Three weeks after surgery and it’s no good

It has been three weeks since my surgery for achilles tendinitis/tendonosis, debridement and Haglund’s deformity.  I can tell you that it has been a rollercoaster of a ride too.

To begin with, I didn’t want to have the surgery.  While I was in pain with my foot, I knew that I was not prepared to handle the trauma or pain should the surgery not go as expected.  My husband talked me into going through with the surgery saying in the long run it would get better. The first week was pretty much the normal lie in bed with my foot up, though I did sit up on the couch frequently.  Not much of a bed person.  The one thing I did find strange is that the OS’s office never called to see how things were going.

The second week was the start of everything going downhill.  I went to the doctor to have the splint removed and a cast put on. Everything was ok for the first few hours and then the top of my foot began to cramp, and cramp it did!  For the next 15 hours I cramped.  I called the OS’s office to see what could be done and was told that I had cast anxiety and to more or less live with it.  I would like to believe that I know a cramp from anxiety. Someone must have decided to take pity on me, as the nurse called to say that there was nothing wrong with me, but to put my mind at ease I should come in and they would check the cast.  After showing the NP-C where the cramp was she decided to take me out of the cast and put me in a ortho boot to alleviate the pressure spot that was causing the cramps.  From that point on the pain has been excruciating at the incision site.  I read other bloggers and I am envious that they are relatively pain free.

From Thursday through Friday I had a pretty much a sleepless night due to pain.  On Saturday I started to notice that things didn’t seem right. I was having trouble with my right hand and was having issues with holding things early that morning.  By mid day it wasn’t getting any better and decided to go to the emergency room.  While checking in the nurse noticed my foot and made accommodations for me to keep my foot elevated.  Because my foot was elevated I attracted the attention of a dr who noticed that some things didn’t seem right about me.  After a quick assessment he said that he believed I had suffered a minor stroke.  With that, I was rushed away for tests.  The next thing I knew I was being admitted into ICCU.  Spent three lovely day in the hospital.  I learned that I have blood clotting problems.  It appears that my blood clots too quickly.  The neurologist said he was surprised that the OS hadn’t caught that before the surgery.  He did confirm that the minor stroke was brought on by the surgery.

On Wednesday I went back for a checkup at the OS’ office.  The stitches were removed and the Dr came in to look at the foot and to find out what happened.  He said he was putting off my pt until things were resolved with my stroke and that I would see his NP-C in a month.  When asking him about the constant pain on my heel  he said that was where the work was done and to expect it.  With that he left.  I was hoping to find out when the pain might subside rather than be left hanging with questions.  Occasionally the pain is a 4-5, but the majority of the time it is an 8-10.  With the pain keeping me from getting any quality sleep (I’m averaging 2-3 hours a night) God only knows what I’ll be like over the next three weeks. I have tried to research the information on the pain and can’t nail anything down.  Most everyone has a pretty much pain free experience.  Does this seem normal to everyone?

Please don’t think I am sissy.  I have had five c-sections, gallbladder surgery, wrist surgery, and bunion removal on both feet and so I know what kind of pain to expect, and it definitely isn’t what I am currently experiencing. I only hope it will eventually get better and not continue as is.  As for the surgery, would I do it again?  Not only no but bell no!

8 Responses to “Three weeks after surgery and it’s no good”

  1. I wouldn’t want to do that again either… geez! Would it be possible to get a second opinion from a different OS? It doesn’t sound like yours listens to your concerns, at the very least. It seems like you are in a disproportionate amount of pain, especially given that you know what kind of pain to expect post op.

  2. Hi, Janis, I haven’t thought about seeking a second opinion, but I think I will now. I know I will probably have a wait between making the appointment and actually getting in, but it may be well worth it.

    One of the things that I didn’t mention, but probably should have, was when going into the room to get my stitches removed the person who removes them asked how I was doing since being there last. When I said, “Bad,” her response was, “That’s great.” They are so programmed to hear “good” that they don’t understand what is being said when it isn’t. I don’t want to say they are so jaded that they don’t hear people anymore, but I can’t think of a better word. If you are wondering, yes, I finally did get her undivided attention.

