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Author Topic: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11  (Read 39378 times)

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Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2012, 10:44:09 PM »
Day 82 Wednesday

 I have been to two more knee classes since my last update, these have helped so much. I have had my physio exercises at home changed to help me strengthen my upper leg, as this is where it is the weakest. My ROM is now at 130 degrees, I am very pleased with this. I managed to walk to the Post Office this week which is a round trip of 1 ½ miles. I managed this with one crutch but leg started to feel stiff halfway home. This week I have changed from one crutch to a walking stick, I have been waiting for this for weeks, so was really pleased. My walking is improving as I have noticed that I don’t look at my feet quite so much and where I am putting my feet, I look where I am going instead. I have not had any wobbly moments when out walking for a few days now, so hoping my knee is getting stronger. I am also walking faster when out, still not a great speed. I know that when I got overtaken by a granny with a walking stick and I couldn’t even catch her up when she stopped for a moment!!

I have been swimming again and managed 24 lengths this week after walking across the pool for 6 widths to strengthen the muscles in my leg. Felt strange to start with but think it helped as my knee wasn’t quite so stiff whilst swimming. I think at one point the life guard thought I may drown as I changed from front crawl to doggy paddle which actually helped the knee loosen up considerably and helped me swim better.

I have started to do more around the house, and tried the stairs at physio this week. I look demented trying to get up them using my “getting better leg” and trying to straighten it. My physio suggested I tried going up sideways, which I found easier. I can go up one step at a time but I think I should be walking up them by now, but I got reminded that it is quite some time since I have been able to go up them up right on two legs. I used to use my hands on the stairs for months before my op, so the leg needs to be reminded just how to do this again!!! Practice, practice, practice. I will get there!!!

I am feeling much better all-round this week, and very positive about this op and the recovery. I am looking forward to my life and all those things that I haven’t been able to do for the last few years. I am looking forward to being back at work with the children I look after and being able to take them all across the common for adventures again.

WD

Offline guam

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2012, 10:01:24 AM »
wow!  a mile and a half.  very impressive.  good job and keep dominating that recovery.  whenever i see someone else with crutches or a cane, i feel like racing.  i know it's dumb, but i'm trying to find any humor with this pain. 
anyway, keep at it.  Good luck on your road to recovery
9/2007: diagnosis: discoid lat. meniscus with tear-rk
10/2007: part. lat. menisectomy-rk.- failure
5/2008: fix previous surgery
2/2010: diagnosed with discoid lat. meniscus with tear-lk
5/2010: partial lat. meniscectomy-lk
11/2011: scope on rt. knee. diagnosis: varus knee
12/2011: HTO

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2012, 06:29:34 PM »
Hi

Thanks Guam for the encouragement, Good luck on your own recovery. Have read your post op diary and you seem to be doing very well yourself. It is so tempting to race those on crutches or sticks, it made me realise that I don't walk very fast, and even granny's can over take me! I have stopped looking at my feet and actually look where I am going now, which is an improvement in the last few weeks.

Day 86

I have kept up my walks each day, using my walking stick, trying to go just that little bit further each day, until my leg rebels and tells me to slow down and go home to have a sit down. I can't go for my walk today as overnight it has snowed and I don't really fancy going back into hospital having slipped on the ice or snow and broken something!!! Still it does look very pretty, as in my garden no one has put even the smallest of foot prints on it. But at least I am in the warm!

My wound is about 3 1/2 inches long and is healing really well, although I have some marks around it that are still a bit red, not sore though. Knee is feeling like it belongs to me and not doing its own thing any more. Still strengthening the leg to be able to get up the stairs but it is going well and I know that it will take time. Even being on a walking stick is something I wouldn't have thought about a few weeks ago and now I only use it when out or when I am tired.

Went swimming a couple of days a go, it went really well. I started by walking six widths to get the leg moving better in the water. Then I swam 28 lengths, alternating two lengths with legs and two using a pull buoy. I didn't scare the life guards this week as I didn't do any doggy paddle! I stuck to front crawl. Amazing how using crutches helps build up the arm muscles. I have found that the knee was looser this week and actually moved the way I wanted it to do, and not just seize up and look like a wooden leg. I am going to keep up the swimming as it makes me feel good, especially overtaking others in the pool, when I am the one the recovery road.

