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Author Topic: Having Fulkerson in three weeks have some questions, please help!!!  (Read 1001 times)

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Offline missykn

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I am having the Fulkerson procedure on Feb 16th.  They are doing as out patient possiblility of inpatient.  I am a little nervous since I live an hour away from the hospital in a rural community with no pharmacy open late.  Should I ask that they keep me?  Also, it maybe silly but does the brace go over your clothing or not.  I am trying to prepare and purchase some clothing that would work after my surgery.  My husband will be able to be home with me for Friday and the weekend but has to fly out on Monday.  I have four children who are 14 - 8 will I need additional help?  I also have two foster children, but they will be leaving as I could not take care of the baby on crutches.  I very nervous, I am scared it will not help and I will have less mobility.  I am just trying to prepare and hope I am covering everything.  I homeschool so I have been preparing my lesson plans ahead.  Any suggetions of what to expect will be appreciated.  I really haven't had a ton of information from my doctor.  I do work at the hospital where my procedure is being done in the same department and I am very confident in my surgeon.  Help please!!  How long before people were able to get around and how long were you all actually on crutches, I have heard many different time frames.  Thanks!
2/16/06 Fulkerson, LR and scar tissue removal

Offline Doc79316

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Re: Having Fulkerson in three weeks have some questions, please help!!!
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2006, 05:06:21 PM »
Hi Missykn,

Usually with the TTT procedure you may stay in hospital for a night or two, but it's up to how you feel after surgery and if your OS is willing to allow you home. You may have to prove you can get around on crutches before they'll discharge you. I found that if I could prove that I could go to the bathroom by myself, then hospital staff would allow me to go home.
You may be on crutches for 6-8 weeks but it's not all bad. Depending upon your OS you may be either partial weight bearing or non-weight bearing.
After my Fulkerson procedure The knee brace I had could be worn over or below clothing. I found that if I wore it over the top of my clothes, it seems to move around. It's best I think if you wear it under your clothes. You could try getting some baggy jog pants or track suit bottoms with side press studs for easy access and ease.
You shouldn't need any additional help. I have a 17 month old son and I cope with him mostly by myself - regardless of what surgery I've had. If your 14 year old is willing to help you out a little then you shouldn't have any problems at all. Make use of your husband whilst he's at home but at the same time make sure you do things for yourself to if you feel you can. it's very easy to slip into a rut of allowing others to do everything for you.
This type of surgery is generally very successful and you don't need to be nervous - easier said than done though!
I'd suggest you stock up on food that's either very easy to prepare/cook as you'd be ebtter if you didn't stand for long periods having to cook a large dinner for everyone.
How you cope and how you feel after the surgery is unique to you. Everyone is different and heals differently with different recovery times. For me personally I started physio 10 days after my TTT surgery. Even though I waspartial weight bearing I regained some flexibility quite quickly. Then all I had to do was work on the muscle strngth once I was fully weight bearing again.
Hope this helps. Keep us posted on how it all goes and good luck.


Left knee surgery
13/08/03-Fulkerson TTT
05/06/05-Stabilisation & Medialisation/Tendon Transfer
13/01/06-Proximal Hamstring Superior Stabilisation
06/03/06-RSD/CRPS diagnosed
20/07/06 + 03/04/07-Excision of scar tissue
02/03/20-Left transfemoral amputation

Offline Leentje

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Re: Having Fulkerson in three weeks have some questions, please help!!!
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2006, 05:11:16 PM »
Hi Missykn!!

First of all take a deep breath and relax!!!

Secondly do a big research here on the boards becasue you'll find many people on here who had a TTT. And READ!!

I had a TTT 3.5 years ago which was very succesfull. It spent the night in hospital but next time I won't ;). I was in cast and on crutches for 3 weeks partially weightbearing. After that I was full weightbearing and had 3 weeks of PT. It took me 8 weeks to walk normally again without limping and 12 weeks after the surgery I returned to work (I am a nurse working on ortho FT with the OS who did surgery on me!)

Initially my OS told me I would be out much longer, but it seemed I did so well and recevered so good I was ahead on schedule.

As for your questions...
  • If you are on crutches you basically can't carry anything, keep that in mind ;)
  • I was in a cast so it had to fit under my clothes. I mostly wore shorts which I could eeasily fit over them (and I am not the thinnest person ;) ::))
  • If you are in a brace it depends on what brace you're having. Most can be worn under your clothes, some are bulcky. Buying some wide training pants won't be such a bad idea.
  • If you are alone with the kids... who will be cooking? You won't be able to stand up for hours so you might need some help...
  • Be sure you have lots of books and CDs in the house ;)
  • Take away rough carpets... you don't want to fall over ;)
  • About the ride... i live 5 minutes away from the hospital but I went to stay with my parents afterwards, and that is a 30' ride. With stops as my dad needed to get some stuff from the shops. No problem. I was in the front seat. You might use the back seat if you think the front seat might be too tricky.
  • Can't you get some painkillers already, some who don't need a prescription? Or ask your OS to already prscribe you something...

However if I have the other knee TTT done I won't go and stay with my parents again. I would stay home alone with my BF.
For any other questions please read the boards and I am sure other people will respond to!

Good luck preparing!

