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Tibial Tubercle Osteotomy
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Tibial tubercle osteotomy (TTO) is surgery to place your patella (knee cap) in the correct position. Your surgeon will line your knee cap up with your thigh and shin. This may relieve pain and improve movement of your leg.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
- You cough up blood.
- You have trouble breathing.
Seek care immediately if:
- Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your stitches come apart.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever or chills.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or you have a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Blood thinners help prevent blood clots. Examples of blood thinners include heparin and warfarin. Clots can cause strokes, heart attacks, and death. The following are general safety guidelines to follow while you are taking a blood thinner:
- Watch for bleeding and bruising while you take blood thinners. Watch for bleeding from your gums or nose. Watch for blood in your urine and bowel movements. Use a soft washcloth on your skin, and a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth. This can keep your skin and gums from bleeding. If you shave, use an electric shaver. Do not play contact sports.
- Tell your dentist and other healthcare providers that you take anticoagulants. Wear a bracelet or necklace that says you take this medicine.
- Do not start or stop any medicines unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Many medicines cannot be used with blood thinners.
- Tell your healthcare provider right away if you forget to take the medicine, or if you take too much.
- Warfarin is a blood thinner that you may need to take. The following are things you should be aware of if you take warfarin.
- Foods and medicines can affect the amount of warfarin in your blood. Do not make major changes to your diet while you take warfarin. Warfarin works best when you eat about the same amount of vitamin K every day. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables and certain other foods. Ask for more information about what to eat when you are taking warfarin.
- You will need to see your healthcare provider for follow-up visits when you are on warfarin. You will need regular blood tests. These tests are used to decide how much medicine you need.
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely.
- Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
You may be given crutches, a cane, or a walker to limit the weight on your leg. You may also need a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine. The CPM helps gently move your knee to prevent stiffness. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about any support devices you may need.
A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. He may also teach you how to use your crutches, cane, or walker.
Care for your wound as directed:
Your healthcare provider will tell you how to care for your incision wound. Watch for signs of an infection every time you change your bandage. Signs of an infection may include swelling, redness, or pus draining from your wound. Keep your wound clean and dry. Change the bandage as directed and when it gets wet or dirty. Your healthcare provider will tell you when you can shower.
- Do not put weight on your leg. Your leg needs to heal before you walk on it. You will need to use crutches, a cane, or a walker to keep weight off your leg. Ask your healthcare provider when you can return to your normal activities.
- Wear your knee immobilizer when you are out of bed. The immobilizer will prevent your knee cap from moving the wrong way and causing damage. You may remove the immobilizer when you sleep.
- Apply ice on your knee cap. Do this for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
- Apply heat on your knee cap. Do this for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed. Heat helps decrease pain and muscle spasms.
- Elevate your leg. You will need to keep your leg above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your leg on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.