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Is it Possible?

Posted by New to TTS on 6/02/04 at 06:42 (151761)

Hello I am new to this board, and just come from my family doc, where he said I have TTS, and for me to stretch the achilles and my ankle to try to release some of the pressure on the nerve.

The question I have is if you are diagnosed with TTS does it automatically mean that eventually you will have to have surgery? Can you recover from this with rest, stretching and massaging the area?

The longer you wait the harder it will be to fix?

I am in NO pain, just some numbness, and i did tap the inside of my foot around the ankle and do feel a shocking sensation that radiates up to the ball of my foot. I am quite active, I coach my kids in basketball, baseball and football.. I also play basketball. I also wonder if playing sports will aggrivate the condition.

I will say this I did have some achilles pain for a long while, before the tingling numbness began. i think i have achilles tendonitis. My other foot seems to be fine. I have no pain but the numbness is at the ball of my left foot to my big toe, the toe next to my big toe is just tingly.

I have had ACL reconstruction, bone spur debreedment from both ankles and my knee, I have a partially torn rotator cuff on both shoulders.. you might say I have given my body a beating due to sports. I live with pain day to day, but numbness is something that is totally different and I really want to fix this WITHOUT surgery #6.

If any of you have any tips or suggestions please let me know and thanks for taking the time to read my post. (email removed)

Re: Is it Possible?

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/02/04 at 12:52 (151796)

Stretching is unlikely to have much of an effect. A change in shoegear, injections are conservative options for TTS.

Re: Is it Possible?

LARA on 6/02/04 at 18:07 (151826)

As best I understand it, TTS rarely cures itself without surgery. I believe with surgery there is a good chance (well over 50%, not real close to 95%) it will get better (sometimes permenantly, sometimes temporarily) after a long recuperation/rehabilitation period. There is significant chance it will be no worse, and there is a chance (I'm guessing around 10%) that it will get worse.

I have recently looked at some Eastern medicine for other chronic ailments, and do not know if they might have something to offer. If my TTS wasn't under control I'd probably be checking out what Eastern medicine had to offer.

However the fact that you can't be cured without surgery doesn't mean you will eventually have surgery. Some of us have chosen to modify our lives in order to avoid surgery and have a nice life - although we usually did not come to that place without fighting it, and it usually means a less active life - I note you seem to be an athlete and this part can be particularly difficult. I was just a week-end athlete and swore I would give up everything but tennis. I eventually gave up tennis.

Many of us have experienced exacerbation of the pain with massage.

You mentioned a lot of basketball. If you live near a NBA team, you might try to find out who the team doctor is. I suspect TTS is more prevalent among basketball players than many other sports (I understand basketball players have LOTS of feet problems).

Depending on the cause, compression socks can also be helpful for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. They were magic socks to me. My guess is they are most helpful with TTS with no known cause.

Re: Is it Possible?

marie on 6/02/04 at 19:41 (151837)

I have posted this several times...so I apologise to those that have already read this but I hope this will help 'New to TTS'.

This is what has helped me.

Physical Therapy

Ice (frozen peas work well) for swelling. About 5-10 minutes per ankle. Two-three times a day as needed.

Light stretches......very light.

Medications: Neurontin 300 mg 3x daily, 50 mg elavil

Vitamins that I sware by: MSM, Glucosamine, Vitamin C, Magnesium. Some have had success with vitamin B6 and 12.

Compression socks and mens support socks.

Birkenstock shoes. I am especially fond of Arizona and other soft bed styles.

Progesterone cream on my ankles and knees twice daily.

My hubby massages my meta tarsals, ankles, calves and thighs. At first this was done twice a day. Now I only ask for a massage once or twice a week. NEVER massage the tarsal area vigorously. My PT and I found that out the hard way. It was a major setback.

Some have had success with Ibuprofin creams.

Light non weight bearing exercises.

Distraction from pain. My brother, who has MS, suggested emmersing myself in activities or projects that would take my mind off my feet. It helped me maintain my sanity.
Creating this site has been one of my projects.

Everyone is different. What has helped me may not help you. Please feel free to add what has helped you.

best wishes marie

Re: Is it Possible?

New to TTS - james on 6/03/04 at 06:16 (151858)

Thanks to all that answered.. Looks like I have a long road ahead of me.. I have played basketball for about 25 years. one more question.. do you guys/gals have any pain? I have NONE at all, just a numbing sensation... will that change?

Prior to geting this I had been having a problem with my achilles tendon, i think it is swollen, when pressing on it the pain level is about a 9 out of 10. I am hoping that if some of the swelling goes down I will in turn remedy this problem. I did not twist my ankle at all, not sure how this pain occurred.

I put ice on my anle last night for the first time, and it brought back memories of the days when i had twisted my ankle at basketball camp and had to put my whole foot in a bucket of ice water...kinda makes you stomach turn..it eventually subsides. I think I will do the ice regemen 3-4 times a day, glucosamine, vioxx, aleve and some light stretching. can anyone describe the types of stretches to do? Calf stretches?

Thanks again, this site has been VERY HELPFUL.

Re: Is it Possible?

New to TTS - james on 6/03/04 at 06:39 (151859)

One more thing.. I cant give up basketball or being active.