« Last Edit: January 24, 2006, 05:13:51 PM by Helena KTF »
Bilat patellar malalignment/PFdysplasia
00/06/83 L wrist #
11/12/00 L knee LR + chondroplasty
21/08/02 L knee TTT
02/03/04 L knee stretched PCL
11/09/07 L ankle dislocation/medial avulsion #
25/05/09 L ankle medial avulsion # AGAIN!
05/06/13 R ankle dislocation

Offline missykn

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Re: Having Fulkerson in three weeks have some questions, please help!!!
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2006, 05:21:07 PM »
Thank you!!  I do need to relax, my husband has been telling me this also.  I really appreciate all of your advice.  It's nice to hear you all healed faster than the doctor said.  That is my goal to start working hard right away.  I am not one to sit or let others do things.  And yes, my children are wonderful and my oldest daughter if very helpful in the kitchen.  We have been cooking up some bulk recipes so it will be easy for her to help with dinner.  Hopefully time will go fast, because one day I am going to follow through with the surgery, the next day I am going to cancel.  It's more to do with just running the household and were moving in a few months, but I know I need to get it done.  He wants to do my left knee this year also.
2/16/06 Fulkerson, LR and scar tissue removal

Offline kendra

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Life on crutches
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2006, 06:30:26 PM »
Easy Mac saved my life.  If you make it in a coffee mug or a deep bowl with a handle its easy to transport.  Frozen cheesesticks and pizzas were also vital.

I found it easiest to sit in the back seat with my back to the door and the operated leg on the inside (by the seat back) so I could stablize myself with my good leg if need be.  Ask the driver to try to avoid potholes and quick stops.

A shower bench is essential, it's the safest way to shower when you can't stand on 2 feet.  I wash my hair in the sink everyday or so and shower once a week since it's is such a pain.

I started out with putting pants on top because I wasn't allowed to take the brace off at first, which meant I was wearing BAGGY sweatpants and flannels.  I found the brace to be overly warm with all the other padding/dressing they put inside so I ended up cropping the one pant leg.  Once I could remove the brace to dress I found that black stretch pants under the brace worked great.  They're soft, comfertable, stretchy, breathable (impt when you're wearing that suffocating brace) and I can almost pull them off as "dress pants" at work.  I got 2 pairs at Target for $20 and have been wearing them nonstop.  They'll make great work out pants later.

Shoes and socks are hard to put on - I'm still not allowed to bend my knee so my back and hamstrings have gotten really flexible.  Slip on shoes are a must for me.  Stretchy ankle socks are the easiest for me to put on.  I'd recommend getting a few pairs of those socks with grippies on the bottom if you have any non-carpeted floors so you don't slip.

It is possible to carry small objects short distances (such as a plate or coffee mug - travel mugs with spill proof tops and a handle work best) by grabbing the crutch handle with the bottom of your palm and pinky and ring fingers, the object with your other 3 fingers, and squeezing the top of the crutch tightly a couple inches down from your armpit (if you get it in the armpit it can hurt some nerves).  Moving then goes - begin moving crutch in free hand forward, follow by pushing other crutch out with your hip, and follow through with a small step-hop.  I also keep a small backpack handy for objects that can go in there.  And I found you can carry around socks and small books by strapping them into the top strap on your brace

Try to get everything you need on one floor if you live in a multi-story home.  I turned part of one room into an easy access storage area.  Set up some "sit stations" around the house where you can sit with your leg elevated and conduct school, help with dressing, whatever you need to do.  Maybe you could set up hampers near the laundry room and teach your kids how to put their clothes IN the hamper.  I found it easiest to chop fruit/veggies while sitting with a large cutting board on your lap.

Try a few dry runs with getting the kids through the day before the actual surgery so you both can figure out what works and what needs work.  Pretend you're on crutches and on pain meds and likely still in pain (meaning you won't be doing much standing).  You'll be able to find out if you need extra help that way too.

Good luck and thanks for being a foster parent -
11/6/05 Grade 3 tear PCL/MCL in horse accident, tore both menisci
12/15/05 PCL/MCL recons, menisci fixed
3/28/06 Finally over the hump in rehab, things are lookin' good!

Offline jerman710

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Re: Having Fulkerson in three weeks have some questions, please help!!!
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2006, 07:31:04 PM »

    In the post-op diary section there are several diarys from people who have had Fulkerson's done. The one's that I found most useful were Tangerine's and erikadc's. They both had it done and have documented their recoveries really well. My sister-in-law just had microfracture surgery and she has a wheelchair and that helps her get around a little better and also reduces the risk of her falling. It makes it easier to carry plates of food and drinks without spilling them as well. You could get one with elevating legrests and then your knee wouldn't be hanging down as much.

     I have a Fulkerson scheduled for my right knee on 2-15 and it will be outpatient. The doc is putting a pain buster in for pain control. Its a small catheter that goes into the surgery site and dispenses a numbing medicine every so often for 2-3 days.

     One other thing you might need (according to others that have posted) is a stool to put in front of the toilet in the bathroom to prop your leg up on while in there.

     After we have surgery we'll have to compare recoveries.

Take care
43 yrs old
6/21/05 arthroscopy rt knee meniscus tear
10/5/05 2nd arthroscopy rt knee another meniscus tear
2/15/06 Fulkerson, LR, debridement and yet another menscal tear Rt knee
10/18/06 microfracture right knee
10/23/09 debridement right knee
6/16/10 PFJR right knee scheduled

Offline missykn

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Re: Having Fulkerson in three weeks have some questions, please help!!!
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2006, 08:15:22 PM »
Jermin we will have to keep up after our procedures.  I am praying for a fast recovery.  I think I am going to look at getting a chair for the shower also.  I hope your procedure goes well!!!!  Let me know if I need to cancel or not!! :)lol

2/16/06 Fulkerson, LR and scar tissue removal