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2 months postTTS surgery and still in alot of pain. HELP!!!

Posted by Steve on 10/12/02 at 19:34 (097412)

It's been 2 months since my TTS surgery and I'm still in alot of pain.
My ortho says it could be 6 mos to a year before I notice improvement.
My surgery report explains that I had a very tight, deep abductor hallucis fascia that was released all the way to the midfoot. My ortho says that he is 95% positive that this was causing my pain symptoms for the last 7 years. I injured my foot on a exercise machine. He also says that since my nerve was trapped for so long, it can take a long time to recover.
I was non-weight-bearing for the 1st week after surgery, and then in a walking boot for the last 7 weeks. My ortho removed the boot this past week and the pain has been very bad. I'm icing a few times a day, getting PT 3 time a week, and wearing ortotics from before the surgery.

I'm discouraged even though I know that I know this surgery is not always easy to recover from.

Is there anything else I should be doing?
Thanks.

Steve

Re: 2 months postTTS surgery and still in alot of pain.

Sharon W on 10/13/02 at 10:53 (097430)

Steve,

I had TTS surgery 2 1/2 months ago and I guess I have been lucky, because I feel about 70% better than before the surgery. My podiatrist had told me almost the same thing your ortho did -- that I should probably expect to be in pain for at least 3-6 months after surgery, and sometimes it's even longer than that. But after the surgery she said the nerve 'looked pretty good' and that, now that the pressure is off, it may heal a bit more quickly than she had originally projected. And I guess it has, at least, so far!

My nerve was also released in the 'distal TTS' area, not just the tarsal tunnel itself. It is my understanding that this procedure is being done more often these days because many patients do have nerve entrapments in that area in addition to (or sometimes instead of) the tarsal tunnel. I was completely non-weight bearing for the first 3 weeks after surgery and then gradually allowed to start putting weight on my foot while it was in my air cast (a type of removable cast made for walking). But I was not 'allowed' to walk WITHOUT the air cast until 6 weeks after surgery.

I think everyone's body has its own pace for healing, and damaged nerves heal very slowly so a big part of recovery is giving them enough time to get well. Waiting to get better is terribly frustrating, of course, and dealing with the pain is a long and miserable process. I still have 'good' days (when I think I've 'turned the corner' and the pain will soon be all gone) and days when it still really HURTS (no, not as much as it used to before surgery, it HAS gotten better, but that doesn't mean I'm free from pain!) I am always disappointed when it hurts... I keep hoping that there will come a time when I only have 'good' days!

What medications are you taking, at this point?

When you ice, do you keep your foot up on a couple of pillows? (That seems to help, for me.)

Has your doctor ever mentioned contrast baths?

What kind of things is your PT doing with you?

Has your Dr. prescribed any creams or gels to rub on to your inner ankle and/or the swollen areas? Mine recently wrote a prescription for Prudoxin cream, which is usually prescribed for severe itching, but it helps with burning and numbness. And, for swelling, ibuprofen cream seems to help a lot of people; a search of this website will display lots of comments about it.

Good luck to you; I hope it starts feeling better SOON!!

Sharon

Re: 2 months postTTS surgery and still in alot of pain. HELP!!!

Ellen F. on 10/15/02 at 19:07 (097569)

Wow, walking after a week. I am so, so new to all this, but i will tell you my podiatrist says no walking for at least 3 weeks, reason he says is build up of scar tissue. He said he did TTS surgery on an elderly woman who wouldn't comply and stay off her feet and she seems to be just fine, he can't figure it out. i am really surprised, although i don't know all the rational by other Drs. about the walking issue. maybe someone else that is more experienced on thie board here may have some advice, everyone is very informed. Hope you start getting some relief real soon.

Re: 2 months postTTS surgery and still in alot of pain. HELP!!!

Judy H. on 10/26/02 at 11:24 (098391)

By a nasty twist of fate, I had both ankles and feet operated on 4 days apart. My doctor had me walking with a walker from the first day. He said this was imperative for nerves to glide through the tunnel. I was to walk at least 10 minutes every hour or half hour.

Two months out and I have as much pain as before. Tight bands around ankle that I did not have before. My nerves in tunnel was extremely bad. Yellow, mushy with fatty deposits clogging tunnel. The doc cleaned it out and still thinks I will see regeneration of nerves. My pain was in toes and ball of foot. Now new pain, although burning in toes somewhat better.
Has anyone heard of a patient getting also instant relief. This was mentioned in the literature we were given to read beforehand.

