Banner - Hide this banner





Author Topic: OATS Knee to Ankle  (Read 69202 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline demogoat

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2008, 04:34:51 PM »
Hi Steve,

Hope you are continuing to feel better.  I appreciate your advice and am lining up my 'caretakers'.  I have been in touch with the Game Ready rep in my area and he will contact the two OSs performing my surgery.  Sounds like it has been critical for pain management for you so I hope I have the benefit of using one post op as well.

How long did your Dr. tell you you will be NWB?

Margaret

Offline Boston Steve

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2008, 06:27:04 PM »
...I have my two week post-op checkup next Monday....I will let you know their recommendations.

Offline demogoat

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2008, 09:38:16 PM »
Hey Boston Steve,

How was your appointment yesterday??

Margaret

Offline Boston Steve

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2008, 10:23:53 PM »
Hi,
I had my two-week checkup yesterday after having the OATS procedure on my talus bone. I met with the doctor's assistant and a few nurses. The first thing they did was remove my cast. My leg looks very weird, almost like it's not mine! My calf is very skinny, and my ankle and knee are still partially swollen. The nurse could tell I was resting and elavating properly because my leg was not irrtated, bruised and barely swollen. It looks like the rest and the "Game Ready" are paying off. I had an X-ray done just to make sure the screws are in place. I had three put into the area of my ankle where they broke to get to the talus bone. The true test, according to the nurse, is an MRI after six months to see if the bone healed properly. My injury could never be seen from an xray to begin with, that's why the MRI is crirtical. After the xray, they cleaned off my leg and removed my stitches from my knee and ankle. It was slightly painful. Then, they put another hard cast on. This cast is below my knee, so I have some flexibility now. This is very helpful with sleeping, especially. This cast will come off in another two weeks. So  it's NWB for another two weeks (four weeks in total). Then, I will be given the air cast, with PWB for another two weeks. Week 6 PT will start. I continue to use the Game Ready and I'm probably going to rent it for another 3-6 week period. I ventured downstairs for the first time today to spend some time with my Goddaughter. I lasted about an hour at the kitchen table playing with her and some plastic Easter eggs. Not bad! I'm down to just one "happy pill" a night just to sleep. I think this week will be the end of those for me. I'm wrapping my leg and taking a shower today or tomorrow. The sponge in the sink just isn't cutting it for me anymore. I will probably scrub my skin off...lol...

I hope this was helpful.

Boston Steve

PS: They gave me a camouflage cast. I think 25 complete strangers have complimented it so far!

Offline demogoat

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2008, 01:15:50 AM »
Hi Steve,

Sounds like a good appointment!  Thanks so much for sharing, it is so helpful.  I was beginning to worry as I have read many people are/were NWB for 12 weeks and when I look back at my notes from my last visit with the surgeon, he told me 6-7 weeks NWB.  I was also told week 6 for PT to start.

Which ankle did you have worked on?  I will be having my right ankle done and when I asked about driving, he said not for 6-7 weeks but there is a pedal one can rent so you drive with your left foot and as soon as I was off narcotics, I could drive with that.  Have you heard anything like that?  I have 3 kids (ages 3, 5, + 7) and I spend at least half my day shuttling them around to and from school, lessons, and activities.  My husband will take over duty for a little while but our bank account will be most anxious to have him return to work.

Are you to start any type of exercises with the knee now that it is out of the cast?  Sounds like it is a lot more comfortable now!  Glad you got to spend some time downstairs and playing with your goddaughter.  Were you sitting with your leg elevated while playing with plastic eggs?  Are you using a wheelchair around the house (obviously not on the stairs - I throw that in in case you have taken your happy pill already)?

Thanks for helping me figure out 2 more questions for my pre-op appointment; 1.) Game Ready and 2.) can I have a colorful cast.

Margaret

Happy resting and please

Offline Boston Steve

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2008, 01:50:42 AM »
Hi,
When I had orthoscopic drilling in the same (right) ankle last summer, I wasn't supposed to drive. After the fourth week I couldn't take it anymore, so I started driving with my left foot. It's not that hard, believe it or not. I drove all the way to DC from Boston using my left foot. That's about an 8-hr drive. I DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU DRIVE WITH YOUR LEFT FOOT, ESPECIALLY WITH KIDS. THAT'S JUST WHAT I DID. ;D

Week 3: No exercises for my knee yet. I'm just happy to bend it. No more cramps at night!

