May 26, 2015 - First Post-Op Visit (6 days after surgery)

I didn’t know what to expect at my first post-op visit, six days after my ATR repair surgery.  I was doing well, non-weight bearing. I just stayed home and moved as little as possible, keeping my leg well elevated all week.

At the orthopedic surgeon’s office, we were greeted by Tori, who has the title "physician extender" - she is a certified athletic trainer who works with the surgeon helping with exams, arranging the surgery schedule, and assisting with durable medical equipment.  Tori put me face down on the table and removed the plaster and the splint and bandages and exposed my ankle for the first time since my surgery day. Dr. Kartelian came in and said hello, he said that the stitches looked fine - clean and dry and not swollen, and he announced that he was putting me back in the boot, with heel lifts. He did the Thompson test and everything was working fine (a “negative” result from the test)  He also had Tori order me a set of vaso pumps to prevent blood clots.  These are like blood pressure cuffs that go on your lower legs and inflate and deflate to move blood and prevent blood clots.

So my instructions for the following week were no weight bearing, stay in the boot except 3 times a day use the pumps for about a half hour, elevate as much as possible, use ice, keep the wound dry.  They left the stitches in and covered the stitches with a bandage and some flexible adhesive tape which wrapped around my ankle a couple of times.  I was thrilled to be going back into the boot after just 6 days!  I would have to wear the boot all the time, including in bed, but again, I could take it off to ice and to use the vaso pumps.  My next appointment would be in another week, and hopefully my stitches would come out then.  I have posted a photo of my stitches 6 days after surgery,Stitches at 6 days post-op