I'm 34 and I'm scheduled to have a posterior tibial tendon reconstruction (taking out that tendon and using the fdl) with calcaneal osteotomy. I've had flat feel all my life and once I got pregnant with my 2nd child I started to have major foot pain...including a ruptured tendon in my left ankle. I posted questions last week regarding what it's like to go through this procedure and what to really expect once I'm through physical therapy, and when can I expect to feel "normal" again....but I thought I'd repost the questions as well as to see if there are people out there that have had positive experiences with this surgery? I've read through many of the posts on this site and while it's been informative and helpful honettly it's been a bit depressing. It seems like many people are still having issues or are not very happy with their procedures. I fully recognize dealing with feet can be tricky, but I'm hopeful there are people out there that have been happy with their surgery and going on to live normal, happy lives with happy feet?? I have 3 beautiful little kids that I need to chase around and the idea of getting the surgery done and still being in pain is really depressing. I'd love to hear some positive feedback?
Everyone is different, and what you read on here do not let it scare you. A lot of personal things come into factor, age, mobility, other problems, physical shape etc etc. I'm 20yrs old and a long-distance runner, played multiple sports during school all my life, always moving around, great shape; I'm 8wks post-op and so far my recovery has been amazing. I only had pain for 4 days after surgery and haven't experienced anything since, the only problem is the agitated nerves, but they're gone now also. I start PT next week and am looking forward to that, I'm FWB in a boot right now with some assistance to crutches. I was scared to death about recovery because of things I read online, and turns out the worst trouble I had was just sleeping on my back during the night for the first few weeks. I hope everything goes well for you.
Don't get discouraged if you come on here and don't find many positive stories about a particular procedure ... I did that too myself after my first surgery (just had my 4th) and soon realized those people with the positive stories are off running around (literally!) and aren't on here posting about how good they feel. Typically it is the ones who are still having issues that remain here that are looking for answers or experiences.
In their defense, eventually when I feel great I am not sure I will be on here either
The Following User Says Thank You to kimberp For This Useful Post: Laurie B (11-06-2010)
Thanks so much for replying Kimberp and Johnd304. My doctor said the same thing about patients not being on these message boards if they're feeling good...makes sense. Since my post I've actually had the surgery and i'm now 5 weeks post-op. In one week my hard cast comes off and i'm put in a walking cast with PT to follow. I'm very nervous about PT and at this point I feel like i'm never going to feel normal again. These 5 weeks have been rough...not pain, just the discomfort of sleep (can't sleep on my back at all) and the inability to be mobile and do things for myself (and my kids). Thankfully i've had great support from my family, but still a frustrating time. I spoke with a past patient of my doctors who had the same surgery...he's in his 60's and was running 3 wks after his PT was done. He said "PT was a *****" and difficult, but he's doing really well now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed i'm like him. Hard not to get a little discouraged with how long this process takes....sigh Hope you both are on the mend and look forward to hearing about your progress!
I am 9 weeks post op and overall am very happy with what has been done. For most of us, we are in various stages of recovery and it is hard work. If I had to do it over again I would. The aches and swelling I have now are all a normal part of the recovery process. Sometimes though we are not sure until we question it here and see what others are going through. I know when you first read alot of the posts it seems scary and intimidating. It is well worth it. There have been many successful stories, but once we heal we move back on to our busy lives. PT actually helps with rom and loosening the foot up.
thanks for the reassuring words, missyluke. looks like you're a few weeks ahead of me. i'm not in pain right now...just discomfort and frustration for not being able to get going and live my life. i'm just looking at the big picture and know/hope this will have been well worth it and this discomfort will be a minor blip in my life...i'll soon be able to run around with my kids and wear cute shoes without pain good luck to you!!
I'm 15 weeks post op and doing well. Mine was the result of a sports injury which within a year caused my arch to collapse because of tears in the PTT tendon. I am happy I did the surgery. It still hurts some but I am walking, not normal yet, but walking, and I certainly have swelling, numbness and pain at the osteotomy site still but each week i feel better and better.
I don't want to be negative about the whole procedure, but I'm 29 years old, competitive athlete (semi-professional), had a PTT reconstruction and calcaneal lengthening osteotomy, and am 6 months post-op with still a significant amount of pain that will not let me do any type of jogging. I still can not get on my toes on the repaired foot and I still have swelling throughout the day. I'm giving this until month 9 to know whether it has worked for me or not. In my opinion, if I can't jog, then it wasn't a success.
