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pre surgery questions

Posted by boaz on 9/27/03 at 10:52 (131223)

hey you all!
i'm about to have my TTS surgery soon, but before it i have some questions:
1) how long is the recovery? will i be able to walk in 3 days after the surgery?
2) is it really help, or should i not count on it?
3) how much does it pain after the surgery?

i'll be happy to hear as much info as you all can.
please help - boaz.

Re: pre surgery questions

Chad H on 9/27/03 at 19:13 (131328)


Welcome to the board. Can you give us some more information about your situation? I would recommend you read a few pages of posts from the past couple of weeks or months. You will find more information and other experiences that you could ever ask for.

1) According to your doctor's directions, you will likely be casted anywhere from 2 weeks to 9 weeks. I would say there is absolutely zero chance of walking 3 days after surgery. Are you asking if you can walk unassisted on your bare foot or with shoes? - Absolutely not.

2) If you don't think it will help, you shouldn't go through with it. Have you asked your doctor what his success rate is and how many of these he has done? Read past posts about success rates.

3) The first 3 days can be pretty rough. My first surgery had very little post op pain, but it also didn't work! The second surgery didn't work either, but the pain was intense.

Good luck, I would highly recommend you do some major reseach and get some other professional opinions before going though with this.

Re: pre surgery questions

boaz on 9/28/03 at 04:37 (131399)

hey chad!
thank you for your quick reply. it is such a fun to be a member of this board (even though i would have been happyier if i could knew you without our tts).

about my surgery - i've started my university learning a week ago, and when i asked my doctor if i'll be able to go to school after the surgery, he told me that only after three days.

about your mail - you told me that if i'm not sure about the results of the surgery - then i should not take it. well, according to my doctor, the healing is not so long, but according to the board - it is.

i am thinking maybe my healing will be quicker because i'm a very healthy man, and young. i'm only 21 years old, and all the people on the board are 40-50 as i can see.

what are you saying chad? maybe my healing will be quicker?
why is it that the successing rate of this surgery are so low?

thanks again, boaz!

Re: pre surgery questions

wendyn on 9/28/03 at 08:18 (131410)

boaz - I am very surprised to hear that your doctor thinks you will be back at school so fast. What type of doctor are you seeing - and have you sought out a second opinion?

Re: pre surgery questions

Chad H on 9/28/03 at 10:52 (131444)

Well, I am 31 and had my first surgery when I was 25. Age has very little to do with recovery time. According to how the surgery is preformed, recovery time can vary greatly. They are cutting a 4 to 10 inch opening your ankle, typically cutting the retinaculum (ligament type structure which forms the TT), working around the nerve, and then closing you up with stitches or staples. This isn't something to take lightly! It can take 2 to 4 days just to recover from the anesthesia, then you have the effects of the pain pills to deal with.

Also, the success of your surgery will be dictated by your recovery. You want to minimize the formation of scar tissue which means taking as much down time as you can. You don't want to race back to school, you need to TAKE IT EASY. Surgery like this is serious business. Anesthesia, risk of infection, pain medication, casting, physical therapy, etc, etc, etc. I have been told that it can take up to a year for the nerve to recover and heal. This is not like having your tonsils removed.

Success is dictated by what is causing the TTS, who is preforming the surgery, how they do it and how much experience they have. My experience has been that a failed surgery will put you in a worse situation than you are in now.

Please tell us more about your symptoms and history. Also, Wendyn has some very valid points.


Re: pre surgery questions

boaz on 9/28/03 at 12:34 (131483)

hey wendyn!
it is my ortopedic doctor, and i guess next week i'll see an other ortopedic.
how long do you believe my healing will be?

Re: pre surgery questions

Carol D on 9/28/03 at 14:46 (131550)

Hi Boaz,

I, too, encourage you to get full info. from your doctor about the recovery process. I am 16 weeks post-op and am almost fully recovered, but for the first 6 weeks, I was not able to be on my feet much at all. Study the posts here and get specifics from you MD. Perhaps he/she plans something less invasive that what most of us thing of as a TTS release. Good Luck. Carol D

Re: pre surgery questions

wendyn on 9/28/03 at 15:20 (131554)

oh boaz - I would not hazard a guess. I have never had the surgery. Some people recover fairly quickly - for others it takes a very long time.

I'm glad to hear that you are getting a second opinion.

Re: pre surgery questions

stella on 9/28/03 at 17:05 (131563)

Good luck i had surgery on may 22nd of this year and i still can not walk. I have seen a second dr, and i have had an MRI. I have tried everything to more coritzone shots to now back in a plaster cast and now walking for 3 more weeks and its been 4 months. I know everyone is different in recovery but please dont think you are gonna walk in 3 days i was in tons of pain and still am.

Re: pre surgery questions

Chad H on 9/28/03 at 19:46 (131590)

I would say in most cases you should be mobile after one week. I was in school for my surgery and had it done the week of Thanksgiving. That way, I only missed 3 days of class that first week. However, since it was my right ankle, I had to have someone drive me around until the cast came off.

Any idea how long you are going to be casted? The minimum is usually 7 to 10 days. That is how long it takes before the stitches are removed.

If you had the surgery done on a Thursday, I would think you would be in decent shape by the following Monday. It is all according to what days of the week your doctor performs operations.

Re: pre surgery questions

marie on 9/28/03 at 19:48 (131591)


You might consider checking in at the surgery message board at this sight. There are several there who are recovering that can give you information.


Re: pre surgery questions

chris on 9/29/03 at 07:54 (131611)

Welcome to the board.

I would say that you should not expect to be very mobile in 3 days. When I had my surgery I was in a half cast and on crutches (absolutely no weight bearing on the surgery foot) for 2 weeks. When the stiches and half cast were removed after 2 weeks, I was put in a boot cast and allowed to bear weight for another week. Personally, I was not comfortable driving until a month following surgery.

I wore sneakers to work for another 2 months. I would say that my recovery was a good 6 - 12 months. Recovery can take a long time, mostly because it is next to impossible to rest your foot after surgery becuase your feet are so used by our bodies.

Good Luck to you! For the record, my surgery was successful and remain pain-free for 3 years and counting!

Re: pre surgery questions

Sharon W on 9/29/03 at 08:50 (131616)

That sounds about right. This surgery can work (and it does, for many of us -- it did for me) but it is risky and it is NOT a quick and easy recovery. As long as you go in there with your eyes wide open and you have discussed in detail with your surgeon about not just the surgery itself but also what he/she will do for you during the recovery period, you have a pretty good chance for success.

I believe a TTS surgery recovery plan SHOULD involve early physical therapy, to reduce the possibility of scar tissue formation around the nerve. It's really important that your surgeon is keeping a close watch for signs of that complication happening so he/she can begin treating it immediately if it does (if scarring develops around the nerve the signs usually show up somewhere between 2-5 months AFTER the surgery -- it's not something anyone would notice right away).


Re: pre surgery questions

chris on 9/29/03 at 10:51 (131623)

You are so right and that was something I forgot to mention! Scar tissue. I did not have PT right away and did develop scar tissue. I had to have about 2 or 3 months pt. Let's see I had surgery Nov '00 and started pt in Jan '01.

Re: pre surgery questions

lauriel on 9/29/03 at 16:55 (131657)

Boaz, I recommend doing a search on my name 'lauriel' both here and under the surgery board, I detailed much of my recovery. I had it on 12/6/02. I think you have had some pretty good advice from other posters, but bascily you should be non-weight bearing for 4 weeks. in bed for the first three days. and please read other posts as well it will give you great insight.