PTT Insufficiency: 12 weeks post-op

Update: 12 weeks post-op

Well, I am now out of the "walking cast" (which wasn't very good for walking) and into a removable Aircast. It's quite a change: I can now take off the cast and screw up my foot permanently! I must not take even a single step without the cast. The foot must not rock sideways, especially under load.

It's terrific and a little weird to take it off. I slept barefooted for the first time in a while. Large parts of the skin on the foot are numb, and that is strange brushing against the sheets.

The foot got its first thorough washing in the shower with gentle soap and a gentle washcloth. It's amazing how much dead skin accumulates in there. After soaking for a while, I removed about two teaspoons of a pasty substance from the sole that had the appearance and consistency of mushy wet soap. The sole is very ticklish, and I had trouble cleaning it.

The shower did much to improve the appearance of the foot. There is still an embedded scab along the sutures, and the strapping tape is still there though much loosened from the cleaning. I am supposed to let both scabs and tape fall off when they want to.

More Questions answered, and clarifications

As usual, I really did not know what to expect after this change. I've remained agnostic on most invitations and proposals. Canoeing is out: no surprise. It will be a long time, if ever, before the feet are stable and strong enough for river rocks. The beach would probably be ok in the cast, but the water is right out. I've decided that it isn't worth the effort at the moment. Camping is a possibility, but the hikes are not advised. Do I want to sit in a campsite as bug bait for a couple of days?

My family is going to an amusement park, and that's a possibility. The foot in the cast should handle roller coaster rides okay. There is a problem of getting around. I've tried ditching the crutches and I can hobble around pretty well without them, a Big Improvement in lifestyle. I may even be clearing the table soon. But I've been told to keep using the crutches for another week.

The removable cast comes off, and therapy begins, at five months post-op, not five months from now, a distinction I had missed before. I plan to use the therapy on both feet if they permit it: if it helps the repaired foot, it can help the "good" one. My right PTT has been a bit sore the past couple of days. The good foot takes a beating helping the bad one.

My back continues to be a little annoyed at the whole thing. It will be much better when I can walk again. I am still advised to take the elevator instead of the stairs. We do not strengthen the left foot yet, just let those tendons heal.

Feedback from these pages

About half a dozen people have seen these pages and sent me email. Some are facing the operation in the near future. One had it five years ago, and the tendon has just detached, requiring more surgery. I remain optimisticly resigned to this. In fact, Donna (nurse extraordinaire) was concerned that I would be irrationally exuberant about the removable cast and push something too far. I am not going to push it. I've got to stick to the letter and spirit of the doctor's instructions.

I am clearly very lucky to have the kind of job I do. Any one with a job requiring standing, walking, or any activity is likely to be on disability for many months.

Update - Fourteen weeks post-op.

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