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3 days after surgery

Posted by Mandy M on 3/26/04 at 13:16 (147846)

I posted a message a little over a week ago for advice on surgery and recovery. I had my surgery done on Tuesday for Tarsal Tunnel, and the doctor told me it was very successful. I actually had a lot of extra tissue around my muscle in my arch, which was putting pressure on both my nerves and my artery that run through there. My recovery has been going pretty well...today is the first day that I've really moved around. Its just very difficult because of the intense throbbing in my foot when I walk with crutches. Does anyone know when that should start to die down? Also, another concern I have is that I have absolutely no feeling in my foot from the back of my arch to the tip of my big toe...and also no feeling in my pinky toe. I thought I should call the doctor, but my mom says thats probably normal since they did nerve work. Anyone with knowledge on that please let me know! The doctor says my recovery should go well and quickly since I'm young (17) and healthy, but from the looks of my foot now I dont know when I'll be walking again! (is the cut supposed to be so long?!) Anyway, any advice or tips would help...hope to hear from someone soon. Thanks!
Mandy M

Re: 3 days after surgery

Elaine T on 3/26/04 at 13:37 (147854)

Hi Mandy, that throbbing is normal after surgery on any extremity. Since it very important to keep your foot elevated, when you stand up, and the foot goes down, that throbbing is the blood rushing back in. Just keep still for a couple seconds and it will go away. I had that for about a week; it hurts, but does go away.

The lack of feeling could be from long-acting, local anesthetic. My surgeon injected me, and others here had the same thing. It's supposed to last 48 hours, but mine lasted almost four days. I don't think your surgeon would mind if you called him to ask about the numbness.

Yes, the cut is pretty long, they want to make sure they explored the entire area completely.

I was allowed to start walking after two weeks. I've now been walking for four days, and amazed at how easy it is.

Hang in there; it sucks big time, but it gets better.

Re: 3 days after surgery

Mandy M on 3/26/04 at 13:44 (147858)

Its good to know that you're walking after two weeks...hopefully I'll be walking then too! The throbbing I experience when I stand up only gets worse the longer I stand up. Hopefully it will go away soon though, it seems to be getting better every day. I was put to sleep for my surgery, I didnt have local anesthetic (unless the doctor gave me an injection while I was asleep) Maybe I should call to ask just to be sure. Was your foot extremely 'tingly' after your surgery? It seems like every time I touch it, it feels like your elbow does when you hit your funny bone. Is that normal? THanks for the advice and support! Hope to talk to you soon!

Re: 3 days after surgery

Elaine T on 3/26/04 at 14:01 (147866)

Yes, I'm still tingly. Rememer, we had surgery on nerves, and they nerves get very upset when they've been operated on. I was put to sleep also, and the injection was given before I woke up. The recovery room nurse told me about it. I really don't think your doctor would mind a call.

Although I'm walking, the rest of the time I'm still sitting my foot elevated, so I'm here, ask whatever you want. Without the folks on this message board, I wouldn't have had anyone to 'talk' to.

Re: 3 days after surgery

DonnaO on 3/26/04 at 14:52 (147869)

Mandy, I am glad to hear you are doing well after surgery. I think what you are experiencing is normal at this stage. For a day or two after the surgery, I could hardly feel my feet when I got up to use the restroom. As the days went on, I gradually felt my feet more. I think this varies from person to person. You will probably feel different sensations as you continue to make progress (i.e. nerve sensations when you stroke your skin with your finger, some tingling, tightness etc.) I have that to an extent 6 weeks after surgery but the good news is it gradually decreases all the time. My doctor says it is normal at this stage.
For me, I found the first 2 weeks after surgery were the most stressful because I was focused on taking care of my incision area since I still had staples in. My incision is about 5 inches long. When I saw it for the first time when they changed the dressing 1 week post-op, it took me by surprise. It looks much better now without the staples and redness.
Hang in there! When you feel yourself getting discouraged about the recovery period, try to remember that each day means you are getting closer and closer because it is a process. Think positive thoughts, keep the CD player, books, telephone close, etc. and anything else that will help keep your spirits up. I am sure your doctor will not mind if you call him with any concerns. Good luck and let us know how you are doing.

