Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

TTS - the continuing saga

Posted by wendyn on 11/01/99 at 00:00 (012251)

Saw my sports med specialist today. First I had to see a Resident. Might not resent this so much if I hadn't had to recite my story already to at least a dozen different doctors and therapists over the last year. When she and I were discusssing why the Birks seem to help so much..she came up with this little gem as if she thought of it all by herself....she suggested maybe...I might considering trying...something called...'custom orthotics'. I said 'Gee....you think a fourth pair would help? - the first three haven't'. I know I shouldn't get grumpy - but she has the chart, and doesn't she think perhaps we may have thought of that along the way????

Anyway, I'm finished being catty, the fact that she looked about 12 years old didn't help my attitude any.

Saw the real doctor. I asked who would do the surgery if all else fails. He said a Foot and Ankle Surgeon - not a Neurosurgeon. I said...okay-and how long are we looking at to get into one of? Get this - one year. I said 'Okay, so do you think you might want to get the ball rolling on that NOW, and if somehow I am miraculously cured in the next year I can just CANCEL the appointment?!?!?!?!' They made the referral to the surgeon. Why, why, why - do they think it's a good idea to fool around for a year or two before starting the one year wait for the surgeon? This I CANNOT understand.

He said accupuncture will not likely make things worse and it may actually help, if nothing else - with the perception of pain. He's actually quite supportive of alternative treatments - perhaps because there doesn't seem to be a lot of conventional solutions for TTS.

He also suggested cortisone again, and went over the possible side effects. The danger would be possible infection, nerve irritation (making the situation worse) and potential rupture of the tendon. I said fine, I'm obviously not comfortable with those risks right now - so no cortisone. He told me that the surgeon may refuse to do surgery unless I've tried the cortisone. I told him that the surgeon can do the cortisone then if he wants to next year. At least that way, if HE makes it worse I won't be waiting another year for someone to else fix it!!

I really am not a difficult patient - although it sure sounds that way from what I've written. I'm just at my wits end.

He also told me that I need to have the nerve testing redone in February and that the surgeon may not operate unless I can produce a positive result (there are discrepancies on my first test). This is contrary to a lot of what I've read in that the nerve conduction tests are often inconclusive. I guess I will just have to wait and see what the surgeon says next year. Guess my goal of being able to walk by next summer just went out the window.

Basically I've been given a year to figure out how to make myself better before anyone will try to help me.

Any additional suggestions would be more than welcome....apologies for my obvious attitude problem...I should have things back in perspective by tomorrow...thanks for allowing me space to vent frustrations.


Re: TTS - the continuing saga

joan on 11/01/99 at 00:00 (012255)

wendy--i do not think you are at all being a 'difficult' patient--please keep asserting yourself at each and every turn--no one cares about you as much as you do, so be prepared to fight for top service and then do the fighting, as you obviously are from what you've posted. i think there is much to be admired and emulated from your approach. not enough people challenge their doctors. i am not a doctor but i have several friends from high school and who i now know from my own professional contacts, and DOCTORS ARE JUST PEOPLE. So deal with them as just people. as far as your delays, are there any other doctors you could use? or, you might also try to pleasantly but persistently hound this surgeon and his office staff about getting an earlier date (people do cancel), by calling once a day to remind them of your existence, etc. keep yourself fresh in their minds so that they may call you if the opportunity presents itself. make FRIENDS with the office staff, no matter whether they are sweet or unfriendly. good luck!

Re: TTS - the continuing saga - Long Response

Ann G on 11/02/99 at 00:00 (012260)

Joan, I have been battling TTS and PF for about three years. I finally had surgery in April of this year. I didn't realize I had TTS as well until my doctor told me so. I had the nerve test done. (It was very uncomfortable for me). The doctor who did the test told me I would have problems as I aged in my ankles. Anyway. I had the surgery partial PF release and whatever they do for TTS. I was miserable for months following the surgery because I still had pain. I could not find comfortable shoes. I kept looking for shoes with a wedge because everyone said flats are not good. I found a pair of sandals on vacation that have a molded bottom (Airpostles) Something like that that I wear at home all the time. I st ill do not go barefoot to often. But, all of the sudden, I am better. I do have some stiffness in my foot and ankle in the morning but it's not unbearable. During the day I have no pain in my foot or ankle anymore. If I am on my feet for a long time, both my feet ache. I don't think this is PF or TTS related. I am glad that I had the surgery. It took a good 6 months to feel better though. My doctor only operated after I had been more than a year with symptoms. I live in the Baltimore area and my doctor is at Union Memorial.

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks


Re: TTS - the continuing saga

joan on 11/01/99 at 00:00 (012255)

wendy--i do not think you are at all being a 'difficult' patient--please keep asserting yourself at each and every turn--no one cares about you as much as you do, so be prepared to fight for top service and then do the fighting, as you obviously are from what you've posted. i think there is much to be admired and emulated from your approach. not enough people challenge their doctors. i am not a doctor but i have several friends from high school and who i now know from my own professional contacts, and DOCTORS ARE JUST PEOPLE. So deal with them as just people. as far as your delays, are there any other doctors you could use? or, you might also try to pleasantly but persistently hound this surgeon and his office staff about getting an earlier date (people do cancel), by calling once a day to remind them of your existence, etc. keep yourself fresh in their minds so that they may call you if the opportunity presents itself. make FRIENDS with the office staff, no matter whether they are sweet or unfriendly. good luck!

Re: TTS - the continuing saga - Long Response

Ann G on 11/02/99 at 00:00 (012260)

Joan, I have been battling TTS and PF for about three years. I finally had surgery in April of this year. I didn't realize I had TTS as well until my doctor told me so. I had the nerve test done. (It was very uncomfortable for me). The doctor who did the test told me I would have problems as I aged in my ankles. Anyway. I had the surgery partial PF release and whatever they do for TTS. I was miserable for months following the surgery because I still had pain. I could not find comfortable shoes. I kept looking for shoes with a wedge because everyone said flats are not good. I found a pair of sandals on vacation that have a molded bottom (Airpostles) Something like that that I wear at home all the time. I st ill do not go barefoot to often. But, all of the sudden, I am better. I do have some stiffness in my foot and ankle in the morning but it's not unbearable. During the day I have no pain in my foot or ankle anymore. If I am on my feet for a long time, both my feet ache. I don't think this is PF or TTS related. I am glad that I had the surgery. It took a good 6 months to feel better though. My doctor only operated after I had been more than a year with symptoms. I live in the Baltimore area and my doctor is at Union Memorial.

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks