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Old 08-17-2007, 06:17 PM   #1
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Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Just had my 5 month post-op check up today. Some was good, and some was not-so-good.

I had a small melt-down... I'm so tired of the whole thing and scared as heck to go back to work standing on cement for 8 hours per day. I guess that's why doctors get the big bucks - they have to deal with hysterical women crying!!

He did tell me that I'm doing GREAT for 5 months out. Apparently better than other patients he's seen. That being said, he agrees that I'm not ready to go back to my regular job. So he's extended my disability for 6 more weeks. Then I think by state law I'll run out. That means I've got to either make a miraculous recovery to do my job, or search for a new one that doesn't involve being on my feet for 8 hours per day.

He wants me to continue with physical therapy for another 4 weeks... my therapist is in agreement with this, as am I.

Then, the kicker... he said that some of the pain and swelling I'm having on the outside of my foot is due to irritation of the peroneus brevis (sp?) tendon. He told me that the swelling and scar tissue may be entrapping or compressing the tendon & nerve, so I got yet one more lovely shot of cortisone. This one is really hurting me right now! Darn it all...

My husband and I also joined a health club this week, so the doctor was discussing things that would be good for my recovery... and lo and behold he belongs to the same club! He said, "See you there!"

So that's my update du jour.

How is everyone else getting along?

Deb

 
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Old 08-18-2007, 12:26 AM   #2
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Deb,

Brava and Bravo on the good report (other than the injection... ouchie) I am glad to hear that you are swift on the road to recovery.

Have you checked to see if you qualify for any kind of job placement or re-training for the work issue? Maybe there is a position you can get within the company that would be less ambulitory?

As for the weeping women... lol... I have outright bawled at Dr appointments so don't sweat it. Having something like this can be very emotionally draining and even if you seem to be handling it all just fine you will enter that office, the Dr will walk in and it is like some emotional trigger is hit and on comes the tears. Maybe it is a form of post-tramatic stress, I dunno, but most Dr's take it in stride and make an effort to answer all your questions and do not think the lessor of you in any way. (I have never been in an Ortho's office yet that did not have a box of tissues near the exam table, so I am sure that they are very used to it)
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Old 08-18-2007, 12:00 PM   #3
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Deb,
I'm glad to hear that your MD appt went so well! Sounds like you're pretty relieved to not have to face 8 hrs of standing/walking for awhile. That would be tough...I know the days I do a lot of walking are days I'm more swollen and sore.

I found it interesting that you're having issues with the peroneus brevis tendon. I have been having issues in that same area the last few weeks and my PT wants to start doing iontophoresis starting Monday to see if that will calm things down. I wonder if that's a bit of a "side effect" from the surgery, at least temporarily. Those cortisone shots are no fun...let us know how you're doing with it, if it took away the pain.

I don't have much of an update...just continuing with PT 2x/wk, biking and doing the exercises. Walking is getting better, though I still limp because I'm not doing a full heel to toe walking motion (and my toes love to come up to help me!!). I just want to get back to being more active again...so that's my motivation! Right now, I can't imagine running very soon, but it'll happen.
Krista

 
Old 08-19-2007, 09:00 PM   #4
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Hi Peny & Krista,
Thanks for your support & understanding. I guess I don't have to tell either of you how frustrating it is when you feel like you should be WELL (after all this time), but you just AREN'T.

Krista, as to the cortisone... so far the pain in the PB tendon/nerve is starting to calm down, but I'm having pain just from the darn needle trauma to the area. He stuck the needle behind my scar (toward heel) and jabbed it about an inch forward toward my pinkie toe. So it's bruised and sore... but I think it will end up doing what he intended for it to do.

I think the nature of our surgery - either having a bone graft inserted or having the calcaneus shifted - causes us to completely change the way we stand on the foot, what muscles are used, where bones receive pressure, and all that goes along with it. My doctor said that I've never really walked normally, so my 5th ray is receiving pressure it's not used to. I'm kind of thinking that's part of what's going on with the PB tendon. Plus, just the swelling from the surgery itself, he said, is causing compression and irritation on the area.

I'll keep you updated on how it goes. Good luck with your own cortisone treatments at PT. Do you ever get skin irritation from the ion cortisone? I used to get ugly, hard blisters from it. Yuck.

Happy healing!
Deb

 
Old 08-20-2007, 04:05 PM   #5
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Hi all
I know i am quite a way behind all of you...i've been in the boot for 2 weeks now. I'm walking reasonably well i think. I can't walk that far, but am weight bearing more and more, and theres no sharp pains at all ( yet?)

How on earth can you weight bear more while walking in the boot though?? Theres a rocking motion to the boot, and i just can't concentrate on rocking and not using the crutches as much, at the same time!! Help!!

Mazzie

 
Old 08-20-2007, 04:28 PM   #6
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Mazzie...
I think that I went from two crutches while in the boot to only one crutch pretty quickly. That gets you putting more weight on your surgery foot. Use just the one crutch on the good side and move it forward as you step with your surgery foot.

Good Luck - take care.

 
Old 08-20-2007, 05:12 PM   #7
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Thanks Abikat,

i'll give that a try tomorrow, and let you know how it goes. I know i'm just wimping out a bit, coz it isnt really painful. I think i'm just scared of doing damage. Physio thinks i should be down to one crutch or none in 2 weeks, so i really should try.

Thanks again, fingers crossed.

Mazzie

 
Old 08-21-2007, 09:20 AM   #8
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Mazzie,

I found it difficult to maneuver using one crutch. I basically went from 2 crutches to none. And it is actually more difficult to walk in the boot than in shoes (at least for me it was)... when you get the o.k. to wear shoes, you'll start progressing very quickly.

