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Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Posted by Sondra B on 7/22/02 at 21:13 (090391)

Hi everyone,

This site is new to me. I have been reading everyone's experiences,and decided to post my own.

I had tarsal tunnel syndrome and plantar fascitis surgery on both feet on 6/20/02, I was a out-patient. I was in very bad pain before the surgery. I had a test called (EMG) the results was severe tarsal tunnel. I mean I could not even get out of the bed in the mornings without being in a lot of pain to walk. I had no choice but to have surgery. I also had great pain in my heel. that is why my doctor performed both surgeries.

After the surgery, when I woke up in recovery, I just knew I would be in severe pain. but at that time I was not. then when I had to go to the bathroom, that's when I realize I should have done one foot at a time. but I just did not want to go thru this pain twice.

It is now going on my 5th week, the first 8 days I had to stay completely off my feet. I had a wheelchair. had my staples removed on 6/28/02, now that did hurt. my doctor wanted me to start physcial therapy right away, but because 7/4/02 holiday I did not start until 7/9/02. I go twice a week. during the first 3 weeks my ankles were swollen, and I had throbing pain. I went back to the doctor on 7/2/02 because when I took a shower, I saw that my incision was bleeding. he gave me antibolic and put more steri stips on the incision. I have to wear these boots called cam-walkers (remind me of robo cop) I am not walking with my crutches, or walker now. I only use the wheelchair when I take off the cam-walkers, because my doctor does not want full body weight yet...I had to graduate to walking without my crutches I went from 25% to 100%. I have been putting weight on my feet more than I should have. but I am trying to be more careful until I see my doctor, because I am still in some pain. I keep ice on my ankles, and keep my foot elavated.

I am just wondering how long is recovery time? How long will it take to walk, without the cam-walkers? I go back to my doctor on 7/30/02. I will post a update from that apppointment.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

wendyn on 7/22/02 at 22:10 (090395)

Sondra, quite honestly, I don't think I ever recall hearing of anyone who had TTS surgery done on both feet at the same time. Actually, I'm amazed that a doctor would do that.

Not often that I find myself speechless.

Hmmm.

Does your doctor know why you had TTS in the first place (structural problems, mass in the tarsal tunnel etc)?

What type of doctor did your sugery?

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sondra B on 7/22/02 at 22:29 (090396)

Wendyn,

the doctor that performed the surgery is a Orthopaedics Suregen. He did not want to do both feet at the same time, but I told him I wanted to, he had done previous surgery before, where I had both feet done at the same time............the only difference this time is that the surgery was on the ankle, which cannot stand a lot of pressure.

I am okay now, I am glad I did both. (the first two weeks was really rough)I have always had problems with my feet, flat feet and weight gain added to my problem. I know he did say, while performing the surgery he saw that my vericose vein was wrapped around my nerves, which was causing more pain.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sharon W on 7/22/02 at 23:15 (090401)

Sondra,

It is hard to answer as to how long recovery time may be. A few people seem to experience relief within a very short period of time, sometimes as little as a couple of WEEKS. But in most cases, recovery is more gradual than that. Nerves can heal once the problem that was damaging them has been taken care of, but when they heal they do it very slowly. You said your nerve studies showed SEVERE tarsal tunnel, so my guess is it might take several MONTHS to begin to feel very much better. So don't give up and sink into dispair, if you don't feel 100% cured after just a few weeks.

Sharon

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

kay on 7/23/02 at 12:04 (090431)

i had the same surgery on the 18th of june. my doc kept me off my feet for 4 weeks. no weight at all. its funny how different docs do things differently. i can't imagine walking any sooner than i did. i still am not full weight bearing all day. i still use the crutches half the day and wear the boot all day.
what kind of therapy do you do? i haven't been ordered any physical therapy.
kay

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sondra B on 7/23/02 at 13:19 (090433)

hey kay,
I came completely off the crutches on 7/18/02, as i said I still use the wheelchair anytime I take off the cam-walkers.

My doctor is the best, whenever I hear other people I do not know speak positive things of him, that really makes me feel good.

I went to therapy today,
1. I rode the bike for 10 minutes.
2. I did the step 15 times each foot up and down. ( bench that is used when you take a step class)
3. picking marbles with my toes..
4. stretching....
5. ankle movement feet flat of the floor, then raise toes and down 30 times, then raise heels up and down 30 times.
6. did he alphabet each foot. (pretending to be writing the letters with each foot. (making sure I am using the ankle)
7. using feet to pull towel from top to bottom( mostly using my toes)
8. moving the ankle from front to back , then from left to right, circular motion.
9. massage with natural vitamin E (to prevent scar tissue)
10. ice pack for 10 minutes

I also have some exercise I have to do at home twice a day.
I am healing really nice, I am shedding dead skin also.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sondra B on 7/23/02 at 13:22 (090434)

sharon,
thanks for that information. because some days are good, and some are bad. I know I am going thru the healing process.

