2 weeks ago, 16 days to be exact, I was at the hospital having another operation. I guess you could say I’m a dab hand at it now, I might add “having operations” to my CV cos I’m getting pretty good at them.
This latest operation came around after a trip to see my orthopaedic surgeon towards the end of last year – he is a lovely, lovely man. I had some X-Rays and the damage inside my right ankle were pretty bad so he recommended an Arthroscopy to clear out some of the debris floating around in my ankle joint, as with any surgery there were risks, I suppose the main one for me was that it could potentially worsen my pain. As always, I weighed up the risks and agreed to the operation.
So there I was at the hospital, waiting for my arthroscopy, . Here’s the science (or medicine, “here’s the medicine” doesn’t sound quite right though)
As always, thanks Google!
Arthroscopy (also called arthroscopic surgery) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure on a joint in which an examination and sometimes treatment of damage is performed using an arthroscope, an endoscope that is inserted into the joint through a small incision. Arthroscopic procedures can be performed to evaluate or treat many orthopaedic conditions including torn cartilage (known by doctors as “meniscus“), torn surface (articular) cartilage, ACL reconstruction, and trimming damaged cartilage.
During the operation they cut a larger incision to perform debridement of the joint.
Ankle debridement is done to remove inflamed tissue (synovium), smooth out rough cartilage, trim away bone spurs, and remove loose bits of cartilage or bone that may be irritating the joint. This may be performed using arthroscopic or open surgery.
I was first on the list for once, which was a relief as the other woman waiting for an operation was rather starting to piss me off. I was seen by my consultant who very kindly drew on my leg with a sharpie. I also saw the anesthetist and after going through the procedure and risks with both I was told to change into the ever flattering hospital gown – remembered ny dressing gown this time too! Beautiful.
A theatre nurse then came to collect me, complained about the volume and weight of my hospital notes and walked me down to theatre, which was miles away and freezing.
The operation went well (they told me it did, I was under general anaesthetic so I guess anything could have gone on while I was under) and I woke up in recovery with a number of cannula’s (cannulae? What’s the plural) in the back of my very sore hand. All but one were then removed as I still needed fluids, I’d become pretty deyhdrated.
I hung around in recovery for a while and then was wheeled back to the ward I started on, I was allowed to sit up in the bed and eat my “gluten free” meal – which was a very limp salad, lovely. I was allowed to get dressed on the bed and wait for the physio.
After attempting to get the skinny jeans over the bandage and panicking that I’d have to have them cut off, I eventually managed to yank them over the unecessarily large and bulky bandage but felt very sick and dizzy so I was given a rather horrible tasting pill type thing which had to stay against my upper gums until it completely dissolved – it did the trick though!
I saw the physio and was given some crutches, she taught me how to use them (no need, I’m pretty savvy on crutches -have had to use them rather alot). I was then released, Mum and Neil came to get me and I went home.
The first few days were a bit of a nightmare, my hand and arm were so bruised and swollen from the cannula abuse that it made using the crutches pretty difficult. I couldn’t stand up long enough to have a shower, so had to have baths – I wasn’t allowed the get the dressings wet or remove them, luckily though I have a Limbo! Limbo’s are an absolute god send if you need to keep various parts of your body dry, you can buy them here. They offer a range of waterproof protective that can keep your leg/arm/PICC etc. dry so you can bathe and shower as normal, they come in different lengths and sizes to suit all and are alot safer than taping a plastic bag around your foot! Mine has been in use for around 4 or 5 operations use over the space of around 7 or 8 years.
I had the dressings changed 5 days after my operation and I had the stitches removed on Friday – 13 days after surgery. The stitches were horrendous to get out. There are two incisions, one around 4-5 inches and the other just a very small cut. My foot is crazy bruised still and is a rather lovely greeny/yellow colour at the moment.
One upside is that I have pretty much been living in my pyjamas. I have some very awesome pj’s!
I also wore some dinosaur and Disney Princess ones amongst some other rather more boring Moomin and Bambi ones.
My recovery is proving to be slow and painful. I’m rather taken aback by how much my foot and ankle is actually hurting and have been heavily dosed up on some rather strong painkillers. I’m pretty exhausted too and even something as simple as going to my Mum’s for lunch completely wipes me out. I still can’t really walk properly which is a right pain in the bum, but I’m hopeful that things will start to improve now I have had the stitches out.
Normal recovery time for this sort of procedure is around two weeks, I don’t have normal feet to begin with and was told just after the operation when the consultant came to see me in recovery that the damage inside was pretty bad. Hopefully though, this operation will see me pain free for a while, I have had a few Arthroscopies in my left ankle which held back the need for major surgery for a number of years. This is the first one in my right ankle so I’m hoping once I’m fully back on my feet it will tide me over for a few years!
I’m hoping to be off crutches soon as they don’t look good with any outfit!
Have you had a similiar operation? Did it work well for you? Let me know below.