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Facing TTS-how long is recovery really?

Posted by Sue E. on 3/31/03 at 19:32 (115059)

Until about eight years ago, I never had trouble with my feet. After a rigorous hike down from Sacred Falls in Hawaii during a rainstorm, I started developing numbness in two toes which progressed to much of both feet. I originally saw podiatrist who mentioned TT and made orthotics which have never been that comfortable. My pain, electrical sensations, numbness, and odd balance have gotten worse. I can't feel where my feet are accurately and I have fallen several times. I'm only 55, and at first we thought maybe it was related to my ankylosing spondylitis or fibromyalgia. I have seen rheumatologists, neurologists, and podiatrists. I have taken many different meds including Pamelor, Neurotin, Tensilon, cortisone shots, etc. Nothing helped the pain, just helped me sleep through the weird sensations that seemed worse at night. I have had several nerve conduction tests and they all indicate TTS. I am scheduled for TTS surgery on my right leg/foot the beginning of May. I was told I would be in a large bandage for a week and that I would be using a walker. Right now my husband want to plan a trip for four weeks after my surgery. It would require a long flight to Hawaii. Is this at all realistic? I have had a hard time just dealing with the sensations in my legs during our past trips to Hawaii. Will this be an impossible journey for me? I am interested in all comments about how the surgery itself went and what you felt like after the surgery. I have read Steve's comments on his website. Please let me know how the surgery went for you. I miss the active lifestyle I had before the numbness and pain became worse. I did aerobic dancing for fourteen years before this and now I use a treadmill for exercise so I can hold on for balance. I am also curious how long people waited before doing a second foot. My right foot is worse and will require releasing the nerve outside my knee. Thanks for your input. My heart goes out to all of us. It's hard to enjoy life when outwardly you look ok but inside you hurt. Sue

Re: Facing TTS-how long is recovery really?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/31/03 at 20:28 (115067)

Sue:
Best wishes on your upcoming surgery. This is an area of significant variability in recovery and outcomes so speaking of averages and means may not be very helpful. The goal is to take pressure off the nerve so that the nerve can heal itself. Some notice improvement shortly after surgery but the healing process can take about 7 months.

Swelling and scar tissue are the enemies of the procedure. Strict adherance to elevation is crucial after surgery in order to limit swelling.
Physical therapy, starting about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks post-operatively can significantly reduce the formation of scar tissue.
Ed

Re: Facing TTS-how long is recovery really?

Sharon W on 3/31/03 at 21:53 (115078)

Sue,

I hate to say this, but I would postpone that trip to Hawaii for a couple more months. You sound like an active sort of person and I imagine it would be really hard for you to spend all your time there just lying on the beach...

The good news is, TTS surgery can, and does, make a big difference for some of us who just haven't had any success with the other treatments. (It did for me.) But my recovery took 7 months; at 1 month I was still wearing a removable cast most of the time, while gradually putting more and more weight on my feet.

Good luck to you!

Sharon
.

Re: Facing TTS-how long is recovery really?

Barbara S on 3/31/03 at 22:03 (115082)

Sue E.
I would have to agree with Sharon W. I am 11 months post-op and I am one of the unfortunate ones that is taking along time to recover.
I was away for the just the weekend with a girlfriend and her daughter shopping and I am paying for it now. It didn't seem so bad while I was shopping,but tonight my foot is swollen,numb,prickley and throbbing. So it's back to my chair and an ice pack tonight hopefully things will be better in the morning.
Everyone heals differently,but I don't think one month is long enough.
Good Luck
Barbara S.

Re: Facing TTS-how long is recovery really?

lauriel on 4/01/03 at 11:51 (115100)

I am 4 months post op and I think I would agree with both Sharon and Barbara, even though my first 4-6 weeks went by so easy, after reading many posts on the surgery board on post complications soon after the surgery, As tempting as it is I would not go, even if I knew I would be just laying by the pool all week, doing nothing. Some complications may arise just before you would leave or be away from home like pains meds or something else. YOu will have to be in a wheel chair while you were there because getting around on crutches no weight bearing is almost impossible. at 4 weeks you should just be able to do some weight bearing. and trust me, it is no fun. And I dont know what flying does to swelling so that could be a problem.

