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Surgery is Scheduled

Posted by SonnyK on 7/17/01 at 22:32 (053547)

I am scheduled to have a TT release on my right ankle on August 17. This has all happened so fast....I am nervous.
One year ago I had a Doctor tell me that I had arthritis in my ankles and to take Advil.
So I kept active and kept getting worse..the pain is unbearable..and I can handle much pain...I had two children without any pain medication!
I went back to a Doctor (an older, more experienced one) in May and almost immediately he recognized my symptoms as TT. I had an EMG done and the results showed TT.
My Ortho is well known here in Minneapolis and very busy..also a little arrogant. My regular doctor tells me I am lucky to have him...but he makes me nervous....keeps saying that TT is rare and in his 20+ years of practice has only seen it maybe 5 times. When I asked questions (I was prepared thanks to this site!) he seemed to blow them off.....uses 'big' terms etc.
I am flat footed and he thinks that caused the TT...my ankles turning in and pinching the nerve....anyone heard of this?
I want to trust his advice to have surgery because I will try anything to get rid of the pain but I can't afford to be laid up as long as some of you have stated...I do daycare and it will be hard on all of the families too...The Ortho says I should recover just fine...with my 4 inch scar!!! Anyone out there with a success story for me?

Re: Surgery is Scheduled

AJ on 7/18/01 at 10:09 (053574)

I had the surgery on my right foot and it was successful. I am now 7 months post op and am much better off than I was before. I had a structural problem and had injuries in the area which caused the entrapment. If you have any concerns about your doctor, I would highly recommend you get a second opinion. I did. Also, if you have the surgery, take good care of yourself, follow the doc's orders, and work hard at your physical therapy. I'll get off my soapbox now. :) Good luck to you!!!

Re: Surgery is Scheduled

Diana J on 7/27/01 at hrmin (054578)

Hi There,
I had my surgery two weeks ago and really thought I was going to be in horrible pain - I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that it has not been that painful. I am being VERY good about not staying up on it for more that a few minutes and keeping it iced and the Doc said that really helps. With this, you feel mentally better, and could even get around some with the Big Boot, but it is better to just lay low. I have a friend who got back to action too fast, and after 6 months she is just now recovering. So take it easy if you can. The scar is not bad and most of the time won't even be seen because it is so low. I figure a nice tatooed dragon will cover it up :-)

Re: Surgery is Scheduled

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/30/01 at hrmin (054874)

You stated that your surgeon has only seen 5 cases of tarsal tunnel?
How many surgeries has he done for tarsal tunnel?
Ed

Re: Surgery is Scheduled

SonnyK on 7/30/01 at 22:44 (054886)

I think that my Ortho meant he had done 5 surgeries on those 5 cases....but I am not sure...

I jokingly asked him if he knew what he was doing (TT surgery)and he responded with a scowl face and said 'of course'.

I do trust him...I think...just want to get better. Like I said before..my GP, who I trust, really likes this Ortho.

I know someone that he did knee surgery on and she really liked him and his talent.

Re: Surgery is Scheduled

Julie on 7/31/01 at 02:46 (054902)

Sonny, I'm not a doctor, but I've been concerned about this since you posted and am now more so. I get the feeling that you very much want to trust this surgeon, but you don't sound as if you really do trust him (you say you 'think' you do)and it doesn't sound as if you like his scowling at you, or the fact that he is arrogant. And in your first post you said you were nervous, and clearly you still are.

Do you know if he is a foot and ankle orthopaedic specialist? I'm wondering, because you say he has only done five surgeries (or perhaps has only seen five TTS cases). Foot surgery is complicated, and can lead to worse problems; and my impression from reading what the doctors and others on this board have had to say over the past year is that surgery for TTS does not have a terribly good success rate.

I'm not sure I'd want to trust my foot to someone who had only done five other feet.

He may be a good general orthopaedic surgeon, and your GP may think highly of him, but if he isn't a foot specialist (and even if he is) I think that in view of your anxieties you ought to get a second opinion. Minneapolis is a big city, and I'm sure there are other good orthopaedic and podiatric surgeons there. Pluck up your courage and ask your GP to refer you to someone else. If the second opinion coincides with the first, it will bolster your confidence; if it doesn't you'll have a decision to make.

Take your time. There is no rush. Get the pressure of imminent surgery off your mind, and bear the pain you are in for another couple of months while you get another opinion from a foot and ankle specialist.

