Hubby Having Foot Surgery ~ Any Advice?

Lounge By MollyGirl_17 Updated 29 Nov 2010 , 6:48am by MollyGirl_17

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MollyGirl_17 Posted 26 Nov 2010 , 2:14pm
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So after years of pain and months of unsuccessful treatments, my husband is having major foot surgery IN 2 WEEKS!! icon_surprised.gif This is a both a blessing and a burden; we've already met our insurance maximums for the year, so this isn't going to cost us much (if anything) at all. But on the flip side, I'm going to have a 26yo, 300lb infant on my hands. He can not put weight on his foot for 12, yes TWELVE, weeks. In the winter. In northern Ohio. Crutches + ice and snow = thumbsdown.gif I'm half his size so I'm starting to freak out about how he's going to get around and how I'm going to help him. Our closest relatives are almost 100mi away, and we only have a few friends in the area. And this is our first winter in our house. I have no idea how I'm going to get the driveway and sidewalks cleaned unless I shovel all gazillion feet of them by myself.

No one in my family has ever been on crutches, so I have like no idea what all to expect. I've already gotten a shower bench/chair, and he thinks he'll be able to go up the stairs on his knees and down them on his butt. I worry that one of the cats is going to cut him off or get underfoot and he'll fall. I already do the majority of the house work, but now I'm going to have to do all of it. No more "honey I need you to stop at the grocery store and grab what I forgot for dinner". I bought a new crock pot - I figure I can set it on the table to cook, and then he won't have to try to carry plates or bowls from the kitchen to the dining room.

We both already know hes going to go stir crazy being stuck in the house. The first week he has to be home, then after that hell be able to go to work thank goodness he works in the trucking office and not being a driver anymore or else hed be out of work the whole time. He should be able to get around ok I think as long as the weather is good and there isnt snow/slush/ice. Hes going to bring his video game system up from the basement, so that will be good. Im just so worried. icon_cry.gif The Dr says the recovery is going to take almost a year, but it has to get done. He can barely walk some days now and it would only keep getting worse. Sigh. Do any of you have any advice?

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Kiddiekakes Posted 26 Nov 2010 , 2:48pm
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I say take it day by day and see how it goes.Some days will be good and some bad but like you said...the alternative is no good either...People are very adaptable when you are forced to be so I don't think it will be as bad as you think...Make him comfortable and expect to do alot of running around for him but I bet after even 8 weeks he will be good enough to move around better.Plan ,eals and getting items so you aren't left to run to the store at the last minute...Mother nature waits for no one so I can't say what will happen with the weather but know this..If it is don't have to go anywhere...Maybe look into hiring a snow clearing company to clear the snow this year or a neighbor kid etc.Everything will fall into place...You'll won't be so bad!

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Bonnell Posted 26 Nov 2010 , 3:08pm
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My husband had foot surgery about 2 1/2 weeks ago. As a nurse I would not allow him to use crutches - they are too dangerous both as a accident waiting to happen and if used incorrectly can cause permanent nerve damage in the arms. We started out with a standard walker - the kind with two small wheels on the front. That worked but was very fatiguing for him. Next we got one of the walkers with the large wheels on each leg of it and the bench seat in the middle. Worked beautifully. He is actually able to put the knee of his operative leg up onto the bench and pushes with his other leg so it's like a scooter. Also, the bench works when he needs to carry something, he places it on the bench and just hops on his good leg. They also make a "walker" that is specifically for the leg. It's kind of hard to describe but it is basically a triangle design with a platform near the top and wheels on the bottom. There is portion that extends above the platform to hold onto. It works the same way in which my husband is using the other walker - the impaired leg is placed on the platfrom (knee bent resting on platform) and holding onto the handle the good leg propels the whole thing along. I had a friend that used this after extended foot issues and she was actually able to work (as a nurse) while on this. I'm sorry but I have no clue where you would find it. Try contacting some local medical supply places. The walker we are using is easy to find and I think costs around $100. Good Luck. 12 weeks will pass eventually even if it doesn't seem like it now.

