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For June

Posted by Sharon W on 9/01/02 at 09:55 (094122)

June,

Cheri, Julie, and Wendyn have given you good information.

It's most likely that you will go home the same day as your tarsal tunnel surgery, as Cheri did (and I did).

I would be VERY surprised if your surgeon (whether it's your current doctor, or you end up going to someone else) failed to give you prescription pain medications to take after your surgery. (Since you're worried about this, though, you should certainly bring it up at your pre-surgery consult.) Most people do need fairly strong pain medications after TTS surgery, and of course you should follow your doctor's orders as to how much and how often to take them, but please DON'T hesitiate to take them for as long as you need them. Your doctor should know much more about how long that is likely to be, than I do, and it's his/her responsibility to be sure your pain medications are appropriate.

In the meantime, before surgery, I suggest the following method to help control swelling and pain. Wear a reasonably thick sock, and put a bag of frozen peas over the INSIDE of your ankle, being sure that it covers the inside of your heel and touches your arch. Leave the frozen peas there for 20 minutes, then take it off and put it back in the freezer. You can do it again after another 40 minutes, if you want to. (You can use them for up to 20 minutes out of every hour, if needed.) Frozen peas are ROUND; they don't have sharp edges to poke the tender spots like crushed ice does. They don't leak like bags of ice can, either, and because they're round, peas will actually mold themselves to fit the shape of your foot -- so the ice touches all the places where you need it. (This really WILL help your tarsal tunnel syndrome to feel better.)

You might also want to take a look at Steve's web site. A link for it is listed at the top of the tarsal tunnel syndrome message board page.

Sharon

Re: From June to Sharon

JuneT on 9/01/02 at 12:19 (094133)

Sharon,
Thanks so much for the advise. I am sitting here with tears flowing, because I fet that there wasn't a person in this world that I could talk to, or relate to, so thank you all. I have a few others to reply to as well. Maybe I cam consolodate some info. In my pervious post I didn't give much info, because I didn't know how the board works, so now that I've found my way back, here it goes. I have had problems with my back, the nerves in the root, bulging discs, spurs, and arthritis, and now osteo pina with high rish osteoporosis in my hips, so as my foot had gotten considerably worse, my neurologist just kept givin me nerve blocks, and ALL kinds of meds. I kept telling him over and over again that the foot is getting unbearable, but he continued the same treatments, alond with ordering an electric scooter, as he treated me for Neuropathy. Don't misunderstand me, I am NOT blamng the dr. he gave me hs word that he would do what ever he could, he promised to keep me as comfortable as possible, and I believe he ment well, I really do. BUT much as I asked him to do some further testing on my foot, he insisted it was from the back/neuropathy. 3 weeks ago I demanded an MRI on my foot, the pain was unbearable, and I can't take a lot of the meds that would give relief, I have a lot more health problems going on.Asthma, COPD, reflux, migraines, calcim deposits in my head, allergies to everything, stomach ulcers, etc. etc.So...he said I was to go to an orthopedic surgeon. He was most certain at this time that it is Tarsel Tunnel, but sent me for an EMG this week.He wanted to see me this week, but his schedule is full,so the secretary is making me wait 2 weeks, BUT the dr that did my testing this week, although unable to discuss hat is going on, that's up to the surgeon, said his recommendation would be that this is teated as an emergency, because far too much valuable time has been wasted. The dr giving the test was so kind and seemed very concerned , even gave me a free foot massage since he stired it all up even more.I will stop here because some others have asked questions, and I am praying for replies.Thanks for the advice for the cold packs of peas. It's much appreaicted.This is something that really ticks me off, the doctors. see almost crawling to them, yet NONE have recommended anything to do for relef.

Re: For June

Sharon W on 9/01/02 at 21:56 (094178)

June,

There are a couple of things I'm confused about. Who was the doctor who ordered the MRI and the EMG -- was that your neurologist?? Have you ever actually SEEN the orthopedic surgeon yet, or has your other doctor simply referred you to him to consult with him about doing tarsal tunnel surgery?

I think one of the MOST difficult things about this tarsal tunnel problem is that it is fairly rare and most people simply cannot understand. I mean, people with TTS LOOK normal, and there is no way to prove to anyone how terrible the pain really gets. Even if you have friends and family all around you, the fact is that they can't really UNDERSTAND what is happening to you, and that does tend to make a person feel isolated and alone. They may walk too fast when you're out somewhere together, and leave you limping behind them. Some people may even hint that you're EXAGGERATING your pain. The constant pain combined with the loss of so many 'normal' things from our lives (like being able do our jobs at work, or go shopping with our loved ones, or cook dinner for them, or even keep our houses clean) can sometimes feel like more of a burden than one person can possibly bear. Being in severe pain every day does often lead to depression. If any of those things happen to you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE; myself and others have had the same kinds of experiences. Please don't be ashamed to write about your pain with us, even though others in your life don't understand what you're going through. There are people here on these message boards who DO understand.

