Hi Willow. My doc is conservative with the brace, but I am allowed to remove it for showers. I rented an elec hospital bed which has been a big help with comfort. I also bought one of those grabber things so I don't have to bend over so much. I suggest getting your prescriptions filled in advance if possible. I did not have post surgery nausea, but doc gave me a script for scopolamine patch which might have been nice if I had a longer trip from the hospital. Just having it avail made me feel better.
Wow...a friend had this happen on April 12th. He doctors advised her not to "google" anything on this, but I felt that I needed to understand more for her as she is in so much pain and does not have a dedicated support team at this time. In my quick review, I see that there are some people from Eastern Iowa on here...we are in the Waterloo area. She is recieving care at Covenant and they told her that they would not touch her and she would have to go to Iowa City. She has good insurance, so that is not the issue. Any input would be appreciated. I will begin reading from the begining of this forum and make sure she has this when it is time...my guess is she will have many questions and it appears that you are a great support for each other on here.
Thanks again for any suggestions or thoughts.
Hi Everyone: had my first physio session today. i learned how to walk with 1 crutch. it was very exciting!!! i was also assigned 4 exercises for stretching - i do two at a time alternating 4 times a day. the stretching part only requires me to attend physio once a week - it is my responsibility to do the work at home which i am fine with since i can't drive yet and i am always asking someone for a ride!! so far i feel pretty good and not too much swelling or pain. in 6 weeks we start strengthening which is 3 times a week and more work at home. all in all today was a good day!!
Joani - the patches are called Yunnan Baiyao Plaster. i can send you a picture if you want - let me know.
Flerdle - good to hear you are back to normal. that is something i am really looking forward to.
Tammy - you are right about the swelling - PT mentioned this as well. movement helps the blood flow and the circulation. i am also using tensor bandages for compression. it's better then compression stocking because you can localize them. i am finding this to help.
Knott02 - sorry to hear about your friends injury but you have come to the right place. Yes this is a great forum!! it's a wealth of information and a bunch of great people.
Hi Carol and rpolaw and any others i have missed. hope you are all doing well.
This is a great site. Read as much of it as you can. The most important thing is to get a surgeon who has done many of these surgerys. If your friend has a complete avulsion, it is a relatively rare surgery and very few orthopedic surgeons have done it. If you read this forum, you will see that post op, those who had an experienced surgeon did best. My wife's surgeon has published papers, with his partners, of over fifty complete avulsion surgeries they have done. My wife had essentially no pain after the first day and at seven weeks post op is working full time, driving 20 miles to work, and gardening on the weekends. Good luck. Please tell your friend the surgery is well worth it, and everyday gets better.
Congratulations on getting you surgery date. You say you are "a bit freaked." That's normal! But they will keep you comfortable during your stay in the hospital, and after that it's one day at a time, knowing that each day gets a little brighter. You asked for suggestions what to bring; my wife Judy used a cut-away toilet seat and a portable, fold away toilet frame. These are sold seperately and are available from Allegro Medical, or maybe Amazon. With one leg in a brace, it was the only way Judy could use the toilet. They are easy to hook to a motel toilet and work great. Baby wipes help a great deal also. We also had a long drive home from the hospital, and we used a car that has a front seat that reclines almost flat. That helped a lot.
Best of luck. The worst part for us was waiting for our surgery date. Kevin
I'd like to thank all the posters here, all the way back to page 1, for all the help and insight into this this injury and the recovery. I read a great deal of this site prior to surgery and kept reading after surgery and it was all very helpul and reassuring -- so thanks so much. I'm 8 weeks post-op on a complete avulsion 5cm retracted. I'm in the Silicon Valley and was fortunate to have ortho docs that diagnosed me the day after injury, confirmed with MRI 2 days after that, and set surgery 10 days after injury. Most of my experiences are not unique to others that have posted here -- except maybe that I had the less common brace from ribs to to knee that prevented hip flexion and an additional strap down to an ankle collar that prevented my leg from straightening the last 30 degrees. Got around on a scooter fine but not being able to bend at the waist (no ability to sit) for six weeks was very difficult in many ways.
In any event, I wanted to post today to share something that I've found very beneficial that I hadn't heard many talking about lately in their PT. As soon as I was out of the braces and partially bearing weight, my ortho doc was strongly recommending work in the pool - not really excercises, just practicing walking and moving around. My PT did not have a pool and I hadn't worked up the energy to find a way (pools and crutches seemed like a bad idea) until this last weekend, but after the first couple of sessions I must say that it has really helped between normal PT sessions. It was so nice to able to move around comfortably that I ended up staying in the water for almost 2 hours one day. Bouyancy makes movement easy and safe, the cool temp of the water is soothing (the pool I was in was downright cold and therapeutic), and the hydropressure of the water from the knee down (in chest deep water) was beneficial. If you are having trouble spots like knees, ankles, feet, hips, back, etc as you are increasing weight bearing -- consider some hydrotherapy to get things moving. Bring a friend to make sure you get in and out safely or many PT (and some public ADA updated) facilities have safely accessible pools.
Wishing you all the best in your recovery. Stay safe out there.
