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Old 11-17-2007, 09:58 PM   #1
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talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

I was frustrated, confused and depressed that i went searching for info and found this forum. I have read other links for flat foot surgery. i think that's what i had done. the talonavicular fusion part. i also had my heel choppd and moved over and screwed. don't know the name of that part.
I had the surgery on 9-28-07. I had all the same symptoms as others... the swelling pulsating and constant numbness. On 10-11-07 was my follow up where they took the staples out of all 4 incisions on my foot and put me in a hard cast. Still had pain that kind of went away by the time the cast came off which was 3 weeks later on 11-1-07. On 11-01-07, hard cast was removed and then went into a boot walker. Doc told me that things looked ok and to start putting partial to full weight after a week which would have been on 11-8-07, and then to physical therapy on 11-22-07 in 3 weeks. well, i still had some minor pain so i didnt' start applying weight until middle of 2nd week. i put the boot on and held myself up with crutches and put all the weight on my good foot and tried to pt weight on my bad foot. i think i put about 25% of my standing weight and i felt sharp pain in my heel. it feels weird too like i have a pebble in the boot on the inside of my foot. it hurt so i quit for a couple days and then tried again. there was pain again so i gave up and i am still non weight bearing. i am so worried that i should be able to put weight on my foot as my doctor has written me a script for 11-23-07 to start physical therapy to "wean off boot walker." that's only about 5 days away and i am not weight bearing yet.
currently i am 7 weeks post op. by 8 weeks, my doc wants me to start pt.
i am concerned that i appear not to be healing as quickly as my doc expects.
also, is it supposed to hurt when you start walking on it? i mean it was very painful. i am so frustrated that i will never walk. it has really taken a toll on me. i am not sleeping and just worrying.
also, my doc made no mention of removing screws. are they supposed to come out? any info at this point of recovery would help. Also, please advise in detail when and how you started partial to full weight bearing and the feelings associated with that so i know if i am experiencing the same or not.
also, i have a trip coming up to the caribbean on dec 10th. that's about 3 weeks away. this was already set before surgery. does anyone have any tips for traveling in this condition?
thanks

Last edited by cantwalk; 11-17-2007 at 10:00 PM. Reason: grammar

 
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:19 AM   #2
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

If you're still having pain and aren't even weight bearing yet, you should definitely let your doctor know. From reading these boards it seems like there are a lot of doctors who are moving faster than people are healing. You're 8 weeks post op and already supposed to be going to PT? I just had the surgery 2.5 weeks ago, and I'll be in a hard cast for 8 weeks, then an air cast for another 4, and then a "weight bearing" cast for another 2. It will be 14 weeks at least before he'll let me walk. (However, I did have a LOT of work done.) At first I was upset, but it sounds like people who try to move too fast are having problems. I would give him a call and tell him how you're feeling.

About the pins, from what I've been told they don't need to come out unless they are causing "discomfort", but they don't take them out until a while after surgery. I guess it's to make sure it's actually the screws that are causing the pain...

Hope everything works out.

 
Old 11-18-2007, 11:50 AM   #3
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

Thanks I will call them monday. i tried calling and emailing the doctors assistant last week. he was gone so another assistant calls me and tells me that i should put off PT and call my regular nurse on monday. while i was on the phone with this one, another assistant who was checking emails called and left a message saying that my symptoms are not unusual and to go ahead and proceed With PT eval. My next appointment with the doc isn't til Dec 20 and she said not to worry about coming in before that. I also forgot to mention in my previous message that the skin on my heel is still numb to the touch.

What all did you have done?

 
Old 11-18-2007, 12:03 PM   #4
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

I had broken my ankle when I was 11and injured the growth plate so my ankle grew at a funny angle. On top of moving my heel, and shortening the tendon, and doing all the cutting and bone grafts, my doctor cut a wedge out of my tibia...and screwed the "bottom" of the cut up towards the top part. I haven't heard of anyone else having that done. I had a lot of things wrong at the same time. My doctor actually told me took my "case" to a national conference and no one could come to a consensus on what to do. I'm a triathlete, so this has been a pretty hard experience and I really hope everything works out so I can keep going.
My doctor told me there's a possiblity of having local numbness in certain spots for up to a year. So it's probably pretty normal that your heel is numb. Have you tried putting weight on it again? It's definitely going to hurt. That's normal. Hopefully everything works out!

