Forums: Climbing Information: Injury Treatment and Prevention:
The Chronicle of my Toes
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Injury Treatment and Prevention

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next page Last page  View All


gblauer
Moderator

Jul 24, 2009, 5:16 AM
Post #1 of 128 (10413 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 3, 2002
Posts: 2816

The Chronicle of my Toes
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Yesterday, I got a 4th opinion on my toes. Bottom line: I need surgery on both feet to correct severe arthritis in both big toes. Since they will not do both feet at once, I have to stagger the surgeries by a minimum of 4 weeks.

The first surgery is scheduled for November 4th (judiciously selected to coincide with the conclusion of my Gunks season), followed by a second surgery on November 25th.

I will be in a walking boot for 3 weeks, then I will transition to regular shoes. I cannot climb for 6 weeks after the surgery. Which translates into 10 weeks after both feet. I pushed (begged) the surgeon to climb sooner, he held his ground. Apparently I can do damage to his handiwork if I try and climb any sooner than 6 weeks. We agreed to revisit the subject post surgery. Further, the surgeon told me that I would not be climbing pain free for 6 months after my final surgery. Thereby making my annual March trip to El Potrero Chico a potential nightmare.

My plan is to chronicle this experience over the next several months. Not only the surgery, my experience, but, my journey back into climbing. (During the climbing season, I am usually climbing 28 hours a week. Off season, I am in the gym at 4 days a week, usually drilling for hours to build my strength and endurance.). I am regarding this as an enormous challenge and am eager to see exactly how long it will take to regain my prior fitness levels and capability. I am also using this as an opportunity to help heal my fingers (over use injuries).

In the mean time, I am climbing as frequently as I can to make up for all the down time I will have in November and December. See you at the crag...I am the one rubbing her feet.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Jul 24, 2009, 5:22 AM)


redrocker


Jul 24, 2009, 6:54 AM
Post #2 of 128 (10379 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 1, 2005
Posts: 35

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

gblauer wrote:
I pushed (begged) the surgeon to climb sooner, he held his ground. Apparently I can do damage to his handiwork if I try and climb any sooner than 6 weeks. We agreed to revisit the subject post surgery.

Just want to encourage you to heed the climbing restrictions of the surgeon. I'm sure I don't have to tell you how crucial strong, healthy, pain free big toes are to climbing ability. Footwork is everything.

You don't want to screw things up and have to start over.

Hope your surgery and recovery go well.

redrocker


brianri


Jul 24, 2009, 7:04 AM
Post #3 of 128 (10370 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 28, 2003
Posts: 124

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Ouch...do you know the cause? Too tight shoes, too much climbing, no known cause? At least the down time is over the winter. Don't go into a depression because you can't climb. (Easy to do.) Mid-winter go to a sunny clime and sip margaritas. Join the local YMCA and take up swimming to stay in climbing shape. Good luck.
Brian


boymeetsrock


Jul 24, 2009, 11:23 AM
Post #5 of 128 (10311 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 11, 2005
Posts: 1709

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery Gail!! Hope all goes uneventfully.


onceahardman


Jul 24, 2009, 3:03 PM
Post #6 of 128 (10275 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 3, 2007
Posts: 2473

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Congrats on your decision, Gail.

Keep your feet CLEAN. Among the larger risks/complications will be infection/osteomyelitis. Don't immerse your feet in water until cleared to do so by the surgeon.

Once you trust the surgeon to cut you, please continue to trust him/her with the rehabilitative course as well.

The entire recovery time is likely to be a year, before you can say, "that's as good as it's going to get.

Thank you for sharing this publicly. Let me know if you have specific rehab questions.


gblauer
Moderator

Nov 2, 2009, 11:44 AM
Post #7 of 128 (10077 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 3, 2002
Posts: 2816

Re: [onceahardman] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

My first surgery is scheduled for this Wednesday, November 4th at 6:15AM.

Will update the post with my experience.


kachoong


Nov 2, 2009, 11:55 AM
Post #8 of 128 (10067 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 22, 2004
Posts: 15304

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Good luck with your surgery!


qtm


Nov 2, 2009, 12:11 PM
Post #9 of 128 (10056 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 8, 2004
Posts: 548

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

My GF had the same procedure (at least I think it's the same) just about four weeks ago. She'd stopped climbing almost two years ago because of the pain, and in the past few months walking had become so painful she finally opted for the surgery.

They replaced the booty cast last week with a smaller one and I think she gets this one off this week. Timeline for recovery is about the same as you were quoted (except for the 2nd foot).

She said before they put her under, she told the people in the OR "IT'S THE LEFT FOOT, remember, LEFT FOOT". Guess you don't need to worry about which one they operate on!

