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Tarsel Tunnel

Posted by Barbara on 3/29/02 at 12:42 (077980)

Hi I had plantars fascities surgery in late Nov., my foot pain has been worse ever since. I now have a bulge on my inside heal of my right foot by the arch, the ball of my foot and toes constantly tingle the area around my ankle bone throb and swelling feeling and dumbness up my leg. I have had an emg and have been told I have Tarsel Tunnel. Saw a Ortho Surgeon last week says can do tarsel surgery,but no guarantees. I live in constant pain have been seeing drs. for three months now. Have not been to work since first part of Dec. This all started last spring. In aug. it got worse did a bone scan found stress fracture in ankle and heel of right foot,but in a cast for 1 month took off cast foot was worse. I then had the Plantars Fascitis surgery ,that is when the pain got worse. I'm going to be haveing tarsel surgery their telling me this will give me releave I hope so. Says about 2 wks off my foot and should be able to return to work. Dr. Dan Guehlsdorf(Orhopedic Surgeon) is going to do the Surgery(Milw WI.) He actually told me today that I could be working now as I have a desk job and I would have pain whether at work or at home, not very symphatic hope this is not a bad sign. Dr Frank Lavora ,Podiatrist, has had me off of work as he has tried to figure out my problem. We have gone through night splints, orthodics, cortizone shots you name it. I have read that sitting can be just as bad as standing all day, any thoughts on this? I will probably have to get an attorney to get disability pay from work. Has anyone else had this trouble? Thanks Barbara

Re: Tarsel Tunnel

Lara T on 3/31/02 at 12:21 (078097)

Yikes. My first reaction is the doctors seem to be moving awfully quickly, although you started your story with PF surgery and there must be stuff before that, so it may be an unfair reaction. But a new surgery 3 mos after a previous surgery seems a lot (or did I read it wrong?)

I had PF for 2-3 years and a half dozen doctors before getting a diagnosis. I'm not sure why some of the options other people have been given weren't suggested (cortisone shots, PF surgery, MRI, night splints) but from listening to stories, I'm glad, althoughsome of the treatments would have been relatively innocuous. I suspect it has to do with the fact that TTS is not a well-researched, well understood syndrome/diagnosis yet, so it just kind of depends on the experience of the doctors you get, as well as facilities & machines available in your area. I believe it's only been around during our lifetime (for those of us that are middle-aged), and it takes a few decades before medicine can realistically be expected to get a solid handle and protocol on things, so I don't mean to disparage the medical profession for its lack of understanding - only those individual doctors who think that if they don't know what it is, it must be in our head. A couple years ago, in an attempt to find out more about TTS, I went to the local med school bookstore, found a HUGE textbook(9x11, 2-3' book) in the orthopedic section on Ankles & Feet only, and looked up what it had. There was about a page on TTS - and it didn't cover everything I had learned since getting symptoms.

I did have orthotics, PhyTherapy. chiropractic work (this one on my initiative), and nuclear amounts of ibuprofen, as well as rest & soaks, some of which helped a LITTLE and none hurt things. My podiatrist (who seems one of the most knowledgeable I've run across on TTS - he does sports podiatry, including at least one Olympian and many serious athletes) - says that PF that is treated and still lasts over a year is probably TTS. He also is very comfortable with TTS surgery although I haven't taken him up on the offer yet - but I tend to be very conservative in treatment and if I couldn't get around as well as I do, I probably would have the surgery. One question to consider is how many TTS surgeries the doctor has done (and success rates if you can get that but that can be misleading as there are factors other than the surgeon's skill that influence sucess rates. If the doctor gets referred the toughest cases, he's likely to have a lower success rate).

I was finally successfully treated with prescription compression socks. They don't work for everyone, they haven't given me back my sports life, but I can have a nice life and they are a relatively easy, inexpensive option that is quickly reversible if it provides no relief or worse (you just take the socks off). See the thread on compression socks if you wish more information.

The other thing I've learned, that may relate to whether sitting or standing is just as bad, is that FOR ME (and I know there are others on this list that have a different experience) it is the flexing movement of walking/running/locomotion that seems to aggravate my feet the worst. Driving a car aggravates things worse than standing, I think, although unless I decide to drive across the country in 5 days it's not a problem, I just rest my feet during the course of the day and it's 'good enough', I can do my chauffeuring duties. What this means is that for me, to the extent I can keep my foot at a right angle, the better I am. This means at times ankle braces, high top shoes, etc. I think everyone has to figure out for themselves what positions help and hurt, and what does and doesn't work. I don't think there is one answer as to what does or doesn't aggravate TTS.

I did have surgery offered, not for PF, but for TTS. I can get a qualified, competent doctor, familiar with TTS, of either the podiatry or orthopod variety to recommend for or against surgery - I've intentionally excluded the recommendations of the jerks I've come across. I'd try all the simpler solutions first, before going for surgery. The arguements for are obvious. I'm not a doctor or in the medical profession, so take this for what it's worth: the arguments against that have been given to me by various doctors are 1) ALL surgery risks infection or problems with anesthesia that can be serious & 2) surgery below the knee has greater numbers of complications - because the blood flow is so much less in the extremities I think & 3) I think, surgery can cause scar tissue that will aggravate TTS.

There are times I have been in pain (frequently cuz of allergies) when I have taken the attitude of your doctor - I'm going to feel lousy whether I stay home and veg or do stuff so I might as well get stuff done. There are other times I've been in pain when even vegging is miserable and anything more would require herculean effort. Only you can tell the difference.

