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tarsal tunnel wrong diagnosis?

Posted by jenniferd on 5/21/02 at 10:32 (084762)

I have had pain in my left foot for 15 years, and right foot for about 6 years. Am 25 years old. 3 surgeries on left foot (including tarsal tunnel release 3/18/02).The main source of my pain, on both feet, was intense pain on bottom of heel and along outer edge of feet, when walking and especially standing. I didn't have the Tinel's sign. My orthopedic surgeon said my symptoms sounded like TTS, and the outer edge pain would be because that nerve branches out along there. I am now 2 months post-op and thought I'd noticed an absence of that previous pain, which was encouraging. But now I am sometimes noticing pain along the outer edge again, even when I'm sitting (as I am now). I have scheduled the same procedure for the other foot for 6/10/02, but don't want to go through this painful and slow recovery again (plus possibly make my recovering foot worse by being on crutches and on that foot), if the surgery didn't help. Any suggestions??

Re: tarsal tunnel wrong diagnosis?

wendyn on 5/21/02 at 21:13 (084817)

Jennifer - is it the same doctor who did all 3 surgeries?

Re: tarsal tunnel wrong diagnosis?

Missy B on 5/21/02 at 22:10 (084825)

I am 17 weeks post TT/PF release surgery and while I am not pain free after the surgery, I am much improved. I occasionally have twinges of
pain or burning in my heel - sometimes on the outside edges, but my pod feels it may be due to the nerves 'firing' as they regenerate. The main difference now is that these pains do not last for hours at a time, but usually only a few minutes at most. Did you have any physical therapy after your surgery? I had 4 weeks of PT, and still do the exercises they gave me to try and keep my foot limber and the ligament stretched. Have you tried soaking your feet in cool/cold water? I find that cold therapy gives me more relief when my feet are tired or sore. I also keep a smooth, plastic bottle of water in my freezer and when I am watching TV or sitting here at the computer, I roll the bottle around with the bottom of my foot. I also use a linament type gel called BIOFREEZE, which I buy from my pod, on my feet. It provides a form a cryrotherapy - I massage it into both feet in the morning before I go to work, sometimes when I get home, and usually before I go to bed.
Are you back to work, if you work? I was off my job for 9 weeks, and when I first started back, I had some general discomfort in my surgery foot, so my pod put me on a strong dose of ibuprofen for a few weeks and I have learned to sit whenever my job task allows it. I will say that I can walk around almost pain free now; the hardest thing is standing in one place for any length of time, so I am trying to take off some extra pounds to see if that will help.
The few people that I was able to talk with who have successfully recovered from TT surgery all told me the same thing - do not rush your recovery and avoid high stess physical activities for the rest of the year.
Personally, there is no way I could have my other foot done right now because I know this foot has not healed yet. But if you decide to have your other surgery, ask you doctor about getting a cam walker for on your foot and using a regular walker instead of crutches to get around with for the first few weeks. I found this to be a great combination for me because the cam walker ( a type of protective boot) cradled my foot and let me put it down briefly when walking ( the construction of the boot is such that it rolls you off your heel and onto your toes so you do not put too much pressure on the heel area). The regular style walker gave me the additional support I needed for balance in the beginning, until I was allowed to walk on my own with just the boot protecting my foot.
Good Luck to you - and remember, everyone heals differently, so hopefully you will see better progress in the weeks ahead.

Re: tarsal tunnel wrong diagnosis?

jenniferd on 5/22/02 at 10:32 (084855)

I had removal of accessory navicular in both feet in 1989. He did not do that one. In 1995 I had posterior tibial tendon repair/transfer. He did that, as well as the most recent one.

Re: tarsal tunnel wrong diagnosis?

jenniferd on 5/22/02 at 10:37 (084856)

I just finished 6 weeks of physical therapy, which helped a lot. I am basically walking without a limp, but being on my feet for even 5 minutes still causes a lot of pain and swelling in the incision area. I actually have 2 incisions. He also went in and released pressure off of my FHL tendon. I use ice packs for swelling, but have not tried immersing in cold water. I'll try that. I have a sit-down job, so I was only off of work for 1 week. But it was in the middle of the semester, so I had to deal with going to class as well.
I actually will have a velcro strapped boot this next time because he's also removing an extra bone (accessory navicular, which was supposedly removed in 1989). But I don't think I'll be able to walk on it, at least not right away.

Re: tarsal tunnel wrong diagnosis?

wendyn on 5/22/02 at 19:00 (084915)

If you haven't seen a different doctor since around 1995 - I highly recommend you seek a second opinion before considering another surgery.

Re: tarsal tunnel wrong diagnosis?

