I'm new here and in the depths of despair.
I started having severe ankle problems on June 2007 and haven't worked since July 02 2007.
I was fianally diagnosed after much phaffing about 18 months ago and have now had surgery for Peroneal Tendonopathy And Tears to both ankles. The right was 24/01/2009 and the left 11/11/2009.
The surgery on the right ankle has been largely successful although I still suffer ankle instability and ocassional minor aching - I put this down to overuse as I'm recovering still from recent surgery to my left foot.
However, my left foot is horrendous. I'm still on crutches and having physio twice a week but the pain is sometimes so bad I just cry with it. I take my painkillers religiously and am desperate. My ankle has an acid-burning sensation constantly and aches so much I can hardly stand it. I feel this second op has made the problem worse and although I was made aware of this by my surgeon prior to surgery I went for it as anything seemed better than the pain I had prior to surgery and I was also hopeful as the first op was a relative success.
It's 1.42am here in the UK as I type and yet again the acid-like burning pain in my ankle is as bad as it was prior to my op.
I'm only 36 and I just don't know what to do. I can't work as I'm in retail management and am on my feet all day. I'd like to retrain for something new but am scared of starting something I can't finish. I just don't feel up to anything at the moment but also feel life is passing me by whilst I'm in constant recovery.
The reason I'm posting here though is to ask if there's anyone else in the same position as I am. Has anyone had surgery they may feel has been unsuccessful and what does it feel like for you?
My surgeon is fabulous but he's not very forthcoming with information and the only time I'm in the same room as him I'm having surgery and am unconcious so can't talk to him!
My GP is also fab but not very clued-up on my condition and I don't know where to turn.
I've had physio, MRI scans, Ultrasound Scans, Laser Treatment, Steroid Injections and as a last resort, surgery. I'm assured there's nothing else that can be done but I don't know how to deal with it.
Anyone else had surgery but still got the same pain as they had before?
Is anyone living with this condition long-term?
Thanks to anyone who can help!
Last edited by fluffy999; 12-29-2009 at 05:53 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to fluffy999 For This Useful Post: frygirl123 (09-19-2012)
I am sorry no one has replied to you yet. I was waiting to see if someone would respond who had the same issue/surgery as you, but it looks like you aren't having any luck.
I have had several foot/ankle surgeries over the past 9 years - after I fell on the ice and broke my right ankle. I developed post traumatic arthritis in it, had several arthroscopic debridements, an ankle fusion, osteomyelitis debridement, bunionectomy and a subtalar fusion. I can honestly say that going into approximately 7 of those surgeries and several treatments I have believed I was going to come through on the other side healed and I would not have to have anything else done. However, as you can see - that is not the way they turned out.
I understand the frustration and hopelessness that sets in. As a matter of fact, I am dealing with it myself right now. I just had a corisone injection a few months ago and it looks like I already have to have another one. Also, I am beginning to think there may be something bigger going on in my foot (perhaps the peroneal tendons).
What does your foot doctor say about the pain? Is it possible that you are just not through the healing process yet?
As you know I have never had surgery before. But I can say I know what pain is like. Now, I have never had the acid-burning sensation, but I might be able to help you since you helped me. Before I knew I had to get surgery, I went to physical therapy to strengthen my ankle and stretch my achilles tendons. Every session, my therapist would massage my ankle and foot with this gel-like stuff and then ice it. I wouldn't have any feeling or pain for a while which is awesome after physical therapy because then you don't have to deal with the pain until later. I don't know exactly what he gel-like stuff was, but I think it had menthol in it. I would suggest to go to a local drugstore or any store where they sell first aid and pain relieving medicine. Try to find a pain relieving gel with the active ingredient menthol in it. I don't know if they have it in the UK, but I have something called "mineral ice" which is a pain relieving gel with menthol. Anyway, get something like that and massage your ankle with it then ice it with an ice pack that is able to cover the massaged areas. The menthol with the cold will keep your ankle feeling frozen so guess what? NO PAIN!!!! As the cold starts to wear off you will feel a sort of tingly feeling ocaasionally go through your entire foot, but that doesn't hurt. The one thing I wouldn't do is repeat the process before the feeling wears off. I can't guarentee anything, but I hope this helped you as much as you helped me!
Hi lovely people who answered my post!
I appreciate your responses.
Hi Step - Surgery was my final option. When I first felt the pain in my right ankle in 2007 and visited my family doctor he sent me for physio. The initial thought was that I was having trouble with an old break as I broke my 5th metatarsal bone in 1999 and occasionally feel some pain in cold weather etc. As peroneal tendons sit in the same area as the 5th metatarsal bone it was an assumption but misdiagnosis!
