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had PTTD surgery 9/26 is this normal?

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Old 10-05-2007, 05:58 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sandy, UT usa
Posts: 4
khomagic1 HB User
had PTTD surgery 9/26 is this normal?

I have been totally NWB since the surgery, I have a wheelchair this time because I had such an awful time with the crutches in 2000 when I had only the tendon done on my left foot they made my hands so sore I could hardly stand it. I have been laying on the day bed that my husband brought home from storage with my foot propped up on between 3 and 5 pillows except to go the the bathroom. I've had two showers, one on Monday and one on Wednesday both seated on a shower chair with a bag over my leg and then back to bed right after. I am not really in pain I'm just numb but it's driving me crazy I don't want to bother the Dr. or heaven forbid go to the ER since my post op appointment is Monday morning.

I had the PTTD surgery on my right foot on 9/26 including having my heal moved and my big toe pinned. (I don't know if it was the evans procedure on the heal or not sorry.) Had the tibal tendon transfer and the achilles lengthening. I have been on bed rest with my foot elevated since I came home. I have been up to go to the bathroom and have had two seated showers with my leg in a plastic garbage bag.

On Monday I sat up in bed for a while and did some office work with my leg propped up but it got feeing numb. On Tuesday morning I called the Dr's office case it was still feeling numb and left a message about it and asked someone to call me back since I hadn't had much sleep the night before since my toes were numb. My toes were not swollen very much at all. By 4pm no one had called me back and I was still having problems so I called again and spoke with the nurse at the Dr's office. The Dr. wasn't in on Tuesday and the resident had just gone home but she and I decided that it could be because the ace bandage was too tight. She told me I was enough days post op that I could take the bandage off see if that helped and then re wrap it not as tight as it was. And if that didn't help she gave me the residents pager # to call since the office was about to close. She was really sorry she had forgotten to call me earlier in the day.

We took the bandage off, and all the mounds of cotton. There is some evidence that the incisions bled some post surgery, which I was told pre op could happen. The bandage is stuck to the back of my heal where it bled some so I'm not going to pry that off and cause problems. We left the soft cloth bandage on, put my leg back in the splint and rewraped it a little looser. The numbness went away so I didn't call the Dr. back.

On Wednesday it felt pretty good so I thought that the numbness must have been from the tight bandage.

Yesterday the foot was back to feeling like it was numb. I spent the entire day trying to get comfortable cause every position I got in made my heal sore. In looking around on the internet to try and find some more information about postoperative issues with the surgery I found this board and started reading all of the posts about PTTD surgery and in reading them decided that some of this was normal. I took some pain meds to see if that would help with the weird numbness and just hung out. By later in the afternoon yesterday my foot was feeling better again and I got one of the best nights of sleep I've had since my surgery.

Today I have stayed down with my foot up on 3 or 4 pillows all day except to go the the bathroom. I took another pain pill this morning because my heal is sore from always being on something. I was really relaxed this morning and had just been laying in bed 1/2 asleep until about 1 when I got up went to the bathroom came back to bed proped my foot up again and started checking e-mail. This is about the time that the pain pill would start to wear off. Right away I felt the sensation like my foot was swelling up again. I'd had ice on it and had it propped up all morning. I contacted my daughter at work and asked her to come home cause I needed some more Ice and I was worried about monkeying around with the bag of ice. By the time she got home (20) minuets my heal, right side of my foot and top of my foot were feeling numb/swollen again.

I took another pain pill, had her get me some fresh ice in my ice pack and add another pillow to the stack that my leg rests on and have been in this position ever since. Before the pain pill took effect I almost felt like my skin was going to get so tight that my stitches would break.

My foot now still feels a little numb my toes do not look swollen but my pinky toe if numb and my heal is uncomfortable in the splint again like it's been rubbing on it or something. I have not done anything more with the bandage.

I had a tendon transfer only done in my left foot in 2000 and don't remember having anything like this.

My 1st post op visit for this right foot is on Monday at 9:45.

Any suggestions?


BTW I would like to compose a comparison between having the tendon transfer only surgery vs this one cause my experiences have been really different so far but I'm worried that if I do it will be so long that no one would want to take the time to read it. Anyone interested?

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Old 10-05-2007, 07:39 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Dayton, OH USA
Posts: 116
relteach HB User
Re: had PTTD surgery 9/26 is this normal?

Hi Michelle,

You have had quite a week!! I honestly can't speak to your procedure and post-op issues, however, I do know from my own experience with foot trauma and swelling that numbness is a most common side effect, especially if the foot is wrapped or casted.
I broke my 5th metatarsal in March and spent 16 weeks in a cast, totally NWB and using a wheelchair. It really did not matter how much I kept the foot elevated, as the day went on, swelling and then numbness would occur. The longer I was casted, the longer it took to correct the numbness overnight. When I finally was out of the cast and in an aircast (walking boot), still NWB, I began PT to help my muscles and to increase circulation. Gradually, the numbness went away.

