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9 weeks post TT/PF surgery

Posted by Missy B on 3/16/02 at 20:28 (076605)

I am 9 weeks post TT release/PF surgery. I have read many of the messages posted here and I thought I would share my experience. Before I was diagnosed with this condition, I had suffered from heel pain and burning on and off for 6 years, but in the Spring of 2001, it became unbearable. I had never heard of this condition although I had friends who suffered from heel spurs and PF. I turned to a local podiatrist, who tried many of the less invasive treatments - stretching exercises, generic orthotics, neurontin ( which gave me hives), cortisone shots, and night splints, none of which gave me any relief. He then sent me to a neurologist for a nerve conduction study, which came back a glaring positive for TT in my right foot. After weighing my options - which included changing my job and active lifestyle - I opted for the surgery which was performed on 1/11/02. Both doctors were very honest about there being no 100% guarantee that I would be pain free even with the surgery.
I spent the first 4 weeks wearing a cam walker on my right leg and using a regular walker to lean on when up and about in order to keep as much weight off my foot as possible. I spent as much time as I could sitting with my foot elevated. I had no post-op pain and only took an anti-inflammatory for the first 2 weeks.
At 5 weeks, I finally got my foot comfortably into a shoe and started driving and taking SHORT trips to the market and other local stores. My doctor recommended New Balance athletic shoes - there are many styles - and it took me buying 3 pair before I found one that was good for me. Some of the styles have a rollbar in them to help with pronation. I wear Birkenstock clogs and sandals around the house - I don't go barefoot anymore.
I am not pain free as of yet, but considering the severe pain that I suffered before my surgery, what I have now is a mild annoyance. I no longer have the severe burning and pain in the bottom of my heel, the pain that would extend up the back of my leg, or the numbness.
I started physical therapy this week - 3X/week for a month. I have an exercise program to do at home to help strenghten my leg muscles and stretch the foot and ankle ligaments. In the morning, I roll my foot back and forth over a smooth plastic bottle for a few minutes before standing; I also keep a bottle of frozen water on hand for when my foot aches - this provides the stretching exercise with the benefit of an ice pack. For now, I also still wear my night splint - anything that will help prevent the ligaments from tightening back up as they heal.
I start back to work on Monday - I work in a hospital lab, so I am on hard concrete flooring all day. My doctor is sending me back at 4hr/day for the first week to see how I do; hopefully I will be back full time by April 1. I need to retrain myself to sit as much as possible and limit my time standing and walking in the beginning. Luckily, I have a job where this is possible and a very understanding supervisor.
I am also strongly considering getting custom made orthotics. I work with several people who have had PF surgery; they all wear them and say they make a big difference. Just a side note - they also wear New Balance shoes (and we all went to different doctors); both of my physical therapists wear New Balance on the job too. I am not advocating this brand as I am sure they are not right for everyone, but if you have foot problems, ask your doctor - they may be worth a try.
I will try to post an update in several months as to how I am doing back on my job. My only advice would be - if you have recently had or are about to have TT/PF surgery, DO NOT RUSH your recovery - no matter how good you may feel afterwards. Follow you doctor's instructions. I am still limiting the time I stay on my feet. And if you are suffering from heel pain, don't wait for years like I did before seeking help. Find a reputable orthopedist or podiatrist and make sure you try all the treatments available before choosing surgery; all surgeries carry risks.

Re: 9 weeks post TT/PF surgery

Melissa M on 3/18/02 at 10:00 (076715)

Congrats on your recovery!!! I am 18 weeks post-op and I still elevate the foot as much as possible. I work in an office and I sit most of the day so putting my foot up is not a problem. I have also started up my exercise program. I walk about 3 miles a day and now take an aerobics class at the YMCA. I don't have the pain like I did before the surgery, but once in a while I do get some tingling. After my exercising I always ice the foot and I wear a surgical sock while I am exercising. I also now wear New Balance shoes every where but at work. I tried three different shoes/brands before I found these New Balance shoes. The others made my foot numb after walking for about 10 minutes (one of the symptoms I had prior to the surgery and just 'walked through the pain'. Too bad I didn't know that was a symptom of something bigger and got it checked out earlier). Luckily the shoe store let me return the shoes that wouldn't work. You not on need a good shoe, but a good shoe store, also. I feel my foot is about 80% healed/recovered. I have been told that I only limp once in a while and mostly late in the day. I enjoy my active lifestyle and I am very happy my Pod has given me the chance to start enjoying life once again!! I can remember the pain before surgery being so intense that I could not even think clearly. I do not want to go through that again. Keep us updated on your progress and remember to listen to your foot! Its the only indicator as to how the healing is progressing.

Re: 9 weeks post TT/PF surgery

Melissa M on 3/18/02 at 10:00 (076715)

Congrats on your recovery!!! I am 18 weeks post-op and I still elevate the foot as much as possible. I work in an office and I sit most of the day so putting my foot up is not a problem. I have also started up my exercise program. I walk about 3 miles a day and now take an aerobics class at the YMCA. I don't have the pain like I did before the surgery, but once in a while I do get some tingling. After my exercising I always ice the foot and I wear a surgical sock while I am exercising. I also now wear New Balance shoes every where but at work. I tried three different shoes/brands before I found these New Balance shoes. The others made my foot numb after walking for about 10 minutes (one of the symptoms I had prior to the surgery and just 'walked through the pain'. Too bad I didn't know that was a symptom of something bigger and got it checked out earlier). Luckily the shoe store let me return the shoes that wouldn't work. You not on need a good shoe, but a good shoe store, also. I feel my foot is about 80% healed/recovered. I have been told that I only limp once in a while and mostly late in the day. I enjoy my active lifestyle and I am very happy my Pod has given me the chance to start enjoying life once again!! I can remember the pain before surgery being so intense that I could not even think clearly. I do not want to go through that again. Keep us updated on your progress and remember to listen to your foot! Its the only indicator as to how the healing is progressing.