The pain you describe, and the difficulty keeping your balance, both sound quite a bit like what I went through before my surgery. (It has been a YEAR since I could change a light bulb!) Now that my surgery is over, I am in physical therapy, trying to recover the strength in my foot and ankle and calf, to get my flexibility and range of movement back to normal, and to get my balance back. It isn't as easy as it sounds, but I am optimistic; I think this is going to work out well for me.

Please don't misunderstand me, though; I didn't have surgery until all of the appropriate tests had been done, and most of the other available treatments for tarsal tunnel syndrome had been tried without success. Surgery for this condition is very risky, and I definitely think it should be the LAST resort, not the first treatment that is attempted. (MOST of the time, this problem can be treated successfully without surgery.) But, in a situation where nothing else has worked, surgery can certainly offer a glimmer of hope in a situation where a bit of hope is very desperately needed.

As you read more about tarsal tunnel surgery, you will hear some horror stories, and they are real. There is a tendency for those who are still in pain to want to share their stories, while those whose surgeries were successful tend to move on with their lives and stop thinking about their feet so much! But please keep in mind that there ARE many people who are satisfied with their TTS surgery results.

Julie is right, by the way; many people do have a fear of IV needles, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Just be sure TELL your surgeon about your fear, and how serious it is. What he does will be up to the doctor, of course, but he'll probably have the staff give you tranquillizers or sedatives of some type BEFORE your IV is put in, so that the experience won't be so traumatic for you.

Sharon

Re: For June- Sharon

JuneT on 9/01/02 at 23:07 (094186)

Sharon,
I'm not quite sure what you were saying. A year to change a light bulb? Oh good Lord, does that mean you have been bed ridden?? I know nothing about it being riskey except for what I readng here. Why did the surgeon say I'd be back to work in 2 or 3 weeks if that's the case? I want to get better, not worse! Now to your question. The MRI was done a while back, I went to Hershey Medical Center to yet another Dr. looking for help, he is the one that ordered it, and said I have deterioated fat pads he was to be one of the top men in his field. I have seen that ortho dr, my family dr, my neurologist, and now the orthopedic surgeon. I don't know how this board works as far as pesonal addys, but you would be welcome to email me, if you like. June

Re: For June- Sharon

Sharon W on 9/02/02 at 10:39 (094213)

June,

No, my surgery was almost 6 weeks ago -- and it wasn't surgery that ruined my balance so that I couldn't change a light bulb, it was TTS.

I still couldn't change one today, though. I'm supposed to BEGIN getting out of my walking cast into a shoe this week, but my podiatrist warned me to take it easy and not try to make the changeover all in one day. (She wasn't happy with me last time I saw her -- thought I was rushing things with my recovery. It's hard not to get a bit carried away with enthusiasm, when the pain is so much better.)

I e-mailed you, with more details.

Sharon

Re: For June- Sharon

JuneT on 9/02/02 at 13:36 (094242)

Sharon,
I saw a glimmer of hope in your post. It is 6 weeks, and the pain is better? Is that normal. From what I am hearing that sounds pretty good, but that still sends me back to my drs. original statrment that I'd be able to return to work in 2 or 3 weeks. That is really sounding like a streatch...wishful, and unrealistic thinking. Now your walking cast...that is the first I am hearing anythng about a cast.I thought maybe a boot of some kind might be necesary, but nothing of a cast. It sounds like you are pleased with your surgery. Do you think you have made the right decission for you? As for a private email...I would LOVE to hear more from you, but as yet have not recieved anything. Do you have my addy? June
PS Sorry if I have been mixing up your board..I THINK I have the hang of it now, this is totally new to me..

Re: For June- from Sharon

Sharon W on 9/02/02 at 15:13 (094259)

June,

Please read my post in response to Lisa, above. She asked about recovery time after surgery and I answered her, describing my own recovery period in considerable detail (that is, describing my recovery SO FAR -- it's only been 6 weeks, and I expect it to take another couple of months for a COMPLETE recovery.) A couple of other people have answered her, too; just click on each message with your mouse, and you can read them.

