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!
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.
This was a milestone week:
- 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!).
- 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.)
- I walked a mile
- I started physical therapy
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.
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. )
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.
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!