It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-25-2008, 01:44 PM   #1
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 31
rosinberfoot HB User
7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery?

Hi all,

I hope everyone is in good foot health.... I've posted here before, but not for a while as I've been busy just recovering from my surgery, doing PT, etc. I had a flat foot correction surgery in mid-July of 2007, to correct a foot that had gone massively wrong: my heel was way out of place, arch totally collapsed, strain on posterior tibial tendon and spring ligament. All of those things were worked on in the surgery: I had a calcaneal osteotomy to put the heel back in place, a bone graft at the top of my foot over the arch, tendon transfer in the foot, and calf lengthening. I'm a 28 year old guy and other than this, have always been in fairly good health (luckily).

Here's my question for anyone who has gone through this or a similar surgery. It's over 7 months later and I'm still struggling quite a lot. I had the usual 8 weeks of non weight-bearing after the surgery, followed by 6 weeks of therapy to get me back to weight-bearing status, and more therapy after that. I saw my surgeon in December and he said everything was healed perfectly, in terms of the placement of the bones and the fusion of the osteotomy, and that he was very pleased. I explained to him that I wasn't really feeling the benefit yet: I could tell that the structure of the foot was different, but I still felt myself pronating, all the weight bearing down on the inside of my foot, not like the tripod structure he said is the ideal structure for the foot. It was still hard to stand and I felt great instability when walking, ending up heavily favoring my right side, as I was doing before the surgery. He said he thought it was just a matter of muscles strengthening and ligaments coming back to life, which makes sense, and sent me back to the orthoticist to create some "gentle" supportive custom insoles to help me out while it's strengthening.

Since then things have been really difficult: I don't feel the foot/ankle area strengthening very much, and it's still tough for me to be on my feet much of the day, stand for very long, etc., and any kind of weight-bearing exercise still seems out of the question. The orthotics have already been adjusted several times and nothing feels right. I'm seeing my surgeon again in March, and in the meantime have found a new physical therapist who seems good. He tells me I have had a LOT of work done and it might be well over a year until I really feel good again--but he thinks I will get there. But at this point I'm scared that I might never get there, even after all I've been through with the surgery. Especially since my surgeon seems to think I should already be feeling pretty okay, and I'm not, really. This is tough stuff... I thought the immediate post-surgical days would be the hardest part, but now that I'm trying to live my normal life again and finding that I can't, I'm much more discouraged.

I'm curious what the recovery timetable for others has been. When did you feel truly normal again? Did any of you feel yourselves pronating again too much after the surgical correction, and did strengthening take care of that problem for you? Any encouraging words...or just real advice, opinions, experiences, would be very welcome. Thanks so much for reading this long post, and I hope everyone is dong very well.

Last edited by rosinberfoot; 02-25-2008 at 01:47 PM.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 02-25-2008, 05:45 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
emmie54's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 920
emmie54 HB Useremmie54 HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

I can tell you are really discouraged. I'm so sorry it hasn't gone as you hoped it would. I had the same surgery Nov 05. I have to say my surgeon was very upfront when he told me it would be a year to year and a half for full recovery. You are still very early in the recovery process even though I know it seems like it's been a long time. I found that I had lost so much calf strength and my achilles had really weakened. That greatly affects how you walk. I did experience a peroneal tendon tear during my rehab which I'm sure affected my recovery somewhat but the 1 to 2 year recovery is very typical. I belong to another message board dedicated exclusively to this type of surgery and based on other's recovery you are very typical. But, that being said, keep in mind that you are your best advocate and if you really feel something is not right, ask for a repeat MRI. If you still have hardware that may not be possible. speaking of hardware, that in itself can cause a LOT of pain. I had mine removed at 6 months which is the typical time frame. You may want to consider that as well. Hang in there. You are probably doing better than you think you are. Maybe your new physical therapist will make a difference. Keep us posted.

 
Old 02-25-2008, 05:48 PM   #3
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
emmie54's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 920
emmie54 HB Useremmie54 HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

I also wanted to mention that more than one person on my other board had to have the bone graft adjusted. If it's not perfect it really throws things off. Have you considered a second opinion? If nothing else, it would give you confidence that your surgeon did the right things. If they find something they would have done differently, then you have other options. something to think about! good luck.

