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Any Advice? Getting surgery in 6 days! :(

Posted by Mandy M on 3/17/04 at 21:48 (147202)

I am getting surgery for TTS in 6 days...and I'm considering chickening out on having it done. I am only 17, and have had tarsal tunnel for 2 years. How long is the average recovery? How painful is it in the first few days after surgery? Also...I am concerned about the burning pain I feel on the outside of my foot, rather than the inside. Is this normal for TTS? Anyone who could help me understand better, please do so! :)

Re: Any Advice? Getting surgery in 6 days! :(

Renee S on 3/18/04 at 09:53 (147207)

Mandy have you gotten a second opinion? I don't know much about TTS but a 2nd and 3rd opinion never hurts. It seems that people that had TTS surgery had a pretty long recovery time, but as I said I don't know much about TTS. What kind of treatments have you tried before you decided to op for surgery? The message board has been pretty quiet but I'm sure that someone that has more knowledge than me will answer your questions soon.

Re: Any Advice? Getting surgery in 6 days! :(

DonnaO on 3/18/04 at 15:01 (147228)

Hi Mandy,
My post is long but I hope it helps. I am 29 and had TTS (both feet)on February 13 of this year. I began noticing symptoms back in July with tingling and pain in my right foot so I went to my doctor. After cortisone injections, exercises, medications, etc. over the course of the following months as well as increased burning, electrical sensations, etc., I had a Nerve Conduction Velocity test in December to be sure it was TTS. It came back positive in both feet. When the other treatments weren't successful, we agreed it was time to go through with the surgery. I am a third grade teacher so I was also concerned about the recovery time. This post may be a bit long but may be encouraging:
Immediately following surgery, my feet were put in orthopedic walking boots (with bandaging underneath). The first week+ 1/2 was the hardest for me. However, I didn't think the pain was unbearable. The first 48 hours, I was told to take it easy and elavate my feet. The third day, I was encouraged to use the walker and put a little (not complete) weight on my feet when I got up to use the bathroom. When I went to the doctor 1 week post-op, he put new dressing on the feet and told me I could take the boots off to sleep but not to walk around. My staples and dressing were removed at my 2 week post-op visit and I was able to wear white socks under the boot. I was given light point and flex exercises to do at home and was encouraged to walk around a bit more w/o the walker (to help decrease tightness) but still in boots. I still used the walker when I had to leave the house for doc appt, etc. for extra support. Yesterday was my 4 1/2 week post op visit and he wants to begin weaning me off the boots gradually where I wear comfortable New Balance shoes with the walker at home to get back my normal walking gait but still wear the boots when I am outside the house and out in public.
You will probably feel a lot of numbness and tingling in the foot at first that will gradually get better throughout the weeks. Right now, most of the numbness/tingling is in the tips of the toes and the top/inner foot.
Don't rush back into your normal routine and give yourself time to heal. I tried going back to teaching 2 weeks after the surgery but realized after a few days that I needed additional time off. I feel that is also helping with my recovery. The doctor said it usually takes about 8 weeks to get over the biggest hump of the recovery but to still watch activities in the months following. If I had to do it again, I would/
Each patient and doctor is different. I hope my experience is helpful. I definitely sympathize with your pain and can't imagine how you coped with it for 2 years. Go with your gut feeling with what is right for you and it will help with your decisions. You will be in my prayers and good luck with what you decide. Let us know how you are doing.

Re: Any Advice? Getting surgery in 6 days! :(

Dr. Z on 3/18/04 at 16:14 (147235)

I have never heard of someone soooo young with TTS. TTS is usually on the inside of your ankle. It is a nerve entrapment on the inside of your ankle bone. Get a second opinion if you are concerned

Re: Any Advice? Getting surgery in 6 days! :(

Mandy M on 3/18/04 at 19:16 (147245)

I have recieved 2 opinions...and on the second one the doctor made the decision with 3 other orthopeodics. I have not tried other treatments (injections, etc.) because the doctors have always told me that they were temporary, and that since I am so young and active, I should go ahead and opt for surgery.

Re: Any Advice? Getting surgery in 6 days! :(

Mandy M on 3/18/04 at 19:22 (147246)

Thank you so much for the advice, your post wasnt too long at all. It seems encouraging that you are experiencing relief in this stage of recovery...everyone else that I've read about seems to not recover fast at all. I am in season for soccer right now, but of course can not play. I was planning on being able to play in the last games of the season (end of may) but I dont know how fast I will recover...I was hoping it would truly be a fast revovery, but maybe not as fast as I expected. I really think that I need the surgery, its just such a hard time because after the surgery I will not be able to drive, I wont be able to work, or play soccer...it just seems like such a hassle. But hopefully all will go well! Thanks again for the support, I'll let you know how it goes! :)

Re: Any Advice? Getting surgery in 6 days! :(

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/18/04 at 23:47 (147281)

Did you have an NCV (Nerve Conduction Velocity) test?

Re: Any Advice? Getting surgery in 6 days! :(

Lari S on 3/19/04 at 11:11 (147303)

I had TTS done in October 2003. I think you will find that recovery times are as individual as people's feet. My doc had me off my feet for the first 2 weeks, then crutches/walker with little weight bearing for another month. I found that frozen bags of peas under my knee really helped the swelling the first few days after surgery. At first, make sure you take your pain meds, even if you feel like you could skip a dose. The pain can suddenly take off, and it's so much harder to get it under control.
Like you, I had burning pain on the outside of my foot running down from the little toe and also from the arch across. I also have PF. I was told for years that it was diabetic neuropathy. I finally had a nerve conduction test and they found I had TTS and a lot of blockage, not DN. After undergoing all the other options, I was left with surgery or endure the increasing pain. Since I was to the point of not being able to stand a sheet on my foot at night, much less wear a shoe, I opted for the surgery. I wish I would have done it years ago. They found that I had a very small aneurism (sp?) on the artery which could have gone unnoticed without the surgery, 3 vericose veins and the the ligaments had started to shred. I have an extremely high arch, and not enough support under it, so it was constantly keeping the foot in pain as I walked. Being a type 1 diabetic, I was hesitant to under go the surgery. I had a long recovery due to a severe infection (while on antibiotics), but am happy to say that it was worth it. I'm wearing shoes again and enjoying the activities I had given up. I've had orthotics made and got orthopedic athletics shoes. I also got some boots so I could ride my motorcycles again. I haven't been on one of my bikes for over 4 years because the pain was too bad. My husband and I are thrilled that we are once again able to do a lot of the things we had given up.

Keep us posted and let us know how you are doing.


Re: Any Advice? Getting surgery in 6 days! :(

Mandy M on 3/20/04 at 08:53 (147381)

Yes, I had a nerve conduction study done, but the doctor told me that all that the test would show is nerve damage...and supposedly I do not have nerve damage, my nerve just has extreme amounts of pressure on it.