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Update - One Month Post-Op

Posted by Scott2 on 3/14/01 at 19:44 (041508)

Hello everyone. As mentioned in my other posts, here is an update of my surgery:

Profile:

Male, 33 years old
Good health (except for the foot of course)

Surgery - Feb 16, 2001 (PF Release and Distal Tarsal Tunnel Release)
Stitches Removed - Mar 5
Crutches and non weight bearing - until Mar 5
Two crutches and partial weight bearing (cam-walker) - through Mar 8
One crutch and cam-walker - Mar 9
Cam-walker only - Mar 10 to present

Doctor said the surgery went well as the nerve was entrapped. Swelling is all gone in foot. Incision is pretty much healed. I am doing exercises to strengthen and stretch the foot (range of motion and assisted heel raises). I am also riding the recumbent bike at the club for 20-30 minutes. Manual test done by doctor (tapping) to check for any tingling or discomfort was negative - which is good. Heel still tender to touch due to PF release.

I feel that my recovery really picked up after the stitches were removed. The first two weeks were really tough with discomfort and not being able to bear any weight. I took pain medication now and then.

I was instructed to wear the cam-walker for two more weeks and then a running shoe for two weeks after that. Doctor said he feels I will be able to run this Summer - I sure hope so.

The true test is if and when I will be able to return to doing triathlons, running and hiking, etc. Please let me know if any of you have any specific questions you would like answered.

Thanks.

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

thea on 3/15/01 at 10:41 (041548)

scott, that is great. i had surgery on 3/1 and look forward to getting on some type of exercise equipment. don't know whether you read my post to you earlier, however i had half my stitches removed on mon, 3/12 and get the rest removed next mon,3/19. i can put a lot of pressure on it, but only to stand. i can almost take one step. i have been doing a lot of exercises to help the tightness, but i figure in a couple of days i'll be walking. dr. says i won't need a cam walker, that basically after the other stitches come out i can practice walking. i am surprised how well im doing. my pain is not bad at all. you said your were still taking pain meds. is our pain still bad. i stopped taking the pain medicine a few days after surgery. well, it sounds like we are both on our way to running again. i can't wait. it will be nice to sweat again for a nice long run. i wont have to workout my arms for a while. they have gotten a lot of exercise from these crutches. heehee. one question, when you step down for the first few times what did your pain feel like on the bottom of your foot. mine is a little pulling feeling and little tingling pain (i guess that is the best way i can describe it). keep up the good work

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

Scott2 on 3/15/01 at 11:16 (041553)

Thea,

Sounds like you are doing good. Interesting comment from your doctor because my doctor told me one of the biggest mistakes people make is wearing shoes too soon. He wants me to wear the cam-walker for two more weeks and considering what I have gone through, I am willing to do it even though I know I could get by without it. Funny how there are different opinions and it also depends on the individual so I am not saying one is right or wrong.

As for the pain, I stopped taking the pain killers after week two. It was just here and there and at night when there was a little extra swelling from the day's grind. I had a lot of pain when my foot was put in a hard cast with the stitches still in but it was taken off after the weekend.

As for the tingling sensation and pulling you described, yes, I get that too. My heel is still a little sore due to the PF release. I stretch it numerous times per day and use a towel to pull my foot towards me each morning and night. It still feels weird at times (nerve stuff) and I guess it will do that for sometime.

Yeah, the hand and arm strength does improve when you rely on the crutches. Something I found really interesting was my calf muscle started to atrophy after just two weeks being in a non-weight bearing state.

I am really excited about being able to do more exercises, but I am really going to take it slow. I do not want this to come back and I have to watch my other foot too. Just want to be able to ride my bike outdoors first, then walk without pain, then think about running.

Thanks for the message and keep me posted on your progress.

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

thea on 3/15/01 at 18:21 (041578)

scott-
i completely understand about the atrophy in the calf. just 12 days and my calf was hardly there.
i have read a lot of different opinions on this board in reference to the recovery. dr. said there was nothing imparticular that he saw that was compressing the nerve. so he said he just cleaned out the area and straighten the nerve out.
i'm trying to take it slowly too. my dr. said something interesting to me. he said that it will not return if the surgery was done thoroughly. my incision is approx. a foot long (maybe 8-9 inches, i don't know). its long. he said that a lot of drs don't make the incision long enough to get a thorough look inside. hopefully he's right or possibly trying to help me stay optimistic.
anyways, i'll keep u posted. thanx

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

Scott2 on 3/15/01 at 19:08 (041581)

Wow, that's quite an incision. Mine is only about half that, but believe me, if it meant no more pain with a real long scar, I would take it.

It just seems from all the posts and everyone's comments that this syndrome/injury/condition really is different for each person and the discussion about treatments vary greatly as well. I guess it's that way for lots of illnesses.

Thanks for the post and get healthy soon!!!

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

Chad H on 3/16/01 at 09:00 (041618)

Congrats Scott, that is really great to hear!

When the doctor said the nerve was intrapped, did he mention what it is intrapped in (scar tissue, vessels, tendon, etc)?

