::: my husband’s short basketball season :::

From a caregiver’s perspective

It’s nice having a friend who’s an ortho PA!

Filed under: Uncategorized — shortseason at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One of my best pals is an orthopedic PA; she is visting from another state for Thanksgiving.  She took a look at my husband on cruthces and said “whoa — you need to adjust those crutches!”  She said the height to underarm was good; but the hand grip position was too high; she suggested lowering them by two adjustment holes.  She said he should be aiming for a 20 degree angle in the arms when holding the grips.  My husband said that adjustment really helped; he feels far more in control.  He looks more in control, too.   He’s 6′2″ and those crutches looked like out-of-control albatross wings! 

She participates in achilles tendon surgeries regularly so it was interesting hearing her description of what it’s like from the surgeon’s perspective [stop here if you are squeamish!].  She said sewing the tendon together is a bit like sewing crab meat — the ruptured ends of the tendon are like ends on a string mop.  They use special stitches to hold everything together “under the hood.”  She drew a picture that looked like a long, wide, zig-zag sewing stitch running vertically down the leg.   On the outside of the leg, my husband had dark purple lines running periodically up the incision — sort of like train tracks.  She said they make those marks before they cut.  When it’s time to sew the patient back up, they use those purple lines to align the skin back in place.   When I said “really?…you need a map?!” She started to describe what the surgical site is like when it’s time to sew up the patient — she stopped when she realized it might be too graphic for the lay person.  :-o



Comment by mari

November 25, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

I saw pictures.
Yah, my Dr was a sharer! Luckily it was in black and white!

My scar is a zig zag indeed, great description.


Comment by shortseason

November 25, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

He took pictures? Did he ask if you wanted to see them or did he just thrust them under your nose? I wonder if they always take photos. When the doc spoke to my husband after surgery, he was holding a fistful of photos but he didn’t show them or offer any explanation. [I assumed they were unrelated to "our" surgery.]

My PA friend said the big zigzag stitches are under the skin. I’ve noticed from various incision photos on this site, that the outside stitchery varies quite a bit.

I just love this site — what a great idea; we have learned so much from everyone!


Comment by mari

November 25, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

No they were unrelated to my surgery.
I didn’t mind, my parents were nurses, I went to vocational nursing school.

Yeah, the way he explained it the stitches of the achilles were going to be zig-zag, the outside ones are down one side, across my heel and then down the other side.

Thank you or providing the care giver side. My family has been not so stellar with support at times.


Comment by shortseason

November 25, 2009 @ 8:48 pm

If he had to be laid up, now is a good time for us — I took an early retirement a few months ago, so have plenty of time to provide care. But, I tell ya — there are times I want to have a big POOR ME moment (and before everyone throws tomatoes, yessssss, I know he has it infinitely worse than I do!).

I’m trying to be supportive but not nagging; nurturing but not hovering. Pity we cannot round a bunch of the injurees into a house and take turns providing care!

He is not an internet guy — so I knew he would never put out or solicit info. I’m a big believer in sharing info and support!

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