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Author Topic: Tibial Tuberosity Transfer - how is recovery really  (Read 18885 times)

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alpa0210

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Tibial Tuberosity Transfer - how is recovery really
« on: September 24, 2006, 10:44:37 PM »
hi i'm due 2 hav TTT op in 3 weeks time... i'm a little worried about how i'll be after op... such as how do u go up and down stairs.. using the bathroom.. i'm overweight so i'm not sure how i will cope with crutches...my OS as said no weight bearin for 6 wks.. although i can walk with straight leg.. but how'd i do this without puttin weight on... bin practisin wid crutches but u hav 2 put a little weight on leg...

any advice gratefully received

Offline SallyW

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Re: Tibial Tuberosity Transfer - how is recovery really
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2006, 01:54:06 AM »
Can you arrange for a session with a physical therapist before the operation? They can teach you crutch technique - it's really hard to demonstrate over the internet, also with your weight issues, that can present challenges that a PT can best address...Your insurance should allow you to stay overnight in the hospital after your TTT. As long as you are only there 23 hours or less, that is generally considered outpatient (which is what a TTT is). When I did that after one of my TTTs, the hospital sent in a therapist that gave me crutch lessons: how to do stairs, etc. I was already a pro on crutches at that point, but I still got some good pointers. The therapist might also give you advice about maybe renting rails for your bathroom, a shower seat - things like that. Those are things that aren't always necessary - I've never used them in any of my major operations - but depending on you and how your home bathroom is set up - they might be helpful. Staying overnight in the hospital was helpful because of the therapy session, but also - the first night after a TTT can be kind of tough, and having staff there to help you to the bathroom and things (they even had a lift for the bed - I pulled myself up and out of bed with the little trapeze thing!) made that first night more tolerable.

You really need to pay attention to the nonweightbearing after your operation. If you do any WB before the doc says you can, you risk knocking the screws loose - can really muck up the operation that way. Practicing now is fine, but once you are officially, completely NWB - and are dizzy from the post op drugs and pain - you'll find a whole set of new challenges!  :(
Right knee: LR/TTT 1995 Left knee: LR/TTT 2000, Microfracture & partial meniscus removal 2004, Synvisc 2004, Unloader 2004, OATS 6/20/2005, Synvisc 2006, Debridement 2006

alpa0210

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Re: Tibial Tuberosity Transfer - how is recovery really
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2006, 10:46:28 AM »
thanks for the advice sally..i hav been told that i will be in hospital overnight plus a further 1-2 nights dependin on how i recover... i'm really concerned bout showering and going to the loo particularly when it's that time of the month... i guess it's probably more of a question for females.. how do u cope?

Offline SallyW

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Re: Tibial Tuberosity Transfer - how is recovery really
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2006, 08:49:52 PM »
Some people get shower chairs & covered the leg brace (assuming you'll be wearing one?) with a plastic garbage bag. Mostly I think you just have to be creative. Things really aren't that difficult when you get right down to it. I never bothered with bathroom aids like potty rails or shower chairs; it would be easy to get dependent on them so that you'd have a hard time in places where you don't have those things. After all, if you go to a friend's house, there won't be rails there! Don't worry about when you get your period - it really is no big deal. Women have been coping with it in difficult circumstances for ages. Just prepare yourself with some relaxing novels, the tv remote, cordless phone, and easy to eat snacks (you may need to eat a cracker or something each time you take pain meds). The first few days post op can be difficult, but after that - no problem.
Right knee: LR/TTT 1995 Left knee: LR/TTT 2000, Microfracture & partial meniscus removal 2004, Synvisc 2004, Unloader 2004, OATS 6/20/2005, Synvisc 2006, Debridement 2006

alpa0210

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Re: Tibial Tuberosity Transfer - how is recovery really
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2006, 12:06:59 PM »
hi jus another question... i've been told that i'll be wearin an immobilizer for a good 4-6 weeks.. with that on are u able to put any weight on.. even if it is just on your toe?  although i've been practising on crutches can't get the hang of them...

please advise

Offline SallyW

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Re: Tibial Tuberosity Transfer - how is recovery really
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2006, 05:41:48 PM »
Ask your doc, but normally no weight bearing means just that - NO weight! Sometimes the doc allows you to do some weightbearing if you are wearing the immobilizer, but that only after you have been *completely* nonweightbearing for several weeks. Be sure to find out exactly what the doc means, then follow his/her instructions exactly.

Relax...a TTT is a major operation, but many of us here have had things like TTTs and other major operations - come through just fine. If you are able to get a therapist visit while you are in the hospital after your operation, that will help more than anything.
Right knee: LR/TTT 1995 Left knee: LR/TTT 2000, Microfracture & partial meniscus removal 2004, Synvisc 2004, Unloader 2004, OATS 6/20/2005, Synvisc 2006, Debridement 2006

Offline Vaned

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Re: Tibial Tuberosity Transfer - how is recovery really
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2010, 07:18:00 AM »
Hey Sally i am having a TTT Surgery i would love to know how it is i mean i am so freaked out. How was it to use the bathroom at the hospital...How was the pain when after your surgery did you go to physical therapy in order to work the knee ...

Offline rsuddeth

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Re: Tibial Tuberosity Transfer - how is recovery really
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2010, 08:23:48 PM »
Notice this was last posted 4 years ago until your post.

I had mine done outpatient (which, frankly, I thought was a bad idea... an overnight stay to be a bit more awake & the ability to manage the crutches decently before trying to walk on snow-and-ice covered concrete & up snowy stairs to get home would have been good.)

I haven't read of anyone recently actually being NWB for weeks. I think I was NWB for 1 couple days (as doctor ordered, but longer in reality as I was having so much trouble with painfully swollen ankles that I couldn't make the partial weight bearing work for a while.)

The short story for me was that it was more difficult and painful at the time than I could have imagined, and 6 months later I still have more pain (completely different pain), and less mobility than I did before the surgery.

Others may have better stories to tell, but it's important to be aware that failure doesn't just mean things not getting better -- it can mean things getting worse.
Feb 24th, 2010 TTT/LR (meniscus trim)

Offline crankerchick

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Re: Tibial Tuberosity Transfer - how is recovery really
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2010, 09:51:19 PM »
I had a TTT just over 10 months ago along with some other stuff done to my tibia and femur. I stayed in the hospital two nights. It was only supposed to be one night but my blood was low and I ended up fainting the day I was supposed to go home so I stayed a second day. My blood was not low from the TTT so no worries there. I have low blood count anyway and then lost blood from the femur work done.

The pain on the front of the shin wasn't bad, but did feel very uncomfortable in the beginning when doing things like leg extension. Because of the femur and and tibia osteotomies I had along with the TTT I was partial weight bearing for 6 weeks. With just the TTT I believe my doctor would have had me weightbearing from the start.

The TTT never really bothered me beyond sensitivity where the screws were. I could squat and kneel just fine, just had to work at it. If I had just had the TTT I believe the recovery would have been 3 months total for me. The fact that I had my femur and tibia broken in half at the same time is what slowed my recovery down. The femur osteotomy and the period on crutches left my quad and hip muscles very weak. The TTT just wasn't that bad.

I had spinal anesthesia and had a catheter. Wierd waking up with one of those. They removed it a few hours later but it was kinda hard to go, took a few times. But I used the bathroom like a normal person, no bedpans or nothing like that. I was not in any kind of braace or anything like that and was encouraged (and able) to bend my knee. Makes going to the bathroom a lot easier.

You should start your own post in the patellofemoral section, you will get more views. This thread is old. Also check out some post op diaries, there are plenty on TTTs.
Mar '07 - plica excision
Oct '09 - femoral + tibial derotational osteotomy & TTT
Aug '10 - hardware removal
"You control your leg. Don't let it control you." -Smart trainer
"Get your a$$ in gear and go for it! Nothing will happen until you make it!" -Smart doctor

Offline mermaids

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Re: Tibial Tuberosity Transfer - how is recovery really
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2010, 09:16:23 PM »
I had my Fulkerson done 3 weeks ago.  Spent one night in the hospital, but don't think it was entirely necessary.  My surgeon is being extra cautious because my Fulkerson TTT was not done the traditional way.  My surgeon and Fulkerson customized the procedure for my specific issues.  (I flew to Connecticut for a consult w/ Fulkerson, but had the surgery done locally by my OS.) 

I had general anesthesia and a nerve block.  Nerve block was not as successful as the one I had with a previous surgery.  however, the pain was not bad.  I discontinued use of the morphine pump less than 12 hours after surgery.  I only take a small dose of oxycodone at night when I want a little help falling asleep.  Pain is not the problem.  The brace is awkward and makes it difficult to get into a comfortable position for sleep. 

Upon release from the hospital, I was told I could "toe touch" with crutches.  At my first post-op appt, the OS said I could move to 30% weight bearing.  (Not sure how one determines 30%, but whatever...)  Two weeks after surgery, he moved me up to 50% and let me start physical therapy.  PT consists of heel slides, straight leg raises in the locked brace, and quad tightening.  Yesterday, at PT, I said I feel like I am ready for more.  PT guy said to be patient because my OS wants to be extra conservative with me.  I can bend my knee about 30 degrees.  PT guy says that is fabulous.  I am disappointed that it isn't more.  He said to be patient.  :)  I will see the OS again in a few days and ask for permission to do more. 

Crutches are frustrating.  I despise them.  However, having a screw pop out would be really bad, so I am trying to be a good girl.  The post op diaries are a good place to see how people manage with the issues of life after TTT. 

The key is to be patient and let other people help you.  The recovery is not quick and cannot be rushed. 
12/90 - scope
12/08 - lateral release
6/10 - scope (aborted attempt at TTT)
9/10 - Fulkerson TTT
12/10 - torn cartilage & possibly PCL

*results may not be typical*