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My Excellent Toe Surgery Adventure - Hallux Rigidus, Plate/Screw Fusion, and Osteotomy - Page 42
It's done! Quite an adventure, I must say. I was scheduled for surgery at 8:30 am. Got there, went through paperwork, got undressed and then the doctor popped in. The hospital was supposed to sterilize the plate and screws last night and did not do it for some reason. Doc had them send it over to the surgery center to be sterilized, but said it would take three hours. So, I got dressed and went home.
Second time around I was all ready and waiting, then realized that my right hand (where the IV was) was getting numb and I had shooting nerve pain up my arm. I have nerve damage in my right arm and started worrying that the placement of the IV would make it worse. The nurse was busy doing something and the anesthesiologist offered to put in a new IV. He tried THREE times in my left hand but couldn't get it to work. Finally got it in my elbow area. The nurse kept walking by my cubicle mouthing "I'm so sorry" LOL!
By this time my blood pressure was a tad high - 215/99. I tried relaxing to bring it down, but couldn't get it below 203/88. I told the nurse to give me the pre-op sedative and it would come down! She did, and that's the last thing I remember.
I woke up in the recovery room really thirsty. My eyes wouldn't open but I needed water! The nurse said I'd been asking for water since the doc started wrapping my foot in the operating room. My throat was also very sore (still is) and I asked if I'd had general anesthesia. The nurse didn't know. Suddenly I had to pee. Nurse got me ready to go as soon as she could, but I didn't make it. How embarrassing!
I'm in my nest and I'm freezing! (It's cold here in northern Nevada) I have my ice pack on the back of my knee and I'm covered in blankets.
Pain started creeping in about 1/2 hour ago (seven hours after surgery began). Oddly, the pain is on the under right side of my foot. My toe is just starting to ache, but that other pain is ahead of it. Doc gave me Norco and the bottle says take 1-2 every 6 hours. I started with one and guess I'll see how I feel in six hours.
My husband tripped and fell right before Thanksgiving. He tore tendons in his rotator cuff. We are quite the team! Hopefully he'll be able to get my knee walker in and out of the car by the beginning of Feb. when I anticipate having my next toe fusion.
The goal in physical therapy is to strengthen my lower body to help my knee recover and to prepare me for the next surgery. Before I finish we'll discuss how soon I should return. Also when I have my right toe fused I won't be able to drive, won't be independent, and therefore, won't be out and about. I will limit uneven walking. i told my husband that we might try the new curbside pick-up at our grocery store since he hates to shop!
Happy to say that day two was not bad at all! I've been taking the Norcos every three hours and taking Aleve in between times. The prescription bottle says to take the Norco every 6 hours but the pharmacist told my honey I could take them every two. There is no way I'd make it 6 hours yet! I went four this last time.
I did get ice packs from CVS but they don't last 8 hours. Wish I'd seen those! Cindy, the nurse after my surgery told me to put the ice on the back of my knee. I guess it slows down blood flow or something? I've put it down by my ankle a few times, too. My foot is so wrapped up that no ice pack will penetrate the wrappings.
Caution: Norco has Tylenol in it. Make sure you don't exceed 4000mg of Tylenol per 24 hours (the safety recommendation was even lowered to 3000mg per day a few years back but most people still go by the old recommendation). You can get liver failure if you overdose.
Hey all. I'm glad everyone has been doing well in their surgeries and healings. I haven't been on here this past week, because it was my rough week, week 4. It wasn't for the pain, it was just the waiting. Sometimes it can wear on you a little. Now, I can start my count down for week 5. At the end of this week I finally get my stitches and pin out and can begin weight bearing walking at 25%, with the aid of crutches. Getting my stitches out after five weeks is going to be interesting, due to them be nestled in there pretty good. GrandmaC, I admire you going right back into this again. I'm afraid that I might have to experience some freedom before I have the other toe done. My right knee and shin is pretty sore from this scooter. I'll be glad to start walking.
Wow Brooke - those pics are neat. Nevada Sue, it sounds like you had some experience before your surgery. This week, at my six-week appointment, my Dr. put me in the CAM Walker. I'm to wear this for six weeks till my next appointment. Its been great to finally, after nine weeks, to walk more normally with my right foot straight in the Cam walker. The Dr. also told me to massage behind my toe because there is a lot of scar tissue - remember I had two surgeries, the original bunion surgery then the revision surgery after I broke my First Metatarsalphalangeal Joint when the Dr. had to fuse the joint because he said it was too damaged to repair. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that, and to get adjusted to the idea that I now have a fused right toe. I have noticed as I walk that the toe and foot feel swollen, so after I have walked around, I come back home and ice and elevate my foot. I also have felt what other people on this blog have mentioned - that something is under the ball of my foot. Although I was nervous, I went swimming today - the first time since the original surgery. I'm not a skier or hiker like many of you guys, but a really avid pool person. I had to be very careful not to walk on my foot at the pool - I heel walked to the pool, then swam without my foot touching the floor. It felt amazing. I'm grateful to Bob for starting this blog, and appreciate reading about all you guys' experiences - knowing that there are other people out there who are going through this is important to me.
