Re: Shattered Heel Surgery in 1995
When I was in that situation I looked at it in another way - what can help this with the risks of surgery being my last choice. While my progression might not apply to you I'll list it for your reference.
First was the way I walked. While my limp was not discernable to others, I was consciously favoring the foot. I found that doing so only kept the muscles and ligaments out of balance. Anyone with a cut on the bottom of their foot soon finds that foot painful in other areas due to walking improperly. We heelies can easily fall victim to this. Using the foot properly resulted in its lasting longer each day. But why not all day? Partly because I was still unconsciously babying it by stepping off curbs or up steps leading with the other, even resting on the other any time I was standing still. So I had to become very disciplined at all times and found that it paid off.
Next was what I wore. I think we all started off wearing the lightest most flexible footwear. Many have found that over time a flexible sole and supportive upper is best after this injury. Something else I found was that while I could get along just fine with one shoe or another my foot needed a few days to adapt between them. So now I stick with one style, going so far as to buy several pair before they are discontinued. To me limitations on footwear are of less concern than limitations in mobility.
Then there’s minimal intervention. Long after my foot and corresponding muscles were in shape I realized that my ankle was still too weak. The problem being that it wouldn't catch up unless I worked it but it hurt too much ( usually the next day) to do so. My doc prescribed an ankle brace which I wore snuggly at first then gradually loosed as my ankle improved. When the annoyance of wearing it was more than the discomfort of not doing so, I knew it had done its job.
A more serious problem remained. My foot and leg were not in a straight line. That did bring ideas of surgery to me. But the solution was much more simple. For $100 I had a foam orthotic made in a very simple process. A tech heated up special foam in a microwave, placed it under my foot and held my ankle straight as it cooled. Having it in my shoe all the joints lined up properly and I could not only walk much more I could run a bit.
Say it is something that requires 'going in there'. The main thing is to pinpoint the problem. I went to the docs wanting the hardware removed, they offered fusion. I looked carefully at when it hurt where it hurt and how it hurt. I wanted them to go in knowing specifically what was wrong with some confidence that it would work - not trial and error. That course paid off. When carefully looked at each area was eliminated as the cause: hardware, tendons, joints, etc. Things pointed towards it being a nerve problem. More tests were done to verify this. Only then did I opt to have a peripheral nerve stimulator implanted which turned out to be the right fix.
The moral of the story is that there are so many possibilities as to the cause of pain and such a varied types and ranges of solutions that it's not just get going and do something drastic but get into details and work your way towards a solution whatever it might turn out to be.