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Author Topic: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary  (Read 114245 times)

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Offline aturpin

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2009, 07:25:21 AM »
Post-Op Day 45 (Jan. 19th) - I am six weeks and a couple of days post-op and a little more than 3 weeks from my next appointment with my OS where I hope he will tell me that I can walk.  I am getting along well on one crutch and am trying to work on my gait so that when I am allowed to walk my limp will be minimal.  I have had a few instances where I have put full weight on my leg by accident and it is feeling more and more stable.  My quad is also doing well and continues to grow slowly.  I am continuing with the leg press and have moved my weight up to 35 lbs. I feel much stronger and more comfortable going through this exercise. My scar is looking good and is less and less raised but is still purple-ish and looks pretty intense. I am definitely hopeful for a small scar over time given how thin it is now.  I am continuing to try and eat as healthfully as possible and take a multi-vitamin with hopes that it could help my bone heal... couldn't hurt right?  I am almost as excited to walk as I am to see an xray of a fully healed bone.  Three weeks and two days and counting. 

Offline tem8

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2009, 09:08:21 PM »
Hi aturpin,

I just wanted to chime in on this topic as I seem to be following a similar path to your own.  I had a distal femoral opening wedge osteotomy done on 12/12/2008 on my right femur along with a chilectomy on my right big toe.  My arthritis was similar - on the lateral side.  However, instead of a bone graft from my hip, I was given a wedge of cadaver bone.  My instructions were no weight bearing for 6 weeks (maybe because of the toe?).  I just hit the 6 week mark yesterday and the opening wedge appeared well healed. I was cleared to start weight bearing with a protected gait using both crutches.  There isn't so much pain, but my knee appears to be swelling in response.  I have tried 100% weight bearing a little bit and my leg was not ready. It is clear that at 6 weeks full recovery is still several weeks off. 

It is interesting to hear your account, especially how different doctors approach the recovery.  My doctor wants me off crutches within the week, though after my first full day weight bearing I am unsure that will happen (possibly because I have not been as aggresive with the PT as you).

As for flexion and extension, I am at about 110 degrees flexion after 6 weeks without doing too much PT. Been struggling a bit with the extension - the best I could get to so far has been about 4 degrees.  This could be because I didn't have full extension before the surgery.

I will keep reading your entries with interst as you progress to full weight-bearing.

Offline jumpi5d

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2009, 09:22:12 PM »
So I just got official confirmation for mine on March 5th. Ehhh
-Paige

3/5/09 Right Distal Femoral Osteotomy for Patella Alignment 
11/19/09 Left DFO for Patella Alignment.

Offline chereb

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2009, 09:55:26 PM »
Well as i type this i am post op day 9! What can i say! I went to theatre at 3pm and was back on the ward at 7pm. When I came round from the anesthesia I had no pain in my leg as I had been given a nerve block. The hip was a different story though and took a few shots of morphine to get the pain under control. It was about 18 hours later that the nerve block wore off and i stayed on morphine, tramadol,paracetomol for the next couple of days. My brace and bandage were removed on the Saturday. The wound is down the outside of my leg and dissolving stitches (great) The stitching is great a very thin line and not at all what I expected. Lots of nurses have commented on how neat and thin the wound is. The wound on my hip is about 2-3 inches and sewn the same way as the leg. I was then placed in a rom brace and OS instructed physio not to push me. I have a couple of excersises and to date still cannot raise my leg. I can bend the knee a little although the swelling seems to be stopping it a bit. I have a lot of bruising coming out and knee pain has started 2 days ago. Dont know what to make of that. It is still quite painful and I am struggling on the stairs ect. I go back to see OS on Monday and will see what he says. The brace is a bit of a torture implement,lol. The side of it runs and digs into the wound!!

Offline aturpin

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2009, 12:37:23 AM »
Post-Op Day 54 (Jan. 28th) - Well, I have been out of touch but things continue to progress nicely. There definitely haven't been any life altering changes but a nice steady progress.  I am continuing with physical therapy daily and am doing the leg press, calf raises, quad sets and straight leg lifts with weight. The other day I also decided to push it a little and I did wall sits and bridges on the exercise ball. My leg handled the exercises really well and was up for the challenge.  However, I was a little sore that night and the next day.  I find that if I take some Advil before bed I wake up far less achy than I was the night before. I haven't done those exercises very often as I am trying to be patient and let the bone set but I couldnt help myself.  I am not supposed to be walking yet, but, like most people, I couldn't help but see if I could walk.  Well, I can and quite well.  No pain and little limp.  Granted I am taking no more than 10 steps but I am excited. Again, I am trying to keep it mellow and behave but being able to walk and knowing it is very tempting when getting around. My leg feels strong and the bone feels healed (what do I know though).  If I was to complain at all I would say that I am having a little discomfort/soreness behind my knee.  It kind of feels like I have been hanging in extension for too long. I have noticed that through this whole process I will have ebbs and flows of pain where a pain will show up for a week or so and then go away... all part of the healing process I suppose.

