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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [little red] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Little Red,
I know this conversation is over a year old but I thought I'd try my luck at asking you how you are doing since your surgery? It sounds like you had a very good result. Are you still pain free? Also, when you found your surgeon did you get references? How did you get comfortable or trust that he had enough experience? I'm facing surgery on both feet and I'm extremely nervous about who I can trust.
Thanks so much!!
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [Jessicabb22] [ In reply to ]
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Hello,

Yes, I've been doing great and haven't had any issues since my surgery. It was a long recovery - meaning it took a lot of patience to get back to 100% - but since getting there all has been good. My surgeon was recommended to me by an orthopedic doctor that I trusted and who diagnosed me. The orthopedic that diagnosed me didn't do the surgery because he wasn't a foot and ankle specialist. He also didn't recommend the foot and ankle ortho at his practice because he said he didn't have a lot of experience with this and felt this other surgeon would be a better choice and was one of the best in my area. I also did my own research on my surgeon. He was also willing to the time during my appointments to really listen to me and my concerns and desire to get back to running and took the time to explain my options including surgery. I had seen other orthopedics who clearly didn't listen, rushed my appointment, and didn't take time with me. I don't care how good a doctor is supposed to be, if they are dismissive or rush their appointments, then they don't earn my trust. Try to get the names of recommended foot and ankle orthopedics who work with athletes and who have experience with this surgery. I would recommend seeing a couple foot and ankle orthopedics to get a couple opinions as well and ask them about their experience and success rate with this surgery. My final recommendation is go to an orthopedic - do not go to a podiatrist. Good luck!
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [little red] [ In reply to ]
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Hi! Thanks so much for responding!
I'm glad to hear you're doing so well since the surgery! Your advice is very helpful. I have seen two foot and ankle orthopedics so far and didn't like either of them for some of the reasons you mentioned. I will continue to seek referrrals for Orthopedics who have experience with this.

When you say that you did your own research on the doctor, do you mind me asking how you did that? I'm not able to find any reliable information online for the surgeons and no one I talk to has ever heard of tarsal Tunnel:( I recently emailed one doctor in Houston (Baxter) and asked for references but I'm not sure they provide them.
Thanks again!
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [Jessicabb22] [ In reply to ]
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I reviewed this thread a month ago as I prepared for my surgery and greatly appreciated everyone's candid responses to questions. This was honestly where I read some of the most helpful information pre-op. I had my surgery last Tuesday on my right foot and ended up having to get two different incisions (this was somewhat anticipated because there had been two different areas with expected entrapment). I'm right at one week out and I'm still in a lot of pain, but nothing more than was expected. Thankfully my nerve block lasted over 30 hours, so that helped a lot.

I return back to my orthopedic surgeon on Friday for removal of the sutures and to see what next step will be.

Jessica- I was referred to my ortho foot/ankle specialist by my general practitioner after doing basic x-rays/MRI. Before deciding on surgery we did additional MRIs of my foot leg and knee, tried physical therapy, orthotics, and acupuncture, and sought testing from a neurologist and a second opinion from a nuerosurgeon. I wouldn't say that my ortho surgeon specializes in tarsal releases, but he's one of the best in the region for foot/ankles, so he's done his fair share.

I think the biggest life saver has been having a Game Ready cryotherapy (cooling) machine to just leave my foot hooked to almost 24/7.

Happy to answer any questions you may have, but I'm just one week out and still on crutches.
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [Lorelei] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Lorelei,
Thanks for sharing your experience so far. I hope you have a smooth recovery! What part of the country are you in? I'm in MN. I'm going for my third consult this week with a foot and ankle ortho -this one was recommended by a good friend. (My general practitioner sent me to a podiatrist). And, I haven't found an orthopedic yet that I trust. I plan on asking this one how many of these surgeries he performs a year and what his success rate is.

I have tt on both feet- I am really scared and want to find the absolute best surgeon. Little by little over the past three years this has brought my life to a standstill. Can't be active at all anymore and I'm very impatient with my kids:( It's so difficult. Please continue to share your progress! It's very helpful.
Jessica
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [Jessicabb22] [ In reply to ]
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Three years?! Ugh I'm so sorry. I've been dealing with it for almost one and totally understand how your patience goes out the window when you're in pain.

I'm located in Savannah, GA and saw Dr. Prather at Chatham Orthopedic. He did a very successful TTR for my neighbor several years ago, and she is a very picky nurse and highly regarded him. He's relatively young [looking anyway!] so at first I was a little surprised he was the expert, but he definitely is. With TTR being as uncommon as it is it's hard to find someone who does more than ten a year tops. And with TTR often being diagnosed only after too many misdiagnoses, I wonder how that affects a success rate of any doctor. Just some thoughts.

The first week the nerve block and narcotics/pain pills help. Second week, so far as I can see, you need to rely on nerve meds (Lyrica) because the nerves are jolting back to life and reconnecting and that's just no fun. But the meds help!

