Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My 500 Words: Day 22 - Peroneal Tendon Surgery: Weeks 5 & 6

I am currently in between weeks five and six of the post-op period since having my peroneal tendon repair surgery.  I haven't really updated much lately about that specifically, so I thought I'd share a bit about that today.

Just to give you a bit of the history, I injured my ankle on September 8, 2013.  I don't have an exciting story at all.  I simply got up off the couch, took a couple steps, rolled over on my ankle, heard a very loud pop, fell, passed out, and then wound up in the ER.  I was diagnosed with a bad sprain - a grade 1 to 1.5 sprain is what the doctor said.  A grade 3 is the worst.  On the advice of a good friend who was going through similar issues with her foot, I made an appointment with her Orthopaedic Surgeon just to be sure it wasn't anything worse.  I saw him on September 16th.  My foot was re-x-rayed and it was determined that it was, in fact, a grade 3 sprain.

At this stage, you'd have thought we were on the right track and it was all a matter of getting in to physical therapy and allow for time to heal properly.  I started PT, but on September 30th, I wound up in the ER again, this time with a massive pulmonary embolism.  The likelihood of blood clots stemming from the ankle injury seemed remote.  The injury was bad, but not that bad that it should have caused something as serious as a life-threatening pulmonary embolism!  Once I was discharged from the hospital, I contacted the Orthopaedic Surgeon to bring him up to speed on what was going on.  He was shocked.  I hadn't broken a large bone.  I hadn't had surgery.  It was so bizarre that this happened.  Apart from that, he asked me how my ankle was healing prior to that event.  When I shared where I was at in terms of my progress, he wasn't overly impressed.  He felt that I should be further along in my progress.  He decided to order an MRI to make sure there wasn't anything else going on.

I had the MRI on my ankle on October 16th and followed up with the Orthopaedic Surgeon on October 30th.  I was hoping, since I hadn't heard anything after the MRI, that no news was good news.  I was wrong.  I found out pretty quickly that I had a torn peroneal tendon.  It's the tendon that runs up the side of your ankle on the outside of the ankle.  Those don't really heal themselves, so surgery was necessary.  I had the tendon repaired and ligaments of my ankle tightened on December 12th.

So now, as I sit here writing this, I am a day away from being 6 weeks post-op.  After surgery, I was in a horribly bulky and heavy cast for a couple weeks.  It came off on December 27th.  I was so happy to get rid of that thing!  I got to see the nasty looking incision for the first time.  It ran several inches long as it curved around the ankle bone.  The nurse examined everything and gave me instructions to remain non-weight bearing until my follow up with the doctor.  I was put back in the walking boot which I had been in prior to surgery.  I was told to keep it on even when sleeping. 

On January 8th, I returned to see the nurse.  She removed the 10 or so stitches and put steri-strips over the incision.  Where the skin had been bulging along the incision line, it was now beginning to calm down and look a little less nasty.  She was very pleased with how things were looking and again reminded me to not put any weight on my foot just yet.

On January 15th, I had my follow up with the Orthopaedic Surgeon.  He removed the steri-strips.  I could not believe the difference in how the incision looked.  In just a week's time, the remaining skin that was bulging out along the incision had gone down completely.  The doctor was very pleased with everything.  I was told that I could start walking, using the crutches for assistance.  I was also told that in two weeks' time, I could stop wearing the boot at night.  Two weeks after that, I could look forward to getting rid of the boot in favor of an ankle brace.

As I sit here nearly a week later, I can tell you that I have been walking with the crutches since that appointment.  I began putting weight on that foot as soon as he said I could.  Not a lot of weight, but some.  I even started taking a couple steps without crutches - in the bathroom, where there is plenty to hang on to and space to move is limited.  Yesterday I got brave.  I went to the kitchen using only one crutch and while I was in there, I decided to get something across the room and left my crutch aside.  I made it!!  I have been walking crutch-free since then!!

I will say this - my foot HURTS!  I am still taking pain killers periodically.  It hurts all the time.  It's not nearly as bad as it was, but it hurts.  I'm not going to lie!  Putting weight on that foot feels very strange.  My foot is still swollen, so that just makes it feel weird when I put any weight on that foot.  Additionally, there is some nerve damage.  There are several areas on on my foot that do not have proper sensation right now.  Also very weird.  The more weight I put on my foot, the more pain I experience.  I've also had more swelling.  My foot isn't used to this!  All I know is that all of this is a giant step in the right direction!  I can live with the pain if it means I'm getting closer to recovery.

One day at a time...

{if you're counting - that was 1,002 words for my twenty-second My 500 Words post, for a total of 18,196 this month!}
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