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Posted by wendy on 4/23/05 at 17:52 (173591)

I'm having tarsal tunnel surgery on Monday at a local hospital on an out-patient basis.......what can I expect? I've read some horror stories so please tell me something calming!!!!


Robert J. Sanfilippo, DC, CCSP, ART on 4/23/05 at 21:40 (173613)


Have you exhausted every other option?? I always feel that surgery should be done when all other viable treatments have been performed. I am not familiar with the exact surgical procedure. I assume they are going to try to free up the nerve root that is sitting in the tarsal tunnel which is probably being compressed by the surrounding structures. I do hope the procedure goes smoothly because you have chosen to have it done so let's remain positive!

Dr. Rob


wendy d on 4/24/05 at 12:31 (173645)

Dr. Rob....
Yes, all other options were exhausted. I've read comments from people on websites citing not being able to go to the bathroom for a week or take a bath for a week after surgery....I had been to a dr. back in Nov. 04 for heel pain....he said it was a heel spur and treated it as such. I endured at least 7 or 8 cortisone shots in my heel during this time because the pain wasn't getting better and the dr. said that this was the route to go. During this time, I had toes that were going numb....I told him on a couple different occasions and he responded with 'Hmmmm, could be a pinched nerve?' However, he never took anymore Xrays or referred me anyone else. I quit going to him. I then went back to my regular family dr. who said that what the dr. had done was normal and my only other alternative was to see an orthopedic surgeon but that he would probably tell me the same thing the other dr. did....and that it would probably be a waste of my time and money.
Fast forward to now.....6 months later.........I've been working on my feet all this time with horrible pain. I finally caved and an saw an orthopedic surgeon and after performing conductivity testing, Xrays and an MRI he told me I had Tarsal Tunnel, a Morton's neuroma and a pinched nerve. It's so bad that I went to see him on a Friday.....and I'm having surgery on Monday.
My question to you......was it NORMAL for the first dr. to give me all those painful cortisone shots??? Shouldn't he have stopped like after the 3rd one and if nothing else, taken another Xray?!!!


messed up foot on 4/24/05 at 14:21 (173652)

I'm not a doctor - but a nurse.

You can shower! Get a handheld shower (Target has them) and a shower chair. Practice getting into your shower butt first and know up front that you can do it and what you have to use as grab bars. Don't count on a towel bar being strong enough! Make sure that you have a non-skid surface when you are getting out of the shower with one wet and slippery foot.

You can buy (expensive) cast covers or use a trash bag. Just be sure to have a good seal at the top. I used a towel around the top of my cast (insurance) and a velcro-elastic strap from a cold pack. Worked like a charm and I never missed a daily shower!

Despite all the hype, this surgery isn't that bad compared to the pain you are having now. Go read the Tarsal Tunnel threads on this website for more info!

Best of luck


Robert J. Sanfilippo, DC, CCSP, ART on 4/24/05 at 20:25 (173667)

Wendy, you have been through alot and I wish there was some way I could ease your pain. As far as your doctor giving you all those cortizone injections I don't know if it is my right to question his treatment. But I'm from New York and so goes my air of caution. I believe that the doctor mistreated you and wasn't looking out for your best interest. I believe there is a limit of cotizone injections that can be administered for a condition due to the likelihood of the soft tissue being severely damaged.

I wold have taken an x-ray at first and if you didn't respond to treatment then I would have sent you for an MRI. If the MRI showed involvement of the tarsal tunnel then I would have sent you for a nerve conduction velocity to check the integrity of the nerve.

I hope your surgery goes well and your once again able to be pain free.

Dr. Rob


wendy d on 4/24/05 at 20:46 (173670)

thanks for your advice!!!! Any and all is welcome!


Ed Davis, DPM on 4/25/05 at 18:43 (173721)

You are moving to the surgical treatment fairly rapidly. I would slow things down just a bit, look at all your options and then decide. Other than emergency surgery, I feel that patients should not be 'rushed' into surgery or rushed into surgical decisions.


Linda C. on 5/06/05 at 11:10 (174390)

I would never get Tarsal Tunnel Surgery ever again. I have had it in both feet,and i'm still in pain. I had surgery in 2001 & 2002. Try every other option, did you look into E.S.W.T.?