I just do not want to do anything that will set me back, so I am going to take it easy and follow my doctor's orders.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

kay f on 7/23/02 at 19:20 (090457)

sondra thanks so much for this information. i want to start something like this also. i could do that stuff at home. i have to get permission from my doc first. please keep us all updated on your progress. do you notice any tightness in your ankle area? the only place i am swelling is right above the incision area. is this where you swell too?
thanks again.
kay

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sondra B on 7/23/02 at 20:25 (090462)

kay,

YES, YES, I HAVE TIGHTNESS IN MY ANKLE AREA, ESPECIALLY IN THE MORNING'S WHEN I WAKE UP...AND IN THE EVENING'S WHEN I TAKE MY BOOTS OFF...MY PT (SHANNON)TOLD ME TO STRETCH MY FOOT BEFORE I GET OUT OF BED.

YES I SWELL IN THE INCISION AREA ALSO, THAT AREA IS VERY TENDER. I KEEP NATURAL VITAMIN E AND 100% PURE COCOA BUTTER ON THE INCISION'S. ONCE IN THE MORNING AND BEFORE I GO TO BED, ALSO DO SOME STRECHING MOVING THE ANKLE'S AROUND, BECAUSE MY ANKLES REALLY GET TIGHT. ALSO MASSAGING IS GOOD NOT HARD, BUT GENTLE. ELEVATION, AND ICE IS A MUST WHEN YOU SWELL.
MY DOCTOR HAS ME ON IBUPROFEN 600MG 3 X DAY

TAKE CARE,
I WILL KEEP EVERYONE UPDATED ON MY PROGRESS.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Missy B on 7/23/02 at 22:32 (090468)

Hi Sondra,
I had TT/PF release surgery on 1/11/02 on my right foot. My Pod put me in a cam walker for 5 weeks - the first 4 weeks, I also used a regular walker you lean into or crutches to help me get around, and like you, also used a wheelchair inside. I did not have a lot of post-op pain, but did have soreness which I expected, and also very periods of pain flashes in my foot, which my Pod said was the nerve 'firing' as it began to heal. At five weeks, I was able to begin wearing my New Balance athlectic type shoes and my Birkenstock sandals. A tip my doctor gave me - when you begin wearing shoes, if your foot still swells and your present shoes are uncomfortable, try buying a pair of men's athletic shoes ( you will wear a smaller size in the mens) - they are built a little wider and have a bigger toe bridge - I normally wear a ladies 81/2 or 9 - but I bought a mens 8 to start out with after my surgery, and I found they worked out great.

I started my PT at 8 weeks post-op and did much of the same things that you are doing - I also walked on a treadmill at each session and had an iontophoresis treatment at the end of my sessions. My therapy lasted 4 weeks and I am still doing the stretching exercises that they gave me to do at home.

For the first few months, I spent as much time as I could with my feet up - doing only necessary errands after work and being very selective as to extra activities which involved any amount of walking. I found that soaking my feet in cold water helped as much as icing and I began massaging a gel called BIOFREEZE into my foot and ankle on a daily basis - my physical therapists were the first to use it on me, and it helped so much, that I still use it regularly. I buy it from my Pod.

I am now 6+ months post-op. I am about 85 to 90% improved over my pre-surgery pain. I recently got my new custom orthotics, and I feel they are going to help me reach the 90-95% mark soon. Sure, I still have days when my foot swells a little, or aches a little more than usual, but overall, my quality of life has improved greatly. Will I ever be the physically active person I was years ago before the PF/TT started - probably not. But I can now put in a days work, come home and rest for 2 hours (and I do mean off-the-foot rest), and then go back to the gym to exercise, or go shopping, or ride my horses out on the trail - and not come limping home. My doctor told me it could take up to one year for total healing, so I intend to continue to take it easy for the next 6 months. I feel that my conservative approach to resuming my normal activities is what has brought me this much success - and of course, having a good surgeon. All the people I was able to speak with who had successfully recuperated from this surgery told me the same thing - REST, REST, REST, and limit the amount of time you spend on your foot for at least 6 months - 8 to 12 months would be better.

Best of luck to you in your recovery. Keep us posted on your progress.

