Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Surgery for Morton's Neuroma & Recovery, or, "You're going to do WHAT to my foot??"

NOTE: This is a somewhat long, rambling post. I'm writing this to help others who are facing surgery to correct Morton's Neuroma and to describe my recovery process and progress.


Marked for surgery

I'm now three weeks post-op for surgery to remove a damaged nerve in my foot. I was diagnosed with a condition called "Morton's Neuroma" that wreaked havoc on my mobility for the better part of 2010. The story goes like this...

I'm 35, 6'2", weigh 190lbs, and wear a size 13 (US) shoe. So, yeah, big feet. I've always had a hard time finding shoes that fit well, and usually made the stupid choice of style over comfort. That was never much of a problem...until this year. I work in the fields of science & technology and have had a fairly sedentary desk/office job for more than 10 years, plus I live in St. Louis, where everyone drives everywhere. Two years ago I started frequent domestic & international travel for work. One of the aspects of travel I enjoy most is being on foot much more than at home. Towards the end of 2009 I started noticing some uncomfortable tightness & pain in my right toes, foot & ankle, but just brushed it off as aches & pains associated with getting older & not being in prime physical condition.

This continued through the spring of 2010, with the pain getting worse & becoming more persistent. No longer was it just the occasional "ouch" when walking on an uneven surface - I would wake up feeling like my foot was on fire, and have sharp, shooting pain through my toes & up to my ankle every time I put my foot down. Without realizing it, I started walking on the outer edge of my foot to avoid the pain, which then started causing my ankle to hurt more & swell. Not exactly a good situation.

I finally went to my physician in late spring & was first referred to a podiatrist. He poked & pressed around on my foot & ankle in ways that made me squirm, and not in a good way, so he ordered up some xrays. The first round showed what looked like fractures in a couple of metatarsals (the bones that run from the base of your toes to your midfoot) so he sent me for an MRI. It showed that I had torn tendons on my ankle and stress fractures that had rehealed in my 2nd & 3rd phalanges & metatarsals (toes & foot). He then referred me to an orthopedic surgeon, and that's when things started getting medieval.

The orthopedist reviewed my MRI & did her own xrays, plus talked with me about all the pain I was having. Her diagnosis was that I had a neuroma, or nerve tumor, between my 2nd & 3rd toes caused by the improper healing of the broken metatarsals, as well as poor bone morphology.

Long story short (by this time it was September): the 2nd & 3rd toes on my right foot are more closely aligned than normal. I did something (don't know what, exactly) that caused those bones to fracture. They healed on their own, but not perfectly, and so those crazy cracked bones were grinding on the nerve that runs between them. That damaged nerve was causing the shooting pains, which in turn was causing me to walk in such a way as to avoid the pain, which was tearing tendons in my ankle.

Fun, huh?!

So then, to treatment. Apparently you can't do an xray or MRI & see if you have a damaged nerve, so you literally have to take a shot in the dark - a cortisone shot directly into the nerve. Now listen, I have a very high pain threshold (piercings, tattoos) but that mother HURT! But it worked. My foot was numb, like your mouth feels after getting a shot at the dentist, and for the first time in months it didn't hurt or ache or burn. Success.

I was also sent for physical therapy, which didn't do a damn thing. I got special inserts for my shoes, which helped alleviate a little bit of the pain, but not enough to make a difference in my daily activities. Frustrating & expensive.

On my followup visit with the orthopedist we talked about next steps and because the cortisone shot was so effective, she considered me a good candidate for surgery. As in, surgery to remove the damaged nerve. As in, cut open your foot, hack out the nerve, sew it back up, send you home. This freaked me out a little bit. I wasn't worried about the surgery itself, I was worried about the recovery & long term side effects. My doc talked me through this - because the nerve is removed, I'd be left with a numb spot on the top & bottom of my foot along the incision, plus the inner sides of my 2nd & 3rd toes would be numb. The numbness would not affect balance, and following recovery I'd be able to walk normally & return to activities that I'd given up because of the pain, namely going to the gym & doing yoga.

But, wow, it's irreversible, optional surgery. I mean, it's optional in that I wouldn't die if I didn't have surgery. And you know, once you cut out a nerve it's gone - it can regenerate a little bit, but it's not like it's going to magically grow back & be 100%. So I was facing a difficult decision: have the surgery & be left with a numb spot on my foot, or don't have the surgery & be left with a painful spot on my foot. Plus, I read a few web sites & forums from people who had had the surgery; some with good results, some with bad results. This post in particular & its comments scared the bejesus out of me...so much so that I got a second opinion & had a very lengthy followup with my doc to make sure I was making the right decision.

And so after a lot of consideration, I opted for surgery. And I don't regret it one bit.

The surgery itself was a snap - outpatient, in & out in 7 hours. My partner was traveling for work & couldn't change his schedule, so my best friend Tagert took me to the facility. I was admitted, did the paperwork, assigned a bay & bed, got an IV, met with my surgeon, laughed over the mark she put on my foot, waved to the camera, and then Dr. Feelgood came in to give me meds and it's all a blur after that. I sort of remember being wheeled out of the bay into the OR, and kind of remember cracking some joke as they moved me to the operating table, but seriously, I woke up in recovery & thought I'd just dozed off. I was surprised to see that my foot was all bandaged up & the surgery was over. I had no adverse reactions to the anesthesia, so I had a couple of crackers, a little bit of juice, and was sent home.

And then I spent the next 10 days like this:


Yes, really. Tagert stayed with me that night while my partner was out of town, and two neighbors came over to help get me food & get me situated. I was on heavy narcotics (Norco; LOVELY stuff) every 4 hours, along with a few other meds for inflammation & to prevent blood clots. For the first 3 days my foot was completely numb from the anesthetic block. It felt like concrete - just numb & heavy & useless. I kept my foot elevated - "toes above your nose" - with the help of pillows, and got off the couch as little as possible. When I did get up it was for short periods of time only and I had to use crutches to get around. I have to say, and I know it may sound bad, but honestly it was a really restful experience - wake up, take a pill, watch TV, fall asleep, repeat. My two dogs were with me, one of whom got to spend all her time on the couch next to me. Time had no meaning or importance. As the Italians say, "Dolce far niente" - it is sweet to do nothing.

On my 3rd day after surgery (a Thursday) I returned to work via couch & laptop & wifi. On that Friday I thought I'd be brave and start cutting back on the pain pills. Big mistake. Huge. The pain started edging in & then all of a sudden it was so intense & so present that it made me sick to my stomach. I got right back on the Norco horse & rode it through the weekend. On my 10th day after surgery I went in for a checkup & had my bandages removed & stitches out. That hurt like hell.

As of this writing I'm on my 4th week of recovery. Between that first week & now I've gotten off the pain meds, but am still taking aspirin to reduce the risk of blood clots. I am driving (something I couldn't do while stitches were in) and I've ditched the crutches. I use a cane when I'm outside the house because I still have limited flexibility in my toes & the cane helps me move around with stability. I've returned to work, and all things considered, once again am a productive member of society.

And so what everyone wants to know is: is your foot numb? The answer is yes. I have about a 2" numb spot on my foot that follows the incision, and those inner sides of my 2nd & 3rd toes are numb. I still have normal nerve supply to the other side of each toe, and the doc said that there were small fibrous nerves in the top of each toe remaining, so overall I've only lost a very small portion of feeling in my foot. I'm gaining flexibility and am able to be on my feet for longer periods of time every day.

The other thing people want to know is: would I do it again? The answer is yes, absolutely, because I'm free from pain. For the first time this year I'm able to wake up without feeling like my foot is on fire. I can walk without feeling like I'm stepping on nails every time I put my foot down. I feel like I have my life back, and that is wonderful.

If you have been diagnosed with a neuroma & are considering surgery, please read any & all of the above as the experience of one person. Overall my experience has been good, but I have heard from others who have had less successful procedures. I think for me it was finding the right surgeon & working with her to make sure this was the right procedure for me. I have had the luxury of a healthy stockpile of sick time & vacation days (as well as doing this during the holiday season) which has allowed me to be at work when I'm able to be productive & at home when I'm not. I also think I came into the surgery with realistic expectations of what I'd be able to do during recovery & afterwards, and so while my dreams of being a professional dancer may be over, I'm able to do my actual professional work without pain & suffering.

Last thing: I could not have made it through this recovery time without proper support, both physical & emotional. For physical support of my foot I got a pair of orthopedic Crocs. Now look, I'm not a fan of Crocs. I think they're ugly and I've never understood why people wear them...until I put these on. They are light, they are comfortable, they are quite possibly the smartest purchase I've made in years. This particular line has an extra wide toe box that makes for easy on & off without pain or fuss. If you're going through any kind of foot surgery I highly recommend these. As for emotional support, I've always been an independent person but there's no way I could have gotten through this without the help of my family & friends. You *have* to have someone around in your first week to be your feet & hands - to go get things for you, to run errands, to bring in the mail, that kind of boring, normal stuff - because I'm convinced that my successful recovery is due to taking it completely easy for as long as possible. So to everyone who has helped me, I give a huge THANK YOU!

I wrote this for the sake of sharing information about my experience with Morton's Neuroma surgery & recovery. If you're facing something similar, I hope you find this helpful, and I'll be glad to talk with you or answer any questions you might have.


412 comments:

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T.P.R. said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I've been poring over the internet trying to find as many surgery stories as I could find. I'm having neuroma surgery next Friday and I'm terrified, lol. I've had a neuroma for about 5 years, it's very large, and I've tried everything except for acupuncture. (I just read a whole bunch of new agey stuff on it). I want to get back to normal activity such as running, yoga, pilates, biking, and dancing. I'm afraid to go through this and end up being one of those horror stories I've read about. I will hang on to the hope that I will be as successful as you. I will also stay drugged up as long as possible. ;)Please keep us updated.

Chris Freeland said...

T.P.R. - I hope your surgery went well! I'm now in my 6th week after surgery and next week I'm expecting my ortho to clear me for returning to physical activity. Right now I'm feeling up to yoga, biking, and elliptical, but not yet running. It's not about pain, because that's all but entirely gone, but the lack of flexibility in the ball of my foot and toes - that's why I'm the most excited about getting back to yoga.

Take it really, really easy these first days and keep your foot elevated as much as possible - I'm convinced that's what helped me progress as well as I have so far. I look forward to hearing about your recovery!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your story. I''m having Neuroma surgery on Thursday & am very worried about recovery time. Seems like I've read more horror stories than good outcomes so was good to hear that yours was manageable.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have surgery scheduled for Friday, Feb 25. I wasn't too worried about it until I Googled, wondering how much time to request off of work! Oh, my, the horror stories! I had requested two days off of work; apparently that's not going to be enough. Keep up updated and if I'm up to it, will let you know how if goes.

Amy said...

I am going out of my mind, My foot kills with the nerve pain. I have had one shot in my foot(which did kill) I go back soon can I opt for the surgery cause the shot did not help.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris
I had the surgery 13 days ago and walk with the shoe they gave me .When I walk it feels like nerve impulses are shooting into my toes . My Dr told me that this is all normal and that that will go away as the nerves settle dowm . I also had a gangleon cyst wrapped around the mortons neuroma. I am so frustrated because after 13 days I'm still limping . I will start PT this week and I love my PT so any advice you can give or wisdom will be greatly appreciated . your going to tell me patience ... Right? . Thanks for this blog . just reading gave me a little more patience :)
Joanne

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I am day 11 post surgery and so far so good.

Hannah's Nana said...

I just found your blog about your surgery. I am 5 days post op and after reading about your journey I have decided to relax & take it easy. Thanks for the education! Now that you are 7 months post op I hope you are running at full speed! thanks again, Andrea

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you- i was so scared too- i am just 9 days post op and hoping to get off crutches next week at day 14. My foot feels weird and at times when foot is down i get little nerve pain but i agree better then the pain of the frozen blueberry. Did you walk with the robo boot and also was it painful off the crutches and how long were your toes swollen??

Maggie said...

I live in England, and have the surgery 11 days ago after suffering for around 2 years with my left foot. My surgery was done on top of the foot with general anaesthitic. I only used the crutches for the first 3 days, as I was told i could weight bare on the foot, I have been given 2 weeks off work, Im finding that if my leg isnt raised ( the majority of the time it is) and im sat in a chair for a little while then i get the feeling of pins and needles all over the toes area and it starts throbbing. It was very purple with bruising at first, 11 days later still purple between several toes and down one side of my foot, not sure why in that area.
I cannot even bear the weight of the duvet on my toes as they are so sore, I have to have a pillow stood up and a pillow to put my foot on too as even laying my foot on either side is too sore and im getting no sleep, despite taking co-codamol 8/500 and ibuprofen 400mg. I found that taking the bandages off helped stop all the throbbing that i experience, but cover where the stitches are with a small dressing,(I cannot see where my stitches are, they seem to be invisible, but are supposed to come out after 14 days) and just put a wad of gauze over my toes as they are so sensitive, covered with a baggy very soft microfibre sock, Im still wearing my surgical boot I left hospital with as everything else hurts like hell.
Im using Arnica cream and Voltarol gel(diclofenac) on the toes, but even touching them makes me cringe with pain.
Im back at work in 5 days and will be on my feet all day, cant imagine how I will cope, can see me wearing this boot still and hobbling along.
Whilst im typing this at my pc desk my foot is upon the table, what do I look like lol.
from Maggie

Anonymous said...

Is it painful to walk again- i get pins and needles- i think it is from all this sitting with my foot up- so now i am scared to walk with the surgical boot?? Day 10- just want a normal life and to walk again! is they key patience!

Avery

Sharkbuggy said...

I have just discovered I have the same problem....beginning stages....but only wanted to say......YOU ARE A RIOT!!!!!! LOVE YOUR STORY.....Hope all is well and Thank you....Kristin

Chris Freeland said...

Avery, Maggie, et al - I hope that your surgeries and ongoing recovery are going well! All I can say is that, yes, after many weeks the pain does go away.

I had surgery in Dec 2010 and it's now late Aug 2011, and the pain is completely gone and has been since mid-May or so. It was tolerable after surgery, but then I also have a desk job and so didn't have to stress the healing process by standing for long periods of time. I did have to adjust part of my work schedule, which includes lots of international travel. I went on a trip to Panama 8 weeks after surgery and that, honestly, was too much. My foot was still a little bruised from surgery, and even though I wore my orthopedic Crocs (which you *MUST* buy if you haven't - lifesavers!) I still struggled to walk without pain because of the swelling during flight, etc. But the perspective I kept was that the surgical pain was nothing compared to the neuroma pain.

I'm just now getting used to the weird feeling of *not* feeling the space between my toes. It just feels...weird...which is the only word I can use to describe the (lack of) sensation. I bought my first pair of Birks (another must-have) and the lady at that store had had the same surgery more than 10 years ago. She showed me her all-but-invisible scar and laughed when I asked how long it took before the pain & weirdness went away. She laughed because she said it had been so long that she couldn't even remember any discomfort, which made me realize that all this temporary pain around the surgery will go away. And like I said, for me the pain was completely gone after about 5 months.

And, as proof that it all gets better, I was recently on a work trip to Honolulu and walked from Waikiki Beach to the top of Diamond Head, which is about a 4 hour hike that challenges even those who are not post-op! Pic here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisfreeland/6044409837/in/set-72157627436560492 My foot didn't even have a twinge of pain, and the experience of climbing up to the top of the Diamond Head crater was incredibly satisfying.

So, all I can say from my own experience is to take it as easy as your work/life will allow and that it does all get better!

Chris Freeland said...

Oh, and one last thing - I used a cane to help stabilize my walking for about 10 weeks after surgery, and that was incredibly helpful. The time I stopped using it was about the same time that I stopped feeling regular pain from the surgery, so I'd say I was back to "normal" after 10 weeks and completely pain free another 6-8 weeks after that.

avespit said...

Chris- thank you so much for giving us hope- I am only at week 3 and I am doing better, I agree this surgical discomfort/ is way better then the neuroma pain and good to hear as the weeks/months/years go by that we too will forget about it. The past year with the neuroma was pretty painful so I am glad that it is gone-really hard to have foot surgery. Thanks again
Avery
maryland

avespit said...

One more question- how is being bare foot?? Like around the house or on the beach?

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris- One more question- do you still only wear the croc or do you wear sneakers, business shoes.. and those burks- thanks

Avery

Chris Freeland said...

Avery - Yep, I started walking barefoot a couple of months after surgery, and walking in sand is actually *really* comfortable! I stopped wearing Crocs and moved back to sneakers (New Balance has lines specifically for neuroma & surgeries) and dress shoes. For me it's about finding shoes that have a wide toebox that won't cramp your toes. I imagine this might be more difficult for women than men, but I'd definitely recommend going for comfort over style the first few months. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chris- I am week 4 and have started to feel better and like I can be productive in society again- LOL. Went to work and sat at my desk. I am lucky I can wear those crocs or sneakers to work all day, I am a research nurse so part feet and part desk- so i will be more desk for a few more weeks...but thank you for the new balance tip. There are some mary jane lady shoes where the toe box is wide and an orthotic can be put in. Thanks again!
Avery

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chris,
I will have surgery in 3 weeks. I have put this off for 4 years and in this time I have tried many therapies , cortisone injection, dry needling, acupunture, Active Release Technique (ART),orthotics, only wearing shoes with large toe box .
I will have surgery on the Friday and plan on being back at my desk job on the Monday. I will have a 5 minute walk to the station & stairs each end on my trip. I will have a surgical boot on. If I keep my foot up at work, do you think this will be manageable. Narelle

Chris Freeland said...

Narelle, no, from my experience you need at least 10 days off your feet. My ortho wouldn't let me drive while stitches were in (10 days), and you will be on heavy narcotics for the pain (which is intense) for several days, which will affect your judgement. I would *really* recommend more time off if you can get it. If you can't, then you'll want someone to drive you (your foot feels like a solid piece of wood for a week), and you'll have to find a way of keeping your leg elevated as high as possible. It's a really intense surgery - they cut open your foot, move around tendons to get to the nerve, pull it out & cut it off, then sew you back together. Your body needs time to rest after that. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris, I am 4 weeks after my surgery. I still get alot of swelling in my toes and ball of foot. I have bruising under my foot. It hurts to put weight on it.Also i have the same shooting and stabbing pains in the nerve that I had before the surgery. I'm hoping and praying it will get better. Feeling the same symptoms starting in my other foot now. hoping I can stop that from develop into full blown neuroma. I didn't get any good advise about shoes from my podiatrist. So thanks for the info on Ortho Crocks. This will help me as I am a nurse and must stay on my feet all day. Thank you for giving me hope that the post op pain will eventually go away.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say I am very happy I did the surgery- my foot feels normal now- I am about 12 weeks post op- all that stabbing pain and hurting goes away and then you forget about it. I had the same thing and stressed that the pain and stabbing would never go away!!- it takes atleast 6-10weeks for all that swelling to get better- take it easy and ease back into life- put your foot up when you can, wear sneakers. You will be fine!!

