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Tendon Transfer, Hindfoot Reconstruction

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Old 10-06-2007, 11:05 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: avoca, nsw, australia
Posts: 3
rachelwd72 HB User
Tendon Transfer, Hindfoot Reconstruction


Had surgery 24 July, so am on the road to recovery. Hope to get aircast off in another 4 weeks. Feeling a bit down about it all today, so thought I would try to find anyone else who has had the surgery done. Certainly seems a lot longer for recovery than the doctor explained. Am looking forward to starting physio so I can get on the final steps to walking again.

Has anyone got any tips for the coming weeks where I start weightbearing again. Dont want to aggrivate anything I shouldnt. How long did it take to get movement back again - have to go on an overseas trip in December and would like to be fully mobile by then.
Any comments appreciated.

Last edited by rachelwd72; 10-07-2007 at 02:49 AM.

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Old 10-07-2007, 11:49 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 263
sunny77 HB User
Re: Tendon Transfer, Hindfoot Reconstruction

Hi Rachel,
Which procedures did you have done? Posterior tibial tendon repair via FDL transfer and the sliding osteotomy or Evans (bone graft wedged in)? I had surgery about 2 months earlier than you (so almost 19 wks post-op) and had PTT repair (no tendon transfer) and an Evans osteotomy. I just finished PT last week (did about 2 months worth) and am able to get around fairly well, but still am building strength. My gait isn't quite normal yet, but it's getting better.

Are you going to be moving into a walking boot from a cast? I was told to bear weight as tolerated. Initally, I found it hurt to put a lot of weight into that foot, so used 2 crutches for a few days and then went to one crutch. Within a week or so, I was down to no crutches, but was slow and it still hurt depending on how I walked. Other people use crutches longer. It depends on how you're feeling. I also found that I got pretty sore pretty fast if I attempted to walk too much (ie, grocery shopping, errands, etc). Resting, elevating, taking pain meds if needed (I used them, especially when I started PT) are part of it. But, you'll be amazed at having an arch and that you supinate!

You aren't alone in feeling down about the length of recovery. It's a LONG journey; you don't see full results until 9 months to 1 yr after surgery. You're dealing with a whole new foot and that takes time to get used to. It's hard to be patient when your life has been modified so much...but it does get better and in the end, it's worth it! Keep us updated on how you're doing...there are a few threads like "posterior tibial tendon update" that have good info and experiences of others posted.

Old 10-07-2007, 01:35 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: farmington,ny
Posts: 13
dtjag1 HB User
Re: Tendon Transfer, Hindfoot Reconstruction

I had PTTD surgery, tendon transfer on July 17. I am in a walking boot and can bear weight as tolerated. I actually walked some tiny steps last week but don't seem much of an improvement on a day to day basis. I use a walker to distribute weight bearing because I can't get the hang of crutches. When I do FWB my foot ends up the size of a football. I think we are at a point in recovery that we will only realize progress by looking back on it. I really thought I would be limping around by now without the walker. The doc says everyone is different and there is no set timetable. Try to stay positive but I have to agree that this is very frustrating.

Old 10-08-2007, 01:36 AM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: avoca, nsw, australia
Posts: 3
rachelwd72 HB User
Re: Tendon Transfer, Hindfoot Reconstruction

Thank you both for your reply. I had the Posterior tibial tendon repair via FDL transfer and the sliding osteotomy, they also "nailed" in a few of the tendons that were loose.

I had two weeks in a backslab plaster, then 4 weeks in a plaster cast, now I am onto my 6-8 week stint in the airboot with weight bearing only while I am it it. I have been a little naughty and walked on the bare foot using crutches with out the airshoe on, and it holds up ok, the toes just dont seem to work well and are high flying in the air.

I have only been allowed to have massage and stretching exercises once a week with the physio, but see the surgeon tomorrow for my monthly visit to see if I can commence full physio and also getting rid of the crutches altogether and just use my airshoe. (Sounds like they do things the same down here in Australia, to how they do in the US, so that is positive for me!)

Best of luck you guys! I must say I have been quite lucky and have not needed any pain medication so fingers crossed this will continue!

I read some of the other posts and agreed that even though we look healthy, the foot still is not working to the best of its ability. I think some people look at you and wonder why it is taking so long to recover, but it sounds like this is normal according to your experiences.

Thanks for your support

Old 10-08-2007, 10:45 AM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 67
mazzie46 HB User
Re: Tendon Transfer, Hindfoot Reconstruction

Hiya Rachel

I too have had similar surgery to yours, so know what your going through. It does seem to go on forever and i had a few mental breakdowns on the way...almost! Gotta say these boards helped enormously, gave me far more info than any doctor ever does! Sunny is one person who gave me alot of help and advice.
I had my surgery one month before you, 28th June, its only in the last week/10 days though that its suddenly all started working. Be careful about the barefoot thing for a bit though, they say it takes 6 weeks for the heel to start knitting together...but another 6 weeks for it to harden off completely.I'm from the UK, and from what i have read it seems we have all had similar surgery, and that is comforting.

I really hope the rest of your recovery goes well!


Old 10-09-2007, 01:26 AM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: avoca, nsw, australia
Posts: 3
rachelwd72 HB User
Talking Re: Tendon Transfer, Hindfoot Reconstruction

I have just come back from my third post op visit to the surgeon, and all is going well, so well that I am allowed to wear a normal shoe for a few hours a day.

I have been very lucky as far as pain goes and have only needed pain killers once for the whole procedure.

For those that want to see a time line it has gone something like this:

24th July - Surgery tendon transfer fdl navicular, calcaneal osteotomy etc, backslab cast
7th August - Stiches removed and plaster cast placed on
4th September - Plaster cast removed and Airboot placed on (allowed to take this off at night)
9th October - Walking in a normal shoe for a few hours, alternate this with airboot, depending on amount of swelling

Gosh - cant believe I was feeling so down on the weekend - thinking I had another 4 weeks at least in the airboot, and today I am allowed to wear a shoe, feels great and weird all at the same time as my foot adjusts, shoes are very tight from the swelling, but it is all good!

I know I still have a long road ahead with physio and retraining of the foot, but its one step closer to walking normally again.

Best of luck to you all still recovering.

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