I was just as concerned as you are now and I wish I knew of this forum then. I did discuss numerous times with my doc my concerns--he always tested my toes and looked at their color. He reassured me that feeling would return and he was right. Your foot has been through some trauma and the fluid level that results in the healing process causes swelling that sometimes we cannot see (but would notice if we put our shoes on). All of this, plus the natural tendency for the feet to have poorer circulation than other parts of the body, make them prone to numbness that is temporary and it will subside as we heal. Seven months later, my foot is still healing and there is some slight swelling that has my right foot measuring one width larger that the left. The numbness is gone and has never returned.

Be sure to look at the color of the toes--if they are grayish, or bluish then call the doc. Pay attention to temp. also--do your toes feel unusually cold to the touch. Those two signs together should suggest a call to the doc. This is what my doc told me to do. Otherwise, keep doing what you are doing and if in doubt or worry, call your doc--that what he/she is there for.

Keep us posted!!


Old 10-06-2007, 09:57 AM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 67
mazzie46 HB User
Re: had PTTD surgery 9/26 is this normal?


Totally agree with you Lisa, watch and feel your toes for coldness etc, and if your ever really worried just call them.....Its your foot afterall.

I had similar surgery to yours, tendon repair, heel shift plus i lost a load of cartliage from the talus. I had mine all done on the 28th June this year. I know how uncomfy the heel is to rest anywhere. Infact they opened everyside of my foot, so nowhere was painless. Can i just say that maybe the way you have your pillows can aggravate things. Make sure your whole leg is supported with pillows, as just having them under your foot can cause weird feelings. I know what you mean by feeling that your foot will explode...mine was like that for ages. It was very numb all over, and i had a numb yet painful pinky. In fact it still is numb in places, mainly round the heel area. I also found it painful to lie straight with weight on my heel, and used to lie on my side with leg still up on pillows. Experiment a bit.....and it does get easier, promise!

Good luck


Old 10-06-2007, 12:10 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 263
sunny77 HB User
Re: had PTTD surgery 9/26 is this normal?

Sorry to hear about your difficulties after surgery. I had posterior tibial tendon repair and an Evans osteotomy last May. Swelling is a part of recovery for a long time. Swelling and numbness are related to a point. The nerves get pretty irritated being bumped and exposed during surgery and I was told that they regenerate at 1mm per day! I was numb on the outside of my foot to my pinky and fourth toe and still have numbness on the 4th toe now.

It's normal for the toes to change colors when your foot isn't elevated, as the blood pools and the circulation isn't good. But, like Lisa and Mazzie said, it can be an issue if they're grayish or cold.

I would recommend taking pain pills around the clock right now, as it's hard to catch up once you're experiencing pain. You can get some good rest and hopefully feel a bit more comfortable.

Have you heard of a Roll-A-Bout or Turning Leg Caddy? They are knee scooters and make getting around a lot easier. I couldn't stand crutches much either and this was a lifesaver! You can rent them from medical equipment stores and insurance may cover it (it's worth doing even if they don't!).

I learned on this board that putting the ice pack behind your knee actually helps quite a bit.

It really does get better in time...but it's hard to be patient when uncomfortable and unable to go about life like you want to. Hope you're feeling better today!

Old 10-06-2007, 07:53 PM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sandy, UT usa
Posts: 4
khomagic1 HB User
Re: had PTTD surgery 9/26 is this normal?

Thanks to all for your toughts, suggestions. I do have my entire leg of the pillows from just above my knee all the way down. I have also tried having the pillows so that my heel was just off the edge of the pillows. It's not as bad today as it was yesterday but I've spent most of the day today on my real bed in my bedrooms since my wonderful hubby was cleaning house and I didn't want to be in his way plus he took all of the bedding off the Day bed that I've been on all week and washed them. It's funny cause now that I'm back on the day bed I'm noticing more of a tingle sensation so maybe it's the bed but I was up in the wheelchair for about 15 minuets before I laid back down while he turned the bed down and repositioned the pillows for me.

My toes have color and don't look swollen, neither does my leg it's just weird to have that numb sensation and not really see a reason for it. I had surgery on my left foot in 2000 and only had the tendon transfer nothing else my foot after that surgery never felt weird but I remember looking at my toes sticking out of the bandage 3 or 4 days post op and wanting to cry cause the looked like sausages. The Dr. who did that surgery never even talked about doing any other procedures at the same time as the tendon transfer so I actually thought the Dr. who did this foot was going a little overboard at first when he said he was going to move the heal, lengthen the achilles and maybe break and realign my big toe. But now after having spent the last couple of days reading posts here it looks like the first Dr. was the one with a different approach.

For the reccord I have not had problems with my left foot since the surgery in 2000. I also didn't go to PT after that surgery. And have already been told that I will be sent to PT once I'm weight bearing this time.

I would be happy to share my comparisons on the two surgeries and pre/post op treatment if anyone is interested but it's pretty long so I don't want to just post it since I'm so new here I didn't know what the rules about that kind of thing are.



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