My surgery is scheduled for Dec 1 and I am ready to run, if I could. I do appreciate the supportive network here and know that I will be seeking that support in the months to come. Have to admit, I am second guessing my decision left and right. I am hoping the pain I feel post surgery will be less than the pain I feel now. It is bearable now, but limits my activity. Am I doing the right thing??? I don't want to be worst off than I am now.
laurie b...your hesitation and worry about the surgery is exactly how i felt prior to having my surgery about 5 wks ago...i was freaking out. i tried some of the more conservative approaches, but my MRI showed that my tendon was snapped and i was born with flat feet. That combined with my inability to be active in my life...running and playing with my kids, working out, wearing shoes that didn't look like orthopedic shoes, lol, were all motivating factors. After my surgery my doctor told me my tendon looked like mush and there was no way i'd be able to fix it without surgery...so really i had no other choice. Prior to my surgery I spoke with a past patient of my doctor...he was in his 60's at the time of his surgery...avid runner/marathoner, and was back to light jogging about 16-18 wks post op. Clearly he's on the amazingly positive end of the spectrum and not everyone will be able to do that so fast, but it gave me hope. He said it was the best decision he'd ever made.
ThaiBoxMike...i'm sorry to hear you're still having pain and not able to get back into your normal routine...especially since you're a competitive athelete. If it helps, i've heard from many that to truly be "healed" it takes about 12 months post op.
For me, the slow healing is the hardest part of this whole process and i haven't even started PT yet! I get my hard cast off next wk and get my walking cast...very very nervous to take the first step with weight on it!
I am 10 months post-op from a calcaneal osteotomy, repair of the longus and brevus tendon, and an achilles lengthening. It certainly hasn't been easy, but if I had to do it over again I would. I was prepared for the 6 weeks in a cast, the walking boot, and PT, but I was not expecting pain at 10 months.
As of today, I can do anything that I used to do pre surgery. I can run, jump, ride a bike, etc... but I still have pain. It's nothing like the pain I had the first few months, and it's not everyday, but it's an attention getter when it comes.
My doctor tells me that this is part of the healing process and will eventually go away completely. I have 2 screws that are each 2 3/4 inches long, they are headless screws so the are set into the bone a little bit. Because of this the sharp edges of the screw holes dig into the tissue around them. The longer I am on my feet and the more active I am, the more it hurts. It's getting less and less and hopefully won't last much longer.
As I said, if I had to do it over again I would. If you have any questions along the way just post and I will try to answer. Best of luck with everything, I look forward to hearing about your first steps full weight bearing.
Hey Gumby...thanks so much for your reply! I'm so happy to hear about all the things your able to do again...gives me hope! I'm on my first day of partial weight bearing and I gotta say it's a bit of an adjustment. I'm feeling some discomfort when I put some weight on my foot, but I figured as much not having had any weight on it for 6wks. At this point it's a little difficult to figure out what's pain from the surgery and what's pain from zero movement from being in a cast. Do you recall when you felt comfortable enough to walk in the boot without a crutch(s)? I'm also finding it kind of clumsy to pwb with a crutch and walk...I feel like I'm moving in slow motion and will never feel normal again! I start my first PT next wednesday...do you remember how your first few PT's were and what you did? When did your basic range of motion start to come back (ie. Bend toes, flex, point foot)? At what point(wk/month) did you start to feel a little more normal and could walk without a limp? When did you first have a shoe on and how did that feel? What seems to be take a little longer to heal..the tendon reconstruction or the calcaneal osteotomy? Sorry for so many questions...I realize everyone heals differently, but always nice to hear how others progressed.
Lambchop789: I am 10 weeks post op and I found the boot difficult to walk in. Once I lost the boot (this week), walking became easier. I have to admit when I was in the boot I had a lot of pain. Went to the doctor and he said I have a sympathic nerve problem. The doctor put me on Lyrica and it feels much better and I am able to get around for a couple of hours before my foot starts to give. The first steps in the morning are the toughest. I still walk with a limp but I figure in time this will get better. My pt consists of rom - pulling the foot down, up and side to side with a band.
lambchop789: here are the answers to your questions,
Feeling comfortable without a crutch?........after the first 2 weeks of PT, they worked with me on that everyday.
How were my first few PT's?.......... Just worked on a lot of range of motion, stretching, massaging, electrical stimulation, and ice.
When I started walking without a limp?.............I honestly don't remember, it took quite awhile though. Being 6'8 probably didn't help with that.