Avery

Anonymous said...

I am 4 days post surgery in both feet at once. Suffering for 3+ years while doing triathlons. Shots quit being effective at all. Pain was horrific at my half ironman on Sunday. Surgery both feet Tuesday. Doc said wow! They were very bad. I have crutches and the bandages and boots:) I have taken no pain meds... Yes, they are painful but, I drove to work Friday and worked 7 hours and went out to dinner today. Just know how good they will feel eventually. I have them elevated resting this evening but, will work a full day Monday. Know it is painful nut, I sm encouraged by all the positive stories here :)

Anonymous said...

Chris, thank you for the positive report. I am having this surgery in 10 days and am a bit freaked out. My foot pain started many years ago. A different doctor misdiagnosed it as callouse pain...so I endured years of pain until I fractured my other foot. My doctor is saying I have to stay off my foot for five days, and he also says no crutches. I'm beginning to wonder if his recommendations are too soft. I have pain on the bottom of my foot (in the ball, near the toes) between my 3rd & 4th toes on my left foot. My 4th toe has already experienced numbness. What's your thought? So glad I found this blog! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! You are my first blog, yes, my FIRST blog ever! I had surgery for my neuroma Nov 1, 2011. My sticthes come out tomorrow (Nov 14, 2011) and I am so excited! The surgery went well. It only lasted 23 minutes. I was released 1.5 hours after getting out of surgery. I am lucky I have a very high pain tolerance. Only on the Norco and Meloxicam for one day. I elevated and iced for a week like a good patient. I am walking around and eager to get the stitches out. It is winter here in Tahoe, so I will be moving into a roomy winter snow boot. No heels (which I love) for 3-4 months. That's no problem. It is skiiing that I am eager to begin. I hear I can begin after 4 weeks from surgery, full force after week 8. I am on schedule. It is the best thing I have ever done and I so happy to be free of them pain. I would do it again, only sooner. Not worth going through the pain and suffering.

mandy said...

Hi, i'm in my 3rd week of recovery from surgery. I tried all the insoles and injections, but to no avail so opted for surgery, i could not wait. the surgery was a doddle i even looked once or twice while the surgeon operated looking at my bones and he showed me the neuroma after removing it , it looked something like an alien nerve hanging as well. I can honestly say for the first week i had no pain whatsoever, i even had the stitches out and no pain, well a few tiny electric shocks. but all in all i have rested although i've been walking around the house with my crocs on. the incision was on the top part of my foot. the underneath on the ball of my foot and toes are still quite swollen but not excessively but still unable to walk as in bending the toes, so i tend to walk on my heel especially walking down stairs. I was told a good 6 weeks and then return to some sort of normality. I rested with my foot elevated for a good 7 days til i had to go to docs for dressing change, i walked with my crutches and it took me twice as long, (better you get a lift). " weeks on and still resting my foot as much as possible to reduce swelling and hopefully in another 2 weeks will be able to at least go get some food lol. Like a lot of you, was unable to participate in certain activities like dancing going to the gym and walking. I haven't yet drove my car but another week and maybe i will try. My advice is not to rush these things, take your time to recover and heal and i'm sure you will all benefit from the surgery given. i know i'm glad i did, that pain was so unbearable it made me so miserable. And if i was asked to have the surgery again i'd say yes.

airnout2003 said...

Had surgery this morning for my NM that I have been dealing with for over 2 years. Started running because I took up Tri's and never could understand why after a mile or so my foot felt like a marble was in the shoe. Took shots for about 6 months which made the pain go away but after the injections I felt it coming back . So here I am not really in any pain just alot of numbness, took two pain pills since this morning but unless something happens overnight I don't see taking any more. I will do my best to stay off my foot but only have a couple days off to recover. It doesn't hurt to walk but not really putting any pressure on it. I'll come back and give a update after a week or so but really am expecting a full recovery really quick.

Anonymous said...

Thank god for some honest good news.... yes this does work, but as with all surgery some don't always work and only those people put the horror stories on the internet..
I have since suffered CRPS, which is where the nerves go into overdrive and self protect, but its not the end of the world and I wouldn't want to put the fear of god into people because of it.. YES have the operation.. it works..

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Thank you so much for your story. It's one of the most realistic ones I've read. I'm on day 3 post op and I feel like I overdid it yesterday (nothing major, just walking around the kitchen and stuff) and now I am in so much pain, on the BOTTOM of my foot. I'm nervous about it because I know the incision is on top and the pain I'm feeling now is similar to neuroma. I'm hoping that it's just post op pain and not a sign of an unsuccessful surgery. Do you happen to remember, on that Friday when you cut back on the meds, if your foot was hurting on the bottom or just where the incision was? Thank you so much!

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

By the way, I just noticed you live in St. Louis. I'm in Chicago, but I'm a Wash I grad and my husband's entire family lives in St. Louis. So St. Louis has a special place in my heart. We're headed there for the holidays. Maybe we'll head to the Botanical Gardens sometime - I've never been there. My step daughter actually mentioned that she wants to get married there, so I'm sure we'll have to check it out sometime!

Anonymous said...

Hi All- I am 5 months out and my foot feels and is normal now. Best surgery ever and I am glad to have it done- I can go without shoes wear a 1- 1/2 inch heal.. I had that same pain which felt the neuroma after surgery all that calms down but it takes a few months...orthopedic surgery is a long haul recovery but you will get there and now I barely think about my foot.. Take your time, it was a miserable recovery but at month 3-4 it gets better, that swelling too takes alot of time to go away!!

Avery- Maryland

Chris Freeland said...

Jennifer, yes, when I went off meds the bottom of my foot hurt as well. You're having the normal process of scar tissue building up, and that feels a bit like the neuroma. My foot was swollen and bruised for weeks after surgery. Once your stitches are out your doc will probably recommend that you slowly start massaging top to bottom along your incision to break up that scar tissue. But don't do anything about it or worry while you're still in stitches. Plus your brain is catching up with the fact that the nerve is gone - described to me like what amputees feel. Sounds like you're doing great at day 3! And Avery, great to hear you're doing better! I'm now a full year postop and my foot is 100% healed and life is back to normal! Hang in there - it just takes time.

Smitty said...

Hi. I know that this is a year after your original post, but I was hoping that you could help with my question. I had surgery to remove the neuroma a week ago today, on my right foot. I didn't take it easy xmas eve and though my foot became really swollen, the swelling went down after I kept it raised for the rest of the day. I am concerned because I still can't out any weight on my foot, except heel walking, and my toes feel very tingly and cold. I checked the swathing and its not too tight. The bottom of my foot really hurts as well. As well, my toes are SO sensitive that it hurts to cover them with anything other than a light sheet. Was this normal for you? IS it something that I should be concerned about? I admit, I haven't been keeping my foot up as much as I should.

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Hi Smitty, this is Jennifer. I had my neuroma surgery on December 13 - exactly 2 weeks ago. I am in the same situation as you. I don't think you over doing it on Christmas Eve has anything to do with how your foot is feeling because I barely moved the first week and my foot feels the exact same way. My doctor said I should be able to out weight on it, and I said I couldn't for the exact same reason you can't - I could only put weight on my heel. So he gave me a stronger pain med that doesn't make me as dizzy as the Norco. It's called Ultram. It's working great and now I can walk on it ok - don't get me wrong, I walk very slowly and it still hurts a little but it's tolerable. But the minute the pain med wears off I don't think I could bear to put any weight on it. I'm still in the post op shoe but today I go for my first physical therapy appointment and I'll ask if I can move on into my gym shoe.

I think I have a high tolerance for pain so I'm surprised by reading all these posts of people that said all they needed was ibuprofen after the first week. Ibuprofen did nothing for my pain. My pain is so bad it feels like the neuroma just in all different places. I just wonder how long I'll have to take the Ultram. I hope not for too long. I'll keep you posted on my progress. So don't worry, I don't know if the pain is "normal" but you're not alone, and my doctor didn't seem at all concerned about it. Let me know how it goes.

Chris Freeland said...

Smitty, yes, would also say that was my experience, and as you know I took it incredibly easy for a couple of weeks. I had the surgical boot on for 10 days, then moved into Crocs for almost 2 months, then went into normal shoes again, and I did a good amount of heal walking for several weeks. My foot was swollen and bruised for many weeks, in spite of keeping it raised. My doc described it simply: "Foot surgery is a big deal. It takes a lot of healing." The coolness in your toes doesn't sound good, though, so you might call your doc if you're worried that blood flow isn't right.

Smitty said...

Thanks so much for the reassurance, Jennifer and Chris! I've been looking at sites where people were commenting about how they were back at work the next day with no problems, etc. I thought that there must be something wrong with me! I was given Tylenol 3's for the pain and so far so good pain management wise. However, I have not tried to put any weight on my foot (except for the ankle) so that might be a different story. I noticed that most people wore a special "boot"? I wasn't given one nor was it suggested. In fact, I had to ask the nurse for the crutches that I am using. Thank goodness that I did! I see the Dr. tomorrow to get my stitches out and will make sure to ask him about the coolness of my toes. They feel ice cold actually, but are normal in colour. Maybe the circulation? I have moved my toes very little since the surgery. They feel broken and stinging right now. I guess I'll find out more from the doctor tomorrow. I have to say, this is THE best site that I have found regarding MN. Thanks for blogging about you experiences! As a side note....Crocs? Ugh.

Smitty said...

ps. It's not that there is anything wrong with Crocs, and no offence to those who like them, it's just that I jokingly told my students that they were not allowed to wear Crocs in the classroom and it looks like I am going to have to wear them when I go back to work. Oh, the comments that I will get from them! One more quick question: I am to go back to work Jan. 16th. The surgery was on my right foot and I have a 35 minute drive to and from work. 4 weeks recovery...does that sound feasible?

Anonymous said...

Hi there, my name is Laurie and I live in NE Indiana. This post is today, December 29, 2011. I have the surgery on 1/9/2012 and I am getting a little nervous about it. Of course, I have a full time job and hoped they would do it on a Thursday, take Friday off and return to work on Monday, nope. Surgery on a Monday, hooray for me. I am contemplating taking the entire week off, but right now, just have Monday (surgery day) and Tuesday off. Do you think I should take the week?

I do have an office job, so no standing for prolonged periods. I do have a 15 mile commute to work each morning and the same each evening and the MN is in my right foot. Ugh.

Thoughts? Concerns? Help? lol My doctor said I will be in the ortho shoe (rather than the boot), but I don't think crutches, even though I have some here at home. The surgery will be through the top of my right foot between the
3rd & 4th toes.

I need some warm fuzzies and some real advise! Thank you! Laurie

Chris Freeland said...

Laurie - My doc wouldn't let me drive for the 10 days I had stitches in, which was a point she didn't make until the day of my surgery! She also didn't tell me about the crutches until her assistant handed them to as I was being wheeled to my car post-op. From my experience, yes, you'll want to be off the entire week - you'll be on heavy meds and your foot will be wrapped and very sensitive.

It's amazing to me from my experience and reading those from all of you here the WILDLY different ways doctors advise patients about post-surgical care. Clearly my doctor was very conservative, and I'm glad - she really advised me to stay off my foot, and I quickly learned she was right! My advice is to take as much time off as you can, rest as much as possible, stay off your foot as much as possible, and use crutches if you have them to stay off your foot. Doing all of those things will help you heal and become more mobile faster, which is the point of having the surgery in the first place. Good luck, and report back your progress!

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Laurie - I'm two weeks post op and here is my advice. Take the whole week off because you will not feel like going anywhere the first week. However, if you have the type of job where you can get a laptop and work from home, then do that because you may feel like working Thursday and Friday. If you can get on line and do some email, read documents, whatever, that may he pass the time, because I 100% agree with Chris that the more you take it easy in the beginning the better. I had my surgery on Tuesday dec 13. I indulged myself Tuesday and Wednesday and watched movies and read magazines, but then on Thursday I was on line doing emails and conference calls. I don't know if you have the kind of job that would allow that but if you could, that would be best. Because you'll feel fine and will probably be a little bored and but I can tell you days 4 and 5 post op I did not feel at all like leaving the house. I had the post op shoe and no crutches, so getting around was very difficult.

But I'm very happy to report that I'm doing well now. I stared wearing my gym shoe yesterday. I'm getting around just fine now ( with pain meds) and even though they did eventually give me crutches, I haven't had to use them. Of course it's sore and I don't walk long distances but all in all I'm pretty happy with my progress for week 3.

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Laurie, one more thing. Try not to be nervous. I know it's easier said then done because I was very nervous as well, but the surgery itself is a snap, and there's very little pain that can't be controlled with the meds. I think you just need to be prepared that the recovery period may be longer than you anticipated. Make sure you have friends/family around to support you. Frankly I was more than happy to have my husband and kids wait on me hand and foot for 10 days. :) try to relax as much as you can that first week or two because you will be up and around before you know it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your kind words Chris and Jennifer. Although the surgery itself does not scare me, it's the post-surgery grrrrr.

I do have a job that I can work remotely from home if needed and I will probably be doing that. I think, from reading, it will be best to put in for the entire week, Lord knows I've put in my time at my job :)

I will keep you all posted. I have a pre-op physical at the hospital next Tuesday (never had one of those hmmmmm), which they said would take about 2 hours and then to the doctor for pre-op instructions and in-depth consultation, so I will know more on the 3rd.

Again, thank you very much and this blog is extremely informative and I am so glad you put this together Chris!

Laurie

Smitty said...

I had my surgery on Dec. 19th and went to get my stitches out yesterday. The incision is still not fully closed so I have to go back on Jan. 6th and get them out then. Laurie, my doctor suggested that I take a full 4 weeks off work and now he feels that I need to add another week to that. I guess everyone is different. I am still only walking on me heel and can not yet bear full weight on my foot. My doctor said to let the pain be my guide as to how much weight I can bear. I have a 30-40 min. drive to work and there is NO way that I will be able to make that drive within the next week or 2. I am hoping to be able to fit into my shoes soon like Jennifer! (Jennifer, my husband is waiting on me hand and foot but my 4 teenage boys still ask me everyday "whats for supper?" Kids!)
Yup, the surgery itself is a breeze so don't be nervous. Make sure to take your pain meds! I didn't, tried to be tough about it, and now I make sure to take them before the pain gets too bad. I find that it hurts more at night. Sometimes just a dull ache, sometimes it feels like my foot is being hit with a sledgehammer (hence the reason I am taking my pain meds BEFORE I need them).
I think the important thing is to know what to expect post-op. I didn't and this blog has immensely helped. In my opinion, Laurie, you might want to take at least 2 weeks off.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for starting this blog, Chris. And thank you everyone else for adding to it! There's some crazy stuff out there on the 'net when googling MN surgery.

I am three days post-op. It seems what I'm experiencing is par for the course thus far except for sleeping. The surgery was this past Tuesday. Slept well that night. Wednesday was fine. Wednesday night I fell asleep and awoke to a great deal of pain about two and a half hours later and it continued for the rest of the night. Thursday I went to the doc, had my bandages changed. All was well during the day. Thursday night, two hours into sleep and again with the pain waking me up and keeping me up the remainder of the night.

WTH?!?!? I can get through the days fine but the nights are a bear!!! I take Roxicet and Toradol at 11:00 or 12:00 midnight and the pain jolts me awake a couple hours later. It's the strangest thing to get through the days relatively easily, as long as I stay off of the foot, but the nights... Anyone else out there go through anything like this? Cindy

Anonymous said...

Also, I just wanted to add a couple pointers I've learned the past couple of days. Ginger ale: I just happened to have some in the house, not pre-planned, but what a miracle beverage this stuff is! My tummy has been upset on and off due to pain meds and pain (I have a sensitive tummy), and the ginger ale has worked like a charm :) I personally think it has to be Canada Dry Ginger Ale because it has "real" ginger, but that could just be in my head.

I wasn't given any crutches or canes, for some reason, but I have found that, at the very least, a cane is necessary.

I am also using one of the reusable grocery bags, the ones with the semi firm bottom and handles. That way I can put whatever I need to bring back to bed with me in the bag, sling the bag onto my shoulder, and hobble back to bed. Works well :)

So those are just a couple of tips I've come up with the last couple of days. Cindy

Smitty said...

I second the Canada Dry! In fact, I'm drinking one as I read your post. It's the best for an upset tummy and yup, those pain killers can do a number. I get a very upset stomach with the Tylenol 3's (codeine) that I am taking.
I haven't experienced the type of pain that wakes me up at night, Cindy, but night time is worse for me pain wise. I don't know why. It's getting a lot better though. It seems like 2 weeks is that magic, feel better number. I did wake up one morning and did a full stretch without thinking...including stretching my toes and that was a killer! I am wondering if maybe you are stretching at night or accidentally knocking your foot while you sleep? Hope it gets better and you can get some sleep. Good luck!
Leanne

Anonymous said...

Hi Leanne,

I was just reading your previous posts and wanted to add that I have to keep the foot uncovered as well. It's not that it is actual pain, but it just doesn't feel comfortable to have it covered. And there's all kinds of tingly stuff happening in the toes. I assume they are just coming around.

I am so surprised to read that they sent you home without das boot! I've gotten up a couple of times without the boot on and regretted it :/ Glad to hear that two weeks has been a magic, feel better amount of time for you. It gives me something to look forward to, kind of a goal :)

I tried a different sleeping strategy last night and only woke with the pain once. I "did not" elevate and actually slept better! So I think you are right in the stretching. I think I'm trying to sleep on my stomach, as I usually do, and trying to elevate at the same time and twisting something up in the process.

You get your stitches out three days before I, hopefully, do. So I will be looking forward to hearing how it feels to be free of all that bandaging!!!

