Re: Pending PTTD surgery - many questions
I underwent a triple arthrodesis on Sept. 2 because my arch was completely collapsed. I had been undergoing conservative treatment for PTTD for many years including the 4 years before surgery in a Richie brace. The reality was that I had pain almost daily from what was most likely a rupture leading to total collapse. One year after the collapse, I had a total knee on my "good" foot leg. Then had the 2nd knee done 3 mos. before my foot surgery. Like you, I am a teacher which is really hard on the feet and knees, isn't it? My foot was diagnosed by my podiatrist, whom I liked very much. But when it came to the triple A., I decided to have the foot surgeon from my ortho group do it. It was a rough recovery because I couldn't use a knee walker and really couldn't tolerate crutches. Hopping on my walker with my two year old knee was only good for short distances so I used a wheelchair. I was 10 weeks in a cast, 2 weeks in a boot non-weight bearing then at 12 weeks began slowly bearing weight. I returned to work at the beginning of second semester, 4 months later which was right on the schedule I planned. I am walking well now and having virtually no foot pain. Knees hurt sometimes. Other things from the long recovery. But overall, I'm quite glad I did it. There is still occasional swelling after a particularly long day. I still keep a cane handy but wore sandals to work for the first time in ...maybe 15 years?...a week ago.
I was in the surgery center for two nights after the surgery as there was some trouble controlling my pain. They did a nerve block but it didn't seem to work well for me. Perhaps it was just the finals straw after going through two knees! But I came home after that and my husband was home for a few days. When he went back to work (he works nights) I had friends that came by to help at dinner time for several weeks. My wheel chair didn't fit through our kitchen entrance until we moved some things around.
If I were alone, I would have considered a convalescent center for a couple weeks after wards. For two weeks after surgery, there was a plaster splint on my foot. When that came off and the stitches came out, it was easier to get around with the fiberglass cast - though still not weight bearing.
Hope that helps give you a bit of useful information. I wish I'd been more aggressive and dealt with it sooner in some ways. It's a tough recovery but I had a great result. I know people with tendon transfer instead of fusion like I had seem to do very well also, from the people on this list.
Take care and best wishes as you make your decisions.