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On the mend

Hey all its been 6.5 months since my injury and its all going pretty well! I’ve been playing a few (gentle) games of tennis and yesterday went for a walk/run, running about 200m non stop at one point. Hardly any pain but a little sore the next day after walking around town for 3 hours (in sandals with no orthotics). I have been prescribed orthtotics, they didnt have to be custom made and Ive been recommended to wear them for 2 hours a day initially. 2 of my physios said orthotics were definately a good idea, tho the last registrar I saw before being dismissed from the hospital said he didnt see much point, my arch should not collapse as there has been some fusion.

All in all progress has been going great, I work on the scar tissue most days (point of incision and also between these points) and give foot a good massage. Would love to hear how everyone is doing, especially people around the 6 month mark! Cheers 🙂

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Hardware removal!!

metaaaal \m/ feeling somewhat lighter..

Hey all, its been a while since I’ve posted sorry, I had my surgery to get some of the metal (plates and screws) removed two days ago. Was incredibly easy, I went into the same-day admission unit at 11am, had to wait until around 1pm when a nurse came to get me from the waiting room, few forms then went to a room to wait for around an hour. At around 2:30 they put me under a general, decided another sciatic block wasn’t needed (thankgod) so just had the general and a local as well. Surgery itself took around 20mins apparently (awesome compared to the initial 5 hour stint!), I came to close to 4pm and got to go straight home after around an hour, brilliant!

Pain levels were/are non existant and I’m walking around fairly well altho trying to keep most of my weight off. I’ve taken the outer bandaging off, theres a lot of seepage but need to leave the skin dressings on for 7-10 days. Then its a trip to get it all cleaned up/sutures removed and a final 6 week check up with the surgeon.

Up until surgery its been doing really well, some days I barely noticed it but if I did too much it could be cranky and swollen for around a week. Was still a bit of limited movement, I’m hoping with most of the metal gone this will keep getting better 😀

First day of physio PT: week 9

Went to see my physio for the first time, went well! I have Pitting Oedema/Edema (sp?) which is the type of swelling when if you push down will leave impressions in your skin. He gave these areas a strong massage using thumbs, it hurt the most around the inside of my ankle strangely enough, but totally bearable. There is a large indent where the 2nd scar sits over my 4th/5th metatarsal, he said to work around this but not over the scar itself (scar tissue surrounds the scar which needs to be loosened up). I’ve lost a bit of feeling over the skin of my 4th toe which is directly related to this scar, but I do have most sensation which is a good sign and full feeling may come back in due time.

At this stage I can hobble without any aid (moon/cam boot or cane etc) but he told me not to full weight bear without my boot on (oops) but unlikely I have done any damage if it hasnt hurt so far. Its a great sign I’ve got no pain (obviously) ;). Interestingly enough he debated getting any of the metal removed, reasoning that if I’m having no problems/pain and already a good range of motion, why bother? I wonder if it could help hinder and progress of arthritis in the future? Not keen for another surgery at any rate!

He said I have good range of motion of my ankle and of the foot in general, but if I compare certain moves with my left foot the difference is still obvious. I’ve come away with a stretching band (long elastic plastic band) to help with the atrophy (muscle wasting) of my calf. I’m to work on stretching out the toes (despite the apparant protesting of the plates!) and use a golf ball to roll around the bottom of my foot (tennis ball too soft). The goal is to loosen up the tendons that stretch along the toes which will help fluid drain and lessen the Pitted Oedema.

Lis Franc is basically the worst thing you can do to your foot he said, and mine was a 7mm displacement with dislocation and fractures along all my metatarsals except the 5th. The thing that stayed with me is that I won’t wear strappy little heels anymore.. which is exactly one of my goals 😉

Hope this has been helpful to someone 🙂

9 weeks post op

Almost nine weeks post surgery. Mums a nurse so got her to make photocopies of the post op x rays they keep at the hospital.