The cast I'm wearing IS probably what you would call a 'walking boot'. My 'boot' can be removed and put back on, and it is definitely designed for walking in. It's called a 'pneumatic walker' and it has air bladders inside it that I have to inflate, to immobilize my foot.

I did try to e-mail you already, using the 'reply' key in response to yours. The e-mail I sent didn't 'bounce,' but it still sounds like you didn't get it. (So, I guess I DON'T have your e-address...)

Sharon

Re: For June- from Sharon

June on 9/02/02 at 17:01 (094276)

Sharon,
I found what you addressed to Lisa about recovery. I am trying to cram in what I can before I talk to the Dr. tomorrow As for my addy, well not only do I have a foot problem, seems I also have a 'spelling' problem! I spelled my own ame wrong, so if you hit return it came back because I spelled the name 'Jue' instead of (email removed). I'm so sorry. I hope you saved your letter.Thanks, June

Re: From June to Sharon

JuneT on 9/01/02 at 12:19 (094133)

Sharon,
Thanks so much for the advise. I am sitting here with tears flowing, because I fet that there wasn't a person in this world that I could talk to, or relate to, so thank you all. I have a few others to reply to as well. Maybe I cam consolodate some info. In my pervious post I didn't give much info, because I didn't know how the board works, so now that I've found my way back, here it goes. I have had problems with my back, the nerves in the root, bulging discs, spurs, and arthritis, and now osteo pina with high rish osteoporosis in my hips, so as my foot had gotten considerably worse, my neurologist just kept givin me nerve blocks, and ALL kinds of meds. I kept telling him over and over again that the foot is getting unbearable, but he continued the same treatments, alond with ordering an electric scooter, as he treated me for Neuropathy. Don't misunderstand me, I am NOT blamng the dr. he gave me hs word that he would do what ever he could, he promised to keep me as comfortable as possible, and I believe he ment well, I really do. BUT much as I asked him to do some further testing on my foot, he insisted it was from the back/neuropathy. 3 weeks ago I demanded an MRI on my foot, the pain was unbearable, and I can't take a lot of the meds that would give relief, I have a lot more health problems going on.Asthma, COPD, reflux, migraines, calcim deposits in my head, allergies to everything, stomach ulcers, etc. etc.So...he said I was to go to an orthopedic surgeon. He was most certain at this time that it is Tarsel Tunnel, but sent me for an EMG this week.He wanted to see me this week, but his schedule is full,so the secretary is making me wait 2 weeks, BUT the dr that did my testing this week, although unable to discuss hat is going on, that's up to the surgeon, said his recommendation would be that this is teated as an emergency, because far too much valuable time has been wasted. The dr giving the test was so kind and seemed very concerned , even gave me a free foot massage since he stired it all up even more.I will stop here because some others have asked questions, and I am praying for replies.Thanks for the advice for the cold packs of peas. It's much appreaicted.This is something that really ticks me off, the doctors. see almost crawling to them, yet NONE have recommended anything to do for relef.

Re: For June

Sharon W on 9/01/02 at 21:56 (094178)

June,

There are a couple of things I'm confused about. Who was the doctor who ordered the MRI and the EMG -- was that your neurologist?? Have you ever actually SEEN the orthopedic surgeon yet, or has your other doctor simply referred you to him to consult with him about doing tarsal tunnel surgery?

I think one of the MOST difficult things about this tarsal tunnel problem is that it is fairly rare and most people simply cannot understand. I mean, people with TTS LOOK normal, and there is no way to prove to anyone how terrible the pain really gets. Even if you have friends and family all around you, the fact is that they can't really UNDERSTAND what is happening to you, and that does tend to make a person feel isolated and alone. They may walk too fast when you're out somewhere together, and leave you limping behind them. Some people may even hint that you're EXAGGERATING your pain. The constant pain combined with the loss of so many 'normal' things from our lives (like being able do our jobs at work, or go shopping with our loved ones, or cook dinner for them, or even keep our houses clean) can sometimes feel like more of a burden than one person can possibly bear. Being in severe pain every day does often lead to depression. If any of those things happen to you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE; myself and others have had the same kinds of experiences. Please don't be ashamed to write about your pain with us, even though others in your life don't understand what you're going through. There are people here on these message boards who DO understand.

The pain you describe, and the difficulty keeping your balance, both sound quite a bit like what I went through before my surgery. (It has been a YEAR since I could change a light bulb!) Now that my surgery is over, I am in physical therapy, trying to recover the strength in my foot and ankle and calf, to get my flexibility and range of movement back to normal, and to get my balance back. It isn't as easy as it sounds, but I am optimistic; I think this is going to work out well for me.

