Two bad nights - Over the post-surgery hump?

I’ve had two pretty bad nights in a row.

My splint is in a pretty extreme plantar-flexed position (I think the surgeon wanted to make really sure there wasn’t any strain on the tendon these first two weeks), and as you can see my foot is also pointed off to the left.

Since they put my splint on after surgery, they couldn’t ask me if I’m comfortable or not - and I’m anything but!

I already was feeling the stretch in my ankle and the top of my foot while I was on the full dosage of pain meds, and Friday night things came to a head… I started feeling a sharp pain on the right hand side of the top of my foot - imagine if someone grabbed the front of your right foot and started pushing it down and to the left - basically the portion of the foot which gets stretched when that happens was starting to feel really painful.

I ended up having to stack up my pain meds to be able to get to sleep - but for a while I was just barely staving off an anxiety attack, because the pain was nearly unbearable and I knew that there was nothing I could do about it short of removing the splint.

Fortunately, the oxycodone has a tendency to make me sleep, and when the last pill I took kicked in, I managed to drop off into a not-quite-restful sleep.

When I woke up four or five hours later, the pain had dropped off to a manageable level - I felt a little bit of numbness in my toes and the area on the foot that was sore - but other than that, I felt no more than a dull ache.

During the following day, I discovered that by changing my position I could sometimes relieve the pain a bit (although nothing seems to completely eliminate it). Every now and then, the pain still flares up. I’m planning to contact my doctor’s office on Monday (tomorrow) to see if they can do something about it.

In the “good news” department - the pain from my surgery was diminishing significantly. I would still occasionally have some pain around the incision area, but it was to the point that I decided to ┬átry to see how long I could last without pain meds.

This may have turned out to be a mistake. By the evening I started developing a migraine-like headache. I ended up taking an oxycodone around 9:15 pm and going to bed. I dozed off and woke up again around 11pm with what must have been close to the worst headache I ever had. I also felt quite nauseous (I get migraines from time to time, and it was similar to that, except worse). I ended up taking another oxycodone, and after struggling for half an hour to keep it down, managed to drop off to sleep.

Everything I’ve read about oxycodone indicates that it takes longer exposure and high doses to develop a dependency, but I’m wondering if my relatively sudden abstinence after taking the biggest dose the previous night (due to the pain in the foot) may have triggered a migraine-like episode.

In any case, I’ve decided to try to wean myself a little more slowly over the day today - I took a 5mg pill in the morning at 8:30, and plan to take two more half doses at four hour intervals and see how I feel.

If I’m ok, I’ll try stopping entirely again.

So far, I’m considerably less comfortable than I was after the previous surgery - I hope I’m getting all of the discomfort out of the way early in the process!

3 Responses to “Two bad nights - Over the post-surgery hump?”

  1. You’ve been through a lot, and post-op experiences vary a lot, even when it’s the same patient (and leg)! But I’d fight to get that cast or splint redone so your position is closer to “gravity equinus”, which is a typical (and natural = relatively painless) post-op recovery position. Also, the sooner you get into a boot (a well-fitting and well-adjusted one this time!), the sooner you can make your own tweaks and padding and such to eliminate pains.

  2. Sorry to hear about that. I experience some severe pain the first 3 days (from the extreme swelling), but was able to manage it with double doses of Loratab. After the first 5 days I was able to half the does, and by week 3 I was only taking it to sleep at night. Anyway, the first part of recovery is all about rest, elevation, and pain management. Good luck.

  3. Thanks for the words of support, guys - I have managed to schedule an appointment to have the splint looked at tomorrow.

    I also had an appointment with another doctor today to get a second opinion - I’ll write up that experience together with whatever happens at tomorrows splint appointment.

    The good news is I’ve weaned myself off the pain meds again - the discomfort is manageable even without chemical assistance.

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