My physio was concerned as the pain was so bad by the time I got to see her (4 weeks after my doctor referred me) that she referred me to a consultant at Derriford Hospital here in the UK who has a special interest in achilles region problems which was the next suspicion. I had a new form of treatment involving a laser pen which was the biggest waste of time ever as it wasn't my achilles tendon. I then got sent for an MRI scan - which sadly doesn't show up tendon problems very well so I was sent for an ultrasound scan and had a course of steroid injections - MY GOD DON'T THEY HURT!!! When this failed I was referred to a surgeon who warned me that he could do the op but it was my final option and I should think hard before going ahead as peroneal ops are only around 40% successful at best and in some cases can make the problem worse.
Out of options and the pain becoming worse by the day - I can only liken it to how it must feel for someone to inject acid into my ankle joints and then kick me in the heelbone constantly - I went for surgery. I could hardly walk and I knew if I didn't have the op I'd always wonder if maybe it might have helped - it certainly wasn't going to get better on it's own and I was told it'd almost definately get worse.
My right foot has healed quite well though it's not perfect. I don't ever expect it to be as good as it was before I had the condition though and it's good enough for me. As I was recovering though, my left foot started to develop the same problem and I knew I'd have to have the same op again. It just hasn't worked as well and I'm frustrated like you and so many other users here are.
I'm having a 12 week review next month so I'll talk to my surgeon then but I suspect he'll say I was warned and I couldn't expect the same result for the left foot as I got with the right. I didn't. I hoped for the best and I accept that what will be, will be.
I'm just not sure where to go from here. I can deal with anything if I'm honest, I just wish someone had a crystal ball so they could tell me exactly what I'm dealing with so I can make a decision about what I'm going to do to adapt and then I can start to get on with it!
I know it's not the end of the world but knowing there's nothing else that can be done and the best I can hope for is more surgery can be a bit of a downer. I don't like to feel sorry for myself and am generally a positive person but this is wearing me down a bit. I feel if I raise my concernes with my physio she says I need to take things one day at a time.
That's all very well but I can't do that forever! I need a cut off point where someone will say that this is as good as it gets and offers a hand at what I need to do next to get my life back on track. I'm so frustrated!!!!!!!
Sorry to complain. I just don't know what to do for the best. Hope someone magics some decent answers (Fat chance. The docs here in the UK seem to avoid direct answers as though I'll sue for millions if they aren't spot-on with what they say!) or give myself a kick and say enough is enough and get on with it myself?
Thanks for your comments Step. I appreciate your trouble. x
Thefrosh - Hello again! I've just been over to your thread for a chat.
Thanks for the advice on ice treatment but cold is torture for my tendon problems. Hot water bottle for me every time. I like the sound of a menthol thing though and will have a look around the pharmacy when I hop (literally!) into town tomorrow, I'll ask my doctor too when I next see him. I'm open to all suggestions and advice.
Oooh, speaking of the cold - does anyone know if anyone has invented a handy gadget to gte rid of snow forever yet? No snow in the South West of England for almost 25 years and as soon as I get trouble with the cold / my tootsies, there's 8 inches of the bloody stuff outside my door. Sooooooo wrong and very unfair! Heehee!
Hi i recently had a bunion surgery, at my 12 week appointment the big toe was again underlapping the second toe, and there is a noticeable bump where the bunion is (was?) so it seem like the bunion is back! it looked good at 6 weeks when they took the pin out. My issues is likely related to hypermobile joints. So, I'm going back in 6 weeks for another check and have been bracing the toe and got orthotics made in the hopes it would correct itself but its not looking like it will. I had a different op on my other foot last year with a fusion to fix that bunion (turned out very well, just a long recovery) so looks like I might have to have that same procedure on this foot now.
I don't have pain issues though.
But I have some other pain I deal with (nerve pain in my face) and the drugs are completley different then painkillers (narcotics), which don't help nerve pain at all. When I was on percocet for my foot I was still feeling my nerve pain (trigeminal nerve in my case). Perhaps you can ask your doctor for a reffereal to a pain clinic? Not sure if orthopedic surgeons are able to treat nerve pain. Would you say the pain feels like someone sticking a live wire on your foot? or lightening like?
8 INCHES OF SNOW?!?!?! if you have a problem with that than you would probably have a heartattack over here! When we got that blizzard in December, there was 2 feet of snow in front of my house!!! O_O Anyway thanks for the lovely comment on my thread and yes, I will keep you up to date on my surgery. I am going to see my surgeon this weekend so I will be able to ask about all of my concerns. Sorry that cold doesn't help your situation but yes, ask your doctor about menthol. Ever had a sunburn? Well the aloe has a cooling sensation and so does menthol, and the menthol, not aloe, will probably help.
