Living with the Osteotomy – venturing out of the house!

After my Tibial Osteotomy, its times to get moving again. Read my blog for my diary entry

The next 4 days

Hello there! I took a few days off from blogging as the weather in the UK is just amazing.

Shoreditch, London. Keeping the rich out of our common places

Forcing a routine of getting up and resting is just something that has to be done. As Loiza and others tell me when I become impatient, the importance is for a full recovery of :

(1) the soft tissue beneath the skin

(2) the bone that is missing coupled with the metal work

(3) tendons and muscles that are affected by the surgery

It is so important to recover well in order to have the right level of mobility, otherwise the surgery will not be as effective.

The overarching pain at the moment is the joint pain. My knee is still stiff and swollen. Slowly movement is coming back but I am conscious of keeping my muscle mass however it will be noticeable that I am losing muscle. My ankle now is the most painful. The swelling (and blackness of the bruising) is more painful and keeping my knee above the rest of my body is easier said than done.

I am now negotiating the stairs and taken showers by sitting on the stool – the stair climb is painful as pain is felt on the outside of the knee (as the alignment takes effect).

On the 12th February Loiza took me out for a walk and I covered the longest distance (ok it was about 20 metres there and back). Compared to the last time I went for a walk, I have trebled the distance. The issue is the continued pain in the knee.

Get some loose clothing and get some exercise.

The pain in the evenings is interesting, I get shots of pain from the top of the tibia to half way down. A throbbing pain as well as the area around the stitches. If this is the healing process then great but they are heavy bursts of contracting pain. I really cannot wait for the clips to be removed, I won’t miss the protruding metal clips i can feel within the bandage.

Revealing the staples after Osteotomy

After 7 days, it was time to see the stiches and the healing process after the Osteotomy. Read on!

February 7th (day 7)

Nothing to do with my operation, but a snap from my holiday to Langkawi, Malaysia in 2017.

When you are unable to walk and get out of the house for a number of days, it does drive you a little crazy. There is only so much daytime you can take before insanity sets in. I also noticed that my swelling from the leg has traveled to my ankle. Late in the morning, I was sat on a stool in the kitchen in the sunshine as my mother lunch. I must have been sitting for 30 minutes. After I sat back at the sofa, my ankle did begin to hurt.

Additional bruising, the case for gravity.

One of the more consistent pains I am experiencing is the pain of standing up. The shin area of my leg is really tender and when I stand up, that area becomes overbearingly painful for a few minutes. So much that I am unable to walk. Do watch out for this after your op.

Loiza planned to replace the current bandages and so we took off some of the tape around the wound to see if we could proceed. Unfortunately the replacements provided by the hospital were too small so had to wait. What we did see (as below) are metal clips. The points where the skin are pinched together still look raw and I can understand why I have so much pain in my shins.

Markings made by the Surgeon and the staples appearing. Too soon me thinks.


February 8th (Day 8)

My nights sleep was very uncomfortable, a combination of heartburn and leg pain. I also felt that I was coming down with the flu. I did go back to sleep after a warm glass of milk but felt rough in the morning.

My breakfast routine of tablets, porridge, fruit juice and fybrogel continues. Today my mother took over as Loiza went to work early,

My parents were going to leave to day, a little sad but i think my dad was getting a little tired. I will miss them as they helped me during the day and kept me company.

Today I found walking even more painful than normal, walking by sliding my foot just made it easier for a short time. Unbearable today. Also I fell asleep on the sofa with my leg resting above my head; i jerked my leg for no reason and woke me up. The pain was a 9 out of 10 – right on the stitch lines on my leg. It took 5-10 minutes for the pain to die down.

Once Loiza returned from work, we removed the bandages and had a chance to look at the stitches. There was also blood on one of the stiches – may have been a result of knee moving while I was asleep earlier

Ok, so it is a major operation guys!. Recovery will be gradual.

