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ankle Had a ankle fusion yesterday and in agony

Discussion in 'Other Joints Forum' started by Saddened, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Saddened

    Saddened new member
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    I had surgery yesterday on my ankle. Due to degenerative bone disease at the young age of 47 I was left no other option. I knew about it 13 years ago when I was going to physical therapy for a torn tendon but kept the pain at bay using pain medicine. I didn't need it every day so my primary doctor would give me a prescription like every 4 months. This was a 5 mg vicoprofen so half was ibuprofen. They worked great for only when my pain was really bad. I remember when I went back to see her for this other issue she wouldn't give me anything for the pain.

    So the next thing I know is I'm getting a call from some pain management facility. I never answered or called them back. Some people may think that was a bad move on my part but I was very offended by her referring me without my saying I wanted or agreed to that. I remember saying to the Dr that I didn't have such unmanageable pain yet to have to go to PM and then having no choice but to take them otherwise you'll no longer be able to get the meds you need.

    I didn't get it. You my Dr, won't or can't give them to me anymore so you "pass the buck" onto pain management. I didn't feel like I needed it at that point so I just lived with the pain.

    And so now getting to the point of all my back story babble, like I said I had surgery just yesterday and they sent me home when the nerve block was just starting to go away and on the way home the pain was starting. And they were giving me a 5mg oxycodone every 3 hours starting right after surgery. All it did was make me sleepy and nauseated because I didn't need it at that point as I had no pain for literally 25 hours. Their explanation was to get them into me to start a baseline or something like that.

    So when they discharged me the RN was going over my post op instructions and when we got to the meds part it kinda made me lol but not in a good way. I said to her why is he only giving me the same 5mg pills that I know aren't gonna touch the level of pain I'm in. And now I'm only supposed to take one every 6 hours. And I don't like having to take pills and I certainly don't take them for recreation and now because of some negligent doctors and the opioid epidemic.

    I'm afraid to ask for something stronger even though I need something stronger. So I wanna ask him but I'm afraid that he'll red flag me just because he's held accountable now. But he's not in my foot. I mean everyone's threshold for pain is different. I can't handle pain well. I also know that I won't get addicted to them because I don't like them. Addiction and dependence are very different.

    So I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to say by talking it out. How would you ask the doctor who doesn't even wanna give you pain meds?

    I think it sucks that I'm lying here venting this to hopefully someone who feels the same way. I shouldn't have to suffer due to the opioid epidemic that was created by the doctors that over prescribe pills to people who do abuse them. And like I said they just hand you off to some pain management clinic where people can really abuse them or get rich selling them.

    I only say that because when an acquaintance overheard me talking about how mad I was about the unauthorized referral he said you should go. You can make a lot of money selling them. And the first thing that popped into my head was oh yay. I now have to have the drug in my system even if I'm not in pain and sell them to make a lot of extra money.

    I can't imagine a life or even a day in prison doing a really dumb illegal thing like slinging pills and being like a puddle with eyes just to get them. I can control my own intake and I've never had to be weaned off any pills. It's not fair to us honest non addictive people who suffer in pain
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  2. bottomshollow

    bottomshollow ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

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    View attachment 61673 @Saddened, from the Joint Replacement in the Media forum into the Other Joint Replacement forum where you and your questions and concerns will receive the attention they deserve.

    Please continue to post in this thread so we have a continuous history of your recovery which makes it easier for us to assist you.

    We are here to help in any way we can: answering questions and concerns; supporting and encouraging you from start to finish; giving you a place to vent, whine, complain if you need to; sharing experiences with one another; and having fun and some laughs along the way.

    Take care and keep us posted. We care.
     
  3. Saddened

    Saddened new member
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    Thanks for moving me to where I belong. I thought I was on the other joints forum. I'm a first timer venting like this online
     
  4. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    @Saddened It is a very sad state when people who really need pain management following major surgery can't get it. I would sit down with your doc and have a very frank conversation - just as you have written in your post. You don't like taking medication but you need it to increase your mobility and get past this early stage post op pain. This isn't some chronic that requires a Pain Management consultation. It's temporary and will ease as you heal.

    Are you icing your ankle and elevating it? Ice is a natural pain killer.
     
  5. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Saddened,
    Welcome to BoneSmart, glad you joined us!
    You are not alone in your difficulty in obtaining appropriate pain medication after a major surgery.
    There are some very good pain clinics, the challenge for everyone is finding the right one.
    Jaycey has good advice for talking to your surgeon, better have a talk with the surgeon. Nothing will happen if you do not talk to them. You may want to print your post to use to start the conversation, updating it to fit the situation.

    @Celle has a bum ankle and may be able to advise.

    Give the surgeons office a call and tell them your pain levels, hopefully they will increase your dose in the early days, as they should. Swelling and stiffness are symptoms of pain, be sure to tell them about all your symptoms.

    You may want to add up the amount of tylenol in your pain medication, and be sure you are taking the maximum daily dose of 4000 mg.

    I am going to leave you the knee recovery guidelines, many will apply to your ankle.

    Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
    1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
    2. Control discomfort:
    rest
    elevate
    ice
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
    don't overwork.
    3. Do what you want to do BUT
    a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
    b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.
    4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
    5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

    The Recovery articles:
    The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
    Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
    Energy drain for TKRs

    Elevation is the key
    Ice to control pain and swelling
    Heel slides and how to do them properly

    Chart representation of TKR recovery
    Healing: how long does it take?
    Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
    Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

    There are also some cautionary articles here
    Myth busting: no pain, no gain
    Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
    Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds


    We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery. While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
     
  6. sistersinhim

    sistersinhim FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I had a spiral break in my fibula ankle bone in May. They are no fun! I hope you can get some relief for this pain of yours. It's a shame that people who really need the strong meds can't get them without jumping through hoops. Yet, the druggies can get them right off the streets, probably. Please explain to you OS exactly how you feel.
     
  7. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello @Saddened
    I'm sorry you are in so much pain. I agree with Jaycey and Pumpkln that you need to have a frank talk with your surgeon. You need adequate pain medication now and as you heal you will need less.
    As you say, you're not likely to become addicted.
    Many of the pain medications cause nausea, but there's no need to suffer that. Ask to have something like Zofran prescribed, to take away the nausea.

    Also, the strong narcotics usually cause constipation. This article suggest some ways of helping with that.
    Constipation and stool softeners
    If they don't work, you may need to take an aperient - I know that I did.

    As Pumpkln said, I do have a bad ankle. The cause for me is osteoarthritis. At the moment, I am deferring surgery, and dealing with it by icing and taking Tylenol.
    Ice is a great pain reliever and you can ice for long periods, as long as you have something like a dish towel between the icing medium and your skin.

    I do hope that you can get your medications sorted out, so that your pain decreases. Keeping the pain under control is an important part of recovery.
    If your surgeon isn't helpful, we have found that some people get more help from their own doctor (PCP/GP) who can prescribe Tramadol, which you take in combination with Tylenol.
     
  8. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    Oh my gosh! You're between a rock and a hard place, aren't you? We don't have that problem in the UK (yet!) so I can't really relate. But my heart goes out to you.
     
  9. Steve4kids

    Steve4kids member

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    You will not die so that's ok if your life is hell, as long as they are not libel

    Sad situation for us who need the medication, they are the ones who created it by over prescribing and flooding the country with this.

    We are the hidden victims that no one cares about. I hope your pain will diminish. Don't be afraid to ask. I mean your screwed anyway. Maybe he might toss you a bone , keep asking because it hurts.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2017

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