Re: Is it Possible?

marie on 6/03/04 at 09:37 (151884)

You may have too. It's important and I will stress this EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to get off your feet and rest them. Talk with your doctor. Swimming is the best way to stay in shape.


This site has a free video on stretching. I just checked it and it is under construction so just check it periodically.


Re: Is it Possible?

elliott on 6/03/04 at 09:38 (151885)

Welcome to the board, James.

Hey, big guy, NOTHING--I repeat, NOTHING--will stop you from giving up basketball or being active. Unless of course, you reach the point where the slightest exercise leaves you writhing in pain for days, wishing you were dead. Then, you might just give it up. Never say never. :-)

Re: Is it Possible?

LARA on 6/03/04 at 09:54 (151888)

JAMES WROTE:One more thing.. I cant give up basketball or being active.

Don't blame you. That kind of active attitude will serve you well in finding out what to do and how to proceed and seeking out resources. Hopefully you won't have to, although you might want to consider taking it easy for awhile. If that's the case I highly recommend finding the closest NBA team and finding out who the team physician/orthopedist/podiatrist is.

I know that if I played the sports you do I don't think that I could continue playing basketball, but I can't see any reason why I couldn't still coach the kids, shoot baskets, work out in the gym. I have enough use of my feet for that although it took awhile for them to calm down, and I'd make sure to have my orthotics, compression socks, proper shoes, etc. I also will add that although I gave up sports that I loved, there are lots of ways to stay interesting and have a nice life, and if and when you get to that point you will find a way too.

Re: Is it Possible?

marie on 6/03/04 at 19:13 (151945)

Hey i'm with you all the way on that one elliott. I should have been a little clearer...stay off your feet until they heal and stay in shape by doing non weight baring exercise. I didn't think I'd ever shoot hoops or play pig again but today I can play a little. Keep your spirits up and follow your doctors orders.

Re: Is it Possible?

Julie on 6/04/04 at 01:26 (151977)

I hope you won't have to. But stepping back from them for the time being, until you've healed, may be your best chance of not having to give them up forever.

Re: Is it Possible?

New to TTS - james on 6/04/04 at 06:13 (151987)

Hey... Thanks to all of you that responded, I have a appointment with a ortho doc, who is a friend of the family to discuss my situation. i think my problem is a result of some swelling around my achilles area, and I need to find out why it is swollen, I have to admit i have cut back a little on my hoops. Will I start to experience pain? I only have the weird feeling of my toes, esp big toe feeling like there is tape around them. The numbness is at the ball of my foot, and I still have achilles pain. So hopefully the doc will be ablt to tell me more. I read in another place about cortesone injections, dont really want one as I have had a few in the past but that was for PAIN, and the pain usually returned within 4 months. I do see that my basketball days are coming to a end, I remember playing down at the college with all these old guys (35-45)in the gym, and thinking maan when i get to be their age I hope I am still able to run up and down the court and still play.. Mentally I am there, but I am not there physically. When i went to my family doc the nurse told me I was just a baby (meaning young), and i am thinking 'I am 37 and a baby?, how old are you?' :-)

I am so glad to have found this site and forum, it has really been a BIG help for me to understand what is happening to me. Thanks again for all of the positive responses, very nice.

Re: Is it Possible?

Ann L on 6/05/04 at 23:04 (152137)

Hi James,
Just had a few thoughts about your post. I am 36, 37 at the end of this month and feel quite young to be dealing with any possible long term problems regarding my feet. Unlike you, I have experienced a tremendous amount of pain with TTS. I had surgery on Feb 16 on both feet/ankles, and am still adjusting to new limitations whilst working on strengthening my feet and ankles. At this point, I am still in a holding pattern to see the actual long term effects of surgery, but am still hopeful. I had a long ways post surgery to overcome.

One point that I wanted to make but haven't made before is that both my podiatrist and foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon did not recommend cortisone injections because of the possibility of the ill effect of rupture of tendons or ligaments. When I first saw my surgeon, I questioned him about injections of cortisone and he in turn asked if I had had any injections. He was pleased to know my podiatrist had not done any injections and stated that he did injections only post surgery and only for the purpose of breaking up scar tissue.

As a point as kind of an aside, I have always considered the podiatrist I saw that led to my diagnosis of TTS to be a friend. I am a nurse, and I have repeatedly dealt with him on a professional level, which led me to consult him in my search for answers on a personal level. Since my initial diagnosis, my aunt has also seen him and had surgery by our same surgeon and less than a month ago, one of my first cousins also saw him and had surgery for TTS by the same surgeon, so at least as far as my family is concerned, it obviously seems to something familial.


Re: Is it Possible?

New to TTS - james on 6/07/04 at 13:29 (152241)

Thanks for the post.. I will be going to the ortho doc on friday. I do NOT want any cortesone injections, I think that is why my joints hurt now, aside from all the sports I played thru the years. I am 37 also, and really dont want to have to deal with this... if it is not one thing it is another.. i was just battling my knee, had acl reconstruction in 1992 and the doc said it was slopily done, and needs to be redone.. JUST GREAT!

My body is all screwed up...this is just one more thing to add to the list.. as I sit here with ice on my ankle. I have been doing this 4-5 times a day, gonna try that for a week before I go to the doc, as well as taking anti inflammitory med.
Thanks again for all that post.