Please don't misunderstand me, though; I didn't have surgery until all of the appropriate tests had been done, and most of the other available treatments for tarsal tunnel syndrome had been tried without success. Surgery for this condition is very risky, and I definitely think it should be the LAST resort, not the first treatment that is attempted. (MOST of the time, this problem can be treated successfully without surgery.) But, in a situation where nothing else has worked, surgery can certainly offer a glimmer of hope in a situation where a bit of hope is very desperately needed.

As you read more about tarsal tunnel surgery, you will hear some horror stories, and they are real. There is a tendency for those who are still in pain to want to share their stories, while those whose surgeries were successful tend to move on with their lives and stop thinking about their feet so much! But please keep in mind that there ARE many people who are satisfied with their TTS surgery results.

Julie is right, by the way; many people do have a fear of IV needles, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Just be sure TELL your surgeon about your fear, and how serious it is. What he does will be up to the doctor, of course, but he'll probably have the staff give you tranquillizers or sedatives of some type BEFORE your IV is put in, so that the experience won't be so traumatic for you.

Sharon

Re: For June- Sharon

JuneT on 9/01/02 at 23:07 (094186)

Sharon,
I'm not quite sure what you were saying. A year to change a light bulb? Oh good Lord, does that mean you have been bed ridden?? I know nothing about it being riskey except for what I readng here. Why did the surgeon say I'd be back to work in 2 or 3 weeks if that's the case? I want to get better, not worse! Now to your question. The MRI was done a while back, I went to Hershey Medical Center to yet another Dr. looking for help, he is the one that ordered it, and said I have deterioated fat pads he was to be one of the top men in his field. I have seen that ortho dr, my family dr, my neurologist, and now the orthopedic surgeon. I don't know how this board works as far as pesonal addys, but you would be welcome to email me, if you like. June

Re: For June- Sharon

Sharon W on 9/02/02 at 10:39 (094213)

June,

No, my surgery was almost 6 weeks ago -- and it wasn't surgery that ruined my balance so that I couldn't change a light bulb, it was TTS.

I still couldn't change one today, though. I'm supposed to BEGIN getting out of my walking cast into a shoe this week, but my podiatrist warned me to take it easy and not try to make the changeover all in one day. (She wasn't happy with me last time I saw her -- thought I was rushing things with my recovery. It's hard not to get a bit carried away with enthusiasm, when the pain is so much better.)

I e-mailed you, with more details.

Sharon

Re: For June- Sharon

JuneT on 9/02/02 at 13:36 (094242)

Sharon,
I saw a glimmer of hope in your post. It is 6 weeks, and the pain is better? Is that normal. From what I am hearing that sounds pretty good, but that still sends me back to my drs. original statrment that I'd be able to return to work in 2 or 3 weeks. That is really sounding like a streatch...wishful, and unrealistic thinking. Now your walking cast...that is the first I am hearing anythng about a cast.I thought maybe a boot of some kind might be necesary, but nothing of a cast. It sounds like you are pleased with your surgery. Do you think you have made the right decission for you? As for a private email...I would LOVE to hear more from you, but as yet have not recieved anything. Do you have my addy? June
PS Sorry if I have been mixing up your board..I THINK I have the hang of it now, this is totally new to me..

Re: For June- from Sharon

Sharon W on 9/02/02 at 15:13 (094259)

June,

Please read my post in response to Lisa, above. She asked about recovery time after surgery and I answered her, describing my own recovery period in considerable detail (that is, describing my recovery SO FAR -- it's only been 6 weeks, and I expect it to take another couple of months for a COMPLETE recovery.) A couple of other people have answered her, too; just click on each message with your mouse, and you can read them.

The cast I'm wearing IS probably what you would call a 'walking boot'. My 'boot' can be removed and put back on, and it is definitely designed for walking in. It's called a 'pneumatic walker' and it has air bladders inside it that I have to inflate, to immobilize my foot.

I did try to e-mail you already, using the 'reply' key in response to yours. The e-mail I sent didn't 'bounce,' but it still sounds like you didn't get it. (So, I guess I DON'T have your e-address...)

Sharon

Re: For June- from Sharon

June on 9/02/02 at 17:01 (094276)

Sharon,
I found what you addressed to Lisa about recovery. I am trying to cram in what I can before I talk to the Dr. tomorrow As for my addy, well not only do I have a foot problem, seems I also have a 'spelling' problem! I spelled my own ame wrong, so if you hit return it came back because I spelled the name 'Jue' instead of (email removed). I'm so sorry. I hope you saved your letter.Thanks, June