Hello to All
I am a "first time caller" and feel fortunate to have found this site. I have been diagnosed with a defunct posterior tibial tendon which has resulted in a flat foot which causes constant discomfort. I am contemplating having a calcaneal osteotomy along with a gastrocnemius lengthening and an FDL transfer. My doctor indicated that I would have an 8-10 week recuperation period, at which time I could return to work. From the postings I have read this timeframe seems optimistic. My job requires a good deal of walking and standing and after reading the posts I am suprised at how long the recovery time really seem to be. My question is for those who have had these procedures specifically: How long until you felt completely recovered (ie: no foot pain, swelling, and can wear "regular shoes"? Making a full recovery, are you without any discomfort? Are you glad you had the surgery?
Looking at the info on the internet, the procedures are much more involved than I realized and I want to be sure it will be worth the effort.
I am one year post op repair of ptt/spring ligament, calcaneal/cotton osteotomy, tendon transfer and gastroc recession....very similar to the proceedures you are describing. I was NWB 8 weeks followed by several weeks wearing a boot anytime my foot was on the ground. I was able to wear a sneaker with an aso brace about 13-14 weeks. If your job requires you to be mobile then 8-10 weeks does sound optimistic but then again each person is different. My doctor said that most of the time, he keeps people with desk jobs out of work 10-12 weeks and 16-18 weeks if the job requires a lot of mobility.
My surgery was the end of July 2010 and I returned to work December of the same year. The first four weeks at work, my doctor had me wear a boot to protect the tendon but I was able to wear sneakers with the aso brace other times. January, I wore a sneaker with an aso brace at work.
Prior to the surgery, my foot had completely pancaked and my ankle was starting to collapse towards the floor. I would get sharp pains along the ptt and into the arch after taking 15 or 20 steps even wearing a custom arizona style brace. My husband reminded me that I was in pain walking from room to room in our house. I would say I wasn't completely sure that the surgery was worth it until March or April. This summer we went to cape cod for our 28th anniversary and I was able to walk 1 1/2 to 2 miles a day with no problem. I can wear supportive sneakers and shoes with custom orthotics. My foot will never be like my pre-ptt foot but I am able to walk, put in a full day at work and go about my day to day activities without worrying about my foot. I wouldn't want to do high impact activities, but I got my life back.
If you do have the surgery, realize that the recouperation is long and frustrating. Be very selective about the doctor you use. The surgery is very complex. It is important to use a doctor that does many flat foot surgeries a year. I would not want to use one that does 4 or 5 a year. A few different doctors told me that the overall success rate is 45% or so but with a highly specialized doctor, the success rate is considerably higher. My doctor does 3-5 flat foot surgeries a week, has published about pttd for years and is still actively involved in research and clinical trials pretaining to pttd. The surgery can be so worth it if you pttd is limiting your activities and you find the right surgeon.