I didnt want to speak much for the rest of the evening; also the pain and swelling from my ankle was at a 8 out of 10. Loiza gave me a salt bath to soak my ankle. Helped a bit


Osteotomy recovery on days 3 , 4 and 5

After my Osteotomy surgery @OneHatfield, recovery continues, slowly. Don’t panic if bruising appears

The bruising appears

February 3rd (Day 3)

I may have woken once last night for painkillers and so felt well rested. The pain was less and felt like I had some more mobility. I was able to wash and change by myself however Loiza did helped me. I sat in the day room and watched Priya get ready for her Saturday league football match. Aroon was going to stay with me for the morning and keep me company. I felt a lot stronger today and walked a little with the crutches. The exercises and movement are so important and really helps psychologically. Having watched The Punisher on Netflix (which is just awesome) I fell asleep for an hour – tiredness hits you and comes in waves. I know it helps with the healing.

The key thing is to remain mobile and to keep the joints moving. I have started doing ‘light weights’ to keep the upper body muscle mass although need to be careful as not to pull any tendons in the leg.

I stayed up until 10pm and then was helped to bed.

February 4th (day 4)

I only woke up once last night for painkillers (3:42am) and I could feel the pain. Waking up at 7:20am thereafter and I was really thirsty. I did drink ¾ of the water bottle but could not go back to sleep. This morning the pain level was very high.

The length of my tibia was painful. Loiza also noticed that I had new bruising on the back of the knee. Also the swelling is more prevalent this morning and appeared purple and red towards the bottom of my leg.

Red bruising appearing after the operation

I did get a chance to walk more. Distance and frequency is improving but the stiffness around the ankle and knee is still there.

February 5th (Day 5)

Monday morning and I woke up at 7:20am. I was able to sleep on my side although felt uncomfortable when i woke up. Loiza still had to help me out of bed and had to take the day off; it was the right thing to do. I cannot manage by myself just yet.

I think i have one more day of the co-didromel pills afterwhich i am on 400mg ibuprofen and the paracetamol.

Sitting with Loiza today and i am continuing with the icepacks on the leg. I did notice that my knee is stiff and getting new pains in the knee. Also as the picture below, more new bruising is appearing and this time in the back of the knee.

Further bruising appearing on the back of the leg

I was able to walk a little more than yesterday so at least my mobility is improving however by lunchtime I am exhausted. I know that movement is still needed otherwise mobility in the joints reduces and becomes harder.

My parents arrived at 3pm and so i sat, chatted and stayed awake until about 10pm.

Recovery starts at home!

Time to leave the hospital and going home. Recovery gets real

February 2nd (Day 2)

The One Hatfield Hospital, Hertfordshire, where the
Osteotomy was conducted

Last night I only woke up twice in the night. I was given stronger pain killers and the sleep was so much better. I was able to go to the bathroom by myself, major result in getting some independence back

Later in the morning I met with the resident doctor, pharmacist and physio again. The doctor mentioned 6 weeks recovery for the bone and 2 weeks for soft tissue. This sounds tough but I need to recover properly. I guess I will be house bound for the initial duration of 2 weeks at the least.

I was taken for a walk with the physio at 10:46am and they got me to walk much further. This was tiring but a great milestone reached.

Other than the nurse washing my leg this morning I really want to go home.

Right now it is dealing with tiredness, loss of leg muscle mass and taking drugs to control the pain is what I need to acknowledge. I need to make sure I am doing exercises every hour to ensure recovery is fast.

Loiza arrived just after 11am and we chatted; I was excited about going home. People came and went to check my BP, O2 and administer more pain killers. The pharmacist came round and mentioned providing me with Co-didromol and ibuprofen. The pain will be high for the next week or so as the soft tissue heals.

Mr Chatoo came round at 1pm, he helped remove the bandaging and reassured me again on progress.

He recommended ice packs to reduce the swelling and pain killers to manage the pain. I was happy to hear from Mr Chatoo, a person who does take his work very seriously.

At Lunchtime, I was discharged from hospital. At last!

Getting into the car was not as painful as I thought and Loiza. I really enjoyed the ride home; I was finally out of hospital and moving around.

As I made it into the house, I felt relief of being back home; sitting in a hospital watching daytime TV drives you mad but also have my own creature comforts around me as well as the kids.

I sat on the upright sofa for a while and then lay flat once the pain started.

Movement is getting better but the swelling is causing discomfort in terms of knee movement and feeling my skin stretch across my calf. This in turn causes me to itch.