Day three - I was feeling REALLY good so I might have overdone it just a wee bit..... I'd gotten my pain meds down to every four hours, and the next to last one was 5 hours, but I couldn't wait to take them at three hours for this past dose. My post-op instructions said to take Aleve, so I'm not worried about that. Toecutter, I was watching the Tylenol intake - I probably took 2600 mg the first 24 hours. Brooke, I love your Christmas cast! Bootstrap, I can see how boredom would set in after a month. The novelty wears off so soon. Toegal, were you in a cast all this time?
Hmm, there was so much that I wanted to say, but those drugs just kicked in and I don't know what the hell I'm doing! G'night!
Golfingqueen my thoughts and prayers will be with you on Monday!!! Really curious to hear how your cast cover works in the shower. I have been taking baths until now but tried a shower tonight. I put two plastic bags over my cast and hung it outside the tub under the shower curtain. Huge mistake!!!! Hahaha my whole bathroom floor was flooded by the time I was done washing my hair. Ugh what a mess! I just had to laugh and was grateful my cast stayed dry. No more of that! Went to a Christmas party tonight with some family and friends. It was great to get out but my leg and foot feel swollen. Time for ice and bed. Night all.
Here are "before" & "after" pix taken today.
Thanks to all for your good wishes! I've been home for about an hour. My wonderful husband fed me then dashed off to fill my Rx for pain meds. The block is already starting to wear off so I'll need those pills soon! I also had a cortisone shot in the right foot - boy did that hurt even with sedation! True to his word, I walked out in a post-op shoe - heel weight bearing only. It's clumsy and hard to balance so I pulled out a cane I had for stabilization. Actually, I can tell that I won't be on my feet much at all for a few days. I'll try the shower cover on Wednesday and give a review.
Here are "before" & "after" pix taken today.
That's the exact "shoe" I left with after my fusion.
Glad to hear you're doing well after your surgery, and the bandage looks very manageable. I was in a horrible bulky cast the first two weeks. I got around on a scooter, which saved my life since I couldn't manage crutches at all.
Hey all. Well GolfingQueen, you've been initiated into the big toe club. I hope your still doing okay. If it helps, day 2 seems to be the worse for most people with the pain, after surgery. I noticed my pain subsiding in the morning of the third day and it continued to go down from there. Brooke I'm glad you're still getting out. I hope your first day at work went well for you. Are you on a scooter or crutches there? NevadaSue, I hope your pain has subsided for good by now. How are you getting around? Crutches or scooter? Toegal, how's that cam walker working out for you, now that you've used it? I hope everybody does well in all of their stages of healing. So many different boots, casts, shoes, and walkers mentioned by everyone. Interesting.
It IS interesting how every doctor does things differently. When my dr. told me my hardware wasn't yet sterilized he said he could do the surgery with the hardware already in the surgery center, but that it would only be screws, and in his experience the recovery was more difficult (longer period of NWB) and the results weren't as good. I was happy to wait the three hours for his preferred hardware!
Today I'm down to one Norco every six hours, but my pain has not ever been completely gone. Now, at midnight, it's up there - about an 8. My Dr. only gave me 41 pills to last for 8 days so I'm now being stingy with them. The first day I took one every three hours, so that was 8 of the 41 gone in one day.
I'm only using crutches at this point. We live in a 5th wheel so the furthest I have to walk is about 20 feet. I'll just wait and see what kind of cast/boot/whatever the Dr. puts me in and go from there. I have to play for a couple of church services this month, but not for almost two weeks, and then I start rehearsals for a show in January and start teaching at the college at the end of January. We're supposed to have a bit of nice weather tomorrow so I may try and go outside for a little bit. Toegal, what's the difference between your first boot and the CAM walker?
GolfingQueen - hope day two was not too bad!
Thanks Bootstrap, my first day back wasn't too bad. We have a fairly big office and ocassionally I have to go to the courthouse a block away so the scooter is a must! It's difficult to sit at my desk and prop my foot up so I was pretty sore last night. Woke up a few times with some pains in my toe that I haven't felt in weeks. I'm guessing it's just a result of some swelling. I probably should have came back last week and started with half days. Live and learn! Hope everyone is doing well!!!
I just had big toe fusion surgery on Nov. 20th. I would like to ask you several questions. I have a camwalker boot and have been able to walk with the boot on since surgery but mostly I elevate and try to stay off of my foot.
I had big toe fusion surgery on Nov.20th. I walked after surgery in a camwalker boot and felt pretty good week 1. I will see the DR tomorrow for xrays. Recently I have had pain right under the surgery area where the stitches are and wonder if did too much walking too soon. How are you feeling?
- My Excellent Toe Surgery Adventure - Hallux Rigidus, Plate/Screw Fusion, and Osteotomy
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