Anyway, good luck with the surgery! And keep us posted on your progress!


granite_grrl


Nov 2, 2009, 12:35 PM
Post #10 of 128 (10036 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 25, 2002
Posts: 14830

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Congrats Gail, I think you'll be happy in the long run even though it sucks to take the time off right now.

I don't think it'll take you too long to get back into the swing of things after. I mean, I had to take 5+ months off after my accident, but I fully back to it the following summer, climbing harder than I ever had before.

I look forward to your updates. I'm hoping to get a call in the next week about getting my hardware out soon. Maybe we can compare recovery notes! Laugh


gblauer
Moderator

Nov 2, 2009, 1:03 PM
Post #11 of 128 (10017 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 3, 2002
Posts: 2816

Re: [granite_grrl] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Rebecca, you came back insanely well! You are a TOTAL inspiration. I will post after my surgery.

Let us know when you are having your hardware removed.


nivlac


Nov 4, 2009, 8:11 AM
Post #12 of 128 (9934 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 141

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I see today is the day. Best wishes to gblauer on her surgery and for a speedy recovery!


gblauer
Moderator

Nov 4, 2009, 11:39 AM
Post #13 of 128 (9875 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 3, 2002
Posts: 2816

Re: [nivlac] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Thanks for your kind wishes.

Ok, I had my surgery at 8AM and my right foot is still numb. I had a cocktail of drugs that would have made Michael Jackson envious, followed by a local block at my ankle.

So far so good, I am numb. I have my oxycodone by my side, my herbal tea on the other side. As soon as I feel pain, I am prepared to take my meds.

It was kind of odd, walking into the OR. The table reminded me of what they use to execute prisoners. I don't think I was on it more than 3 minutes before they pushed the propofol, next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery. I was a bit groggy, but, otherwise feeling dandy.

Will report more as I go. My greatest concern at this point is trying to figure out what I can do to maintain my strength and endurance. Mitch and I just came back from our honeymoon where we climbed and canyoneered for 4 days out of 5. I hate the thought of inactivity!


If you have any ideas...please shoot them my way.

Ok, Update at the end of day 1: My foot is smarting! The pain killers help, but my bones are burning.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Nov 4, 2009, 5:47 PM)


mojomonkey


Nov 5, 2009, 6:57 AM
Post #14 of 128 (9818 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 13, 2006
Posts: 845

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

good luck on fast healing! I'm sure you'll climb even better when all healed!


Partner robdotcalm


Nov 5, 2009, 9:00 AM
Post #15 of 128 (9788 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 31, 2002
Posts: 1023

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

«My greatest concern at this point is trying to figure out what I can do to maintain my strength and endurance.»

Make haste slowly. Do what you can do and don't consider anything that might impede the healing. Examples: your arms are OK so you can use dumbbells to do arm exercises even while confined to bed; sit-ups when in bed; leg raises.

Best wishes for a robust recovery.

Rob.calm


jakedatc


Nov 5, 2009, 11:19 AM
Post #16 of 128 (9754 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 12, 2003
Posts: 11054

Re: [robdotcalm] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

robdotcalm wrote:
«My greatest concern at this point is trying to figure out what I can do to maintain my strength and endurance.»

Make haste slowly. Do what you can do and don't consider anything that might impede the healing. Examples: your arms are OK so you can use dumbbells to do arm exercises even while confined to bed; sit-ups when in bed; leg raises.

Best wishes for a robust recovery.

Rob.calm

if you have access to a regular gym.. or if the PT folks will let you do some extra upper body stuff after rehab there are plenty of exercises that can be done seated. rows, lat pull downs, every rotator cuff exercise you can imagine

sounds like you and Robbovius should have some crutch races.


gblauer
Moderator

Nov 5, 2009, 12:11 PM
Post #17 of 128 (9736 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 3, 2002
Posts: 2816

Re: [jakedatc] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Day 2.

(Don't worry, I won't be doing this every day!)

I had a very bad evening. The block wore off and I did not take the pain medication in a timely manner. I wanted to see what it would feel like. It hurt like crazy, 10 out of 10. I sat on the sofa moaning until I could take two of my percocets. I woke up every four hours, downed more meds. I slept well between bouts of pain.

I went to the doctor today, my toes are all puffy and back and blue. I have a large incision up the side of my toe. I am fine taking Ibuprofin during the day, but, will take the percocets for night time.

Here is a pre-op photo:


Oh yeah...about that keeping in shape thing...I could care less right now. I really don't have any extra energy. Hopefully next week I will be more interested in moving around.


granite_grrl


Nov 5, 2009, 12:24 PM
Post #18 of 128 (9729 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 25, 2002
Posts: 14830

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

gblauer wrote:
Day 2.

(Don't worry, I won't be doing this every day!)

