Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

Posted by Lari S. on 9/30/03 at 18:14 (131780)

I am so glad my Mom told me about this site. I have had such burning pain in my left foot for so long that I was ready to cut it off. Three years ago, I was told I have diabetic neuropathy and put on 900 mg Neurontin and 60 GM Gabapentin cream 2x's a day. (I'm a Type 1 diabetic on an insulin pump.) The foot just kept getting worse. It's now to the point that I can't stand to have the sheets on my foot, much less wear a shoe. We just changed doctors, and she sent me to a D.P.M. since the symptoms are only in the left foot. To make a long story short, he suspected TTS and I had a NCV done to confirm. I am now scheduled to have surgery this Friday (10/03/03). I have read through some of the postings and see a wide range of recovery times and experiences. I was told 3 weeks off the foot followed by a compression cast and crutches for a couple of months. I thought that sounded rather long. Is there anything you've found to help speed up the healing time? Anything in particular I should do in the next 2 days to be ready for after the surgery?

Would appreciate any advice you can give.

Thanks,
Lari

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

Sharon W on 9/30/03 at 18:27 (131783)

Wow, Lari, since you are a type 1 diabetic you will probably heal slowly... I would definitely believe your doc if he says you'll be in crutches for a couple of months. This isn't an easy surgery and of course the diabetes will make things more complicated, so it is hard to say what you can expect... I hope one of the doctors will see your post (we have podiatrists who answer questions sometimes).

One thing I would DEFINITELY do, if I were you, is ask your doc if he suggests your rent a wheelchair, and whether he will be sending you for physical therapy after your surgery, to help keep your ankle as mobile as possible and prevent the formation of too much scar tissue close to the nerve.

Sharon
:)

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

Lari S. on 9/30/03 at 19:08 (131786)

Thanks Sharon:), I actually have access to a wheelchair left by my great aunt if needed. We have 2 dogs (80 & 100 lbs) that I'm sure would love to be lap puppies if I was in a wheel chair!

I am concerned about healing since I seem to get infections if I get a splinter:( This is a 'fill-in' date for the surgery, as someone had to cancel out. I was called last Tues. to see if I could make it. We were gone Wed-Mon to a Harley-Davidson event in Reno, so this is my first day to really start to get ready. My son is stationed in England with the Air Force and coming home for a few days starting Nov. 7, so I would like to be able to enjoy his time home. Thus the recovery questions...

I decided to go for the surgery when they called just to get on with life. I was used to water skiing, snow skiing, snow shoeing, hiking, riding my motorcycles, etc., but all that required something on my foot. My husband is really getting fed up with hearing 'my foot is killing me, I just can't' do whatever. I'm hopeful that the foot pain after Friday wil be RECOVERY pain, which is a great deal different than being told you have diabetic neuropathy and that there is nothing that can be done.

Lari:)

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

wendyn on 9/30/03 at 20:03 (131793)

Lari - does your doctor have any idea what is causing your TTS or what they are going in there to fix?

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

Sharon W on 9/30/03 at 20:29 (131802)

Lari,

I understand about being told you have neuropathy and there is nothing that can be done :( I'm not a diabetic but I have neuropathy myself. :((

Hopefully, the surgery will solve this problem for you and there will be no problem with neuropathy once you heal from it! You should do some reading, however, of some of the old posts on this Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome board and also on the Foot Surgery board; there are a lot of people who have told their stories about their surgeries, and you can find a lot of good advice and ideas.

I hope your podiatrist (surgeon) explained to you that this surgery is NOT a 'sure thing.' I don't mean to scare you but it's important for you to know, BEFORE you go under the knife, that while most people do get better, some people go through all the pain and the long recovery but DON'T get better. Some seem to be getting better at first but then they get a complication like scar tissue building up around the nerve and they get worse again... In fact, sometimes they even end up WORSE off than BEFORE they had the surgery. Unfortunately.

By the way, I am one of the ones who got better, and I'm glad I had the surgery. But the recovery was long and painful and I believe NOONE SHOULD DO THIS UNLESS THEY KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT... and what the possible problems are.

Good luck, Lari!

Sharon
%%-

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

Lari S. on 9/30/03 at 21:55 (131808)

I understand that this is not a 'sure thing'. He gave me odds of 30% get a great deal of relief, 30% get some relief, 20% a little, and 10% none or get worse. He spent a good deal of time on scar tissue issues, complications of diabetes, etc. Right now, the big toe and the next toe burn constantly and get 'stuck' down where I have to pry them back up. The arch all the way across to the three other toes actually hurts more, and I can't stand any pressure on that side of the foot. All I want to do it so be able to 'live with my foot' and be able to wear a shoe again. I live in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of CA, and the snow is cold when you wear a flip-flop! It was just such a relief when they ran tests and found out that it MIGHT be possible to do something. I'm willing to take the risk.

I have no idea what the 'cause' of this was. I was very active in high school/college with cheerleading, competitive gymnastics, competitive dance, snow/water skiing, track, etc. Had some problems with my feet when I went into the Air Force due to high arches and combat boots. Gave up 'lawn gymnastics' and roller skating with the kids when I hit my mid 30's. Kept up with the skiing, backpacking, and dancing. I just turned 50, and the last few years have all been downhill. I'm ready to start climbing UP hills again.

The doctor says he won't know for sure how extensive the surgery will be until he actually goes in. They didn't see any exact cause, so it was more like we've tried drugs, PT, injections, compression socks, etc., it's either try and live with it, or move on to surgery. I chose to move on and bet the odds of any relief has got to be better than what I've got now. If it gets worse, then it was already doing that...

Thanks for the help.

Lari

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

Lari S. on 9/30/03 at 22:01 (131809)

See comment to Sharon. He has no definite 'thing', but the NVC showed a lot of obstruction. The neurologist put it in medical terms of 'There's no sense in doing the other 2 tests. Your left foot is really screwed up.':)Lari

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

Sharon W on 9/30/03 at 22:19 (131810)

Lari,

I'm very glad to hear that; a surgeon who takes the time to explain things in a clear and direct way is an excellent indication!! He will probably be straight with you and 'there for you' during your recovery, too.

WOW, what an active life you've led! It's easy to see that you would want to go back to it... and I really hope that will happen. It's something to hope for, and to work toward.

(But believe me, an 80% improvement feels really good too!!)

Sharon
:)

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

Pam S. on 10/01/03 at 15:34 (131856)

Dear Lari:
I also had this surgery several years ago. It sounds like you are in great hands and I know exactly how you feel. I was just wanted any percentage of relief. Unlike you, I did not know what I was in for in terms of recovery.

I am trying to think of a few tips for you.

A stool in the bathroom so you can sit and brush your teeth but maybe the wheel chair will work. We have an upstairs which is difficult to deal with.

Does anyone know where Lari could order those plastic covers to protect the cast for bathing. That would be nice.

Be sure and read back because we have talked about this before I just cannot remember everything. Physical therapy is very important to guard against scar tissue later on. Also, what type of pain killers will you be on and are you sensitive to those. I was on Vicodin and it worked well.

Good luck and keep us posted. Pam ps Be patient and do everything your doctor says. Your sound like the type who would but it is very important for the success of the surgery. Keep reading

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

Lari S. on 10/01/03 at 16:49 (131868)

Thanks for the info. I think I'm getting pretty close to being ready. We have a ranch style house that my husband and I remodeled 2 years ago. I laid 2,000 sq ft. of tile on the floors and we carpeted the livingroom and bedrooms. I have tried the wheelchair, and it was easy to get around. It's a pretty good layout for a wheelchair with an open livingroom/dining room that is 42ft x 16ft just off the MBR, and open to the kitchen. All the doorways/openings are 36-60 in wide. Showers will not be a problem as we have a seat and the door is to the left (surgery side) with a very shallow lip, and I can keep my foot outside of the shower while using the handheld unit.

We already had a big recliner in the MBR, so I have set it up to sleep in. That should keep the dogs from jumping up on me and hitting the foot. I brought one of the tables from the motorhome in and put it next to the recliner. I already have my laptop set up there and hooked up for the internet, along with a stack of books, xword puzzles, portable phone, lap tray, etc. I ordered a tiny refridgerator, but it hasn't arrived yet.
Hubby will be here for the surgery, then has to work Sat/Sun, then is on vacation until Oct.31. HE WILL LEARN TO COOK:)! My sister lives one road over and will stay the weekend he is gone.

I really can't think of anything else at this point, but Im sure that I will be laying in the recliner thinking, 'Now why didn't I think to do that before the surgery!'.

I have pre-op tomorrow, so will know more about PT, meds, etc. after that.

Thanks again,
Lari

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

Chad H on 10/01/03 at 18:08 (131880)

This is a minor comment, but for my surgeries the doctor put a Polar Pack inside of my cast. It circulates cold water inside the cast since you really can't get coldness to penetrate through plaster.

My point is, if your doctor plans to do something similar, you need to have plenty of ice on hand! You will go through ice very quickly.

Just a thought!

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

Sharon W on 10/01/03 at 18:12 (131884)

Chad,

That sounds like a WONDERFUL idea!! My doc had us putting ice on top of the cast for 20 minutes out of every hour, but the cold really didn't penetrate much... and that swelling is terrible! I kept wishing I could rip the cast off and put the ice directly on my foot (but I didn't do it).

What a great suggestion!

Sharon
:)

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

stella on 10/01/03 at 19:01 (131889)

good luck lari!! I wish u the best i had surgery on may 22nd and i am still in the wheelchair and can not walk on my foot. I went to have an Mri and my problem is swelling of the tendons and that . So my numbness and pain is still there. But i hope someday i will be better but right now its worse then what i was. Just keep thinking easy and steady. Do not rush yourself just like i have.. bye

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

Lari S. on 10/01/03 at 19:22 (131890)

What a great idea! I'll have to ask tomorrow if he knows anything about the Polar Packs. Can you explain a little more? Do you add ice to a bag outside the cast and then it melts into the pack? Believe me, I'm taking lots of notes in with me tomorrow to pre-op.
Thanks,
Lari

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

Lari S. on 10/01/03 at 19:29 (131892)

Thanks for the good thoughts Stella:) I am just going to keep good thoughts, load up on ice, and take it easy. The county here seems to think I'll make a great recovery. Was scheduled for jury duty yesterday, but got released. Just got my 'new' jury duty schedule card for Jan 13 today. May have to put in for a temp handicap card so I won't have to wheel up the hills to the courthouse!lol
Lari

Re: TTS surgery scheduled 10/3/03

john king on 10/04/03 at 20:55 (132232)

If you had symptoms or treatment for this problem in the service you should file for compensation. I am 100% disabled vet. Agent Orange can cause diabetes as can other chemicals the military used.

john k