That's fantastic that you have four boys and a husband to help you out, if it weren't for the whole surgery/pain thing, of course. I live alone but my dear old dad is staying with me, thank goodness! I can't imagine trying to do this alone. And another helpful hint I thought I would mention, but not to get too graphic, is stool softeners. These pain pills, at least for me, have brought my "system" to a screeching halt, so...stool softeners. 'nuf said about that.

I hope you have a nice New Year's Eve! No dancing!!! ;-)

Cindy

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

I didn't have pain that wakes me up at night, but every night, still almost 3 weeks post op, before I go to bed I wrap my foot in the ace bandage, ice it, and sleep with it elevated. I've had no pain at night. I was getting sick of sleeping on my back so I put a bunch of pillows under my leg from the knee down so it could be elevated and sleep on my side, sort of like what I did when I was pregnant. I'm not sure if this has prevented night pain but I'm going to keep doing it because I sleep very well and my foot always feels best right when I wake up in the morning. But I do agree though that the pain is at its worst at night. My mom is in the hospital and I went to visit her last night, and when I went to leave the room, around 8:30pm, the pain was so bad I couldn't walk down the hall to the elevator! I had to "heel walk" it all the way out of the hospital to the car. But I'm sure that's to be expected, and it make sense that as the day wears on your foot gets tired and hurts more. I would also agree that 2 weeks seems to be the big turning point. All and all this week has been pretty good. Also, I should clarify, I don't wear my gym shoe all day. I can do about 2-4 hours in the gym shoe and then if I have to go out after that I put the post op shoe back on. That's what my physical therapist said to do, to gradually start wearing a regular shoe. Start with one hour, then add 30 minutes or so each day. That's what I've been doing and it has been working well. But don't get me wrong after about 2 hours in my gym shoe my foot starts getting really sore and I feel like taking it off. Maybe I'd do better in Crocs but like others on this blog I don't think I'll be going there Ha!

The only thing that has me a little bit worried is that when I do feel pain, it's like the neuroma pain, just in a different spot ( in between the second and third toe instead of in between the third and fourth toe where the original pain was). I hope that this is just part of the heeling process and that I haven't traded one pain for another. Has anyone else experienced that?

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

One last thing, one the topic of something touching the foot of top bothering the incision area. Yes, yes!! I experiether that as well. Even after I had the stitches out, I had two gauze squares over the incision just because it felt like it gave a nice cushion and nothing was rubbing up against the top of the foot. So I had the two gauze squares, ace bandage wrapped a few times over the top of the foot, and a thick sock. So there are so many layers between the top of my foot and anything that would come in contact with it ( like the top of the post op shoe) that it seemed like it provided a nice cushion. I just took the bandage off for good 2 days ago. I still have the steri stips from earlier in the week when they took out the stiches, they'll probably come off this weekend next time I shower.

I don't want to worry anyone, but getting the stitches out was painful. I know Chris said it in his original blog but I wasn't quite prepared for how painful. The nurse said it would "pinch a little". Yeah right. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain but " pinch a little" is certainly not how I would describe it. Also, my foot was sore the whole day from getting the stitches out, which I was not prepared for and was pretty frustrated about. But, that pain went away the next day, and the day after I got the stitches out was what I would term, my turning point day, where I really felt like I could put some weight on it and start walking normally a little with little to no pain. So I don't want to alarm anyone, and maybe Cindy and Laurie it might not hurt as much for you guys as it did for me, but I just wish someone had told me how uncomrtable that was going to be. And also know then the next day is just fine.

Good luck and hang in there, it does get a lot better.

Monday I'm going to try to drive....I will keep you posted.

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow will be 8 weeks since my surgery. I am still having pain similar to the neuroma on the ball of my foot and was getting worried but these blogs have been helpful in realizing that the healing process can take months not weeks.
I am sorry to hear about those of you who had pain with the stitch removal process. I had two small incisions and only had 1 stitch in one and no stitches in the second incision. The one stitch was not removed for 3 1/2 weeks. But it was not the least bit painful.
I am going to try to see the DR this week just to get a confirmation that every thing OK.

Chris Freeland said...

Really glad everyone's able to share their experiences here - I had hoped this would be informative when I wrote it a year ago! With all the talk of shoes & such, I thought I'd mention a few things: New Balance has lines for men & women that are specifically for MN and people who have had foot surgeries. A little pricey, but worth it. The biggest key I've found (now one year postop) is getting shoes that don't cramp your toes or the ball of your foot. In the months following surgery that's what hurt worst, cramped toes. Every brand is different - you'll end up trying on dozens until you find ones that fit right, and you'll know immediately. And really, I'd recommend that you just suck up your pride like I did and buy some Crocs, at least to have to wear around home where no one can see you :)

Chris Freeland said...

Really glad everyone's able to share their experiences here - I had hoped this would be informative when I wrote it a year ago! With all the talk of shoes & such, I thought I'd mention a few things: New Balance has lines for men & women that are specifically for MN and people who have had foot surgeries. A little pricey, but worth it. The biggest key I've found (now one year postop) is getting shoes that don't cramp your toes or the ball of your foot. In the months following surgery that's what hurt worst, cramped toes. Every brand is different - you'll end up trying on dozens until you find ones that fit right, and you'll know immediately. And really, I'd recommend that you just suck up your pride like I did and buy some Crocs, at least to have to wear around home where no one can see you :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! It's Laurie again...

So today, I had my pre-op physical, which was 2 hours. Blood tests, basically a complete physical. That was this morning. This afternoon, I had my pre-op consultation with my foot/ankle/surgeon doctor. I have to say that I have never, ever had a more in-depth surgical consultation with any doctor...ever. I was given all of my pain med Rx's so I can get them filled prior to surgery as well as I was taken off work from 1/9 (day of surgery) through 1/17, day of dressing change, no stitches removed. I was told I cannot drive for 4 weeks, which makes it a little difficult as I work 15 miles from work, but I have that worked out with a friend/co-worker as far as transportation.

The doctor has prescribed Percocet for the pain post-op as well as Vistaril to combat nausea, should it rear it's ugly head. In between doses of Percocet (every 6 hours), I am to take 800mg's of Ibuprofen (every other 6 hours)...

So all in all, I feel very confident of this surgery and very confident of the surgeon. I, of course, will receive Versed, a block for my lower leg as well as Profenol (sp) to make me fall asleep without going completely under.

Thoughts? Comments? Starting to get a little nervous, but I am a big girl and will be fine.

Thanks! Laurie

Smitty said...

Happy New Years everyone! Well, it's been just over 2 weeks since my surgery. I am walking on the side of my foot now but I am still unable to put my weight on the entire foot. Feels like a pin-sized pain shooting through the bottom when I try it. I get my stitches out on Thursday so maybe it will be better after that? I am NOT looking forward to it! I was told to keep my bandage on but the last time I was at the doc's and he removed the bandage, the incision looked to be about a centimetre and a half. Blech! There are definitely more than 2 stitches.
Cindy: I am finally able to cover my foot at night! I still feel the prickley feeling sometimes and the cold toes but its not as bad as it was.I haven't been raising my feet anymore at night but I find that my feet are still getting swollen so tonight I am going to keep them up again.
Jennifer!!! Did you do it??!! Did you drive?! We are all wondering how you made out because that might give us an idea of when we can be mobile again. I am going CRAZY with all of this sitting around. I haven't experienced the neuroma like pain that you are describing in the other toes but everything is a bit "throbby" right now. Has it gotten any better?
I am surprised as well as to how different all of our post-op experiences have been. I SO wish I had "Das Boot'. I think it would have really helped. I also wish that I had found this site BEFORE the surgery so that I would have known what to expect. I probably would have asked my doctor for one. I'm in Canada, so maybe it's different.
Don't worry Laurie! Everything will be fine. I found that I only needed T3's for the first few days and after that, only the odd day when I over did it. Your surgeon sound very thorough. Make sure that you get "Das Boot". Besides, thanks to Chris, you now have us to share with for extra support!
I guess when I'm able to walk, I'm going to have to get the dreaded Crocs.
Hope that everyone is doing well!
Leanne

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Hello all! Yes, I am driving! Driving is just fine. My hip and thigh actually got a little sore, but I think that is just from lack of use of my leg overall for the last 3 weeks. It felt sooo good to be independent again.

At 2 weeks I could not put full weight on my foot either. This week I have just started to put full weight on the foot when I walk. It's actually feels ok and my husband actually noted that I don't have as much of a limp. But the way I would describe it is that my foot gets really tired really easily. Yesterday I went back to my "normal life" working, picking up the kids and grocery shopping. And although it doesn't necessary hurt while I'm walking, it 's really sore afterwards. Last night my foot hurt more than it has in the last two weeks, but again I'm sure that's because this was the most I was using it since the surgery. So I of course iced it and elevated it at night.

I feel like I'm entering that awful period where I'm "back to normal" but I just have a bumm foot :). Reading Chris's story really helps me because I need to understand that this will take months to fully heal. So I'm just trying to get geared up for months of this "almost healed" foot. But I know I will start to get antsy and frustrated because I just want it to be 100% better sooner than a few months.

I'm doing all the little exercises the PT recommended, like ankle lifts and toe curls (ouch!). They're killer so I hope they will help in the long run.

But I will say this to give encouragement to Smitty, Laurie, and Cindy and anyone else out there. I am amazed at how quickly my foot healed given what they actually do during the surgery. If you saw me in the grocery store you'd have no idea that a mere 3 weeks ago my foot was cut open and 2 inches of nerve was removed! For all intensive purposes I'm functioning just fine, and I'm trying not to get anxious about running again and being able to wear my old shoes- neither of which I think will happen for some time :)

I'm hoping to run a half marathon in June, so If this blog is still active, hopefully I can report my success!

And on the topic of shoes, I may have to break down and get some Crocs, LOL. I think I will get sick of my gym shoes, and even if I could get the crocs in a darker color like brown or black, it would at least look a little better with dress slacks than gym shoes. Because I feel like, at least right now, it will be a while before I feel like I could wear any of my other shoes. So I'll let you know if I break down and buy the crocs :).....

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Smitty- one last comment. Any pain I still have is exactly the "pin size pain shooting through the bottom" of my foot that's a perfect way to describe it. That is the predominate pain I have been having since the surgery. Getting the stitches out, at least for me, did nothing for that pain. But rather it just seems like it dulls over time. But it's definitely not gone. Like yesterday, when I was at the grocery store, I was walking around just fine and then BAM, it hits again reminding me that it's still there. The scary thing is it feels so much like the neuroma pain, that shock type pain that just hits you out of nowhere when you are walking. But I was able to shake it off, take some weight off of it and a few seconds later it was fine.

So rather than stress about it now, I'm telling myself that these are just the nerves healing or reconnecting or whatever. :). I guess I'll ask my doctor about it in a few weeks if it's still there, but for now I'm just hoping it's part of the normal healing process.

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Leanne, sorry- I just now remembered that was your name, sorry I've been calling you Smitty!! Too funny. Sorry again. :)

Smitty said...

Hi everyone! Well, I finally got my stitches out and....(drum roll)...not too bad! I did take a T3 and a Tylenol Extra Strength and hour before I went and not too bad. However, my foot was killing me all day yesterday and by the evening I had to go to bed and raise it up. I am walking on the side of my foot now and was able to do a bit of walking through a store, which was nice! I'm in Canada and we are having unseasonably mild temperatures now so it's been quite depressing being stuck inside the house. I still can't fit into any shoes of any kind yet, so I wore a big fluffy slipper (one with a back). I've been wearing it around the house now as well because I find that the padding really helps alleviate any pain.
The doctor extended my leave a week so I am off until Jan. 23, which is okay. I have lots of sick time banked and, honestly, I can't see being able to go back in a week like I was supposed to. I'm a teacher and, with my class, it's not a desk job where I can sit down. They keep me hopping (which I might be doing literally!)
Jennifer: No problem calling me Smitty, but thanks for noticing my real name! A friend of mine told me that she saw black crocs that don't look like crocs. Hmm. We'll see about that.
Hope everyone is doing well!
Leanne

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chris for blogging and sharing your experience. Thanks Jennifer and Leanne for weighing in as well. I'm 6 days post-op and feeling very discouraged. The doc said take 5 days off but I thought I'd be back to work in 3. Turns out he was right. I ended up staying home but I'm worried about having to go back on Monday. I'm a teacher too and I just don't see how this is going to work. My biggest concern is the pain on the bottom of my foot. The doc said I could put a little weight on my foot (I am using crutches) but that is NOT happening. It feels just like the neuroma, but worse. I'm trying to stay positive but I've read horror stories about stump neuromas and other complications. I'm going to take your advice and rest, rest, rest. This is so scary.

Emily

Stacey W said...

I have a question...if it is already answered, I'm sorry. I didnt read all posts. My surgery is 2/14/12 and I am starting to get more nervous after reading all this. You said it was 7 hours in and out. Does it take that long!?!? I am a teacher and I only took a week off. Will that be enough time?

Anonymous said...

Stacey - my surgery was actually really quick - hopefully that doesn't reflect on the job done. I had surgery at an outpatient center, was put fully under, and was home within 3 hours. The doc said the surgery took 11 minutes. I'm a teacher too and I"m going back after one week. We'll see how it goes. The kids will just have to come to me and I know I won't be able to do hallway duty. I didn't realize the recovery time would be so long.

Emily

Stacey W said...

Emily- keep me posted will you?? I would love to see how it goes for you back in your classroom. What are you wearing on your foot?

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Emily and others...don't be discouraged. Honestly, I believe that many of these doctors are doing us a real disservice by completely underestimating the amount of recovery time required. These doctors should really be telling people, especially all you teachers or anyone else that works on their feet all day, to take two weeks off work. I could not have even imagined having to be on my feet all day only one week after surgery. My doctor was the same way, he told me I should be able to put weight on my foot 4 days after surgey. That's crazy!! There was no way. After the first week when I had to start walking a little, I was definitely walking on the side of my foot.
My doctor only advised me to take 2-3 days off work, which again is insane. I just got lucky because my recovery was over the holiday, and I was planning on taking the week between Christmas and New Years off anyway. That worked so well for me because that I was really able to just sit around most of that week. The kids were home and I didn't have to drive them anywhere, so it was perfect timing. But my doctor should have advised me to take off the extra week.

If you have to go back to work I would use the crutches, and don't put any weight on you foot, just keep your foot off the ground as you move.

And don't worry if you are not putting any weight on it even though the doctor said you should be able to. I didn't at all and I think I'm having a pretty good recovery. Like I said in my other post, something just happened at the start of third week and I was able to start putting some weight on it.

Like I said before, I'm in that awful period where I'm back to "normal" but of course it's not completely healed yet. And sometimes I forget about it, which I guess is a good thing but not really becaue I hurt it when I forget about it. Like tonight, I was going to put a pot away in my lower cabinet, and I squatted down. I completely forgot for an instance about my foot and squatted down with equal weight on both feet, and OMG, I almost screamed out in pain. It felt like the bottom of my foot was ripped apart. But that was a few hours ago and it feels better now so I guess didn't do any permanent damage! :)

So try not to be discouraged. I know it's so frustrating. And don't feel like if you have to use crutches that something isn't going right with your recovery. Use the crutches as long as you want. It does get better, I promise!!! Hang in there :)

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Emily, I just retread your post and I really want you not to worry because I had the exact same feelings during the first 2 weeks. The pain on the bottom of my foot was so bad that I was convinced that I was forming one of those stump neuromas. And like I said the doctor kept saying I should be able to put weight on it and so I thought there was something very wrong with me because I couldn't. So use the crutches and don't put any weight on your foot when you're at school. Then at home, just try very slowly to take a few steps. Don't put full weight on the foot when you step through. Just put weight on your heel, and then go through the motion of moving your foot, but don't put much weight through the ball of your foot. That's what my physical therapist said to do. I started doing that during that in the 3rd week and it really helped. I would just walk across my bedroom that once a day. Then all of sudden, after a couple days of that I just felt like I could just put some weight through the ball of my foot and it wasn't so bad.

And I don't think anymore that I've developed a stump neuroma. While I'm certainly not pain free, that horrible pain that was worse than the neuroma has definitely subsided.

Anonymous said...

January 9, 2012 - One week post-op. Thank you again Jennifer for the reality check. Your honesty has been more encouraging than anything. I agree that the doctors are severely downplaying the recovery time necessary for this surgery. Thank you for sharing your "timeline" of healing. I think you are close to 1 month out, is that right?

What about toe/foot numbness? I was expecting two numb toes, but not the top and bottom of my foot as well. Does the numb area lessen after a while? I mean, I really can't feel my two toes AT ALL. Did you get any more feeling back in them? This is so weird.

Stacey W - teacher to teacher - if you have sick days - TAKE THEM! Today was my first day back, after one week off. It was "doable" but if I had had any idea I would have taken 2 weeks. I know the hassle of sub plans, but you've got to think of yourself and getting better. My husband helped me get to school (I didn't drive) and get everything to my classroom. I never left the room all day, until a coworker brought me home. I kept my foot up as much as possible, but it's not the same as being on the sofa. I took regular Tylenol so I wasn't in pain but my foot was swollen all day long. I'm home now and it is so tight. No pain, but I worry about a slower recovery if I'm not careful. It's also very tiring. Be good to yourself and stay home as long as you can!

Anonymous said...

Well, I had my surgery yesterday 1/9. They ended up putting me completely under, which was fine, I come out of anesthesia pretty quickly and with no side effects.

The doctor put in some meds so I would have no pain for 4-6 and up to 12 hours. Well, it is now 24 hours and I still have no pain whatsoever, even at the incision site! What is up with that, I was expecting by this morning, I would be feeling pain a little, at least. Been keeping ahead of the pain with 1 Perocet every 6 hours and up to 80mg Ibuprofen every other 6 hours. Have to keep my foot elevated 6" above my hips and iced for 2 hours on, 1 hour off, which I have been very diligent about doing.

No crutches, none needed....yet, just in a really cool black ortho shoe that I actually like! Thinking about adding some bling rhinestones to it today lol.

So, being very diligent, am I expecting too much too soon with no pain at all? I can feel 3 of my toes, but the 2 that were affected don't have much feeling and like I said, no pain in the incision at all.

