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Author Topic: Fulkerson osteotomy scheduled Jan 21...advice?!  (Read 1122 times)

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Offline smkelly4kds

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Fulkerson osteotomy scheduled Jan 21...advice?!
« on: January 01, 2008, 02:59:34 AM »
  I am hoping to get some input from those that have had this surgery.  My sugery is scheduled for Jan 21.  Not exactly how I wanted to start the year out  :( but I have to do something cause I can't live this way.  My doctor has told me I will be staying in the hospital for 2-3 days, will be in a stablizing brace for 6-8 weeks and then will start PT (not sure when this starts).  I know that the recovery time is a long journey and following the doctors orders and the PT's will be crucial to my recovery. 
   Can you share with me your experience as to pain and managing it, how long you were on
no-weight bearing and the healing procedure for the actual incision.  Any advice such as what medical equipment might help me at home other than crutches!  Any advice about how to sleep comfortably and taking showers?  I have read that occassionally a break in the tibia occurs, has anyone experienced this?
   Any advice, suggestions or warnings would greatly help me be mentally, physically and emotionally ready would greatly be appreciated!  I have 4 kids 7, 5 and twin 4 yr olds at home, any advice is greatly appreciated! 

Thanks!
melissa
Aug 2007 - dislocation Rt knee-PT no improvement
Jan 08 TTT (Fulkerson)  Rt knee
Scope 6/08 LT Knee- debridgement medial femoral condyle w/stedman picking, part. lateral menisectomy
July 22 started 1st round of synvisc heading for 5 total....so far working!
Still having pain w/TTT knee pain

Offline KW

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Re: Fulkerson osteotomy scheduled Jan 21...advice?!
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2008, 03:40:10 AM »
Hi Melissa, Welcome to Knee Geeks.  You will get wonderful advice here.

I’ve had 2 Fulkerson’s (TTT’s) – let me pass on some of my experiences.

Can you share with me your experience as to pain and managing it – The most painful time for me was the first week.  If you Keep Up with the pain meds as prescribed and ice often you will be fine.  You may read about people getting “Blood Rushes” which feel like all the blood in your body is rushing to the surgical site when you stand and can be very painful.  If you stand up and lower your leg slowly you can minimize these.

How long you were on no-weight bearing and the healing procedure for the actual incision. – With my 1st Fulkerson (2001) I was FBW out of the hospital. I believe I had 10 or 12 staples and the incision healed in about a week to 1.5 weeks.  With my 2nd (2007) I was PWB for 2 weeks until I was able to do a SLR.  I had 10 stitches and the incision healed in about a week to 1.5 weeks.

Any advice such as what medical equipment might help me at home other than crutches! -  OK here is a list of things that have been a great help to me.  A raised toilet seat, a small stool to prop you foot up on in the bathroom (when using the raised toilet seat), a shower seat or plastic seat that can be used in the shower, a Polar Care Ice Machine (or similar) will be nice but nor necessary, a backpack to help carry thing around when on crutches, I live alone and found the per making and freezing some meals was a great help.  You are going to need help with the kiddos for a while. 

Any advice about how to sleep comfortably and taking showers? I had to sleep on my back for the entire 8 weeks I was in the post-op brace. After that I moved to sleeping on my side with my surgical leg on top with a pillow in between my knees.  You may want to ask your OS for something to help you sleep.  As for the shower,  I used a shower seat that made showering easier and safer until I sot some of my strength back.

I have read that occasionally a break in the tibia occurs, has anyone experienced this?  I have not had a break in my tibia (besides the break my OS made) but I have had some extremely rear complications with this last TTT.  Please do not allow my signature to scare you.

Please let me know if you have any other questions and let us know how you are doing.

Best of Luck,
Karen

« Last Edit: January 01, 2008, 05:57:58 AM by KW »
Right Knee
2000 - 2002 - Scope,LR,TTT,Unscrewed
01-10-12 - PFJR

Left Knee
04/07 TTT/LR
08/07 Bone Grth Stim
10/07 Loose/Bent Screw
1/08 Unscrewed/MRI~NON-UNION
02/19/08 Lt  TTT Revision W/Graft
12/09/08 Scope
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09/04/09 PFJR/Unscrewed

Offline John42

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Re: Fulkerson osteotomy scheduled Jan 21...advice?!
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2008, 09:43:17 AM »
Hi Melissa

Trust your op goes well ...

A piece of advice on sleeping

Place a cushion or pillow between your legs, this takes the weight off your injured knee - works wonders.

Best wishes

JohnK/ Manchester UK
Ruptured Patella Tendon January 9 2003
Slipped on black ice.  Manchester UK

Complete Ruptured Tendon

Offline Leentje

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Re: Fulkerson osteotomy scheduled Jan 21...advice?!
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2008, 12:50:06 PM »
Hi Melissa

First of all follow your OS and PT protocols and read anything about TTTs on the board. Note that everyone's recovery is different. Although I had a Fulkerson TTT including MR and LR, I recovered quickly.
I was in hopsital overnight but never received any painmeds apart from 1 NSAID injection. I went home with 12 tablets of Paracetamol+codeďne. Never had the blood rushes, but I was prepared to feel them. I was in plaster and PWB 30% on crutches for 3 weeks, not able to shower (ugh), not able to ice (hehe plaster). I had 13 staples which were removed 1/2 1 week post op and the other 1/2 3 weeks post op when the cast was removed. The scar is just a small white line.
After the cast came of I ditched crutches and went to PT 9 times in wich I got full ROM back (mind you I had agressive PT). Learning to walk normally again is the hardest part, along with getting strength back. I notice frequently that most people post TTT have MONTHS of PT so be prepared to make your PT place your second home  ::)
I was off work 12 weeks (I am a nurse) and returned to jogging 5 months post op. I am a competitive badminton player and I run 4K every other day. No problems. I can kneel on the knee and screws (which are still in the TT) but whoo the first months everything seems to be at screw-height and you bump them against everything. I was walking in town and people banged their shopping bags against my screws  >:( unintentionally but whoo painfull.

Advice?
Like Karen said, you'll need help with the kids for a few weeks (I think, I don't have any ::)). A backpack will come in easy to carry things, Borrow pillows to keep your leg elevated at all times, Mind you, I could sleep on my side from day 0 with a pillow between my legs, turning over being the hardest thing. An Iceman or cryocuff can be handy if you can ice (remind the cast I had, no ice). Do ankle pumps from day 1.
I could drive my car (manual, surgery was left leg) 4 weeks post TTT, getting in and out of the car was... a challenge sometimes  ;D

Just relax, take a deep breath and I am sure you'll manage fine! The TTT has been the best thing I've ever done, I have my life back, I don't feel 85 anymore hehe and I can enjoy doing things painfree and without dislocations.

Good luck, Helena
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