Good luck and keep up with the excercises and stretching. I believe this key to maintaining range of motion. Also, I have been told that movement helps keep the nerve from becoming entrapped again. Keep us posted!

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

Scott2 on 3/16/01 at 16:55 (041654)

Chad,

I guess I was referring to the phrase nerve entrapment as a catch-all, however, the doctor did use the words 'tacked down,' but I did not get the details as to what was tacking the nerve down.

I can ask on my next visit which is scheduled for mid April. Sorry I could not answer your question.

Thanks.

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

Jen on 3/28/01 at 16:48 (042843)

Your message is so encouraging. Please keep us posted. I'm having surgery for TTS and PF soon and very nervous, but your words are great to hear!!

Jen

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

thea on 3/15/01 at 10:41 (041548)

scott, that is great. i had surgery on 3/1 and look forward to getting on some type of exercise equipment. don't know whether you read my post to you earlier, however i had half my stitches removed on mon, 3/12 and get the rest removed next mon,3/19. i can put a lot of pressure on it, but only to stand. i can almost take one step. i have been doing a lot of exercises to help the tightness, but i figure in a couple of days i'll be walking. dr. says i won't need a cam walker, that basically after the other stitches come out i can practice walking. i am surprised how well im doing. my pain is not bad at all. you said your were still taking pain meds. is our pain still bad. i stopped taking the pain medicine a few days after surgery. well, it sounds like we are both on our way to running again. i can't wait. it will be nice to sweat again for a nice long run. i wont have to workout my arms for a while. they have gotten a lot of exercise from these crutches. heehee. one question, when you step down for the first few times what did your pain feel like on the bottom of your foot. mine is a little pulling feeling and little tingling pain (i guess that is the best way i can describe it). keep up the good work

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

Scott2 on 3/15/01 at 11:16 (041553)

Thea,

Sounds like you are doing good. Interesting comment from your doctor because my doctor told me one of the biggest mistakes people make is wearing shoes too soon. He wants me to wear the cam-walker for two more weeks and considering what I have gone through, I am willing to do it even though I know I could get by without it. Funny how there are different opinions and it also depends on the individual so I am not saying one is right or wrong.

As for the pain, I stopped taking the pain killers after week two. It was just here and there and at night when there was a little extra swelling from the day's grind. I had a lot of pain when my foot was put in a hard cast with the stitches still in but it was taken off after the weekend.

As for the tingling sensation and pulling you described, yes, I get that too. My heel is still a little sore due to the PF release. I stretch it numerous times per day and use a towel to pull my foot towards me each morning and night. It still feels weird at times (nerve stuff) and I guess it will do that for sometime.

Yeah, the hand and arm strength does improve when you rely on the crutches. Something I found really interesting was my calf muscle started to atrophy after just two weeks being in a non-weight bearing state.

I am really excited about being able to do more exercises, but I am really going to take it slow. I do not want this to come back and I have to watch my other foot too. Just want to be able to ride my bike outdoors first, then walk without pain, then think about running.

Thanks for the message and keep me posted on your progress.

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

thea on 3/15/01 at 18:21 (041578)

scott-
i completely understand about the atrophy in the calf. just 12 days and my calf was hardly there.
i have read a lot of different opinions on this board in reference to the recovery. dr. said there was nothing imparticular that he saw that was compressing the nerve. so he said he just cleaned out the area and straighten the nerve out.
i'm trying to take it slowly too. my dr. said something interesting to me. he said that it will not return if the surgery was done thoroughly. my incision is approx. a foot long (maybe 8-9 inches, i don't know). its long. he said that a lot of drs don't make the incision long enough to get a thorough look inside. hopefully he's right or possibly trying to help me stay optimistic.
anyways, i'll keep u posted. thanx

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

Scott2 on 3/15/01 at 19:08 (041581)

Wow, that's quite an incision. Mine is only about half that, but believe me, if it meant no more pain with a real long scar, I would take it.

It just seems from all the posts and everyone's comments that this syndrome/injury/condition really is different for each person and the discussion about treatments vary greatly as well. I guess it's that way for lots of illnesses.

Thanks for the post and get healthy soon!!!

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

Chad H on 3/16/01 at 09:00 (041618)

Congrats Scott, that is really great to hear!

When the doctor said the nerve was intrapped, did he mention what it is intrapped in (scar tissue, vessels, tendon, etc)?

Good luck and keep up with the excercises and stretching. I believe this key to maintaining range of motion. Also, I have been told that movement helps keep the nerve from becoming entrapped again. Keep us posted!

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

Scott2 on 3/16/01 at 16:55 (041654)

Chad,

I guess I was referring to the phrase nerve entrapment as a catch-all, however, the doctor did use the words 'tacked down,' but I did not get the details as to what was tacking the nerve down.

I can ask on my next visit which is scheduled for mid April. Sorry I could not answer your question.

Thanks.

Re: Update - One Month Post-Op

Jen on 3/28/01 at 16:48 (042843)

Your message is so encouraging. Please keep us posted. I'm having surgery for TTS and PF soon and very nervous, but your words are great to hear!!

Jen