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Don't want surgery - too busy and scared. Any advice?

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Old 07-20-2008, 11:20 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Peoria, IL
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Suzy128 HB User
Don't want surgery - too busy and scared. Any advice?

I need someone to talk me into doing what I should do to get better. I slipped and fell in the parking lot at work in August 07. I twisted/rolled my ankle outward. I went to the company nurse, who gave little advice, and said it would take several months for it to be back to normal. Well, I waited too long, and put up with pain, swelling, and developed a permanent limp in that time. I have 2 young kids in sports, so I got busy and put off taking the time to find out what was really wrong with me.

In January, I finally saw my family doctor, got x-rays and an MRI. Then finally got into a Ortho Surgeon (Ankle specialist) in April. He said I had a small tendon tear, and several other problems. He gave me a Aircast boot for 4 weeks to see if that would help. I found that it hurt just as much to have my ankle forced back into the correct alignment in the boot, that I didn't wear it as much as I should have. When I went back at 4 weeks, he gave me the option of a brace and shoe orthotic, or having surgery. I didn't see how the brace would really heal anything, especially since the walking boot didn't. After he explained the surgery, and talked about 3 months of down time, I told him I would try the brace/orthotic option. I didn't go get them fitted, and now I'm dealing with good days, when I am at my desk working much of the day. Then I have the bad days, when I'm trying to keep up with my kids, and get them to baseball, while marching through uneven fields of grass without falling. I pay for it the next day by being unable to walk much at all.

Basically, I'm walking on the outer side of my left foot, and scrunch my toes under when walking. Here is what they want to do: Posterior tibialis tendon repair, possible excision of the accessory navicular with FDL tendon transfer, and possible medial displacement calcaneal osteotomy.

Should I try the Aircast boot again for 4-6 weeks, and actually wear it all the time? Should I try another doctor, as I was wondering why this one never mentioned doing physical therapy when he prescribed the brace/orthotic option? Should I just go ahead with surgery and quit putting off the inevitable? I've gained weight since this happened, and tend to avoid situations because of the walking involved. I don't want to continue on this path either, and just keep ignoring it.

This is also complicated because of Workmen's Comp. claims. I don't want to do too little, then deal with bigger problems down the road.

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Old 07-20-2008, 11:48 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: California
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taape HB Usertaape HB User
Re: Don't want surgery - too busy and scared. Any advice?

Sorry to hear that you had an injury at work. I had a ankle fracture and the ligament was over streetched. I first wore a walking boot (a big one that went up to my knee) then have been walking using an air cast.

Have you been wearing the boot or an air cast or is there such thing as an aircast boot combination? If the tear is not healing it is not helping you to walk on the side of your foot because it probably is causing other foot problems. You might want to get some other opinions about whether to have surgery or not. Someone else here will hopefully post and give you information about the surgery recommended.

I think you might want to make a decision about what kind of treatment you need and want so workers comp doesn't close your case and your left with this injury.

I'd walk on the pavement and even surfaces until your injury gets better, forget walking through the grass, etc., that's making it harder for your ankle to heal. I'm still not walking on uneven surfaces.

Unfortunately, I think your going to have to take the time to heal one way or the other.

Old 07-21-2008, 05:24 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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kristian85 HB User
Re: Don't want surgery - too busy and scared. Any advice?

hey, I have a similar injury to yours.. I fell off a 4ft wall doing fitness test and i broke the navicular.. destroyed cartlidge between the accessory navicular and the other one... and to top it off i sprained my ankle. I have been wearing my walking cast without taking it off for 3 months now. The pain is still there just not as bad... but that could because i built up a tolerance. I cant walk for more then 10 mins in my walking cast without pain and I can't touch the area around the accessory navicular.
So my Dr. reffered me to a surgeon and I was told that was my best option to get normal foot function back. i don't relly want to take more down time... but if its gonna fix it once and for all I might as well go for it. I have another appointment with the surgeon today to sign all the papers and get the procedure explained. Good luck with your foot and let me know how it goes

Old 07-21-2008, 12:49 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2007
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sunny77 HB User
Re: Don't want surgery - too busy and scared. Any advice?

Sorry to hear about your injury. I have had PTTD in both feet/ankles and have had the PTT repaired and an osteotomy (Evans). Mine were not related to an injury, but rather the PTT tearing/fraying and causing me to go flat footed. I did the boot, was non-weightbearing for some time, did PT, took anti-inflammatories, etc, but it came down to surgery. The posterior tibial tendon is notorious for not healing well, as there's a limited blood supply to it. It can take a loooong time or not heal at all. There are a lot of people on this board who have undergone some type of procedures for PTTD and have done the conservative route first. Unfortunately, often it does not heal and requires further intervention. It isn't a fun process, but the end result of having your life back is worth it. And it can be expensive, depending on your insurance, so if workman's comp will cover it, that might help defray things on your end. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get a 2nd opinion before making a decision. Sorry you even have to go down this's no good either way. Feel free to ask any questions you might I said before, lots of folks have been through it here!

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