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Old 09-16-2010, 03:07 PM   #1
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Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

Hi...so I'm 34 and will unfortunately have to have posterior tibial tendon reconstruction with a calcaneal osteotomy. I've had flat feet all my life, but didn't have any problems until I was pregnant with my 2nd child. During that pregnancy I started to have ankle pain in my left foot...after having my baby I went to the doctor who foolishly gave me a cortizone injection. It gave me temporary relief, but the pain came back and since that injection I've been told by other doctors they would never give a cortizone injection for that pain in that location....thus causing my tendon to rupture...lovely. In the meantime, my right ankle started to have the same issues. I tried the conservative approach with orthodics and a brace, but nothing helps and will ultimately have the surgery. My question is what can I really expect after having this surgery? The doctors are rather vague about the results...I just want to know if I'll be able to get back to being active with my 2 toddlers and newborn and start to work out again? I'm not looking to run marathons, but I want to know if I'll be able to go to the gym, run after my kids, wear cute shoes/heels again? lol. What kind of time frame is realistic for full recovery? Is the pain manageable? Any insight on this will be greatly appreciated! Also, is it unrealistic to think that I'd like to have the surgery on my right foot done once I'm in my walking cast (approximately 8-10wks post surgery)?

 
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:46 PM   #2
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Re: Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

Do a search for calcaneal osteotomy on this board. Many of us have had this surgery. I am 8 weeks post of the same surgery you will be having. Mine was the result of a sports injury the year before. I am in my 4th cast and at 9-10 weeks, if I'm lucky and have good x-rays, they will take the screws out. (my screws were left sticking out of the bottom of my foot rather than strictly internal-most people seem to have their internal only). I am hoping to start weight bearing between week 10 an 11. Becasue my screws stick out of the bottom of my foot, I can't get a walking cast until they are removed. My pain was bearable afterwards. I had anti-inflamatories, Tylenol muscle and aches and Morphine pills. I was off the morphine after the 1st week. It is important to keep ahead of the pain for the first while. Take the meds as scheduled even if you don't feel that you're having a lot of pain-it will creep up on you and be difficult to get ahead of it again. You'll need to keep it elevated A LOT for a long time. Mine still swells up if down for too long and I feel my cast get tight. You'll have random aches and spasms throughout recovery, tingling, numbness etc..wiggle your toes to keep circulation going. Overall though, my pain wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. Prepare for the worse and hope for the best right?!
I personally, would never consider having another one done 8-10 weeks later. I was told 9-12 months for a full recovery. Crutches get tiring so I rented a wheel chair to use at malls, stores and use an office chair at home to move around. Your weight bearing leg will tire and be sore sometimes. Not to mention that you will lose a ton of muscle mass in your cast leg. Imagine not using it for over 2 months. My calf muscle has disappeared and my leg looks like a toothpick. Come by the board often. I learned a lot before my surgery!

 
Old 09-17-2010, 09:13 AM   #3
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Re: Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

thanks so much....very helpful information!! hope you have a "speedy" recovery...if that's possible? lol...sigh. uhh, i'm not looking forward to this surgery.

 
Old 09-17-2010, 10:16 AM   #4
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Re: Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

You said that your doctor was vague about recovery and prognosis. I would strongly suggest that you get at least one more opinion!!!!! The surgery is a complicated one that requires a surgeon who has had ample experience with flat foot reconstruction. Do your research! Ask lots of questions and don not SETTLE for vague answers. I went for 3 opinions before having my surgery. You would be best off waiting a year or so before having the second foot done. Have you spoken to the doctor about wearing a brace on the non surgical foot to help you while the first foot is healing?

 
Old 09-17-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
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Re: Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

I think I should clarify, maybe vague was the wrong word to use about my doctors answers. I've had 3 opinions and I'm most comfortable with this doctors approach and skill level...the term vague was used, but maybe i should've said very conservative outcome...I probably wont be running marathons...which if that was the case then the surgery really would be a miracle as i don't run them now (although he has had a few patients that had the same surgery and have gone on to run marathons and play tennis). I'd like to know what people have experienced post surgery. My biggest question is how long after surgery is it before you're starting to feel like yourself and can go about normal activities (in my case, keeping up with my kids and light gym workouts). From what I'm told 6 wks post surgery my cast comes off and I go into a walking cast and begin physical therapy. How does it feel the first time you place weight on that foot?

Roxie, why would you suggest waiting a year or so before having the surgery on my other foot...what's your thinking behind that? Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!

 
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:20 PM   #6
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Re: Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

Many people who have posted and had surgery on the second foot too quickly regreted it. Most doctors will tell you that it takes up to a year to fully recover. The non surgical foot takes a lot of abuse when you are hopping around non weight bearing. Putting that type of stress on a recently opperated foot is asking for trouble.

Yesterday, I was given clearance to do partial weight bearing. I am able to put 20-30 lbs of weight on the foot while wearing the surgical boot and using my walker. So far, puting 20-30 lbs of weight on the foot has not been a problem at all. Then again, I walk for only a few minutes at a time. Post op, I was in the hospital four days. I took the maximum dose of rx pain meds for about 4 days at home. By 10-12 days post op, I did not require any pain meds.

 
Old 09-17-2010, 12:24 PM   #7
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Re: Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

thanks so much for your input! glad to hear you're no longer in pain!!