Missy B.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

trish e on 7/28/02 at 07:51 (090786)

HI IAM 6 MOS POST STILL HAVE THE SAME SEVERE PAIN I HAD BEFORE THE SURGERY ! I WANTED TO HAVE BOTH MINE DONE AT THE SAME TIME LIKE YOU BUT DOC SAID NO WAY ! IN CASE IT DIDN'T WORK AND AS IT TURNS OUT IAM IN WORSRE PAIN THAN BEFORE. NOW IT SEEMS MY PAIN IS CAUSED FROM A PINCHED NERVE.WELL GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND DON'T OVER DO IT

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sondra B on 7/28/02 at 20:43 (090859)

hey trish,

Did the doctor know that you had the pinch nerve? Or were you diagnos with TTS, was TTs the type surgery that you had? how did you do in physical therapy? I go back to the doctor on Tuesday 7/30/02. I will post my update as to how the doctor say I am doing.

I am sorry to hear that you are in so much pain. At first I thought I should have done one feet at at a time, but I am glad that I did both, don't get me wrong, I am in some pain now, but the pain is not severe. and I know that I am going thru a healing process.

What is the doctor going to do about the pinch nerve? Are you going to have to have surgery again?

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sondra B on 7/28/02 at 21:20 (090863)

Hi Missy,

I am glad to hear that you are doing well after your surgery, your process is very encouraging to me. Is the biofreeze for pain? I am going to asked my doctor about it, and see where I can purchase it from.

I feel that I have a good surgeon also. I do belive that because I am wearing the cam-walkers that I sometimes am on my foot more than I should, because they will really start to ache and feel fatigue. that is when I know I have over-done it...I stretch faithfully, which helps a great deal.

I will be glad when I a able to go to the gym and work-out.but I am not going to rush it. What kind of treatment is iontophoresis?

When I go to the doctor on tuesday I will update my results.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

trish e on 7/29/02 at 07:10 (090880)

Sondra,no the dr did not know of the pinched nerve,and yes it was tts/fashia,as far as therapy they had to stop it until emg,and mri complete.good luck with your recovery.

Re: re: Sondra B.

Missy B on 7/31/02 at 22:06 (091221)

Hi Sondra - the Biofreeze gel is a lot like Icy Hot or Ben Gay - it is a theraputic rub but also a form of cryrotherapy in that it is very cooling and refreshing on the foot. It does help relieve achiness and soreness - and can be used on sore muscles or arthritic joints. In addition to using it on my feet twice a day, I often also rub some on my lower back muscles and knees because I have some arthritis in these spots. The only place I can buy it is from my Pod, but if you live in a city, you may find it elsewhere.

The iontophoresis treatment involves using electrical stimulation to help the tissues of an injured area to absorb medication that is placed on a pad and secured to the area. In my case, the therapists put the pad on my heel because I was having some residual PF soreness; they would hook me up for about 15 minutes - it felt a little like pins and needles in the heel but was not painful. It was no instant cure, but probably helped in my recovery.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Missy B.

Re: Missy and Sondra

Tonya on 7/31/02 at 23:25 (091226)

Several websites also offer it at a fairly reasonable price. Just use your search engine to look it up. I'm thinking about getting some for myself. Tonya

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

wendyn on 7/22/02 at 22:10 (090395)

Sondra, quite honestly, I don't think I ever recall hearing of anyone who had TTS surgery done on both feet at the same time. Actually, I'm amazed that a doctor would do that.

Not often that I find myself speechless.

Hmmm.

Does your doctor know why you had TTS in the first place (structural problems, mass in the tarsal tunnel etc)?

What type of doctor did your sugery?

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sondra B on 7/22/02 at 22:29 (090396)

Wendyn,

the doctor that performed the surgery is a Orthopaedics Suregen. He did not want to do both feet at the same time, but I told him I wanted to, he had done previous surgery before, where I had both feet done at the same time............the only difference this time is that the surgery was on the ankle, which cannot stand a lot of pressure.

I am okay now, I am glad I did both. (the first two weeks was really rough)I have always had problems with my feet, flat feet and weight gain added to my problem. I know he did say, while performing the surgery he saw that my vericose vein was wrapped around my nerves, which was causing more pain.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sharon W on 7/22/02 at 23:15 (090401)

Sondra,

It is hard to answer as to how long recovery time may be. A few people seem to experience relief within a very short period of time, sometimes as little as a couple of WEEKS. But in most cases, recovery is more gradual than that. Nerves can heal once the problem that was damaging them has been taken care of, but when they heal they do it very slowly. You said your nerve studies showed SEVERE tarsal tunnel, so my guess is it might take several MONTHS to begin to feel very much better. So don't give up and sink into dispair, if you don't feel 100% cured after just a few weeks.