I'm not sure how I could do two feet at once given my house/bathroom layout, but only having to handle the recovery once could be worth it. This thread proves I can be done!
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [Jessicabb22] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Again,

Just wanted to share some good news. Went in today to have sutures removed only to find out they used the kind that dissolve. Also while I have two incisions (so it looks like one long one), they didn't use a mattress stitch so scarring (and PT tied to that) will be pretty minimal. They just cleaned it all up, inspected it and then wrapped it in a little gauze and an ace bandage wrap.

I'm ten days out now and in a walking boot. I've tried just small amounts of weight on it today and dr said to just see how it feels for me. He said I should be walking, without the boot, in two weeks.

Also, in 2-3 days I should be able to shower normally and not worry about the incision site or stitches. In some pain today, but I'm feeling out how much weight I can and can't place on it. So it's expected.

I'm planning to go to the gym on Sunday and pick up my PT band exercises and upper body weights. I'm so excited I could cry!

Pic shows the 'normal' incision by my ankle and then also my extra fun one up my leg because of another nerve entrapment I had up there (rare). Thankfully my incision did not go under my arch. The circle looking non-healed part toward my heal is where a nerve bundle was and required extra attention, but they expect that to scab up by Sunday, so it's not as bad as it looks in the pic. It's surface only.
Last edited by: Lorelei: Aug 18, 17 17:25
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [Lorelei] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Lorelei, that is great news! Thanks for sharing your recovery status and pic! It's so nice to read something so positive.

I met with my third foot and ankle ortho last week (this one highly recommended). He doesn't think my entrapment is in the tarsal tunnel but up higher, somewhere in between my knee and ankle. I noticed you also had that. Can you share how your dr was able to pinpoint the area of entrapment up your leg?

He sent me for another MRI on both my lower legs this week. (I dont think you can see nerve entrapment on an MRI-but whatever). Then I go back next Weds for a compartment pressure test-which looks painful:( I have to run up and downstairs until it gets aggravated and then they test the pressure. The problem is, I experience the pain constantly, especially just sitting, standing or driving. It's not just when I start exercising. If I lift weights the pain comes on later, especially the next day. I'm going to spinning class today. It's the only activity I have left that doesn't aggravate. I totally get how excited you are to get back to the gym and do your upper body! Good for you:)
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [Jessicabb22] [ In reply to ]
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They first noticed the nerve issue higher up when they did an MRA (kind of like an MRI with contrast) of my ankle. Then they did an MRI of my knee (making sure I didn't have a clot or cysts in my knee pinching on nerves there causing issues) and the radiologist again noticed an issue 15cm from my knee. They did an MRI of my calf looking for cysts and didn't see anything but again noticed 'something' right in the same area. It was also the area where, when I would have shooting pain from my foot up, it would stop. And was very painful to touch sometimes, even with the softest of fabrics. I circled the area on my leg one day with a pen and took a photo to show the doctor- he said it matched exactly with where the radiologists said they saw something.

So even with all that, it was somewhat exploratory during the surgery, but all the tests indicated something nerve related was there, since it was the same symptoms as my foot. And it did turn out it was another "angry" entrapped nerve.

The doctor said while they're calling it tarsal tunnel, mine is higher up than what is technically tarsal, so yours may be too. He did say it's even more rare and harder to diagnose.

And I agree on that new test you're taking- that doesn't seem to make any sense. My pain was minimal most of the time if I was moving around, exercising etc. unless I was running (elliptical was okay). Going up stairs was fine. Going down hurt.

Sitting was the absolute worst because my entire foot/ankle would swell up and look like my whole ankle (both sides) was a softball. I wore compression socks religiously for the last two months and it as the only thing that controlled the swelling if I wasn't having an active day.

Only thing I've [continued to] learn since yesterday is to remember to take the upper amount of prescribed pain meds before bed on a day like yesterday- when I was testing out my foot and stressing it quite a bit. Waking up at 3am in pain is not cool, but thankfully the meds work in about 15 min and I got back to sleep!
Last edited by: Lorelei: Aug 19, 17 6:38
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [Lorelei] [ In reply to ]
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Hi All,
I wanted to share that I had Tarsal Tunnel release surgery on my right foot with Dr. Baxter in Houston, on 11/13, and flew back home on 11/14. He released the whole retinaculum, my lateral and medial nerves and calcaneal nerve. I have some pain where the incision is and some tingling but not too bad.

I had to be non-weight bearing for 3 days. I’m now walking on the ball of my foot. I have to be in a walking shoe for two weeks and then I can wear a soft tennis shoe. I have home pt instructions that I can begin at one week out. My official pt appointments don’t begin for four weeks. He said I don’t need pt but I wanted it anyway to address any scar tissue and any mechanical issues that got me in this situation in the first place.