I'll will keep you posted, if you keep me posted. =]
The pain is very hot, like acid. Sometimes it can be very sharp though and it stops me dead in the street when I'm out and about. I also suffer from a kind of personal central heating system problem in my left lower leg since surgery too! I get a white hot flash a dozen or so times a day. My physio thinks that may be some nerve damage but I'll discuss it with my doctor at my 12 week review next month. At least it keeps me warm in the snow!
Good luck with your troubles.
We're not big on snow here in the south west of england. Rain? Yes. Snow? Not alot.
Would like to hibernate this winter!
Good luck with your surgeon. We'll keep each other updated.
Your problems with your tendon seems alot like mine. I have had 3 surgeries on my right peroneal tendon. The first surgery failed and i swithched Drs. The 2nd surgery the new Dr. moved my heel bone over thinking that is was tearing my ankle, this was the most painful surgery because of the screws in my heel. While I was recovering from this surgery about 10 weeks after I slipped and feel in a store and retore the tendon hence the 3rd surgery.The 3rd surgery he took the tendon from the inside of my ankle and moved it to the outside to piggy back the peroneal tendon(sorry my dr. doesnt tell me the medical terms for the surgeries)I have little movement and feeling in my big toe from this surgery. So about 2 weeks before Christmas I went up on my tip toes and heard a pop with lots of pain. Went to Dr. tried aN MRI couldnt see anything because of the screws and did a CT scan that couldnt show if the tendons were tore but showed the were very swollen and enlarged with significant calcifications. Dr. put me in cast for 4 weeks. I had the cast taken off yesterday and am in so much pain today i feel sick to my stomach. I go back to DR. in March and then will decide if I have surgery to take the screws out to get a better look at tendons. The cold also bothers me very much to walk on a cold floor is tourture!I am also frustrated and very tired of being in pain, I had about a year of pain free before this incident.
Hope it helps to know your not alone,
The first time they found a tear. It was repaired. SUbluxation was fixed.
The second time it still hurt, not too bad, but the dr. was doing other stuff and found 2 more tears taking up 50% of the tendon. Strangely, the MRI I had done 2 mos earlier showed no tears at all. It was fixed.
Pain was AWFUL after surgery #2. I literally sat a few times with a knife ready to cut out the tendon. Dr. thought I was nuts and said he would not touch that tendon again. I complained each visit, was in tears each visit. Was ready to give up. Then, thankfully due to a tear in my PTT, I was scheduled for surgery #3. I begged him to check my peroneal tendons.
Surgery #3 found my PTT and my peroneal tendons GLUED down. They wouldn't move. He spend over a half hour on each one feeing them so they would move again. This time instead of being casted for 6 weeks(I had bone work down too), he put me in a boot at 10 days post op so I could move my foot. What happened was that my body made way too much scar tissue after surgery #2, esp since I was casted for 6 weeks and a boot for 6 more.
So now my peroneals feel better. I still have a zingy feeling from the nerves being entrapped in some scar tissue and it is sore a little, but it is WAY better than before surgery #3. I no longer sit there with a knife trying to figure out the best way to cut them out.
So keep pressing to get answers. Find a reason for your dr. to check into it again. Scar tissue does not show up on an MRI and so my dr. had no idea until he got in there and was amazed that I was even doing what I was based on how bad it was.
Wow! Peroneal tendons sure can cause problems and make life difficult!
They must also be tough to fix.
I just had to stop by and say sorry to all of you dealing with these ongoing problems. I really hope you find relief soon. Be assertive and a strong advocate for yourself. Keep asking why/why not and do your research. Good thing you have each other to learn from.
Keep posting! There are a lot of people reading and learning from you even though they may never post.
Thank you all so so so much for taking the trouble to give responses. I really appreciate it.
I'm losing the will to live! I'm almost 3 months into recovery since my last surgery and the pain is horrific. Acid pain 24/7 that is actually worse than it was before surgery. I was warned this could happen but now it's actually upon me I could cry - in fact I did yesterday. I know it's silly but two-and-a-half-years of this is enough to drive anyone to tears I think.
