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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

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First off, please forgive me as I do not recall the specific names of the procedures or the specific names for each of my issues. I need to provide some background before I discuss my recent surgeries.

Back when I was 16 I had extensive jaw reconstruction (13 screws in the jaw, and seven hours on the table). When I woke up my face was swollen to twice its normal size. It was a pretty traumatic experience, and the last thing I wanted to hear about was additional surgery. But less than a year later I went to see a podiatrist. I was having some pain in my feet. The podiatrist was, well, acting like a jerk. ďOrthotics are best for you. If I operate, Iíll have to cut 20 of the 26 bones in your foot and start repositioning everything. It will hurt a lot.Ē I ran out of his office as quickly as I could. I remember the ď20 bonesĒ like my own name.

Over the years I visited several other podiatrists. Orthotics were the answer at each location. Back in 2006 I started riding a bicycle religiously (1800 miles my first two months). My ankles were so sore and my chiropractor took a month to get the ankles opened a bit. The chiropractor fit me for new orthotics, but the pain in my ankles worsened.

Iím 34 now, and the pain worsened greatly over the past year. The calf muscles were so sore Ė sitting, standing Ė it didnít matter. The ankles hurt and I wasnít getting any relief. Couple this with a problem on my inner thighs (which may or may not be related, but I will explain), Iíve been in misery.

My thigh issue first appeared about the time I visited the first podiatrist. I noticed some discoloration on my inner thighs. What appeared to be skin tags soon developed. The skin tags worsened, into a really thick swath on both legs. Dermatologists thought I was diabetic (never have been). They told me to lose weight Ė but every time I exercised or walked, the condition worsened. I finally ended up in the ER this September, bleeding profusely from the inner thighs. Itís possible the poor bone structure in my feet caused all of the friction Ė weíll never know. My plastic surgeon has never seen this in 30 years of practice. Iím having all of that skin removed in December.

With all of my pain, I received a recommendation for a podiatrist from a relative. I was impressed. His demeanor was much different than the first podiatrist. He offered orthotics, but I wanted surgery. So we scheduled the surgery for early October (left foot Ė tarsal coalition removal, and shortening of the second toe). I was in a splint for four days. I was in the cast for less than two before I was PWB. I started physical therapy less than three weeks after surgery.

Yesterday, I had my right foot done. I had a bad coalition that protruded from the foot, making it look like I had a second ankle. He shortened the second toe, and also did flat foot surgery on me. I should be in physical therapy in about five weeks if all goes well. Then in February, I will have the flat foot surgery on the left foot.

Initial comments: I canít believe the change in range of motion on the left foot. I no longer have pain in the calf when sitting. Sure, I feel like I had surgery, but that pain of old is gone. I only wish we had done the flat foot at the same time.

Recovery is going well with the left foot. Minimal bleeding Ė primarily off the toe the first ten minutes I was home, and that was it. I had a rollabout and crutches. The rollabout was a lifesaver. In fact, with all of the procedures Iím having, BlueCross is buying the thing outright for me (amazing). I had to buy a wide shoe and use vitamin E oil on the scars. I wasnít too swollen (and I never iced, never really used anti-inflammatories, and sure didnít ice either. I took Vicodin for 36 hours and stopped. I took three or four ibuprofen along the way. Having read some of the comments out here, I thought I was going to wish for death after the surgery. I had the surgery Friday and was back teaching on Tuesday. The only reason I missed Monday was due to a doctorís appointment.

Yesterdayís surgery was more extensive, of course. But apparently they didnít need to do as much work on the arch as they had expected. I took two Vicodin yesterday, and one ibuprofen today (itís 6:30 PM as I type this). Iíll probably take one more ibuprofen tonight before bed.
Iím not in much pain or discomfort Ė in fact, Iíve been at work all day. I donít really know the extent of what he did Ė but I donít think he manipulated tendons. If the swelling is okay, Iíll go to a cast tomorrow. So far, so good.
I will have the flat foot surgery on my left foot in early February.

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