As for the sugery, it seems most recommendations are minimun one week, total elevation and ice. If you can the following week, pretty much the same. I recommend reading the surgery board of the TTS surgery posts. It can can give a good broad idea since there TTS surgeries vary and healing time does too.

Good luck
laurie

Re: Facing TTS-how long is recovery really?

marie on 4/01/03 at 19:41 (115122)

I would have to agree with everyone here. A trip to Hawaii four weeks after TTS surgery, YIKES. You'll be doing well if you can walk down the hall without crutches or a boot. If your husband really cares about you and a healthy future he may want to put his need to go to Hawaii on the back burner. Check the posts on the foot surgery board....have your hubby read the posts as well. The folks on that board can give you all the details you want. Some are more successful than others.

Best wishes,
marie

Re: Facing TTS-how long is recovery really?

Sue E. on 4/02/03 at 18:07 (115203)

Thank you for responding. I really appreciate the feedback. I'm cancelling all plans for travel and other activities indefinitely until I see how quickly I'm healing. Thanks again. sue

Re: Facing TTS-how long is recovery really?

Sue E. on 4/02/03 at 18:08 (115205)

Thanks for the input. I'm putting all travel plans on hold and just hope I'll be feeling well enough to handle a couple of important events at the end of June. Thanks again. It really helps to know others are out there and doing well. Sue

Re: Facing TTS-how long is recovery really?

Sue E. on 4/02/03 at 18:10 (115206)

Thanks for the input. I really appreciate having your opinion. I've cancelled all travel plans and hope to feel good enough for a couple of important local events in June. Thanks again. Sue

Re: Facing TTS-how long is recovery really?

Sue E. on 4/02/03 at 18:12 (115207)

I've never done a message board before so I'm not sure I'm doing this correctly. Forgive me if I've messed up. Thanks for the feedback. I've cancelled all travel plans and just hope to feel well enough to attend a couple of important activities locally in June. Thanks again. Sue

Re: Facing TTS-how long is recovery really?

Sue E. on 4/02/03 at 18:14 (115209)

I think I'm messing up this message board bussiness; I've never done it before. Thanks for the input. I'm cancelling all travel plans and just hope to feel well enough for a couple of special events locally later in June. Thanks again. Sue

Re: Facing TTS-how long is recovery really?

suem on 4/06/03 at 18:51 (115544)

I JUST HAD TARSAL TUNNEL SURGERY ONE AND A HALF WEEKS AGO AND
AM ALREADY DISCOURAGED.... MY DOCTOR NEVER TOLD ME ANYTHING MUCH ABOUT THE SURGERY AND SAID I WOULD PROBABLY BE BACK TO USING MY FOOT IN THREE WEEKS.
WELL... I AM IN EXTREME PAIN..... AND THE PAIN PILLS.... LORCET HE GAVE ME
JUST MAKE ME TO SICK TO TAKE...... AFTER READING THE E-MAILS IT SEEMS AS THOUGH EVERYONE'S RECOVERY TIME IS DIFFERENT.... I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE
JUST A SIMPLE SURGERY LIKE CARPAL TUNNEL RELEASE.... NOW I AM STARTING TO WONDER????? I AM SO TEMPTED TO TRY AND WEIGHT BEAR JUST A BIT...
BUT IT IS SO UNBEARABLE.... ANY ADVICE WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED....

THANKS....

Re: Facing TTS-how long is recovery really?

Dr. Z on 4/06/03 at 19:00 (115545)

Hello,

Sorry to hear you are so frustrated and in pain. You need to talk to your doctor, tell him how you feel. Don't do anything on your own uless you have medical advice. Carpal tunnel surgery is different then Tarsal tunnel due to the the ankle and foot having to eventually bear weight.

So stay off your foot. Talk to your doctor about pain pills AFTER he or she examines your foot to make sure you don't have an infection