Sharon

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

kay on 7/23/02 at 12:04 (090431)

i had the same surgery on the 18th of june. my doc kept me off my feet for 4 weeks. no weight at all. its funny how different docs do things differently. i can't imagine walking any sooner than i did. i still am not full weight bearing all day. i still use the crutches half the day and wear the boot all day.
what kind of therapy do you do? i haven't been ordered any physical therapy.
kay

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sondra B on 7/23/02 at 13:19 (090433)

hey kay,
I came completely off the crutches on 7/18/02, as i said I still use the wheelchair anytime I take off the cam-walkers.

My doctor is the best, whenever I hear other people I do not know speak positive things of him, that really makes me feel good.

I went to therapy today,
1. I rode the bike for 10 minutes.
2. I did the step 15 times each foot up and down. ( bench that is used when you take a step class)
3. picking marbles with my toes..
4. stretching....
5. ankle movement feet flat of the floor, then raise toes and down 30 times, then raise heels up and down 30 times.
6. did he alphabet each foot. (pretending to be writing the letters with each foot. (making sure I am using the ankle)
7. using feet to pull towel from top to bottom( mostly using my toes)
8. moving the ankle from front to back , then from left to right, circular motion.
9. massage with natural vitamin E (to prevent scar tissue)
10. ice pack for 10 minutes

I also have some exercise I have to do at home twice a day.
I am healing really nice, I am shedding dead skin also.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sondra B on 7/23/02 at 13:22 (090434)

sharon,
thanks for that information. because some days are good, and some are bad. I know I am going thru the healing process.

I just do not want to do anything that will set me back, so I am going to take it easy and follow my doctor's orders.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

kay f on 7/23/02 at 19:20 (090457)

sondra thanks so much for this information. i want to start something like this also. i could do that stuff at home. i have to get permission from my doc first. please keep us all updated on your progress. do you notice any tightness in your ankle area? the only place i am swelling is right above the incision area. is this where you swell too?
thanks again.
kay

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sondra B on 7/23/02 at 20:25 (090462)

kay,

YES, YES, I HAVE TIGHTNESS IN MY ANKLE AREA, ESPECIALLY IN THE MORNING'S WHEN I WAKE UP...AND IN THE EVENING'S WHEN I TAKE MY BOOTS OFF...MY PT (SHANNON)TOLD ME TO STRETCH MY FOOT BEFORE I GET OUT OF BED.

YES I SWELL IN THE INCISION AREA ALSO, THAT AREA IS VERY TENDER. I KEEP NATURAL VITAMIN E AND 100% PURE COCOA BUTTER ON THE INCISION'S. ONCE IN THE MORNING AND BEFORE I GO TO BED, ALSO DO SOME STRECHING MOVING THE ANKLE'S AROUND, BECAUSE MY ANKLES REALLY GET TIGHT. ALSO MASSAGING IS GOOD NOT HARD, BUT GENTLE. ELEVATION, AND ICE IS A MUST WHEN YOU SWELL.
MY DOCTOR HAS ME ON IBUPROFEN 600MG 3 X DAY

TAKE CARE,
I WILL KEEP EVERYONE UPDATED ON MY PROGRESS.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Missy B on 7/23/02 at 22:32 (090468)

Hi Sondra,
I had TT/PF release surgery on 1/11/02 on my right foot. My Pod put me in a cam walker for 5 weeks - the first 4 weeks, I also used a regular walker you lean into or crutches to help me get around, and like you, also used a wheelchair inside. I did not have a lot of post-op pain, but did have soreness which I expected, and also very periods of pain flashes in my foot, which my Pod said was the nerve 'firing' as it began to heal. At five weeks, I was able to begin wearing my New Balance athlectic type shoes and my Birkenstock sandals. A tip my doctor gave me - when you begin wearing shoes, if your foot still swells and your present shoes are uncomfortable, try buying a pair of men's athletic shoes ( you will wear a smaller size in the mens) - they are built a little wider and have a bigger toe bridge - I normally wear a ladies 81/2 or 9 - but I bought a mens 8 to start out with after my surgery, and I found they worked out great.

I started my PT at 8 weeks post-op and did much of the same things that you are doing - I also walked on a treadmill at each session and had an iontophoresis treatment at the end of my sessions. My therapy lasted 4 weeks and I am still doing the stretching exercises that they gave me to do at home.