By the way, I got to the surgery center at 0945, surgery yesterday at 11:15 and I was home by 2:45P. Surgery was about 30-45 minutes and the doctor told me in recovery that my neuroma ranking right up there with one of the biggest he had ever seen! Imagine that....everything happens to me! hahahahaha

Okay, look in your crystal balls and tell me when the pain might set in! :)

Again thank you lovely people for the kind words, advise, calming words and my biggest cheerleaders in the world!

Laurie

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Laurie, I'm so glad to hear your surgery went well!! Congratulations. Your procedure sounds exactly like mine. I was completely under, was home by 10:30 in the morning, even sounds like we have the same black shoe! ( Is it like a sandle with Velcro straps? We should post pictures! ) and yes, I hardly had any pain at all. Numbness, slightly uncomfortable, but certainly no pain. I actually never had any pain at all until I tried to actually put weight on it. But no need to think about that now! :) I look back on those first few days very fondly... My husband and sons were waiting on me hand and foot, and I actually got to watch some TV! But I really wasn't in pain and didn't take that many pain meds. So I think what your experiencing is normal.

I can honestly say that I've never had any pain when my foot is still or at rest. The pain comes when you try walk again!

Today is exactly 4 weeks to the day since my surgery (Dec 13) . I don't mean to be negative for all of you that are behind me, but I am a little frustrated today. I remember the doctor saying I would be "recovered" in 3-4 weeks. I guess the term "recovered" is relative. I'm doing less and less and limping and I'm doing stairs pretty well (alternating right and left feet going to down which I couldn't do last week). But I'm still having that pins and needles feeling and in general my foot is just really sore and tired, especially at the end of the day. So I am functional, but nowhere near 100% recovered. For instance, we're going skiing next Monday (MLK Day, the kids have off school), and I can guarantee I won't be on the slopes!

I reread Chris's story and I'm encouraged that what I'm experiencing is completely normal, and I just need to be patient.... :).

How is everyone else doing?

Anonymous said...

Congrats Laurie! Welcome to the club! I'm glad that you aren't having any pain. I don't really think that I did on the incision either. The swelling was probably the worst, but I just think the doc had the bandages too tightly wrapped. I still haven't really had pain in the incision - I think it is all numb down there! I find that I can't get my foot in a comfortable position b/c of the numbness, but it's not really pain. I have the sandal with velcro straps too! Very beautiful! I found that it makes my foot uncomfortable (often hits that nerve on the bottom) so I crutch along without it unless I'm in public. I'm wondering if you have crutches? I'm thinking that you may find that you need them - but I'm hoping you won't!

Jennifer - I'm sorry that you won't be skiing on Monday. I hope that yo are able to enjoy time with your family, albeit off the slopes. I'm glad you shared your timeline. I keep trying to wrap my head around when I will "walk again". I can handle limping around at 4 wks, although I'm still in shock that the doc forgot to leave out this minor detail. I wish you the best and hope that you are soon pain free!

Stacey W - take two weeks off if you can!!!

Emily

Anonymous said...

LOL - Did I mention that I also have plantar fasciitis in both feet :) That's my next mountain to conquer! One day at a time...

Did anyone have physical therapy after their neuroma surgery? How long after the surgery?

Emily

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

For me 2.5-3 weeks seemed like the magic turning point for walking.

I am going to physical therapy. I don't think it's standard, because my doctor didn't mention it before the surgery or after. But when I went in to get my stitches removed and was saying I was frustrated that I still couldn't put weight on it, he said how about I set you up with physical therapy. So I started at two weeks post op. For me it's been very helpful. I go twice a week. I do certain exercises there and then he has given me some to do at home. I'll see if I can figure out a way to scan the exercises and post them somewhere for you guys. The dr gave me 4 weeks so I have two weeks left. After that we'll determine if I need more.

Anonymous said...

Well, it is now Wednesday, 2 days post op, still no 'pain' to speak of, although a little uncomfortable, meaning, NOW, I feel like I have a sock wadded up under the ball of my foot, never had that before the surgery lol. Still icing the foot today and keeping it 6" above the hips, but other than that, doing really well.

My doctor called me yesterday, personally, and said it was one of the biggest neuroma's he has seen in a long long time. He said that normally he needs to 'dig' down for them, but to have one pop right out at him when he made the incision, is highly unusual hahaha. He said it was about 1 to 1-1/2 inches long and between 1/4-1/2" wide! He said it was huge. He also asked if I remember them waking me in the operating room. I said 'no, why (thinking, oh crap, what did I say lol)' He said I was funny as h*ll! They were all cracking up because I said 'it's over and you didn't include me in on the fun???' Hmmmm, fun? I would have like to have watched :)

So, for today, you all have a wonderful hump day while I try to find something on daytime television....yuck! At least I always have my Nook!! I will check back in.

Thank you my new dear and sweet friends!

Laurie

Anonymous said...

Oh, to answer you Jennifer and Emily! Yes, it is the velcro sandal, which isn't all that bad looking, kind of looks like a black clod-hopper from the side hahaha. That is why I think I will add some bling to it, didn't get that done yesterday....was way to busy (yeah right!!!) :)

Laurie

Robert said...

Chris,
I wish that I had found your blog long ago as I had put off yesterday’s (1-10-12) surgery for years based upon the horror stories circulating. I’m a randonneur (ultra-distance cyclist) and have fought through severe “hotfoot” pain for many thousands of miles over the past several years. Recently, cycling-specific orthotics (although un-walkable) helped tremendously as I was able to ride 130 miles in the Catskills just a few days ago, even though it killed me just to walk to the mailbox or hobble around the house in socks. My in-office surgery (through the bottom of my foot) went very well. I have next to no pain with the help of Vicodin-Tylenol medication and couch time that I’ll continue until returning to deskwork after MLK day. The main neuroma was marble-sized, with a BB-sized little brother. I'm wearing the post-op shoe, but doctor did not recommend ice or crutches. A cane helps with balance as I heel-walk. I know the pain will come as I try to walk normally in the upcoming weeks and will let people know I progress. It’s encouraging to hear that another of my doctor’s patients is skiing only about a month after a similar operation! If all goes will I may have the other foot done too. Insofar as numbness, it will be a blessing. I know from my clavicle plate surgery that this strange sensation will dissipate. I’d love to hear from other cyclist’s on their recovery time, and if orthotics will still be needed or may put just pressure on the nerve stub.

Smitty said...

I haven't been on here for a bit but wanted to check in and see how everyone is doing in the MN club.
It's been 3 weeks since my surgery and I've come to the realization that, for me, week 3 is miracle week! (So far)
I can actually walk down the stairs now without grabbing onto the handrail for dear life. My foot still swells up at the end of the day, but its manageable.
STACEY-Take your sick days if you have them! I can not imagine going back into the classroom the week after surgery (and I'm middle years. They could have pushed me around in a chair). If you do, keep your foot elevated as much as you can. My foot was still swelling up quite a bit during week 2.
LAURIE: SO glad to hear that the surgery went well and that you are recovering with minimal pain! I wonder if it's because your neuroma was so large and they didn't have to do the "digging"? I hope that the "pain free" continues for you! My worst was the end of the first and beginning of the second week. OH, and the day after I had my stitches removed. I don't know why, but on that day my foot was so very painful. I was almost in tears.

And Emily, how is it going being back at work? I almost feel guilty knowing that my colleagues are going back in so soon, and here I am at home.

I think that I could have gone back on my initially scheduled date of Jan. 16th, which would have been a month. I feel guilty for leaving my students but at least part of that time was through Xmas break. Granted, my foot still swells up quite a bit during the day. I think that the Dr. must have dug quite deep and far up because there is a nasty bruise going to halfway up the middle of my foot. Also, my toes are still very bruised and look/feel broken.
I woke up the other morning and tried to bend my toes. It was funny: I thought that I was bending them, it felt like I was bending them, and when I looked, they were still straight.
I have got to get me some of those sandals, except that it's freezing cold here and there is tons of snow. I can wear them in the classroom but I still have to figure something out for the drive to work. Even my widest shoes still don't fit.
Don't worry Jennifer, you will be skiing in no time!

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Leanne- I'm so glad that you have experienced the 3 week "miracle week"!! So now we have 2 successful examples where 3 weeks is the turning point!

Regarding circling the toes, my PT told me to bend my toes down with my fingers and hold for 5 secs about 10 20 times a day. Then try to grab a towel of the floor with your toes. you won't be able to do it ( it will be hilarious ) but as long as you are going through the motion it helps regains the mobility. I can actually curl my toes much better now.

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Meant to type " curling " or bending the toes- not circling

Anonymous said...

10 days post-op, 3rd day back at work. Today the "moms" at work convinced me to use a wheelchair. They got it out, cleaned it up and plopped me in it. Genius! I can put things in my lap and wheel around. I still hibernate in my classroom, looking for the nearest taller piece of furniture to stack my foot on. It's not great, but it works.

Sometimes I think this ace bandage around my foot is too tight and is causing more pain. Maybe I should loosen it up?

Saw my foot last night during a bandage change. It is BLUE, BLUE, BLUE. Yikes - what did the doc do?

Truly, this blog is a lifesaver!!! Thanks everyone for sharing. It is nice to have fellow neuroma soldiers!

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

If the ace bandage is too tight, definitely loosen it. I had the same experience. Especially if your foot is not too swollen. I found that mine was too tight and I loosened it a little and it felt much better and still gave me the support I need.

Stacey W said...

Ok I broke down and requested a second week off for my after surgery time. Thanks for the advice!! Either way a day off is nice!

Chris Freeland said...

My foot was all kinds of shades of blue, purple, and yellow for weeks. I posted a link in my post to what my "frankenfoot" looked like the day stitches came out (day10). My foot stayed that color for another 3 weeks at least and then started to go back to normal. For me, even the scar has calmed down, started blending into normal skin tones.

Everyone is putting out great ideas that will hopefully help others who read this post & comments - think of how little we had to go on! I think the most important theme I'm getting is that we all figured out what worked for us individually - wheelchairs, canes, crutches, heavy mess, no meds, whatever! You try something and if it works, great, if not, try something else.

Robert, specific to cycling, that's the first activity my doc had me do for physical therapy since it's relatively low-impact compared with a treadmill. I cycle 3 miles a day to work in good weather with absolutely no pain or discomfort.

As for numbness & pain - the incision itself (top of foot) was sensitive for a couple of months postop. Not really painful, but sort of that "healing itch" feeling. The numbness is on the top of my foot along the incision and between my 2nd & 3rd toes and has felt this way pretty consistently since the epidural block used for surgery wore off on the 3rd day.

And surprisingly yes, picking things up with your toes is great exercise for flexibility! You'll be surprised at how quickly the muscles on the *other* sides of your toes start to compensate! I can curl my toes almost as completely as before surgery.

One last thing about foot care - once your incision is completely healed you'll want to start putting some mild lotion or oil back onto your foot. I ended up with really dry skin. But wait until you have all bandages & everything else off your foot before starting that. Also, it feels weird when you trim your nails - just fair warning!

Keep on going, gang!

Chris

Akavi8trix said...

I'm glad I've found this blog. Funny when I read about those of you who have had the neuroma for a long time, 2 or 3 years, and finally decided to have surgery I thought well... I guess I've one of the few who has dealt with this forever. I've had this horrible pain now for well over 14 years. I've been to podiatrists and they all put me in those stupid pads, which not only do not work, but will not allow me to wear shoes that I need to wear without going out and buying new shoes in larger sizes. I'm not vain about my shoes, but it just wasn't and isn't practical to buy a completely a new shoe wardrobe. (I ride horses a lot and I have, according to my husband, way too many cowboy and riding boots). My pain has been so horrible for so long that my husband changed the transmission in my 60 El Camino from a 4 speed to an automatic, simply because there are days the pain is so intense that I couldn't use the clutch. I was FINALLY diagnosed with Morton's Neuroma about a year ago. Before then it was heel spurs or something else, that again the pads and insoles didn't fix. Over the last year and a half I went through several rounds of injections, which do hurt like hell, in both feet. My husband went to a podiatrist because he jumped off the back of a pickup (he's 70) and managed to break a few bones in his foot and ended up in a cast. He talked to the podiatrist about my neuroma and asked what treatments were available. (I already knew about injections and pads, as well as the nerve removal surgery). His doctor told him there was a procedure much like carpal tunnel and where the "pathway" is re-opened. I'm not sure if this is a real solution or if he was trying to explain in lay terms the surgery. I've been afraid to have the surgery because of the "numb" feeling. However, I know it can't be as bad as the constant pain.

I'm scheduling an appointment with an orthopedist that specializes in feet and ankles, and see what they suggest. Nothing against DPM, I just want to have an board certified orthopedist do surgery. I have it in both feet, however, the left one is nearly unbearable, it hurts when I go to bed and is still hurting when I wake up. I have a very high tolerance for pain, numerous surgeries on my legs for a car running over me, brain, digit reattachment (don't ever try to stop a dog fight with your hands), plus thoracic, which the doctor told me would be the most painful one I'd ever have, and believe me he didn't lie. So I figure that since it sounds like there is definitely painless activity after recovery I guess I will move forward and get the feet taken care of. I'm a retired teacher and this is my favorite time of year in southern Arizona, simply because I can work outside and ride ever day, but it needs to be done.

From the sounds of the recovery time and pain involved I'll probably opt for both feet to be done at the same time, otherwise I'd probably back out of the second one and then end up out of commission for double the time.

So I'll post again when I have the surgery scheduled and hope for the best. At least I've learned one thing with all of my surgeries -- don't try to be brave and skip the pain peds, or even try to wean off of them, use them and make sure you don't let them wear completely off. -- Been there done that and it was a really stupid move.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone it has been very interesting reading all your comments, unfortunately I didn’t manage to come across this blog on the previous occasions I have searched for information on Mortons Neuroma. I have experienced gradually worsening pain for approx 10years of in my left foot (turns out there are two neuromas in that foot) and progressively more pain in my right foot for about 4-5years. Tried loads of different chiropodist/podiatrist etc over the years and was told everything from ill-fitting shoes not cutting my toe nails correctly and numerous other unhelpful causes (but all my fault! ) About 3years ago I finally had a diagnosis of MN and have been down the toe separator and insole route, doesn’t leave a lot of room in your shoes for your feet and they slip out of sandals! I have had 3 cortisone injections and plan never to have one again, disappointedly they had no beneficial effect. Last Monday 9th Jan I had surgery on both my feet and had 2 MN removed the smaller one in my Left foot is still there and I’m hoping it is not going to cause a problem in the future. I too have the trendy sandals but mine are blue and also crutches. I have spent the week with my feet elevated as much as I can, I’m now worried I haven’t elevated them high enough, but have not experienced too much pain, but agree that my feet become painful (a burning type sensation) as the night wears on and I’m glad to remove my shoes. My question, if there is anyone who can advise me because I know these sound ridiculously stupid questions:-
1) Do I need to wear the sandals all day even though my feet are elevated? I would not walk anywhere without them on, and by walk I mean to the bathroom or kitchen.
2) Also my bandages are starting to feel very loose and have moved down and around my foot a little. I’m have an appointment on the 24th, this I assume will be when I have my stitches removed (and I must say I’m a little apprehensive now!) Or should I get them rebandaged before then?
I experienced quite severe pain in the ball of my R foot last Thursday evening and struggled to get up stairs, but don’t know why that was and haven’t had it since. With the crutches I walk on my heels which is fine unless the ball of my foot bears any weight at all. I’m assuming from the wonderful information that you have all been giving that this is to be expected and I should npot expect any great improvement for a week or two is that correct? Many thanks Chris and to you all this is a most helpful site. Mary

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhhh - I did loosen the bandage, and what relief! I think it was too tight, squeezing my foot and the nerve. The past few days I've had a little progress, which I count as a lot. I can now touch most of the areas of the bottom of my foot. I definitely feel that "pins and needles" feeling on my heal and toes. I'm trying to massage them frequently to reduce the pain when I start walking again. I "heel" walked a few steps. Baby steps. Hopefully I can do more tomorrow!

Yesterday I was hopping down the stairs, instead of the scooting down that I had been doing. I missed the last step and came down, hard, on my bad foot. YOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was bad. Shockwaves of nerve pain. After a 10 minutes and two Tylenol I recovered. Won't try that again :(

Stacey - I am sooooooo happy that you took two weeks off. I wish you the best and hope for fast recovery. I think I will still be in the wheelchair at work this week but I am getting around so much better.

Mary - I don't wear the sandals AT ALL, unless I go out in public, or out of my classroom at work. I found that if it was too tight, it put pressure on the bottom of my foot and hurt. If I loosened the strap the shoe would just bang against my foot which was worse. Since the shoe provides no support I don't see any need to wear it all the time. I just put it on for an extra barrier layer when I'm out.

Stitches out on Tuesday! So ready to walk.... sometime soon.

Emily

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Mary - welcome to group!! regarding your bandages, my doctor told me to keep them on for as long as a could but at least for a minimum of 5 days. I changed my bandages at about a week so I think you are just fine to change your bandage now. And no, I didn't wear the post op sandle when I was sitting and had my foot elevated, only when I was walking around.

Cindy, Laurie, Leanne, Stacey, Emily, Rob and everyone else, how are you doing?

Tuesday will be 5 weeks for me and I'm happy to report very good progress. We're at a waterpark in Wisconsin Dells this weekend and I'm pretty much doing everything. I've been going down all the waterslides and have no trouble walking up the stairs to the top of the rides. Except for the fact that I'm so pathetically out of shape I get winded when I walk up stairs but that has nothing to do with my foot!! I'm really not limping or favoring it at all. Now, at end of the day it is sore, and when I walk a lot, the area when the incision was gets very sore and irritated but I'm sure that's to be expected. It's pretty much closed now so starting this week I will do what the PT and Chris said to do, start massaging the incision area with vitamins E and coco butter lotion. The steri strips just fell off yesterday.

As I mentioned before, tomorrow my husband and sons are going skiing, and of course I WON'T be joining them, but I'll be fine walking up the bunny hills and taking pictures of my younger son. :)

Rob, Regarding cycling I've been cycling at PT and at the gym, so you'll be cycling in no time. However, I only do it for 10-15 mins. Anything longer then that and my foot gets sore. I'm a runner and I don't think I'll be running anytime soon, so I'm just going to be doing low impact stuff for a while, and try to run again about early to mid Feb.

