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I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

Posted by jeffery on 5/16/04 at 19:27 (150676)

have suffered for 5 years from TTS in both my feet. I just got diagnosed about three days ago. I am still in shock, every doctor I have been to for the last five years have told me I have plantar fasceitis. I have had every kind of treatment ;Stretching every 2 hours, 8 pars of orthodics, night splints, tennis ball message, antioferisis(I don't know how to spell it), ultra-sound, orthotripsy/shockwave theripy, ice/heat, elastic foot wraps.

Both my feet have gotten progressivly worse, and now I am on 5 vicodin, 2 pamolar(anti-depressant used for chronic pain), and bextra(anti-inflamitory)a day. I still have pain and I am so tired from all the medicine I just want to lay around all day. I have lost jobs and friends from the cripling pain. I even considered suicide at times, the pain has gotten that bad. I have had to crall around on my hands and knees at home, and take showers on a stool. The only thing that has kept my going is the dog I adopted a year and a half ago. His name is Oscor he is a yellow lab, I got him when he was just 6 weeks old. I have been on pain meds for the last year so I get to take him to the park, he loves the water and to find sticks 3x as big as him. I am a broken man, this experience has been so humbling. I am 29 and had to move back in with my parents last year. I want my life back, I want to not have to take all the pain killers. I made the descision about a week ago to look into haveing a fasciotomy( I thought I had plantar fasceitis) and made about four appointments to see different doctors, I wanted to see what they all said, I wanted a doctor with a lot of experience. The first doctor I went to listened to my story and started tapping on the inside of my foot right behind my ankle. I felt these electrical pulses shoot through my foot all the way to my toes. He said I might have tarsal tunnel syndrome. I had no idea what he was talking about. He suggested I get a nerve test done, they made an appointment for me to have the test done on a monday. The next day I had another appointment to see a different doctor. He also listened to my story and started tapping on the insde of my leg. The same thing, a shot of electricity into my feet. He said I might have TTS and shedualed me to have a nerve test done upstairs an hour later. The results were positive I showed sighns of TTS. The second doctor I saw schedualed me for surgery(a nerve release) the next wed the 19th. I am just having my right foot done so I can get around but I won't be able to drive for about three weeks. The reason we decided surgery is because I have had so many treatments for plantar fasceitis and the treatment for pantar fasceitis is pretty much the same for TTS. I do feel like I have been let down by all the doctors I have seen the last 5 years. TTS is such an easy diagnosis, I can't believe no doctor has ever tested me for it. It is rare though maybe some of the doc's have have never heard of it. If anyone has had this surgery I would like to hear about it, I am worried that it is going to get worse. Then again I don't think it could get any worse. I have said that to doctors this last week, they laugh and say trust me it could. Maybe it could maybe cronic back pain or other kind of cronic pain that has no cure. I gues it is in the eye of the beholder, on my pain ometer I am maxed out, as well as ay spirit, I guess that is what I have really lost my will, my belief that I am going to get better, I have been let down and disappointed so many times, I have just given up hope. Althought this diagnosis of TTS does spark some kind of hope, hope in a treatment, because it is hard to treat an illness without a diagnosis. Well say a prair for my and wish me luck. :-)

Re: Hang in there

Steve G on 5/16/04 at 23:43 (150685)

Jeff - you post about your plight (and your dog) brought tears to my eyes. We have just got a new puppy and I know how that kind of unconditional love can make a difference in your life. The fact that you have had a firm diagnosis, makes a definite difference. You will need an MRI to determine if there is a 'space occuping lesion' in your tarsal tunnel. The surgery has a much higher success rate if they can see something pressing on the nerve. I would not jump into surgery to soon, and some of the folks on this board can talk to you about other TTS treatment options you might want to explore e.g., compression socks, injections, etc

I would do a search on this board and see what else you can learn about the condition and the options you might want to explore -- just put tarsal tunnel in the search option and see what you can get from it.

- best of luck

Re: the 19th

Steve G on 5/16/04 at 23:47 (150686)

I see that the date is Wednesday - that seems a quick jump to surgery if you were diagnosed a few days ago - especially if you have not had an MRI. I think I would postpone the surgery and see if there is not some other treatment you can explore before you choose surgery. I say this because, frankly, without a mass pressing on the nerve, the surgery does not have a very high success rate

Re: the 19th

jeffery on 5/17/04 at 00:28 (150688)

I have had an MRI and nothing showed up, this was about a year ago and I have been suffering for 5 years. I have had 2 cortizone shots in both feet and that didn't work either. The pain is so unberable that honestlt if I had the choice to end this crazy nightmare I would. I couldn't possibly hurt myself, that would be so selfish, I just have no hope left in me. The only real hope I have is this surgery, and if it doesn't work I will have a nerve block this my effect the way I walk but if it stops the insistant pain then I will do it. I want to get on with my life.

Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

Karole M on 5/17/04 at 11:41 (150707)

I am so sorry for your unfortunate situation. I agree with the others that you need to postpone this surgery and get more definitive results before going forward. My best to you and you are in my prayers.

Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

John Martello on 5/17/04 at 18:59 (150730)


I har you loud and clear as i am young too only 33. I have heard too many people with bad outcomes with this surgery, but i did have a neurologist in my area tell me its a 50/50 surgery. He knew someone who did well with the surgery and i knew someone who did not. theres your 50/50. Get more evidence from nerve test, go to PAIN MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST BEFORE YOU LET THEM CUT YOU OPEN !!!!!

Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

Dr. Z on 5/17/04 at 20:31 (150733)

I agree with Jeff. A pain managment specialist can rule out lower back involvment. He will do an epidural injection which could either resolve or help to figure out what is going on. I finde that bilateral or TTS in both feet is rare.

Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

Ann L on 5/18/04 at 11:41 (150756)

Dr Z,

Although bilateral TTS may be considered rare, it certainly is not out of the realm. I had surgery for bilateral TTS and PF. My aunt also had surgery on both feet, although she had them operated on about 8 or so years apart. This is not the norm, but as far as my case goes, problems started with one foot. As things progressed with my first foot, I began to develop problems with my other foot. I finally decided to have surgery when it became even more difficult to walk because both feet were involved and I could no longer tolerate the pain.


Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

Terri on 5/18/04 at 19:25 (150791)

John, so good to hear from you again. I take it from your message you went to a pain mgmt specialist too? How are you doing now?

Jeffrey, I really do hope you wait on this surgery. Believe me, we've all been where you are, feeling this is finally something I can DO for this, even if we're not sure it's going to work. I had surgery on my right foot Jan. 2nd of this year. Went thru hell and back up until the past couple of weeks. I was scheduled to have surgery on the left foot this month and cancelled it. Due to the work of a gifted trainer/physical therapist I am now doing so much better, I just can't believe it. Are you taking any supplements? PLEASE re-think having surgery tomorrow!

Re: Terri Hello

John Martello on 5/19/04 at 07:44 (150817)


Glad to hear you are improving. Waht exaclty did this gifted physical therapist do that you think made a differnece in your pain reduction? Specific Exercises? Stretching? Thanks

Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

Jo B. on 5/19/04 at 18:45 (150882)

Jeffrey, I too have bi-lateral TTS. I suffered with painful feet for almost 3 years and was just recently diagnosed. The doc tried me with orthodics (and they didn't help) and I've been going to physical therapy for about 4 months. I had a NCV tes with positive results. I am having an MRI done Tuesday and the doc said to think about surgery. It had gotten so bad, that I had problems walking and was falling a lot. The therapy has helped some, because I also had tendonitis in both feet. It has help that, but not the TSS.

Hang in there and good luck!

Re: the 19th

Mona on 5/20/04 at 18:04 (150925)


I was in terrible pain, too, before my TTS surgery on Dec. 10th. I hadn't been able to walk for weeks before the surgery. Now it has been about 5 months and I can walk (not run) and do some shopping and walking. I don't have the severe pain in my foot anymore but do have a lot of discomfort if I do too much. So I take it easy and do more sitting than I like. But at least the terrible pain is gone! Yea! I did have two vericose veins pressing the nerve near my ankle.

I had the foot pain for five years before it was diagnosed. Once again it was diagnosed as Plantar fascitis but nothing worked or helped much.

Now I need to wear really good shoes or sneakers - can't walk barefooted and must limit myself to standing or walking. Every month I seem to do a bit better.

At one point I was sooooo depressed and went on an anti-depressant. I had never been depressed in my life. Terrible feeling. The pills help - prozac. I feel much more positive.

It's not easy but what other choice do we have?? Hang in there and rent a funny movie! Hang around positive people - try to find the humor in all of this. Hopefully you have a good support system. Let them read this web site and maybe it will help them understand what we are going through. You're not alone.


Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

jeffery on 5/25/04 at 05:26 (151174)

How long ago did you have your surgery? How are doing now?

Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

Ann L on 5/25/04 at 13:24 (151209)


I had surgery on Feb 16 - 14 weeks ago yesterday. I still have a way to go on my recovery. I had both feet operated on and before surgery, I had worn braces on my ankles so I could work. I spent over a year with a brace on my left ankle, over 6 months on my right. My muscles in my feet and ankles are weak, but I am in physical therapy to strengthen them. I can tell I am getting stronger, but I have a lot of pain if I am on my feet too long. I am not back to work yet. I am a nurse, and I spend the majority of my shift on my feet. My doc and I had originally projected at least 12 weeks off; so far, I am not too much past that, but don't think I am quite ready to try to work. I do feel there is a change in the type of pain I have, tho. I return to my doc on Thursday to decide what to do now. I feel I need to continue strenghthening excercises in PT and hold of on working till my endurance is better.


Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

jeffery on 5/27/04 at 15:06 (151399)

Ann thank you so much for sharing this with me. I couldn't amagine having both feet done at once, both of my feet show signs of TTS as well. So I also will be having the left foot done. I think I am going to wait a few months though. Personally this is all a waist of time for me. If I had it my way I would have the nerve that leads into my heel cut, I would have no pain for sure and still should be able to walk. That is the sceptic in me, I have to think more positive, after a month or two I think I will show signs of benefit from this surgery. Let me know how you are doing :-)

Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

Ann L on 6/05/04 at 23:41 (152141)


Sorry I took a while to respond, but I kind of find myself in a holding pattern. I, like you, am relatively young to be dealing with this (tho ever so slightly older than you - 36). I still am continuing my physical therapy; as I said before, I had alot to overcome post surgery. It was very difficult having both feet done at one time, but both feet hurt to such an extent before surgery that it would have been worthless to me to do just one foot and have to have surgery on the other foot immediately following. As I have said before, I work on my feet and it would mean that much longer off my feet. At this point, I still am unable to work, but I am still hopeful that following a few more weeks of therapy I will be much more prepared to work.

Like you, I wish there was such an 'easy' answer to our unique problem as to just cut the nerve and be done with it, but it unfortunately is not that simple. Thru my weeks of physical therapy, I have dealt with several physical therapists - our outpatient unit swaps out with the inpatient unit every month - and I just started with a new therapist. One test he had me do to check where I was in therapy was actually unique to him in my dealings - my third therapist. He checked to see how long I could stand on 1 foot with my eyes closed - a whopping 3.5 seconds average on each foot. This is called proprioception - knowing where a body part is with your eyes closed - which is actually a test they do to see if you are drunk in the case of possible DWI. I fail miserably stone cold sober! And the less feeling you have in your feet, the harder it is to keep your balance - the less feeling you have, the harder it is to know where the body part is in relation to the rest of your body.

Anyhow, even tho I did not actually have my nerve cut with my surgery, I cannot imagine how many more obstacles I would have to overcome if I had to throw that into the mix. All I can say for certain at this point is that the recovery is lengthy and that much patience is required. I am still hoping my patience can hold out long enough for my feet to improve. I am not looking for complete healing, because at this point I am not so optimistic to expect that, but do continue to hope for some semblance of a 'normal' life following surgery. I wish you luck in your recovery and will try to keep you posted as I venture on this wonderful (?!) journey we find ourselves on.


Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

sylverstrk on 2/01/07 at 19:10 (221338)

Lots of luck, getting worse? I don't know! I do know about suicide, and which would be better. again, I don't know! I do know about crawling around like a dog, and I do know about loss of freinds and jobs, loss of sleep. everything is lost; even Dr's give up, pain persists and that s the only thing that does. But not my prayers for you and me.

Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

Ralph on 2/02/07 at 08:44 (221369)

Sometimes when you feel down you need to post to Hope on the Social Board. Hope suffers from RSD which came following several different surgeries after she sprained her ankle.

TTS is certainly a painful condition and RSD is also high in the ranks when it comes to pain too.

Sometimes talking to others who are experiencing sever pain helps.

I'm certainly not a doctor but in your post you say 'I even considered suicide at times, the pain has gotten that bad'. If this is the case you need to see a counselor or Psychiatrist. It's not uncommon for people who have chronic pain to also have depression.

This condition is treatable. Why suffer from two painful conditions when one can be easily treated.

It's my prayer that your surgery for TTS goes well and you get pain relief. It's also my prayer that you seek help if indeed you have
thought about suicide. When someone tells you this it's not something to be taken lightly. Let a professional decide if treatment is necessary but please go and see one.

Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

Julie on 2/02/07 at 11:48 (221385)

Ralph, don't be surprised or upset if you don't get a response or a thank you from Jeffery for your kind post to him. You didn't notice that his own post was written two and a half years ago. He posted several times after that, but not since Auust 2004.

Let's hope he is out there living his life and not needing to ost on message boards any more!

Re: I have surgery on wed the 19th, is this going to get worse?

Rez on 3/01/07 at 17:21 (223958)

My story is so similar to Jeffery except for the suiside part. It's been over five years since I've been diagnosed with PF on both feet. I just had PF surgery (traditional way - open - cutting the fascia by 2/3)on my left foot three months ago and the pain is even worse of my left.I am in pain on both feet as soon as I'm on my feet. I've gone thru five DPM, none, I mean none of them even had mentioned or teted me for TTS. Today I hapen to run into site and have a feeling I also have TTS . I am so frustrated, however now there is a glimpse of hope that it may be TTS. Please let me know how your treatment/surgery has gone and wheather I need to go the sixth podiatrist or I need to see a foot and surgeon or what have you for diagnosis.