No wheel chair for me, thank you....I walked down the stairs(ten of them) using my crutches. More like hopped down, actually. I elevated my leg for around half an hour of being in a chair at the kitchen table. When I got uncomfortable, I knew it was time to go back upstairs. The exercise with your crutches is good exercise for your upper body. You want your other leg to be as strong as possible. When you get to FWB, you will rely on your other leg. Being in a wheelchair will cause your body to get weaker, in my opinion. When I went to NY to my appointment yesterday, I had to get ready, go downstairs, get in the car, get out of the car, walk about 15 steps to the elevator, walk another 40 steps throught the hospital, cross the street, enter another bldg, walk another 20 steps, take an elevator to the doctor's office, then repeat the process backwards. I could have had a wheelchair instead of walking, but I chose to walk. Sure my armpits are a little sore today, but it feels empowering to do all that after being stuck in my room horizontal for two weeks.

Kids: I'm going on week three, and it is still impossible for me to take care of myself, nevermind three kids. You need someone for at least half the day to take care of you, and a babysitter for the kids. I've been dealing with this for two years now, so my bank account feels like yours. Just think LONG TERM. If you're leg doesn't get better, you can't take care of your family and have a productive life. So as the say, "bite the bullet" for a while until you get better. Get some books and your laptop ready.
Good luck,
I hope I answered your questions.

Boston Steve


Offline Gregas

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2008, 06:09:42 PM »
Hi all,

My name is Greg, I'm 25 years old and physically fit and active, in fact I was due to join the Royal Air Force Regiment this July but sadly due to my ankle problems that dream will no longer come true :(

I did a couple of bad sprains (each ankle) in May 2006 and September 2006 playing football. They seemed to heal fine with no problems or pain until September 2007 when I started getting a dull throb in both of them when resting. The pain would always go away when exercising though and playing football. Had x-rays and MRI done in January, nothing showed except evidence of chronic ankle sprains. I used to click and crack them a lot because they were very stiff and I feel I only added to the problem and worsened the condition.

I tried physio, accupuncture, orthotic inserts, everything and finally opted for surgery 2 weeks ago saturday on my LEFT ankle. They found a large cartilage tear, only about 2-3mm thick but about 2 cm long in the talus/tibia joint cartilage. It was the only lesion and didn't damage the bone. The surgeon performed a microfracture and I've been 2 weeks NWB so far in just a bandage. I'm scared to be honest. I'm meant to start putting weight on it after this Wednesday, and I've heard most people are NWB for 4-6 weeks. Could it be because my lesion is small?

The OS also put down 'possibly ACI' on my notes which is a fairly extensive 2-stage procedure. What do you think my chances of success are for this? I'd love to get back to playing football again, I know the RAF is out of the question, but I so don't want to give up football. I know the rehab will be a good 406 months and I'm not doing any high impact activities until next year. Is OATs more successful than ACI?

The worst thing of all, I need to get the RIGHT ankle done sometime after the summer :( It's gonna be a hard year alright.

Hope everyone else is doing well.

Thanks

Greg

Offline akirka

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2008, 10:27:38 PM »
Oh my gosh Jim and Steve,

I don't mean to laugh, but your descriptions of the conversations you had with your Dr.'s were hilarious!  Well, I am 13 weeks out from OATS and feel good.  I'm barely walking but it's pretty pain free so far.  Everyone's reaction to pain is different.  I can honestly say I had little to no pain after my surgery.  I kept waiting or the 'Holy ****' moment, but it never happened.  I definitely need to count my blessings on that one!  I do though have constant burning nerve sensations where my nerves were a little tweaked.  Hopefully this will resolve in the next few months.  My Dr.'s keep saying, "We weren't anywhere near the spot that caused this numbness", but obviously they did something.  I went into surgery feeling my foot and came out with it numb.

So Jim, do you think your problems stem from rejecting the donor bone?  I had the plug taken from my knee - After all the research I did before my surgery, it seemed using your own tissue was best.  What do you think?

