I recently had sugery for recurrent peroneal tendon subluxation and a torn superior peroneal retinaculum. I had severely sprained my left ankle a few times over the years playing basketball and I fell again in February this year. Apparently all the thrills and spill have taken their toll and the tendon is dislocating and rubbing against the ankle bone, grinding away at the tendon. So, I have had surgery to correct it so that I can eventually get back on the court. Here is what to expect post op after the surgery. In the surgery they will basically repair any tears in the tendon and tack it back down so that it no longer dislocates and rubs against your ankle bone. You will wear a walking boot for 4-6 weeks following surgery. They probably shouldn’t call this a walking boot as you will be using crutches for at least 2 weeks. I’ll keep you posted. You won’t take the boot off for two weeks and you won’t get that leg wet for two weeks either. Showers and baths will be loads of fun. You will probably stick your leg out of the tub and have your spouse pour water on you ad rinse you off. You have to do this because you cannot take off the “walking boot” for at least 2 weeks. So, here is a recap on what I experienced post op the first week after surgery.
Day of Surgery – They tell you to bring crutches. You can leave them in the car. You won’t need them until you get home because the staff will wheel you out of the surgery center. It is just day surgery. You can’t eat or drink anything after midnight which if you are like me means you will get a migraine. My head was pounding by the time I got home at 6:00 pm. I ended up getting sick to my stomach around 10:00 pm despite the nausea medication. But, the foot did not hurt too bad. Shoot, this was going to be easy I thought…if I could only get rid of that dumb headache. I was given a script for pain medication from the surgery center that my wife filled before we left that day. I took a pill every 4 hours after I got home. Only 1 pill every 4 hours…not bad.
Day 1 following surgery – I worked from home that day. Hey, I had a laptop and I had work to do. I put my laptop in my lap (duh) and propped my leg up and all was good. My leg did not hurt too bad and I took a pain pill every 4 hours. My head was finally okay, (thank you Lord) and my stomach felt better since 10:00 pm the night before. So, yeah, all was good. I used my crutches and I even only used one crutch once in the kitchen when I was washing the coffee pot. This is going to be easy! I went back to the couch and worked some more, ate dinner and went to bed that night about 10. I woke up about 10:25 and wondered how in the world do they expect you to sleep while you wear this big clunky boot? I am a side sleeper and this is horrible. I tossed and turned and fell back asleep…on my back. I woke up at 11:00 pm and moved to the couch. At 11:35 I woke up and my foot was pounding! I did the math and figured I was still 90 minutes away from another pain pill. Wait! The bottle says “Take 1 or 2 pills every 4 – 6 hours”… so I grabbed my crutches and loped over to the kitchen and got another as fast as I could! I waited for it to help…it really didn’t help much. I didn’t remember my back surgery hurting this much but that was almost 5 years ago and I was in the hospital for almost a week and I had an IV drip with pain medications…so, it is probably not a fair comparison. This thang was hurtin’. By midnight I was googling “Post op pain following surgery for recurrent peroneal tendon subluxation.” As I tried to find some info I wondered if I messed something up when I hobbled in front of the sink and washed that coffee pot. No! I couldn’t have, I didn’t put any weight on it because it hurt when the “walking boot” bumped up against the counter. I finally found a short article by someone who said Day 2 and 3 was the worst. I said some prayers, asked for strength and patience and went back to sleep.
Day 2 – This day the pain will be the worst. Don’t put any weight at all on your foot. Keep it elevated and follow your doctor’s orders. Take your pain medication only as directed. Take your antibiotics as directed. Drink plenty of water. Yes, this means you will have to get up more often. When you get up, your leg is lowered and it hurts. It throbs. You will get used to it… kinda. Day 2 only lasts 24 hours. Say some more prayers. The Lord is good. Count your blessings.
Day 3 – On this day, I started trying to wean myself back from the pain pills a little. I tried to only take one at a time – unlike day 2. And I tried to go at least 5 hours before taking another one – also unlike day 2. Once I even made it 7 hours. My foot was slowly feeling better! Okay, okay, it was slowly not hurting as much! Hey, even that was an improvement and an answer to prayer. Thank you Lord!
Day 4 – I only took ibuprofen on this day – 2 at a time, every 6 hours. Not bad. Now, the foot still ached a little, okay a lot when it was down, but it was not unbearable. I could tell it was healing. I continued to try to keep it elevated as much as possible. I was at work and I had people running errands for me…making me coffee, washing the cup, getting me water…it was kinda cool. I may keep the boot on for an extra couple of weeks.
Days 5 – 6 These days were much of the same thing with some slight improvements each day. By day 5 the pain was not nearly as bad though it was still significant whenever my foot was not elevated. I could actually push my foot against the bottom of the walking cast a little bit without any jabbing pains in the side of my foot. My leg itself was feeling sore and the bottom of my foot was feeling swollen as well. Different types of pains were starting to make themselves known. My sleep at night was still difficult and awkward but I could tell that healing was going on.
Day 7 – My foot still hurts but not as much. I visualize a much smaller knife jabbing me from time to time when I lower my foot from off of its perch on the the couch or the desk at work. Actually, it is bearable to keep it down and work with it down from time to time. I have done so for 15 minute stretches every couple of hours the last day or two. I will be so glad when I am fully recovered. I will also be glad when I don’t have to use these crutches any more… they can wear you out if you have to go any distance at all. And let me be sure to tell you this, orthopedic injuries and recovery from surgery is painful. Be patient and understand that it is going to hurt. You will need some help.
The first week was done and it was a long week. Before I go let me take a minute to say this…my wife has been awesome during this time! Let me also add that she has always been awesome….for over the last 30 years that we have been married she has been a blessing to me. But the last week she has really gone out of her way to take care of me and try to keep me from doing too much. That alone is a full time job. But let me say it again, she is awesome! The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22
Pro 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.
God has shown me His favor by blessing me with such a good wife. She has been doing double duty this week and still has several weeks to go and hasn’t complained once. I love her sooo much! When you go through your surgery and recovery, see if you can get someone to help out for at least the first week. You will need it as you will need to rest and not put any weight on your foot for at least a couple of weeks. And when someone helps you tell them thank you. I have had a lots of people at working getting me coffee and water and running errands for me…the Lord has blessed me, shown me His favor and surrounded me with an awesome family and wonderful friends. God is so good! I hope and pray that He will bless you in the same way.
If you have any questions about a similar surgery that you are about to go through or have recently had, please feel free to email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org