PTTI Questions and Answers

I get a lot of questions about PTTI. Here are some answers.

Q: Were you in so much pain that they gave you morphine (in the hospital) that you could control?

They gave me one of those little patient-controlled morphine pain boxes. The pain was substantial ("distracting" is how I would describe it), but it wasn't bad. I wasn't crying, and they would have to do much better than that to get any secrets out of me. The pain wasn't continuous, and when it got annoying (that's a good word for it) I pressed the button and didn't seem to get much relief out of it.

It did make me spacy, so any time I concentrated I instantly fell asleep for a few seconds. In short, I didn't like the morphine.

I told them that Ibuprophen had always worked well with me, even with migraine headaches (which are _much_ worse than the surgical pain.) The pain doctor (his bill was $100, as I recall) switched me off the morphine to a shot four times a day, and it did the trick. (I've had allergy shots and given a lot of blood, so needles don't bother me.) That worked fine.

They sent me home with Percocet, but I never used it. I self-administered gradually decreasing amounts of Ibuprophen, and was completely off the stuff three weeks later.

In my fuzzy memory of the experience, the most annoying pain was in the months following surgery, when the foot had been down for too long. Put it up and ice it, and all's well.

Q: You know, doctors really never tell you how painful your surgery will be.
It's very subjective: your response depends in part to your expectations.

I think I've answered that. Your worrying is normal, especially if this is your first major operation. Remember, you are doing this for a long-term gain. Keep your eyes on the prize.

If you need something to worry about, it is the small possibility that the surgery will work, but that your foot will be in pain years later.

The surgery was a warm, gentle experience, and much less scary than I feared.

Q: Did you have the option to be put to sleep for this surgery? I couldn't do what you did!! (smile)

I could have been awake, but wasn't, so 4 hours went like that. (Of course, you aren't really asleep, but it feels like it. I leave the difference to philosophers.)

So, I wasn't awake. My wife had to sit and worry for 4 hours. Much harder for her.

Q: How are you doing now?

Great! For me, it was well worth it, and I am glad I did it.

Q: What about that 90%

More like 98%. The left foot is fully functional. It's the "good" foot that is worrying me, and I may have to go through it all again.

Q: Do you limp?

Occasionally when I am tired people notice a slight limp. Otherwise, I have a normal gait.

Q: How is your heel, does it still smart?

Fine, no problem. And the screws are still in there. I am kind of proud of them.

Q: What about mobility?

Fine, except when the right foot acts up. I take it easy, which is partly why I haven't lost the surgery weight, a more important health problem. Bicycling is easy, so I do that.

Q: Any other information or advice you want to offer me would be appreciated! I GUESS YOU CAN TELL THAT I'M A C- H-I-C-K-E-N!

My advice: relax, Just Do It. It isn't fair, but it is treatable, and you will probably be Ok.

It is much harder if you don't have someone to help you out. I am, as usual, deeply indebted to my wife, other relatives, and friends.