I have to see my physio tomorrow and if she thinks I'm standing on tip-toes and balancing on my bad foot for 40 seconds like she's insisting I should be able to by 3 momths then she can think again. I physically can't do it and I'm so tired of being what feels like quoted from The Big Book Of Peroneal Tendon Facts. It's really bugging me that everyone at the hospital seems to think that because text books say I should be capable of this and that at this point in my recovery then that's that. I want to scream at them that surely there must be an exception to the rules now and again. How can everyone have the exact same recovery time or post-op symptoms?
I feel like the fact I'm still in pain and it seems to be worsening is of no importance to anyone at the hospital at all. It's like they think they've done the ops and therefore I can't possibly still be suffering this amount of pain. I feel like they think I'm making it up or at best exaggerating. It's really upsetting.
I have my 12 week review on Monday (8th Feb) and I'm going to be firm when I go to the hospital. I think I've no choice but to demand another ultrasound scan to get them to take a look. It's like they do the op and then just assume everything is OK no matter how much I say it isn't. Taking a look inside is out of the question!
Sorry to moan again. I'm sure I'll get somewhere if I kick up a stink at the hospital next week but it's just a constant battle to get anything done. I think I'm just devestated that after 2 painful ops with long recovery periods I hoped it would be the end of it and it just doesn't seem there's any end in sight.
Keep begging them to look at it. My MRI's didn't show any tears yet they were there. MRI's won't show scar tissue either and mine were glued to the bone unable to move. The pain was so bad, like I said. If I had to go on like that I might just have taken a knife for real and cut it out. My dr. only went in there to look because he was doing surgery on other areas. He was very reluctant to open up my peroneals a 3rd time. But, he did, thankfully, and the scar tissue was cleaned up. Does it still hurt? Yes. Do I still have zingy feeling from a nerve trapped? Yes. BUT, I no longer feel like cutting out the tendon myself. The pain is manageable along the peroneals now and my ROM is much better than it was before.
Don't let them tell you nothing is going on. Maybe mention scar tissue, see what they say.
I saw my physio today who says just 3 months after surgery the hospital are unlikely to do anything anyway as it's too soon. They want to wait at least anothre 3 months before they even think about scanning it again.
I have my 3 month review on Monday so I'll kick off a bit then as I've no other choice.
I just hate it when everyone looks at me like they're an authority on my condition and I'm just the patient so what could I know? The truth is that this condition is common but rarely treated to the point of surgery so it seems to me the reason I'm largely getting no answers is because no one has any but won't admit it.
My physio seems to look doubtful when I tell her the pain has increased since surgery and certainly worsened in the last 2 weeks. She says she believes me but doesn't look like she does. She says my scar isn't hot, red or swollen anymore like it was in the weeks after my op so therefore there can't be anything much wrong. I strongly disagree but I just don't think anyone is very interested.
I wouldn't be so concerned but back in 2008 when no one really knew what was wrong and everyone at the hospital was keen to write me off with all sorts of minor problems. I had this acid pain and insisted it needed looking into and demanded that I had an ultrasound scan as MRI's are useless for this type of problem. I was looked at like I was a lunatic but I was right and eventually had surgery.
I was right then when they were all wrong and I think I'm right again now. Surely I'm the best person qualified to know how much pain I'm in?
I had the same surgery on my right foot first and never had this acid pain again once the op was done but it's constant in my left foot. I'm so frustrated no one seems to be bothered.
The problem definately isn't scar tissue. I had a ton of it removed when I had surgery in November.
I guess I'll have to take it up with whoever I see at fracture clinic on Monday.
Thanks again for your help.
Last edited by fluffy999; 02-02-2010 at 12:54 PM.
Reason: more info added
From my experience from my last 3 surgeries, all including the peroneal tendons, they won't do a scan or anyting until at least 6 mos post op. They just won't. I guess they have to wait that long to see how the healing is going. So, give it the 3 mos, keep complaining and then maybe at 6 mos they'll order the scan to see what is going on.
I've known others who have had problems with the peroneals and had multiple surgeries on them besides me. They are a pain in the behind for sure. I know how hard it is to wait. I was in tears and each time my dr. just said, I'll see you in 6 weeks. Finally, at about 7 mos I called him a pitched a fit because he kept saying 6 more weeks and then I'd see him again, complain and then it was 6 more weeks. At 9 mos he finally started to listen and at 10 mos I had the surgery. So, know that until 6 mos post-op., they really won;t do anything, but then at 6 mos, they'll start to listen, at 9 mos, they'll listen with more interest and at 12 mos, they'll really start paying attention. BUt keep complaining so they have it in the records.
