Ilizarov Diary by A Woman From Baku
My Ilizarov Diary
I was operated on 05 May 2015 at about 11:30 am. My limb lengthening operation lasted 2 hours and 10 minutes. I had “brain fog” because of the effect of anesthesia when I woke up. At night my leg started hurting, but nurses frequently inject pain injection, that they used to do twice in a day. I tried to walk after 2 days of surgery, I could take 3-4 steps. The next day I could walk a little more, but it was really hard. After 4 days, I was discharged from the hospital. I slowly tried to do exercises at home, that my dr advised me.
After 10 days I started to do distraction rate of 0.5 mm per day. About 15 days after the operation, I began easily walk at home. I hardly ever had any pain. The nerve, bone and muscular pain started on reaching 2.5-3 cm. I resisted not to take too much painkillers, but when I had a lot of pain, I was taking the pain pill that dr recommended. As the lengthening increased, the pain got worse.
I used to go to a doctor every month or 2 months. After 4-5 cm lengthening, muscle tension symptoms appeared on my legs. So I couldn’t do stretching exercises as much as I needed. As a result, my heels began not to touch the ground. Although this “ballerina syndrome” is formed in many lengthening patients after surgery, but I think if I could do more exercises and keep my muscles flexible, maybe I could prevent it. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t go to physiotherapy during the lengthening period. Because, when I tried to do my exercises, I stopped if it began to hurt. Even if I managed, it wasn’t effective as doctor did. So I advise those who want to be operated, have a physical therapy.
Walking on my fingertips also began to affect my psychology and I wanted to finish my lengthening. I stopped distraction when lengthening reached 7 cm. After 7-10 days, the pain has decreased. About 1 month later, tension and weight on my legs were over. At that time some of the pin sites were infected. It was very painful. I used antibiotics and the infection has passed.
From the first day I was discharged from hospital, I consumed plenty of calcium foods: eggs, milk, yoghurt, sesame seeds from the village, also I drinking bone juice every morning. At the same time, I was taking calcium and vitamin D.
Seven months after the operation I returned to work. I still used a walker. 8 months later I started walking with a cane. I tried to walk with crutches before that, but I didn’t get used to it. One year after the surgery, my doctor removed the device from my left leg. I started to push on that foot comfortably, and about 20 days later, the doctor removed a device from my right leg too. It was hard to imagine how happy I was 🙂 But I was a little in a strange void. I have no more metals on my legs that I’ve been carried for a year 🙂
Now I can walk, run and jump normal, as did it before surgery. The only problem for me at the moment is that sometimes I feel tightness in calf muscles. I have to do a lot of exercises and massage to solve it, but I don’t do anything for it 🙁 Because it doesn’t bother me so much.
Generally, everything is normal for me. I’m very happy when people notice my height got taller and to see that I’m taller than the people I used to be shorter. Despite all the difficulties, I’m happy that I had this operation. The surgery and postoperative period is long and difficult enough, but it was worth it.
I don’t recommend this operation if your height is not too short, but if it is really short and you are both physically and psychologically ready, then I advise you have this surgery. Because no matter at what age you are, the short height complex doesn’t leave you.
For further infomation, please see: Leg Lengthening with Ilizarov method