The only thing that has me concerned is that I still have that pins and needles feeling. And every once in a while I get that shooting electrical pain like the neuroma, but less intense and in a slightly different place. Now that I feel like the foot is healing well from the surgery, I want to know if then surgery ACTUALLY WORKED. I know the neuroma is gone because he cut it out and said it was pretty big - but oh by the way NOT AS BIG AS YOURS LAURIE!! I forgot to comment on that. I freaked out when I read that, you poor thing you must have been in so much pain! But anyway, I know the neuroma is gone, but I just worry about stump neuromas and other weird nerve things going on. I have a final post op check up this Friday, so we'll see what the doctor says.

Thank you everyone so much!!! This group has been so supportive and I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading all these posts. Let me know how you all are doing!

Anonymous said...

My surgery was ten weeks ago. I am still having that pins and needles effect and this "pulling" sensation on the bottom of my foot. I saw the doctor today and he said the shooting pains are the nerve endings and that it takes time for those endings to "heal" and become desensitized. He told me to try not to aggravate it by massages etc. I am to see him again in 2 months and he said that it is too early to be pessimistic about the results.
I have also had planters faciatis flair up in both feet. The Dr gave me stretches and said to roll the arches over a frozen water bottle.
If the pain doesn't improve he sadi he will use a cortisone injection to help the inflamation.
I bought the Brooks Puregrit trek shoe before the surgery and it has been wonderful, wide toe box and very cushy inside.

Chris Freeland said...

Sounds like everyone is healing well, and welcome, Mary! My doc told me not to take the sandal off or mess with my bandages until my stitches were out at day 10, and that's what I did. I also never went further than my back porch except to go to the doctor, and only went upstairs twice in that 10 day period, so I was pretty low activity.

If you do much heel walking without any kind of footwear (even the post-op sandal) you'll likely have a little more pain because your whole foot is bruised. With the swelling & normal healing from surgery, there's just more blood circulating through your foot, so it's all going to be tender, especially so close to surgery.

As for burning and other pains, a lot of that is your brain having to rewire itself. Remember, you just had a nerve cut in two! Most surgeries avoid nerves, right? An MN neurectomy purposefully cuts out a damaged nerve, and your brain is getting wacky responses from that new nerve ending that it's not used to & you feel that as pain, burning, discomfort. The awesome thing about the human brain is that it figures out what's happened. Your brain stops processing those unusual signals over time & just ignores them. I'm just now, one year out, completely at ease scrubbing between those toes during & after a shower as I'm drying my foot - as I've said before it just felt weird and unusual. Now it's just numb & no big deal.

Crash said...

Wow, thanks Chris (and everyone else) for all of the great posts on this blog. It's great to get some credible comments from people who have already been through what I am about to face. I'm going in for surgery consult on Friday (1/20). I'm nervous, but at least now I feel more informed about what lies ahead. I'll post my experiences here too...

Stacey W said...

My surgery is 2/14 so I have to wait! I have a billion questions for my doctor but guess I need to wait. I am going on a cruise this summer. I assume I will be up for walking a bit 5mo post-op??

Anonymous said...

I got my stitches out today!!! Whew - thanks for the heads up on the stinging. I wouldn't say it was too painful... but I'm glad it's over. It stung for a few minutes afterwards before going away. The dr. said that I would probably feel relief after the stitches were removed b/c they start to get stiff and make my foot stiff. I'm only one hour stitch-free but I am starting to feel more mobile in my toes.

Of course the dr. still says that I should be able to walk on it and can start giving up my crutches. Not there yet! But I have seen progress in the past few days. I can now sport the lovely post-op sandal without pain. Before it hit my foot and that darn nerve. Today I wore it all day. I can also rest my whole foot on the ground in the sandal. Couldn't do that a few days ago. I can definitely heel walk, but it's awkward and pulls on the incision. I bet in a few more days I'll be able to put more pressure on my whole foot. I'm thinking by the end of week 3 I should be walking. We'll see!

Oh - the dr. also said to keep taking ibuprofen and icing my foot. The less swelling, the faster the healing. I'll try it!

Emily

Anonymous said...

I am 4 weeks out from mortons neuroma surgery now. My second and third toes are numb. The thing I just can't get used to is feeling like I am walking on little tough bubbles on my feet and if i rub the bottom of my feet( the incision was done on the top) I feel and strange dragging sensation. anyone else have this.

Robert said...

It's been nine days since the operation and my foot has been hurting a bit as I try to walk normally (abandoned the cane on day 1 and have been grocery shopping twice, my son's high school award ceremony tonight, etc.). I've ridden a bike trainer twice for a half hour using my heel without hurting the surgical site, however I think it was a mistake to return to work full time after only three days of couch time. Driving in "le-shoe" isn't a problem but after about 4-5 hours the foot throbs. Because I had the surgery on the ball of my foot my toes feel perfectly fine. The swelling and discoloration was not bad when I had the 1-week bandage change. The stitches will come out on day 13 and the doctor says it will take three weeks to assure that the skin is fully healed. Good news in that therapy may not be necessary. I had hoped to have the other foot done this week or next to make this season's ultra-distance bike marathons less agonizing but with the pain I'm in at the moment I'm glad the doctor talked me out of it and will put off until after this cycling season. I think I'll try to take it a little easier for a while....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for starting this blog, so happy I stumbled on it. After 2+ years of suffering, trying shoe orthodics, cortisone shots, PT and yes even acupuncture, I finally had the surgery to get my life back. I had MN surgery on Wed (1/18), so it's day 3 for me. The actual surgery wasn't bad, started at 10:00 AM and was home by 12:30. I had 2 neuromas in one foot removed. The pain meds are tearing up my stomach so I switched to Advil 800 mil. So far, when my foot is elevated I feel no pain. Just a slight pressure on the bottom of my foot. Per doctors orders, I can walk 5 mins per hr. (bathroom trips mostlty) but it sure does hurts to walk on it. I also have the Velcro surgical shoe which slips off my heel, very annoying. No crutches but like the idea of using a cane. I see the doctor today (Friday) for a dressing change, then go back next Friday, to hopefully have the stitches removed but I was told it could be up to 14 days for the stitches to be removed. So I sit iced and elavated for a minimum of another week. Already getting bored but not in pain.

Wondering how long before others could wear sneakers or some sort of shoe? While sitting, I may order some online. At this point, can't imagine putting on a shoe of any type - owie!! I'll keep you posted on my recovery and hopefully it will be uneventful!!!! Good luck to all, keep posting, love reading about the different stages everyone is going through.

Deb

Anonymous said...

Like many of you, I'm happy to have found this site. I am week 5 post op and was concerned I was not healing properly. BUT, after reading and learning from other MN patients, it sounds like I just need to be patient and let nature take it's course. Fortunately, I do have an office job which allows me to elevate my foot. Still have some swollen toes, bruising and dry skin. Applying vitamin E and doing the massage thing both top and bottom of foot. I was told to continue wearing my inserts for about a month. Walking slowly still hurts but like I said, I'm week 5 as of Thursday, 19 Jan. I'll post again to keep you posted on my progress. When I do dishes, I pull up a chair and kneel on it so I'm not standing for a long period of time. Doing the crock thing too...comfort over vanity! FRL

Anonymous said...

As many others have said, this has been a wonderful site - so glad I found it. I'm just 8 days post-surgery and feel pretty darn good. Was on the pain meds for 2 days and then stopped because they were doing weird things to me. Haven't taken so much as a tylenol since. I iced a lot the first several days, stayed off of it and elevated it pretty much constantly, short of trips to the restroom and to shower. I'm not using crutches around the house anymore, but of course use them any time I leave the house (which isn't often). I walk predominantly on my heel and walk slowly of course, but am putting a little more pressure on the rest of my foot as each day passes to see how it goes. Feel some twinges of pain every once in a while when doing so and definitely need to elevate after standing for a few minutes. But all in all, I'm very pleased with how things are going just a week into it. Still a little swelling, but not too much. Stitches are removed in 6 more days. Based on what everyone else says, I'm a little nervous for the post-stitches period. Things have been going so well this first week, it'll be hard to experience the pain/discomfort that the rest of these posts indicate is coming. I already have almost full flexibility back in my toes as well quite a bit in the ball of my foot. Can't wait to get active again so I'm hoping that maybe I can at least do a little exercise bike once the stitches come out, even if I do still have to wear the surgery "shoe".

Unknown said...

I was so happy to find this! I read the entire thing the night before I had surgery on 1/9/12. Thank you Chris for sharing honestly and now to others for doing the same. It really does make the process easier. As of today, day 13, my foot is sporting many colors, mostly bluish/purple from the incision to about 1/2 down my foot and even my second toe. My MN was between my third and fourth toe. I had the pain off and on for over 20 years and just waited until I couldn't stand it anymore to get the surgery. I hope I will be happy I did it - based on the other stories here, sounds like I will be happy, in time. I am wearing the gauze and have changed it many times as it seemed to ride up and almost fall off the end of my foot after walking around. Oh and it feels very good to let the air hit your foot!! I even used a Qtip between my big toe and baby toe - ahh, that was nice-especially since I can't have any water on it until the stitches come out. I get them out tomorrow and am a little nervous. I wonder if the doc can put numbing stuff on the wound before he removes them so it won't hurt. I'm tired of hurting. I have been walking around quite a bit with the funny shoe they gave me - the one with the Velcro straps. I put some weight on the front of my foot and seems to be ok. It took about a week for me to be comfortable to put any weight on the foot, other than my heel. It zings though sometimes, feels like you are walking on a wad of something and the bottom of my foot feels bruised. Yesterday I walked a lot (day 12) and now my calf and back are sore. I found some Easy Spirit slip on shoes at JCPenney and hope that I will be able to wear them after I get the stitches out tomorrow. I bought a half size larger than normal. If it doesn't work, I'll get Crocs. After the surgery, I stayed in bed with ice on my ankle, elevated my foot on a pillow for one week. Only getting up to use the bathroom. I only put weight on my heel. Then on day 7 I went out to lunch with family. Was ok but very tired that afternoon. Only took Vicodin the first three days regularly and it made me feel sick because I didn't want to eat much. Then my husband sat with me and made me eat and I felt better but decided to only take Vicodin at night the next two days and that was it. Now I take Advil in the morning (2 pills) and when it bothers me. Last night my third toenail was throbbing...anyone have that? I was glad to see Chris' mention that cutting toenails feels strange at first. Eww, yuck. I drove for the first time on day 8 and it felt like my foot was really bruised on the bottom. I wore a slipper. Then, I drove again on day 12 with the funny velcro shoe and it was fine. The thickness of the shoe seemed to help protect the bottom of my foot better. I am all over the place in my post but wanted to thank everyone for their comments and add mine. I'll let you know how it goes with getting the stitches out tomorrow. For today, I'm looking forward to putting my foot up all afternoon and watching football!

Anonymous said...

Unknown, let me know how the shoe works out for you. I ordered CROCS (ugh) while sitting here icing and elevated. Good luck getting the stitches removed - let me know how it goes. Having my stitches out on Friday. Thanks. Deb

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Hello everyone, it's Jennifer. How is everyone doing? I've been a hesitant to post on this site because I've been a little frustrated lately. Tomorrow is exactly 6 weeks from my surgery. First let me say that the recovery of the foot has been GREAT. I'm actually wearing regular shoes ( of course no heels ) but I'm wearing boots and other shoes ( no need to break down and buy crocs ). The foot gets stronger every day and I'm not favoring it at all. The incision has healed nicely ( it's still terrible looking scar ) but all and all very well healed. And I have no brushing or discoloration any more.

BUT.... I still have nerve pain. It's not exactly where the original neuroma was ( since that has been cut out ) but it's pretty close too it. I figure it is either scar tissue or the stump neuroma, or as, Chris points out, we just had a nerve cut in TWO, so it wouldn't be surprising if it still did hurt. The frustrating thing for me is that as the foot gets stronger, the never pain has gotten worse, and right now it's about the same level of pain as the original neuroma was.
I saw the doctor on Friday and he is in a wait and see mode, and he gave me Lyrica ( ugh, more drugs, I hate taking drugs ) and wants to see me back in another month. UGH.....I am getting very impatient. I'm trying really had to be positive and just tell myself that it's still early but it's hard not to be frustrated after 6 weeks.

But all of you that are wondering if you will ever walk again :)..... Yes you will. And doing the PT exercises have really helped. These exercises are things like picking up things with your toes, ankle flexes and circle, toe raises, heal raises, etc. I strongly recommend them as they've really helped getting the strength in the foot back.

Eager to hear from others...how are you all doing?

Crash said...

Surgery is Friday February 10th. Looking forward to getting this over with!

Unknown said...

Deb, Unknown here - not sure why it posted as Unknown, used the name Lucky so I'll sign Lucky in case someone else becomes Unknown. :) The Easy Spirit shoe is awesome and I wore the day after I had the stitiches out - yesterday - all day!! You can find at this link: http://www.easyspirit.com/Hotracing/50151750,default,pd.html?variantSizeClass=&variantColor=NVLIMSU&cgid=50485994&prefn1=catalog-id&prefv1=easyspirit-catalog
It's an Easy Spirit athletic slip on shoe called Hotracing. It is very comfortable. I bought a 1/2 size larger than I normally wear and it feels just fine on my left foot (non-surgery foot) too. My legs were not tired at the end of the day. I am limping still, favoring my right foot but overall it feels pretty good. A little stinging at the stitch area but I put on Neosporin and covered it with a bandaid - small dots of blood but looks like it will heal in a few days. The bruising has moved toward my ankle now but is very light purple. I suppose the more walking I do the more my foot bruises but the doc said that is a good sign - my body is moving the
"bad stuff" away from the surgical point trying to heal it. I will try to pick up a towel with my toes - good idea from one of you. Oh, having the stitches out was very simple and relatively pain free, PHEW! I was nervous. Just a little pinch on the first one and then I didn't know the nurse had finished. I brought a sock and just wore the funny velcro shoe home that day. Felt nice to walk with out a wad of gauze on the bottom of my foot! Awww...Hope all goes well on Friday Deb. Also, Laurie, we had surgery the same day - how are you doing? ~Lucky

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky,

Thanks for posting about the shoes and your experience with the stitches coming out. I'll go online and check out the shoes when I finish this post. Hoping my stitch removal is as easy as yours.

It is exactly 1 week post op and I can't imagine putting on any type of shoe at this point. I see the dr on Friday to get the stitches out if all looks good. I went out to lunch today and didn't do much walking but my foot is hurting tonight. I've been iced and elevated since I got home. My foot feels like pins and needles - electric almost. Feeling twitches of pain in weird places on my foot too??? I'm wearing the Velcro surgi shoe and walking (to the bathroom) on the side of my foot.

Thanks again for the info. Keep us updated on your progress. I like to read about the varies stages everyone's experiencing. Deb

Stacey W said...

I had pre-op today. The doc made it seem like it really was not a big deal. He is giving me nothing but the velcro shoe thingy. May have bruising for a couple days he said. After I read what you guys post, I dont get the discrepancy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stacy,

Yes, the doctors fluff off the recovery time but your foot will hurt. I'm 10 days post surgery and it's still hurting to walk. I measure improvement weekly, I'm better than one week ago and I hope the improvements continue weekly. I am still doing very limited walking on the side of my foot with the surgi shoe. I was given only the velcro shoe when I left the hospital, no crutches. The surgery itself is a snap, the recovery, well, lots of couch time, errrrrrrr! Maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones and bounce back quickly, I've read those stories too. I have a friend that had the surgery and was back at work after a week. He felt good enough to have his second foot done 2 monts later. The thought makes me cringe - everyone heals differently. Commit to 10 days of couch time, and if you bounce back sooner, that will be a welcome gift. Deb

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Stacey, this is the thing with these doctors. My doctor told me I'd be walking in 3-4 days and "full recovered" in 3-4 weeks. That just was NOT the case. There was NO way I would put any weight on my foot after three days. I think one of these doctors should have this surgery so they know how it feels. :). But Stacey I don't want to scare you. I couldn't walk on it until well into the third week, however, it comes back quickly after that. I am 6 weeks post op and I went running today! I'm wearing regular shoes again ( still afraid to put on heels but I think that's just because I haven't had an occasion to!) and the foot feels strong. I even have regained full range of motion in my toes which took a while. So don't worry about it at, just try to align your expectations that it won't be as quick of a recovery as they're saying. I know everyone is different, but if this post group is any indication, seems like almost all of us weren't able to walk until after the 2 nd week. Good luck and keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer,

Happy to see that you are doing better at 6 weeks. Running? Wow, I'm impressed! Gives me a good time marker to push for. Any discomfort at all walking? Deb

Angela said...

Recap of my experience to date: Surgery 15 days ago, Norco for the 1st 2 days, no pain thereafter, just some throbbing if I didn't keep it elevated, which went away as soon as I did. Crutches and a little more usage/weight on my foot as the days progressed. Stitches removed on day 14. Doc said it was a pretty big neuroma. So glad it's gone! Today is day 15 and I'm pleasantly surprised that I can wear my regular shoes already! Still a little swelling, but really very little. A little discomfort on the bottom of my foot so I walk with a bit of a limp and a little slower, but no pain. Mostly, I think I'm just expecting it to hurt so perhaps my limp is self-imposed. I'll just have to get used to the feel. No hard exercising yet, I'm only cleared for elliptical or exercise bike for the next week. After the steri strips come off in a few days, I can increase activity as my tolerance/ability allows. I'm very happy with my experience; these two weeks have been much better than I feard it might be, no doubt due to my ability to stay off of it and work remotely for a full two weeks - thanks for that recommendation! It feels much better than I expected this early on so my challenge will be to not push myself too hard and overdo it. First outing without crutches or the boot today. Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this?

http://www.jfas.org/article/S1067-2516(11)00572-2/abstract

Unknown said...

Lucky here -Will be 3 weeks tomorrow. I can wear a regular shoe (the Easy Spirit I bought from JCP) and haven't tried my regular athletic shoes but probably could do them. The area where my stitches were split open a bit so I used a butterfly bandage and Neosporin to help it heal-stung a bit. Walking well but still with a slight limp. Have pretty good range of motion but not full yet with my toes - easier to bend them upward rather than down/pointed. Still have bruising on the bottom of my toes where they hit the ball of my foot and on the top of my foot mostly around my toe area but it did extend to my ankle. That area now is greenish - the end of a bruise. Just yesterday I noticed a thin red line under my skin running from my toes where the neuroma was and down about half way of my foot. Strange. Perhaps that is where the nerve bounced back to after being cut. Still being conservative but seem to be healing up well. ~ Lucky

MaryEllen said...