For the first few months, I spent as much time as I could with my feet up - doing only necessary errands after work and being very selective as to extra activities which involved any amount of walking. I found that soaking my feet in cold water helped as much as icing and I began massaging a gel called BIOFREEZE into my foot and ankle on a daily basis - my physical therapists were the first to use it on me, and it helped so much, that I still use it regularly. I buy it from my Pod.

I am now 6+ months post-op. I am about 85 to 90% improved over my pre-surgery pain. I recently got my new custom orthotics, and I feel they are going to help me reach the 90-95% mark soon. Sure, I still have days when my foot swells a little, or aches a little more than usual, but overall, my quality of life has improved greatly. Will I ever be the physically active person I was years ago before the PF/TT started - probably not. But I can now put in a days work, come home and rest for 2 hours (and I do mean off-the-foot rest), and then go back to the gym to exercise, or go shopping, or ride my horses out on the trail - and not come limping home. My doctor told me it could take up to one year for total healing, so I intend to continue to take it easy for the next 6 months. I feel that my conservative approach to resuming my normal activities is what has brought me this much success - and of course, having a good surgeon. All the people I was able to speak with who had successfully recuperated from this surgery told me the same thing - REST, REST, REST, and limit the amount of time you spend on your foot for at least 6 months - 8 to 12 months would be better.

Best of luck to you in your recovery. Keep us posted on your progress.

Missy B.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

trish e on 7/28/02 at 07:51 (090786)

HI IAM 6 MOS POST STILL HAVE THE SAME SEVERE PAIN I HAD BEFORE THE SURGERY ! I WANTED TO HAVE BOTH MINE DONE AT THE SAME TIME LIKE YOU BUT DOC SAID NO WAY ! IN CASE IT DIDN'T WORK AND AS IT TURNS OUT IAM IN WORSRE PAIN THAN BEFORE. NOW IT SEEMS MY PAIN IS CAUSED FROM A PINCHED NERVE.WELL GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND DON'T OVER DO IT

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sondra B on 7/28/02 at 20:43 (090859)

hey trish,

Did the doctor know that you had the pinch nerve? Or were you diagnos with TTS, was TTs the type surgery that you had? how did you do in physical therapy? I go back to the doctor on Tuesday 7/30/02. I will post my update as to how the doctor say I am doing.

I am sorry to hear that you are in so much pain. At first I thought I should have done one feet at at a time, but I am glad that I did both, don't get me wrong, I am in some pain now, but the pain is not severe. and I know that I am going thru a healing process.

What is the doctor going to do about the pinch nerve? Are you going to have to have surgery again?

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

Sondra B on 7/28/02 at 21:20 (090863)

Hi Missy,

I am glad to hear that you are doing well after your surgery, your process is very encouraging to me. Is the biofreeze for pain? I am going to asked my doctor about it, and see where I can purchase it from.

I feel that I have a good surgeon also. I do belive that because I am wearing the cam-walkers that I sometimes am on my foot more than I should, because they will really start to ache and feel fatigue. that is when I know I have over-done it...I stretch faithfully, which helps a great deal.

I will be glad when I a able to go to the gym and work-out.but I am not going to rush it. What kind of treatment is iontophoresis?

When I go to the doctor on tuesday I will update my results.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Plantar Fascitis Surgery

trish e on 7/29/02 at 07:10 (090880)

Sondra,no the dr did not know of the pinched nerve,and yes it was tts/fashia,as far as therapy they had to stop it until emg,and mri complete.good luck with your recovery.

Re: re: Sondra B.

Missy B on 7/31/02 at 22:06 (091221)

Hi Sondra - the Biofreeze gel is a lot like Icy Hot or Ben Gay - it is a theraputic rub but also a form of cryrotherapy in that it is very cooling and refreshing on the foot. It does help relieve achiness and soreness - and can be used on sore muscles or arthritic joints. In addition to using it on my feet twice a day, I often also rub some on my lower back muscles and knees because I have some arthritis in these spots. The only place I can buy it is from my Pod, but if you live in a city, you may find it elsewhere.

The iontophoresis treatment involves using electrical stimulation to help the tissues of an injured area to absorb medication that is placed on a pad and secured to the area. In my case, the therapists put the pad on my heel because I was having some residual PF soreness; they would hook me up for about 15 minutes - it felt a little like pins and needles in the heel but was not painful. It was no instant cure, but probably helped in my recovery.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Missy B.

Re: Missy and Sondra

Tonya on 7/31/02 at 23:25 (091226)

Several websites also offer it at a fairly reasonable price. Just use your search engine to look it up. I'm thinking about getting some for myself. Tonya