The pain and tiredness came in waves today and after having dinner (lentils) i fell asleep whilst watching tv at about 9ish. I just could not get warm and could not tolerate the cold peas. Hoping tomorrow would be better

Surgery done, here comes the Physio!

The start of Physiotherapy after my Tibial Osteomety

February 1st (Day 1) 2018

Feeling misty, can see things in the distance, but slow down, its a journey!

I woke up at 6:30am and watched some television and read the Economist magazine that Aroon left me. The article on Google, Facebook and Amazon becoming larger than economies and becoming monopolies questioned their business ethics in terms of acquisition was rather interesting. I remember reading that the new bargaining currency of DATA is a dangerous issue – this will cause governments to sue these large companies – they are no longer immune…..

Anyway that was my riveting morning as well as developing constant hiccups.

I sat up on my bed and could not see any change in swelling around my knee but I did see a big change in my leg’s alignment. My only worry is that it has been overcompensated, but the swelling on the inside of the leg (where the op took place) is surely distorting it.

Breakfast arrived at about 8am and had an English fry-up –  polished it off as well as 2 cups of tea. The doctor came round with the pharmacist and physio. The doctor explained what happened to me the night before and he explained to me the cause. He reassured me it was a cause of the drugs and I should not have another episode.

The physio mentioned she would return later and that due to the nature of the operation, they will take it very carefully. She wanted to start me on a walking frame followed by desired crutches. They removed the pillow under my leg and mentioned they will return later in the day

I waited for Loiza to arrive and when she did , she brought magazines with her as well as her smile. We read some magazines and my lunch arrived and was the best meal so far in hospital – chicken with gravy.

Later on the physio arrived. They got me out of bed and with crutches added weight to my leg. As I stood up the pain in my leg was felt. My calf muscle was hurting as well as my ankle. They helped me walk with the COGS process (Crutches, Operated leg, Good leg, Step). It worked. As Loiza recorded me walk i made my way out of the room and in to the corridor. It was a relief to be able to walk however the pain was immense. I could feel the tightness of the skin and my bone was hurting.

As I sat on the chair for the first time, i had to remember that I had taken strong pain killers to numb the pain. After the physio left, Loiza let me walk a little more in the room. I also called my parents to give them the good news that i was able to walk.

Physio Staff at One Hatfield Hospital starting the rehab

The physio returned to help me walk up a flight of stairs. We walked a longer distance (as I had now changed my clothes and wasn’t wearing a revealing hospital gown) and went to the stairwell. I stepped down and then back up, The joy was felt as well as the pain. The 2 physios brought me back in a wheelchair. It was at this point that I decided to stay another day in hospital as I was not ready to go home. My tolerance to pain at this moment was low, and I did not want to risk any damage by being at home.

The Physio team are critical post operation, they are key to focusing your mind on the power of the human body and the program of activities that inevitably impact on a speedy recovery.

Thanks again to @OneHatfield Physio team and to Mr Minhal Chatoo.

Day of the Tibial Osteotomy Surgery

January 31st (Day of op)

I didn’t have a good sleep the night before so got up early. No food or drink as prescribed by the hospital so getting ready was quick. Priya was awake and gave me a hug before she went off to get her breakfast. Aroon was asleep so i gave him a shove. Time of arrival to the hospital is 7am. I remembered for the last 4 or so weeks repeating to myself “this is the last time i do….in a while”…well that the end of the line now.

We arrived at the hospital on time and taken to my room. All sparse but the TV was good. Not sure how many people have used the room as its all very new.

Mr Minhal Chatoo (Surgeon and specialist ) came in and spoke about the operation and highlighted the risks. This is expected as he covered risks in tibia under/over correction, risk of cutting a nerve and rehab time. The good news from what he said was movement on the Knee will be possible as the cuts will be below the knee. He was very reassuring as he drew an arrow on my leg

He left by saying that i am the second person on his list and that the anaesthetist will be round later. We sat until 10:20am and then was taken down to the operating theatre.

I remember an Australian lady and Joan Washington (Sister) taking me down on the lift; i made a comment about the disco lights in the lift (nervous energy!).

