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Old 01-18-2008, 08:27 PM   #1
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Question severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

Has anyone experienced severe calf pain (on outside of leg) as well as ankle or top of foot pain due to herniations and spondylothesis ( L3-L4) ?? It's excruciating and my fusion surgery isn't unti Feb 5th...Not sure how I will stand it 3 more weeks.

I keep getting very nervous that it will become an emergency situation and I'd have to go to my local hospital ( God forbid) and I won't be able to have my selected top surgeon do the surgery..

I also have my 1st blood donation next week ( the 23rd) and the 2nd on the 29th and worry that I'd have to go into surgery w/out my own blood..

Any suggestions to bide the time ,withstand the awful pain, and keep calm?

Please any suggestions would be appreciated..

 
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:20 PM   #2
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Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

It is very nerve wracking waiting for upcoming surgery. I know I have been there a few times myself. I strongly recommend you read the thread entitled post surgery tips pinned at the top of this boards page. It is filled with tons of information and suggestions for after surgery.

I actually planned meals and made up meals for my family and had them in the freezer so all we had to do was pop them in the oven or crockpot to cook. I brought every dry food item I could for the first six weeks after surgery and had them in my cupboards. They were bursting at the seams but it really helped my family and they only had to run out for those items that would spoil like milk, veggies, fruits, etc.

Also I would keep coming to this board, read, and post. It has helped me past many a sleepless night.

As far as the pain in the foot and calf, you might want to look or search on dermatones and you will see what part of the leg causes pain for those areas.

Good luck and remember we are here for you.

 
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:09 AM   #3
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Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

Hi, OMG YES! I have had severe sciatica from herniations, scar tissue, and a fragement stuck in L5 lateral recess. The pain was felt in a thick line from my rear end all the way to my outer ankle. My ankle felt like someone was driving nails into it constantly, it was horrible. I felt some of that pain about 1/3 way up my outer calf at times; plus the pain would switch to different areas along the whole path. FOr several weeks when it first started almost my entire foot was numb that I couldnt feel where I was walking.

A few months later I was getting sporadic sharppp pains on the top of my left foot, then later it happened on the top of my right foot but more often. I have alot of joint damage in my right ankle, so wasnt sure if that pain was coming from my ankle or maybe my spine. Well, as soon as I had lumbar epidural done in December, the foot pains ceased. I had a month lapse in between my 2nd injection and was starting to feel it a little from wearing off. Then I had 2 incidents of the top of foot pain again, though not as intense. I just had another ESI last Monday, and once again, no more nerve pain.

Forgot to mention, I do not have spondy, though. I do have DDD and spinal OA, and constantly get herniations and sciatic pains.

Last edited by Baybreeze; 01-19-2008 at 06:11 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention something

 
Old 01-19-2008, 03:43 PM   #4
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Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

Hello LAF ~

Here I thought you were my new best friend, and I haven't heard from you lately!! Just kidding!! Can you tell I'm still on meds 24/7???

I had that pain for probably about 6 months. I even decided maybe I had a blood clot and was making a mistake by assuming it was related to my sciatic nerve. Mine just sort of went away and I wasn't bothered with it prior to my surgery. I know it hurts a lot, but just try to ignore it. Gentle massage helped me some...and stretching exercises. Also maybe lots of advil??

I didn't have to do the blood donation as I didn't need the illiac bone donation, so I can't comment on that.

I do have a suggestion for a way to spend the time, other than getting your house (and home) in order. Be sure to print out the tips at the top of this board, read through them and make use of them in getting your house in order.

I'm not a new agey type person at all, but I started looking into and reading up on various types of healing. I got some CDs on breathing techniques, relaxation and healing and read up on self healing with "clinically proven techniques" on breath work, meditation, guided imagery and sound therapy. There's alot of research done at Harvard and other universities that shows how helpful some of this can be to physical healing. I transferred some of it to an IPOD so I could take it into the surgical holding area and would have it while in the hospital. I had fun looking online for various books, etc. on guided imagery and self healing...a topic I had previously known nothing about.