 
Old 11-19-2007, 02:50 PM   #5
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

yeah that sounds like a lot of surgery. you sound upbeat for only being a couple weeks post op. that's good.
you know, i also injurred my foot as a child. doc said i broke it and didn't know it and the bone on top of my foot (talo bone) was growing at the time and the injury caused it to grow out of mmy foot sort of. So i i had this golf ball like bump on my foot. i also had flat foot and lots of arthritis and pain when i walked which is why i had the fusion done.
i haven't tried walking on it again since i posted on Saturday. there is pulsating pain in my heel when i lay. i think from my previous attempts to walk. i think i will lay off it this weekend and give it another try. then on monday nov 26, i have my PT evaluation so i guess they'll let me know if i'm ready or not.
my spirits are in the dumps. i can't foresee walking in my near future. no one seems to understand the frustration and the toll it takes until i foung this website. i am so thankful. lkysbmx, i hope you recover better than i have!

 
Old 11-19-2007, 04:17 PM   #6
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

I'm sorry to hear that about your heel. Every once in a while I get some real sharp pulsing pains in my heel, but it only continues for a few seconds. Hopefully your PT will help out with everything. It will probably not be a very happy experience. Speaking of....I had an appointment this morning to get a new hard cast put on. I was previously in this massive surgical cast that allowed for swelling. Having X-rays done was not pleasant. Doctor wanted my foot positioned a certain way...for 5 x-rays. Ouch. Turns out I had 7 screws put in. 2 in the heel, 2 in the tibia, and 3 where he did some extending and bone grafting. I also had to have 61 staples removed (we counted...) and some blisters tended to.

I had a pretty rough first week, but now I really am pretty upbeat about the whole situation. The pain is pretty non-existent, and my x-rays looked good. We'll see how everything goes when I put some weight on it in about 8 more weeks. That seems to be the real test. I really hope that when you start PT everything slowly starts to feel better. We're all doing this for the "big picture", and it can get pretty depressing hurting and laying around all the time. I know I won't be 100 percent for a good while, but hopefully after that we won't have to deal with the every day pain anymore. Time will tell....

 
Old 11-19-2007, 08:20 PM   #7
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

I didn't have the heel moved and pinned, but did have posterior tibial tendon repair and an Evans osteotomy, which involves putting a bone wedge in on the outside of the foot to straighten things out. I was in a splint for 2 wks, a fiberglass cast for 4 wks and a walking boot for 4 wks. Bearing weight in the boot was uncomfortable and hurt if I tried to put too much weight, but it got better. I didn't use crutches much...one for up to a week, then I limped and did what I could. But, I know that others on this board have been on various timelines, so there is no "right" way to do this recovery. In the beginning of PT, I was stretched and massaged more than anything. Started some range of motion exercises, nothing major right off the bat. So, I wouldn't worry too much about starting it because you can't walk or it hurts. Part of PT is to reduce the pain and help you get to the point of walking and getting back to life. I am now at 25 wks post-op and if my non-surgery foot wasn't giving me a hard time (doing the same thing), I'd be active. I started to run just about 4 months post-op, which is what my dr predicted. It certainly wasn't up to my normal pattern, but felt good! It gets better, but it is a long hard journey to recovery! Patience is not easy, but it's the key to this. With the shape my surgery foot is in, I'm glad I had it done. THe full results won't be obvious until 9-12 months post-op, so know that things keep changing and getting better for that first year. I may have to undergo the same procedure on my other foot and remember all too well what it's like! Good luck with everything and keep posting!

 
Old 11-19-2007, 08:38 PM   #8
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

thanks for replying sunny, i saw yours and others' threads and i was trying to compare the injury to the recovery. to see where i should be at i guess. my heel is what bothers me most. from the chopping i guess. i tried to put weight on the foot by holding myself on crutches but it's so hard to determine how much weight i actually put on it. i'm also a bit overweight too and wonder if that has something to do with it. but i would think my doc would factor that in. your timeline of the different casts sound like mine. but i can't walk on it, even with crutches. you said it hurt but when i try to put weight on it, it's like a sharp nail shooting straight up my heel. how long did it take you to put weight on to limping without any crutch??

likesbmx, i remember that appointment. it was not pleasant. the staple removal was painful and the x-ray-where you had to hold your foot up at the heel where the screw was... i feel your pain. sounds like you DID have a lot done. 7 screws, wow. but your so painfully optimistic, it gives me hope that all will be fine....one day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny77 View Post
I didn't have the heel moved and pinned, but did have posterior tibial tendon repair and an Evans osteotomy, which involves putting a bone wedge in on the outside of the foot to straighten things out. I was in a splint for 2 wks, a fiberglass cast for 4 wks and a walking boot for 4 wks. Bearing weight in the boot was uncomfortable and hurt if I tried to put too much weight, but it got better. I didn't use crutches much...one for up to a week, then I limped and did what I could. But, I know that others on this board have been on various timelines, so there is no "right" way to do this recovery. In the beginning of PT, I was stretched and massaged more than anything. Started some range of motion exercises, nothing major right off the bat. So, I wouldn't worry too much about starting it because you can't walk or it hurts. Part of PT is to reduce the pain and help you get to the point of walking and getting back to life. I am now at 25 wks post-op and if my non-surgery foot wasn't giving me a hard time (doing the same thing), I'd be active. I started to run just about 4 months post-op, which is what my dr predicted. It certainly wasn't up to my normal pattern, but felt good! It gets better, but it is a long hard journey to recovery! Patience is not easy, but it's the key to this. With the shape my surgery foot is in, I'm glad I had it done. THe full results won't be obvious until 9-12 months post-op, so know that things keep changing and getting better for that first year. I may have to undergo the same procedure on my other foot and remember all too well what it's like! Good luck with everything and keep posting!

 
Old 11-19-2007, 08:44 PM   #9
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

It was within a week that I was putting most of my weight on the foot. However, I couldn't do that all day or walk a lot, or it'd swell and hurt. Does your dr think the sharp pain you're experiencing is normal? Could one of the pins be causing that? I didn't have that procedure done, so I can't identify. That might be worth checking on with your dr/assistant to see if there's another issue. Bearing weight is a progression over time...may be only 5-10%at first, then go up from there. It may vary in a day depending on what you've done, how much you've elevated, etc. But if it's that painful.... I'd check in with the dr. Don't feel like you "should" push yourself if it's not feeling right...your body is telling you something.

 
Old 11-19-2007, 08:55 PM   #10
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

i was going to call the assistant today but i was waiting for him to reply to my email inquiry from last week but he did not follow up. i guess since the other office assistants replied to me, that scratched me off the reply list. did i mention that in my original post that i has two different office people tell me two different things? my doc's direct assistant not being one of them. So now, he's not back til wednesday so i will call then i guess. i think i've given myself a timeline to now put weight on it this week and then try again sometime this weekend before my monday PT. if it's still terribly painful by then, i think something's wrong.
it's weird though. the last time i was in to see the doc was nov 1st to get fiberglass cast off and then i'm not scheduled to see him again til Dec 20. you would think with that much time apart in the appointments, he thought everything was fine. i don't know. sunny, i can't believe you have to do this againon your other foot. i almost regret doing the one foot. i really cannot see the end in sight. i miss walking. i miss running errands. i miss cleaning the house and all the stuff i've taken for granted.
my doc said i wouldn't have to do my other foot to match the one he did. but that sounds weird too that one foot would be arched and the other left flat.
yes, i have a lot of swelling if i let it down too long. the good news is that i can sit and the foot can tolerate the weight of my leg. but that is it for now.
i still am not sleeping. i stay up thinking of all the things in the worlld. i got sleeping pills but they just make me drowsy and dizzy and don't actually put me out. this is by far the hardest thing i've ever had to do. it helps to know that others have survived. i just seem to be stuck right now not being able to bear weight. hopefully in a month or so, i too will be able to post that i am walking.

 
Old 11-19-2007, 09:01 PM   #11
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

I had surgery on Oct 1st....I had an ankle reconstruction and my heel cut in half and slid out some to help straighten up my ankle.

My heel hurts really bad also. I have to big black spots on the back of the heel where they put the screws in..they are like 2 inch's long.

MY Doctor said that the screws might need to be removed in a few weeks, depending on how painful it is to walk.

I had a hard cast on for 6 weeks and now I'm wearing a ankle brace while trying to do some weight bearing with help from crutches....I've started P.T. but can do no inversion type movements for the next 6 weeks.

The pain from this surgery was the worse that I could ever imagine.

 
Old 11-19-2007, 09:26 PM   #12
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

That sounds exactly like the surgery i had! i had mine on 9-28-07 a few days before you. i have emense pain in my heel when i try to bear weight on it.

what do you mean no inversion type movements? are you able to bear any weight yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by packersfan View Post
I had surgery on Oct 1st....I had an ankle reconstruction and my heel cut in half and slid out some to help straighten up my ankle.

