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Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Posted by John Martello on 6/27/04 at 07:29 (154012)

Hello everyone,

My ortho wants to do a Tarsal tunnel release on me and told me odds were
50% and my second opinion doc told me he would not even place numbers on it due to the unpredictable nature of the surgery/ outcome.

I would like to survey 3 questions regarding the tarsal tunnel release operation and i thank you for your replys.

1). What were your odds given pre surgery?

2). Were you told that you could be worse off pain wise function than before surgery?

3.) In your honest opinion are you better, worse or same symptoms after having the tarsal tunnel release.

Thank you all & God Bless .

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Claire on 6/27/04 at 10:15 (154016)

Hi John. I had surgery 3 months ago and here are the answers to your questions:

1. Surgeon advised the operation has an 80% success rate, although through my own research i knew this was not true. The odds are 50% i believe.
2. I was not told the outcome could be more pain than before TTS release operation, the recovery time is 6 months to one year for a full recovery. I am 3 months post op and in 50% more pain than before, i am obviously hoping this will not be the permanent outcome.
3. At present the symptons are worse but i am only 3 months into recovery.

I think you have to keep in mind that everyone is different and each recovery is different.

Good luck.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

chrisb on 6/27/04 at 13:31 (154027)

John I was given 90% odds. 3.5 months post-surgery I'm no worse but no better. Still giving it time though.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Mike on 6/27/04 at 16:14 (154043)

Im 6 mo post op.
1). What were your odds given pre surgery?
80% - This is my surgeons success rate - not the 'industry'.

2). Were you told that you could be worse off pain wise function than before surgery?
No

3.) In your honest opinion are you better, worse or same symptoms after having the tarsal tunnel release.
Same symptoms but about 40% better pain-wise.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Terri on 6/27/04 at 16:56 (154050)

John, in response to your survey:

1). What were your odds given pre surgery?
Was told 80%, then he added to this by telling me it may have to be done again as it doesn't always 'take' the 1st time, similar to carpal tunnel releases.

2). Were you told that you could be worse off pain wise function than before surgery?
No. But he did warn me about the possibility of scar tissue developing and causing 'problems' but wasn't specific.

3.) In your honest opinion are you better, worse or same symptoms after having the tarsal tunnel release.
Depends on which day you ask me. If I didn't keep up with the exercise and p.t. I really believe I'd be in a world of hurt. Because of the amount of scar tissue that developed, I have to be honest and say worse.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

LARA on 6/27/04 at 20:36 (154057)

Sharon used to be on the board alot and was/is very knowledgeable. She once wrote a post on this question. As best I remember what she wrote, she took information from doctors, and also information from posters on this post - taking into account that people on this board tend to be worse off than the average TTS who was treated and went on with life.

As best I remember she said MOST people (like 70 or 80%, not anything close to 95% or higher) were better off eventually. Some reasonably cured, some better off, some better off for awhile (months, years.)

Some people were no better, no worse - after the recuperation period which is fairly lengthy for feet in general.

About 10% people were worse off.

It's also my impression, don't know if I got this from Sharon, but success is more likely if the cause is known before going in, and the cause is known to be something that can be removed (e.g. if a mass can be found and removed). I don't remember the post, it was several months, maybe a year or two ago. You might try a search. She is very knowledgeable.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

chris on 6/28/04 at 09:36 (154071)

1) I was not given any odds for success

2) I was not told that I could be worse off

3) I am 100% better follwing surgery

I had not found this board until after I had surgery and did not know to ask most of the questions I should have. I trusted that my doctor knew what he was doing. That was wrong thinking, but thankfully, everything worked out fine for me.

I was told that the pain could return. I had surgery in 2000 and so far still no return of pain.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Claire on 6/28/04 at 09:47 (154072)

Hi Chris. Good to hear things worked out for you. Did your pain go straight away? Was there a blockage in the tunnel? Thanks

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

chris on 6/28/04 at 09:57 (154073)

Claire,

for whatever reason, I cannot respond to your post (tempermental computer today)

I had some fatty tissue removed and there was a huge vein wrapped around the nerve.

I also had pf surgery at the some time.