Hmm! SO no wonder my big toe doesn’t bend too much? The surgeon said limited weight bearing but I’m already able to hobble quite well with no moon boot, crutches or anything. So am hoping this means the bones have healed well? I have the CT scan Monday 30th August and if that shows good healing we can book in to have the outermost plates removed (too much metal for them to see via xray). Will update Monday 🙂

No More Cast!: Day 58

6.5 weeks after surgery, cracked skin and Australian tan intact! 🙂

Last Thursday, almost a week ago, I had my cast removed! It was scheduled for the 5th but I received a letter stating that because of clinic issues it was brought back a week. I expected the absolute worst so I wouldnt be disappointed (awesome logic) and what I saw wasn’t actually too bad. Of course there was the calf muscle atrophy and because I’m already skinny the leg looked like an Ethiopian gazelle’s (and hairy like one too). I could touch the foot and move it around quite a bit, no discomfort or pain. Could also place it on the ground. I had xrays taken at this point but due to the metal the surgeon said he couldn’t see properly if the bones are healing. I’m scheduled for another CT scan in about 2 weeks time, and if the bones have healed okay we’ll set a date to get 2 of the 3 plates removed (a plate and staple remain). The surgeon said I could start minimal weight bearing (so relieved, initially was to be 3 months NWB) and the day after i got my moon boot. That same day went around the supermarket etc which my foot protested against, a bit too much for it I think.

Almost a week later theres progress in my ankle range of motion and I can stand with equal weight distribution. I can walk with crutches placing very minimal weight on my right foot.

Am having the most difficulty with pointing my toes up and down. I can hardly budge my toes when trying to move them up, down is slightly better. Not sure if this is because of the metal. 

Still quite a bit of swelling but most of the bruising has gone. No pain medication required.

4 tubs of dead skin cells later and feeling somewhat inadequate beside fantastic, normal foot..

Day 12: HOME!

Yay so I’m home after almost 2 weeks in hospital 🙂 The surgery went well, I was in for almost 3 hours under general anesthetic and a sciatic block. Was my first time under a general, last thing I remember was saying “hi team” to the 8 professionals in the theatre. So kinda ripped off I don’t remember feeling the joys of general! I woke up totally drowsy, knowing exactly where I was with a very uncomfortable leg from the knee down. Mum met me as I was being wheeled out which was cool. The leg was uncomfortable all night due to the block (surgery at 1pm, came out at around 5:30pm), basically felt like I’d been asleep on it for 12 hours. I was hooked up to a PCA which is self administered morphine, allowed 12mg per hour? with a 5 minute block out, 1 mg per shot. The sciatic block finally wore off from 1pm and yeah I was a bit sore. But once I got the hang of the PCA (I pumped it every time I was woken up for observations 2 hourly thru the night) the pain was not bad at all. 5 at its worst and then 2 on a 1-10 scale. The next day I was given 100mg of Tramadol which knocked me for a six, making me very sleepy. But no negative side effects and all in all I had a nice, relaxing night and next day. Since then I haven’t needed any pain relief but was given aspirin and ibuprofen for inflammation. The registrar and surgeon checked up on me this morning, saying the wounds looked good and I was free to go home! I have two wounds, around 3 inches long, one on the very top of my foot, and one down the side around my 4th metatarsal. I’ve had 3 plates and one staple put in, 2 of these plates will have to come out in 3 month’s time. Until then I’m non weight bearing. Next stop is getting a full cast and stitches out on Thursday..

