I have been dealing with foot and ankle issues for awhile, especially my right ankle where there is a 17 x 10 millimeter divot (hole, deep dish). The MRI that I had in June revealed the divot and my podiatrist who I saw on Friday mentioned surgery to fill the divot/plug it to prevent me from developing arthritis. His colleague, the chief ankle and foot surgeon at a renowned orthopaedic institute which is part of a top-notch hospital will be the surgeon performing the surgery.
I had been debating getting surgery for awhile because I am in constant pain amongst other symptoms and I have tried so many other modalities to attempt to resolve the pain, cortisone shots, braces, physical therapy, etc. This is my last resort but I have made my decision that this is what I need to do to not only prevent arthritis but make it easier for me to live with the pain and other symptoms.
My family and I have been talking about the optimal time for me to get the surgery and I left a message for this doctor asking if I could get the surgery in January. I would ideally like to do it sooner but I will be on crutches for awhile after the operation and I travel a lot around Thanksgiving and Christmas. It would be very challenging for me to travel with a suitcase and crutches.
Last night I was up late because I was nervous about getting the surgery but I realize that this is in my best interest and something I should do to help myself.
I am nervous about the surgery and also the recovery such as possibly needing home care, physical therapy, etc. I think that my insurance will cover what I need as far as the surgery and aftercare, I have checked with them. It is still a bit of a shock that this is really going to happen and I know it is for the best, but it still nerve-wracks me a bit.
Does anyone have experience with a situation or condition similar to this? I'd appreciate any advice related to what I have posted here.
09-02-2013, 02:38 PM
Follow your doctors and understand that any treatment only work if you are consistent. Know each treatment's pros and cons. Joint surgery for arthritis might become necessary if you can't bear the pain any longer.
09-15-2013, 12:06 PM
I had different issues than you do, but recently I needed surgery on my ankle and six months later broke my leg and needed surgery again. The surgery actually held beautiful when I broke my ankle, it was everything else that got messed up. So I know ankle surgery!
So here's what I can tell you. You will not be able to get around much after surgery so GET A KNEE SCOOTER. I used crutches both times and immediately developed tennis elbow in both my arms which was miserable. I also was forced to use the motorized scooters at the store and they don't have a place to put crutches. Knee scooter people just seem active and like they are having fun.
If someone can take care of you, get their help, it goes much better with someone to make your meals. But it's ok if you are alone. My second surgery I was all alone for two weeks of it (my husband had a work trip he could not get out of), I was on crutches and wasn't allowed to drive. We planned ahead and it was miserable but I survived.
You will not be allowed to drive. Even if the work is being done on your non-driving foot, my doctor told me that if I was in an accident, even if I wasn't at fault, lawyers would try to blame me if the cops reported a boot or crutches in the car.
You will need a lot of physical therapy. After my first surgery I was feeling awesome and did well with recovery. When I broke my leg and needed surgery the second time it was awful and took forever to mend. It got to the point where I was very frustrated and thought I would always limp, but after about 8 months I have been fine. You may see me posting about ankle problems, But it's actually not my 'bad' ankle giving me trouble. At this point I still tend to overuse my 'good' ankle and it starts complaining, my 'bad' ankle gets a little sore now and then but it's actually better than the 'good' one.
Finally, it looks like you are doing great with your weight loss. Keep that up, step it up if you can. Weight train your arms. The stronger your arms and the less you weight, the easier a time you will have with crutches.
My insurance covered just about everything, I only had to pay for a couple of physical therapy visits.
Good luck! You will feel better after surgery. It may take a while, it may seem like it takes forever, but it will be better.
09-15-2013, 08:08 PM
I have had 4 ankle surgeries. I highly recommend the ice water compression boot if it is an option for you post-surgery. Since I had been on crutches so many times, I didn't struggle with that at all. I never used motorized carts in stores or anything like that either. I also drove...I learned to drive with my left foot. I don't think it is too scary, but have realistic expectations and do your whole rehab no matter how frustrated you get. I had to have the last surgery partially because I overworked and underrehabbed the 3rd one. Be smart!
09-15-2013, 10:40 PM
If you feel the surgery is the right thing, there are some other things to consider.
You indicated you have health insurance. What time of year does your deductible and co-pay reset?
If it's January, you will have to meet the whole deductible, (80/20, etc,) and co pay right off the bat!
Money, money, money.
Another consideration, where do you live? Is it an area where the months of January and so on are cold and icy and snowy!?
Depending on your insurance, you might be better off, money considered to get it done before the end of the year. Like December 30.
Just some random thoughts. I really need to look into knee replacement, I was told that a long time ago. I"m in the early stages of planning this.
Looking at insurance, co-pay, 80/20, time of year, snow. I'm leaning towards late March, we could get some other things done towards the deductible and so on, and I would be healed up in time to garden and enjoy summer, with out having to suffer through too much crappy winter weather.
Also, ask about getting temp handicapped sticker for your vehicle, if you have car.
Having run the gamut of a long term health issue with my husband and dealing with the insurance, I don't have an issue with having a needed surgery, but you need to really, really ask tons of questions of your health insurance company, and make sure you have all your ducks in a row with them.:hug::dizzy::?::carrot:
09-15-2013, 11:26 PM
Thank you to everyone who replied.
Since initially writing this post, I met with the chief foot and ankle surgeon, I had set a surgery date with him but I decided to postpone the surgery, much to his staff's upset which they voiced loud and clear. I have decided to meet with another foot and ankle surgeon, who works in the same practice but in a different office. I have a lot of mixed feelings regarding getting surgery but numerous surgeons seem to think that surgery can help, so I will most likely do it. My main emotion running through me is fear, of the crutches, the pain, the recovery, etc. There doesn't seem to be a day that goes by where I don't think of my ankle and the possibility of surgery.
I guess I should 'bite the bullet' and get the surgery. Sometimes I make things out to be worse than they really are, maybe I am doing that. I do want to get the surgery and put it behind me.
09-16-2013, 02:28 PM
You can do this SeaBiscuit! You will feel better after surgery ... recovery takes a while, but once you are through with it you will feel so much better. I didn't even realize how bad my foot was until after it was fixed and it sounds like you are in a lot more pain and disability than I was.
And I might have been a bit draconian in some of the things I said, silverfighter is right that I could have driven if I wanted ... my doctor just requested that I not do it (I think he's as scared of lawyers as I am).
But you can do this! It's not going to be anywhere near as bad as your worries. Just make a great recovery plan and you should do awesome!
09-26-2013, 10:21 PM
Thank you so much for your support. I found a new surgeon, who I met with recently, he is so nice and caring, his assistant is great too. They have been so helpful with returning my calls and emails, which I try to not overuse. I think I will bring them a box of cookies from the local bakery for my follow up visit. I feel like I have found a gem of a doctor, I talked to him briefly tonight because of some medical concerns that I had but he said it is fine for me to get the surgery. Not all docs are as great as this one, so I feel very comfortable and confident going into the surgery. My surgery is this Wednesday. A family member will be spending the night before with me, I may spend the night in the hospital, it is a hospital which is small and only does orthopaedics, the practice I go to is exclusive with this hospital. I will have some caregivers come over soon after the surgery and I had some home medical equipment dropped off.