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Removing stitches after lisfranc hardware removal surgery

 
 
 
The morning after we arrived in Cabo, the swelling had gone down in my foot and my husband was ready to try and remove my stitches.
 
I could not wait!!
 
 
3 weeks post op after lisfranc hardware removal surgery

I thought I could do it on my own, but my hands were shaking too hard, so my husband took over.  The top of my foot was very sensitive, so he had to be very gentle.

 
Removing stitches after lisfranc hardware removal surgery

My husband took his time and made sure each thread of my 8 stitches was accounted for.

 
Removing stitches after lisfranc hardware removal surgery

After we were sure everything was done correctly, he adhered steri-strips to my incision to help hold it together.

3 weeks post op from lisfranc hardware removal surgery

I was now ready to do the “homework” my surgeon gave me.  He asked me to walk several times a day in the resort pools in order to begin to regain the proper movements for walking once again.

 
Relaxing by the pool after lisfranc hardware removal surgery

I was surprised to find that I had to once again, re-learn how to walk by repeating the mantra “heel, toe, follow through.”

 
 I was not able to swim at all, and was actually content walking around the pool smiling to myself because I was walking again without pain!!!!!!
 
My homework assignment after lisfranc hardware removal surgery

As you can see, the pool was large enough to really get in a lot of walking!  Once I was able to walk without concentrating, I pushed my husband on a float around the pool while he read a book. Other guests asked me if they could hire me to do the same thing for them!

 
Recovering from lisfranc hardware removal surgery

I decided that recovering from lisfranc hardware removal surgery is best done in Cabo at the Esperanza resort!!!

 
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Lisfranc hardware removal 2 weeks post op

2 weeks after my lisfranc hardware removal surgery I couldn’t wait to have my stitches removed.  The pain from this surgery mostly stemmed from the incision site and each step I took made me feel like my skin was ripping.  Because my incision looked red and was hot to the touch, I was concerned that it may be infected.

2 weeks post lisfranc hardware removal surgery

When I arrived at my 2 week post op appointment, my surgeon assured me I did not have an infection and that my incision looked “normal” with the amount of weight bearing I had been doing.

2 1/2 weeks post lisfranc hardware removal surgery

At this appointment my surgeon also decided not to remove my stitches after all.  My husband and I were leaving for a trip to Los Cabos a few days later and because feet often swell on long plane rides, my surgeon was not comfortable removing my stitches.  He didn’t want my incision to break open and then have me find someone in Mexico to stitch it up again!!!  (No one was going to touch “his” foot.)

He asked me to remove the stitches after waiting 24 hours for my foot to recover from plane swelling.  He sent me to Cabo with a suture removal kit and showed me how to remove my own stitches when the time came.

Suture removal kit

 Notice how the scissors has a pointed edge to help pull up the stitch for easier cutting..

On the plane, I brought along an ice substitute and iced my foot each leg of the trip.  We had to switch planes in Arizona and the airlines had a wheelchair waiting to transfer me to my new gate.  I honestly thought I was past all of the handicap stuff, so I was a little embarrassed as my wheel chair pusher wisked me through the Phoenix airport at lightening speed, with my husband trying to keep u

lisfranc hardware removal surgical boot
Lisfranc surgical boot Esperanza Resort Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

We arrived at our favorite resort in Cabo San Lucas, the Esperanza Resort.  My “cute” surgical boot and I made it at last!!

 

A few days after Thanksgiving, the hardware my surgeon removed from my foot arrived in the mail!!!
Hardware used to heal my lisfranc fracture

 

 

My surgeon knows I have been writing a lisfranc blog and was more than happy to let me keep the hardware he used to help my body heal from a lisfranc fracture.

lisfranc fracture plate


lisfranc fracture screws

What amazed me was to see the screws varied in color,  physical size and thread size.  Check out the teeth at the end of the screws!!!  YIKES!  Maybe it was for the best that my anesthesiologist would not let me watch either surgery!

 
 
lisfranc fracture screws

Psychologically it has been very rewarding to think I no longer have plates and screws in my foot.  My surgeon has assured me that in the next 6 weeks, the holes in my bones left by the screws will fill in.