I have my knee class on Tuesday, and an appointment with my GP on Friday, hopefully signing me back to work on a phased return. Not sure how this will work yet, but I need to get back sometime! I have been off for twelve weeks and am looking forward to getting back, never thought I would be saying this. When you are fit and well it always seems a lovely prospect of having weeks off work but in reality when you are not so good, it can get very boring.  The DVD shops are going to notice a decrease in their revenue when I go back to work!!

Good luck to all those knees out there, be careful in the snow.

WD

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2012, 09:22:21 PM »
Day 96

I have been keeping up with my physio, been to my knee class, doing really well. Next week I will hopefully be discharged from physio with a SOS for a month in case I need to go back for any reason.

I am now signed back to work 2 hours a day, increasing gradually as and when I feel capable. I am to avoid lifting as well. I work with children, so this is not always possible but I haven’t got this far to throw it away so will do as I am told.

I do not use my walking stick around the house now, but still use it when out. It  is a bit like a comfort blanket!! I feel more confident with it in my hand.  I am now trying short trips without it, and even on my daily walk, I am trying to hold it off the ground a little more and not put so much weight on it when I do put it on the ground. My physio has encouraged me to try to do without. I still feel I have wobbly moments occasionally, but actually know that my leg is strong enough to deal with them. I stop, rebalance myself, and carry on. I do think that I walk slowly now, and am more careful putting my feet down, watching where I put them. I am back to looking where I am going and have stopped looking at my feet all the time when walking. Nobody tells you that you have to learn to walk again after this op, but I now have every sympathy for all the children I care for when they are learning to walk!!!!

Today I feel really good, I have had moments when my knee wasn’t dominating my thoughts and when I did think about it, I realised that I felt no pain at all, not even a twinge. What a great feeling. I have been on my feet longer today, and walking more and I feel that I did the right thing by having this op and would recommend it.

WD

Offline seantomtom

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2012, 12:09:46 PM »
Thank you so much for taking the time to record your progress through this,i am 20 days post op and still have a full leg cast on,but reading your blog has helped me understand a little better what to expect,and what not to worry about too much.Its the first time i have looked into it on the internet,i felt i need the op so no point frightening myself before it.I went on this time to see if i could find someones story not just medical mumbo
And im glad i did.it can seem a bit lonely somtimes on the recovery from this.Thanks for the lift.

Sean.

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2012, 01:42:42 PM »
Hi seantomtom

I started my post op diary as I too found that I wanted to know what to expect, so found this website. It is full of information and experiences that can be of some help, even making up your mind whether to have an op or not. My recovery has been worth having the op for, although sometimes things did not always go right and I felt that I could have given up doing my physio, I know that you have to put on a positive attitude and keep doing your physio.  The difference is I didn't have a cast on my leg, I did not even have a brace. My OS wrote the course on here about osteotomy, although he now uses an implant instead of a metal plate on the outside of the bone.

If you have any questions, please ask, as I was lucky enough to meet up with two other KG's who have both had the op. It was good to know what to expect and how long the recovery is likely to be. Mike also has a post op diary, see below

http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=56935.0;all

This may also be of interest to you.

Good luck with your recovery.

WD

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2012, 09:50:22 PM »
Day 102

I have had a great day today!!!  I must have reached a milestone, as I have been discharged from physio. I have full ROM and can do all the exercises we have been doing in the knee class. I will try to keep up with the exercises I do at home in order to try to gain more strength in the muscles. I even managed to walk into my last physio class without my walking stick and felt really good about it.

I still have problems with the stairs but I think I just need more strength and to find a different way to tackle this. I have tried sideways, but not totally convinced by this way, and I have gone back to the way I did this in the past, by using my hands and concentrating on straightening my leg. I can get up quicker like this than by one step at a time. I think I still need time, but this will come and I do not intend to look stupid on the stairs for ever!

I am also back doing some work, although my knee tells me when I have been on my feet for too long. I just had to cook all those pancakes for the children and my family though!! (Pancake Day) It is great to be back, although I am trying to avoid lifting the children I care for. Luckily for me, I have someone who can do this for me!!