I am so glad to have found this blog! Like everyone else trolling the internet, I found more horror stories than positive outcomes, so I approached my surgery with a great degree of trepidation! I am 10 days post-op, and had the bandages changed 2 days ago. It was a relief to get the bulky bandages removed! My surgery went well-and was quick! I had intravenous anesthesia-propofol (the Michael Jackson drug!) was the main ingredient. What a NICE sleep! I left the surgi-center about 4 hours after arriving. I heel-walked out (VERY slowly)in a surgical shoe, leaning heavily on my husband. No crutches, no cane. My doctor said my little foot (size 5.5) and the fact that the bones in my foot were abnormally close made getting to the neuroma a bit of a challenge! I spent the weekend on the couch with my foot elevated.I took the prescribed Toradol for about a week, then went to Motrin. I went back to work Monday-but only for 1 hour, and spent most of that time sitting-which is very unusual for me! (I am a personal trainer)I expected to see a bruised, swollen foot when the bandages came off, and was pleased to see very little bruising or swelling. Driving in the boot was odd-but doable.
I had the neuroma since May 2010, I tried metatarsal pads, 3 cortisone shots (painful enough, but also experienced the cortisone flare-which was way more painful!) They did not work, so we moved onto a series of alcohol shots (even more painful)which did not work. Thought about PRP injections (platelet rich plasma) but that would have taken more time-and I wanted to get back to running pain free as quickly as possible. My doc and I agreed surgery was the way to go. So at 10 days post op, I am hobbling around in my lovely black clodhopper, putting most of my weight on my heel. I am definitely feeling less pain, mostly pins and needles with the occasional electrical shock like pain (which usually follows putting a little more weight on it!) I am very encouraged to hear that someone was running at 6 weeks post-op-that is what I aspire to! My doc told me that after the stitches come out (2/1) I can resume physical activity- swimming and biking to start. I think I'm going to take a painkiller before the stitches (6 of them) are removed-based on most folks having said that stitch removal was no fun!) Question for the ladies-when did resume wearing a regular street shoe? Heels? (I'm 5'so I do wear heels when I go out!)
Thanks to you all for sharing! Your stories have been helpful and inspiring! MaryEllen (aka ME)

Anonymous said...

Hi Maryellen,

I am 12 days post op and feel about the same as you, pins and needles on the bottom of my foot and some numbness too. I'm still in "the shoe". My stitches came out 2 days ago but I still can't get it wet yet. Today I was able to go out to lunch with my foot elevated in the restaurant. When I'm in a sitting position with my feet down (which isn't often) my foot tingles and it feels numb. I sure hope that's temporary!!!! All in all, I think we are on par with the healing process. At least, I hope we are! Hang in there, keep posting your progress. Deb

Anonymous said...

Lucky,

I really like the shoes you bought. Not sure if an open back will work for me. I gather it doesn't bother your foot?

Sounds like you are coming along nicely. Keep an eye on the red line. I'm still wrapped so I don't know what me foot looks like???

Take care, keep posting. Deb

Chris Freeland said...

ME- sounds like you're doing well! I'm curious whether you'll find swimming as unusual as I did. I felt like I had more drag on the post-op foot - took some getting used to.

On the stitches removal thing, my doctor did perfect, tiny stitches. The nurse told me it was going to hurt because the doc was so precise and tight - they joke that she must come from a family of tailors. It's really not *THAT* bad, but it does surprisingly hurt more than I had expected.

Good luck!

Unknown said...

Deb-the shoes stay on quite well. I'm not one to wear open backed shoes but they do not slip. My foot is really sore today - not sure why but my second toe hurts and is now bruised. Anyone elses' foot bruised from the toes to the ankle around week 3? Laurie-how are you doing? I still feel like there is a wrinkle in my sock when I walk. I find myself looking to see if there is something in my shoe or sock but there isn't. Hoping that sensation goes away quickly -don't like that. MaryEllen-sounds like things went well for you. Hope the stitches are easy tomorrow. I took an Advil before my removal and it was fine - easier than I expected actually but I am still wearing a bandAid 8 days later just because sometimes it breaks open and bleeds a little and I don't want to get sock fuzz in the area :). I'm 3 weeks and a day from surgery and can't imagine running yet. I still limp a little because I do not put full weight down when I bend my toes to walk. Still twinges and with the bruising, it's sore. I'm thinking of trying the gym again but only for upper body - if I'm still limping I'm not sure the elliptical would be ok - anyone try it yet at 3 weeks? ~ Lucky

Emily said...

Hello everyone! So good to hear about your progress! I'm a full 4 weeks plus a few days. Week 4 has been a miracle week for me. Last week, week 3, I began hobbling on my heal, and took my crutches along for long distances. This week I am completely crutch free!!! I no longer have the sharp nerve pain if my foot gets touched or bumped. I still have a weird dull pain, but it is MUCH better than before. My heel is still sore b/c I still put most of my pressure on it as I walk, but I am getting better about using my whole foot now. Lucky, you asked about bruising and I had horrible bruises until just this week. My foot is now that yellowish color as the bruises fade away. I'm still not able to walk barefoot, but I can walk without the boot around the house - as long as I have the ace bandage on for cushion. I think I mentioned before that I have plantar fasciitis in both feet. I'm going to try physical therapy for that, but wonder when it will be okay for the PT to pound on my foot. Any thoughts for others who have gone before? When were you able to touch/massage your foot fully? Not that this matters in the big scheme of things but I'm wondering if I'll ever get a pedicure again... or where heels... Jennifer how are you doing? How is your pain? Did the Lyrica help? Keep us posted.

Emily

Anonymous said...

Hi

I am in the UK and having surgery on the 9th Feb. I work as a Prison Nurse and I am on my feet a lot so have taken 4 weeks off in the first instance. Bit nervous but that maybe because I am a nurse (the worst patients!). Wish me luck!

Crash said...

I had my pre-op day yesterday (2/3/12). I'm having my surgery on 2/10/12 at Mayo Clinic. It was a long and informative day. I had four separate appointments. 1) A physical therapist to give me some post-surgery exercises and crutches, 2) A pre-op physical, 3) Pre-admission registration and 4) final visit with my surgeon.

The final visit with the surgeon was very informative and a little unnerving. My surgeon has a great sense of humor. He has had MN surgery himself, and he said that I will be very pleased with the result but on one condition... that I follow their 'recovery plan' completely. He told me that if I tried to push myself through recovery too quickly, it would be a waste of his time and mine... and that I would likely have more pain in my foot than I had before surgery.

They gave me my prescriptions so that I could get everything ready before surgery day. I've been prescribed Oxycodone (5mg) 2 tablets every four hours, Ketorolac (10mg) one tablet three times a day for four days, Promethazine (12.5mg) 1/2 tablet every four hours as needed for nausea, and Colace stool softener (one tablet each time I take Oxycodone). They said if I failed to take the stool softener, the constipation would be more painful than the recovery...

He explained that I would be placed under anesthesia first, they would place a "nerve block" on my ankle (the equivalent of a spinal tap for my ankle) and then they would conduct the procedure. They said it would take between 20-30 minutes, and then I would be in recovery for 1-2 hours while I come out of anesthesia and then another hour sitting up (with my wife in the room). I will be allowed to leave shortly after that, and he suggests that I begin the Oxycodone as soon as I get home. He says that if I wait until I start to experience pain (~12 hours after the surgery... when my nerve block wears off) that I will 'always be chasing after the pain." Surprisingly, he suggests pre-medicating and then staying medicated on schedule for at least four days. He also said "if you start feeling pain or a tingling in your toes an hour after taking Oxycodone, take another dose. Always use the meds to keep the pain away. I'm kind of surprised, but I intend to follow orders! They also said that during the first week, the foot should be elevated (higher than your heart) one hour for every hour it's not elevated (50% of the time), after week one, elevate it only when it's throbbing/uncomfortable.

They also told me that the biggest threat to my health was getting my foot wet. They said more than any other area of the body, the foot is the magnet to most bacteria and if I get it wet before the stitches are removed (two weeks after surgery) that I could do serious and permanent damage to my foot. He brought up the example of a former patient that completely disregarded the warning and would take of his dressing, shower and replace it. The water had seeped deep into his wound, bacteria flourished and they eventually amputated his foot! You can count on three things, death, taxes, and Crash will have a bone dry foot for two weeks! The surgeon also said to take this surgery very seriously, and the recovery even more seriously. He said to expect pain on and off for 12-16 weeks, and that my foot wouldn't be "normal" for up to six months.

I'm taking a full week off from work (2/10 - 2/17) and then working out of the house for the second week (2/20 - 2/24). Stitches come out on Friday 2/24 and then I expect to start work the following Monday (2/27). I'm very fortunate to have a desk job, so I think I'll be in good shape.

I'm anxious and nervous... but thankful for this blog! It's nice to get some intel from those who have been through this. Next post will be post-surgery...

Cheers!
Crash

Chris Freeland said...

Crash - this was almost identical to my surgeon's instructions, and my experience through in recovery. Very realistic & spot-on directions - sounds like you've got an excellent doc! Let us all know how it goes, and good luck!

kchaffins said...

I have suffered 6 years with MN. I to am scared to have the surgery. I have read that the nerve can grow back. Has anyone heard of that. Also, do you have a permanent scar on top of the foot.
I hear people saying regular shoes. Mine are heels mainly. Can anyone help me...I am really scared having this surgery. Not to mention they are in both feet and having heel spurs in both feet.
I am going to a regular orthopedist and he said he does the surgery, do you think a Doctor who only specialized would be best.

Angela said...

In reference to KCHAFFINS' recent post - I wear heels almost exclusively, too. 3-1/2 weeks post-surgery for me now and I can wear my heels with no problem (wearing them now!). I haven't been wearing them all day every day yet because a full day with pressure on the ball of the foot is a little uncomfortable this soon in the recovery, but I have no doubt that in a matter of just a few more days I'll be back to wearing my heels like I did before. I never had to get different shoes. I went straight from the surgical shoe to a tennis shoe for a few days and for now I wear tennis shoes (shape-ups to be exact) for the walk to/from work and then heels at work. The discomfort in the ball of my foot continues to lessen each day. The surgery was definitely worth it and the recovery not that bad at all. Keeping it elevated and protected early on is critical. And, I think the Doc can make a huge difference. I went to an ortho specializing in foot/ankle and am definitely a fan.

TJblueyes said...

Hi! I am pre-surgical candidate. I have been having the MN pain for 3 1/2 long years. It seems to be worsening of late. I have been through all the tests, all the doctors, from MD, Neuro, Rheumatologist and finally DPM. I put the DPM off until last, all the horror stories about the shots, etc. Actually the shots weren't so bad thanks to the freezing spray prior. Of course they were a total waste of time. I went in yesterday to the DPM, he wants to try a round of Prednisone....I don't really expect it to work. I go back on 2/14 and expect to schedule surgery on my left foot,(It is in both feet, the left being the worst). I said I would never opt for surgery, but my pain has intensified so much of late and I am tired of being held a prisoner by MN!
I have read Chris' story and all the subsequent comments. I am much relieved just reading all your stories, not the horror I expected. Thank you all so much for sharing I am nowhere near as apprehensive as I was before. Good luck to you all and keep posting, love to hear your successes on the road to recovery and the tips for making it easier!!
TJ

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris and everyone else,
Tomorrow I will 15wks post op for a double morton's neuroma (2/3 & 3/4) and I'm still experiencing pain on the ball of my foot when walking - it feels swollen and lumpy compared to my other foot. I am still also get throbbing and tingling sensation when sitting with my feet on the ground. When laying down I get occasional shooting pains into my toes especially my fourth digit (the third digit is completely numb as both nerve were cut either side of it) plus my foot is tingly to touch when lightly pressed around that area. I work as a support worker to a largeish lady who needs support walking and/or when she uses a wheelchair. My hospital, specialist nurse and doctors have all given me conflicting advice - one telling me to be off for 8 weeks as I have a manual job, one telling no weight bearing exercise for 3 months whilst another another telling to be up and out and on my feet and said I should be back riding horses and running by now (after 6wks) and the upshot is that I rebruised my foot and needed antibiotics and further painkillers after 11 wks post-op and I have been off work since 28 Oct 11 (op day) to date (9 Feb). I am due to return to work 20 February but I don't feel comfortable enough on my foot but I think I'm gonna have to go back (work is getting tetchy). Has anyone else experienced the length of time recovering as I have and does anyone else get the symptons I still possess? I would be very interested to know. Thankyou Karen

taylor said...

Hi all,

This is a great forum! It is 2/9/12, and I am sitting here in bed with my foot raised. I had my MN excised yesterday morning. The surgery went well, and yesterday was virtually pain free. I spent all yesterday with my foot up and iced. I also kept it elevated at night while sleeping.

Pain started last night at about 1am and I was up about every hour after that with pain. Today is better. I take a pill every 4 hours, but am getting a sick stomach.

My dr. Made it sound like this would be a very minimal procedure and that I would be walking in a boot in 4-5 days post op. I use crutches now, and cannot imagine even trying to step on my foot! Most of the pain is on the bottom of my foot. So anyways, I am flying out and going on a cruise next week. Not good timing, but before surgery the way my doc talked made me think I would be fine. All I plan on doing is laying by the pool with my foot up anyways!

One question I have for everyone...how in the world do you shower, when you can't stand on both feet and cannot get the foot wet? I am very curious about

Thanks

Taylor

Anonymous said...

Had surgery on both feet two days ago. Am able to hobble around with my boots. Had dressing changed ar Dr's office today everything looks good stitches out in 8 more days is the plan..No real pain to speak of yet have not needed to take pain meds. Not sure if this will crop up as an issue later but biggest issue so far is boredom and I'm only in my third day. Thanks for the great post!

Chris Freeland said...

Taylor - Put a garbage bag around your leg with a tight, wide rubber band. Then, take a bath, not a shower, and keep your leg elevated on the rim of the tub. Your goal is to keep the dressings dry to avoid bacterial infections. I ended up doing 2 baths & mostly sink cleanups while I was off work, until the stitches were removed, and then I could get back in the shower.

Anonymous said...

Had my 3 week post op check up with the dr today. He seemed surprised when I told him I still had pain on the ball of my foot. He told me to massage the ball of my foot and the incision. Also told me to do toe curling exercises. He thinks the pain should be better by my 6 week check up. I sure hope he's right! Feeling a little frustrated but realize I need patience. Just wondering if anyone is at the 3 week mark feeling the same. Thanks. Deb

Anonymous said...

I bought a cast cover to put on over my surgical shoe for taking showers. Curad brand was about $3 for a box of two. Worked great. The soft plastic is boot shaped and expands as you pull it over your shoes/foot and covers up to the knee. I used the same one daily for over two weeks. Amazed at how well it worked and kept my incision completely dry. Worth their weight in gold!

Julie said...

Hi, its Julie the prison nurse. Had my op yesterday. Surgeon insisted on making the incision on the bottom of my foot! Only got Ibuprofen and paracetamol for pain (that's Advil and Tylenol). He has given me three weeks off work to start with. Was in hospital for about 7 hours total. Have crutches to walk with. Pain not too bad when laying down with my feet up. Some twinges runnig up my foot and sore from the cut. Sutures out in two week and follow up with surgeon. He really seemed to down play the op. But as his list that morning was full of hip and shoulder replacements, I guess he saw mine as pretty minor! Our National Health Service was great. Got a bit of VIP treatment because I'm a nurse and knew my Anaethetist well. IV morphine when I first came round, which killed the pain dead.

Softball62 said...

I'm almost 3 wks post op. Been riding a stationary bike for past week. Walked half mile on treadmill at slow pace. The ball of my foot at toe base hurts as well as the scar. Feel nerve pain in toes when I rub ball of foot.... Feels weird. Hope to start training for half marathon
Next week....

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried radiofrequency thermoneurolysis therapy for Morton' Neuroma before electing for surgery?

This is an abstract from a scientific study published at the end of 2011 and this method looks promising

Abstract 
Pedal neuroma is a common disorder. The authors undertook a review of 32 feet in 29 patients with a symptomatic neuroma treated between January 2007 and January 2010 to evaluate the effectiveness of radiofrequency thermoneurolysis therapy in alleviating symptoms. Overall relief of symptoms was rated as complete by 24 (83%) patients, with 5 patients experiencing minimal to no relief. Two patients were lost to follow-up after 1 month, 2 patients opted for no further intervention, and 1 patient went to open resection of the neuroma. Average follow-up was 13 months and total recovery time was 2 days. Complications included 1 foot with cellulitis treated by a course of oral antibiotics. The results of this retrospective study indicate radiofrequency thermoneurolysis therapy is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive alternative treatment for symptomatic neuromas of the foot.

MaryEllen said...

Hi everyone! MaryEllen here. I am a bit more than 3 weeks post-op now. Stitches came out 2 weeks post-op. I was a little alarmed that the incision did not look completely closed; my surgeon must have sensed my alarm and explained that it eas healing from the inside out. Once the stitches came out, I was cleared to get my foot wet, bike, use the elliptical, the bike and the rower. I have a little discomfort when I exercise, but no real pain or cramping. Swimming was weird-I found myself consciously spreading my toes while kicking! I went from the surgical boot to a Clark's Privo slip on. My surgeon said no shoes that would squeeze the ball of my foot. Now I am getting around in flats with a little metatarsal cushion. Next week I will be fitted for orthotics and hopefully cleared to run! Any tips/advice on returning to running? I was thinking of starting out running on grass and taking frequent walking breaks.
Chris-in an earlier post I think you mentioned that New Balance markets a post MN surgery shoe. Do you recall the model?
Crash-that story about the guy who had to have his foot amputated was SCARY!
MaryEllen

taylor said...

I am now 4 days post op, and feeling pretty food. The pills ,ade me very nauseous on day 3, I couldn't keep anything down. I think it was because I took pills In the middle of the night on an empty stomach.

Otherwise, the pain has not been bad, still taking the hydrocodone every 6-8 hours now. Trying to keep foot elevated as much as possible, but I am getting around a lot more now. I saw my doc on day 3 since I will be out of town the next 10 days. Betook off my dressing, and my foot looked suprisngly good! Just a little swelling in my toes, but hardly any discoloring or swelling. I attribute that to 21/2 solid days of bed rest and foot elevation.

