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Winter/Spring surgeries

Posted by chrisb on 5/25/04 at 15:01 (151221)

Hi folks. I know there are several of us on this board who had surgery this Winter & Spring and I'm curious about how we're all doing.

My operation was March 18 from Dr Dellon in Baltimore. I'd been given a 90% chance that the surgery would fix my problem. 9 weeks later I still have heel pain which feels very like the pain I had before, but I'm refusing to give up hope and am trying to convince myself that something has changed. Even though it doesn't feel like it yet. Surgery was the last best hope for me and its GOT to work.
Weight-bearing seems to be the problem for me -- like before surgery. On good days in the past month I've gotten around the house carefully without a cane, on bad days not. Going out still means a cane or crutches to get 50 yards. Swelling is still an occasional problem. I don't have pain at rest, but I never did unless I had overdone things.

What's your experience been with physiotherapy? My doc recommended no physio except water-walking. I've been doing that and swimming, but I'm wondering if I should investigate physio at this point, after 9 weeks. For those of you who are doing pt, what kinds of things are you doing? Is there a particular pt regimen for TTS?
What about massaging your scar? Is this recommended? How do you tell if your scar needs it? Should I be looking out for scar tissue flexibility on the surface, or is it under the skin that is important? Is there a danger of pressing too heavily on the tarsal area, etc?
I wish you all the absolute best of luck and hope you're recovering.

Re: Winter/Spring surgeries

lauriel on 5/25/04 at 18:26 (151247)

Chris I had TTS surgery 12/02. I cant say on what you should do since from what i have read here Dr dellon does a very different type of surgeryfrom anyone else and they way he rehabilitates is also very different. I think he wants the person to get immediately weight bearing after surgery to get the nerves going. Most other Drs say just the oppposite. I am real curious about this.

I was non-weight bearing 4 weeks started PT at 6 weeks. I wasnt even allowed to get my incision in the tub for like 6 weeks. One of my PT was massaging my incision a certain way (I mean not just massaging but a special techniques to keep scar tissue from forming which is the #1 reason why TTS surgery fails. My PT for me was crucial to my healing process

I never had heel pain from TTS, but I did when I first start to walk, it was the strangest nerve feeling type of pain. it took about 3 weeks to go away. I was on crutches for almost 4 months, just because of the pain if I would walk short distances. this type of surgery can take months to heal so dont get discouraged.

As for my scar area, I thought mine looked pretty darn good, and I had a new pt tell me no - there was some starting to build up, he said see how when you take your thumbs up one side and down the other there is little movement in a particular area. well that is the way he massaged too.


Re: Winter/Spring surgeries

mary l on 5/26/04 at 09:16 (151279)

I had surgery 3/24. I still have a lot of the symptoms that I had before the surgery. The numbness and some pain. My pain is greatest at night after over doing it during the day. My MD had me on my feet 9 days after surgery with a boot. I stopped using the boot about 2 weeks later and with a good pair of tennis shoes and a store bought orthodic ( I am having orthodics made for me soon) I could get around with no problems. When I don't wear shoes my foot aches ( I walked bare foot all the time). I started PT about 3 weeks after the surgery and I am happy I did. She showed me how to massage the scar and to keep the scar tissue from forming. She puts electrodes on my foot and sends electric current to stimulate the nerves. She does ultrasound to break up scar tissue and massages the scar. I am hoping with time that I get better results. I hope the numbness will go away or a least get a little less. Does anyone else have numbness that has continued after the surgery and then has gone away or gotten better? I also still have swelling. Good Luck!

Re: Winter/Spring surgeries

Faye J on 5/27/04 at 11:49 (151387)

Well here I go again. I had tts surgery in 12/03 and Tue,5/25/04 I had the other foot done. Doctor said it looked just like the other foot but in reverce, I was able to go back to work on March 1st. with my other foot. Thank God I will have the summer to recope this time. I too had heal pain but it didn't last too long, I think all these little problems are a part of the program, they too will pass. Hope all are doing well, I haven't been on the board for awhile. Take care of yourselves. Faye J

Re: Winter/Spring surgeries

Claire on 5/28/04 at 02:22 (151449)

Hi Chris. How are you doing since the last time we spoke? I am back at work now and still on prescription painkillers. Getting around is alot easier but the pain is still there. The swelling around the incision is also still very visable, my consultant informed me it can take 3-4 months to go down. My surgeon also performed the dellon technique operation. I am starting physio next week and am suppsoed to do 20 minutes massage on the incision each day, which is very hard. I probably do 7-8 minutes a day. Take Care.

Re: Winter/Spring surgeries

chrisb on 5/28/04 at 12:27 (151480)

Good to hear from you all you folks. Claire I'm sorry to hear you're still on painkillers, but if you're getting around easier that sounds like progress at least. I'm not on painklillers (as long as I'm sitting things are painless) but I'm not getting around easier than before on my foot.

When you massage your incision, how much presure do you use? Is the idea to make the surface skin flexible on the scar itself, or is it to make the incision slide relative to the flesh underneath? (if you know what I mean). I understand the method is to make little opposing circles on either side of the incision with my fingers?
I'm thinking I may sign up for physio next week but I've been cautioned that physiotherapists sometimes get too aggressive with the tarsal area, and thats not good after surgery.

I had some swelling up until last week, but so far this week it seems much better. Funny -- with me the main swelling problem has been in my toe which is a foot away (sic) from the incision, a toe which I broke 20 years ago. Mary -- most of my numbness has gone, with a little numbness still where my instep meets my heel.

I'm trying to convince myself that something about the heelpain has changed, but I'm not sure if it has. I wish I knew whether I should pay attention to the pain when it gets bad and baby it with rest as I've been doing, or just damn the torpedoes and try walking 500 yards regardless.

Are the rest of you able to walk around the block without a cane or crutches?

Re: Winter/Spring surgeries

mary l on 5/28/04 at 14:41 (151494)

I have been walking a lot lately. At the end of the day I am hurting and I lay on the couch and watch TV. Tomorrow I am going to the Dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC. and a show at the MCI Center in the evening. This will definitely be a test. I feel I am up to it but the ice will be needed at night! Have a great Memorial Weekend!

Re: Winter/Spring surgeries

lauriel on 5/28/04 at 16:47 (151504)

Chris - you explained it better than I did, below what you said is how my PT showed me to massage my incision.

'or is it to make the incision slide relative to the flesh underneath? (if you know what I mean). I understand the method is to make little opposing circles on either side of the incision with my fingers?'

he said just massaging the area doesnt help