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indydebi Posted 26 Nov 2010 , 4:09pm
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I had foot surgery a few years ago. Mine sounds much simpler than what your hubby is about to go thru, but agree with the crutches advice above. My dad was on crutches off and on his whole life, so as kids we played with them alot so I was 'experienced' with them and they were still a pain to deal with.

I think he's optimistic about how to go up and down the stairs. It will still be hard for him.

I had one of those orthopedic shoe things, which is about 2" taller than a flat regular shoe, causing me to walk with a limp. But what it also caused was for me to throw my back out while going up the stairs one day. It made sense after the fact ..... my body is out of alignment because one leg is 2" shorter than the other. So be very very careful on this.

While I couldn't walk, my hubby was great. He ran a super long (50') phone line to my (then NOT wireless) laptop and made sure I had my laptop, the phone and the tv remote next to me every morning. A pitcher of water with some snacky foods were handy (fruit, chips, cheese-n-crackers, etc.)

Again, his sounds much more serious than what mine was, so I hope these little tidbits help a little.

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Bonnell Posted 26 Nov 2010 , 5:55pm
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I googled "knee walker" and got quite a few hits. A lot of the places offered shipping to anywhere in the US and most offer rental rates (the purchase rates were quite high). There was also one site that had a "hands free crutch" that might be an option as it showed people using it to go up and down stairs. Basically it straps onto the affected leg with the knee bent at a 90 degree angle with a metal pole and "foot" extending to the floor. Hope that helps.

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MollyGirl_17 Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 10:04am
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Thanks everyone for your ideas.

Bonnel ~ the orthopedist (I keep calling him the orthopediatrician, lol) has the wheel scooter thing you described for rent ~ $65/month and we'd need it for 3 months. We think the insurance will only cover crutches, but we're not sure. He thinks the scooter will only work in two rooms of our house ~ the rest is all carpet, and new carpet at that. The other rooms on the first floor have all new tile and cherry wood, so it's smooth but we insist on shoes off at the door, so the wheels would have to be washed every time he came home. Would he even be able to take something like that with him out in public? I'll look into the walkers and hands-free crutch also.
And now I'm starting to wonder how he's going to get in/out of his truck. It's a full size 4x4 and sits up high. This is going to be a learning experience for sure!

On a funny note, he's realized he's going to have a cath and started worrying about nurses "seeing him". icon_redface.gif Being the lovely wife that I am, I informed him of just how bone-chilling cold the operating room was when I had my surgery last month... He was not amused!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

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indydebi Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 10:38am
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Originally Posted by MollyGirl_17

On a funny note, he's realized he's going to have a cath and started worrying about nurses "seeing him". icon_redface.gif Being the lovely wife that I am, I informed him of just how bone-chilling cold the operating room was when I had my surgery last month... He was not amused!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

You ARE a good wife!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Guys are so funny! They will grab their you-know-where, give it a jiggle and make jokes about "I got some tires you can rotate, baby!" but a nurse tells them to drop their drawers and suddenly they're shy little boys! icon_lol.gif

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WendyVA Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 1:00pm
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My husband had foot surgery in July and had to stay off of it for a few weeks. He tried the walker at first, but he's a big guy and it was awkward for him. Of course they probably make some walkers now that are much nicer. This was a regular one. He preferred crutches.

One bit of advice we learned about going up or down stairs. It seems like common sense, but we learned it the hard way. Don't try to go up or down (especially down) on just the crutches. Use one crutch and the hand rail!

I hope your husband's surgery goes well and he has a quick recovery!

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Shelle_75 Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 1:10pm
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I hope everything goes okay for you. I'm sure you will both find new ways of doing things. My husband had surgery on his dominant hand two years ago and spend several months in a cast. It was amazing the innovative ideas he could come up with when he really wanted to do something. The laughter that ensued from both of us when I was trying to help him do stuff brought us closer together. Keep a sense of humor and you will both do fine.

I will say, if this is his first go-round with pain killers, keep an eye on him. They gave my husband, who has never taken anything more potent than Motrin, Vicodin, and after a week of him being totally out of it and sick with flu like symptoms we figured out he was allergic to it.

Good luck!