I am also extremely anxious to get back to running. I haven't been able to run for about 10 months due to my MN. I am hoping for a speedy recovery, but willing to take it slow as to not hurt my foot even more.

Taylor

Stacey W said...

Surgery on Tuesday. Nervous about recovery. Hope all goes well.

Jennifer Wemstrom said...

Hi everyone, Jennifer here. I hesistate to post these days because I hope that my situation is uncommon and I do not want to discourage others. First of all, anyone who is nervous abut the recovery don't be. It takes a while, but you will be surprised at how quickly the strength of the foot comes back. However, I still am having very annoying nerve pain in my foot. It's not where the neuroma was, obviously, since that part of the nerve is gone. But the nerve fires off at the end where it was cut. It's just as bad as the neuroma was just in a slightly different spot and it I a very frustrated. My doctor prescribed Lyrica and it did not help. My physical therapist is now doing Iontophoresis, where he hooks up electrodes to my foot and delivers an electric current. It's supposed to desensitize the nerve endings. Not sure if that is working yet, I've only had two treatments.

Taylor - I am a runner too and haven't been able to run since Sept and am going crazy. I started with a short jog at six weeks after the surgery. I just started with 1 mile at a time. I might have been able to run sooner but I didn't want to push it. And now, I'm about 9 weeks post op and I'm running 3 miles a couple days a week. However, my PT said to stop running because of the continued nerve pain I'm having. It's so frustrating. The only reason why I had to surgery was so that I could start running again, and he's telling me not to run! Argh! So I guess this week I will not run. But it's so hard because I really miss it.

I feel awful because I don't want to discourage other people, because maybe my situation is unique. I would say that if you do not encounter the residual nerve pain like I am having, you should be just fine running at 6 weeks or sooner. My foot was definitely strong enough to do it by then.

Also, I wore heels tonight for the first time since the surgery! I bought a new pair today, - I tried to get a more sensible, comfortable pair that was at least still a little stylish. I got a pair of Aerosoles with the rounded toe and a strap across the top. They felt pretty good. I wore them for about 6 hours - 4 hours into it my foot starting hurting but prior to that it felt pretty good. So I count that as a success. :)

How's everyone else? There were a few other ladies on this blog that were only a few weeks behind me, so I'm curious if anyone else is still have that nerve firing, pins and needles feeling I'm having......

Anonymous said...

Follow up post: Had neuroma's removed from both feet on Tues. Have been able to heel-walk from almost the outset with very little pain. Have not needed pain pills but take an ambien for sleep which keeps me from tossing and turning so much. Glad I did both feet at once as the recovery( sitting around all day with legs up) is tough enough to go through once let alone twice. Couple things: Size doesn't matter. The Dr said the Neuroma he took out of my left foot was huge (said it was an Alien he removed, not a Neuroma) however I had much more pain from my right foot which apparently had a much smaller Neuroma. Perhaps location is more important than size. Second thing: I went through the alcohol injections which are intended to kill the nerve via a series of shots. If you are contemplating this process my advice: don't do it. Extremely painful. I went through four series of shots and would have been much better off if I had gone straight to surgery. Good luck all. Two-feet

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer,

Sorry to hear you are still having nerve pain after 6 weeks. Please don't feel bad about posting problems, I think its helpful to others going through similar situations. We need to hear the good and bad.

I can't offer any suggestions or help because I'm only 3 1/2 weeks post op. I can tell you, the "electric" nerve feelings in my foot has stopped. But, I do still feel a "marble" on the ball of my foot, close to the base of my toes - very frustrating. If I still have the marble feeling in 6 weeks, my dr. will send me to PT for ultra sound.

Keep us posted on your progress, good luck, hope PT helps you.

Softball62 said...

I'm still having the nerve pain in my toes and tomorrow is 3 weeks. The ball of my foot still bruises after exercising. The numbness in my 3rd and 4th toes is worse than before. My post op check is Wednesday and I will get a cortisone injection to aid the healing so I can start running next weekend

Julie said...

Hi
Just a word of advice for those getting pain after exercising. Pain is your body's way of letting you know something is wrong. Perhaps your are doing too much too soon. Take it easy.

Crash said...

February 13th: three days after surgery. Everything I read here is pretty much what happened to me. I arrived for surgery at 5:30am, was taken in for surgery at 7:00am and wheeled into recovery at 7:30. I left the hospital at 9:30 completely numb.

Taking the doctor's advice, I pre-medicated for pain. I started the Oxycodone as soon as I got home, and shortened the time between doses from four hours to three. It worked like a charm! I never felt any pain. I could feel the nerve block wearing off (tingling toes), but never felt pain. On the third night (last night) I took my last Oxycodone and I woke up this morning pain free. I can feel the stitches pulling slightly (normal sensation if you'd had stitches before), but no pain. I'm staying true to my commitment to the doctor for following his recovery plan (sitting with foot elevated above my chest and NOT walking... even though I feel like I can) and I'm taking tylenol as a preventative measure (for swelling and pain).

So far... so good!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with Julie - guidelines I have seen here in Australia for no sport post-op is 6-12 weeks. Give your foot the best chance to heal.

Anonymous said...

Hello all,
Just celebrated my one-week anniversary of bi-lateral neuroma surgery with a short 20 minute bike ride. Man it felt great to move my legs and definitely helped my grumpy mood. A little tricky using the sandals on the bike because they're so bulky but no foot pain at all, certainly much more comfortable then heel walking. Can't wait to get the stitches out on friday but my little ride hopefully will help get me over the hump.
Stir-crazyitis has been the toughest part of this thing for me. If you have surgery upcoming plan some activities because the day goes by much slower than you think. Good luck all!
Two-feet

Anonymous said...

Hello All: I am 8 weeks post op with scar tissue/pain. Doc has given me cortisone shot and said to deep-tissue massage the area. I've been doing that for the last three weeks and it has helped. Received another shot today and will continue massaging. Folks at the office say I'm even walking better. The limping has definitely subsided. Still restricted to wearing customized inserts in flat clogs. Will keep posting! FRL

Crash said...

February 16th (day six after surgery). Regrettably, I did exactly what I said I wouldn't do on my last posting... I felt so good that I decided to walk a little bit, work at my desk at my house for a few hours... by the end of the day my foot was in pain and swollen. I've spent the last two days on my back with the foot elevated again. I've also been taking some pain meds before bedtime so I could get to sleep easier. My first 'lesson learned' is to REALLY take a minimum of one week on my back with foot elevated. I think I lost a couple of days by trying to get up too fast. Tomorrow is a week and I look forward to removing my surgical dressing and putting on a clean bandage. I'm also curious about how things are looking down there!

Anonymous said...

Two-feet said;
Good luck crash, hope things look good for you when the bandages come off. I am finally having my stitches out tomorrow a.m. and I can't wait as this has been the longest 10 days of my life...bored stiff. Was going to maybe burn my boots after Dr's visit but now I think I'll get them bronzed....put them up on my mantle as a reminder of this special time. In any case, if Chris, or anyone else has a good recommendation for post op men's footwear I would appreciate it. I know there have been some posts but any other thoughts would be appreciated.
BTW FRL I hope things start improving quickly.
Best,
Two-feet

Anonymous said...

I had 2x MN removed as well as my bunion done on my left foot on 19 Nov 11.it's almost 10 weeks, and my foot is still very swollen and sore. I'm wearing Birkenstocks, and find myself still limping. I'm putting icepacks every night to get swelling down, and using Bio oil to massage. I'm worried that my foot is still very swollen. Like everyone else, the ball of my foot is still very numb as well as swollen, of course my middle toe is totally numb and toes on either side half numb. I cannot put all my weight on my foot yet. My bunion area feels ok, I suppose I need to be patient, as I had 2 major surgeries on one foot. I had dissolvable stitches, and 2 weeks off work. I will be thinking long and hard before having the other foot done.

Emily said...

Stacey W - How are you doing???

Deb - I was so discouraged at 3 weeks, but it REALLY will get better. I'm 6.5 weeks and so much better.

Jennifer - I'm so sorry that you're having more problems. How in the world did you wear heels? Does it only hurt when you run?

I'm still wearing the velcro shoe b/c I didn't feel like buying a pair of shoes I wouldn't otherwise wear. I'm trying my New Balance tennis shoe on every day and will probably start wearing it more.

I still have that "marble" feel under my foot and definite "feeling" from the nerve. It's not necessarily pain but I'm ready for it to go away. I'm curious about those of you who have posted about massaging the bottom of your foot. Has that helped? Is this normal?

Emily said...

P.S. The dr. gave me Mederma to rub on my incision to hope diminish the scar.

I'm still trying to pick up a sock or towel with my toes. This is impossible!!! Can you all really do this now?

Anonymous said...

Note to self: don't wear Birkenstocks post MN surgery. And if you do wear them for some reason be smart enough to change them out if you can't walk after 4 weeks ( let alone 8 weeks). Duuuhhh

Stacey W said...

Hi there! Well... today is day 3. Day 1 I felt nothing from the block so that was good. Today is another story. Very sore today. Every so often it feels like there is a lightening storm in my foot. That hurts. I am working on the heel walking but hopping is faster. Lots of ice and couch time.

MaryEllen said...

Hi, MaryEllen here. Surgery was 4 weeks ago and incision is healing nicely. I was measured for orthotics at my 4 week check, and cleared to run under the following conditions: no more than 3x week, 15 mins at a time, alternating running and walking in 60 sec intervals. I do this for 2 weeks then report back to my doctor. I think this conservative approach is the best hope I have to return to pain free running! I have a few more "firsts" to report: I had a pedicure, a massage and wore high heels! First-the pedicure. I gave very detailed instructions to the tech. Treat the incision area very carefully-no vigorous massage and no excess product. The nail trimming felt odd given the toe numbness, but overall, it was a pleasant (and much needed!) experience. Same with the massage-the therapist treated my right foot with less pressure than the left, and it was very relaxing. My advice:set expectations and don't be shy if you experience pain or discomfort. Now-the high heels! I started with a slight platform sole, which I think is easier on the ball of the foot, and I only walked a short distance. (My husband dropped me off and then parked the car!) I am going to mostly stick with flats-I just do not want to compromise the healing process!
Jennifer-I am so sorry you still have pain. I know it is hard, but I would back off running and heels-maybe that will help.
Crash-still keeping that foot bone dry?
ME

Anonymous said...

Crash, Can you tell me who your Dr. is? I live in Minnesota and need the surgery, but I am not comfortable with my current doc.

MJ, Ontario, Can said...

Thanks to all of you...

I have been suffering for quite a few years, but it is only a few months ago that the doctors realized that my problems were du to 2 MN in the right foot. I am military and through the years I have suffered every run, march and parades. I am now unable to walk without help and my daily activities are greatly compromized.

Here I cannot get injections of any sorts and after waiting for a long time, I am meeting with an orthopedic surgeon to plan the required surgery.

I have 4 wonderful childrens that can'twait for mom to get back to normal.

This site has made me realized that normal is possible after surgery and that I will one day, hopefully sooner thanlater get the surgery and enjoy the activities I once enjoyed doing with the kids.

One question that I have is:"Can you feel the hot and cold after the surgery??? I have to work in extreme weather and was wondering if you still feel when your foot is getting too cold or too hot??
Thanks again for all the info.

Anonymous said...

Hi All- I am now 7 months out- I am pretty much back to normal and am so glad i got the surgery- I am working out again and happy to do all the activities that i stopped doing b/c of that darn neuroma! I even wear heels (normal no more then 2 inches)- and am gearing up for some hiking and a trip to costa rica!!
Avery
maryland

Anonymous said...

Hey MJ
Thanks for your service!
Regarding feeling hot or cold: Thimk of MN surgery like a roots canal for your foot. Even though the sensitivity is gone from the tooth nothing changes in your mouth. You can still feel hot and cold. Just a little numb spot that blends away

TJblueyes said...

Hi, everyone!

I went back to the Dr on the 14th for what I thought was to schedule surgery...he wanted to do another round of shots. I was skeptical, with good cause. The cortisone flare lasted about thirty hours. The pain is bad enough without all the extra burning pain from that. Today is the 18th and my pain is just as intense as it was prior to the latest shots. I am frustrated, so ready to get past this and get my life back! Happy healing to you all, everyone keep your chin up and your feet iced and elevated!!
:) TJ

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear so many surgery success stories, especially as many have noted since the internet is full of well documented failed attempts. I figured out I had a nueroma in early 2011, and spent all of that year adjusting my lifestyle. No more dress shoes or bare feet. I went through 3 rounds of cortisone shots, all of which worked and make life bearable, but also didn't completely fix anything. Lots of walking just a little funny, and a real pain to not to be able to wear dress shoes to work.

As I dug deeper into what to do long term, surgery or alcohol injections, I was amazed by how hard it was to find good information on the long term results. My podiatrist didn't exactly instill faith when he told me there were no real hazards with the surgery route, and seemed amazed that I already knew about stump nueromas. Yay internet. I was also surprised at exactly how hard it was to find a good foot doctor in Denver, considering all the world class athlete training that goes on around here.

At the start of 2012 it was clear that I had to do a long term fix. While my foot was good enough to get around on, it was really limiting my physical activity, and when my 21 lb daughter could squeeze my foot and if felt like someone hit it with a hammer, I knew it was time.

I elected to not do surgery, and go the route of the alcohol injections. It didn't seem to me like there were major benefits to going the surgery route since it kept you off your feet for a couple of weeks, and the healing time was a couple of months. Also, I have a 5k deductable on my health insurance so the price tag was 5k vs $500 for a full round of alcohol shots.

So on February 17, 2012 I went in for my first alcohol injection. I was expecting it to hurt twice as bad as the cortisone shots, and for it to take me off my feet for a few weeks. At this moment I am pleasantly surprised. The injection itself hurt less than the cortisone, and by the next day (with a bit of ice and Advil) I am up and running and think I will be able to play hockey tomorrow. My foot feels as good as it has in 6 months. I am scheduled to go back every 2 weeks for additional shots, with my doc thinking I will need around 8 total to deal with this. I will update as time goes on.

Thanks for reading this and good luck to everyone who is dealing with this really issue. Its amazing how an issue with your foot affects your whole life.

Anonymous said...

Helo all. Two- feet here,
Re prior post on alcohol injections. I hope things work out but this was not my experience, so just a caution. I had no problems my first week or second. No pain at all. My third week; all hell broke loose. About three hours after my shot I had some of the worst pain in my life. Rolling around on the floor screaming kind of pain. Putting bare feet in bags of ice finally brought it down but still about 6 hours of hell. Oxycodone didn't touch it. So that was the end of the injections for me. Had MN surgery on both feet 11 days ago and this has been a cake walk in comparison to the shots. Not trying to be negative here, but check with your Dr about reaction as the series of shots go on. BTW. I don't have insurance and paid out-of-pocket,(why I did both feet at once, avoiding double Surgi-center, anesthesia etc). Total cost, including pre post op visits, totals about 3k, little less actually. Had stitches removed yesterday, 11 days post op. Still wearing the dreaded boot, but took dogs for a walk today. Sorry I waited so long to get this done.
Good luck to all

MJ said...

Thanks everyone

I have an orthopedist appt on the 13 mar and hope for the surgery to be planned then. i tryed to talk my doctor into cortisone/ alcool injection to try and get the pain away until then, but he refused once again saying that he didn't see the point of trying these painful procedures.

I can't wait to sleep a full night without waking because of the pain in my foot.

Keep updating, it is a great site to help gather the courage to go through with the procedure!!!

MJ

MJ said...

Thanks everyone

I have an orthopedist appt on the 13 mar and hope for the surgery to be planned then. i tryed to talk my doctor into cortisone/ alcool injection to try and get the pain away until then, but he refused once again saying that he didn't see the point of trying these painful procedures.

I can't wait to sleep a full night without waking because of the pain in my foot.

Keep updating, it is a great site to help gather the courage to go through with the procedure!!!

MJ

MJ said...

Thanks everyone

I have an orthopedist appt on the 13 mar and hope for the surgery to be planned then. i tryed to talk my doctor into cortisone/ alcool injection to try and get the pain away until then, but he refused once again saying that he didn't see the point of trying these painful procedures.

I can't wait to sleep a full night without waking because of the pain in my foot.

Keep updating, it is a great site to help gather the courage to go through with the procedure!!!

MJ

Anonymous said...

Emily, thanks for your words of encouragement. 4.5 weeks and I'm getting there. Still fells like I'm walking on marbles though. Thought I had the surgery to stop feeling the marbles??!! I've been living in my old New Balance sneakers too - sometimes I leave the laces untied - just feels better on my foot.

Maryellen, thanks for letting us know you had a pedicure - I need one desperately but was hesitant to get one. May go this week with specific instructions.

Lucky, how are you doing?

It's a slow healing process but it sounds like we are all making progress.

Deb

Crash said...

Hi everyone...

Yep the foot is still bone dry MaryEllen! Anonymous, my Doctor's name is Whalen, but he's at the Jacksonville Mayo, not the Minnesota Mayo... sorry!

Bandages off and it actually looks pretty good. I have a few purple toes, but the incision looks pretty clean and only minor leaking during recovery. I'd post a picture, but I can't figure out how to post it on this blog.

Yesterday (Feb 18, day 8) I actually went to the supermarket with my wife (for a short shopping visit). I was slow, but surprisingly there wasn't much pain. I did get some 'angry nerve pulses' last night, so I took some oxycodone before I went to bed. Woke up feeling great.

I have a question for all you MN surgery vets... did you ever feel the "pebble in your shoe" on the non-surgical foot shortly after surgery? I'm hoping it's just in my head!!

Take Care...

Crash

Roadrunner said...