BostonSteve - I'm glad your recouping well and have lots of help.  I'm 13 weeks out and have just started making my own meals and housecleaning.  I can't imagine what I would have done without rides and food delivered and people to shop, clean etc....  And icing/elevation is still my best friend.  The first time I drove after 4 weeks I went straight away and got a latte.  That was a wonderful moment of freedom and normalacy.  I also HATED my cast - it was so uncomfortable.  Putting big ice bags on it helped me some, but I didn't have a Game Ready.

Abby:)

Offline Boston Steve

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2008, 11:11:46 PM »
Hi Abby,
I'm glad you're feeling better! Now I have another patient's brain to pick. So here goes:
Did you have the OATS done on your talus bone with plugs taken from your knee?

After how many weeks did you stop using crutches?

Did you start physical therapy yet?

How come you're barely walking? Thirteen weeks seems like a long time. Do you work in an office so you get to stay off your feet (just guessing)? So, are you limping around basically?

When you say burning sensation, do you mean the bottom of your foot? I've noticed the bottom of my foot tingles/feels weird.

Did your insurance pay? What kind do you have? I have BCBS and I'm fighting with them to cover while the bills keep coming? :o

Any other tips or advice would greatly be appreciated.
Thanks,

Boston Steve

P.S. Go Celtics! 1-0 in the playoffs so far.....



Offline akirka

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2008, 11:36:15 PM »
Hey Steve,

My Dr. wanted me 12 weeks no weight bearing and he wasn't kidding.  12 weeks ended last Friday and I started walking this weekend.  It was a little shock to my body .... but rapidly progressing.  I'm using one crutch today at work (office work)!  I have calluses on my hands from crutching so long ....

I'm starting PT on Wed.  I'm extremeley excited to get back in shape.  My calf is a little flabby to say the least.

The top of my foot, all my toes but the pinkie are numb and pins and needles all the time.  The bottom of my foot feels fine.

I did a ton of research on my insurance before my surgery.  I also have BCBS, but it is with the Federal Gov't which I think makes a big difference.  The research paid off and I only have to pay $300 out of $23,000.

The best tip I can give you is to do exactly what the Dr.'s tell you.  I think 12 weeks NWB was not excessive - I think it's pretty wise to really let that graft heal.  At 7 weeks I was out of the cast and told I could kneel on my knee.  I immediately went out and rented a Roller-Aid knee scooter.  Definitely not a macho-looking thing but it was a huge help to me.  I could get around way better and carry things instead of struggling with crutches.  And it really helped to get some weight-bearing going on my knee/upper leg.

Before the surgery I could not imagine laying on the couch for 3 months, but you know, now I can say my leg/body didn't mind laying around at all.  In fact, after work I would really look forward to going home and laying down.  So I would say, don't push it, listen to your body and let it heal!

Feel free to pick my brain some more!

Abby :)

Steve, I forgot to answer your first question.  Yes, I had OATS from my knee to my talus.  I had 2 plugs, one 10mm and one 8 mm grafted in and at 12 weeks are thriving very well ....
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 11:43:54 PM by akirka »

Offline demogoat

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #40 on: May 09, 2008, 05:07:55 AM »
Hey Boston Steve,

How goes your recovery???

Go Celtics!

Margaret

Offline Boston Steve

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2008, 04:20:40 PM »
Hi Margaret,
It's been six weeks since my surgery. I'm still NWB, but my foot is starting to come back to life. My foot tingles nonstop, and I'm starting to move it just a little bit. At my last appointmet they removed my cast,did another Xray, and gave me a big obnoxious boot to wear. It's very heavy and uncomfortable. They told me to wear it all day,and to only take it off only to shower or for about twenty minutes a day for a break. I've been taking it off when I'm laying in bed, though. I kept the game Ready for another three weeks and use it without the boot. When I first took off the cast I could barely tolerate the cold for more than ten minutes, but now I'm up to thirty minutes. I think it's really helping. My next appointment is on the 20th in NY. I went out yesterday with a friend for lunch, errands, coffee, etc. It was the best day I've had in a while. I think the fresh air helps my recovery also. Anyways, if you have any questions, please let me know. I hope all is well.

When is your surgery?