Offline aturpin

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2009, 12:46:24 AM »
Hi chereb,

Congrats on coming so far.  I cannot believe you are already at day 9... probably way more now. Your experience sounds identical to mine with the exception of the hip pain, mine wasnt quite as bad as yours.  How great is that femoral block?  I was able to get along on Perkoset but either way once you get the pain under control all is good. I hear ya on the brace digging into the wound, they really should rethink a new brace for this procedure or something. I was really happy that the wound was so skinny too and so relieved that they didnt use external stitches or staples.  Range of motion is probably the best thing you can work on (Dr. permitting, of course) .  I hope all goes well with your OS. It gets easier everyday (physically that is), be patient and be good.  Congrats again, you did it!

Offline aturpin

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2009, 12:54:08 AM »
Hi tem8,

Thanks for chiming in, its always nice to hear others' experiences and to have another member of the osteotomy club. We had our procedures done pretty close to each other and it appears our experiences have been pretty similar, minus the toe procedure. I was hoping I would be able to use a cadaver bone as to avoid a scar and injury to my hip.  I will be curious to see how the cadaver bone works out.

I don't think I was brave enough to try to walk at 6 weeks, I just kind of felt it wouldn't be ready.  But, a lot happens in a week as I am now a little over 7 weeks post-op and walking feels much better (don't tell my OS though :)). I had the advantage of partial weight bearing all along to kind of ease my way into it though. Keep up the PT, it gets easier as you progress as far as pain goes but I have been told that it gets harder and harder to get ROM the longer you go. It will also help you get up to walking.

Keep me posted on your weight bearing progress as well. It sounds like we will be walking at about the same time. Look out!


Offline aturpin

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2009, 12:57:37 AM »
Hi jumpi5d,

Glad to hear you got a surgery date, although I am sure you wish you didn't :).  Let the dreading begin.  I hope you don't dread it as much as I did though.  If you are like I was it wont be as bad as you imagine.  And, it will be nice to get the whole thing over with.  Now that you have a date you are on your way to getting this behind you.  Start your prep now by getting as strong and healthy as you can, that's my advice.

Offline jumpi5d

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2009, 02:50:07 PM »
Hey. I had an original date of April 2nd, but was told it was getting moved up so 5 weeks from today. I don't think I'd go as far as saying I'm dreading it. I'm ready for sure but a little nervous just because this will be my first surgery ever.  I've been dealing with pain since I was 12, and I'm 19 (  almost 20) now and I can't wait to get it behind me and be getting better. I'm trying super hard to get as ready as I can. I'll have a 14 hour car ride home after surgery that I'm not looking forward to. It'll be 5 or 6 days after surgery though and were going to divide it up into two days.
-Paige

3/5/09 Right Distal Femoral Osteotomy for Patella Alignment 
11/19/09 Left DFO for Patella Alignment.

Offline chereb

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2009, 08:38:57 PM »
Just another quick update from me. Autprin...you sure are doing good! Keep it up! I am now day 14 and managed to make toast for myself today! I know it does not seem like much but it was a victory,lol. I had to stand with the crutches and eat it though as I cnat carry anything! I was back seeing my OS a few days ago. They retook xrays and my those screws look huge!! The had to open the wedge as far as it could go hence the hip pain being so bad as it was a large bone graft! He said everything is looking good and my leg is so straight! The wounds are healing well too. The OS asked to see me standing with the brace and had one look and put me straight in plaster! So I have plaster thigh to knee and below knee to ankle with hinges holding them both. That way i still get to bend the knee. It has made so much difference to the pain. The pain is much less and its easier getting out of bed ect. The brace apparently was just not suited to my leg. The OS was quite apologetic about it. I am coping with my physio so much better with the plaster. My hubby goes back to work on Monday so I am on my own from  then. I have two school runs on crutches to make daily so it might help me in the long run!! My four year old im sure will run rings around me. My nine year old is quite helpful sometimes so im sure we will cope! 

Jumpi5d....Good luck with the upcoming op. The first week or so is the worst and then it starts to get more manageable!

I go back to my OS in 4 weeks and am hopeful that the plaster will come off then!

Offline jumpi5d

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #40 on: January 30, 2009, 07:04:07 PM »
I'll be in the hospital for most of my first week. I have surgery on Thursday and he's planning on keeping me until at least Monday, then I have a 14 hour ride home, ew. Were gonna split the drive up into two days.  It's crazy to think it's just over a month away.
-Paige

3/5/09 Right Distal Femoral Osteotomy for Patella Alignment 
11/19/09 Left DFO for Patella Alignment.

