PTT Insufficiency: 8 weeks post-op

Update: 8 weeks post-op

Two weeks ago we got a new cast. This one is a sedate blue and green. It is so preppy that we have epoxied an Izod logo to it from an old sock.

It is also a walking cast. The top of the toes were cut out this time so I can see and tend to them. It is actually useful: I can judge my toe color now and decide if the foot has been down too long. I wish the previous cast had this.

The cast comes with a little boot, and I am sort of able to hobble around putting full weight on it. There have been no shooting pains or aches, and I am increasingly confident about it. My instructions were to place 40 pounds of weight on the foot for the first two weeks, and then work up to full weight. Forty pounds is much better than no weight. It adds vast stability to previously precarious perches.

It is strange to crutch around while sort of walking. The pace and feel is a little different, and I have had to lengthen the crutches and remove the chafing rubber things at the top. The walking cast isn't that good for walking. It supports the foot well, but makes a lousy shoe. It is easy to stub a crutch, and hard to go around on tippy-crutch.

I get winded fairly easily: this is no surprise given the hard work of moving around and eight weeks of enforced living on the couch. I am also able to sit up for a few hours at a time before the foot complains. I was able to drive for an hour and a half last week without problems. It is definitely getting easier.


At the cast changing the foot was x-rayed and the doctor took a look. The screws (I have two) are much longer than I would have guessed.

Here's one side of the foot and a closeup. We asked a variety of questions about the prognosis, and about my ability to move around. I had basically canceled all travel until January, but the Labs has invited my to China in October, four months post-op. Would I be able to go? I'd be in the removable cast, and just starting therapy. He said yes. He also said that I would be running on the beach by January, though he didn't specify which beach. (Actually, it will be Hilton Head, and I'll walk, not run.)

We couldn't pin him down on probabilities for the other foot, or future operations, or elaborations on the prognosis. The operation is too new.

Coming next

In two weeks this cast comes off, and I am in a removable cast. It's not clear if we will use the clunker I hobbled around in during May, or get something else. People keep talking about an "air cast", but I haven't seen one.

It's entirely unclear how mobile I will be at that point. I may be able to float in the pool, without kicking. At present I am stuck in the air conditioning for the summer.

I've been able to work full-time for several weeks. Of course, if I were a roofer or cop, I'd be on disability for many more months.


Speaking of disability, I never consulted with the bureaucrats at my company about this operation. (I had made appropriate arrangements with my boss.) There are lots of federal laws about disability leave and, even if I don't need the government's help in this, there are hoops the company must jump through. We are straightening this stuff out now. My telecommuting confounds things as well: I needed official permission to return to work after being out for a week, but I was already telecommuting a few hours a day by that time. Had I returned to work, officially? Also, I wasn't telecommuting full time. The foot is fairly uncomfortable for a few weeks after surgery, and it is distracting. The officials had trouble with this ramp-up as well, so we picked an official day when I "returned to work", adjusted to around the midpoint of the ramp up.

Of course, the bills are starting to trickle in. My wife and I have a bet on the total cost of this. I am guessing $40,000, she is guessing around $100,000. we have the indemnity plan, which is handled by Prudential. So far, they have paid $16 for my $60 crutches. I guess they reimbursed me for a stick found in the woods.

Update: 12 weeks post-op.

Back to my home page.