I too was told they could not do another scan for 6 months after the surgery. My Dr. gave the reason that the tendon would show it was torn even if it wasnt because of it healing during that time. He did go ahead and give me another MRI right at 6 months and it was torn hence my 3rd surgery. MY issue now is because of all the surgeries and screws they cant see the tendon if it is torn. I go back in March and decide if the screws come out to take a better picture. My guess is going to be yes they are coming out. I am still in pain and it is not getting any better. The thought of a 4th and possibly 5th surgery is really depressing. I have 3 kids and all surgeries have been over the summer months because I work for a school, The surgeries have been as hard on them as me. Has either of you had screws removed? It is such a struggle everyday to try and figure out what to do. I am only 39 and to think of walking in pain for the rest of my life is crazy!
Thanks again for all your replies. You really are a help!
Heidi, I haven't had any screws put in so don't have this problem but it wouldn't surprise me if I need more surgery that will involve somethin like it so I'll keep you posted.
I can understand the need to wait for 6 months post-op before anything will be even looked into but the frustration is killing me. I just know I'm right about something being wrong and it seems such a waste of time. I've already watsed so much time listening to them say "Let's try laser traetement - Let's try steroid injections - Let's try 3 months of physio."
Kris - I'm totally with you on the 6 week thing. I got so fed up when I was first diagnosed with being told they'd see me in 6 weeks. I'd wait for an appointment which didn't come so had to spend ages on the phone hounding them for one. Then it would arrive and I'd have to wait 4 weeks to see someone. Then I'd get all geared-up that when I went someone would do something only to find when I got there I'd have a minor poke-about to be toldto come back again in another 6 weeks! In the end I kicked-off and said to the bloke I saw each time - "You do know I'm aare that two lots of 6 weeks is 3 months? Calling it weeks doesn't make me think it's any less. I'm not stupid you know. What's going to change between now and then other than my condition getting worse? DO SOMETHING!!!"
Ar which point he scuttled off and got a surgeon and then I was finally put on the waiting list. I resent having to cause such a scene to get anything done. It's hard here in the UK because we gave a National Health Service. I know alot of the rest of world thinks we're lucky because that means we don't pay for anything but we do - we get an onscene amount of money taken from our wages every month in National Insurance contributions to pay for the NHS and when you need it you have to threaten to kill someone to get something done which we pay heavily for.
Back on topic though. I just know so much time has already been wasted. July 2007 I first noticed soemthing was wrong and it was January 2009 before I had my furst op. I just think now that we know the problem they should get on with it. Haven't we all suffered enough??? Arrgggghhhhhh!!!
I'm calm now I promise....
I'll have a chat with whoever I see at fracture clinic next week. My hopes aren't high though. I know they'll say they can't do anythig until 6 months is up and I suppose that is sensible. The point is when I go back when 6 months is up they'll try and fob me off with crap and I'll have to complain yet again and the whole cycle of everything I've been through twice already qill begin again.
I went to the hospital today for my 3 month review.
As expected, I have to go back in another 3 months as it's too soon after surgery to tell what's a genuine problem and what's healing etc. Fair enough.
One thing I did get straight though - AT LAST!!! - is that my days standing on my feet all day at work are O.V.E.R. Doc says as I've had the condition so long (which is uncommon apparently) it's unlikely that after all my treatments and 2 surgeries, that I'll ever be free of pain completely and I might want to seriously reconsider what I do for a living (currently Retail Managment). I would do well to find something where I can move around regularly to stop my joints and tendons seizing up but which also allows me to sit down for a large part of my shift. Standing on my feet all day must become a thing of the past.
I feel good. Which I know may sound odd. But at least it's a little bit of closure. I've been wanting someone to find the balls to tell me where I stand - if you'll pardon the pun - for ages and now at least I'm a bit better informed of what to do about things in the long term.
Doc says I could possibly have more surgeries in the future but not on a regular basis - not that I'd want them too aften! - but it's almost certainly something I'll have to live with long term and I might want to start really adapting to my condition. I expected this and actually feel quite positive that at least now I know and I can either be open to further treatment if it's available whilst also not continue sitting around waiting for someone to tell me what I pretty much already knew anyway! this is a good thing I think.
Also, to anyone suffering the same, or similar condition, - and I know you're out there cos you're either reading this or have kindly responded along the way - I was told today that I might benefit from seeing a Podiatrist and maybe having custom made insoles made for my shoes to put my feet at a slight angle without the stress of wearing heels (I don't like the idea of heels these days!). I'm a trainer girl and wearing such flat shoes is stretching my tendons and possibly making my condition more painful than it needs to be. I'm going to talk with my doctor more in 3 months time when I go back.
Positive result I reckon. Defo feeling a little brighter! How is everyone else? please do post and let me know.