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Old 09-27-2011, 10:25 PM   #1
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pttd surgery pins & needles

Hi,

I had PTTD surgery (calcaneal osteotomy, tendon transfer, 1st TMT fusion, gastroc recession) one week ago.

I had a really rough time post-surgery as the nerve block didn't work properly and I was getting fierce migraines from one of the drugs they were giving me to try to help the pain.; but overall, it seems I'm reaching the top of mountain #1 (fingers crossed). I'm still quite drugged up on two narcotics but am starting to try to spend longer periods of time between doses of the shorter-lasting one.

Though my body is okay with a dose reduction some times, others...not so much. Last night, I tried to take 1 pill instead of 2 and a few hours later, my foot was in hideous pain...Today though, I haven't taken any of my short-lasting pills for about 10 hours and while there is a mild background pain (the spikes are a dull 6 out of 10?), that's it..

However, it seems to have just replaced last night's pain with pins and needles. I feel like my foot is just starting to wake up from a long nap. No real pain; just as if I have 100 stingless bees buzzing through my foot non-stop for the last 10hours (with an occasional bite here and there).

So I'm wondering - are the full-foot pins & needles just a normal part of the healing process? And switching from pain to needles (& perhaps back again) is also normal/expected?

Thank you!

 
Old 09-28-2011, 08:09 AM   #2
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Re: pttd surgery pins & needles

Pins and needles can be from several things after surgery, especially PTTD surgery.

1) You will have swelling around the tendon transfer, which is right near the posterior tibial nerve. Because of this you can get "pins and needles" due to irritation of the tibial nerve.

2) If you have a dressing on, it may be too tight causing impingement of the nerve similar.

3) If you are elevating your leg as much as you should, some people have their foot/leg fall asleep from the position they are in. If this is the case, it usually doesn't last 10 hrs.

4) The nerve can be irritated from the nerve block administered by the anesthesiologist.

The surgery itself does not involve manipulating any nerves so it is not supposed to happen after this type of surgery. It doesn't mean that it is uncommon though since the area of surgery is so close to the nerve. Obviously discuss this with your physician and certain things can be looked at and adjusted to help. Hope this helps.

 
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:17 PM   #3
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Re: pttd surgery pins & needles

Thank you.

I ~think~ the splint/cast is loose enough - there are spots that are more snuggly than others, but nothing feels like I'm going to explode out of it. I've also been wiggling my toes a lot to try and keep things awake while my foot is elevated (and inevitably get up for things such as going to the bathroom ) So, I'm thinking it probably would be #1 or #4.

Prior to this issue, I had no idea of how many problems nerve issues could cause, so I'm a bit more concerned when a nervy thing occurs than i previously would have been as it seems that it's always best to address nerve things sooner than later. Conversely, some of these things are simply addressed by waiting so I'm never sure which is called for (and don't want to drive my doctor's assistant nuts with phone calls ).

Nonetheless, based on your reply, I'll leave them a message on the off chance there's anything I need to change or do and will update this post when I hear back from them.

Thanks again!

Last edited by lola456; 09-28-2011 at 01:25 PM.

 
Old 09-28-2011, 03:41 PM   #4
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Re: pttd surgery pins & needles

I remember the nerve block wearing off and having my foot feel tingly and numb for a couple days. Then for the next couple of weeks, on the bottom outside of my foot, it felt like ants crawling around inside the cast. And odd sensation. Still after 6 months I'm getting nerve twinges and numbness, but I can tell it is getting better as my foot isn't as sensitive. Nerves take a very long time to heal and most certainly they were traumatized in your surgery.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:52 PM   #5
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Re: pttd surgery pins & needles

Thanks lightstepper; that's good to know.

Odd is the perfect word to describe it. Doubly so as any time a similar feeling has happened in my life, it was followed by the more painful 'i am waking up' feeling, and then the limb being normal. But this feeling going on and on and on is just.. odd

On the plus side, though it might get old, so far it's not a 'bad' feeling. So, if nothing else, I'm just glad that though my nerves may be a bit fizzly, they aren't shooting pain!!

 
Old 09-28-2011, 05:30 PM   #6
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Re: pttd surgery pins & needles

After I had my surgery I would get weird pains. An example is if I yawned or took a deep breath in I would get a pain in my foot. I debated talking to my doctor about it because I thought he would think I'm crazy. He said there was always a chance there could be nerve damage, usually temporary. He prescribed Lyrica. It worked wonders. Turns out it was temporary and within two months I was off the Lyrica and no more pains.

 
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:30 PM   #7
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Re: pttd surgery pins & needles

I am 14 months post flat foot surgery and also remember experiencing all kinds of weird twinges and sensations. Your foot has suffered a major trauma and the nerves don't know what end is up. Things did get better over period of a few months. You are still very early in recovery. That being said, if you do have continued concerns....talk with your doctor

 
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:10 PM   #8
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Re: pttd surgery pins & needles

Thanks everyone.

It's good to know that this is 'normal'. The doctor told me a few things to expect - such as I'm going to want to keep my foot up as much as possible for a long, long time but other things such as pins & needles weren't mentioned at all on the list.

 
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