Recovery took a while. I had surgery in Nov '00, started pt in Feb '01 because of scar tissue, swelling. I want to say that I have been pain free since probably the summer of '01. I think, for me, it was the pt that helped in making the surgery even more successful. My friend was the pt tech and he worked me hard!!! He wouldnt let me slack off at all.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Claire on 6/28/04 at 10:35 (154074)

Thanks Chris, your story is inspiring. I'm having PT a the moment, i will make sure i stick to it. Thanks again.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Marty from SLC on 6/28/04 at 15:15 (154093)

1). What were your odds given pre surgery? - 50/50

2). Were you told that you could be worse off pain wise function than before surgery? - yes

3.) In your honest opinion are you better, worse or same symptoms after having the tarsal tunnel release. - better but still along ways to go. The nerve was damaged and has taken 1.5 years to get where the swelling is going down in the ball of foot. I still have pain but I think that most of it is from the pf release I had at the same time. I did not have any pt because I don't trust them. Not sure that was the best thing though.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

mary l on 6/28/04 at 19:30 (154108)

What exercises did the PT have you do. I am a little better after surgery but is only 2 1/2 months post. I have stopped PT because I was not improving any and I can keep up the exercises that were recommended. I am wondering if I am doing enough. Thanks, I am so happy you are doing so well. As someone else wrote, you are an inspiration to all of us!

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Geri on 6/28/04 at 19:43 (154109)

I'm 8 months postop-6 nerves released-three incisions
1. Odds pre surg- 100% I heard this over and over from the Surgeon and his staff. I had not found this site yet.
2. no-I was not told I might be worse off than before surgery. The first 4 months after surgery I was worse, and I was very frightened as I had no idea this could happen. Thank God for this message board and all the caring people that post.
3. At 8 months postop I am 60% of the way. There was a turnaround change between 4-6 months and VERY SLOWLY has been improving. I had no PT. Dellon trained surgeon.
Good luck to you Marty of SLC and all the others on this journey pre and post surgery.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Geri on 6/28/04 at 19:48 (154110)

Sorry for mixing up names. I want to extend good luck to John Martello as well as Marty. I'm blaming this on Neuronton. Oh well!! It couldn't possibly be age.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/28/04 at 22:36 (154131)

John:
One must also look at how bad is the TTS. If the TTS is secondary to FHL tendosynovitis and is not the primary diagnosis, then the odds are not as good. TTS surgery is something that one does only if it absolutely must be done.
Ed

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/28/04 at 22:38 (154132)

Lara:
Most would place odds at about 2/3. Some factors that increase the success rate is if an identifiable structure (such as a growth) can be identified placing pressure on the nerve.
Ed

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

chris on 6/29/04 at 09:30 (154147)

Boy, it was so long ago. I remember I had to ice the area after every session (I really hated that)

I had to stand on on foot on top of a trampoline type thing and hold a long pole in one hand and shake it vertically then horizonality - then I switched feet.

I also had to use a huge rubber band type thing adn put it around my waist and then attach it to some sort of heavy exercise equipment and do exercise pulling the band really tight (more like moving my body as far away from the equipment as possible) and do moving side to side exercises and some lunging type of exercises,

I know there were more, but I jsut can't remember them - I'm so sorry. What I remember most is that it was a real workout and my friend would make me work.

I just went through my 2001 appointment book and see that I had a follow -up appointment on Jan 31 - that must have been when the doctor recommended pt. I had pt 3x a week starting 12 Feb - 26 Feb, It sure seemed longer than that!

2 1/2 months really is not a long enough time to judge. I was told it could take up to a year to fully recover.

I honestly dont' remember when I felt 100% - I do remember that by summer I was able to walk in the amusements parks without pain - something I could not do the summer before surgery.

I really wish I knew what made my surgery work. I know the pain tts causes and feel for everyone who has tts. i consider myself very, very lucky - esp since I knew so little about tts before going thru with the surgery. All I remember is wanting the doctor to cut off my foot, the pain was that bad.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Lari S on 6/29/04 at 11:48 (154149)

John,

I had tarsal tunnel release surgery done Oct 3, 2003. I still suffer from PF, as he did not want to do both surgeries at once since I am a Type I diabetic.

In answer to your survey:

1. My doc gave me odds of 30% get a great deal of relief, up to 100%, 30% get some relief, 20% get little, and 10% get none or get worse after surgery. He told me recovery could be well over a year.

2. Yes, but it was worth it to me. I could not work, wear a shoe, or even stand to have a sheet touch my foot.

3. I am thrilled with the outcome. I still have some pain, but am able to wear shoes with my orthic inserts. I would choose to do it again in a heartbeat. At 9 months post-op, I feel that I am in the 30% get some relief category.

I think a lot of the improvement is do to the fact that my doc was VERY FAMILIAR WITH TTS, the doc had me doing exercises immediately after surgery before I could go to physical therapy, I went to PT as soon after surgery as I could and continue to do my exercises now at home, and custom orthics.

Exercises I continue to to are:

1. Ankle Rotation: Stretch legs out in front of you. Move your feet around in circles, clockwise and then counter clockwise.

