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I had the surgery ten months ago

Posted by Elaine T. on 1/18/05 at 17:36 (167489)

I can only share my own experience, but I am very glad I decided to do it. My particular case is a complete success. One of the problems with this board, is that people like me stop coming here when we get better.

Was the surgery awful? Yes, of course. Was the recovery difficult? Of course. It is NOT an easy surgery, and each one is different, depending on the cause of the TTS. In my particular case, my surgeon found vericose veins, and they were compressing three nerves. He ended up having to go into my heel to release the third nerve.

Does the recovery take a long time? Yes, it sure does, and nerve regeneration takes months; months and months. It took eight months before my nerves were completely regenerated, and my surgeon said that was faster than he had expected.

For five years I lived with a swollen, painful ankle, combined with a numb 1/2 of my foot. All of that is gone, completely gone.

I would do the surgery again if I needed it.

Re: Thanks, how does this sound

Buck on 1/18/05 at 18:51 (167494)

I am a short 3 weeks post op. In this time I have had some occasions where my left foot felt good while me right foot was burning. Typically they both hurt at the same times. However, just as I was beginning to be hopeful, I began to use the foot more and have noticed both feet burning together again.

In your 10 months did you see times where you thought hey this is great followed by times where you thought, ugh this is no better?

Curious as to what to expect. Thanks

Re: Thanks, how does this sound

pango on 1/18/05 at 19:03 (167497)

Elaine, Did you loose the feeling in your heel? And if so how long before it returned?

Re: Thanks, how does this sound

Elaine T on 1/18/05 at 19:45 (167501)

Hi Buck. You betcha; I used to think I shouldn't have done it, it's not going to work. It took about five months before I started to think the surgery actually worked. Time; it takes so much time for the nerves to regenerate. Like I said, in my case it was eight months. And not all at once.

The nerves regenerate from the bottom up; slowly, very, very slowly. I regained the feeling in my heel first, maybe at three months, and the top of my big toe not until eight months after the surgery.

Every single case is different, and there are so many different causes. Sometimes I'm still surprised when I walk that I can feel my whole foot!!

**BUT** my surgeon told me from the very beginning that this doesn't always work, and he wasn't making any promises. I bless his honesty. This was my decision, because if the nerves are entrapped, as my tests confirmed, then not releasing them could possibly lead to nerve death in the future.

I'm lucky, I took a chance and won.

Re: Thanks, how does this sound

Elaine T on 1/18/05 at 19:46 (167502)

Yes I did, and three months for it to return. When the nerves are regenerating, they don't open up all at once. The feeling would come back, and then 'wink' out for a while. Come and go, until the wonderful day it doesn't go away.

Re: Thanks, how does this sound

denise g on 1/18/05 at 20:37 (167504)

I am 3 months post op and have been pretty much pain free the last few weeks, but then comes a day like today when I have pain again and I don't understand why. It seems the nature of the recovery has its ups and downs, I am still going to physical therapy, afraid to give it as I feel it helps.

Re: Thanks, how does this sound

Dr. Z on 1/18/05 at 21:27 (167511)

I find that most foot surgery pain resolution is up and down, good days, bad days and then one day usually around six months for heel surgery it goes away. I never could figure out why but that is the story . As far as TTS surgery, it is the same except may be up to one year

Re: Thanks, how does this sound

Dr. Z on 1/18/05 at 21:28 (167512)

This post is right on the money and good

Re: I had the surgery ten months ago

JG on 1/18/05 at 21:41 (167514)

Thanks so much Elaine for your comments. I was beginning to feel pretty rotten about my post surgery results. All of our surgeons tell us there is a possibility this won't work, so when we still have pain, we're just not sure the surgery has helped. In the back of my mind though was a thought you expressed. People like yourself who are truly satisfied with the surgery have no need to seek comments and reassurances. It is those of us who have recently been through the surgery that just need to feel we are not alone in this dilemma. Elaine, I'm glad surgery worked for you. Hopefully,in another 10 months Buck, Pango and I will be writing our own sucess stories. Until then, it helps to hear how others are doing.

Re: probable cause in my case was a muscle

Buck on 1/19/05 at 12:59 (167539)

across the point where the nerve separates into 2 nerves. Apparantly my muscle across this point was larger than normal. My doc did not see much tightness in the other spots, but felt pretty confident that this muscle was my problem area.