  3. A couple of things, TBB:

    If you can, install the ATR Timeline widget, details on the Main Page, so we can see where you are, how long it’s been, etc.

    Getting Haglund’s surgery with a bone bump shaved off is bound to be more painful than normal ATR surgery, and my ATR surgery was more painful than my open heart surgery or either hernia operation. That doesn’t prove that everything is normal but there is some short term pain for long term gain here.

    If your boot is upsetting your incision or any other part of your leg, it can be adjusted or padded to fix it - big advantage over a cast!

    I assume you’re getting daily LMW Heparin shots (or a reasonable alternative) to avoid future clotting. If not you should.

  4. Hi, normofthenorth. The neurologist has put me on aspirin and Plavix to control the clotting. What an eye opener at my age. Just when you think you know your body…surprise!

    As for the pain, I guess my frustration is that I haven’t a clue on how long the pain could possibly last. No, I’m not stupid enough to think that it will fall into place within a timeline, but I would at least understand why it is lasting so long. If the doctor had said that it wasn’t unusual for it to be like that for three or four months, possibly longer, instead of saying that is where the work was done, then I would have known what to expect.

    What type of padding did you use at your incision site? I’m in a MaxFlex Rom Air Walker Boot, which is a metal bar on each side, a soft foam liner, a hinge that sets the foot at a certain degree, and a padded solid plastic bottom. The liner is what is currently rubbing against the incision causing it to hurt like the devil. I have never felt such pain in my life. I never thought my self a wimp before, but I have to say this time I am screaming WIMP with capital letters! I have been keeping an eye on the incision and it isn’t red, hot or swollen, just extremely painful. I am being to suspect a possible neuroma.

    How are you now doing since your surgery? How long ago did you have it?

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  5. My 2 ATRs were both history, ~11 & ~3 years ago, right (op) then left (non-op). But here I am, still addicted to this site!
    I think most of the non-Vaco hinged (”ROM”) boots are pretty similar, including the hinged Donjoy one I got ~11 years ago — and reused for the later part of my more recent rehab, when I wanted a hinged boot as a transition to 2 shoes, instead of the fixed AirCast my OS recommended.
    If the liner scrapes your incision, there are 2 basic solutions: (1) Make the boot fit well (snug) enough that it doesn’t move against the wound, and/or (2) protect the wound with 1 or 2 layers of SOMETHING so the liner can slide back and forth without hurting it.
    Approach #1 usually relies on the Velcro straps, though footbeds and other padding can also help. (I cut up an old cheap “ensolite” foam camping pad to pad all KINDS of things — crutch handles, footstools for kneeling, a plastic stepstool for the shower, and my boot.) If it isn’t easy to make the boot snug, it may be the wrong size. That’s a problem now, but it’ll be a bigger problem when you’re supposed to walk on it.

    For approach #2, felt can work, one or two socks can avoid friction, or a bandage (like gauze and adhesive tape) can protect the wound. The only bad part about a sock (or two) inside the boot is that putting it on and taking it off — without dorsiflexing or tightening your calf muscle — can be a challenge. One more skill that nobody’s born knowing!

  6. Day 16 Post Op
    Still doing ROM exercises twice a day. FWB walking around in the boot with no discomfort at all. My ROM has improved dramatically since my first post op appt.
    I started to incorporate elastic band exercises in my PT but still not doing much DF exercises. The guidlines really caution on not doing DF past neutral until 6 weeks even in aggressive rehab.
    Incision site is looking good but still not getting it wet for another week.
    Gonna sleep without the boot tonight!

  7. I’m so sorry to hear that! My surgeon has me taking aspirin once daily to help prevent blood clots. Was this the case for you, too, or was it not suggested until after your minor stroke?

  8. Apparently the OS didn’t test me prior to surgery. It wasn’t until after the stroke that the neurologist at the hospital tested me. His only comment was that he was surprised that the OS hadn’t tested for this prior to surgery just for this very reason. At least it has been discovered and I am now being treated.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

Leave a Reply

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-Spam Image

Powered by WP Hashcash