Just try not to worry about having your situation going from bad to emergency. This really doesn't happen very often...I can't quote you statistics, but it shouldn't be a concern for you. Just take it easy and don't take up a new sport at this point!! Just continue to eat really well, ride your exercise bike a little bit, and have the attitude that you are in training for a really BIG event.

Once I made the decision to have surgery, I was amazingly calm. I knew I'd done my homework in picking my surgeon and had explored every alternative to surgery. My children had a lottery going on whether I'd actually go through with it -- time, date hour when I would cancel the surgery, etc. HA! I surprised them.

I'm here for you, LAF. Let me know how I can help!!

Last edited by mznell; 01-19-2008 at 03:48 PM.

 
Old 01-19-2008, 04:40 PM   #5
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Wink Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

You are awesome MM..Thanks so much....You're right I haven't been on the boards much...sometimes I find it negative and trying to stay positive..YOU are an inspiration and have been a big help..All great suggestions.

All in all would you say you are glad you did the surgery? Do you still have leg pain...I know you said you've been weak and tired but you sound very alert and strong....God bless you.....Are your walks getting a bit longer each day?

Again thanks for all your suggestions...I have been going to my local hospital for visualization therapy, and trying to breathe thru the pain...and icing when I need too...

I hope you are having a good weekend and thansk for taking the time to write..

Warm regards,

LAF

 
Old 01-19-2008, 04:46 PM   #6
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Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

Thank you all for your feedback...Hate to say misery loves company...but your mind starts playing tricks...I'm sure you all know what I mean.

Driving yesterday wearing my Merrell's I couldn't put pressure on the gas...Today it's a bit better..


Again thank you all for your feedback...

Enjoy your weekends...

xox

LAF

 
Old 01-19-2008, 05:55 PM   #7
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Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

Anytime, that is what the members are here for on the board to lend support and to be there for one another thru the good and the bad.

 
Old 01-19-2008, 06:50 PM   #8
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Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

Hi LAF,

Yes, I would do it again. I think everything has gone really well so far, but I don't have much to judge it against. I can't believe almost 2 weeks have passed since my surgery! It doesn't seem that long. My pain has been well-controlled, and yet I don't feel like I was really drugged. The first night after my surgery when I was supposed to push the button whenever I needed relief (but it would only give me something every 6 minutes)...I only pushed it 3 times all night. I was exhausted from the surgery, which didn't finish until 10 pm and just fell asleep and stayed that way! At the moment, I'm probably in about as much pain as I was prior to surgery -- it's just different pain! When I recover from the surgical pain, I hope to be feeling much better.

I don't think I'll know for quite awhile the answers to your other questions. I feel like today may be a turning point. I don't really feel any different, but I am walking around the first floor of the house without the walker. It is much too cold and snowy to go outside, although the kids took me out for lunch on Friday and I did fine. I guess it all depends on what your expectations are.

I go to the doc on Thursday for my first checkup, so I will write more then and let you know what the doc says. I was thinking that it would be 6-12 weeks before I would feel like doing anything. I'm pretty much planning on just doing what it takes to recover....don't know anything about PT yet, or whether my doc even believes in it, or if it is up to me.

I don't blame you staying away from the board. There are lots of great tips and I've learned so much, but it is also scary to read about those who didn't have a good outcome. Hope you'll stay in touch!!

xx MM

 
Old 01-19-2008, 07:38 PM   #9
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Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

Hi LAF,
Sounds like you are taking really good care of yourself in preparation for surgery. Hopefully the time before surgery will pass quickly and soon you will be recovering. You'll be ready for summer! Hang in there and keep us posted. Don't you just LOVE your Merrells?

Deb

 
Old 01-20-2008, 09:21 AM   #10
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Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

Hey Laf -- I had a fusion and I would do it again if I had to, but I sure as heck hope I don't for a long while. Merrells are great and you want to make sure you have shoes you can just slip on because no tieing shoelaces for a while. I hate to say it, but if it hurts too much to drive and you have trouble accelerating or braking, you've got to consider not driving. I didn't drive at all the last few weeks before my fusion because I couldn't sit for more than 20 mins at a time. Ouch!

