I took some time to recover from my surgery on March 9th and finally got the motivation to write this blog post.
Surgery Day: My surgery was scheduled in the morning, which I was oh so grateful for. I have to admit I was not extremely nervous and felt at peace with whatever the surgery would bring. I was feeling cautiously optimistic that I had a non-union. I remember waking up after the surgery and the first thing I asked was if it was a non-union. To my surprise my implant was a union (ultimately good news), but there were other issues that my surgeon found and addressed.
Once I got to my recovery room my surgeon came and waited to talk with my parents and I. Even though he wanted to wait to tell my parents, he honestly couldn’t wait to tell me first. The main goal of the surgery was to visualize the implant and to make sure that it was healed. After he confirmed that there was a union he decided to explore the peroneal tendons (a known area of my pain). He made the incision larger to visualize the tendons. Upon doing so he was able to see that there were four different issues.
1) My surgeon found a rather large ganglion cyst in the joint space. A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sac that occurs in a joint or on a tendon sheath. He aspirated and excised the cyst to prevent it from reoccuring.
2) He found that I had hypertrophy of the peroneal tubercle (enlargement of the peroneal tubercle). The peroneal tubercle is located on the lateral aspect of the calceanous and is a bony projection that everyone has. My surgeon removed the excess bone. He observed that my peroneal tendons near the tubercle were thinning and would have torn if it was not addressed.
3) The next problem my surgeon found was a low-lying muscle belly of the peroneus brevis which he removed. There are two tendons that make up the peroneals: the peroneus brevis and the peroneus longus. A low-lying muscle belly is said to be a rare anomaly, but my surgeon said while it is rare it is seen.
4) The last issue my surgeon fixed was by releasing a tight peroneal tendon sheath.
My surgeon said that any one of these issues he found could have been causing my pain. My parents and I are hopeful that this will resolve the extreme pain that I was experiencing prior to the surgery.
The recovery process would start similarly to my other surgeries: non-weight bearing, take percocet for pain once the nerve block wore off and administering the Lovenox shots (anti-coagulent). I was not completely sure what the rest of the recovery would be, but firgured I would find out at my post-op appointments.
First post-op appointment: My surgeon removed the surgical dressing and examined the incision. He also evaluated my range of motion and had me do several resistive tests. I had only slight pain/discomfort with those tests. Considering that I was three days out from surgery he thought everything looked great. He wanted me to go into my boot, but to continue non-weight bearing. The purpose of having the walking boot was to be able to take it off and do some basic range of motion exercises. My surgeon stated that it was important to move the tendon to prevent the tendon from getting tight again.
Second post-op appointment: By this appointment I was approaching the two week mark and had regained some energy. I was getting around more on my crutches and was tolerating having my foot less elevated. At this appointment my surgeon was to remove the sutures and evalute my healing. He re-evaluated my range of motion and resisitive tests. This time I did not have any discomfort with them. One thing that I love about my surgeon is that he takes his time to assess and think things through. He did give me the okay to start putting weight on my foot. And in a few days I could get my foot wet.
Initially, putting weight on foot was a bit painful and I was very dependent on my crutches. I am now two and a half weeks out from surgery and can do some walking without my crutches. I am still keeping my foot elevated while I am sitting. Next week I get to slowly transition into my sneaker! My surgeon did tell me to not be surprised if I have to go back into the boot if I cannot tolerate the sneaker. This recovery process is progressing much faster than my other recoveries, which is quite refreshing.
Side note: Just because I have had eight surgeries does not mean that I am exempt from pushing myself too hard and having setbacks. A few days after getting permission to put weight on my foot I was feeling rather restless. I wanted to get out of the boot and into my sneaker. Yes, I knew that my foot wasn’t ready, but I was determined. I put my sneaker on and walked with my crutches for a few minutes. At the time it didn’t hurt, but the next three days I had more pain and discomfort with walking. Needless to say it was not worth pushing my foot to do something it wasn’t ready for.
If anyone has questions about my surgery and recovery please feel free to comment down below!