27 weeks post lisfranc surgery with more surgery tomorrow

After recovering from lisfranc surgery for 27 weeks, my husband and I took a quick trip to Florida before I head back into surgery tomorrow.
I was not able to walk barefoot on the beach, and sandals were still uncomfortable, but that didn’t stop me from being able to enjoy the feeling of sand on my toes!
27 weeks after lisfranc surgery

I decided to be really adventuresome and try walking through Sea World.  We took it slow, and I was able to manage walking around the entire park and enjoy several of the shows!

After visiting Sea World, I even managed to walk through the airport to catch our plane. When we got home last night, all it took to be pain free was a little ice, elevation and tylenol!!

Tomorrow I am having the hardware removed from my foot.  I am not at all nervous about the surgery itself, but am apprehensive about the recovery.  I have been assured by both my surgeon and his nurses that recovery will be much easier this time, but I still wonder how long it will take to recover to the exact point I am now.  I have worked hard to regain almost normal walking and I dread going backward.

I know, though, for a positive long term outcome, hardware removal is necessary

Today marks another milestone in my lisfranc recovery journey!  While shopping at the grocery store, perusing isle after isle of items, I suddenly became aware that I hadn’t thought about my foot since I walked into the store!  The realization hit me after walking halfway through the entire store without one ounce of pain or stiffness.

 

26 weeks post lisfranc surgery scar

 I couldn’t stop smiling at feeling so “normal” and greeted everyone I saw with a huge grin.  I did resist the urge to tell complete strangers to notice that I was just a normal walking shopper, once again.

 

  After checking out, another shopper bumped into me and I didn’t fall apart in a panic worrying she would step on my recovering foot.  In fact, my first reflex was no longer to pick up my right foot and hide it behind my left for protection.  Instead I managed to smile and say, “hello.”  WOW!!!!!

 

I am now able to walk about 3/4 the speed of other people and I can keep that gait without a limp!

26 weeks post lisfranc surgery wardrobe

 

I still am much more comfortable in sneakers and decided to buy matching jackets.  I girl needs choices of what to wear in  the cold Minnesota fall weather!!!

After healing for 24 weeks from lisfranc surgery, I am finally able to walk DOWN the steep hill of our driveway!!!!!!




For weeks my ultimate goal has been to be able to walk both up and DOWN our driveway to get our mail which  not only emcompasses a very steep hill, it is 2/10 of a mile round trip!

Today I accomplished my goal!!!!!!!  My recovering foot ached a little going down, but I have to say it was more tender than painful.  Going up was not too hard at all!

With the help of my husband, I also planted 90 tulips, and did several other outside tasks.  When my foot said it was time to quit, I happily elevated and iced, knowing I am now doing things I haven’t been able to do in over 7 months!!!!!

There is a pot of gold at the end of lisfranc recovery and today I took back a few more missing pieces of my life…..


 
 

 Today I officially “graduated” from physical therapy!!!  Plus, my therapist said it was time to retire my cane permanently!!!! I am absolutely ready to start my “real life” and slowly begin my “normal” activities once again.

 
 
Good – Bye cane!  (24 weeks post lisfranc surgery)

My PT measured my range of motion and compared it to my non injured foot and announced that I now have my full range of motion once again.  When he measured my foot strength, I almost pushed him off his chair!!  He actually laughed and said my foot is now full strength.  No more atrophy!!!

 
24 weeks after lisfranc surgery image

 
My actual recovery test score came in at a disappointing 70% but that is because I cannot run, jog or walk very far yet.  That will take more time. But I can walk slowly, and I am absolutely thrilled with my progress!
 
 
24 weeks after lisfranc surgery picture
right side view
 
My instructions moving forward are pretty simple.  “Listen to my foot.”   I can resume going to the club and use the stationery bike, the elliptical machine and also the leg press, (In addition to my treadmill at home.) He also said to go ahead and do the balancing exercises and stretches to keep my range of motion and flexibility.
 
24 weeks post lisfranc surgery
left side view
 
 
 
When it came time to actually say “good-bye” it was much harder than I ever imagined.  How do you say “good-bye” to the man who taught you to walk again?  There are not the right words to express the depth of my gratitude for what he helped me accomplish.  He gave me my life back! So, after a huge hug and a few tears (on my part), I rushed to my car consoling myself with the fact that today is most likely his last day before he goes out on paternity leave.  His wife is due to have their baby boy any minute, so I wouldn’t have had him for another PT session anyway.
 
24 weeks post lisfranc surgery scar

The next milestone for me will be my 24 week post surgical follow up which is next Tuesday.  Hopefully that will result in good news as well!!!!!

 
 
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