My incision is in the crease just below the butt cheek. I have a different type brace that attaches above the knee and then around the waist connected by a rod that keeps the hip at a 15 degree angle. I can bend my leg at the knee.
My surgery took 2 hours and I have not had any pain. My doctor had me stay overnight in the hospital but reading here it appears some go right home. It is interesting to see the different treatments for the same injury.
I am glad that I had the operation. Now it's just a matter of time to return to normal. You'll be just fine.
This forum has been a great help to me also. I was lucky in that I had an MRI right away and decided on the operation before I had a lot of scar tissue form. I can at least sit up in my brace.
I had my first post op visit and the incision has healed nicely with no signs of infection. I was told that I could go from Toe Touch Weight Bearing on my crutches to 25%. Doctor said use a bathroom scale to get an idea of what that feels like. 40 lbs in my case.
I had no pain when he moved my leg without the brace. I start therapy on Monday.
I will be spending more time outside next week. The internet is a great diversion.
I had my MRI about 3 weeks post op, and my surgery 4 weeks. I didn't really take any consideration to my injury before I met with the specialist and definitely didn't take it easy after it had occured (until of course I was told I would be having surgery). I'm not sure if that had anything to do with the scaring or not. I have touched my leg to the ground a couple of times, and put slight pressure on my toes, but I can still feel it through the entire leg so I always quickly stop!
My leg doesn't have much pain when I move it, unless I try and straighten it completely. I can then really feel it in the tendons behind my knee.
I HAVE to get outside at least a couple times a day. I walk around the yard and stay up for 10-15 min. before laying back down. Standing on one leg gets quite tiring.....quickly...lol.
My scar is about 8-9 inches long. 3 inches of it or so are on my butt cheek. My brace is just a knee brace which starts about 3 inches above my ankle and continues about half way up my thigh. It sits about 3 inches south of my scar. The brace is actually causing most of my problems right now..the straps seem to push into my leg if I lay in the wrong position, and the general rubbing of the skin. My surgery lasted about 2 1/2 hours (this was longer than expected because of my muscle binding to my sciatic nerve) and I was released a couple hours after that. My surgery was scheduled for 7 am and I was out around 12:30 pm. The only complication I had was going to the bathroom for the first time following surgery. They put about a liter and half of fluid in me during the surgery, then I had 2 cans of sprite while in recovery, then drank probably another liter of water in the afternoon. I ALMOST went to the ER because my bladder was hurting so bad, but I managed to push a little out before really going about an hour or two later than evening. Kinda scary at first, and I'm sorry if that's a bit too graphic for some. Good luck!
I had PT on Wed 15 Oct, with 10 min on stationary semi-recumbent bicycle--Just to "get the blood flowing" per PT. No resistance, just gently motion that mainly works the quads anyway. After warming up, I do a series of 11 exercises (first week it was 6, then 11, and now 14) where I tighten my quads (which locks knee) and lift the affected leg 8-12 inches. First I lay on back, lift it up, then lay on side, lift it up, then on my stomach, lift it up, etc. I do some gluteal sets and adductor sets to strengthen accessory muscles too, and some calf exercises which don't have anything to do with the hamstring really but part of the whole picture that works together. Various configurations, various ways of stretching. Vollmer, since you asked I will email you the exact protocol for a look--I have not sent yet because it keeps changing every week!.
Each time I see the PT (I go 3 x a week) he adds a few more things to do. For instance, today I "march in place" ...very slowly, for about 20 repetitions, bringing my knee up as far as I can. The last few times I did the same thing but was lying on my back. I even do a few "mini squats" where I stand on floor and squat down JUST A LITTLE. So you see, very slowly progressing where I ask the hamstrings to do just a little more. Right now, he says I am ONLY gently stretching the muscle, "waking it up", getting it to fire again. As this progresses, he will start to slowly add weight to my ankle, for example, to actually start the strengthening. That won't happen until after week 6. The unaffected leg is so used to taking the load that I still transfer most of the load to it, and the PT could see that right away--so now I must try to transfer just a LITTLE back to the affected leg. I know what you guys mean about getting up and going on the crutches. It was killing me staying home 2 wks on them, in the knee sling. Only so much "Jerry Springer" shows I could tolerate......When I finally felt well enuf, I put on a pair of padded-gel bicycle gloves, grabbed a water bottle, and went outside for "crutch walks" around the neighborhood! I probably went a few miles, people must have thought I was crazy, but at least I got the heart going a little and broke a sweat. I did this 2-3 times. They told me that blood flow to the area is crucial to healing. Make sure you have ok from your doc before you do this! My advice was "just don't over do it!". With the leg in a sling it was all on the unaffected leg. With time my upper body strength got much better.
Ventued, I think that is a fantastic idea, do you really think we could run a marathon after this?? That would be a great goal to set. Perhaps we can find out if anybody else with this injury has recovered to do it. If we can't do that, at least a 10 K somewhere in conjunction with one. Austin will be too early for me, so perhaps the NYC marathon Nov 09 is just about right. I am learning its all about goals and attitude to get thru this--I find now I look forward to going to the rec center to do the PT, etc. My early goal is to do a 5 K about March/April (?).
