Guys! I’m back with an update regarding my Tarsal Tunnel journey. On Friday, October 15th, I went in for a full release and gastrocnemius lengthening. I don’t think I mentioned in my previous posts, but the doctor that I chose this round is Dr. Michael Miller. He is an AENS doctor that practices out of Philadelphia and South Jersey. I’m happy that I went with this guy. He was very detailed on getting everything necessary done in my leg.
Let me tell you – it was painful but it was such a relief when the doctor said that there was a lot of scar tissue trapped in the nerves. Additionally, the heel cord was very tight It was a long surgery that lasted 3.5 hours. Initially when I woke up, I was in a lot of pain. They had to keep giving me pain medication as I wasn’t getting any relief. After the 3rd round of pain meds, the pain started to calm down. Shortly after, they put me in a wheel chair when it was time to go home. This threw me for a bit of a surprise. I’m a pretty strong guy, but I could not get out of the chair to get in the car. That’s how weak I was afterwards. I had no strength at all! It was a really weird situation. Thankfully, my wife and the nurse helped me get in and all was good.
When I got home I got settled on the couch. I was finally able to eat some food. Bed time was a treat. I kept having a lot of spasms. The doctor mentioned this would happen from the gastroc lengthening. It feels like tightness and pain up and down the leg. I had to take some medication for that. Other than that, day 1 wasn’t too bad. Sleeping was not good at all as I was waking up every 2 to 3 hours with pain.
Day 2: Good morning! Woke up pretty okay today. Some pain meds were needed. Made myself some eggs and coffee. Pretty good, right? Right now I have the boot off with some ice on the leg. The Doctor recommended that I take the boot off for 15-20 minutes 2x a day to move my foot a little bit. I will just be hanging out with my feet up for the day. Also – it was really fun taking a bath. What a scene that was. I pulled it off with one leg out the tub. Wife took a pic but I won’t share that one.
Day 3: All I have to say is ouch! Holy pain. This was the worst day. I believe the pain meds and whatever they gave me at the hospital wore off. I was up all night with pain. Even with pain killers. I’m trying to ride it out. No, I’m not trying to be a hero, the meds make me very nauseas. I have been in bed most of the day. I go and see the Doctor tomorrow for a post-op appointment. I will find out exactly what he had done to my leg and also change the bandages. Let’s hope for a better day tomorrow!
Day 4: Started the day with more pain. I did get out to see the doctor and he changed my bandages and dressings. He said everything looks great. I have to wear the boot for another 4 to 6 weeks. The stitches will come out in 2 weeks from today. I have 3 incisions where they went in. I will attach some pictures. The good thing is that I did get some sleep. I haven’t been sleeping much as I was getting up often with pain. So every day I see a little improvement. They always say day by day.
Day 5: Guess what – I slept through the whole night. Maybe one wake up, but that’s normal for me. I’ll take it! I still have pain, but nowhere near what I had. I haven’t needed any medicine, which is a nice feeling. I may take some before bed, but that’s it. I think that helps with less wake ups. For today’s adventure, I managed to get to the grocery store. I told my wife I need to do something! That’s how I know I’m getting back to myself again. Don’t worry I’m still taking it real easy and relaxing, foot up. I do take my boot off more often now so it can give my leg a rest. I do my exercises when it’s off. So I went from doing 2x a day to almost 4x a day and a lot longer off. The Doctor did tell me that I can keep it off as long as I sleep with it on.
Day 6: The holy grail. I took a shower. It was a process, but I did it. I do recommend getting a cast/bandage waterproof covering. I put that puppy on and boom shower time. It’s the little things in life we appreciate. Still no pain meds. Here and there maybe 1x or 2x a day I take the ibuprofen 800mg to help with inflammation. Currently, I’m sitting on the porch drinking a cup a coffee and writing this blog. This is the best day I have felt so far.
Day 7: Making a lot of progress. Walking is still very tough. I do try to walk without crutches and it’s hard to do, but I can. I can’t do it long but it’s a step. No pain meds anymore. Nothing. I may take the muscle relaxer due to the muscle spasms I get in my calf. I still feel a lot of tightness in my leg. I’m sure it will go away very soon. Living in this boot is killing me but I know I have to. I have about 4 or 5 weeks left. Like I said before, I do take it off when I’m home more often, but the doctor said it was very important to keep it on especially when I sleep. The Doctor was very adamant about this.
Day 8: This is the turning point for me. I feel more confident about walking around. I’m still very, very, slow but I feel fantastic. I can actually feel the bottom of my feet. I feel no nerve pain. I know it’s early to tell, but I feel pretty good. Also as many of you know, my biggest thing was getting a really small workout in. I know you guys are like you’re crazy. But for me, I need it. I modified everything I did in a very safe way. If you are interested in learning what I did, please reach out and I will share with you. Trust me I rarely put any extra weight on that leg. I did a lot of the exercises either sitting down or on my other leg. It’s very possible guys. So this is where I’m going to end this part of the blog. I will do another check in very soon. I’m very grateful for this surgeon what he did for me. I believe it will be life changing for me. It’s definitely is a game changer – I’m ready!