He said it may take between 1-3 months to know whether the surgery was successful. He said the longer the nerves have been “bruised” the longer they will take to recover. I’ve had this for about 3 years.

I found this thread so helpful before my surgery. Please let me know if I can answer anyone’s questions.

Jessica
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [Jessicabb22] [ In reply to ]
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Well wishes on a speedy recovery!! I wore heels (!!) last week for the first time in over a year (now at 3 months post-surgery), and while there was a little swelling, there was no pain.

I've had some additional complications due to what appears to be some sort of auto-immune issue triggered by the surgery, but I 'graduated' from PT last week as long as I promised to replicate the exercises at the gym. It does feel like I'm walking on gravel still, but apparently that's a part of the nerves healing, which can take 6-12months. You get used to it, but it's still an incredibly weird feeling. It's actually more comfortable to run than it is to walk.

Elevate as much as possible and keep everything iced! So glad you saw Dr. Baxter.
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [Lorelei] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks Lorelei!

I’m so glad you are out of pain. That’s great news!! I hope you continue to heal well.

Jessica
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [little red] [ In reply to ]
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Hi,
I had Tarsal Tunnel surgery in April 2017. After three months, I felt pretty good and began slowly exercising again. In November, my original pain returned and the Dr. believes I have scarring around the nerve. We have tried hydrodisection twice, but it doesn't appear to be helping. I have constant pain, and when I stand, it gets worse.

I'm debating seeing a peripheral nerve specialist who would do nerve wrapping to limit scarring. Does anyone have experience with that? Thanks!

Mack
Last edited by: MackTT: Mar 19, 18 12:07
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [little red] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you for this forum. It is hard to find a lot of information about tarsal tunnel syndrome online. I am a runner who has been dealing with TTS in both ankles for over a year now. I had TT surgery on my left foot in June 2018, and am at 7 weeks post op today. My surgeon had me stay in a boot non weight bearing for 6 weeks, which seems pretty long from what I am seeing from other stories. I had been doing small exercises (foot circles, spelling the alphabet, etc) after 2 weeks (only wiggled toes before that). At 6 weeks she said I could start with 25 % weight bearing, and I didn't need to use the boot if I didn't want. So, I have been wearing sneakers. I start PT today. It has been frustrating because although the swelling has gradually gone down some, there is pain along the incision sight---this is of course where the pain was before surgery as well. It also feels hard to the touch, but my wife thinks this is just the swelling. I couldn't get both done at the same time...I had asked but she wouldn't do it.

I am doing all my walking with crutches and only partially weight bearing..... should I still be wearing the boot for this? Not sure if anyone has gone right to the sneaker after being allowed to weight bear. I cannot imaging running again in the future, I miss it so badly! My doctor thinks I should be able to. Any reoccurrence with your condition after these past few years Little red? Any insight on any of this from anyone is appreciated!
Last edited by: onthegreen: Aug 17, 18 9:40
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [onthegreen] [ In reply to ]
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [little red] [ In reply to ]
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Littl red,
Regading your tarsal tunnel....Did you have numbess in your toes? Also what did your recovery timeline look like? Was there numbness and nerve pain for a while?

Really appreciate any advice. This is a scary condition.
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [onthegreen] [ In reply to ]
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Hey wondering how your tarsal tunnel has been now that you are six months out?
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [onthegreen] [ In reply to ]
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Hey,
Now that you am have healed a little more are your symptoms better? Numbness still?
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [MackTT] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Mack or anyone else with info,
I had tarsal tunnel surgery 4.5 months ago without relief of symptoms. I’ve also been told my nerves are entrapped in scar. I’m scheduled for trial of hydrodissection soon. Wondering if you ever found any definitive treatment/relief from the pain and return to function? I’m so frustrated. Thanks in advance!
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [TravelingOne] [ In reply to ]
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I am 2 years post surgery, and it still flares up when I excercise, to include swimming. Hydrodisection didnt help me, but I may try it again and do it several times.

Has anybody had any true success with hydrodisection?

Mck
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [MackTT] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Mack,
Thank you for your response. I’ve had hydrodissection twice now and it’s hard to tell if it is really helping or not. I am about 6 mos out and still have pain with every kind of activity. Are you able to walk and stand as much as you want for the most part? Do you recall about how long it took you to feel better/tolerate regular activities (not including exercise) like walking and standing?
Were you ever offered/did you ever try any other type of treatment? Did you ever see a
peripheral nerve specialist or any other kind of specialist? I’m super frustrated so I appreciate your/anyone else’s input!
Thank you in advance
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Re: Tarsal Tunnel - surgery? Recovery? [TravelingOne] [ In reply to ]
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I'd say it took a year to recover. I only have pain now when I dorsiflex. I've seen a peripheral nerve surgeon at Hopkins, and we are hoping to get an MR Neurography done, but insurance keeps denying it. I'll keep you posted and please do the same.

I will say give it a year to see if it worked.

Mck
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