I'm currently doing LL. Ask me anything!

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ateyelevel
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Re: I'm currently doing LL. Ask me anything!
post #11

That's correct BilateralDamage! That is why I created this community! Please encourage your friends to sign up:) We have an ongoing contest in which the person who comes up with the best thread will win $50 (Until 8/31/2014).

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hardshortworker
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Re: I'm currently doing LL. Ask me anything!
post #12

How much pain were you in post-op and when did the pain become tolerable?

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BilateralDamage
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Re: I'm currently doing LL. Ask me anything!
post #13

I think the pain is the most intriguing part of this entire process. I'll try detailing it as best as I can remember.

 

My days in the hospital were absolutely awful. I did have a complication, so this led to me being moved to the ICU and having nurses lift and move me when I was in my worst pain. I easily hit a 10/10 on the pain scale multiple times and was left shaking and sobbing in my bed after these moments. While in the hospital, I very much regretted my decision for doing LL with the tremendous amount of pain I was experiencing, feeling like it was never going to end. This however is not experienced by everyone. One of my lengthener friends who did not have any complications had it relatively easy in the hospital with minimal pain (from the epidural he had). The pain was easily controlled, you just had to be very consistent with giving yourself epidural injections (once every 45 minutes I believe). My epidural was taken out early because I was moved to the ICU and I believe that and my complications led me to have more pain than usually experienced.

 

Eventually after the hospital, I moved to my hotel and continued experiencing pain, but not nearly as bad. I was taking oxys every 6 hours and was managing to control my symptoms, but after 4 hours, the oxy would wear off and you would start to feel the pain again badly. This led to many sleepless nights in the beginning, probably the for the first 2 weeks. Eventually, my pain started going down and all I needed was a tylenol before PT and bed.

 

Oh yeah, PT! My first few PT sessions, I was probably shouting from the pain when my PT was forcing my leg to bend. Eventually my flexibility improved, she didn't have to force my leg down, and I stopped feeling as much pain. I became really good at PT after the first week actually. smile

 

Which leads me to today. I'm around day 50 post-op and I'm not taking any pain meds hardly, only the occasional acetaminophen. The pain I experience now comes from lengthening. As you lengthen, you're stretching your muscles with your bones and this causes a lot of stiffness and pain. In the morning, I'm incredibly stiff and need to walk around and heat up my legs with a compression pad to improve my mobility. But overall, I haven't felt any non-tolerable pain since the hospital.

Last Edited By BilateralDamage (2014-07-19 00:55:47)

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Re: I'm currently doing LL. Ask me anything!
post #14

Sounds excruciating. I don't know how you managed to make it through. Hearing about the crying and epidurals made me cringe. How long was the actual surgery and how much time before you are 100%? Have you been able to go outside and walk around people? (if you're able to walk okay). 

 

Do you notice that your view of things is different when you're around people? Is what you experience now an immediate boost in your confidence?

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Re: I'm currently doing LL. Ask me anything!
post #15

It was. My experience in the hospital was very different from others though, no lengthener I've spoken too experienced the kind of pain I did.

 

The surgery took about 4 hours. 100% is a very relative term, it depends on what someone's 100% means. For some, running and walking is 100% while on some of the LL forums, 100% means being able to do roundhouse spinning kicks post-OP! tongue But the basic time-frame of recovery is this: after I'm finished lengthening, which should be at the end of August, I need to focus on consolidation. Consolidation should take 1-2 months, so I'm expected to be fully weight-bearing (walking without assistance) by September/October. To return back to running, generally the doctors estimate another 6 months, so I should be running fully by January. Some say you don't achieve full athletic ability and I might lose some sprinting push-off, but most femur lengtheners tell me they only lose about 5% athletic ability. I should be able to judge my full athletic ability 2 years post-OP. The removal of my internal nail takes place 1 year post-OP, so next May.

 

I've been walking a lot! It's one of the best parts about lengthening your femurs with a weight-bearing nail. I'm on crutches, and I can walk anywhere. No one can tell that both of my legs are broken either, most assume I just injured my one leg. Today I bumped into something at the grocer, and a woman next to me said "be careful, you don't want to hurt your other leg!" smile I've seen a few friends and told them I got hurt playing sports and no one doubted me. I also can drive and fly on planes. Flying on planes is a bit worse lately, as I start experiencing discomfort when sitting for too long.

