Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – After Surgery (Days 0 – 4)

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I told some of my clients and personal training students that I would share my tarsal tunnel syndrome surgery experience and recovery on my blog since it can serve as a great learning tool for those going through something similar. To read how I got here, check out My Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Story.

Surgery Day (Day 0)

I checked in at 12:00 pm and was in the OR about 1:00 pm for my tarsal tunnel release surgery. Not to mention I haven’t had any drink or food since 9:30 pm yesterday, let me tell you I miss food and water. When I checked in they brought me back and prepped me, such as getting an IV put in and a hospital gown on. The Doctor came in drew on my foot that he was operating on. Shortly after I met with the anesthesiologist who explained that I will be given twilight anesthesia. That means I go night night. Speaking of that – I had a nice nap. After the surgery was over I woke up in the recovery room. Looking down at my leg my foot was bandaged up pretty good with a drain on it. Let me tell you – I definitely woke up in some pain. They administered more pain medication. Thankfully, after 10 minutes the pain went down. They try to keep you there until you are fully awake and can eat and drink something, but you know what they forgot to give me the crackers and cookie that they promised. I will have to add that to my review. Just kidding. The staff there were all so good and respectful. They answered any questions I had. Finally around 5:00 pm, they put me in a wheel chair and rolled me out to the car. On the way home I was really nauseous and sleepy.  When I got home my wife set me up on the couch and I didn’t move from there. The only thing now that is a pain in the ass is if you need to go to the bathroom. Getting around on crutches is a pain but you have do it. My scooter won’t really work in the house, plus my kids would be flying up and down the halls with it. So not a great idea. Tune in on day 2.

Day 1

Hey guys! Here is my first day after surgery. I started the day in bed watching Netflix with my cat pretty early. My fellow personal trainers (and parents/caretakers!) can relate that as early risers it’s hard to sleep in. I knew I had to go to see my Doctor at 1:30 pm so I took it easy until then. As that time comes, my wife drove me to the Doctors because I still feel a little loopy. However, I am feeling a lot better than yesterday. The nausea went down a lot. However, my pain level is still pretty high. The Doctor came in and he was telling me that my nerve was pretty trapped in there. This made me a little more optimistic about this whole situation on why I had this done. He took out the drain, which was a little weird feeling coming out, felt like a shock going up my leg. I think my wife, Nurse Liz, is happy that she doesn’t have to drain and clean that thing anymore. He changed all the bandages so now they’re nice and fresh. Now it’s time to sit around more and rest the leg and eat lots of bad food. I have a follow up appointment in a week. Stay tuned!

Day 2


Alright guys! It’s been 48 hours since surgery and I feel great. I still feel pain in my foot but nowhere near what it did. If you know me, it’s hard to keep me in one place. My wife is always saying to go lay in bed and I say to her “let’s do something”.  So today’s adventure was going to Best Buy on my hot new scooter to buy a TV because one of our others broke. I’m rolling around in Best Buy cruising for a new TV and once I find one, I throw it on my scooter and went to check out. This checkout guy thinks I’m nuts.  So my wife thinks maybe we can hang it next week. Ha! As soon as we get home guess what I’m doing –  taking down the old TV off the wall and pulling wires through the wall. I did need help putting up the new one.  All said – who the hell puts up a TV right after having surgery. Being in fitness, I find it hard to bring my energy level down and just do nothing. Other fitness coaches can relate. Remember I’m still smart about it and I know my limits. I’m getting pretty good balancing on my right leg. Therefore, I try to throw in a few hours of me just sitting around and catching up on Narcos and Ballers.  Shortly after,  I wanted to go driving, go get a coffee. I just want to know if I can drive. It’s definitely hard to get around, closing doors, getting in a truck etc.  But I enjoy the challenge. My pain level is somewhat high. However, manageable. I’m trying not to take my pain medication if I don’t have to. It’s getting to the end of the day, so it does call for me to rest my foot, because you do feel the day at the end. I’ll let you know what Thanksgiving day brings!

Day 3

What’s up guys! Happy Thanksgiving everyone. First off – let’s talk about taking a bath. It was more difficult than I thought. Trying to get in with one leg and have my other leg hanging out because you cannot get bandages or stitches wet. But what did come in handy was a waterproof cast protector that I purchased on Amazon. Then you really don’t have to worry so much. I can’t wait to take a shower! I didn’t realize I would miss taking a shower so much. Today was the first day I made breakfast for everyone which was a great step. I am still hopping around like a bunny and using crutches. I will be like this for at least another week the Doctor said. Absolutely no weight bearing.

Today my pain level is moderate. Enough not to take a pain pill. I felt so good that I even got a small workout in at home. I know I’m crazy. But that’s how well I’m feeling. Something little is better than nothing. But if you do decide to workout after something like this, do it smart. If you’re reading this and wondering how to do it, contact me! I sat the whole time on a bench. I did have to stand for one of the exercises which is why having good balance on my other foot has been helpful.

It is still hard to stand for long periods of time. I do find myself having to sit down more. You definitely feel it after awhile. I am telling myself what I tell my clients every day – listen to your body, if it tells you to sit, you sit. Don’t push it. You will be sorry. Trust me. If you have help around use it, don’t be hard headed. I try to be but it’s a good thing I have an awesome wife and 4yr old to help me while my 18 month old trying to stomp on me and knock me over. So if you have it use it. Tune in for day 4.

