The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: Mimi_R on November 04, 2004, 05:19:17 PM

Title: Am having a Fulkerson Osteotomy, please help.
Post by: Mimi_R on November 04, 2004, 05:19:17 PM
Hi there,
I am having a Fulkerson Osteotomy in 10 days and after reading a great deal about it along with peoples' comments, I can't tell if I need to take 2 weeks off from work or alot more. I also live alone, should I plan on having someone come and visit daily to help or what? What kind of pain should I expect? Do I need to ice a lot? Does this surgery work? I'm an avid cyclist, yogi, runner, etc and can't run anymore and having increasing difficulty riding and doing yoga. I have plans to bike the French Alps this summer, my doctor says this is possible. How long should I really plan on not being able to do these activities?
Your thoughts are appreciated. Mimi
Title: Re: Am having a Fulkerson Osteotomy, please help.
Post by: goose on November 04, 2004, 07:50:27 PM
Hi Mimi,

I'm scheduled to have my Fulkerson in 7 days.  I can at least share with you what I have learned and what I am preparing for from this board.

In terms of pain, I've been told it is not pleasant, but everyone's tolerance is different. With my lateral releases I only needed pain meds at night. There was a survey going around in the pre-op diary section (poster was atsoccergirl I think) that had a lot of info. Most people rated their pain between a 5-10, and some even had nausea along with the pain and meds for that as well.  Ice is essential as is elevation.

I think it would be wise to have someone around for at least the first few days.  You will be in hinged brace with your leg ram-rod straight. It's going to be trickey to learn to get around.  I do have help for when I have mine. I'm also planning on living downstairs for awhile. Don't want to deal with stairs.

In terms of going back to work, it is now unreasonable to think you can return in a weeks time, that is according to my OS. However, I will be banned from driving for at least three weeks (or until I can flex my leg a bit). My boss is the one making me take two weeks off, which seems more sensible.

I have found positive things in my research.   The surgery is about 70% (maybe higher) successful and most folks I've talked to would do it again if they had to.  I'm an advid hiker and since I teach environmental education I need to be mobile and I am confident that the outcome will be positive.

Surf around the board a lot. You will find so much information, hints and tips to get  you through this!  Good luck and belive me I will be thinking about you.

Title: Re: Am having a Fulkerson Osteotomy, please help.
Post by: Macrs7 on November 05, 2004, 12:24:29 AM
I had aFulkeson's osteotomy done 2 weeks ago. The first couple of days were the worst. I have been just using motrin for the swelling. I have been non weigthbearing for 2 weeks and I have 2 more weeks to go. So I have been off for 2 weeks and will be off for at least 2 more. I work on my feet all day and in a hospital so it is not feasible for me to go back to work. As for help, I would definitley get some. The first couple of days, all I could do was go to the bathroom and then I was wiped out. Hopping on one foot is very tiring. How much weight are you going to be able to put on it? Ice is essential as is keeping your leg up. Ice is what got me through. If you have steps, I would recommend you either go on your butt or have someone with you. The first two weeks have been rough due to being non weight bearing. if you are allowed to put weight on it you should do better than me.

Any other ?'s just message me. I am on off and on all day

Title: Re: Am having a Fulkerson Osteotomy, please help.
Post by: mainegal on November 05, 2004, 01:29:49 AM
   Plan on taking two weeks off with the option of extending it if you don't feel up to returning to work. It is hard to predict how you'll feel. I didn't sleep through the night till week 4.

   I also live alone, so my mom came out for the first few days. I wouldn't have survived without her help. She cooked and cleaned my apartment. Being a mom, she made sure I was eating solid healthy food instead of microwave meals. With the brace and crutches, I wouldn't have even been able to carry food around. So find people who can hang out with you for the first few days. By week two I could do somethings alone but not everything. I couldn't get into the shower alone until late week 3 as I couldn't lift my leg over the tub ledge.

   I can't say much on pain as I have a sickly high pain tolerance. I was on pain meds for the first week and haven't taken a thing since.  You'll want to ice regularly. A lot of people espouse the benefits of PolarCare which is a machine that can keep the knee "iced" for hours. I just used ice out of the freezer and some gel packs. Couldn't make my own ice for a whiel either.