4 Week Post OP.
Thought i would check in again now that i have seen the surgeon for my 4 week post-op checkup. For the first time i have actually felt progress! The surgeon has allowed myself to disregard the brace (as long as my muscles were not spasming) and after completing a few specific tests he booked myself an appointment for today which i have now completed with a physio who's prime focus is on rehabilitating hamstring avulsions. What a relief! I can walk with full weight bearing and a light touch of the crutches and should be walking with 1 crutch by the time my next physio appointment comes around - 4 days. Extremely happy seeing as though all 3 tendons were retracted 13cm with all three adductor muscles also torn.
It was quite interesting speaking to the surgeon about the exercises that have contributed to the strength in my leg allowing myself to progress. It was certainly not his first surgery and said he has surgically repaired too many hamstring tendons he cares to count.
Week 1: i placed absolutely no pressure on my repaired leg compensating on my right side with all movements. I have chosen to use a protein shake, amino acids (Xtend), Cirrus, Vitamin C, proteolytic enzyme, chondroiton, glucosomine and magnesium (for muscle spasms) daily. I have kept this up the whole process. I have also completed on a daily basis transverse abdominis exercises to help with pelvic floor contraction trying to build stability in my pelvis for when i do walk again.
Week 2: i slowely started to place my foot down 30% weight bearing towards the back end of the week whilst in the brace, by this stage i was also taking my leg out of the brace for 2 hours in the morning and night flexing my knee, doing quad sets and ankle pumps.
Week 3: i have placed both feet on the ground whilst in the brace and i could stand without crutches, i slept with the brace however this was it, laying on my side i would consistently move my heel back to my bottom whilst straighting (30% bent) it in a slow kicking motion, quad sets and ankle pumps were also done hourly.
Week 4: i have placed both feet on the ground without the brace whilst practicing 'walking' lifting my heel up as if to walk and with control placing this on the ground. I would 'kick', ankle pumps and quad sets continually..
Whilst with the surgeon i let him know the exercises i have been completing (due to excessive journal article reading) and to my surprise was told that this is ideal however the surgeon does not showcase what exercises to do during this period as the majority of people will over do it, culminating in a re-tear. As i have bioabsorbable sutures it was interesting for him to say that he has only once seen these not hold therefore he prescribes a brace usually for the first 6 weeks until the tendon has started to graft. Having used metal anchors previously he still maintains there is no difference in strength except in the first 6 weeks (hence the brace) however long term confort in sitting will be irrelevant as opposed to having metal anchors..
The first nights sleep without the brace made myself very nervous as the 'comfort blanket' had been taken away however last nights sleep was markedly less broken and not having my brace was put to the back of my mind. - About time as i have only been sleeping for 4-5 hours a night.
The PT has asked myself to pool walk - with 'Stage 1' exercises - calf raises, marching on the spot and bottom kicks. He has also prescribed fundamental Pilates exercises to complete with reps and height based on pain. Staying on top of inflammation will be key in progression as this will slow down the process, making sure compression and ice is always on hand.
Having this injury makes everyone especially yourself very tentative regarding do's and dont's. The brace issue has been a fascinating and i do believe taking it off and completing exercises all throughout the day have helped - however they must be controlled. I am still along way from returning to high intensity sport however i am ever closer, to driving, walking and returning to work.
Hope some of this may resonate or at least provide an insight into other surgeons and PT's train of thought as i have read mosts posts and realise every surgeon and patient is different.
Thanks for the kind words regarding my friend. She is going to be seen tomorrow in Iowa City (University of Iowa Hospitals) for a consultation, exam and assesment. Her Dr. is Dr. Bollier. I will be doing research for her today. She is 3 week post injury as of today.
I am so sorry to read the pain many of you are experiencing. I hope you all recover quickly and completely. Please forgive me if I break any etiquette rules in posting. This is my first experience posting on a forum.
Help needed. My wife had a complete hamstring avulsion repaired two weeks ago. Immediately after the surgery she could not flex her foot upward (dorsal flexion). Two weeks later she still has "dropped foot syndrome" as a result of a damaged peronial nerve. The pain has been intense in her lower leg, ankle and foot as a result of the nerve damage. An EMG test was done today which showed severe damage to the peronial nerve. The physician performing the EMG said the test indicates the damage was near the surgical site. She has been given a pretty bleak prognosis. Have any of you heard of this type of nerve damage occurring from a hamstring repair?
Thanks for any information you can provide.
Thanks for the suggestions about toilet riser seats etc.
Is it just me or are there a lot of people in Iowa with this injury??? Whats with that?
I can't help but wish I was diagnosed right away and had surgery much sooner.
BillG...was your wifes repair done soon after the injury or delayed ? for how long?
Pool walking/hydrotherapy is a great idea. Bc I was injured on holiday in Mexico, I had 2 weeks of pool use. It felt SO good to be in the water and walking almost normally--gravity,limping /crutches etc. is so hard on the body.
I am def. going to take the brace off a bit in bed and for massage therapist 1 time per week. I am concerned about my already unhappy knee. Doing ankle rolls and leg pumps etc. are a great suggestion too. I started doing them day one of the injury and I feel it helped alot.
In the interest of learning and understanding as much as possible about this injury, I am waiting to hear back from a physiotherapist in Vanc. area that has alot of exp. in ski accidents. (I bet skiers have a lot of avulsed hamstrings.) She may have more exp. with comparing the outcome of surgical repair vs non- surgical treatment, too. Also, maybe brace vs no brace. I will let you all know. How many of you had a cadaver graft? aka achilles allograft ? Also, overnight in hospital vs day care only?