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Ankle Total Ankle Replacement 9-12-19

Larryr

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Hi Jimmer,
Robyn and I are recovering from ankle replacement just one day apart last week. I have stables, having seen them when the doctor removed the soft wrap in the hospital and applied a very hard cast. My pain varies up to a 2 sometimes a 3 , but I am off prescription pain meds and just using Tylenol. I have been running a very low grade fever, about a half a degree above my norm. I wiggle my toes every so often, but it doesn’t cause pain. Maybe you wiggle too hard? Next Tuesday I hope to get the staples out after they remove the hard cast.
Good luck to you and welcome to this forum. It’s comforting to read others posts as we all progress through this adventure.
 

Jimmer

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Well its been a week, taking it very easy. movies, puzzles, and books. The pain is gone for now and have 1 more week before they take a look at the ankle. I have a hard plastic shell on bottom and back of leg wrapped in ace bandage with lots of padding. That comes off next week and they put a walking boot on. It will be nice to have something I can take off and maybe get in the shower. Hoping they start physiotherapy soon after.
 

Mike1943

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Hi Jimmer. Plastic garbage bag over your cast/boot sealed at the top onto bare skin with tape. I use pvc tape like electricians use but anything that ensures a seal will do.
Sit on a plastic chair in the shower.

Mike
 
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robyn9690

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Update: Had a follow up visit yesterday at the doctors. They removed half of the staples and put me in a hard walking boot. They also did x-rays and are very happy with the way that it looks. I can take the walking boot off at night and for showering but still no weight-bearing at this point. They also instructed me to start trying to move my ankle up-and-down. I go in next Thursday to have the other half of the staples removed. I had a lot of pain last night and I don’t know if it was due to all the activity at the doctors office or the nerves reawakening but I’m hoping that doesn’t last very much longer. I felt that my foot looked a little bit more swollen than the first time the bandage was taken off but the incision site looks less red and less swollen. But the doctors are still very happy with the way that it looks. Day by day.......
 

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Jimmer

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Robyn , I think it looks good and hope your pain gets better, one thing my doctor told me is do not rush it, it will take time. I go in next Wednesday , that will be 15 days , can not wait because I need to see the ankle and I need a change. Going out to eat with friends tonight, will be first time out of house in 10 days. Will be very careful .
 

Jamie

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Robyn, your incision looks great! Slow and easy with your recovery will get it done. Hang in there.
 

Larryr

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Robyn, I am jealous! My toe nails are boring compared to yours:happydance: Glad to see your progress and hope you have a better nights sleep tonight.
My swelling looks pretty much like yours when they removed my first hard cast and I had a good look at the wound. Still have all my stitches in.
 

Jimmer

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well I went in yesterday and they unwrapped my leg, took out stitches and took x-rays. They said every thing looked good, had a little bit that was not healed up yet but very little swelling. They put me in a cast for 4 weeks. I go back on November 6th and they said a walking boot and therapy would start. when I had every thing off I could move the ankle a little bit up and down with no pain so that made me feel good. When all this started they said to it would take time and do not rush it, so I will work on my puzzle. LOL
 

Jamie

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@Jimmer....that's the attitude that will get you a successful recovery! Sometimes it's difficult to slow our lives down for these recoveries. But in the end, it's the best way to get your life back afterwards. You are allowing your body time to heal itself and you won't regret it.

Just hope and pray there are all the puzzle pieces in the box and you're not missing a few! :heehee:
 
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robyn9690

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Update: Went yesterday and the doctor removed the other half of my staples. He placed surgical strips across the incision site. I have gauze over the incision and a compression sock. I still have the hard walking boot for when I'm out of the house. Still no weight bearing at this time but should try and move my foot up and down without straining it. My next doctor appointment is in 2 weeks. Hopefully I can start PT at that time. Was finally able to sleep last night without any stabbing pain. I think the staples were causing this discomfort. I'm also starting to get back more feeling in my foot and ankle each day. It's still a bit stiff but it's beginning to feel like a normal foot again.

Jimmer: so sorry you're in a cast for 4 weeks. Being able to take my boot off is so much more comfortable. Hang in there!!
 

