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Pitting Edema: Wk 9

Pitting Edema

Pitting Edema, Wk. 9, (click for larger image)

Learned that the swelling I have is called Pitting Edema. (Click the photo for a definition and a close up shot.) It’s not painful but it’s weird. Also, foot is quite itchy the last few days.

Physical therapy has started. Yesterday, among other things, I had to pick up marbles with my toes and drop them into a cup. Not easy when the big toe can only move about 1/4 of an inch!


Scarring and Plastic Surgery

You will have scars. I didn’t really give it much thought before the surgery, but the scars on my right foot, 6 months since surgery, are pretty ugly. I’m told it takes a year for the scar to completely “settle”.

I wonder how a doctor might feel if asked to do a plastic surgery type of closure? Or to get a plastic surgeon to do the final closures? (It’s a special kind of wound closure that results in a finer scar.) I don’t know if they would even allow it, but if you think you are going to be upset by the fact that you may have a big red welt on  your foot, it might be worth a conversation. (I would think it’s easier to have a plastics doc close up  the original incision  than have scar revision surgery later?) Surely it would be easier on the patient, physically, but I have to guess that with the healthcare situation in the U.S., it would get a little hairy insurance-wise.  But, I’m not a doctor, not an insurance agent, and I am only surmising.

Mini Tightrope Bunionectomy: Checkup, Wk 8

Post op, Week 8

Post op, Week 8 (click for larger image)

This was a milestone week:

    1. All the steri-strips came off (I was being very patient, trying to restrain from pulling them off, and the doctor pulled the last one off at my checkup on Wednesday!).
    2. I got clearance to start riding a bike and/or using the elliptical machine. (I have to wait one more week to swim so the scar gets more “set” (I believe that’s the word he used.)
    3. I walked a mile
    4. I started physical therapy
The walking really depends on the shoes. Those Sketchers I mentioned last week are super comfortable due to the softer insole. The clogs a little less so because they have a really hard sole and the toe joint seems to get more sore when I wear them. Doc suggested I find some kind of liner for them. I’m sure they will feel fine in a few weeks.
I got back on my bicycle to go the 1/3 mile to the physical therapist and to go run some local errands. So even though I could walk in shoes for a few weeks, it’s just now, getting back on my main mode of transportation,  that I feel some sense of “normal”.
Physical Therapy was exactly as it was last time: something I feel like I should do but something I also want to get over with. One down, eleven to go.
Tip: it may take a few weeks to get an appointment for a PT evaluation. Book ahead! Since I figured the doc would clear me at about 8 weeks, I booked the eval and the next few weeks of appointments about four weeks ago. You can always cancel.

Mini Tightrope Bunionectomy: Wk 7

Post op, Week 7

Post op, Week 7 (click for larger image)

Seems like huge strides every day. This photo was taken yesterday. Notice one of the strips has fallen off and it generally looks raggedy. That means scabs are healing and going to fall off soon. Today the strip between my two toes fell off.  I don’t think it was totally ready as the scar was very pink and a little sore, but I cleaned it with isopropyl alcohol and it seemed to be ok.

Today I was able to wear a different shoe than a sneaker. I have these sketchers shape ups that are “doctor approved” as post-surgical foot-wear. They have a rocker bottom but a very stiff sole (hence the approval). Not only did my foot get in the shoe OK  (had been a challenge due to swelling) but it was so comfortable I barely remembered I had surgery!!

Here is a picture of something like what I was wearing today.

Doctor Approved Post Surgery Shoe

Doctor Approved Post Surgery Shoe

Shoes, Swelling, and Self-Pity

I had forgotten that one doesn’t just go pain-free into a shoe after six weeks of cam-boot. It’s a slow transition. I haven’t even been wearing the running shoe all day yet.  The big toe joint is very sore. Once I’m in the shoe it’s not so bad but the putting on and taking off is a killer. I know it gets better so I’m not sure why I’m experiencing a tiny bit of self-pity. (It may have less to do with the foot and more to do with the  dental work I just had done. )

Mini Tightrope Bunionectomy: Wk 6

Post op, Week 6 (Click for larger Image)

Post op, Week 6 (Click for larger Image)

Bandage Removal! Shower! Shoe!  A huge milestone week. The bandage came off today. Because I’m an “old hand” having done the right foot in April, I was allowed to skip the doctor visit and cut the gauze and tape off myself. I am now also allowed to let water run over the foot which means A NORMAL SHOWER! And lastly, I am transitioning into a shoe!

One thing that is interesting if you click to look at the bigger photo is how dry and scaley the foot is. Lots of dead skin will come off in the shower over the next few days. The yellowish markings are some kind of adhesive used to help the steri-strips stick.  And the yellowish hue of the foot is due to the betadyne (?) that they used during surgery.

I had forgotten, however, that the transition is slow. I am allowed stiff soled shoes like clogs, or stiff running shoes. I wore the boot to work (for a little extra protection on the train) but then excitedly jumped directly into clogs. I had forgetten that the foot still swells at this stage and that the running shoes (lace-ups) provide much needed “give” for the foot. I was only able to wear the clogs about half the day and then had to revert to the boot again. The ball of the foot feels the most achey after today. I even took a Tylenol.

I remember it will get easier but it is a transition to shoes, not a giant step.

Mini Tightrope Bunionectomy: Checkup, Wk 5

Post op, Week 5 (Click for larger Image)

WARNING: Do not click the images at left if you are squeamish. Foot still looks rather gruesome.

Belated post of my 10/12 checkup. I was told all looks fine. I was also told, since I’m an “old hand” I don’t have to come in the next week  if I’m comfortable removing the bandage and transitioning into the shoe. Wahoo!