I will be seeing my OS (or his Registrar) in April, so aim to show him how I have recovered and that his skill has not been wasted. I know I still have months of recovery ahead but every small step is a step in the right direction, to me getting my life back.

Good luck to all those knees out there.

WD


Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2012, 09:32:05 PM »
Day 119 (17 weeks)

In the last couple of weeks I have increased my swimming. I actually swam 30 lengths without using my pull buoy, and exercised my legs really well. I have been for a lovely walk at a local woodland. It was great to do this as I haven’t been able to do anything like this for a good couple of years. I walked just under 2 miles over slightly uneven ground; my leg was stiff and aching by the evening and the next day. I iced it to ease the aching. The following day it was fine again. I have also been working longer each day, and over the last few weeks can feel that my knee muscles are working and improving slowly and gaining strength. I listen to my knee, and rest when need to, and ice when needed. I still use my walking stick occasionally when my leg aches after a long day or too much exercise.

I am now signed back to work full time, taking no pills, and working on strengthening my leg muscles. I even managed to take a life support (resuscitation and CPR) exam, although did not kneel on my “getting better leg”. I feel that this operation has been a success and although I know I have still some way to go to build up the muscles, I have no pain where I had had for years.

I tripped over a toy on the floor 3 days ago, tightened up my muscles to compensate and felt a pull down the side of my knee. After a while it started to ache and throb. I iced it as soon as I could as it was very hot, and then took it easy. The next day, it was stiff and aching, so tried to take it as easy as possible all day. Today I can feel the tightness in some muscles but on the whole it feels a bit better. It is easy to tense the muscles when you think you are going to trip, over balance or just walking on uneven surfaces. When I think about the natural flow of walking, it makes me realise how we all take it for granted until something happens to change it.

I went shopping today to buy myself something to signify my new life about to start.  I have a lovely new necklace to remind me of things past and things about to start with the improvement of my “getting better leg”. Oh, don’t forget the matching ear-rings too!! Not sure my husband really understood what this means to me, but I am sure other KG’s will!

Good luck and improvement to all knees

WD

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2012, 09:11:25 PM »
Day 136

I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything!!.

I have taken delivery of a lovely new bike in order to help strengthen my leg muscles. My husband took me out on it on Saturday, we rode 3.8 miles. This is a long way for someone who hasn’t ridden a bike for over 20 years. My leg was fine whilst I was riding, but it stiffened up during the evening, and was stiff the next day. Felt fine today and have been for another ride of 4.5 miles. I am just waiting to see if my leg stiffens up tonight.

I have kept up swimming as well. This has proved a positive move. My leg feels so much better having done a swim. When I started swimming they did not move very well, my leg was stiff and not bending well but now they are working together and at the same speed.

Being back at work has made me walk more, and picking up the children I care for has got the muscles working a bit better. I know I still have a long way to go just to get back to where I was a few years ago, but I am definitely heading in the right direction.  I do not think about my leg as much as when it was bad, it was a little consuming.

I have even been shopping on my own, again! I felt that I had overdone it on one occasion, but with some rest and ice, leg was fine later that day.

I will be seeing my OS in three weeks’ time, hopefully if I have some x-rays I will be able to see how well the bone is healing. He will be getting my “thanks” as so far I can see changes happening to my life, which for a while, I never thought would ever happen again. Best decision I have made was to have a HTO.

To be able to do some exercise it feels fantastic. As I even had to give up swimming, as I couldn’t get in or out of the local pool, to be going regularly again has made me feel great. 

WD

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #39 on: April 09, 2012, 09:55:50 PM »
Day 150

I have been keeping up with the cycling and swimming, and although the leg stiffens up after a bike ride, after a day or so it feels fine. Last week I went for a walk in the woods and it was lovely to be able to do this. I was careful when walking over the uneven ground but managed an hour before heading home. This week I managed to cycle 7.25 miles, seems like a long way but it was great to be out. Leg stiffened up during the evening and was stiff for a day or so and then I went out on my bike again and did 5 miles. Today leg is still a little stiff but does not hurt. I have not had to take any pain killers or meds since 1st Feb 2012, so this is a great achievement in itself.

