I didn’t have feeling in my toe still it hasn’t returned as he mentioned over the phone. “It will come back in time, was due to the splint cutting off a nerve but couldn’t have been from the surgery since all of the nerves for the toe run along the top of your foot” me – “ok I’ll buy that, but why hasn’t it returned now that the splint is off” OS- “oh it can take a while”

I asked about the timeline and what to expect next visit and even further down the line and he said they will make a decision to get a walking boot or recast after next visit. His original plan for me was 6-8 weeks in a hard cast NWB, then a walking boot for 6 weeks PWB then FWB as tolerated with heel wedges. But a walking boot at 4 weeks no way! that is great news. I have read a lot about early movement and the positives of this in my many online searches and feel like that would be my best approach since I don’t want my ankle joint to be unused for 6 weeks. I felt I made my surgeon decision out of urgency and didnt look into other options such as possible early movement or more active approach to healing which sounds more progrssive to me. So I was glad to hear we might be going to the boot and PT early.

I came home very hopeful of a quick recovery plus heading back to work so I can once again be a contributing member of society!

One Response to “ATR Post Op week 2 follow up visit”

  1. Hi BM,

    If you can move to a boot, do so. My splint also caused all types of issues and I had no feeling in my big toe for a week or so, but it came around. I am not sure the extent of your rupture, but the quicker\more you can move your toes and feet, the better.

    I’m sure Norm and others will also have better advice, but hang in there and be a little pushy because Ortho’s don’t offer a lot regarding recovery\rehab, just surgery.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Ron

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