Missy B on 5/22/02 at 20:07 (084928)

The amount of pain and swelling you are experiencing 2 months post surgery does not sound normal to me, but I am not familiar with the FHL tendon surgery, only the TT release. What does your doctor have to say about this?
My foot still swells a little on days when I am on my feet all day at work, but my aches and pains do not seem to be related to the swelling - if anything, they are more related to the weather - being more noticable on days that are rainy and cold.
I agree with Wendyn - perhaps you should seek out the advice of another doctor before undergoing any more surgery. You say your doctor is an orthopedist - have you tried seeing a podiatrist. If you don't have a good pod in your area, then try getting a second opinion from another orthopedist. There are new surgical techniques being developed all the time - try to make sure your surgeon is up to date on his training for your procedure.

Re: tarsal tunnel wrong diagnosis?

wendyn on 5/21/02 at 21:13 (084817)

Jennifer - is it the same doctor who did all 3 surgeries?

Re: tarsal tunnel wrong diagnosis?

Missy B on 5/21/02 at 22:10 (084825)

I am 17 weeks post TT/PF release surgery and while I am not pain free after the surgery, I am much improved. I occasionally have twinges of
pain or burning in my heel - sometimes on the outside edges, but my pod feels it may be due to the nerves 'firing' as they regenerate. The main difference now is that these pains do not last for hours at a time, but usually only a few minutes at most. Did you have any physical therapy after your surgery? I had 4 weeks of PT, and still do the exercises they gave me to try and keep my foot limber and the ligament stretched. Have you tried soaking your feet in cool/cold water? I find that cold therapy gives me more relief when my feet are tired or sore. I also keep a smooth, plastic bottle of water in my freezer and when I am watching TV or sitting here at the computer, I roll the bottle around with the bottom of my foot. I also use a linament type gel called BIOFREEZE, which I buy from my pod, on my feet. It provides a form a cryrotherapy - I massage it into both feet in the morning before I go to work, sometimes when I get home, and usually before I go to bed.
Are you back to work, if you work? I was off my job for 9 weeks, and when I first started back, I had some general discomfort in my surgery foot, so my pod put me on a strong dose of ibuprofen for a few weeks and I have learned to sit whenever my job task allows it. I will say that I can walk around almost pain free now; the hardest thing is standing in one place for any length of time, so I am trying to take off some extra pounds to see if that will help.
The few people that I was able to talk with who have successfully recovered from TT surgery all told me the same thing - do not rush your recovery and avoid high stess physical activities for the rest of the year.
Personally, there is no way I could have my other foot done right now because I know this foot has not healed yet. But if you decide to have your other surgery, ask you doctor about getting a cam walker for on your foot and using a regular walker instead of crutches to get around with for the first few weeks. I found this to be a great combination for me because the cam walker ( a type of protective boot) cradled my foot and let me put it down briefly when walking ( the construction of the boot is such that it rolls you off your heel and onto your toes so you do not put too much pressure on the heel area). The regular style walker gave me the additional support I needed for balance in the beginning, until I was allowed to walk on my own with just the boot protecting my foot.
Good Luck to you - and remember, everyone heals differently, so hopefully you will see better progress in the weeks ahead.

Re: tarsal tunnel wrong diagnosis?

jenniferd on 5/22/02 at 10:32 (084855)

I had removal of accessory navicular in both feet in 1989. He did not do that one. In 1995 I had posterior tibial tendon repair/transfer. He did that, as well as the most recent one.

Re: tarsal tunnel wrong diagnosis?

jenniferd on 5/22/02 at 10:37 (084856)

I just finished 6 weeks of physical therapy, which helped a lot. I am basically walking without a limp, but being on my feet for even 5 minutes still causes a lot of pain and swelling in the incision area. I actually have 2 incisions. He also went in and released pressure off of my FHL tendon. I use ice packs for swelling, but have not tried immersing in cold water. I'll try that. I have a sit-down job, so I was only off of work for 1 week. But it was in the middle of the semester, so I had to deal with going to class as well.
I actually will have a velcro strapped boot this next time because he's also removing an extra bone (accessory navicular, which was supposedly removed in 1989). But I don't think I'll be able to walk on it, at least not right away.

Re: tarsal tunnel wrong diagnosis?

wendyn on 5/22/02 at 19:00 (084915)

If you haven't seen a different doctor since around 1995 - I highly recommend you seek a second opinion before considering another surgery.

Re: tarsal tunnel wrong diagnosis?

Missy B on 5/22/02 at 20:07 (084928)

The amount of pain and swelling you are experiencing 2 months post surgery does not sound normal to me, but I am not familiar with the FHL tendon surgery, only the TT release. What does your doctor have to say about this?
My foot still swells a little on days when I am on my feet all day at work, but my aches and pains do not seem to be related to the swelling - if anything, they are more related to the weather - being more noticable on days that are rainy and cold.
I agree with Wendyn - perhaps you should seek out the advice of another doctor before undergoing any more surgery. You say your doctor is an orthopedist - have you tried seeing a podiatrist. If you don't have a good pod in your area, then try getting a second opinion from another orthopedist. There are new surgical techniques being developed all the time - try to make sure your surgeon is up to date on his training for your procedure.