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Surgery - to do or not to do

Posted by skully on 1/11/05 at 16:55 (166911)

I had a severe sprain 8 years ago. My whole ankle turned black and I thought it was broke but 2 doctors told me it was just a sprain. I was told to wrap it and go back to work.

About 2 years later I started having really bad pain in it. I tried for several years to get a doctor to x-ray it and became frantic I had bone cancer. No one would x-ray it.

I tried to get an appt with a podiatrist but once had a year's wait, and lost my insurance by the time I was to go in. After I got insurance again, I never could get a doctor to refer me. The pain would be intense and has affected my ability to work for the last 4 years. We have just done the best we could. I sell on eBay so I can keep my schedule around my foot acting out.

Ok - sorry I digress- but I finally did get a doctor's visit - several - on xray I had a cyst- mri showed osteochondral defect of the talus - previous break - cartiledge is partially detached but in place, and severe varicose veins. Nerve conduction tests were VERY positive accoring to my doctor for all branches into my foot, medial, laterial and something else.

He wants to do surgery. The neurologist I went to said he suspected a lot of scarring on the nerve from the injury I described. A tinel's test puts me off my foot for weeks - it is extremely positive - after one my foot will swell and I simply cannot bear weight on it.

My question - is there any evidence that people who have very positive nerve conduction tests do better with the surgery?

I am afraid I will have the surgery and either scar tissue or the osteochrondral defect will still be an issue.

Our insurance really sucks even though we pay a lot for it, and I just don't want to go in debt for a surgery that has little chance of working.

My doctor said it could or it could not if there was a lot of scar tissue. I trust my doctor - but in generally I don't trust most doctors after all this. My gut feeling is that there IS a lot of scar tissue.

Re: Surgery - to do or not to do

GeorgieF. on 1/12/05 at 19:36 (166996)

As I was reading your post a couple different thoughts cam eto me, first of all scar tissues left untreated of any kind on mkaes a condition worse. I have had several surgeries for various reason and anytime scar tissue is involved the longer I wait the harder the suregery and recovery is on me. I have Muscular Dystrophy and have to deal with alot of pain and have learned that if I can get relief from a surgical procedure that it is in my best health interest to do so. Secondily, If you are unsure get a copy of all your tests and get another doctors opionin based on the test results you already have. Don't put this off your health is a t risk.
Speaking from experience I am so glad I had the Tarsal Tunnel Surgery.

Re: Surgery - to do or not to do

skully on 1/12/05 at 21:32 (167010)

Well I guess I will do it. I'm not happy about it. lol I've got a date - Feb. 11.

My ankle is so screwed up and its been this way for years. I suppose it is just very hard for me to be optimistic about it at this point.

Re: Surgery - to do or not to do

skully on 1/13/05 at 23:31 (167093)

The doctor took over a year to come to the conclusion that I needed surgery. I had to have every test known to mankind to prove I guess that I wasn't lying for the insurance company. I had a positive x-ray, a positive MRI (they even found some stuff we didn't know was wrong, some extra stuff, great) and my nerve conduction tests - normally ok even with this stuff - came back grossly abnormal.

Ok, so surgery date is in February.

The doctor said it may or may not work. He said it might take 2 surgeries and STILL couldn't work. (If my nerves are scarred from the old injury (neurologist said he thought they were), then there's no help for them whatsoever anyway.)

Well I had good insurance all through the last year. Then hubby's company up and changed ours right before this. We pay about 600 a month as it is, but I looked at the book and no way I'm going to come out of this owning less than 5k. Its blue cross blue shield and THEY SUCK. We'd had united.

So I am really stuck. DO I want to put myself and my family through this and it might not even freaking work, they could make it worse, and go that far into debt?

If it was a matter of it will work and you pay - I'd do it. But you know medicine - they screw you up (they misdiagnosed a sprain in the first place and caused this) and you have to pay them to do it to you.

As it is, I have good days and bad days. Bad days I don't walk much. Even on good days I try not to walk too much, but I can thrift and shop and go to the post office. I really can't work - I finally gave up in November and quit my job so I could try to work at home so I could be on my foot's schedule. Even a desk job kills me. If I sit too long it is as bad as standing too long.

I am thinking I might call that doctor tomorrow and tell him I just can't afford a 'maybe.'