Links16

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Thank you Robyn for keeping us up to date with your surgery. I myself need to go for an ankle replacement, unfortunately I live in Switzerland and they are not as experienced as in the States. If everything goes very well and you take care of your ankle have they told you how long before you need to replace it ? Average?
Anyway I wish you an excellent recovery, and you must be so happy the worst is all behind you,
Diana
 
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robyn9690

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Hi Diana,

So sorry you are needing an ankle replacement. Even though you live over in Switzerland, the type of ankle replacement I have is widely used in Europe as well. I would do more research for your location. The surgeon was unable to give me conclusive information as to how long before I would need a new replacement. I think it depends on the abuse that the replacement goes through. I believe it’s an average of around 10 to 15 years. There’s a little ball in between the replacement which can break down and be replaced without the whole total joint being done over. It took me years to make this final decision to go through with the replacement and so far I’m glad that I did. I wish you all the best but I would definitely research replacement even in Europe.
 

Mike1943

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6 weeks since operation.
Can now walk unsupported but am using the walker simply to provide me with reassurance since I am still worried about my balance. Would hate to have a fall. I know I am being over protective but my balance is not great.
Can use shoe or slipper indoors but must still use "moon" boot outdoors, I think they are worried about walking on uneven surface and/or banging ankle on something.
Have been getting physiotherapy which involves manipulating ankle. Still very stiff but will get more movement over time.
Also good to have a shower without using a plastic bag :)
Love to all, Mike
 

Jimmer

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Mike, sounds like you are doing great, just to put weight on the leg again has to be a good feeling. Hope everything keeps going good. I have 2 more weeks in a cast and then I am hoping to start putting some weight on the ankle.
 

Larryr

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Hi Mike, Jimmer and Robyn,
Nice to hear from you and how things are going. I have been reporting my progress on my thread and will continue to do so. Today is Robyn’s day as she is seeing her doctor and I know we all hope she gets great news and can start doing some therapy. I continue to work my ankle at home per doctor’s orders. I walk around the house with and without my boot. Have to say some of the stretches I do are a little painful, but I try to be careful not to overdo.
 

marieltha

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Thank you all for sharing, as there is not a lot of firsthand info about foot procedures.
 
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robyn9690

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UPDATE: 5 weeks after surgery. The doctor took x-rays and was happy with the results. He cleared me to start walking on my new ankle. I start PT next Tuesday, 2 times a week for one month. The doctor didn't give me any exercises to complete now, so I'm assuming I'll get those from the therapist. He told me to walk with the boot outside of the house, but that I could walk inside either barefoot or with slipper/tennis shoes. Since yesterday afternoon, I have walked a little bit with some discomfort in my ankle. I still wear my compression sock and find that it feels better walking with a slipper on (skeckers). Last night my ankle kept me up all night with aches and pains, so I probably did too much. I'm partially using a walker today to keep some of the weight off my ankle. Baby steps, as they say!
 

Larryr

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Hi Robyn,
As expected we are very close in our progression. I remember last week after I did my first set of exercises my ankle was very painful and I backed off the next day; it was mainly my Achilles. I walk around my house without my boot about half the time, but always wear it when I go out. It’s now the front area of my ankle that is very stiff.
interesting that your doctor wants you to start PT whereas mine told me to do PT at home. I think I would rather go to a therapist, because i am doing the two exercises my doctor told me to do , but have added others based on YouTube videos. It will be interesting to see what exercises your therapist chooses. How did you find the therapist, through your doctor?
 
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robyn9690

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Hi Larry,

Yes, I found the therapist through my doctor. He actually does therapy in their office two days a week. He does have another office location but it’s convenient that I can go to their same office. Also he will report in to my surgeon with my progress. If for some reason I have to do it more than two times a week I’ll just go to his other location. I am curious as to what Exercises he’s going to recommend. Plus how much discomfort it’s going to cause me.
My ankle is definitely stiff. And my nerves are still dead on the top of my foot. The doctor said it could take months before I have all the feeling back in my foot.
 

Larryr

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Robyn,
It’s interesting that you are experiencing no nerve feelings on top of your foot. I am experiencing nerve endings that are like small needles zapping my toes and the side of my foot. Quite annoying and at times quite a shot. I hope this goes away in time.
Today I felt better walking around the house without the boot and just in my socks.
We are all experiencing slight differences in our recoveries; which is such a great advantage of this forum to be able to know how others are doing and helping each other .
 

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