Offline aturpin

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2009, 07:41:27 PM »
Post-Op Day 59 (Feb. 2) - Last Saturday was my 8 week post-op anniversary. I can't believe it has been two months, in many ways it feels like it has been 2 years. When I look back, the surgery feels like it was forever ago.  But, when I look back, I can see how far I have come.  That said, I feel like I am only partway up this mountain.  I have tried to keep from walking , doctor's orders, over the past few days.  It was getting a bit more swolen and sore when I was putting too much pressure on it even though the actual act of walking didn't hurt and felt pretty easy. I am aching to see my doctor and see the xrays.  I am so anxious to see how much healing has happened since my last visit. If the bone has filled in then I will feel a lot better about walking, not coincidentally, I will also then be allowed to walk.

My strength remains the same.  I continue with leg press and the usual.  I really haven't moved my weight on the leg press up since I get some interesting pain feelings throughout different parts of the joint when I do the exercise. I don't know if, at this point, pain is supposed to be a limiter or if I am supposed to work through it.  I haven't been going to outpatient physical therapy since the first of Jan since I already know what exercises I am supposed to do.  Once I am allowed to walk I will go back and get a professional's opinion on where to go and how aggressive to be.

Just in case the sentiment isn't coming through I will be more clear:  I feel as though I am in limbo.  I feel capable to walk but don't know if it is smart or if I should.  I want to push the rehab but don't want to do too much and jeopardize healing. I want to start planning to get back to some of the pre-op/normal life things I was able to do (i.e. volunteer, take classes at the gym, go to the beach, go on vacation, etc.) but don't know how long it will take until I am allowed to or capable to.  I am just waiting....waiting to see my doctor and some xrays....trying to be patient.  I hope that in a month or so I will be able to provide the hindsight that will help those of you who are coming up on this time in your recovery understand and get through it wisely.

Offline aturpin

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2009, 10:22:41 PM »
Post-Op Day 65 (Feb. 8) - Yesterday was my 9 week anniversary.  I am really excited right now because I see my OS for my second post-op visit on Thursday.  During my last visit he told me that we would take x-rays and if my leg looked good he would let me start walking.  Even though I have done a little walking so far, it would be nice to have his blessing and know that I am not doing any damage. I have four more days until I get a little more freedom and a little bit of my life back. I also want to talk to my OS about what to expect as far as progress when I start walking.  How long will it take to get rid of any limp. Is my knee going to swell? How long of a distance should I walk for?  They go on and on.

Right now my calf has been bothering me a bit and I wonder if some of the other muscles are going to act up given my new alignment. I really expected that my recovery would be faster than it has been.  I knew I would be on crutches for a while and I knew the timeline, which I am on target with. But, I thought my leg would be feeling a lot more normal by now.

I am getting some good strength gains lately and am seeing a bigger quad muscle with more tone and noticeable strength on the bike and leg press. I am keeping up with the ice still, icing after any walking I do and after rehab/the gym. I have a job interview tomorrow and am not sure if I should bring the crutch or walk.  I will walk if I can do it without a noticeable limp.  We'll see... wish me luck with the job interview and the OS. ***my fingers are crossed***

Offline chereb

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2009, 09:40:33 AM »
Aturpin- Good luck for the interview! I know how you feel with things not going quick enough. I am so bored now and feel everything is at a standstill. However i try not to dwell on it too much or i would get depressed! You will get there eventully and everything seems good and on course for you! Hope the xray gives you the good result you need to move forward. Take care. :)

Offline chereb

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Re: Distal Femoral Osteotomy - Pre & Post-Op Diary
« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2009, 01:20:39 PM »
Atuprin hope you done mind me keeping jumping in on your thread!

I am now at post op day 25.

I have been taking tramadol,paracetemol and diclofenac. Decided to try and drop the pain meds. Spent all of yeasterday and all night in pain! Guess im not quite ready to give them up yet! The inside of my knee is very painful. I hoped that it would be a bit better by noe and im guessing there will be more of this until i am weight bearing again and everything settles in position. I had my first outpatient physio this morning. There was nothing really new they gave me as i have already been doing the ones from hospital. The physio re-emphisised that I had not to be pushed with aggressive physio for now and that once i am weight bearing the hard work starts. The cast is a total pain. I am hoping that on the 24th the bone has sufficient healing for it to be removed. It is so heavy,lol Fed up dragging it about with me!! My 4 year old is running rings around me at the moment. She seems to know that mummy cant quite catch her to put her on the naughty step!!! The physio seemed quite pleased that I had no ankle or foot swelling and says its a good sign. Dont know about anyone else (would beinterested to know) but my foot since the op is a different colour than my other one. Somehow I have convinced myself that when the foot returns to normal colour the bone has healed? Anyone care to put me right on that? I have been questioning lately have i done the right thing. It just seems so long and im only a few weeks in! We have really bad snow and ice just now and getting out just is not an option just now! I suppose that is making me feel the time thing even more.

Aturpin good luck for Thursday...hope you post the outcome of your follow up. Take care















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