PTT Insufficiency: 14 weeks post-op

Update: 14 weeks post-op

I have been out of crutches for two weeks now. It doesn't hurt when I walk around (I almost stride). There are little pains and aches, and it is clearly possible to overdo it. I am more concerned about the little twinges that the long-suffering right foot is having. It used to be a slightly achy foot at the end of the day. Now, it is sometimes a slightly achy right PTT.

I spent a full day at work yesterday, and even climbed the stairs a couple of times to go one floor, instead of taking the elevator. I did skip lunch: the cafeteria is over a tenth of a mile away. I desperately need the exercise: I have gained about five pounds, and walking has always been my preferred form of exercise. Also, it helps my back, which isn't really enjoying the experience, though it hasn't acted up.

The lack of crutches is a major improvement in lifestyle. (They are still in the back of the car, in case something major goes wrong.) I can carry things, clean up, and generally be a mostly useful member of the household. The removable cast means that I can bathe sitting in the shower, which is also a big improvement.

There are many family outings I can't do yet: go to the beach (it would be hot, and the water pretty much inaccessible), Great Adventure (too much walking, most of the rides would be fine, though I suspect I might worry the operators), walk in the woods, NYC theaters.

Today's Doctor's visit

Today was the first doctors visit where they aren't changing casts or taking x-rays. (Oddly, it appeared to cost $10 more than the last one.) The foot is doing fine, and I actually stood on the bare foot for the first time since May. It felt a little strange, but was fine. Dr. Deland pronounced it progressing nicely, and I have a prescription for an orthotic.

Some more answers:

  • Yes, the two bumps that I can feel under the skin of the heal are the heads of the screws.
  • The screws are stainless steel, not titanium.
  • They can be removed if I want, but I don't want. Gives me something new to do with those electronic stud finders.
  • Two more months before therapy begins.
  • I am getting fitted for the orthotic so it will be ready for the next appointment, in about five weeks.
  • Orthotics are installed in pairs, i.e. my right foot will have support matching the left. This is reassuring: I think it gives the right foot a better chance to stay heathy.
  • I won't have to wear some clunky shoe like the brown oxfords I suffered though in junior high school. The New Balance sneakers I have (any one want a spare left?) offer lots of support, and are well respected for their removable support.
  • The doctor wants to know if I am available to put up a web page for him.

    Financial Followup

    I understand that it can take a year or more to settle the financial details of a hospital stay. Our carrier (PruNetwork) has showered us with incompetence since the beginning. First, the denied all claims, though it had been preapproved. Then they took a mistaken comment on the abesthesiologist's report to redefine what the operation was. He had said ``sprained ankle'', and the insurance company instantly decided that the rest of the treatment was wrong for this. Of course, it wasn't a sprained ankle.

    Then they would kick out various things, like some New York state surtax. We'd get the notice, call the hospital (who has been very good about all this), complain to the insurance company, and then get a call back from the hospital saying that it was all taken care of.

    Now we are facing the question of ``reasonable and customary.'' Many of the charges are a bit above R&C, and we have been willing to pay the difference. But now we find that it appears to be reasonable and customary to pay $850 (a Medicare rate) for tendon harvesting (a $4500 value). (``Kmart shoppers, we are having a sale on bilateral orchidectomies in aisle 4 today!'').

    It seems to be customary to deny any claim the instant anything strange or inconsistent appears, and let the customer reapply if they really want to. We've chewed out the PruNetwork bureaucrats a couple of times.

    We are going to complain to Lucent's benefits office.

    Four months post-op

    Back to my home page.