Monday, June 22, 2015

Adventures in foot surgery

It's been 39 days since I had my foot surgery.  It's time to write the update.

I am not a fan of surgery, but sometimes that is what it takes to fix an issue.  For me, it has been nearly a year since I first started having foot pains I couldn't alleviate.  I tried the exercises.  I tried the cortisone.  I tried ignoring it (that never works by the way).  I even tried a smaller, more confined surgery.  No matter what I tried, it wouldn't go away.

Almost a year.

I couldn't believe it myself, so I went back through my blog posts.  The first post I mentioned my heel pain was July 17, 2014.  In August I had a small surgery to hopefully fix the problem.  It did OK, but was never fully fixed.  I figured it was about 70-80% fixed.  Dr. Foot was wanting 100% and wasn't impressed that we didn't get that. 

I figured I could deal with it.  The random stabbing pains had decreased.  I'm a tough girl and don't complain too much about being uncomfortable.  I really didn't want another surgery.

However, the pains continued and even got worse.  I began to lose track of how often I would get those random stabbing pains.  The first 20-30 steps every morning were excruciating.  I'm sure I looked like I was walking on a floor of nails, because that's what it felt like.  The first steps I took after sitting for any length of time felt just as bad.  My Wednesday morning yoga class was something I looked forward to, but also dreaded because I knew the pain in my foot would effect the quality of my poses.  I kept up with my daily walks because, contrary to logic, it felt better to be moving.

I went back to Dr. Foot a couple times.  He poked (how do they ALWAYS know right where to poke to make it hurt the worst?) and wasn't happy with what he was seeing.  He said I had tarsal tunnel.  The nerve had gotten fat and was trying to go through a slot that was no longer big enough for it.  He said it was like trying to put on a pair of jeans from high school.  It could be done, but it would hurt. 

The final straw was when he did an ultra sound of the bottom of my foot to see what the plantar fascia looked like.  Yup.  I had a really good (or bad, depending on your perspective) case of plantar fasciitis to add to my tarsal tunnel.  My fascia was swollen to 7mm.  That may not sound like much, but then consider that the barrel of a standard ballpoint pen is 8mm in diameter. 

Surgery was done May 14th to release both the nerve and the plantar fascia.  It was an uneventful day and the surgery went well.  Even though I had a later in the day surgery time (1:30pm!!) I survived.  I may have been a bit ornery about being hungry, but my blood sugars played nice.  I ran higher most of the morning (190-200) and didn't drop down into the low 100's until I was be wheeled back for surgery.

I did have a minor set back with an infection that set in at week 3.  An internal dissolving stitch didn't dissolve (there is always at least one that doesn't dissolve for me) and it began it irritate.  It festered and infected the lower part of the incision.  I was given a shot of antibiotics in the backside, a prescription for more antibiotics, and instructions to soak it twice a day.  It took the full 10 days, but the infection, redness, and draining went away.

The random stabbing pains are completely gone. *happy dance*  The excruciating pain with the first 20-30 steps in the morning has decreased to uncomfortable pain for the first 10-15 steps, and keeps improving.  It feels like I'm walking on a wad of sock that has been folded up under my foot, but I have been assured that that feeling will go away.  It is the longest part to heal and will take a couple months.

After all of this I feel confident in saying..


It's been a process to get here.  I've done a few walks to try and recondition myself so I'll be ready for the competition once July starts.  I'm quite a bit slower and am more tired at the end.  I'll get there though.  In that fact, I have full confidence... and determination.


  1. Congrats Jenn! I too have dealt with some foot pain (plantar fasciatis). So happy to hear that the bulk of the pain has subsided. Also happy to hear you've beat the infection off. That's so huge for us with diabetes!

    1. Thanks Ryan! Foot pain is some of the worst to deal with. The infection did kinda scare me some, so I'm glad that it cleared up nicely. Now lets hope this is the end of foot issues. Good luck on yours, and know that it can get better.