First time wearing a shoe?............After 6 weeks of PT, 2 weeks PWB and 6 weeks FWB. I ended up having to order a pair of WIDE shoes though. I was able to find a pair that matched one I already had, that way I didn't have to wear a wide shoe on my "good" foot. The first few days were very uncomfortable though, a shoe just doesn't give the same support as the walking boot. I actually had my wife hide my walking boot so that I wouldn't be tempted to go back to it..lol
Which healed quicker, Tendon or Osteotomy?........... I would have to say this has been pretty equal for me. It really just depends on what I do during the course of a day. For example, I played golf yesterday, this forces me to constantly be shifting my weight to my left(surgically repaired) foot. At the end of the day my heel had some discomfort. Almost like a dull stabbing pain(hopefully not caused by the screws). If I spend the day doing a lot of walking, then I'll have some discomfort in the tendons.
All in all everything is better than it was January 12th(day before surgery). What has helped me get through all of this is reminding myself that it took 40 plus years to do all that damage, so I shouldn't be complaining that it hasn't healed in 10 months.
This is all just part of what we have to go through, I hope that you and everyone else on here can push through and realize there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask, I wish I had found this site before my surgery.
Lambchop At first, I was given clearance to put 30 lbs of weight on the foot in the boot. Over a period of three weeks, I was able to gradually increase the amount of weight on the foot. Once given permission to do full weight bearing, I only did fwb as tolerated. In a nutshell, it took three weeks to transition from pwb to fwb and then another three to four weeks to be able to do fwb with no discomfort. Now, I can go do errands without any real discomfort. I dont think that I could do an 8 hour day at work yet, but am much more mobile than I was even two weeks ago. This comming week, I am seeing the doctor again and hope to start the process of transitioning to a real shoe. It is a long process but gradually gets better and better. Good luck
I'm glad to hear you're doing well. Question for you. Were you able to do any type of jogging/running 6 months post op?
I am 6 months post op of calcaneal lengthening osteotomy, and ptt reconstruction. I still have significant pain at times when I walk, but a little less than significant most of the time walking. I definitely can NOT run or jog or anything like that. The most is jumping jacks. Those hurt quite a bit though. Also, I simply can not push off on my toes on my repaired foot alone.
I'm 6'7 and 240 lbs, probably close to what you are. Trying to understand where I should be by now.
Also, I am having significant pain on the outside of my foot, pain I really didn't have before the surgery. It's not exactly on the osteotomy site either.
I know that I was ABLE to jog at 6 months, but it wasn't something that I was interested in doing. I don't remember it hurting while doing it, but certainly afterwards it would.
As for the pushing off on your toes, I found that to be VERY FRUSTRATING. My doctor told me that this was all due to muscle atrophy. I had some of the bands from PT that I brought home and just kept working with them everyday. After a few weeks of using the bands and walking, it got to where I didn't notice it anymore.
At 10 months post-op I still have the pain on the outside of my foot on occasion. I wish I could tell you how to at least lessen the pain, but I haven't found any position to put my foot in that helps.
My doctor explained to me that during my surgery, she cleaned out the tendon sheath for the Longus and Brevus tendons. As a result, the sheath is bigger than it needs to be so the tendons move around more than they are supposed to. This is was causes the pain. She told me it could take up to a year for the sheath to shrink down to normal size.
Hope that answers your questions, from what I've seen everyone's recovery is different. If your a few weeks ahead or behind someone else don't worry about it. Just make sure you don't push too hard and end up damaging something. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.
thanks to everyone for your experiences. i know we heal differently, but it helps to hear how people are healing and to know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. i'm coming close to my first week in the boot, pwb. the first couple of days were definitely an adjustment...part scared to put weight and part pain and awkwardness walking with a boot and crutches for the first time. i've moved from 2 crutches to 1 crutch a day later b/c i realized that was an easier way to walk. i'm noticing that it's easier for me to get around w/ the crutch, but still nervous about fwb w/ no crutch. my doctor told me it's up to me and how i'm feeling as to when i want to test that out...i figure i'll wait and see with my PT. I start PT tomorrow and i'm looking forward to getting going and doing the work needed to become "normal" again. good luck everyone...love hearing how you're all doing.
You are smart to ease into putting weight on the foot in the boot. It took me about 4 weeks to go from partial weight bearing to full weight bearing for most of the day in the boot. There is no rush. Just listen to your body