Well, this is a much longer response than I intended. Hope it's helpful.

Re: Tarsel Tunnel

Sue A. on 4/02/02 at 00:32 (078227)

I had tarsel tunnel and plantar fascitis surgery on my right foot on Feb. 13th. Am scheduled to have same on left foot next week. I don't have the heel pain that I had before but the arch of my foot hurts. When I get up in the mornings my right foot feels stiff. Overall I thing my foot feels b etter but I am anxious to see how I feel after having the left foot done.

Re: Tarsel Tunnel

WarrenD on 4/16/02 at 23:13 (079940)

how do I find drs who treat tts-esp surgicaslly in the nyc area

Re: Tarsel Tunnel

Lara T on 3/31/02 at 12:21 (078097)

Yikes. My first reaction is the doctors seem to be moving awfully quickly, although you started your story with PF surgery and there must be stuff before that, so it may be an unfair reaction. But a new surgery 3 mos after a previous surgery seems a lot (or did I read it wrong?)

I had PF for 2-3 years and a half dozen doctors before getting a diagnosis. I'm not sure why some of the options other people have been given weren't suggested (cortisone shots, PF surgery, MRI, night splints) but from listening to stories, I'm glad, althoughsome of the treatments would have been relatively innocuous. I suspect it has to do with the fact that TTS is not a well-researched, well understood syndrome/diagnosis yet, so it just kind of depends on the experience of the doctors you get, as well as facilities & machines available in your area. I believe it's only been around during our lifetime (for those of us that are middle-aged), and it takes a few decades before medicine can realistically be expected to get a solid handle and protocol on things, so I don't mean to disparage the medical profession for its lack of understanding - only those individual doctors who think that if they don't know what it is, it must be in our head. A couple years ago, in an attempt to find out more about TTS, I went to the local med school bookstore, found a HUGE textbook(9x11, 2-3' book) in the orthopedic section on Ankles & Feet only, and looked up what it had. There was about a page on TTS - and it didn't cover everything I had learned since getting symptoms.

I did have orthotics, PhyTherapy. chiropractic work (this one on my initiative), and nuclear amounts of ibuprofen, as well as rest & soaks, some of which helped a LITTLE and none hurt things. My podiatrist (who seems one of the most knowledgeable I've run across on TTS - he does sports podiatry, including at least one Olympian and many serious athletes) - says that PF that is treated and still lasts over a year is probably TTS. He also is very comfortable with TTS surgery although I haven't taken him up on the offer yet - but I tend to be very conservative in treatment and if I couldn't get around as well as I do, I probably would have the surgery. One question to consider is how many TTS surgeries the doctor has done (and success rates if you can get that but that can be misleading as there are factors other than the surgeon's skill that influence sucess rates. If the doctor gets referred the toughest cases, he's likely to have a lower success rate).

I was finally successfully treated with prescription compression socks. They don't work for everyone, they haven't given me back my sports life, but I can have a nice life and they are a relatively easy, inexpensive option that is quickly reversible if it provides no relief or worse (you just take the socks off). See the thread on compression socks if you wish more information.

The other thing I've learned, that may relate to whether sitting or standing is just as bad, is that FOR ME (and I know there are others on this list that have a different experience) it is the flexing movement of walking/running/locomotion that seems to aggravate my feet the worst. Driving a car aggravates things worse than standing, I think, although unless I decide to drive across the country in 5 days it's not a problem, I just rest my feet during the course of the day and it's 'good enough', I can do my chauffeuring duties. What this means is that for me, to the extent I can keep my foot at a right angle, the better I am. This means at times ankle braces, high top shoes, etc. I think everyone has to figure out for themselves what positions help and hurt, and what does and doesn't work. I don't think there is one answer as to what does or doesn't aggravate TTS.

I did have surgery offered, not for PF, but for TTS. I can get a qualified, competent doctor, familiar with TTS, of either the podiatry or orthopod variety to recommend for or against surgery - I've intentionally excluded the recommendations of the jerks I've come across. I'd try all the simpler solutions first, before going for surgery. The arguements for are obvious. I'm not a doctor or in the medical profession, so take this for what it's worth: the arguments against that have been given to me by various doctors are 1) ALL surgery risks infection or problems with anesthesia that can be serious & 2) surgery below the knee has greater numbers of complications - because the blood flow is so much less in the extremities I think & 3) I think, surgery can cause scar tissue that will aggravate TTS.

There are times I have been in pain (frequently cuz of allergies) when I have taken the attitude of your doctor - I'm going to feel lousy whether I stay home and veg or do stuff so I might as well get stuff done. There are other times I've been in pain when even vegging is miserable and anything more would require herculean effort. Only you can tell the difference.

Well, this is a much longer response than I intended. Hope it's helpful.

Re: Tarsel Tunnel

Sue A. on 4/02/02 at 00:32 (078227)

I had tarsel tunnel and plantar fascitis surgery on my right foot on Feb. 13th. Am scheduled to have same on left foot next week. I don't have the heel pain that I had before but the arch of my foot hurts. When I get up in the mornings my right foot feels stiff. Overall I thing my foot feels b etter but I am anxious to see how I feel after having the left foot done.

Re: Tarsel Tunnel

WarrenD on 4/16/02 at 23:13 (079940)

how do I find drs who treat tts-esp surgicaslly in the nyc area