I have a week to go before I see my OS again, and am positive things are going well. My only real concern is getting up the stairs, I still look worse than a ninety year old. I use my walking stick to get up and down, mainly when I have been exercising and the leg is aching or stiff. My stick is to be found at the bottom of the stairs during the day. On odd occasions I get up really well and then struggle like mad on other occasions. I am going to see if I can get some more intense physio to help with the stairs. My knee just does not want to straighten the last little bit sometimes, I think it probably just a strength issue.

I really feel like my life is becoming my own again and that my knee is not controlling it!!!

WD

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2012, 09:39:40 PM »

Day 157

I have been for my 5 month post op check up at the hospital today. I saw my OS’ Registrar, who was very thorough. He asked questions like “How was I getting on?” “Did I feel that the operation had been a success?” “Was I getting any pain?” etc.
I explained how I am pleased to have had the op and that I was not getting any significant pain, except for going up and down the stairs. We talked about this in more detail. He then looked my scar and said it had healed very well. He then went on to examine my knee, the range of movements and also where I was getting pain using the stairs. He moved my leg into various positions, and then did the same with my good leg. He compared one leg to the other. It would appear that I have a slightly lax acl in my left leg “my getting better leg”. He has referred me for a MRI scan to see what is going on. I will be going back for another review and the results of the scan. He also got the physio to see me whilst I was there. We talked about the operation, pain, exercise etc. She examined my knee and leg as well. I now have a new exercise to add to my day, and am going to start later. I need to improve the strength in my muscles and around my knee.

I have just been for a bike ride, and went 5.1 miles. It doesn’t sound far, but I also did the same yesterday. So far my knee feels a little stiff, but it felt like that after being pulled around at the hospital and climbing the steps from the car park to the clinic this morning. Why are there so many steps at the hospital?? When that is what I am having problems with!!

I went swimming a couple of days ago, and managed to up the distance I swam. It feels good to be doing the things I love, that had been put on hold due to knee problems. It feels like I am slowly getting my life back.

When I look back at the last five months, I cannot believe how far I have come, from not being able to get up and down the stairs on crutches, hang on I still can’t get up and down the stairs very well. No change there then!!! I have lost the crutches, been through tears and upset when things didn’t go quite right, through happy times and smiles when things went well, and now I feel like the long journey is well under way and that I am nearer the end than the beginning. I am feeling really positive today and know that I have to look forward and not backwards, keeping up the exercises and being positive.

Keep going with all those knees

WD

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #41 on: April 29, 2012, 06:14:18 PM »
Day 168 (24 weeks)

I have kept up the swimming and cycling, I feel like I am getting better. I can actually cycle 8 miles now, funny it's my bottom that hurts not my knee!!  I swam legs only for the first time a couple of days ago. They actually feel like they have more strength in them although I thought I went a little slow! I am going to do this more build up some more muscles. I still have odd days when I can feel that I have over done it, a rest and it feels better. I have not resorted to any pain killers or pills.

I have had letters from the hospital coming through the letterbox, seems like every day, although it has only been three letters. One appointment for two months, one for my HTO anniversary, and the MRI scan appointment. Followed by a phone call from the hospital checking I was attending my MRI scan. I got 5 days’ notice but had actually already called them to confirm it. My diary is getting busy.

I have tried to do the exercise the physio at the hospital gave me. I am struggling with it. However, I decided to see a physio privately to try and get a little extra help. I am seeing the physio I saw at the hospital and the knee classes. Think this should make a difference as he knows the history, my recovery and exactly what is in my knee, without having to explain it all over again to someone new. He has given me some slightly easier exercises to help build up the strength to be able to get up the stairs. I have been able to do these exercises and also to do a few more of the hospital exercise. I will be seeing him again in the week. I have also tried to leave the walking stick upstairs, so I put more effort into getting up and down the stairs without it. I can feel a slight difference in the leg by doing this, although I still have problems with straightening it that last little bit weight bearing.

I am having my MRI scan tomorrow, so hope all goes well. I am having an injection to enhance to scan images. Oh no!!, yet another flight of steps to get up to the MRI building from the car park. I have another appointment in six weeks to review the scan and to see if the stairs situation is getting any better. Hope the scan does not show anything major, and that with exercise I can get up the stairs. I must fight the urge to bend my knee when in the scanner, and actually get some good scans. The sand bags should sort this out!!!!

Thanks to Mike and Alan (kneegeeks) for your suppport and it wwas great to see you both again. Good luck Alan for your pending second HTO.

Happy knees to you all

WD

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #42 on: May 07, 2012, 08:20:52 PM »
Day 178 (4 days off 6 months)

I received yet another letter from the hospital, a copy of what my OS has written to my GP. “She has some mild ACL laxity (grade 2 with firm end point), no pivot shift, but she does open up medially on valgus stress in 20* of flexion opening up to approximately 10* on this side compared with 5* on the normal side” “requested an MRI to look at the integrity of her MCL and ACL”
I have now had my MRI scan, I did not need the injection which was good news and this will be reviewed at my appointment in June.

Have seen the physio again, I showed my letter to him, and with that we have changed some of the exercises I was doing. I need to strengthen my MCL and ACL, so I am doing some of my old exercises standing on one leg and some new ones. Wow, it can hurt but I can feel a slight difference already. Maybe one day I will get up those stairs without looking like I need to hold on so tight. The first few days of the new exercises my leg ached all day.

I have been swimming and cycling this week. I have increased the number of lengths swimming. I swam legs only again to help strengthen the muscles, but also to help relax the bend in my knee. I feel more comfortable swimming now, leg is doing what it should be! I have also stepped up the distance I am cycling, I can now manage to make 10 miles quite comfortably, and my knee has not ached afterwards. Saturday was a great day, no pain at all. However, Sunday’s ride was not such a pleasure as I fell off!! I stopped at a road junction and the side of the road was on a slant downhill. I put my “getting better leg” down to stop, it went too far downhill, buckled and I tried to correct it by getting off the saddle and put my other leg down, and before I knew it I was lying in the road, complete with my bike! I have a lovely bruise on my leg and a bit of a bump and cut on the top of my knee. My pride was hurt!!!! But my husband was worried that I had hurt my knee. Leg is stiff, bruised and a little sore, but now I know what not to do!!!! Last night, I iced it and rested it, and today it feels a little better.

I have struggled with my exercises today, due to the stiff leg and injury!! I will start afresh tomorrow and hope things go better.

WD

Offline pennstatexc

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2012, 01:43:41 PM »
Hey WD,

How is everything going post 6 months with you recovery and progress?!

Joel
Joel Moceri
'11 Rt. Knee Medial Meniscal Repair
'12 Rt. Leg Open Wedge HTO
'12 Rt. Knee Medial Meniscus Transplant & Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation

Offline WonkeyDonkey

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Re: WonkeyDonkey's High Tibial Osteotomy - Open Wedge Diary 11/11/11
« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2012, 09:58:05 PM »
Joel - Recovery is going really well, I am pleased with the op, and no pain is great!

Day 191 (6 months and 1 week)

Have been to see the physio since my bike accident, he checked my knee out completely. I have not done any lasting damage, but will take a couple of weeks to settle back down. The bruising has nearly faded away and the cut is now healed. Whilst I was at physio, we altered a couple of my exercises in order to take into account my stiff knee from the little injury. I have been able to do these exercises easier and have managed to continue with my cycling and swimming. I can now swim more lengths and cycle further than at any time since my op. Today I cycled nearly 12 miles and went up a hill that I thought would never stop. My husband was very good and encouraged me to keep going and I managed to get to the top, stop and have a well-earned drink! My knee stiffened up once back home so I have iced my knee and now it feels fine.

I feel that my recovery is going well, as today I even managed to walk up the stairs nearly normally. Coming down the stairs is getting better as well, although I cannot come down properly one foot, one stair. I have to still touch my good leg on the stair before continuing down with my “getting better leg”. I can feel more strength in my leg, but the knee is still bending inwards when I put the weight through it on the stairs. I think I still need to build up the muscles loads more.

Six months down the line, I am still glad I have had this operation and if had to make the decision again, I would do the same thing.  The main thing I would say is to have faith in your OS, keep the pain under control and do your physio. It is a long haul recovery but I no longer have the medial pain that I had prior to the op and my knee is not the consuming item it used to be. You realise that it hasn’t been hurting or aching so it is great to be able to forget it sometimes.

WD















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