   I had surgery on August 31st and am in PT. Still healing and use one crutch. I am going into a new brace as soon as I get fitted. Some success stories are on here. My OS says there is no reason why I won't be running and hiking in the spring.

   Good luck with the surgery...

Title: Re: Am having a Fulkerson Osteotomy, please help.
Post by: Mimi_R on November 05, 2004, 09:21:33 AM
Thanks everyone for responding. I'm so mixed about doing this surgery, it sounds so scary and the recovery sounds longer than my OS said.  
Can I realistically expect to be back at work in 3 weeks?
How long are people on 2 crutches and when do you move to one and then none?
When can you start back to normal exercise? My doctor said I would be well enough to cycle in Feb and be able to ride the Alps in June? Is this realistic?

I see everyone mentioning how great 'breakaway' pants, what are these?
Will I be in this brace all the time?
Do your clothes go underneath?

What clothes should I bring/wear to the hospital? What should I plan on wearing?
Doctors don't focus on these details.
When will I start PT?
Is there a large scar?
Does your leg look strange after it's healed?

I'm sorry for all of these questions but there's so much to figure out.

I'm still learning how to use this site so I should be posting somewhere else, please let me know.
Thank you all so much! Mimi ::)  ;D
Title: Re: Am having a Fulkerson Osteotomy, please help.
Post by: mainegal on November 05, 2004, 01:53:30 PM
   Yes you will be wearing a brace all the time for a while. You should plan on wearing pants that fit over the brace. Wearing breakaways to surgery was the best thing I did. They were super easy to get into post-op.

  Scar size depends on your OS. I have pictures from my knee surgery at . My largest scar is about 3 inches long. I have seen longer scars for the same surgery.

   I was on crutches for 3 weeks, then no crutches for almost 5 weeks, then onto one crutch for 3 weeks. I wore my brace for almost 9 weeks. I'll be going into a new brace soon.

  I didn't start PT till week 8, but some start PT much earlier. You really need to ask your OS what his specific rehab process is as it changes from doc to doc.

  In the Patello-femoral section, there is a thread called TTT Recovery. It is probably on page 3 or 4 now, but you find a bunch of different recoveries. It might emphasis how much the recovery differs from OS to OS and country to country.

  You can be back to work by week 3, but you will probably still be wearing a leg brace and using crutches. What kind of job to do you do? I modified mine so I sit at a desk 95% of the day. I still can't do my normal running between buildings and being on my feet all day - the leg gets sore quickly.

   As for normal exercise, it is all going to depend on how your knee heals. You definately don't want to rush it after a surgery as major as this. If you don't make this summer, you always have next summer. It is not worth messing up the knee more post-op.. especially after you go through the recovery. Yes, people have recovered by the three month mark and others take longer. Keep your plan on cycling but just be aware in February you may need to readjust your schedule.

  Good luck. I really recommend you call your OS and ask him to talk with you more about the recovery. You should know more about your brace and crutches before going in. If he won't tell you, ask his nurse. My OS and I discussed all your questions and a few others before surgery. He answered even my most silly questions. (I was trying to get him to laugh and it worked)

   IM me if you want more info. My post-op diary is 8/31/04 TTT & LR.


Title: Re: Am having a Fulkerson Osteotomy, please help.
Post by: Leentje on November 05, 2004, 11:50:12 PM

Here are my pics

Recover does differ a lot. When I look at mine you'll definately be able to ride the French alps in June (can i come too?? :D)! Also so says your OS. What did he tell you about your post-op protocol? I was on crutches 3 weeks (in cast!) and then wheened of them within 2 days! I also live alone and i stayed with my parents for 5 weeks but I wouldn't do that again if I had my other knee done (TTT), I would ask someone to pop in once and again everyday to see if I needed anything. But that's me! I had an easy recovery compared to most of the posters here (I think) and am active again (lucky me!).

And last but not least : try to get as much information as you can but stay calm!!  It's easier said than done but don't worry too much! I never had break away pants and I certainly won't buy those for any other knee surgery in my life! But that's my thought on things! Just relax, think clearly, read everything and trust your OS. And ask him all question suggested here!!!!!

Good luck!!

Helena ;)