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Old 08-22-2012, 11:09 PM   #1
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5 1/2 Months post PTTD surgery, having allot of pain.

I am 5 1/2 months post PTTD surgery, and things have been progressing allot slower than I had expected. I have been weaning myself out of the boot, and I finally started wearing my shoe full time a couple weeks ago. I'm still in PT and we have been progressing to more advanced exercises, I was so excited to start using the leg press machine.
I have been having allot of heel pain ever since I started FWB along with a pulling pain in the transferred FDL tendon. I have noticed lately that the pain has gotten worse, ESP. in the FDL tendon. It's more than the tugging pain that I had in the beginning after the surgery, but it's a deep burning pain. It starts from the screw where the tendon is now attached to my leg bone and it wraps around my inner ankle. I can definitely feel that screw in my leg too and it constantly hurts. The pain in my heel gets almost unbearable at times. I think it's from the screws in my heel, but my surgeon says the screws are buried deep in my heel bone and shouldn't cause the pain.
I'm wondering if I should call my Dr or wait untill my next appt in 2 weeks. Is this pain normal, or have I been over doing things. Is it possible for the surgery to fail so soon? I am worried about that since I am getting similar pain to what I had pre surgery. I did complain to my therapist, and they said it was up to me if I wanted to call the Dr or not. They didn't want o sway me either way. Not sure what to do, I really thought I would be back to work by now.
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Surgery March 6, 2012: Calcanal Osteotomy, PTT repair, FDL tendon transfer on left foot.

 
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:18 AM   #2
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Re: 5 1/2 Months post PTTD surgery, having allot of pain.

Hey Planemark! It's good to see you here again, though I'm sorry to hear about your pain. (Do you remember me? I had microfracture and a calcaneal osteotomy a week after your surgery). It sounds like we are in a similar place with recovery. I have to keep reminding myself that I've been told recovery is slow for this type of surgery. I am having tendon problems too, so I really feel for you... mine is insertional tendinitis in the achilles, which developed about four months post-op. Apparently that can happen after the osteotomy. Great! No-one warned me about that bit! Not saying yours is the same of course, but I'm with you on the tendon pain. It is horrible... but then you know that. I wonder if the move into shoes could be making things worse for you? I'm only wearing sandals, but they rub on the tendon and on the sore place on my heel where the screws went in. I still have swelling around that incision. I have been doing the leg press too, as well as cycling and hydrotherapy. I stopped doing the WB exercises in PT as they seemed to cause a lot of pain. My PT is great and says the key is to moderate the exercise if you have more pain than usual. For me, it's hard to find the place where I'm doing enough without the pain getting pretty bad. And I'm frustrated because my foot is still weak - it's agony to try to get up on tiptoes! If you have increased your activity, that could be a cause for the flare up. But I'm guessing here. I would call your doc if you are worried. Two weeks can seem a long time when you're in pain. In the meantime, don't forget to ice and elevate, even if you are just resting your leg on the couch instead of the floor! I am always surprised how having my foot down makes it more painful really quickly. The icing really helps me. Wish I could walk around with my foot in a bucket of cold water! I do hope things improve for you soon. Keep us updated!

 
Old 08-24-2012, 06:30 PM   #3
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Re: 5 1/2 Months post PTTD surgery, having allot of pain.

I am almost 5 months post pttd surgery, with fdl tendon transfer, and calcaneal osteotomy as well. I have been out of the boot for almost 2 months and into a sneaker. I also have custom orthotics to help protect the tendon transfer. I am doing fairly well. The limp is going away, I am getting quicker in my pace, and my physical therapist said that I am almost done. (I got a pair of Brooks sneakers, they are a wider foot and very supportive..very comfortable)

I started PT with a warm whirlpool, it was great. I do a bike, WB, strengthening, excersises, and treadmill to get my step back into shape. I go slow and make sure to concentrate on doing heel/toe to stretch the whole foot.

I also have to keep telling myself that this is a long recovery. My ankle on the outside (right foot surgery) still swells pretty good at the end of the day. I also have some pins and needles randomly. I will be sitting at my desk at work and out of the blue the pins and needles will start. My nervous times were attending a backyard wedding with uneven ground and driving. I have only driven twice since cleard in the end of June. My first time out, someone decided to pull right in front of me and I had to slam on the breaks. I was so nervous.

I am sorry that you are having such pain. Defintely call the dr. I can't wait for the day that I can walk up and down the stairs in my house withoutt having to think of every step I take and one foot at a time!!

Speedy recovery to all!

 
Old 08-26-2012, 02:32 PM   #4
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Re: 5 1/2 Months post PTTD surgery, having allot of pain.

