Author Topic: A different kind of orthopedic surgery  (Read 202 times)

Offline ColSteve

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
A different kind of orthopedic surgery
« on: September 03, 2017, 02:18:43 PM »
It has been a little over four years since my OCD injury and I was continuing to go without surgery for it and mostly pain free from it (even running a bit), but all my ankle OCD thoughts went out the window in early July when I severely tore my proximal hamstring tendons while waterskiing (the same leg as the one with the ankle OCD).  I am now nearly six weeks post-surgery to re-attach all three hamstring tendons (conjoined biceps femoris and semitendonosus – retracted 4 cm, and semimembranosus) to the ischial tuberosity (“sit” bone) and in the early stages of a lengthy recovery / rehab.   

While this post is off-topic from ankle OCDs and a bit long, I thought I would share it as many of the things I learned from my ankle OCD research (MRIs, surgeon shopping, etc.) were very helpful for this injury, even though this injury is the opposite of ankle OCDs in a couple of key ways:  1) it is very important to have this surgery done as soon after the injury as possible and 2) there is a good potential for near 100% recovery with this injury. 

The injury happened in early July on vacation in MI, while I was kicking a waterski to slalom. I suffered a severe forward hyperextension of my left (forward) foot.  I don’t remember feeling the pop of the tendons tearing off the ischium, but knew immediately something very violent had happened to my leg.  The first sensation I remember was my leg going completely numb below the knee for about 30 seconds (the sciatic nerve is pretty close to the tendons), then the numbness relaxing, but extreme pain and I could barely walk or sit afterwards.

I went to ER right away and they said it was a bad hamstring strain, but would be better in 7-10 days.  They sent me home with some pain killers and crutches and said I might want to follow up with an orthopedic doctor.  I started do web research right away and hit upon torn proximal tendons as something that might have happened.  I saw a DO in MI two days later and he said I very likely at least partially tore the tendons and ordered an X-ray (negative for a bone avulsion -- more common in young adults), and an MRI.  I pushed and got the MRI in MI the day before we left for home, as my web research indicated that it was important to get surgery as soon as possible (2-4 weeks) before the tendons “scar in” too much in the retracted location.  I also started researching OS’s for this condition in the Denver area and got some appts. scheduled.  When I looked at the MRI images, it seemed quite clear (even to my untrained eyes) that I had torn the tendons (squiggly, non-connected tendons and a very large hematoma) and this was confirmed by the MRI report the next day.

I saw three OS’s in the first two days after I was back in CO and selected the one that seemed best for the surgery.  I had the surgery exactly 2 weeks after the injury.  The outpatient procedure apparently went well – horizontal cut right along the crease between the buttocks and top of leg, find the tendon stumps and the ischium, drill little holes in the ischium, place some anchors in the ischium and sutures in the tendon and hoist the tendons and muscles back into place like a sail (all in about an hour and 30 min.).  The recovery is long and starts with 6 weeks toe-touch NWB with crutches and a large brace that restricts hip motion to +- 45 deg.  Everything has gone well so far and I am hopefully past the period of highest risk for a re-tear.  I have my 6-week follow up Dr. appt. this week and will then begin PT.  I swam for the first time (with a pull buoy) at 4.5 weeks and it was fabulous!  After easing back into walking over the next couple of weeks, the rehab protocol says light jogging by 4-5 mos. and full recovery 6-8 mos.

This whole thing has made me really realize how much I value hiking and just being able to go for an outdoor walk, though I am sure if I am able I will still be trying to run next spring!  Thanks to CrankyAnky, who helped me with some good research on torn hammies and gave me some great and timely advice!  Hopefully by this time next year I‘ll be back to just reporting on my OCD ankle!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 02:22:44 PM by ColSteve »

Offline Alan

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 126
    • View Profile
Re: A different kind of orthopedic surgery
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 07:58:39 PM »
Hey ColSteve, sorry to hear about your hamstring tendons injury. Thank you for sharing with us your story.

Do you think your OCD contributed to leg weakness and your subsequent waterskiing injury?

Best of luck on your recovery.

Offline ColSteve

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
Re: A different kind of orthopedic surgery
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 12:09:32 AM »
Hi Alan,  Thanks for your good thoughts.  I donít think my OCD ankle had anything to do with the waterski accident.  The problem was using a slalom ski with a lace-up front boot (it also had an open-heel back boot), which prevented my front foot from releasing when I got yanked forward while kicking off the other ski.  I don't think my ankle had anything to do with the fall and if I had been using a slalom ski with simple toe and heel rubber cups for the front boot I think I would have been fine (I would have still fallen, but my front foot would have just come out of the boot). 

I have been wondering what the hamstring injury will do to my ankle OCD.  The docs say it won't do anything, but my ankle seems a little more sore in general.  Hopefully everything will settle down once I get the PT going and start walking again.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 12:15:55 AM by ColSteve »

Offline FrankLeb

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: A different kind of orthopedic surgery
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 10:41:07 AM »
Hi Steve, do you have any fresh updates or advice?

Offline ColSteve

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
Re: A different kind of orthopedic surgery
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2017, 02:35:00 AM »
Hi Frank – thanks for your post.  My hamstring recovery is going well.  I am 4.5 mos. (19 weeks) past surgery and have seen pretty steady week-to-week improvement.  I transitioned off the crutches in weeks 6-8 post-surgery, and have been going for progressively longer walks since then (up to 5-6 mi.), cycling  for about the past 4 weeks , and jogging just a bit in the past couple of weeks.

I sometimes have minor pain at the attachment point from prolonged sitting, but not too much pain overall.  I have also had some pain in my hip joint, but gotten some good help from PT for that.  I tried a steep hike over Thanksgiving and ended up bailing, and could tell I still have some more strengthening to do of the hamstring muscles.  Overall though, it has come along really well and I can picture being back close to full strength by spring.

My OCD ankle seems to have not been strongly affected by the hamstring injury and recovery (as the Dr. and PT said would be the case), but as I have stepped up the long walks and added a bit of running, it still feels like the OCD injury is there (no surprise).  Basically, I don’t notice it during the activity, but the next morning, will notice that the OCD ankle is a little sore, especially if I flex the joint around.  It is quite minor and not stopping activities for now -- I’ll have to see how it evolves as I start to run a bit more.

Frank – I did not see a post from you with any details on your condition.  Have you had surgery?  I am not sure I have much advice.  I guess that NiteOwl and I are two of the longer lasting “conservative treatment” people on this forum (for me, presumably due to a more minor OCD injury and significantly reduced running after the injury).  From various posts on the forum, DeNovo and BMAC / Biocartilage seem like the treatments of choice.  I don’t plan any surgery until my pain gets significantly worse.  Good luck!

Alan – really glad to hear that you are able to do the sport you love at least on occasion!  Does your ankle typically settle back down with a few / several days of rest?

Mhop – it was great to see your post and know that you are able to run a least some!!  Your post is very encouraging!

Cshires – really glad to hear that your ankle is feeling better!  PT and other rehab is so important and underappreciated I think!
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 02:44:14 AM by ColSteve »