My doctor told me to start massage to soften the scar tissue on the bottom of my foot. Do I do this on the incision site itself gently as well or just around the incision and arch area? He didn't specify at all, just massage. I didn't think to ask until after I got home. I know I have read on here that others massage their surgery sites to reduce the scar tissue. Also, is there any type of lotion or oils that I can use to soften up the scar and decrease the incision site tightness?
On the scar is fine as long as it is fully closed, no longer a wound or scab. Also, anywhere that feels funny, tingly or whatever.
My surgeon recommended vitamin E. I bought a bottle of softgels from the vitamin aisle, and just broke one open each day and massaged with it.
The physical therapist massaged me vigorously with a bottle labeled ultrasound conducting gel, hey, it worked. And at that point I was still too squeamish about the whole thing to massage it hard enough myself. It really helped wake up the nerves and get them functioning normally again.
Last edited by janewhite1; 07-02-2008 at 06:46 PM.
I am interested in that vitamin e therapy. Part of my foot feels numb following surgery. I also think surgery riled up the nerves a bit. Did your doctor say anything about vitamin e helping with numbness? How many time a day do you break open the v-e and massage and how long before you noticed an improvement with nerves settling down?
He said that the vitamin E would prevent the scar from getting thick and pressing on the nerve underneath. I used it only once a day, although I rub and whatnot to stimulate the nerves several times a day. I was too careful, though, the PT's vigorous rubbing helped a lot more.
The usual incisions for ankle arthroscopy are right on top of two main nerve branches to the foot. The ankle is just so tiny, there's no good place to put even a 1/4 inch cut.
I have, not truly numbness, but a pins-and-needles feeling when certain places are pressed on. I also get an electric shock feeling, shooting down into toes 3 and 4 when the lateral incision or the area below it is pressed on. I'm 3.5 months out almost, and it's much better than it was. When I was first weaning into shoes at 2 weeks, the shoe produced the nerve shocks. This went away within days, before I was using shoes outside the house, I only felt it when putting them on or taking them off.
Now, I don't feel it unless I rub, and it feels like maybe 5 volts whereas before it felt like 20. (Yes, I do know what various strength electric shocks feel like, I lead an interesting life.)
I also had this weird thing when the medial incision was puffing up into this cyst thing, not an infection, the surgeon said that the weakened synovium was bulging outward. Rubbing that helped, too, as did (don't try this at home) taping a small piece of foam over it to hold it down by force.
What I had was a Mortons Neuroma (nerve entrapment) that was removed from the top of the foot between my 3rd and 4th toe. The nerve was also removed so I expect some permanent numbness on those two toes. The scar is on the top of the foot and you can hardly see it. I get those electrical shocks occasionaly also, but I don't know what causes them. Probably something to do with the nerves. I just want to have a normal feeling foot, and from what I have been told it may take up to a year for things to settle down
I think I wil try the Vitamin E/ massage treatment and see if it helps. Can't hurt anything.I should be graduating to athletic shoes within a couple of weeks and I know it's going to feel weird for awhile. All I know is I am sick of wearing these clumpsy boots. ( I also had hammertoe surgery at the same time on the opposite foot)
Last edited by Dancinboots; 07-03-2008 at 08:33 AM.
Yes, you are going to have permanent numbness after the neuroma was removed. The area of numbness might get a little bit smaller as the years go by.
Electric shock, I think, comes because the nerve is somehow being stimulated directly, in a way that isn't normally possible from a simple touch. Electric current also stimulates the nerves directly, which I suppose is why it feels that way.
For how long do you massage the scar at a time? I have two bunionectomy scars. The bunionette side is flat and smooth, the big toe side has some ridges/bumps and is quite numb. I'm going to try the vitamin E regimen you have described. I'm now 8 wks post-op, six wks post-stitches removal.
Thanks for all your great advice!