Thanks for sending your questions in here are the answers to those. Again if there is anything that you want to know that isn’t already in the blog, please feel free to leave a comment or just email me directly. As always thank you for taking the time to read.
Q: Why am I using the bone stimulator?
A: The bone stimulator is something that is prescribed by your doctor. It is meant to help stimulate bone growth, this helps make the recovery period a little shorter. Once I was fully distracted to my “targeted” length, they started me on that, and like I said in the previous post I can wear this as much or as little as I want. The benefit of wearing it for an extended time is that it makes the callus form faster. As a disclaimer though, the ”wear as long as I want or as little as I want” works for the type of Bone Stimulator that I am using which is the “OrthoPak2″ by a company named Biomet. Now depending on the company that manufactures the stimulator I am sure their process will change as well. Let me explain though, this is not a prescription my doctor filled out and I went to get it at the pharmacy, he put the order through a company and a representative from the company contacted me and told me that this is something that my doctor prescribed.
Q: Do I drive?
A: The surgery I got was on the right foot so I am not driving. My doctor prefers the “no weight-bearing” method, this will depend on your doctor. I read on a forum once that a lady got the surgery done and her doctor was FOR weight-bearing and she was walking a little and what not, but I can tell you personally I could not see myself walking with the fixator on, let alone with the gap the bone has. Just slight pressure on the bottom of the foot is uncomfortable. I have been very lucky to have an extraordinary support group at home, they have been nothing but the best with me. And sitting in the passenger side is not uncomfortable anymore at first it was a bit and I would sit in the back seat with my foot up and some ice. Another thing that helped a lot too was I was able to get time off from work, its been real flexible with that. Now if you must drive, just check with your doctor first since you will be taking pain meds. Safety first people!
Q: Am I cleaning the fixator?
A: I do not clean the fixator, when I go to the doctor they remove the gauzes, clean the area slightly and the doctor takes a look at the incision itself and then they cover it back up with new gauzes. And in between appointments I never uncovered it, but now that I started using the bone stimulator I remove the gauzes once and change the pads for the stimulator. But the most important thing I was told is NEVER to wet that area where the fixator is. I mean that might change down the line but I’ve been going on a month and a few days and have tried to never wet that area.
Q: Have I hit/bumped into the fixator?
A: I have not bumped or hit the fixator itself. The “accidents” I have had were putting full weight on my foot to avoid falling, and I fell once. The first incident I was walking with the crutches and put one of the crutches on a spot of water on the floor and the crutch slipped so to avoid a nasty fall I put full weight on the foot and quickly put it back up and walked SLOWLY to my room and put my foot up and iced it. The second and hopefully the last accident that I had was a fall, I was walking to the front door and there was a shirt on the floor and I did not notice it and again the crutch slipped and this time I knew I couldn’t put full weight on the foot so I tried holding the wall or anything to help me go down as slow as possible. And that did happened when I hit the floor I just hit my heel the pain was there for my bum and also my foot. These are the only incidents I’ve had where I’ve hit my foot in one way or another.
Q: Am I wearing a medical boot?
A: I was giving a boot at the surgery center and it does hide the fixator slightly, it just has two straps at the top, but I have never worn it. If I need to go out I just go the way it is, it’s always covered up with gauzes. Once the fixator is removed and I am able to bear weight then I will start using the boot to walk.
Q: What have I told people about the surgery? Am I honest?
A: When I was in the process of scheduling the surgery I would just tell people I needed to have surgery because one of the bones in my foot was shorter than the other ones, and people didn’t question it. After I had the surgery people again began asking questions like “what was it you had done again?” and this time my answer changed, I got into more detail as to what it was I had done. Mainly because brachymetatarsia was going to become a thing of the past for me and I no longer felt embarrassed about it. And the reaction that I have gotten from telling them the truth was not what I expected, the main reaction was genuine curiosity. And this is very relieving because I no longer had to carry that “secret” and I was able to be me. And for me this is also one less thing I have to worry about, I can concentrate on things to keep me busy.