Re: 3 days after surgery

chrisb on 3/26/04 at 17:30 (147887)

Mandy if I were you I'd give your doctor a call and ask about the numbness. I definitely would -- he/she did the surgery and wouldn't mind answering your questions I'm sure.
Liike Elaine, I can tell you that the swelling, blood rushing to your foot is what happens. I am a week post-surgery and only today can I begin to have my foot down for a few minutes sitting in a chair. Its extremely important to keep your foot elevated for the first week to ten days after surgery. You don't want the swelling to pop your stitches or anything. Besides its painful. Its certainly boring to just lie there with your foot up all the time, but get a book, turn on the tv, grab your laptop and settle in for another 5 days at least.

Hope you have a speedy recovery. Keep us up to date with your progress -- we had surgery only 4 days apart so we're not that far apart with the swelling thing.

Re: 3 days after surgery

Terri on 3/27/04 at 10:38 (147939)

Mandy, just as everyone else here has responded, most of what you are feeling is normal post-surgery. I'm 3 months post-op and still have just a little reduced feeling in the last 2 toes on my right foot. At times, even the top of my foot has pins & needles when I touch it and I'll swell around the ankle if I've been on my foot too much. I've brought all this up with my dr and he assures me it is normal....the nerves do not like to be messed with and healing in this area takes a long time. Even when you are back to walking 'normally' (whatever that is for those of us dealing with this!) you're still going to notice some strange aches and pains occasionally. Pay attention to them, of course, and report any concerns to your dr.

The most important thing you can do right now is elevate and ice. If you can't get an ice pack to penetrate your bandages, put it behind your knee.

My incision was just short of 5 inches long, starting from the side of the foot right above the middle of the arch, progressing in a semi-circle under the ankle to about an inch above it. We all seem to have varying lengths depending on the amount of area that needed to be worked on/in.

There will be times you'll feel this thing is just never going to get better, but you'll be surprised how quickly time passes. P.T. is no fun at first but stick with it. When my p.t. ended I hired one of their personal trainers that has structured a program that gives me a great challenge and cardio work without stressing my feet. He is also a therapist.

Keep us posted on how you're doing and don't hesitate to ask any questions. This a great group of people here.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Operation

ellenb on 3/27/04 at 12:55 (147957)

I have read your comments after surgery. I have been suffering in both feet for 5 yrs. and have already had a lower back disc replacement hoping that this would take care of the pain in my feet and pulsating in my calves with the calf cramps.

My question is if you suffered with calf cramps and pulsating calves before the surgery along with the tarsal tunnel problem. If so, did the pain in your calves disappear after the surgery?

I have the problem in both of my feet equally and have developed carpal tunnel syndrome in both of my hands. Does anyone know if this is all connected? It seems odd to have this is both feet and both hands.

Also, did you have trouble being diagnosed properly. I have been sent to many doctors for a billion tests but only lately has a podiatrist said that he THINKS I have tarsal tunnel in both feet.

I would very much appreciate your stories during your recovery period.

Thank you

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Operation

Mandy M on 3/27/04 at 16:09 (147971)

Often times my tarsal tunnel would wake me up in the middle of the night...it was an intense pain that would not easily go away. I have had the same problems with my calves, just waking up to intense pain from my calves cramping. I am not sure, however, if the pain is related. I never asked my doctor if that was one of he symptoms.

I saw 3 doctors before being diagnosed with tarsal tunnel. The first thought that I had damage to my posterior tibial tendon, but tests proved I did not, so my doctor told me that I just had a 'big muscle' in my foot. (my arch area was HUGE)

The second doctor suggested tarsal tunnel, but referred me to a more experienced doctor in that disorder. The 3rd doctor ran a series of tests on me, which were pretty much inconclusive, but still thought I had tarsal tunnel. I opted for surgery after trying other things, and turns out tarsal tunnel is what I had.

I'm not sure if this will help, but those were my symptoms and my couse of action towards getting diagnosed. I only had my surgery tuesday, so I havent been able to see the results of my surgery, but my doctor seems to think that I will recover well and no longer have foot pain. Hope this helps, feel free to ask anymore questions!