 

View change = big yes! I'm having to do a lot more talking down when talking to women in particular. I've felt average height while walking in a few crowded places. It's also interesting walking around your house and everything seeming a lot further away from you than it used to be. As far as confidence, I guess I would say it is an immediate boost, but I wouldn't call it a large one. I'm still a cripple, my legs are slightly bent when on crutches, and I'll have to take some time to get used to my height and interacting with others before I really can enjoy the height.

Last Edited By BilateralDamage (2014-07-20 03:25:25)

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Re: I'm currently doing LL. Ask me anything!
post #16

What made you do femurs instead of tibias? Isn't that harder? I just googled that because I knew nothing of how the surgery works. I find it intriguing that your friends believed your sports injury story. Do they not realize that you are taller than you used to be? It is premature to ask but have you noticed a difference in response to how women react to you? My last question is isn't it illegal to drive in most places in the United States with broken legs? Do you have a handicap permit?

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Re: I'm currently doing LL. Ask me anything!
post #17

What was your college major? How did you get the money to do LL. Dr. Paley is one of the best doctors out there, but don't U.S. Surgeons cost an arm and a leg? I read the cost of the whole surgery is in the neighborhood of $100,000!!!!!

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Re: I'm currently doing LL. Ask me anything!
post #18

@OverTheEdge I chose femur lengthening for a few reasons: it's easier to lengthen, less complications, and I can lengthen a larger amount. Lengthen your tibiae are much more difficult, you can encounter equinus contracture (ballerina feet) and have a lengthening limit of .75 mm daily. It's a lot harder to walk, and there's a chance I would have been in a wheelchair this entire summer had I decided to do tibias. Femurs are just the overall better choice! One reason a lot of lengtheners choose to do tibias over femurs is because of the price. Lengthening with external frames is always much cheaper than lengthening with internal nails. Lengthening your femurs with external frames is incredibly dangerous and recommended against, so that's why most end up going with their tibias. The only harder part about femurs I would say is that it's much more painful, but that's because the biggest bones in your body were broken!

 

Everyone I've told about my surgery so far had no idea of its existence. But they're always fascinated, since it's pretty freaking incredible what's going on with my body right now.

 

The friends I've seen are much taller than me. Taller people will always see me as shorter, even if I grow a few inches tongue A lot of diaries on the LL forums will usually explain that people around them don't notice they grow. Usually people think you lost weight, or something else that's logically feasible.

 

I haven't been around enough women and had enough interaction to make a call on that so far. I'm also crippled so I'm receiving different reactions from people than I regularly would. But my interaction with strangers has been really positive so far, people become really sympathetic and helpful when you're on crutches. tongue

 

Not illegal to drive, it's only recommended that I don't drive while taking oxys (and I haven't taken them in a while so it's all good). My feet respond as quickly on the pedals as they would with non-broken legs, so it hasn't been a problem. My one and only huge concern is not getting into an accident because that would f*ck things up! So I drive extra carefully. I have a handicap permit as well, it was really easy to get one. I printed out the application, brought it to my doc to sign off on, and then brought it to my town court for them to approve and give me the permit, all in the same day. I've been taking advantage of the best parking spots wink

 

@HarryManiac Job and education is a little too personal for me to reveal. After everything's said and done, I should have paid about $100K for surgery, living costs, transportation, and extras like food. It wasn't easy forking over that money, but I don't have any other major expenses right now, and I saw the surgery as a good long term investment. There are other options and international doctors that are a tad cheaper. But after looking over the costs, it made the best sense for me to go to the doctor in the U.S. who was also the most experienced. As a usually frugal spender, you bet I'm missing that $100,000 crying

Last Edited By BilateralDamage (2014-07-21 03:34:29)

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Re: I'm currently doing LL. Ask me anything!
post #19

> BilateralDamage wrote: >

and I saw the surgery as a good long term investment. As a usually frugal spender, you bet I'm missing that $100,000 crying

 

How many hours of physical therapy do you have to do a day? I read what you wrote but after seeing a video of Paley aren't you required to 3 hours of PT a day? I hope LL ends up being a good long term investment for you. You almost paid for it with your life! What is Ballerina feet?

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Re: I'm currently doing LL. Ask me anything!
post #20

Have you started shopping for new clothes yet? What size jeans will you end up wearing?

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