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Surgery Recovery

Posted by Claire on 4/07/04 at 07:44 (148515)

Hello everyone. I had surgery in the UK on March 25th. The first week of recovery was very painful and my foot is extremly swollen still. My surgeon has suggested that any level of pain at this stage is normal. I am still in pain but it is not acute, more uncomfortable, although i am still have disturbed night and am still on painkillers. I was just wondering how everybody else's recovery has gone? I have been following Elaine T and seen her(hello Elaine) recovery has been great, i don't feel i have the same positve results has her (you) yet, but it is great to hear someone doing so well. The surgery revealed that there was not an obvious obstruction although one of my nerves was being held back and i had some fibrous tissue but not an awful lot. So it would be great to hear from anyone who has had surgery and how your recovery has gone? Many thanks.

Re: Surgery Recovery

Mailman on 4/07/04 at 11:32 (148524)

It hasn't even been a month. You need to think more positively. While my results have not been terribly positive, i have had 3.5 months to heal. All I have to say, move move move. I wish I had more positive thoughts, but walking all day on concrete for years, I have a hard time thinking positively. Get out there mentally and physically. Sleep deprivation and depression really negatively impact the healing process.
Best of luck.

Re: Surgery Recovery

chrisb on 4/07/04 at 12:42 (148531)

Claire good to hear from you. You ask for recovery stories so here's mine:
I had my surgery 3 weeks ago (March 18) and as in your case, the doc didn't find an obvious growth or varicose vein, etc. However he found that I have an unusual number of calcaneal nerves tight in the tunnel and that may explain the pain I was having. I say 'was having' because I'm cautiously optimistic that this may have worked. Sounds like your surgeon removed tissue to free your nerves, similar to what my surgeon did.

I too had painful swelling for the first two weeks -- over the past (3rd) week this has diminished and is no longer painful, although it still reddens (and then purples) if I have my foot down for more than a very few minutes. So swelling is not unusual -- if you want to cheer yourself up, do a search on this site for 'stitches out' and you'll find that although some people had little swelling, others have had swelling that lasted beyond week 3. I had my stitches out today and my doc here (not the surgeon) explained that there are only two ways your body can get rid of fluid & blood thats causing the swelling. One is to elevate the foot. The other is to walk which helps the blood vessels circulate. So when you're allowed to start weight-bearing you should find more relief -- meanwhile elevate, elevate, elevate.
During my worst swelling I took ibupfofen 200mg 3 times a day (with my surgeon's approval) and I think this helped get it under control.

I just moved back home today (a house with 3 flights of stairs to the bathroom that I was avoiding til my stitches came out) and it feels so good to be home. The cat is delighted to see us. I'm starting to flex my foot a little, and getting up and down stairs on 2 canes. Tomorow 1 cane. I've ditched the walker. I'll use crutches if I go out.
My heel is partly numb and feels like walking on a folded sock, but the past couple of days the feeling is starting to return a tiny bit. The big question: will it return as normal sensation, or as the pain I had before?
Different surgeons seem to have different protocols -- are you permitted to put weight on it yet, or do you wait until stitches come out? What I mean is, can you tell yet if surgery may have helped?
Good luck. Be patient. keep your foot and spirits up.

Re: Surgery Recovery

Claire on 4/07/04 at 16:17 (148548)

Thanks Mailman i shall try to be more positve although when you read about the figures related to this type of surgery it is hard. Also here in the uk we do not have the necessary equipment in place nor drugs to aid the recovery period or to determine if it actually is TTS. These three things together do not make me feel very postive. I still have the same pain as before the surgery although it is heightened as a result of surgery. I have stabbing pains/shooting pains in certain areas and also tingling/numbeness etc. For now i can not walk but as of week on friday i will be able to.
Why do you say your surgery has not been particularly positive?

Re: Surgery Recovery

Claire on 4/07/04 at 16:25 (148549)

Hi Chris. Thanks for your advice. I've been following your recovery period too and am glad to hear from you. I also have the same pains as i was experiencing before the surgery, shooting pains/stabbing pains in particular areas of my foot, along with the usual numbing and tingling etc. I do not feel we have the necessary medical recsources in the UK to make a definate diagnosis, as my consultant said, unfortunately in this country i am in a minority so we do not have the same medical resources as the US. Did you still have the same pains after surgery for the first few weeks as before the surgery or did they disapear? Well it sounds like your recovery is going well and i'm glad you are back in your usual surroudings, must be a bonus. At the moment i am still in the same level of pain as before the surgery but my consultant reassured me that anything is normal at this early stage, i'm keeping my fingers crossed and trying not to get depressed and think positively. Do you think the suregry has helped?

Re: Surgery Recovery

Elaine T on 4/07/04 at 17:39 (148552)

Hi Claire - my recovery from the surgery is going great, but my TTS symptoms are pretty much the same, so far. I still have the numbness in my foot, although I feel the beginning of feeling being restored to my big toe, and my tinel sign is gone. I'm having more pins an needles than I had before the surgery, but that's to be expected, because this is nerve surgery. I won't know yet for some time whether or not the TTS is gone, it takes a long time for nerves to regenerate.

I had my surgery on March 8th, and needed pain medication for over three weeks. Claire, your recovery sounds right on schedule, but remember it's recovery from surgery, not from TTS, that takes much longer.

I hope you'll continue to keep us posted on you progess.

Re: Surgery Recovery

chrisb on 4/08/04 at 08:49 (148583)

Actually Claire I'm in Canada. But yes, the problem is that this is not a common medical condition and local expertise is rare.
In my case I won't know if the surgery has helped until I can attempt to walk 1000 yards. It was the case before surgery that sometimes my first few steps in the morning were relatively painless for the first couiple of minutes. And I figure I've been off my foot now for 3 weeks, so maybe its like that. And so the jury is out until I can start to walk.

Do keep your spirits up. I think with this surgery we just have to go through a couple of months recovery to know what the results are. Try to get the swelling down.