Here's the udpate at 3 weeks for Dog's foot procedure. 3 weeks ago, Dog got the Hyprocure (tm) foot procedure done on his left foot as I described in great detail in the last post.
The Monday following Thursday's surgery (.5 week point), he went to the doc who took x-rays, changed his bandages and said things are lookin' good. Dog got some narcotics from the doc to combat the pain, which was still great at the time. During this time, Dog was wearing the boot constantly, as instructed post-op, and using crutches.
Doc says he can start getting around more, but must continue to wear the boot and use the crutches, although he may walk via the boot gently and just a little if he feels able, but not for more than 15 minutes; we don't want to dislodge the bolt that was just put in there. Doc also instructs to continue to keep the foot elevated and keep the icepack on the area just under the knee (just above the boot). Dog religiously elevates the foot at every opportunity - on the couch and in bed.
Here is the picture I snapped of his foot at week .5. As you can see, it's healing up but is very bruised and still has the 'yes' penned on it from the surgery (the doc verifies with you before surgery that this is the correct foot - you say yes, and that's what they write on the foot):
And onward we head through week 1 with weekly doc visits schedule for every Monday. Week 2 saw Dog feeling better and getting around. Pain lowering steadily and he's at 4-5; Vicos help some, but so does healing just in general. Dog starts walking more with his boot and crutches, taking over some of the little dog-walking potty excursions (this is great for me because my week of nursing has undone 2 months of painstaking physical therapy trying to get sciatica under control and I'm laid out - again). Dog's back is really starting to hurt.
About a week after surgery, the inflation system on Dog's boot stops working, so he contacts the doc's office to see about getting another boot. The doc's office gives him another boot, but it's a different kind. Within a day, Dog is amazed at how much better he is feeling - the new boot is far superior to the old; it's more comfortable and is easier to walk in.
I did some research and judging by photos online, Dog's old boot was an Ossur Rebound Air Tallk Walking Boot like this:
His new boot is an Aircast FP Walker. He likes it much, much better for his gait, for his back and for the angle of the boot. It looks like this:
A few days later finds us at Monday for the 2nd doc's visit, the 1.5 week mark, and Dog is going crazy wanting to just heal so he can take a shower. His foot pain is now pretty bearable, and narcos are barely being used. Doc takes more x-rays, tests out the foot and removes the bandages to change them. I snap a pic. Here it is - still bruised and can still see the 'yes':
Doc approves showering at this point, but with the caveat that the foot is not to get soaked (don't take a bath, try to keep the foot from getting really wet). Doc also says Dog can start walking around more with boot only (not more than half hour, however) and is healing beautifully; also tells Dog to continue to do what he's doing because it's working (elevate, ice pack, do a little moving around, but don't push it).
Doc then gives Dog some bandages to keep his foot bandaged and says to keep the boot on, in general, although he does tell Dog he can now remove the boot when he's just resting and not moving around or doing anything that could risk over-using or over-weighting the foot (for instance, lounging around in the recliner surfing the web can be done with bandange only and no boot; sleeping, however, still requires boot; and of course, all movement requires boot). Still, Dog is overjoyed! First thing when we get home, Dog gets in the shower...
Speaking of shower, before the surgery, we bought two things that have helped both of us enormously (I just bought them off of Amazon - they were both affordable and arrived within 2-3 days with regular shipping!): a foldable shower stool (about $20) and a hand-held/hose showerhead (about $25). This helps me with the sciatica since I can't stand for more than a minute without being in agony, and of course, helps Dog since he can't stand in the shower either since he's not supposed to bear weight on that foot without the boot on. Here's what we got and they both have worked great:
Dog now ditches the crutches completely and goes boot only. He is really quite mobile now, albeit for short periods of time. He assiduously continues to keep his foot elevated and iced as the previous two weeks, takes ibuprofen to reduce swelling, doesn't overdo walking, doesn't get his foot soaked and generally follows doctor's orders.
At 2.5 weeks post-op, we have our 3rd doctor's visit. Doc takes more x-rays, tests out the foot and is very pleased. Dog is doing so well, the doc says he can remove the sutures and that Dog no longer has to wear the boot and can now wear shoes! Here's Dog's foot after having the sutures removed:
And so here we are. It's been 3 weeks from surgery as of yesterday. Dog still shouldn't walk barefoot and still needs to keep a breathable band-aid on the wound area (one with open sides) with a little antibiotic ointment on daily for the next few days (and then no ointment), but that's it. He's basically done and absolutely can't wait to do his right foot next month!
In general, Dog says that all of the pain he had in his ankle and through the bottom of his foot are now gone. He has experienced some numbness in his toes along with the pain of the surgery, but that is steadily dissipating and is expected to be pain-free and full-feeling in very short order. Now he's starting to feel a tired-muscle type of soreness in his toes and in the areas of the foot that he's never used before.
He's continually amazed at the shape of his foot and the fact that now, at 46, he's walking the way that he should have been walking his entire life. He keeps saying things like "So this is how people's feet are supposed to be!" He also says that it feels like his foot is turned inward, but when he looks down at it, it looks perfectly straight. I can also look at it and see that from all angles, it is now perfectly straight. When we look at the x-ray, and a dot is placed in the exact center of all of his bones, we can now draw a straight line, as well. Superb!
Dog is currently enjoying researching what kind of shoe he'll now be able to buy since he never could find a pair that was comfortable. He's also hopeful that maybe, just maybe, his knee and back pain will also subside a bit after he gets his right foot corrected and his body has time to stabilize with both of his new feet and his new posture. Finally, Dog has actually gotten a little taller from this procedure! Yes, because his foot is no longer collapsing inward when he stands, he's about 1/4" or so taller (although he's already 6'1" to my 5'1"- it's not like he actually needs to be taller).
I think we're good for the left foot for now (knock on wood). We go see the doc in a few days for post-op visit #4 on Monday and expect that he'll tell Dog he can now maybe go swimming (summer in Arizona is much nicer when you can go swimming), and we expect to begin discussions about doing the right foot next month. So, that wraps this up for now. I'll update when we do the right foot next month!