2. Alphabet: Stretch legs out then draw the alphabet out with your foot.

3. Ankle Extension: Alternate pointing your toes as far down and forward as you can.

4. Pick-up: Standing up with support, pick up marbles with your toes and place them in the opposite hand.

5. Towel Pull: Wrap a towel around the ball of the foot, hold the ends in your hands and pull toward you and hold for 30 seconds then release. Turn foot to the inside, put other foot on towel for resistance and try to pull out (still holding with hands). Turn foot to the outside, put other foot on towel and try to pull in.

6. Juice Roll: Place a frozen juice can on the floor and roll it back and forth with your foot as far as you can. (Helps swelling and motion.)

7. Ball Roll: Place a tennis ball on the floor under the center of your foot then roll your foot in circular motions moving the tennis ball from side to side.

The rest of my exercises are done with a Theraband, which is basically a stretchy wide band. I stretch with the Theraband prior to getting up each day.

Hope this helps.

Lari

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

mary l on 6/29/04 at 11:50 (154150)

Thanks!

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Melissa on 6/29/04 at 16:53 (154170)

1: I was given a 60% Success rate prior to surgery

2: I was told I could be worse after surgery.

3: I am 100% better after surgery (11/03). The Dr. said it would take 8 mos to heal and it took me that long.

Most important: minimal incision (mine is 2 inches), doctor used only minimal sutures to reduce scar tissue ( no sutures inside,especially the self abosorbed kind; used very fine sutures on outer incision that had to be removed.) Casting for 3 weeks after surgery to minimize scar tissue. No weight bearing for 5 weeks. I am now without pain and can jog a little bit.
I also had a positive emg...
good luck....

Re: chris and melissa

JEFF on 6/29/04 at 20:37 (154182)

Where are you from, and what Dr did your surgery? thanks :-)

Re: chris and melissa

chris on 6/30/04 at 11:13 (154227)

I was living in Maryland at the time and am a military spouse so I had my surgery at Bethesda.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Margie B on 7/02/04 at 11:25 (154394)

John,
I haven't posted for awhile. I had surgery Dec.5 2003.I found this site after I had surgery when I needed guidance about what I was experiencing.
1. My podiatrist/foot ankle surgeon told me the most common side effect was heel numbness and a possibility of re-entrapment of the nerve. I don't think he gave me the odds of success in a percentage #.He told me it would be several months before I recovered.He was very experienced in doing TTS surgery.
2.My doc gave me a detailed article to read about the surgery. I had also done numerous web searches about the procedure. The surgical consent form I signed stated that specific risks/complications inherent to this procedure were: 'scar tissue retrapping nerve, permanent loss of sensation, recalcitrant chronic pain, and possible loss of limb'. Those were pretty scary possibilities.
3. At 7 months post-op I still have pain when standing and walking. I developed posterior tibial tendinitis about 3 months ago. It causes a lot of swelling and prickly pain.Orthotics, icing, massage, NSAIDS, and staying off my feet as much as possible are treatments for this condition. I also have some pain in the heel which doc says is the calcaneal nerves still healing.I'm going to look into the treatment posted on this site: ART. I'm getting weekly treatments with a Bales Photonic Stimulator. It's a light treatment, a form of far-infrared. I believe it does help but it takes frequent treatments. Their website: http://www.cti-net.com .
If I had to make the decision about surgery again, and knowing about less invasive techniques as I do now, I would not have had the surgery until I tried more of those procedures. I had to quit my teaching job, go on disability retirement and make major changes in my life to deal with my feet problems. Best wishes to all of you.
Margie

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

marie on 7/06/04 at 20:39 (154682)

Doesn't the success rate depend on what caused the tts to begin with? I thought there was a better chance of healing after surgery if it is a tumor or varicose veins that are the cause.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

SharonB on 7/08/04 at 10:51 (154850)

I was diagnose with bilateral tarsal tunnel about 10 years ago. My Dr. then did not know anything about it. He sent me to an orthopedic surgen, and he could not find anything in the bone structures to be causing the pain. So I suffered for the past ten years. My new Dr. sent me to a food specialist. He has recommended surgery since the new EMG confirms the tarsal tunnel. I also have damage to my nerves. He has not said what the rate of sucess is. He tells me I will be off work for about 10 days. I drive for a livig and can not afford to be off for a longer period. From what I am reading from others who have had this surgery done it does not look to promicing. My Dr. wants to do both feet. Maybe I should only do one at a time. If any one wants to send me e-mail on their experiences please do. (email removed) Thanks for any advice.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

CarolP on 7/18/04 at 15:19 (155766)