 
Old 04-03-2011, 05:47 PM   #8
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Re: Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lambchop789 View Post
Hi...so I'm 34 and will unfortunately have to have posterior tibial tendon reconstruction with a calcaneal osteotomy. I've had flat feet all my life, but didn't have any problems until I was pregnant with my 2nd child. During that pregnancy I started to have ankle pain in my left foot...after having my baby I went to the doctor who foolishly gave me a cortizone injection. It gave me temporary relief, but the pain came back and since that injection I've been told by other doctors they would never give a cortizone injection for that pain in that location....thus causing my tendon to rupture...lovely. In the meantime, my right ankle started to have the same issues. I tried the conservative approach with orthodics and a brace, but nothing helps and will ultimately have the surgery. My question is what can I really expect after having this surgery? The doctors are rather vague about the results...I just want to know if I'll be able to get back to being active with my 2 toddlers and newborn and start to work out again? I'm not looking to run marathons, but I want to know if I'll be able to go to the gym, run after my kids, wear cute shoes/heels again? lol. What kind of time frame is realistic for full recovery? Is the pain manageable? Any insight on this will be greatly appreciated! Also, is it unrealistic to think that I'd like to have the surgery on my right foot done once I'm in my walking cast (approximately 8-10wks post surgery)?
I had posterior tibial tendon reconstruction surgery on October 6, 2010 and 6 months later I stll have pain and a limp. I was in a non-weight bearing cast for 8 weeks, a walking boot for 4 weeks, followed by 10 weeks of physical therapy. I'm 54 and my children are grown, so I really only had to worry about myself. I don't know how someone with small children could go through the surgery and long recovery. I cannot run or even walk fast and the only shoes I can wear are tennis shoes and a pair of CROC sandals I just purchased. I'm getting pretty frustrated with the entire process, but am trying to be patient. I'm pretty sure I would not have it done on my other foot. I just hope to be able to walk w/o a limp someday and maybe get back to the gym. Good Luck to you!!!

 
Old 04-03-2011, 06:04 PM   #9
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Re: Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

mimi ..Sorry to hear that you are not doing as well as you would have liked. What does the doctor say?

 
Old 04-03-2011, 06:50 PM   #10
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Unhappy Re: Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

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mimi ..Sorry to hear that you are not doing as well as you would have liked. What does the doctor say?
At my 5 month checkup, my surgeon assured me that my progress was right on target. I go back April 18 for another x-ray. I guess I'm improving, but very slowly....I didn't think it would be such a lengthy recovery, but if I knew for sure I would walk normally again, I wouldn' be so worried!

 
Old 04-03-2011, 06:56 PM   #11
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Re: Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

It is a long recovery. I am 8 months post op now and finally do not limp. Honestly, I don't remember exactly when the limp disappeared but I think that is was somwhere about 6 or 7 months post op. Do you have less pain than prior to surgery?

 
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:38 AM   #12
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Re: Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

I am 7 months post op and I think I stopped limping at 5-6 months post op. It really does take a year to fully recover. Even when you stop limping you still need to be really careful. I have tried to be careful and still use heat 3 times a day and stretch and use ice and elevate after work. With doing all of this, I still ended up with a stress fracture of my tibia. This was due to overuse. I think that with being nwb all that time the muscles and tendons are so weak that it really takes a long time for them to build up strength. I am still very happy I had the surgery because anything pain wise that I have now is nothing compared to the pain I had before surgery. I truly believe that come August (one year), my foot will be in good shape. We all just need to be patient with the process and remember to try to not overuse our new feet.

 
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:25 AM   #13
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I am 7 months post op and I think I stopped limping at 5-6 months post op. It really does take a year to fully recover. Even when you stop limping you still need to be really careful. I have tried to be careful and still use heat 3 times a day and stretch and use ice and elevate after work. With doing all of this, I still ended up with a stress fracture of my tibia. This was due to overuse. I think that with being nwb all that time the muscles and tendons are so weak that it really takes a long time for them to build up strength. I am still very happy I had the surgery because anything pain wise that I have now is nothing compared to the pain I had before surgery. I truly believe that come August (one year), my foot will be in good shape. We all just need to be patient with the process and remember to try to not overuse our new feet.
So good to hear from others that I really am recovering at a normal pace!
I think you're right about all the time NWB. I was 8 weeks total NWB, then 4 weeks in a walking boot. That's a long time for those muscles and tendons to be dormant. Guess we just need to re-train them now! Thanks for your comments and good luck!!

 
Old 04-04-2011, 08:28 AM   #14
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Re: Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roxygirl1 View Post
It is a long recovery. I am 8 months post op now and finally do not limp. Honestly, I don't remember exactly when the limp disappeared but I think that is was somwhere about 6 or 7 months post op. Do you have less pain than prior to surgery?
I think my limp gets a teeny bit better each day! This recovery process is definitely baby steps! I still have pain mainly in my heel and arch if I walk too much. And I still have a little swelling also. I can't really say my pain is less than before yet

 
Old 04-04-2011, 08:31 AM   #15
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Re: Help...What Can I Expect From Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimi75 View Post
I think my limp gets a teeny bit better each day! This recovery process is definitely baby steps! I still have pain mainly in my heel and arch if I walk too much. And I still have a little swelling also. I can't really say my pain is less than before yet
Isn't it interesting that it's all women discussing these foot issues!

 
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