First Post Op

I had my first post op appointment with the doctor on November 6, nine days after surgery. They cut my very bulky cast off (freedom!) and unwrapped my ankle to see how I was healing. The doctor said he was very pleased with how things looked. They cleaned up the wound a little bit, rewrapped my foot, and were quick to put another cast on it. I would say I only got to enjoy 20 minutes without a cast. Though at least the new cast is significantly smaller and lighter, which is really nice.

Photo Nov 06, 9 36 31 AMMy incision 9 days post op

The doctor told me that I should come back in two weeks time. At that point, I will be getting the stitches out (about 3 weeks post surgery) and hopefully moving into a boot to start partial weight bearing. I was warned that 3 weeks might be a little fast to move into the boot and that it might come after 4 weeks instead. From what I’ve read, this is a decently aggressive protocol. The goal after getting the boot is for me to walk with crutches until I’m comfortable without them.

I’m writing this 15 days post surgery and I’m feeling okay. There isn’t a lot of pain, though my foot swells and throbs just a little bit if I don’t elevate it most of the time still. I’m sticking with the crutches, though I considered a knee scooter. I’ve already been on crutches for 3.5 weeks, what’s another two at this point? I get fatigued very easily, which has been frustrating. I didn’t have much of an appetite for the week before surgery or the week after. Though it seems to be getting back to normal. Going up the steps to my apartment is very tiring and I try to avoid having to do it more than once a day, and there have been quite a few days I haven’t gone out at all.

Photo Oct 23, 8 11 20 PM The second staircase in my apartment building. Going up two flights to get home is the bane of my existence right now.

A few things I am really looking forward to, knowing that some are still far off:

*not having a cast
*not having crutches
*being able to walk up stairs
*being able to wash my foot
*being able to stand in the shower
*being able to drive again - with a right foot injury, I’m so dependent on getting rides to places or taking cabs
*wearing two shoes
*and of course getting back to my usual activities of biking, hiking, and playing soccer

5 Responses to “First Post Op”

  1. gravity Says:

    Mike. Good to see that you’re progressing well, I’m a few days ahead of you (surgery 23 Oct). Just wanted to note that while your plan is by no means at the conservative end looking at some here, it is not really aggressive either. I was moved to a boot, and directly to FWB two weeks post-op, which I believe is the standard “aggressive” protocol these days. I also had a bulky “old school” cast for the first two weeks. Good luck with the recovery!

  2. normofthenorth Says:

    The standard fast modern successful protocols — like the three at achillesblog/com/cecilia/protocols — usually go to PWB at 2 weeks, and FWB around 4. The speed seems to matter a lot for non-op outcomes (faster is generally safer and better!) and much less for post-op patients. Lots of studies linked from the Protocols and Studies page at the left of the Main Page.

  3. phillymike Says:

    @Gravity - I’ve been following your blog so far. I’m a bit jealous you got to go to the boot and FWB at two weeks. Three weeks doesn’t seem so bad though. Others on the site report being in casts for up to 6 weeks. So I might not have the most aggressive protocol, but it doesn’t seem conservative by any means. I’m a week away from getting this cast off and that’s mostly what I’ve been thinking about!

    @norm - I’ve read all about the protocols! I’m just happy to not have a protocol that has me moving out of the cast at 3 weeks and not 6 like some others.

  4. herewegoagain Says:

    I also felt a level of fatigue that was a challenge in the early weeks and seemed to need an extraordinary amount of sleep- it passes though, I guess the body just needs to focus on healing.
    Celebrate all the milestones you have listed (and more!) as they come along- All the best!

  5. derek Says:

    I found that stairs get much easier every day. I ended up switching to the fore-arm style crutches and found them to by more maneuverable and easier on the stairs. I was only on crutches for a short time, but it was well worth the extra expense.

    The fatigue and need for extra sleep seems to be normal. I know that I experienced both.

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