Day 4

All I have to say is wow! My recovery is going awesome. I never thought I would be like this. I think if you go in strong and have your mind right you can surpass yourself in anything. From what I’ve read online and what doctors are saying, you will be out for at least 2 weeks. Doing nothing really. I’m on day 4 going to the grocery store on my scooter, Home Depot, changing baby gates and doing things around the house. I plan on going to the gym tomorrow! Yes, you heard that right. But again, train smart. I will be doing things sitting down and nothing lower body for a while for now. When I do go to the gym, I will explain what I did and how I did it for you guys that are interested in learning. Yes, I still cannot put weight on my foot. For another week or so. If your mindset is right you can do anything. I was telling myself the whole time that this will not put me down and slow me down in anyway. My wife still thinks I’m crazy for doing the things I’m doing, but that’s me. Can’t wait till what next week brings. Tune in to hear about my gym experience!

14 Comments. Leave new

  • Great read Dan. Thanks for the update and info. This is exactly why I won’t train any where else.

  • Hi I’m did it same your surgery befor 6 months but I still have the pain same problem I don’t know what I have to do I just I won’t ask you the pain is going after surgery how many days thank you

    • Hi Ahlam. Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, the symptoms of TTS have returned. I have seen many new Doctors over the past 6 months and it looks like I will be going in for another surgery in the fall. It will be a revision surgery while hopefully adding something to combat the scar tissue that is pressing up on the nerves. Additionally, I am going to need a gastrocnemius achilles lengthening. I have learned that it is important to meet with an AENS surgeon: https://www.aens.us/aens/default.asp. I am posting a new blog tonight and will be meeting with the surgeon again in September. Will keep everyone posted. Stay positive and remain the course. This is a very trying condition.

  • ian denholm
    July 19, 2021 8:17 am

    Hi i live alone and im getting the tarsal tunnel operation.How will i manage to do everthing is it beter for me to go to a rehabilation clinic for the first week yo help me or will i be ok on my own Mr Denholm will i need a scooter mobile for shopping and so

    • Hi Ian. Thanks for reaching out. While I had my wife to help me, I could have gotten around myself most likely. She was helpful with cleaning the drains etc. but I am sure it could be done solo as well. What does your Doctor think? I used a scooter and crutches to get around and was out of the house the next day. Unfortunately, heading in for round 2 in the fall. The symptoms have returned.

  • Brooke Anderson
    August 30, 2021 10:46 pm

    Hi, I’ve been researching TTS online because I seem to have all the symptoms. I’m trying to be as informed as possible before seeing the doctor next week. Would you say the surgery was worthwhile? How were you diagnosed?

  • Does your muscle in the leg hurt mine does i had the surgery 4 weeks ago still cant do anything hardly

    • Hi Janice, You are going to have a lot of weird sensations for the first year, and possibly longer. How are you making out since it has been a few months? I had 2 surgeries and I am still experiencing some discomfort.

  • Hi Dan, thank you for writing this blog which I somehow ran into. I had a complete plantar fascia rupture and now I’m dealing with the same issue that you have had, which is the TTS. Surgery is an option, but I have heard that it doesn’t always work. I would love to hear any updates that you have to give up till now. I am also a personal trainer and on my own studio, so this is very tough. Thanks again for sharing your story!

    • Hi Dawn. How are things going? I recently had testing done once symptoms started to creep back up and unfortunately the most recent EMG is still showing tarsal tunnel. I was really hopeful after the 2nd surgery so I am trying to take some time to figure out what my next steps are. It’s nice to hear from a fellow trainer. Don’t give up!

  • Hi Dan, I suffered a multi-fracture, followed by emergency ankle surgery in Dec ‘21. Then had 2nd surgery in May ‘22 to fix and promote proper bone join. Now I’m due to have 3rd surgery for TTS, but am wondering if it’ll be worth it. The current pain is tolerable, but can’t stand/walk for long periods. After reading your blog, I’m concerned that I could be trading one kind of pain for another kind following TTS surgery. Now that you’ve had 2 surgeries are you exploring other options? Have you heard of endoscopic surgery for TTS—resulting in less scar tissue???

    • Hi Nikki. Thanks for sharing. Did you end up getting the surgery? I have been researching other options but have not been offered that option yet formally by any Doctor. My 2nd surgeon offered a stimrouter but I don’t want to go that route just yet. I hope that you are doing well.

  • Hi Dan, I was diagnosed with TTS in my right foot about 8 months ago. I’ve had 3 steroid shots with zero relief so my Dr is now talking surgery. Hearing so many stories of no success has me SO hesitant to go that route. But everything I’ve read says that I’ll be looking at permanent nerve damage if I don’t do something. Do you regret trying surgery? I’m also worried about my fitness level taking a big hit while recovering if I opt for the sugary. Ugh!

    • Hi Suzanne. Thanks for sharing. It’s really hard to say. I have had the surgery done two times now on my left foot and I can’t imagine touching my right at this point as I feel like my left is now worse. It appears that scar tissue tends to build up around the nerve as things heal which then entraps the nerve and causes issues again. Seek out multiple opinions of different surgeons. Some people have success! I live with the chronic pain now until hopefully modern medicine comes up with another option. Best of luck to you!


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