MM -- Congratulations on getting over the 2-week hump of surgery! You've got some work ahead of you and gl with your first check-up. By the way, my surgeon said no PT for three months when I had a fusion surgery.

Pep -- hope you're hanging in there, sister. I'll try to find your most recent postings...

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Old 01-20-2008, 10:15 AM   #11
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Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

Thanks Schragie for your comments. It really helps to hear others' stories as I was feeling really discouraged this morning -- impatient that I'm not feeling better sooner. It just seems like it shouldn't take this long. Open heart surgery patients are up and walking and exercising by now. I can only walk a bit around the first floor of my house before my thigh muscles in my right leg start to protest.

I'd love to try walking outside, but it is zero here today !!

 
Old 01-20-2008, 01:34 PM   #12
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Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

I hope get some much needed relief form the surgery. Hang in there! I am going through conservative treatments to try to alleviate my discomfort at this time. Therapy, chiropractic and traction to see if I have relief. I was having pains in my hips, upper legs and lower legs but now it seems to just be centered back in my feet and really just the right foot. When I have a bad spell, sriving can hurt and walking is done with a limp. This past week has been better and I even took a walk today even though is is about 15 degrees or feels like it, LOL. Funny thing is, I hurt during and toward the end of the walk but feel bettr when I get home and take my shoes off. I feel better than before starting the walk

My biggest issue is some tingling in the hans, coldness, pins and needls in the feet and cold feet, pain. Still it is mostly the right foot.

 
Old 01-20-2008, 03:42 PM   #13
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Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

Ok, I'll just say it -- winter spine surgeries stink! But, hey -- you gotta do what you gotta do. It's not like most of us have a choice. My neck fusion was in January and it was snowy and icy out so I stayed indoors for weeks.

MM, I didn't do this myself, because I had a spring back fusion surgery, but my doc did recommend walking in malls. I'm not much of a mall person, but if you've got good shoes on and can make it to the mall (that means someone takes you there right now), it probably isn't a bad idea. Just remember that walking in a mall doesn't mean shopping and trying things on a few weeks post-fusion

Good luck LAF and Richie with your surgeries. Let the people in your lives help you right now. I had a hard time accepting help prior to my scheduled surgery because I thought I would have to really rely on everyone after it. Truth is, people came over and did things for me when I couldn't do stuff for myself anyway. Three cheers for microwave ovens and friends who will unload your dishwasher or bring you groceries!

Schragie-girl

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Old 01-20-2008, 05:44 PM   #14
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Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

MM......Glad you passed day 10 and are able to write to all of us....You say you were foggy but all of your posts have been GREAT...

Schragie....thanks much....glad to here that it's worth it..Today I had a very apprehensive day but then went to a silly movie w/ Mom any my sister..

Deb and Diet P....all your feedback much appreciated....Today I bought slip on slippers and will bring my Merrells.

Do they really get you up the next day in the hospital....DOn't you feel dizy from the meds? Do they take the cathether (spelling ??) out right away. Do they bring you a bed pan or do you get up to.....??? I feel like I won't drink a thing if that's the case....only kidding....

Thanks again and a good week to you all.

LAF

 
Old 01-20-2008, 06:35 PM   #15
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Re: severe calf and top of ankle/foot pain ??

Hi LAF,

I can only give you my experience -- I was really worried about the catheter, too. I'm 58 and I've never had surgery except for a tonsillectomy at age 7, so I was concerned. My impression is that they would have gotten me up the SAME day as the surgery except that I got back to my room, for the first time at 11:00 p.m. I ended up having the last surgery of the day; didn't start till 6:00.

Anyway, I had lots of tubes: the IV was in my left hand; there is a drain coming out of the surgical site, and another tube that is the catheter. When it was time for my first walk, the aide just got all the lines assembled and off we went, down the hall! I went in Monday night and my recollection is that the drain and catheter were not removed until Wed.

To tell you the truth, I think they keep you so medicated that none of this will bother you...so don't waste any energy worrying about it. Everyone on the floor will have the same stuff hanging from their IV poles, too.

When I went for PT, my recollection is that the PT pushed the IV pole and my son followed along behind with a wheel chair, just in case I needed to sit down. (I didn't.)

 
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