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Bonnell Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 3:55pm
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Please assure your husband that most nurses have seen enough "equipment" in their careers that it's like looking at a stick of furniture. As I tell my husband, in the 32 years I've been a nurse I've only seen one that impressed me - fortunately the man was unconscious so he wasn't aware of my very loud gasp and big eyes!!!! LOL

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Shelle_75 Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 4:12pm
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Thanks for the LOL Bonnell!!


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latenight Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 2:02am
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MollyGirl, what is he having done? I had a subtalar fusion in June (summer in Texas, way easier than winter in Ohio, I know), and they told me that I would be non-weight bearing for 12 weeks and need 6 to 12 mos for full recovery.

I highly recommend the Rollabout or other knee walker. I just bought it out of pocket on Amazon and I plan to sell it when I'm done with it. (I'm walking now, but am going to have one more revision done). Everytime I go to the orthopediatrician (I love it), people in the waiting room ask me about my "Scooty-Doo" and how I like it. I know I will be able to sell it for at least half of my new purchase price, so I'm okay with it. It definitely was worth the money I won't be getting back. I didn't even run it by the insurance. Oh and get one with a basket!!!! Priceless!

It ran on my carpet all over my house with no problem ... I think most of the Knee Walkers will, they have taller wheels than a Rollator or wheeled walker that is meant to be used as a bipedal walker. Edited to add: I just realized that your concern is not getting your carpet dirty from outside gunk on the wheels. Maybe look into laying down some protective Grandma vinyl. This thing is so awesome it's worth it for a few months.

The other thing I wanted to say was that even thought they told me 12 weeks no weight bearing, I was walking in six. I think they always give you the worst numbers ...

Oh the other other thing I wanted to say was for Indy. During my lovely sojourn in "The Boot" they gave my a 1-1/2" high sole to strap on my other shoe to even me up. I wonder why no one hooked you up with one of those? That's too bad, that thing was great, but my Sketchers Shapeups were the exact right height to match my Aircast, also.

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latenight Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 2:15am
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Okay this is my third other thing, sorry to be such a mess! I know he was told he has to be completely off it, but if he is anything like me, he will lose his balance now and again and put his Surgery Foot (yes, it's a proper noun at my house) down to steady himself. It will hurt a lot, but it happens. The first time I did it, I thought I ruined the entire surgery, but my orthopediatrician (who I'm going to see on Wednesday and I'm totally going to call him that) just shook his head and said, "It happens". I'm just passing this along, because I freaked out over it.

Good job on the shower bench! That thing is awesome. My husband works out of town and he went on shift the fourth day after my surgery leaving me home alone, and I was able to get myself in and out of the shower with the bench. I know some people are talented enough to shower standing on one leg for twelve weeks, but I'm not one of 'em. icon_redface.gif

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MollyGirl_17 Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 6:48am
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You guys crack me up...and I so totally think Orthopediatrician is appropriate since DH is going to be be a big baby and milk this for all it's worth. He'a already practicing his whiney voice "hooonnnneyyyy...Will you make me some hot chocolate?" "hoooonnnneeeyyyy...the remote fell on the floor" icon_lol.gificon_rolleyes.gif I'm really hoping he'll be back on his feet earlier than 12 weeks!

He's having a triple*something-or-other*fusion and lengthening of his achilles tendon. Yeah, OUCH. icon_surprised.gif I did some googling for the scooter and handsfree crutch and they both were pretty neat. Unfortunately they are way way way out of our price range. thumbsdown.gif He's going to call and get an apt to get fitted with this crutches hopefully this week or early next week so he'll have a day or two to try them out. I think knowing that he's tried them out ahead of time will really make me feel more comfortable. Same thing with getting in & out of the shower bench. I told him I'm going to wrap his surgery foot up in a big towel and make him go through his routine!

Oh and the programmable crock pot I ordered should arrive Monday! I'm going to set my large square cake pan upside-down on the kitchen table and use it as a base ~ I'm afraid the heat from the crock pot could damage the wood table. Anyone with yummy crockpot recipes feel free to PM them as I don't have any at all! icon_smile.gif I'm going to take the advice someone gave earlier, sorry I can't pull up who, and set out a pitcher of water on the table next to his recliner, and I'm also going to pack his lunch cooler like I would for work and set that there as well. Then all he'll need to do is crutch his way into the dining room and dinner (crock pot) will already be on the table!

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