Amethyst, I have often wondered about you. Sorry to hear about the achilles tendon pain. I too experienced that, and it was quite painful. It is gradually getting better the more I walk and stretch it. In PT I have learned some good stretches including walking on my heels and then walking on my toes to stretch & strengthen. I hope your tendinitis can be solved with PT and not another surgery.

Marble, it sounds like you are progressing very well. Keep the faith, and keep up with your home exercises. I think that is part of my problem, I wasn't as diligent with daily exercises as I should have been. I finally got fed up with my lack of mobility and I decided to keep up with daily exercises about a month ago. This could explain some of my increased pain.

I am starting to worry that my surgery has begun to fail as I am going back to the same pains I had pre op. I am getting pain in my inner arch as well as the side of my leg where the original PTT tear was. I have also noticed that when I stand barefoot while getting dressed, I can't stand barefoot for long, my arch feels like it has fallen again. For a long while I had a new arch from the osteotomy. I know that this surgery isn't perfect, and there is a percentage of people who don't experience success. I am overweight and that doesn't help things either. I think I will call my Dr and talk to his assistant tomorrow. Maybe I can get an earlier appointment. I also have PT in the morning, so I will talk to them again about everything and see what their advice is. This injury gets so frustrating at times!
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Surgery March 6, 2012: Calcanal Osteotomy, PTT repair, FDL tendon transfer on left foot.

 
Old 08-27-2012, 06:47 AM   #5
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Re: 5 1/2 Months post PTTD surgery, having allot of pain.

I had pttd (flatfoot surgery) two years ago. At five months post op, my foot would still swell and be painful. After work or pt I would have to ice and elevate my foot. In the morning before doing anything, I would apply heat and stretch my foot. Are you still icing and elevating your foot? Remember, it truly does take up to a year for full healing to occur after this surgery. My foot did not feel right until I hit the 11-12 month mark. I would call your doctor and see what he/she says. It could be the screws. Or there could be another problem (or nothing!). At 5 to 6 months post op, I ended up with a stress fracture to my fibula - no idea how this happened! There have been some on this board who did have to have the screws removed. My surgeon advised me to never go barefoot again after this surgery and to always wear my orthotics.

 
Old 08-28-2012, 08:21 PM   #6
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Re: 5 1/2 Months post PTTD surgery, having allot of pain.

I called the Dr office Monday and they told me to come in so they could look at my foot. Thankfully my surgery hasn't failed, and my transferred FDL tendon is ok. The Dr told my that the new tendon is allot smaller than my original PT tendon and is is being overworked trying to support my large frame. I do remember him warning me about this before surgery. He obviously recommended that I loose a bunch of weight, so much easier said than done. In the meantime he wants me to get a UCB Orthotic arch support to help take some of the load off of my Tendons. He said it would be temporary untill the tendon gets strong enough to support me, about 6 to 8 months. Now I just have to wait for workers comp to get the paperwork so they can approve the brace.
I am so relieved that everything is fine, and the brace should help alleviate this pain. It has hurt me so bad over the past few weeks since I have been more active. Now to work on my weight. I have been depressed and gaining weight since I have been out of work.
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Surgery March 6, 2012: Calcanal Osteotomy, PTT repair, FDL tendon transfer on left foot.

 
Old 09-11-2012, 09:01 PM   #7
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Re: 5 1/2 Months post PTTD surgery, having allot of pain.

It's been a couple of weeks since I first posted this. I'm still waiting for my UCB brace to finish the workers comp approval process. I'm still having a bunch of pain in my new tendon to the point where I'm almost afraid to do too much walking because I don't want it to hurt worse. I have also been getting extra numbness in my foot and toes, ESP. the big toe. I wonder if his is weight related too or something else. Has anyone else experienced extra numbness in their surgery foot so long, 6 months, after surgery??
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Surgery March 6, 2012: Calcanal Osteotomy, PTT repair, FDL tendon transfer on left foot.

 
Old 09-12-2012, 10:05 AM   #8
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Re: 5 1/2 Months post PTTD surgery, having allot of pain.

Hi planemark,
I remember you from a few months ago. I am 4 mos. Post op tendon transfer, gastroc recession and rebuilt spring ligament structure. No bonework. I have only slightly improved. Still much pain in rt foot. All of the pain that was there is still there, minus the ptt but added surgical pain.. the left foot is now stage one. I am waddling with a dbl limp. Surgeon stopped my painkiller but is ignoring multiple requests to address ongoing and new pain. Literally ignoring me. So frustrating. Saw a new podiatrist yesterday and he prsecribed custom orthotics and more pt but the pt is to address dysfunction in my hips now. He states that this is the root of all my trouble. Ive seen six doctors and they all say different things. I caught on a while ago that they are all just guessing. This is a very enigmatic condition that is highly variable from one person to the next and not very well studied or documented. I waited two months to see this new podiatrist. I was @ the point of desperation and left in tears. Realizing that this condition has no end is very depressing. I am feeling defeated, hopeless, angry, sad, confused, mistreated and discouraged. I dont believe the orthotics or pt will stop this progression of disability. I feel as though I have a short period of time being able to walk. And i cant walk for more than a few minutes at a time now. I feel your pain.