Re: 2 months postTTS surgery and still in alot of pain. HELP!!!

Ellen F. on 10/26/02 at 12:13 (098394)

never heard of walking that close after surgery, i was told 3 weeks no wt. bearing because of higher incidence of building up scar tissue. could the pain be from nerves 'regenerating', i really don't know that much since i'm new to all this, but i'm sure someone out there may know, there are several people here that are very informative, hopefully someone will answer your post that may have some suggestions. i sure do hope you start getting some relief soon for all that you have been through.

Re: 2 months postTTS surgery and still in alot of pain.

Sharon W on 10/13/02 at 10:53 (097430)

Steve,

I had TTS surgery 2 1/2 months ago and I guess I have been lucky, because I feel about 70% better than before the surgery. My podiatrist had told me almost the same thing your ortho did -- that I should probably expect to be in pain for at least 3-6 months after surgery, and sometimes it's even longer than that. But after the surgery she said the nerve 'looked pretty good' and that, now that the pressure is off, it may heal a bit more quickly than she had originally projected. And I guess it has, at least, so far!

My nerve was also released in the 'distal TTS' area, not just the tarsal tunnel itself. It is my understanding that this procedure is being done more often these days because many patients do have nerve entrapments in that area in addition to (or sometimes instead of) the tarsal tunnel. I was completely non-weight bearing for the first 3 weeks after surgery and then gradually allowed to start putting weight on my foot while it was in my air cast (a type of removable cast made for walking). But I was not 'allowed' to walk WITHOUT the air cast until 6 weeks after surgery.

I think everyone's body has its own pace for healing, and damaged nerves heal very slowly so a big part of recovery is giving them enough time to get well. Waiting to get better is terribly frustrating, of course, and dealing with the pain is a long and miserable process. I still have 'good' days (when I think I've 'turned the corner' and the pain will soon be all gone) and days when it still really HURTS (no, not as much as it used to before surgery, it HAS gotten better, but that doesn't mean I'm free from pain!) I am always disappointed when it hurts... I keep hoping that there will come a time when I only have 'good' days!

What medications are you taking, at this point?

When you ice, do you keep your foot up on a couple of pillows? (That seems to help, for me.)

Has your doctor ever mentioned contrast baths?

What kind of things is your PT doing with you?

Has your Dr. prescribed any creams or gels to rub on to your inner ankle and/or the swollen areas? Mine recently wrote a prescription for Prudoxin cream, which is usually prescribed for severe itching, but it helps with burning and numbness. And, for swelling, ibuprofen cream seems to help a lot of people; a search of this website will display lots of comments about it.

Good luck to you; I hope it starts feeling better SOON!!

Sharon

Re: 2 months postTTS surgery and still in alot of pain. HELP!!!

Ellen F. on 10/15/02 at 19:07 (097569)

Wow, walking after a week. I am so, so new to all this, but i will tell you my podiatrist says no walking for at least 3 weeks, reason he says is build up of scar tissue. He said he did TTS surgery on an elderly woman who wouldn't comply and stay off her feet and she seems to be just fine, he can't figure it out. i am really surprised, although i don't know all the rational by other Drs. about the walking issue. maybe someone else that is more experienced on thie board here may have some advice, everyone is very informed. Hope you start getting some relief real soon.

Re: 2 months postTTS surgery and still in alot of pain. HELP!!!

Judy H. on 10/26/02 at 11:24 (098391)

By a nasty twist of fate, I had both ankles and feet operated on 4 days apart. My doctor had me walking with a walker from the first day. He said this was imperative for nerves to glide through the tunnel. I was to walk at least 10 minutes every hour or half hour.

Two months out and I have as much pain as before. Tight bands around ankle that I did not have before. My nerves in tunnel was extremely bad. Yellow, mushy with fatty deposits clogging tunnel. The doc cleaned it out and still thinks I will see regeneration of nerves. My pain was in toes and ball of foot. Now new pain, although burning in toes somewhat better.
Has anyone heard of a patient getting also instant relief. This was mentioned in the literature we were given to read beforehand.

Re: 2 months postTTS surgery and still in alot of pain. HELP!!!

Ellen F. on 10/26/02 at 12:13 (098394)

never heard of walking that close after surgery, i was told 3 weeks no wt. bearing because of higher incidence of building up scar tissue. could the pain be from nerves 'regenerating', i really don't know that much since i'm new to all this, but i'm sure someone out there may know, there are several people here that are very informative, hopefully someone will answer your post that may have some suggestions. i sure do hope you start getting some relief soon for all that you have been through.