Good luck!
Deb

 
Old 08-22-2007, 01:12 PM   #9
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Hello All,

I had surgery last week. A removal of scar tissue around the Posterior Tibial Tendon and a tendon transfer. The FDL was cut and twisted around the inflamed Posterior Tibial Tendon. I know I have a long recovery ahead. I have had ankle pain for over 2 years on a daily basis. My previous surgery a year and a half ago a nerve release and ligament tightning did not alleviate my pain. That surgey was very difficult to recover from. I was never able to run again after the surgery and movement of my foot was limited for along time due to stiffness. I was just wondering what kind of recovery times and or problems people had from the tendon surgery. And if any of you have had multiple surgeries.

I'm new to this so if I posted in the wrong spot I apologize but it seemed the most relevant to what I'm going through.

thanks so much,

Kathryn

 
Old 08-22-2007, 03:20 PM   #10
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Kathryn, I'm 5 months post-op. I had debridement of the PT tendon with tendon transfer of the FDL, and also had an Evans calcaneal osteotomy. This is my first, and hopefully last, surgery. I am kind of nervous about my PB tendon, however... time will tell if the cortisone will help with that.

There is a thread somewhere down several pages entitled "Posterior Tibial Tendon Sugery" that I started prior to going in for surgery. A lot of people posted with their own experiences, so maybe you could get some information there.

It is a long healing process, that's for sure!

Good luck,
Deb

 
Old 08-23-2007, 09:10 AM   #11
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Hi all the 4-5 month gals: I made it through my 10 hour flight OK. I didn't listen to my PT and took my shoe off during the trip, and the crew brought me a bag of ice to help. It actually went OK. The next few days I had more pain and swelling, but I think a large part of that was also caused by all the walking through the airport, and then being at a friends apt and not being able to really put it up like at home. I'm not looking forward to the trip home, but at least I know I can do it.
Deb- I could never stand on my feet for 8 hours a day right now, but maybe with the extra 6 weeks you'll hit the point that it finally is OK and the operation is actually behind you. The thing that annoys me the most, is how my Dr. lied about the recovery time frame. Without the help of the original board I wold have gone crazy. I'm walking slowly, but I'm beginning to be able to walk further without pain. In the morning I actually manage about 10-15 minutes walking almost normally before the limp sets in. I'm done with PT, but doing my stretches, balances, and toe rises everyday, and just waiting for that pain free, swell free day to arrive. (A friend of mine said at about 6 months she had good days, and around 9 she felt normal).
Mazzie- I had my own wierd system to get used to 1 crutch and then none. We have a hallway that I practiced walking in, holding my other hand close to the wall, but not touching- then if I needed to I could catch the wall, and the physcological effect of the wall helped me.
Leslie

 
Old 08-23-2007, 10:12 AM   #12
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Hi Leslie,

Glad you survived the long flight!

That's really a shame that your doctor didn't tell you what to expect in the recovery process, especially the time frame. I am grateful that my doctor told me that up front. He told me the recovery would be difficult and LONG. Boy, he sure wasn't kidding!

Sitting here at 5 months out, I feel like I *should* be able to do more... it was good for him to remind me of his original words - 9 months to a year. He said for 5 months I'm doing great, so I need to take that to heart and not let myself get down on the things I *can't* do... but look at how far I've come and what I *can* do!

Some days I hurt more than others, so I limp more... some days I feel great and don't hurt until I've been up and on my feet for a longer time. About 45 min to an hour is my threshhold for being pain-free.

But what I have noticed is that suddenly - like within the past 2 weeks - is that my swelling has really not been an issue. It's almost as if suddenly *poof* it was gone!

Good luck to you, keep us updated as to how you're doing.

Deb

 
Old 08-25-2007, 07:56 AM   #13
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Hi to all again

I'm going on a flight in september, so thanks for the hints Leslie. I wont take my shoe off...thats even IF i can wear shoes by then.

I've been trying to walk more with this damn boot, tried one crutch on both sides and its just not happening...i look like a duck trying to take flight i think.
I am just over 8 weeks post op, but been in the boot for almost 3 weeks ( due to cast coming off early) My Physio is away at the mo, but says i should be walking without crutches by 3rd sept, coz i am then gonna be weaned into a shoe..... This just seems impossible though, my trainer is not as tall as the boot, and i just can't get it right. Should i try and get trainers the same height as boot, or wont that help??
Should i be doing this quicker than i am??? I am gonna pull my hair out soon!!

Mazzie

 
Old 08-25-2007, 12:44 PM   #14
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Mazzie, you may want to shoot me when I say this... but BE PATIENT! My therapist was also telling me I needed to get rid of the crutches and boot and at the time it seemed like it would never happen.

Remember that you're only 8 weeks out! I wasn't even allowed to bear any weight until 9 weeks. You're doing great! If one crutch is awkward (it was for me, too), then just TELL THEM you are not comfortable using only one. As for me, it was easier to use 2 crutches, even if I was only using them a little bit, until I could go to NO crutches. But that's just me.

I wouldn't worry about trying to find shoes the same height as your boot. You'll be out of the boot soon enough (YES, you will!!) and then it won't be of any concern.

I also found it easier to get around walking without the boot on. I got rid of the boot before I got rid of the crutches, in fact. But do what works for you!

Patience, patience, patience... we all know how hard it is because we've been there... but it will all come together for you before you know it!

Deb

 
Old 08-25-2007, 05:42 PM   #15
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Re: Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery Recovery Update

Thanks Deb

I know i must be patient with all this, and you know what its like...I feel i am not moving forward i guess. I was really hoping to be walking a bit when i get married in 4 weeks. I wont talk to my family anymore about how i feel, they must be more sick of it than i am....if thats humanly possible!

So thanks for letting me let off steam on here, it really helps to talk to people who know what it feels like.

Mazzie

 
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