Surgery should never be rushed into, particularly not with a doctor you don't entirely trust. The doctor's skill and experience are all-important, but so is trust. I've only had one experience of surgery (not for feet, for breast cancer) and the fact that I trusted my consultant surgeon completely was immensely reassuring throughout the whole experience, and a major factor in my quick recovery and longer-term healing.

Best of luck, Sonny. Keep us posted.

Re: Surgery is Scheduled

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/02/01 at hrmin (055271)

Sonny:
I had a new associate join my practice last August. He completed a very good residency program, learned a lot about surgery but has limited experience. He asks me to assist him with surgeries in which he has not done a sufficient number to be 'seasoned' with. The pride of the surgeon is never as important as the best interest of the patient.
Ed

Re: Surgery is Scheduled

AJ on 7/18/01 at 10:09 (053574)

I had the surgery on my right foot and it was successful. I am now 7 months post op and am much better off than I was before. I had a structural problem and had injuries in the area which caused the entrapment. If you have any concerns about your doctor, I would highly recommend you get a second opinion. I did. Also, if you have the surgery, take good care of yourself, follow the doc's orders, and work hard at your physical therapy. I'll get off my soapbox now. :) Good luck to you!!!

Re: Surgery is Scheduled

Diana J on 7/27/01 at hrmin (054578)

Hi There,
I had my surgery two weeks ago and really thought I was going to be in horrible pain - I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that it has not been that painful. I am being VERY good about not staying up on it for more that a few minutes and keeping it iced and the Doc said that really helps. With this, you feel mentally better, and could even get around some with the Big Boot, but it is better to just lay low. I have a friend who got back to action too fast, and after 6 months she is just now recovering. So take it easy if you can. The scar is not bad and most of the time won't even be seen because it is so low. I figure a nice tatooed dragon will cover it up :-)

Re: Surgery is Scheduled

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/30/01 at hrmin (054874)

You stated that your surgeon has only seen 5 cases of tarsal tunnel?
How many surgeries has he done for tarsal tunnel?
Ed

Re: Surgery is Scheduled

SonnyK on 7/30/01 at 22:44 (054886)

I think that my Ortho meant he had done 5 surgeries on those 5 cases....but I am not sure...

I jokingly asked him if he knew what he was doing (TT surgery)and he responded with a scowl face and said 'of course'.

I do trust him...I think...just want to get better. Like I said before..my GP, who I trust, really likes this Ortho.

I know someone that he did knee surgery on and she really liked him and his talent.

Re: Surgery is Scheduled

Julie on 7/31/01 at 02:46 (054902)

Sonny, I'm not a doctor, but I've been concerned about this since you posted and am now more so. I get the feeling that you very much want to trust this surgeon, but you don't sound as if you really do trust him (you say you 'think' you do)and it doesn't sound as if you like his scowling at you, or the fact that he is arrogant. And in your first post you said you were nervous, and clearly you still are.

Do you know if he is a foot and ankle orthopaedic specialist? I'm wondering, because you say he has only done five surgeries (or perhaps has only seen five TTS cases). Foot surgery is complicated, and can lead to worse problems; and my impression from reading what the doctors and others on this board have had to say over the past year is that surgery for TTS does not have a terribly good success rate.

I'm not sure I'd want to trust my foot to someone who had only done five other feet.

He may be a good general orthopaedic surgeon, and your GP may think highly of him, but if he isn't a foot specialist (and even if he is) I think that in view of your anxieties you ought to get a second opinion. Minneapolis is a big city, and I'm sure there are other good orthopaedic and podiatric surgeons there. Pluck up your courage and ask your GP to refer you to someone else. If the second opinion coincides with the first, it will bolster your confidence; if it doesn't you'll have a decision to make.

Take your time. There is no rush. Get the pressure of imminent surgery off your mind, and bear the pain you are in for another couple of months while you get another opinion from a foot and ankle specialist.

Surgery should never be rushed into, particularly not with a doctor you don't entirely trust. The doctor's skill and experience are all-important, but so is trust. I've only had one experience of surgery (not for feet, for breast cancer) and the fact that I trusted my consultant surgeon completely was immensely reassuring throughout the whole experience, and a major factor in my quick recovery and longer-term healing.

Best of luck, Sonny. Keep us posted.

Re: Surgery is Scheduled

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/02/01 at hrmin (055271)

Sonny:
I had a new associate join my practice last August. He completed a very good residency program, learned a lot about surgery but has limited experience. He asks me to assist him with surgeries in which he has not done a sufficient number to be 'seasoned' with. The pride of the surgeon is never as important as the best interest of the patient.
Ed