 
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:49 PM   #9
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Re: 5 1/2 Months post PTTD surgery, having allot of pain.

Severity, I feel your pain-literally, and I can relate to your frustration. I'm so sorry to hear that you are having so much trouble. At four months post op I was very frustrated also and still very limited because of weakness and pain. I was still using one crutch and using the cam walker boot half of the time. I has too much pain in my shoe at that point. My therapist ended up putting me in the pool for aqua therapy, which I think helped me quite a bit. Do they offer any aqua therapy where you go, or are you past that point? Also if you are in so much pain and limited how long you can walk you might need to use your cam walker boot more untill your tendon gets stronger and you do better in a shoe. Try not to loose hope and keep up with the PT and home exercises. 4 months is still early, and this is a long healing process. All of the time non weight bearing causes our leg and foot to atrophy quite a bit.
I get so frustrated too, and my therapist reminds me how far I have come since just a couple months ago. Everyone keeps reminding me that this surgery can take up to a year to recover from. I think it's worse on your right foot, ESP. with driving.
I know that this surgery varies from person to person, and the success rate isn't the best. I am so glad for my OS, he is very experienced and highly recommended. Every time I get frustrated and have allot of doubts of my return to normal walking, he is just so confident and says that I will be fine. It just takes time for he new tendons to adjust and get strong enough to support us. I know he wants me to loose weight so it will be easier on me. I'm just glad that he hasn't tried to rush me back to work before I'm strong enough and less pain.
Hang in there! Sending you hugs of support.
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Surgery March 6, 2012: Calcanal Osteotomy, PTT repair, FDL tendon transfer on left foot.

 
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:39 PM   #10
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Re: 5 1/2 Months post PTTD surgery, having allot of pain.

Hi, I am four months out and for sure this is frustrating. I was in so much pain initially in the shoe that it felt like it wasn't going to ever get better.

But, I had also been procrastinating and didn't start PT for two weeks. I've been twice and have faithfully exercised at home, and I already feel a little improvement. I had been having horrible nerve pain in the heel that would just stop me cold, but even that has decreased. The physical therapist has me walking on a treadmill for 10 minutes daily and said that getting into my normal gait will reduce the pain. So I am trying to get more comfortable and less tense when I walk and it is helping.

I FINALLY feel like there may be an end in sight. Cannot believe the toll this surgery has taken on me this summer.

Hoping for continued healing for all of us going through this!!

 
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:18 PM   #11
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Re: 5 1/2 Months post PTTD surgery, having allot of pain.

Hi,
today i returned to boston to see my surgeon. Hes concerned about the pain i have and doesnt have a better alternative to the other dr.'s recommendation for custom orthotics, although he's always been an opponent of them. I knew that was coming. He says that pt wont help. I believe him. Gonna try anyways. What else can i do? Took my last painkiller and they wont give me more. I dont know how im going to work without it. Im a hairstylist. One hour is a marathon in my state. With medicine. Im freaking out. What am i gonna do? Not work? I need the money, i have two children. As it is, i only work about 6 hours a week. But im afraid im losing my ability to do even that. Compared to everyone else tho, im lucky it sounds. Wow. Anybody have pain in both feet?

 
Old 09-18-2012, 11:01 AM   #12
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Re: 5 1/2 Months post PTTD surgery, having allot of pain.

Im still surprised that hey didnt give you a calcaneal osteotomy. My OS says that they do that in order to take stress off of the new tendon. Your arch must have been much better than mine, i have flat feet and my left arch was completely blown out from my fall. I hope the custom orthotics help you, at this point they can't hurt anything. I was told hat the FDL tendon they transfer is much smaller and weaker than the original PT tendon, and most people do fine with an over the counter arch support. Because of my weight my Dr thinks the custom orthotic will take some more pressure off of the tendon untill it can get strong enough to support me. I only have to use it for up to 6 months. I think PT will help you too, I can't imagine where I would be without all of the PT. Other people on here have said the same thing.
I don't even know what to say about meds. I know it varies state by state, and my state seems to really limit how many narcotics they can give out. They gave me a few prescriptions for the first month post op and after that I was told to wean myself off and use extra strength Tylenol, no advill because of my ulcer. All I can tell you is to elevate and ice whenever you get the chance. I can't imagine being on my feet all day so soon after surgery. Good luck and hang in there.
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Surgery March 6, 2012: Calcanal Osteotomy, PTT repair, FDL tendon transfer on left foot.

 
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