I had successful surgery to release TTS on 10/03/04. I had post op pain but it was bearable. I returned to work on 10/31/03 with a few restrictions such as no excessive stair climbing and standing. I then fell at work on cement stairs and suffered a pilon fx of the same ankle that was operated on. Now after 8 months of recovering from that 'crushing' injury to the same ankle, I now have TTS once again. My doctor told me that it was because of the bleeding that went into the tarsal canal. I have gotten a cortisone injection, ice, physical therapy and nothing is working. I am going to have to have the TTS sugery once again. I was told by two doctors that TTS can be caused by a traumatic injury such as I have had. Because I had such good results from the last one, I will go into this surgery just as hopeful.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Michelle on 9/08/07 at 11:32 (235743)

Hello,

Currently I am 15 months post op and have full blown Tarsal Tunnel again.

1. I was advised 90% success rate, however through research online there is a possibility of return
2. Never been told could be worse off in pain after surgery
3. Since I have it full blown again I am back at square 1. I have decided to go to some of the best ankle specialists in the nation and give it one more go....after that I am done

I fractured my ankle in 03 and they had to install hardware...so going through with this surgery again will mean surgery for the 4th time on the same ankle =(

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

Nomi L on 4/13/08 at 19:41 (245800)

Hi. I have had foot pain for the past 13 years. 2-1/2 years ago, more obviously nerve-related symptoms began -- burning, tingling. Two months ago, those symptoms began to escalate and spread to more and more parts of my feet. It continues to escalate at an alarming rate; I now have constant throbbing, burning, prickly, sharp pain all over the bottom of my right foot and up the inside of my ankle, and it is beginning in my left foot as well. I've had to stop almost all activity, can barely tolerate wearing a shoe, and am just hobbling. I've been diagnosed with tarsal tunnel syndrome. Treatments I've tried so far are: new orthodics, Traumeel injections, some laser therapy, and chiropractic adjustments. Also, in the past I've been on non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Nothing has helped. In fact, I've gotten worse during the period of these treatments. I'd be very grateful to anyone who would share what has been successful for them -- short of surgery -- in treating tarsal tunnel. Thank you.

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

sarah on 9/10/08 at 14:53 (250063)

I had my surgery in jan of this yr....I was only on my feet 5 hours in the work force.. now i work out of my home for my self i try and pace my self if not my left foot will bother me i have to sit down and take it easy...i still have shooting pain now and then but nothing like b4 my surgery ....i have alot of cramps in my left leg and my foot recently....so im drinking more and trying to get in more potassium...
but the doc who performed the surgery and the assistant told me that i didnt want to know how bad it was...im sure if i hadnt of had my surgery when i did i would of ended up with neurpathy my foot was so bad it turned purple when i got diagnosed and very very painful...
i was on pain meds and off 1 yr b4 my surgery 3 months to get the diagnosis but so grateful to the surgeon and my younger sis assisted she works at the clinic and hosp where the surgery took place.
i had no insurance at the time being only pt time at my job...
so if u are having so much pain or numbness or discoloration like id did have surgery they even put me in a cast thinking that the restriction would help it didnt.
much success with mine.just taking it easy now and loving working for my self...........
http://www.youravon.com/srenn

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

sarah r on 8/18/09 at 14:16 (259827)

I had my surgery in 2008 i had to take medical leave i was unable to walk anymore once diagnosed i had the surgery the pain is nothing to what it was b4...my only complaint is if im on my feet for too long then my foot i had the surgery on begins to bother me i can still get sharp jabbing pains then if feel really bad i soak them in warm water....i had 2 dead nerves in my left foot.they said i had it in both ..so far my right foot is nothing like my left foot...b4 surgery my foot would turn a pretty purple and hurt....currently im not employed when i returned to work 3 mo after surgery i could somewhat tell it wasnt goin to be easy to get bk into the grove of things...but i left for other reasons...but good luck...sarah

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

pkp on 9/02/09 at 18:28 (260297)

I am scheduled to have surgery Oct 23
I was told 70% change of it improving my pain.
It could be worse, no change or better.
I opted for the surgery because I have tried everything esle.
I had carpel tunnel on both hands and had the surgery with great results.
I was told if you had carpel tunnel you were pron to tarsal tunnel.

Here's hoping it works for me.
PKP

Re: Tarsal Tunnel Release surgery success rates odds Survey.........

justin on 11/01/09 at 16:28 (261675)

my surgeon said 50% and he said that the outcome is not something he wanted to comment on because anything can happen it can be worse or stay the same or be 100 times better. he did say I would be laid up for at least 3 weeks having the surgery tomorrow so I'll post again in a couple weeks. thank you everyone for all your info!!!