Boston Steve

Offline demogoat

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #42 on: May 10, 2008, 03:35:48 AM »
Hi Steve,

Great to read from you.  I thought the boot was supposed to be 'great' after the cast but it sounds like it is a real drag.  Glad your foot is coming back to life, is the nonstop tingling annoying?  How did your xray look?  Any thoughts on when you will go PWB or is it still too early to tell?

I think I have the Game Ready lined up, I will find out when I go in for a pre-op on Tuesday with one of the  surgeons.  My surgery is Monday the 19th.  I am beginning to get a bit freaked - poor planning on my part.   I am a little concerned about the appointment Tuesday.  A friend had a pre-op appointment with this Dr. last week (different surgery) and he had her take the pain meds at night at home to make sure she didn't have a bad reaction.  That sounds all fine and good but I don't have the option to take them for a 'trial run' as my husband is out of town until next Sunday.  I'll see what they have to say about that!

Was yesterday the first time you ventured out?  How did your ankle feel after?  How is your knee feeling?  Do you spend much time with your leg elevated now?  So many questions, so little time . . .

Thanks,
Margaret

Offline Boston Steve

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2008, 03:33:27 AM »
Hi Margaret,
Congrads on booking your surgery. I'm going on week 7. I finally left the house the other day for a just a few hours just to get some errands done. I had a friend take me everywhere, which was nice. I went and played poker last night for a few hours also. I need something to feed my competetive nature, plus just being out and having some conversations with people made me feel normal. About three hours is my limit before I have to come home and RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate). I rented the Game Ready until June 2, which will be exactly two months. The boot stinks, but I take it off to ice and shower. Ironically, the GR fit over the cast, but not over the boot.The xray looked the same. Three screws right throught the ankle area. Ouch! My next appt. is the 20th. I don't think i'm ready for PWB yet, but I will let the doctor give make the decision. My foot is still very sensitive/deformed/hard/stiff/purple-ish. And the blood rushes down to it making it somewhat uncomfortable after a few hours out of bed. I still spend most of my time in bed/online/icing. My knee feels strong. It still hurts a little and somewhat sore, but I think it will be 100% by the time I go to PT, if not sooner. The scar area is still a bit swollen and hot all the time. I've been icing it also, but not as constantly as the ankle area. The scar is not that bad, so you should look sleek and sexy in your heels in no time. Don't worry about the pain meds...they do their job, plus some. I only used them for about three days, then for a couple nights to sleep, and now not at all. Make sure you have some laxatives handy. You'll know what I mean after about 4-5 days without going. I hope I've answered all your questions...feel free to ask more and good luck with your surgery.
Other random pieces of advice:
1. Make sure you have everything (and I mean everything) within arm's length of your bed.....water, phone, laptop, checkbook, books, magazines, pain meds, extra pillows, etc
2. Once you start venturing out, there's no turning back. So, postpone it as long as possible. I spent a few nice days out and about, and now I'm back in my cave (room). :o
3. Load up on Vitamin C for the next few weeks. It helps with recovery.

Good Luck,

Steve

Offline demogoat

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Liked: 0
Re: OATS Knee to Ankle
« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2008, 04:09:04 AM »
Hi Steve,

Thanks for your advise and wisdom.  I bought an over the bed table for the laptop and will get my 'cave' set up this week.  It is such a help to read about your experiences and Abby's and everyone else on the boards - I have learned so much and feel that I have almost all my ducks in a row for this.   What ever did we do without the internet?   I am sure after Tuesday's appointment I will feel even better.  As if on cue, my ankle has been very painful lately even when I am lying down which is a new symptom.  I am taking advantage of Reiki and massage services at the hospital this week and the day of surgery.  How nice of them!  They also provided me with a lovely relaxation/meditation prepare for surgery cd that I have been enjoying so much that I went online and bought a few others from the series including pain management.

Please keep the wisdom, advice, do's and don'ts coming.  (I hadn't thought of the checkbook or the laxatives-thanks)  How often do you need to change the ice in the Game Ready?  Is insurance covering any of the cost of the Game Ready?  The rep told me it most likely will NOT be covered and will run $250 but I can hang onto it indefinately.

Did you win any money playing poker?

Margaret















support