Day 8

I’m writing this from Waikato hospital in Hamilton New Zealand awaiting surgery tomorrow. Got sent home on the plane just fine, as soon as I was in the plane my foot started throbbing and tingling so I was worried about how it would feel at altitude! I had called in advance to warn them, luckily the flight wasnt full and I was able to have a row to myself (no first class damn). I lay across the seats and propped up my leg as best as possible. Elevation is CRUICIAL!! Sweet flight and flew through customs. Boyfriend picked me up from the airport and dropped me off to an eagerly awaiting mother and hot chocolate. Bliss. Next morning mum took me in to the emergency ward, admitted on my 27th birthday. Shes a cardiac nurse so was able to push us through nicely. Definately helps having someone on the inside. Mum had already sped things up from her end when I was still in Brisbane. Turns out the expert ortho surgeon decided to take his 4 week holiday this week, awesome. I think on Thursday I went in for the CT scan, another surgeon is confident he can perform the surgery (else I would have had to go to Tauranga) and this is set to go ahead tomorrow arvo. I just want it done! So I  can start healing and get out of here. It hasnt been too bad apart from Patricia the dementia patient who spent the first night asking me to kill her. You get woken up at all times off the night by awful smells and screams of agony. You can’t feel sorry for yourself in hospital when theres people 10 times worse, thats for sure. Had a few probs with pressure points on my heel, dont have a lot of meat on my foot so been thru a couple of half-casts already. So praying that no munters like myself mash themselves from now till tomorrow and all going well my next post will be post-op…

Day 2

Pre Surgery X Ray taken at emergency room 20/06/2010

Hi everyone, after sustaining a Lis Franc injury I’ve decided to start my very first blog in the hope that some of us can get together and compare procedures, tips and recovery notes! Its also for me to keep track of everything as I’m sure the days will start blurring into one very quickly! After researching the crap out of this injury yesterday I know I’m in for a long, frustrating and painful haul but also keeping in mind that a lot of comments and posts on the internet will be from people that are really struggling and looking for advice. So have made a committment to stay positive!!

So it happened on Saturday 19th June 2010 at 2330. I was drunk and had been watching too much mortal kombat with my friend. Our play fights got increasingly more aggressive and my friend lifted me up and dropped me on my foot. Accidentally! I can only assume by the severity of my injury that both of us landed on my foot. It’s fairly messed up with Lis Franc fracture and lateral displacement or dislocation of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th metatarsals. So 4 taxi rides, and 2 emergency wards later began our marathon 12 hour wait in hospital. I must have seen around 5 doctors whose expressions while viewing my xrays were always enlightening. Sarcastically so of course. The wait was enhanced by some chick in the next bed who’d had her drink spiked. Even though nothing showed on her bloods. When she finally woke up after hours of people annoyingly yelling her name, she was even noisier; one of those idiots who says SHUTUP when they are expressing disbelief.

The pain was, and still is, virtually non existant, which the doctors seemed rather perplexed over after much poking and prodding. Pre xray I had convinced myself it was a strain because I still had pretty good motion. But since I was falling asleep while someone was digging driveway out of my elbow, I am hoping for an explanation of high pain tolerancy for the sake of things to come. Everyone asked if I wanted morphine, I did really want to try it but thought that pretty immature if I didn’t have any pain. Granted, alcohol has awesome pain reduction qualities but it wore off pretty soon after I saw my foot and good old realisation kicked in. Apologies to taxi drivers 1&2. Guess we’ll see after surgery, thats when its most sore right? I came out with a prescription for 5mg Endone which I’ll hopefully pick up today. I’ve been on Ibuprofen and Nurofen which seem to be all I need so far.

This all happened in Surfer’s Paradise, Gold Coast Australia. I was due to fly back home to Hamilton, New Zealand 2 days later. One doctor said theres no way that would happen cause I would need emergency surgery. When the orthopedic surgeon arrived at 9:30am he cleared me to go home in my half cast (apparently you can’t fly in a full cast in case of swelling). !!! 🙂 🙂 !!!!. A few documents and a pair of crutches and I was in the car for a 2hr trip back to the Gold Coast. I’ve called my airline, I’m hoping for a sympathy upgrade to First Class but hey, this is Pacific Blue we’re talking about 😉

I’ve never broken a bone or had surgery and now I get both. I turn 27 tomorrow. Hooray for drunken escapades!!!!