 
Old 02-26-2008, 08:01 AM   #4
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 457
hey19 HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

I'm sorry you're having trouble. This whole process can be so frustrating. I've been through two PTTD surgeries on the same foot. I'll explain further in this post.

First, my best input consists of three things:

1. Always remember that everybody's case is different. I was told by many doctors, PAs, etc. that a year is average. (And between the two surgeries, I've seen quite a few of these people.) I read a lot and understand where that year estimate comes from, but realistically there are cases that take a few months and some that take a few years. What's "normal" for one person is not necessarily "normal" for the next.

2. Whatever you do, try to be patient! My first surgery failed because my doctor was a bit too "optimistic." He had me out of my cast at five weeks, told me to start bearing weight as tolerated (while in a boot), and then he prescribed full physical therapy at 7 weeks. I have a mild case of lupus so I was a bit leary, but I figured he knew best. I should've trusted my own instincts instead. Well, everything went along fabulously well as far as minimal pain, swelling, etc. I was back at the gym within three months! However, the bone graft failed and I was stuck with a very deformed foot. I had to have the surgery again to correct those problems on 12/27/07. Now I have seven screws in my foot and will be in a cast for 12 weeks this time before I can even begin to think about therapy. Be patient.

3. Try to prepare yourself..... Read a lot, educate yourself, ask family/friends for help, get other opinions if you feel you need them, and then trust yourself every step of the way thereafter. You are the only one who knows how you're feeling. You can/should be your own best advocate.

This board is suuuuuuch a great resource and a great place to just "talk." I've seen a few people in all the areas I read who are medical professionals, but most of us aren't, although so many who post seem so well informed. I'm very impressed and have learned so much. Good luck to you!

Last edited by hey19; 03-02-2008 at 05:58 AM.

 
Old 02-27-2008, 01:30 PM   #5
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 31
rosinberfoot HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

emmie, hey 19: Thank you both for your thoughtful and encouraging replies! I really appreciate all the good advice, and that I can turn to this board when I really need to talk about how I'm feeling about the recovery. One of the strangest things about this condition and this surgery is how serious it is--we all know that!--but at the same time, once you're back in sneakers, people really don't know that you're still struggling. So it's hard for me to talk to people about how I'm still not feeling strong, stable, normal when to all appearances I look fine, except for a limp every now and then. So thank you both.

I'm going to try to be a little more optimistic. My biggest fear is that something was still structurally off with the foot after all that surgery, but I do think it's probably just going to be a long recovery and strengthening process for me, and hopefully I will be alright in the end. My new PT is great, by the way--he understands the surgery and the recovery SO much better than the two previous places I've been to. I can't say enough to people who might be going through this for the first time about how important it is to find a truly qualified, attentive PT. My surgeon downplayed this, but I think it's crucial.

I'll post again to let you know how I'm doing. In the meantime, hey19, best of luck in recovering from your second surgery. I hope everything goes smoothly this time, and definitely don't rush it! All best wishes...

Last edited by rosinberfoot; 02-27-2008 at 01:30 PM.

 
Old 02-28-2008, 08:14 AM   #6
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 457
hey19 HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

Hi rosinberfoot!

It is good to have people to talk to who have been through something similar. I am really finding that no two stories are the same so it makes sense that no two recoveries are the same either. Yeah, it sure is serious when you have foot troubles, huh? When you think of it, though, our entire body weight is dependent on our feet! No wonder some of us have trouble. For me, I was born with tendon problems, mostly in my ankles. I've fought it allllllll my life. My mom had me to all sorts of doctors... and then in orthopaedic boots, followed by orthopaedic shoes, etc., etc.

I remember being back in sneakers after the first surgery/recovery last year. My foot was pretty deformed but I could hide that fact as well as the limp. Nobody ever knew anything was wrong. I felt bad complaining. It wasn't until people could see the deformity that they understood any part of what I was going through.

You do sound optimistic already.... that's a big part of the battle! Don't worry too much about things going wrong structurally. Most people do really well in the long run I think. I just got unlucky. The good news for me, however, is that I haven't experienced much pain and swelling... the worst of it just set in two days ago as I'm now beginning to bear weight in my walking cast. It's not too bad, but I still hope it goes away soon!!!

How long did you have problems before surgery? I'm asking because if it's a life-long thing like mine, maybe it makes sense that things feel so strange because you've never known what a "normal" foot has ever felt like...??? I'm concerned about that part for me.

I don't know how people make it without physical therapy! To begin with, exercise is just plain good for anybody... I really believe in it. I had an opinion from a doctor once who said he didn't believe in physical therapy after the surgery. I decided right then and there that he wasn't the surgeon for me!

Of all the doctors, PAs, etc. I've seen, the consensus of opinion was about a year before you begin feeling normal again. I've known/read of others since then who have taken less time and others who have taken more. My first time around, for instance, had me back in a gym at 3 months and at 4 months I was feeling pretty good. Then again, look what happened to me! This time I don't care if I take two years to get back to feeling like a human being again. Well, actually, I do "care" but I'm concentrating on the "patience" word.

This board helps.

Last edited by hey19; 02-28-2008 at 09:51 AM.

 
Old 02-28-2008, 02:32 PM   #7
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: rochester, usa
Posts: 35
rochestersown1 HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

Hey everyone! How is everyone doing with all this foot stuff we have going on??? I tell ya...I cannot wait for warmer weather. This winter isn't helping my operated foot. It's been aching the past couple days big time.


Rosinberfoot...try to stay positive!!! I know that sounds so cliche, but 7 1/2 months when you think about it is not that much. I'm 8 months post op and I still have some pain. I had a major foot reconstruction including achilles tendon lengthening and I've got a couple of screws in my foot that have been giving me agony. I will be getting them out next month hopefully...
Do you have any screws in your foot? They can cause big time pain. And also, you have alot of work ahead of you as far as strength training. I am doing my stretching exercises and doing some light working out on my stationary bike. And, to be real honest with you, my achilles tendon is still very weak. It takes some time to recover. I couldnt agree more with hey19. We all recover at our own pace. Hang in there!

 
Old 02-29-2008, 07:44 AM   #8
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 457
hey19 HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

Rochester.... Where are these screws in your foot? Tell me more. I have seven screws in mine and quite honestly, it's the only thing I'm concerned with in the big picture. I read a statistic on these boards that said 40% of people have the heel screws removed. My doctor's PA says hardly any of their patients get them removed...??? I am doing well, except for a little frustration this past week, but all in all, I am very optimistic and excited to see how this new foot is going to work out!

I've got a couple of screws in my foot that have been giving me agony. I will be getting them out next month hopefully...

 
Old 02-29-2008, 08:17 AM   #9
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
emmie54's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 920
emmie54 HB Useremmie54 HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

My surgeon said it was strictly up to me - that about half get them removed and half don't. I did at six months and could really tell the difference. But I have a very narrow heel and had just one large screw which was enormous in relationship to my heel. I think there are a lot of factors at play as to whether they are uncomfortable or not. Mine was, but even if it wasn't I probably would have wanted it out because the thought of it sort of freaked me out.

 
Old 02-29-2008, 09:58 AM   #10
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 457
hey19 HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

My current doctor is being pretty cautious with me considering what happened last time, so I trust him, but the thought of seven screws in my foot (two in my heel) kinda freaks me out too. I have a very narrow foot as well, so much that I've always had a tough time finding shoes. You said you could feel a difference after your heel screw came out, but how? What did that feel like, before and after?

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmie54 View Post
My surgeon said it was strictly up to me - that about half get them removed and half don't. I did at six months and could really tell the difference. But I have a very narrow heel and had just one large screw which was enormous in relationship to my heel. I think there are a lot of factors at play as to whether they are uncomfortable or not. Mine was, but even if it wasn't I probably would have wanted it out because the thought of it sort of freaked me out.

 
Old 02-29-2008, 06:05 PM   #11
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: COLS, OH, USA
Posts: 40
cantwalk HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmie54 View Post
My surgeon said it was strictly up to me - that about half get them removed and half don't. I did at six months and could really tell the difference. But I have a very narrow heel and had just one large screw which was enormous in relationship to my heel. I think there are a lot of factors at play as to whether they are uncomfortable or not. Mine was, but even if it wasn't I probably would have wanted it out because the thought of it sort of freaked me out.
emmie, can you explain screw removal. what does it entail? Is there recovery for that as well? Like elevating and laying down and pain meds, like the surgery?

i am having significant pain in my heel after my ankle fusion and osteotomy. I think I need to have the scre removed cause my heel is killing me. But Doc has not mentioned anything.
rosinberfoot, i am almost 6 months post op and i have been freaking out due to my lack of progress. I also wonder if my heel was overcorrected. don't know why my heel is having so much pain. Still limping a lot while walking and walking is very limited.

 
Old 02-29-2008, 08:52 PM   #12
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
emmie54's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 920
emmie54 HB Useremmie54 HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

The screw removal is no big deal at all. I only had one large screw so it may be different if you have a lot of hardware. The surgery takes about 20 minutes, I opted to be awake. The put the popliteal block in so you are numb for anywhere from 12-36 hours from that. The pain was minimal. The first day after the block wore off being the worse. I had a little bandage and was non weight bearing for a couple of days. Went back in a week to ten days for stitch removal. It was a little tender for a couple of weeks but I just wore open backed shoes. Mine was always tender anyway so that wasn't too different. I think removing your hardware can only improve things. At least you will eliminate that as a reason for your pain .

The difference was that I lost that constant deep achy feeling in my heel when standing for long periods. Also it wasn't as sensitive when wearing shoes with a back.

Last edited by emmie54; 02-29-2008 at 08:55 PM.

 
Old 03-01-2008, 07:22 AM   #13
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: rochester, usa
Posts: 35
rochestersown1 HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

hi emmie54: thank you for the information about the screws. My surgeon also said it was no longer than a 2 hour procedure and in about 5 days he would remove the stitches. He said I could walk out of the hospital on my own if I didnt have any pain. But, if I did have pain, I could use crutches. He mentioned weight bearing after removing the screws was up to me as I could tolerate it.

Hey19: how are you? Hope you are doing fine. I have 2 screws. One is right below the fatty pad in my heel (which makes my heel hurt so much) and the other is located at the top of my foot. Like if you look at either side of your ankle and you have that band that goes across the top of your foot, that's where that 2nd screw is and that one bothers me big time. Whenever I am walking, and I push off to complete the natural gait, I can feel that top screw catch something. It hurts!!!!! So, I will be happy once these things come out. And, you have 7. Oh my. I get uneasy when I look at my X-Ray with the 2 on it. They look terribly large on the X-Ray. Did your surgeon use smaller pins or are they the longer stainless steel screws? I guess there are different kinds. Mine are the long stainless steel ones. The doctor says they are long but very skinny....still they scare me when I look at my X-Ray....eeek! Hope all is well with your therapy......keep us updated!

 
Old 03-01-2008, 08:20 AM   #14
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: COLS, OH, USA
Posts: 40
cantwalk HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

rochewtertown: canyou tell me about the screw in your heel? you said it's right under your fat pad. is it going striaght up the bottom of your heel or did you have osteotomy and it goes in the back of your heel towards your toes? i am having a lot of pain with my heel as well. The doc hasn't mentioned anything about removing screws.
emmie: How do I know thats what I need? Is it something they try as a rule out?
thanks!

 
Old 03-01-2008, 08:22 AM   #15
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: COLS, OH, USA
Posts: 40
cantwalk HB User
Re: 7 1/2 months post-op PTTD surgery and struggling. When can I expect full recovery

emmie: what about numbness and in the skin around the heel? I still have numbness in the heel, they tell me from the surgery. If they re-enter the heel, will that set back the nerve healing. did you experience more numbness?

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Lump on foreskin for 6 months Rocky1630 Men's Health 1 04-19-2010 06:51 AM
my 10 month old baby has been ill for 4 months whitney 3 Infant Care (up to 18 months old) 9 12-04-2009 01:40 PM
5 months of wondering about my lungs Mathieujofis Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD 11 05-11-2009 12:02 PM
Pregnant again 6 months after giving birth! upp78 Pregnancy 5 07-22-2008 03:42 PM
4 months post spinal fusion Round1 Back Problems 27 12-05-2007 12:39 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:28 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!