By the way, my incision was right where the "cheek line" is....right in or just below the crease. Stitches removed, and only steri-strips now. Its like clear duct tape. When the strips fall off, they won't replace them. I still have some numbness, and pain when I sit on a chair a certain way (just about any way)--not really acute shooting pain, but just an uneasiness sensation of pressure, that I am sitting on something (which of course I am). That will take a LONG time to go away, and the PT said its because this injury is problematic because we are constantly sitting on it, moving around, etc. I am so used to it, it has become more annoying than really painful. I work I set on a pillow, and use only 1 crutch now. At week six (this thurs) I think they will tell me to toss the crutches...maybe. The exchange here is a great support and I have learned so much
Wow! This forum is great. Thanks everbody for answering my question. Hope everybody's recovery is going well. I am ready to get mine started, only about a week to go!
As mentioned earlier, my surgery isn't until 12/15. I'll be out of the country 11/13-11/29 so I figured it can wait until I return after having waited over 2 years already. That said, I appreciate your descriptions, progress, etc. I'm also encouraged by what I'm hearing and believe me, I thinking of nothing but happy thoughts for all of you.
Greggo, as far as a marathon goes, my surgeon told me I can expect between 80-90% of the strength of my good leg after the op and PT - if all goes well (of course there's no money back guarantee from my doc - if anyone has one, please let me know :-). Right now I'm at about 60% and this year I ran 4 half marathons. Last year I ran the full NY Marathon - but it was a bit tough on some of the hills and that's with my muscle held with scar tissue. Considering that I'm expecting improvement from doing this, I'm still holding a marathon as a goal. I'll look forward to having you join me. They have a lottery for entry (unless you do some fund raising). If you're not picked after three entries, you're guaranteed a spot. I wasn't picked for this year so next year will be my second attempt (after successfully being selected my first time). I'd encourage you to enter both for the sake of having a goal, and because it may end up being a three year process before you get in. If you think you'll be ready next November and you're not selected for NY, Philadelphia has one the Sunday before Thanksgiving. It's a bit flatter than NY (but the route isn't as much fun and certainly not the same crowd level pulling for you).
Happy healing to all.
Cheyyman Good luck. Soon it will be all recovery.
Thanks! The day is finally here. I have just finsihed up a few things at the office and am on my way to the hospital. Thanks to everybody that has been through this for the advice. Next time I post it will be with a post op report!
Hope everything went well and are as pain free as I have been. Three weeks yesterday from my operation, PT is going well and I can now put 50% of my weight on my leg. Makes it a lot easier to get around on the crutches. Using a normal walking motion now rather than move the injured leg forward then move the good one up. Less than 3 weeks now to go in the brace. Time is going quickly.
Since I am bored laying in bed I thought I would share with everyone how my surgery day went. It started out normal but as we are filling out paper work my surgeon's nurse pops in and says that my orders have changed from day surgey to stay in for overnight observation and pain management. This kind of scared me but also made me think I would get better dugs! Little did I know what was coming next!
As I mentioned in one of my earlier post, my surgeon is the orthopaedic surgeon for a major university athletic department. To my surprize, he has never had to perform this procedure before, but he is a friend and I have the utmost confidence in him. In addition to knowing him, I also requested another friend to do my anesthisia, as it turns out, this anesthetist works closely with my surgeon and the athletic department as well. When he came in to discuss my anesthisia options with me he mentioned a nerve block in addition to general. He said they have been having good luck with nerve blocks for extremities surgery. After more discussion though, he said that there are too many nerves in the leg and that would probably not work. Then he dropped the surprise on me! They wanted to do an epidural on me! My first reaction was "I'm not having a baby" but they convinced me to do it. Glad I did!
The surgery itself went well but took longer than expected, 3 hours, because my tendons and scar tissue were wrapped around the sciatic nerve. He said, it took two hours to isolate the nerve and then one hour to re-attach them. Since this was my surgeon's first time to do this procedure he had a medical photographer photograph the surgery. He is going to share the information with the trainors and other surgeons he works with. I have 18 bright color photographs of it! It is amazing to see how he untangled the nerve and isolated it. Then he installed 5mm anchors and basically made a pulley using the anchors and some small cables. In the pictures you see the muscles just being pulled back into place. He had to bend my leg back almost to my hip to get the muscle to release. With that he then only got one of my tendons far enough back on its own. The other one had to be attached using a cadaver achillies tendon to make it reach. Yikes!
I don't know if it was the epidural or not but I have been pain free to this point. When this stuff wears off I'm sure the pain and discomfort will increase but so far so good. The only thing that really bothers me is, what many have mentioned, that I can't sit up.
Ventued, I don't know what your surgeon and anesthesiologist think but the epidural seemed to work pretty good for me!
Thats all I can type for now. I will update more later. Heal well everybody!