My heel hurts really bad also. I have to big black spots on the back of the heel where they put the screws in..they are like 2 inch's long.

MY Doctor said that the screws might need to be removed in a few weeks, depending on how painful it is to walk.

I had a hard cast on for 6 weeks and now I'm wearing a ankle brace while trying to do some weight bearing with help from crutches....I've started P.T. but can do no inversion type movements for the next 6 weeks.

The pain from this surgery was the worse that I could ever imagine.

 
Old 11-19-2007, 09:58 PM   #13
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

I can't bear any weight without my ankle brace and nice timberland hikers with the nice inserts I got from wal-mart to help with heel pain.

with them on I can almost bear all my weight....I hope I can put the crutches down in about 3 to 5 days.

I had a brostrum gould? done. To repair the ligaments that where tore. I have 6 weeks of P.T. before I can do anything that makes my ankle go inward.

If you are having the heel pain like I, buy the best hiker type boot you can afford and get a pair of those inserts that help stop heel pain.

I was in a hard cast for 6 weeks, then straight to ankle brace, and doctor said to take my time and try to bear a little weight slowly, he said it could take two weeks after the cast came off before I'm able to be off the crutches.

 
Old 11-20-2007, 04:58 AM   #14
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

When I was switching casts yesterday, I decided to see if I could curl my toes....and I couldn't. I'm just under 3 weeks post op, so that's pretty normal right? I can wiggle them, just not curl them. Anybody else have the same thing? Obviously my foot is mad at me...so i'm not really THAT worried about it.

CantWalk...I feel for you with the pain in the heel. Like I said, mine only lasts for a few seconds. I couldn't imagine having it feel like that all the time. Yesterday I got a little ambitious by going to the doctor, going to lunch, bringing my dog back home, moving around a lot...so I didn't sleep so well last night. I don't take sleeping pills either because they just make me feel trippy. They don't even make me sleep.

About staying optimistic...I know it's going to be a hard journey to recovery, but I've seen VERY few people on this board saying they are 2 or 3 years post op and still having trouble. If it takes 2 years to get better, and I have another 50 years (I'm only 23) to live a normal life...then I can deal with the pain for now. For a while I focused on how much this all stinks, but I was reeeeeeal down, and it's just not healthy. Let me know how your PT goes so I know what to look forward to! ouch.

Good luck everyone!

Last edited by lyksbmx; 11-20-2007 at 05:20 AM.

 
Old 11-20-2007, 11:32 AM   #15
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Re: talonavicular fusion with heel surgery recovery

bmx, my toes did that too. I also could only move the two big little toes. definitely not the big toe. At 5 weeks when the hard cast came off, the i could then wiggle the little toes but i couldn't get the big toes detached from the second toe. took a few days of contact wiggling to get them aparat and now at 7.5 weeks, i can move al my toes very freely.
i also remember immediately after surgery into a few weeks that the little toes even felt like they were tangled in string-like there was tension in some areas- i thought something happenned to nerves. it was an unusual sensation but that too went away after movement of the toes.
you are much more active than i was. but you're young and fit. i'm 32 and those crutches absolutley wear me out. i am able to drive now. i did that at 6 weeks i guess. i was a little afraid to drive with pain pills. but at 6 weeks, i stopped them but now i am back to using them about twice a day for the pain in my heel. well, i've been off of it since saturday. some pain still but i think but feels better. should be all ready to go by friday is my goal to try weight bearing again. i am thinking of using one crutch for the bad side. that may work better than 2. i've been reading other threads and some do it that way.
i washed my foot i think last week. i didn't do it immediately after the case came off because it was still weird feeling. then one day i got it wet and i rubbed all the dead skin off where i could reach. i just couldn't get to the outside heel where it hurt. i still left the tape stitches on the cuts as my foot was so swollen, i felt like without them, the wounds would come apart. the swelling this week is much less and the strips are starting to come off the edges. i peeled off some in a couple of places on my foot. but cant bring myself to peel off the others. cause a lot of everything comes off and reveals the red scar or leaves the patch of dried blood and skin on the foot and i can't bring myself to pull it off.
bmx, is someone taking care of you and feeding you? i've had my husband for to help with some chores and alot of take out.
i am now up and cooking wiht the scooter. it's twice as long and hard but makes me feel like i am doing something.

 
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