I had a very bad evening. The block wore off and I did not take the pain medication in a timely manner. I wanted to see what it would feel like. It hurt like crazy, 10 out of 10. I sat on the sofa moaning until I could take two of my percocets. I woke up every four hours, downed more meds. I slept well between bouts of pain.

I went to the doctor today, my toes are all puffy and back and blue. I have a large incision up the side of my toe. I am fine taking Ibuprofin during the day, but, will take the percocets for night time.

Here is a pre-op photo:
[image]http://www.rockclimbing.com/images/photos/assets/2/436782-largest_My_toes.jpg[/image]

Oh yeah...about that keeping in shape thing...I could care less right now. I really don't have any extra energy. Hopefully next week I will be more interested in moving around.

Unimpressed

Well, that'll teach you.

Pain meds are your friend (at least for now).


jakedatc


Nov 5, 2009, 2:42 PM
Post #19 of 128 (9707 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 12, 2003
Posts: 11054

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

ya ya.. rest up now.. i was meaning in a week or 2 or whatever when you're feeling better and can move around.


gblauer
Moderator

Nov 7, 2009, 7:39 AM
Post #20 of 128 (9655 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 3, 2002
Posts: 2816

Re: [jakedatc] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Day 4: A break through. I can put my foot down and put some weight on it. Who would have thought a little bone work on your big toe would cause so much angst!

I was able to step into the shower without crutches, as long as the weight is on my heel and the right side of my foot. I am still planning to spend the day with my foot elevated, as my toes are rather swollen.

Today is the first day that I actually have a little bit of energy. I think if Mitch took me to the gym I might be able to climb one footed. I can assure you, he will not take me to the gym. But, I have already planted the seeds for Monday!


(This post was edited by gblauer on Nov 7, 2009, 7:40 AM)


onceahardman


Nov 7, 2009, 11:33 AM
Post #21 of 128 (9618 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 3, 2007
Posts: 2473

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Gail, PLEEEEASE, listen to your surgeon.

This is your last, best chance at a relatively low-pain foot. One little mistake now, and you could really screw yourself. You have made the investment in time, money, and tears, and are now at this point. Please don't rush.

Pull out the needle and thread, and repair some of your old outdoor clothing, packs, sleeping bags, etc. Learn to re-sole an old pair of climbing shoes. Stay busy another way for at least a few more weeks.

Make this the last chapter in this chronicle. (Well, I guess an epilogue would be OK Smile )


gblauer
Moderator

Nov 7, 2009, 11:41 AM
Post #22 of 128 (9614 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 3, 2002
Posts: 2816

Re: [onceahardman] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

of course you are right.

I am just going crazy right now. I can't do anything!


Ry_


Nov 7, 2009, 1:25 PM
Post #23 of 128 (9592 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 17, 2009
Posts: 27

Re: [onceahardman] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

onceahardman wrote:
Gail, PLEEEEASE, listen to your surgeon.

This is your last, best chance at a relatively low-pain foot. One little mistake now, and you could really screw yourself. You have made the investment in time, money, and tears, and are now at this point. Please don't rush.

Pull out the needle and thread, and repair some of your old outdoor clothing, packs, sleeping bags, etc. Learn to re-sole an old pair of climbing shoes. Stay busy another way for at least a few more weeks.

Make this the last chapter in this chronicle. (Well, I guess an epilogue would be OK Smile )

I second that! I had a relatively minor back injury a few years ago and I pushed through the pain. I should be fine now but instead I can only stand for a few minutes without pain. And I'm sixteen! eek.

But it sounds like you have got it under control. I hope your EPC trips goes great regardless!

Goodluck :)


gblauer
Moderator

Nov 9, 2009, 8:19 AM
Post #24 of 128 (9538 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 3, 2002
Posts: 2816

Re: [Ry_] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

It's Monday, 5 days after my right foot surgery. I can now walk in my boot without my crutches. I have to put all my weight on the right side of my foot and my heel. I have not taken any pain killers of any type for two days. Although my foot is sore, it's not hurting enough to warrant any meds.

While working, I put my foot up on the sofa so that my foot doesn't swell up. It's still pretty swollen, my toes are bruised, but, I can wiggle and stretch my foot without any pain.

I am trying to sit on the sofa and do nothing, it's not really working that well. I feel depressed and lethargic. I am thinking of trying to get to a personal trainer to work on my core strength, as long as it doesn't involve my foot.

I will post a photo on Friday, I think I get my stitches removed then.


Stormeh


Nov 9, 2009, 11:29 AM
Post #25 of 128 (9509 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 19, 2008
Posts: 73

Re: [gblauer] The Chronicle of my Toes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Glad to hear the recovery is going well! Take onceahardman's advice, don't push things too quickly. Better to stay off it now and enjoy years of good climbing than be too quick to get back on it and have problems again.

First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Information : Injury Treatment and Prevention

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook