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Is it better to push or baby after EPF?

Posted by april l on 1/29/04 at 21:23 (143217)

I had EPF surgery on my left foot in august. I have been struggling with even more severe pain than prior to the surgery. That is up until lately, when I started back to work. I'm a waitress and on my feet for hours. Although I only work a few days a week, while at work I must stand and walk for 4-5 hours with no breaks to sit down. So it has been rough and I've been in such severe pain during and right after work that I've been practically in tears! But, I have noticed that the next morning the pain is less severe than on the days I don't work. I've also started walking a couple miles a few days a week and I notice less pain then too. Anyway, my first podiatrist once told me 'use it or lose it'. He was the one who did surgery on my other foot 6 yrs ago. He said walk on it...go back to work right away etc. I'm wondering if after the initial healing it might be best to really get back to being on our feet, even if it hurts bad. I've been back working a month now and it just strikes me that my foot could feel BETTER the day after such agony of pushing myself to walk on it while in pain.

Re: Is it better to push or baby after EPF?

CarlW on 1/30/04 at 13:25 (143261)

Hi April,

A good topic for discussion. I had my surgery (open) in November. My surgeons thoughts where to be none weight bearing for approx 5 weeks and then to start getting agressive with it.

He feels that a relatively high level of activity is required to properly re allign the scar tissue that forms after surgery and inactivity. He has encouraged me to push through moderate pain. I have done some net searching on tissue remodelling after injury and the general consensus appears to be that activity within reasonable pain tolerance and mobility the sooner the better is the new standard.

Their were some interesting studies involving mice where the splinted the legs of some mice after breaking their legs (poor mice) and left some to hobble on their own. The mice without the splints actually fared better.

I think the hard part is deciding what is a reasonable pain tolerance and having the right balance between rest and activity. I dont think you can fully heal any tissue by simply resting it. The scar tissue that forms will not remodel into healthy tissue without activity.

I would say listen to your body and work within your pain tolerance.

CarlwW

Re: Is it better to push or baby after EPF?

CarlW on 1/30/04 at 13:35 (143262)

An interesting link on tissue remodelling

http://www.musc.edu/orthosurg/research/orthojournal99/article99_10.htm

Re: Is it better to push or baby after EPF?

april l on 2/03/04 at 16:46 (143573)

Thank you, very interesting to read.