I was led into the operating theater and laid on the table. At this point another chap who was administering the drugs noted my DOB was incorrect – born in 1953? That was corrected quickly.

Once the anesthetist came back, he mentioned the drugs and an additional injection in my right thigh to aid the operation. We chatted and had a giggle for 10-15 minutes as their actions were completed. I noted the time was about 11:40am.

The operation was to cut below the shin on the right leg. A wedge 11mm wide would be cut out. A bone graft applied. The gap create in the leg will have metal strips screwed in to support the bone growth to correct my leg.

The drugs took action and i passed out

Coming round after surgery

I came around at about 1:30 and i was in agony – a sawed leg, 2 metal pins and bunch of screws added to my leg. 2 nurses were near by. They talked and administered drugs once they spoke to the anesthetist. I was left downstairs for a while. Once the pain was tolerable, they wheeled me back upstairs. I was glad to see Loiza in the room.I held her hand. I cannot remember if i fell asleep again but i guess it was on and off. They gave me oxygen and connected me to saline and heart rate monitor.

Mr Chatoo then called us to talk about the operation. He said the procedure was on plan and that he was satisfied. This was a relief. Loiza and I reflected and after  a while and then she left for home. I fell asleep again. I remember waking up as Joan was taking my Heart Rate when i complained that i wanted to vomit. I felt that i was losing consciousness and could feel my self sweating and my heart pounding. The Doctor lay me down and i could hear them telling me to keep my eyes open. I was struggling but they pulled me through. After laying flat, i felt much better. My blood pressure dropped due to a reaction of the drugs. At least that gave me something else to worry about rather than my leg.

The pain in my leg is prevalent but didn’t feel like it was sawed, had metal strips and screws put in. the air pumps/ cushion on both legs is helping my blood circulation. Dinner arrived and it was seabass with potatoes. It tasted dry but i finished it so quickly.

Loiza, Aroon and Priya arrived at 7:30ish..if felt like they had been gone for a long time. The  kids made me a card for “Brotato”.

Priya read her “grand designs” magazine with me and Aroon talked about his Physics lecture at school. He mentioned the speaker was very enthusiastic about her subject matter. We sat chatted and i just watched everyone -i was just happy to see them and didnt want them to leave.

Joan came by with her shift replacement and went over my case notes. A shame to see her go as she really looked after me as i came round. She was calm, direct and very precise,

Loiza and the kids left and i fell asleep again. Another nurse came in and administered pain killers. They kept the oxygen running. I was a little impatient on waiting for things but the nurses must be busy. Anyway things went as per plan anyway. Every 2 hours they came in and checked my vitals. The pain was bearable and was able to move my toes. I didnt want to risk moving any more than that.

The day before the Tibial Osteotomy

30th January 2018 (Day -1)

On 30th January 2018, I went into hospital (https://www.onehealthcare.co.uk/hatfield/) for my surgery.

Initially the Osteotomy surgery date was meant to be on 17th January but the surgeon had to push the time back as there was a risk of overrunning on a more complex surgery that was planned earlier in the day. For me, I had programmed my mind (at home and work) that surgery would be on a specific date so felt prepared. With that moving, it was tough trying to adjust and refocus on work but it had to be done.

Work for me this month was very manic; recruitment, interviews, dealing with sales staff in the corporate world is stressful. Also, with my manager being unable to take my workload, this didn’t help the stress levels. This actually helped me avoid thinking about the surgery.

So now i am sat at 6:30pm on Tuesday feeling a little numb. I’m not sure how to react other than to ‘go with the flow’ tomorrow.

In terms of the ‘what will i do after the surgery’ quandary, not too sure what that would entail. The thought of the surgeon drilling through my tibia, taking a 1.1cm width of bone out, drilling holes and adding metal plates is daunting. What will the pain be like after a few days? How will i go to the toilet, shower and dress myself. Also being stuck in the house with a wounded legs for a week or so is not riding well.

I’m not sure what Aroon or Priya are thinking. Aroon is wrapped up in his own things and Priya is busy being a girl. As long as they support Loiza, thats all goodness.

I’m going to go early to watch Priya at football practice and see how the day ends, Its NIL BY MOUTH 12 hours before the surgery and need to get to the Hospital by 7am.