Does this sound reasonable to anyone else.

As your foot recovers, do you feel unusual sensations like a warm foot, a 'wet' foot and similiar feelings like that? I have had some of that the last few days and am hopeful that it is the nerves regenerating.

Re: Elaine T was your nerve test conclusive?

KIKI on 1/19/05 at 16:46 (167549)


I have been struggling with TTS for 15 months and am contemp0lating surgery. I HAVE NO NUMBNESS, TINGLING, BURNING OR SHOOTING TYPE PAIN, just persistent pain in the inner ankle and have diffiuculty standing for more than 20 minutes without pain. I can sleep at night with no problems of it awakening me. My only problem is pain which is been persistent.

I had a nerve test which shoed MINIMAL nerve irritation of the post tib nerve and no severe tarsal tunnel syndrom but a 'mini tarsal tunnel' I tried all conservative meaqsures. Any advice is welcomed.


Re: Hi Buck

Elaine T. on 1/19/05 at 22:01 (167576)

I don't really remember all the symptoms while healing. But you know, when it comes to nerves, I had some really strange sensations, so nothing surprises me.

Re: Hi Kiki

Elaine T. on 1/19/05 at 22:03 (167577)

Yes, my test was definitive. I'd has one five years earlier that was totally positive, and my surgeon wanted another one before we scheduled surgery, and it was a little worse. Eww, I hate nerve conduction tests.

Re: another test that may help is the 2 point test.

Buck on 1/20/05 at 07:21 (167582)

The EMG did not show much for me, but a test where my doc would press something on my foot that had two adjustable points. I was to press a button when I could discern or feel 2 points.

This test showed that I had some areas of my foot where I had some loss of sensation. There were times when I could feel the tool pressing into my foot but could not feel two points.

I also had/have the ankle pain but in addition had the numbing, tingling foot pain.

I would recommend finding a doc that does the 2 point test.

Re: I had the surgery ten months ago

John N on 1/20/05 at 16:02 (167624)

I have had TTS on my left ankle foot a year and half ago and the surgery was a huge success. The recovery time was very long and painful. I had to go to PT 3 times a week for at least 4-5 months. But in the end it was worth it. Now I had TTS on my right ankle and foot on Oct 29 2003. I was in a cast for two weeks and then went to and still go to PT. I want to go back to work but my ankle and foot still will not let me. I am having pain in my right ankle now and it is anoying. The pain is scar tissue which is right over the big ankle bone where the scar is the biggest. I am going to try and go Monday to work since I have been putting this off. I think I am going to use crutches still. The main thing that I am noticing between both surgeries is that both ankles and feet are healing very differently. I do not regret having the surgery on my right ankle because it has been a success so far. The Ortho Doctor that I have is one of the best Foot surgeons around. He specializes in this rare surgery. This surgery is very rare here were I live. I have been the study and also been used as training Therapist and future Dr's at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. They are using me in there classes. How weird. I do not wish anyone to go thru this surgery and recovery time. Surgery was not bad I was more worried about the recovery time because that is a painful and long process. I have gone thru many emotions from feeling frustrated to happy about the recovery. My advice is find a surgeon you trust and have done this and actively participate in PT. You must do the therapy at home also.

Re: John Therapy Consists of what?

KIKI on 1/20/05 at 17:46 (167631)

Just wondering John as I am contremoplating TTS Release and what type of exercises or therapy have you been doing to rehab?


Re: John Therapy Consists of what?

John N on 1/20/05 at 21:57 (167649)

my therapy has consisted of massage therapy, exercises to first get your range of motion back, then exercises to get strength back in tour ankle, you are basically learning how to walk all over again. Therfore I have used the treadmill to walk heel to toe on one foot, I ride the bike, and now up to do leg presses. The exercises consiste of moving the toes, then moving the ankle up and down and also sideways, trying to lift the bridge of my ankle. They do not seem hard but trust me your first few weeks they are a killer. You will have limited range of motion therfore a good PT will stretch your ankle and then also stretch your calf muscles and hampstrings. Hope this helps. PT is very frustrating because I will go with weeks not being able to move my toes and ankle and I get frustrtated so bad. But you have to believe it will come back. Lots of PT. I also at the end of PT I get electrical stimulation and an ice boot on my ankle.