HI !
Thanks for sharing your story.
just got surgery 2 weeks ago ,my surgeon has been doing this surgery for 15years and he said my neuroma was the biggest he has ever seen.
I have tried alcool and cortisone shots,they don't work ,not only that if you do more than 3 a year it might destroy your connective tissue ,which makes it even worse,
I read about cryosurgery ,but I went to see a Doctor about it and he told me the succes rate is low specially if the neuroma is big and is been there for a while.
I have been on the couch for a week ,
6days on Norco,but they didn't gave me anything for
blood clots ,elevated my foot and iced it ,my doc is not taking the stitches off until next week
,In my case the neuroma was taking off from the bottom ,wich ended up being a good choice because they had to cut from the toes to my arch,almost 3 inches,
I have been walking on crutches for 8 days (not an easy task when you have stairs in your house),I'm starting to put some weight on my heel and walking a little but if i do it too much my heel starts to hurt.
I can't wait to get back on my feet .
I've always chosen comfort over fashion on my shoes,probably because I like to do a lot of hiking ,snowboarding,kickboxing...and also my foot are a little wide ,so i'm never confortable on stilettos or narrow shoes,so it wasn't the shoes ,according to my doc it was the morphology of my feet and all the exercise .
How has it worked for you after a year?some people say it could return...has anyone had problems after recovery? can you go back to exercising and running again without pain? how long does it take?

MiaryEllen said...

Sunday, Feb 19-and I have had my first post surgical run! I went to a local soccer field and, in keeping with my DPM's instructions, ran for 15 mins, alternating walking and running in 1min intervals. My foot started "talking" to me at 10 mins but there was no real pain or cramping during the run or later in the day. I am feeling encouraged! Like many other runners, I am accustomed to running through the pain. I am not going to put my recovery at risk by doing that again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for such a great blog entry and comments from all the other folks here! This is the only place that I did not encounter doom and gloom MN surgery stories! Like many folks, my Dr was not quite clear on the true recovery process. He did not even think about me getting crutches...but I insisted on them. He never told me about using ice packs, elevating my foot for more than 48 hours post surgery. If I had not read this I would not be sitting here on the couch with my foot elevated for the past five days (and counting) post-op ( I have not done the ice packs however).
My surgery was on 2/15 and was the simple part of course. Luckily I would say the pain has been minimal...I do not put much weight on my foot or heel so that is probably the reason for the low pain. I think the only annoyance I have is the pressure I feel in my foot...I am sure it is due to the swelling. I have my foot elevated for about 90 percent of the day and night but that does not seem to matter with the swelling.

I am trying to baby my foot as much as possible based on all the comments I read here.

One really good suggestion I got from someone on a different blog was to move around the house using a desk chair with wheels and that has made a huge difference in me trying to take care of myself without hobbling around on crutches....it is really so liberating! I am married with two kids and I don't want to wear out my hubby with my needs too much so having this chair is perfect.

I start back to work tomorrow...I work from home and can just do all my work from the couch luckily.

I will keep reminding myself of the long process ahead of me. BTW, I own several pairs of crocs because they were one of the few shoes that did not hurt my toes with my MN. I was hoping to be done with them but I guess I will keep them a while longer while I recover!

Another shoe that worked really well for me that look normal are Toms shoes...of course I have to buy the men's shoes but the brown and black styles look just like the women's but they are a teensy bit wider in the toe box...and are nice and soft.

-Vicki

Robert said...

After six weeks my progress has been slower than hoped, with a few setbacks after over-doing it when I started to feel good. I hobbled for four weeks until I was able to walk fairly normally. However, after stripping wallpaper and painting a room I was worried I did permanent damage, but a shot of cortisone alleviated the pain and swelling. Last week I had an alcohol shot to deaden the persistent burning; pinching and stabbing pain I get at the end of the day that forces me to use cruise control on the drive home. My doctor says this pain is a partially a consequence of scar tissue breaking down and is normal. The wound on the bottom of my foot is actually healing nicely (helped by vitamin E). I rode the trainer for the first time in bike shoes yesterday for 75 minutes which felt fine when seated, but was sore later. While I'm disappointed that full recovery is likely months away it’s good to know my foot should eventually get better. The neuroma in my other foot I didn’t have surgery on gives me much more numbness and annoying bunched up sock sensation but doesn't hurt under normal circumstances. As an alternative to Crocs I’ve found I can get by walking gingerly in Clark's Wave shoes (with wide toe box) in the office or work boots with orthotics in the field for up to ½ mile. I highly recommend wearing comfy LL Bean rubber soled moccasins around the house.

taylor said...

Hi Everyone,

I am now 12 days post-op. Went to the doc today and had my stitches removed. My foot is pretty swollen still, and black and blue. The pain is starting to subside, I have switched over to Tylanol.

My Dr. told me that I could start walkin on my heal and try and lose my crutches. I am having a hard time bending my ankle up for some reason, maybe the swelling? Also, when I do bend my foot, or put any pressure on it, it feels as though my inscision is going to split open. Is this normal to the healing process, and did anybody else have troubles walking on their heal?

Taylor

mj said...

I found the best shoes ever today, I have been trying forever and other than Crocs, I couldn't find the other brand of shoes that were mentionned on the site in my region. Today I took my courage by the horn like we say and went to a hicking store here in Kingston, On. I tried a lot of style, lots of brand, but after a bit the salesman brought me a pair and said:" try this!!!" and then I fell in love and bought 2 pairs!!! The brand is KEEN and they have everything from the hicking boots (which I won't use for a while) to the semi dress shoe (which looks a lot beter than crocs) flat but with wide toe box... they also have summer sandals and all we need. Hopefully this helps somebody...I have quite a ways to go before surgery so I tought it could be helpful for others in my situation.

Julie said...

Hi
I am now almost 2 weeks post op. Lots of bruising on my toes but the incision on the bottom of my foot looks good. Sutures out on Thurday. My foot gets very swollen and painful. Don't think I will be able to return to work for a while yet. I work as a nurse in a prison and am on my feet for most of my 10 hour shifts, so think I will wait until I can get normal foot wear on. Julie

Anonymous said...

Gonna get me a pair of those hicking boots...unh huh.

Janet said...

I had my surgery 5 days ago. I was given a 1000mg painkiller a couple of hours after and have had no medication since. I also have the added complication of having an ankle prosthesis in the same foot as the neuroma. I am able to walk with the aid of a crutch, make my own drinks if no one is around. I do not have a surgical boot of any kind and the nurse changes a band aid every 48 hours. Don't hesitate, have the surgery.

Janet said...

Forgot to mention, I took Arnica Montana 200C for 2 days before and 2 days after surgery. I have some bruising but no swelling and not much pain. Hope this helps.

Emily said...

I'm now 7 weeks and a handful of days... this was weird... two days ago my last scab finally fell off, except for a very small piece. I picked at it and instead of the remaining scab falling off, a remaining stitch surfaced. I pulled and pulled (which was painful) and finally gave up. I went back to the dr. to find out that it was a stitch that was supposed to dissolve and didn't. My body was pushing it out. So, it had to be cut off. Just thought I'd share in case any of you experience the same thing. The dr. said that more could push out if they don't dissolve. I can cut them off as long my scar is not red and/or inflamed.

So, I've been wearing my New Balance full time now and my foot hurts! I'm not sure if it's just getting used to being back into a shoe - there is plenty of room for my good foot in the other shoe. I kind of felt like at this point I should be moving beyond pain. It's not a sharp pain, unless I hit it just right, but more of this marble STILL under my foot, shoe too tight, toes are numb uncomfortableness, I want to be done with this pain!

I typically rely on normal over the counter drugs and prescriptions as opposed to homeopathic methods. However, I read that tea tree oil can be used to deaden nerve endings. I may try this. Has anyone else had experience with tea tree oil?

Mary said...

Stumbled across this blog and have enjoyed (if that's the right word!) reading everyone's experiences of having a MN removed.

I'm in the UK and mine was removed 19 days ago. The op itsef was an easy experience and I've been very lucky that I've not really experienced any notable pain. I see that a lot of people on here have had theirs removed from under the foot. Mine was removed from the top and I ended up with just 3 stitches (dissolvable but they still took them out after 11 days)
Each day I have noticed an improvement in my ability to walk and today I sat in the car and pressed the pedals to see if there was any pain - luckily nothing! So it will be back to work next week for me.
Finding comfortable shoes has been a problem but today I found a soft pair of pumps that seem ok and invested in some slouch boots. I've been advised not to try heels for 6 weeks though confess I did try a pair of low heels on today but the 'stone' feeling was back immediately! I will not be doing that again for a while! I am only using the crutches when away from the house, but more as a safety net than anything else!
I'm so looking forward to getting back to my usual activities, particularly dancing and walking - something I have missed for more than a year now because of my MN.
Thanks again for this blog - its so nice to compare notes!

Anonymous said...

Two-feet says,
Hi all. Now 2.5 weeks out from having both feet done on the same day. Everything is great, left foot has just a band-aid on it but right foot still bandaged with gauze and wrap. Couldn't fit my right foot into a normal shoe/sandal but I was sick-and-tired of the surgical boot. So I went looking through my closet and dug out an old pair of sandals which had Velcro straps. They wouldn't fit on my bandaged foot, so I went to home depot and bought some velcro strips. I added those to the Velcro straps on my sandal and effectively added a great deal of width. Presto-chango, I'm now able to get about town in almost normal shoes. Much better than the boot. Hope this helps other MN folks as they work towards recovery. Thanks

Crash said...

Hi Everyone. Two weeks post-op. Stitches out today... no pain or discomfort. Here's the shocker... they told me I could take a very brief shower TOMORROW, but to keep my foot in a plastic bag and blot it dry immediately after showering. I had visions of an hour long steaming hot shower today! I asked when I could expect to take a normal shower, and they told me it would be another week!

Virtually no pain in my foot anymore. Surprisingly, when I do get a flare up, it's usually my toes or the top of the foot (away from the incision).

Take care,

Crash

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Just to say thank you for this blog. It must be time-consuming to advise, share. I thoroughly enjoyed your writing style - almost light and funnly but with some very helpful advice.

I'm considering surgery. I've been diagnosed with the problem for about eight months now. Changed footwear (which has helped a little)and had my third steriod injection today. The doc. won't adminster any more of these injections since he has said that the first two only provided temporary relief. So my choices he said are live with the pain, taking painkillers when nececessary, having specialised ortho...whatever, conventional surgery or some other freezing prcedure called Cryotherapy, by another specialist.

Suspect that I will opt for the conventional surgery, acknowledging the risks since this condition is severely cramping my style.

Thanks again,
Patricia

Anonymous said...

Two-feet says,

3 weeks out now from having both feet done on the same day. Saw Dr today and other than keeping foot as dry as possible and keeping a band aid with anti-bacterial cream on, I'm done. I ride my bike daily and have been driving since this last weekend. I wear my modified sandals when out and about and just wear the dreaded boots at home.
My only therapy is to massage the surgical sites to prevent scar tissue from forming inside the foot which could lead to pain down the road.
Thanks Chris for this nice blog, great company when your stuck just sitting all day.
Glad this is over with. Good luck to all.

Chris Freeland said...

Two-feet - Definitely keep up with the massages to break up scar tissue. It's painful & uncomfortable, I know, especially when the incision is still relatively fresh. But, important - I stopped after the 6th week and I started getting a hard spot on my foot and a return of pain in that space. It took another week of *really* painful massage to break that up and get back to where I was. I stopped after about 3 months and luckily that seems to have been far enough out.

TJblueyes said...

Back to the doctor today, surgery is scheduled for Friday, March 9. I asked for both at once. He says he never does both at one time, so will have the right foot done at a later time. I am so looking forward to getting my life back!!
Thanks Chris and everyone else for posting here. I'm not apprehensive at all because of all your wonderful stories!!

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being dumb... what is this "deep" massage and how to you do it? I want to keep that scar tissue away. Is it ever too late to start? My doctor never mentioned this.

Anonymous said...

This blog has been so helpful,thanks Chris for starting it.I had been suffering for almost three years and tried all the shot etc and finally found an orthopedic surgeon that said just do the surgury and get on with my life.I am a 55 year women and want to be able to just walk my usual 2 miles without pain.I had even stopped walking my Boston and we are both gaining weight!I also have R.A. so it is very important for me to keep the weight off to help my joint pain.My other foot has neuroma pain also but had the surgery 2 weeks ago. Had the sticthes removed yesterday and it was not painful but my foot is very brused.Doc said it was a crazy nerve and he had to dig it out of several of my toes,it was branching out in all directions. He said my recover might be slower with the my R.A. but I think I am doing really well. I still take a Lortab to sleep and my foot feels like its buzzing all the time with sharp pains now and then. I got it wet twice ,on day two and redid all my dressings and again on day 10 with no damage! I kept an ice pack behind my knee and it elevated like a good girl for 2 weeks like Chris and did nothing around the house. My poor husband was a trooper and did it all.I don;t know how one could possibly work after this for at least 2 weeks..Today is the first day I really feel good,no more heavy boot or crutches. My Crocs.Relief came to my door yesterday like a godsend!I put my orthotic inserts in them,the nodules on the bottom really irritate my feet Taking Ester C for healing.Goo luck to all and hope it works for me so I will do the other foot next.

Crash said...

Had my post-op exam by my surgeon yesterday. All went well. He said to expect the 'rock in the shoe' feeling as well as periodic nerve 'blasts' for the next ten to twelve weeks. He also said I could shower without the plastic bag over my foot!!! Woo Hoo!! I'm surprised he didn't mention anything about massaging out the scar tissue. Chris, what did they tell you? ie. when should you start the process, do you massage from the top or bottom of the foot, how long do you do it... etc?

Thanks,
Crash
29FEB12

Anonymous said...

6 weeks out and I still feel marbles (less intense). Dr said to give it another couple of months. Keep up massaging.

Deb

April said...

What I need to know from the women out there, is there hope to wear high heels again long after the surgery that is? I can't imagine not wearing them. I've been dealing with this for almost a year now and the doctor is setting up surgery as I post this. I've had 4 cortisone shots which has just delayed my pain(takes about and hour now before I'm in pain unlike before it was within 15 minutes of wearing any shoe)and I barely ever wear real shoes anymore only flip flops for the last 6 mths. So that's all I really want to know is there any women out there that has now begun to wear high heels again? I understand that it will be a while after surgery but I don't think I can live without my 50 plus pair of heels. Thanks, April P.s thanks for sharing your stories with us cause now I feel there is hope.

Anonymous said...

I'm nearly 8 weeks post-op, and I must admit I've really enjoyed keeping up with your stories here. It's been extremely helpful at each interval of my progress, especially because there is such limited information out there about neuroma surgery and recovery.

I was happily improving until this past week when I tried "easing" back into exercise by riding a stationary bike one day, and hitting some tennis balls another day. Now my foot is very mad at me! It's doing this horrible "pinching" throbbing feeling that I really haven't experienced since I had surgery.

After surgery I used crutches for 2 1/2 weeks, needed no pain meds other than Tylenol post-op, wore my "boot" for about 4 weeks, and have been regularly massaging tenderly both on the top and bottom of my foot. In short, I feel like I have been doing everything right! I guess I just overestimated how much exercise my foot could handle at this point. My main concern now is that I've done some sort of horrible damage; however, after reading some of your posts from 8+ weeks post-op, I'm starting to think that I just have to give it more time. (My fingers are crossed, anyway!)

Thanks again to you all - even though this is my first time posting, you've all helped me more than you know!

Amanda

watsonb01 said...

Hi

Could you possibly post a picture of your foot now that it has healed. Has the large gap between your 2nd and third toes closed up.

The reason I ask is that I just had surgery to remove 2 neuromas from my left foot and before the surgery I had no gap between the 2nd and 3rd toes but now I have and I am experiencing a lot of pain between these 2 toes and below that area. Where the other neuroma was seems to be fine.

Thanks

Barry

Pete Murkett said...

Hi,

I've been reading all the comments and have been really informative thanks!

I've had the surgery on the same foot and for the same toes 2nd & 3rd.

Did they go in from the top or bottom of the foot?
Mine is on the bottom so I am guessing recovery will be a bit longer than usual??

Pete

Stacey W said...

Had surgery 2/14. Had no pain afterwards because of the block. Once that was worn off, I had lots of weird feelings. Mostly burning and shooting pains over the next few days. I took meds for 4 days. I literally laid on the couch/bed for 4 days, 24 hour a day. My foot was up the ENTIRE time, even when sleeping. I had ice on it almost as much. I had little swelling or pain. By the 4th day I was hobbling around pretty good. I went back to work after 2 weeks (teaching 1st grade). Sore the 1st day. Once I got the fancy black shoe off, I moved into fuzzy Ugg like slippers. After a few days of those I am in tennis shoes today. I am not 100% and I have a little bruising and some numbness but in less than 3 weeks, I am almost there. Overall, a good experience.

watsonb01 said...

Hi

My surgery on both neuromas on my left foot was done from a single incision on the top of my foot. Done by a very good surgeon as I understand.

The incision has healed well and is only around an inch and a half long. I suffered from nightly pain around the incision until I started stretching the top of my foot by curling my toes over the edge of a stair and holding the stretch for 20 second or so at a time. This worked wonders and got rid of the pain in about 2 days. I now do this daily anyway as it definitely gives my toes greater flexibility.

Unfortunately for me 6 weeks post op I wake up every morning and can barely put my forefoot down on the ground. It feels like there is a large piece of rock or something under my foot. To alleviate it a bit I found I had to stand on a hard wooden floor and rock back and forth on my metatarsal heads to my toes continually increasing the pressure. I also massaged my foot with vaseline. This seems to loosen up what I can only think may be scar tissue. After that I could just about manage to walk on the foot but not for too long. Trouble is I seem to be back to square one each day and therefore I am not making any progress.

The surgeon was not exactly convinced that it was the neuromas that were causing me my pain anyway as the scan showed them to be pretty small. I am coming to that conclusion myself. Suspect either TTS or just a very thin metatarsal pad may be the cause.

Looks like it will be back to the metatarsal pads for me as I can't stand the pain anymore and I am afraid that walking on them in pain may just start a stump neuroma to form. Just hoping I have not made things worse as I can feel pain below the pad now that was never there before the surgery where I guess they cut the nerve.

I have the same issue with my right foot but I would never go through the surgery again so I wish I had not done the left one in the first place.

If you are thinking of surgery just be aware that it is not a quick and easy fix for us all. Sometimes it can make things worse.

If your surgeon is not absolutely sure that is what is causing the pain I personally would advise you against surgery.

I only went ahead with it because I wanted to be able to drive manual cars again which I could not do due to the pain in my left foot. Before surgery with the use of the metatarsal pads I was out of pain almost 90% of the year. Even when in pain I could walk through it without a limp. Now I have to hope that I can get back to the pre surgery stage.

For any of you who have not tried metatarsal pads I would advise youi make them up yourself. I tried over the counter ones but found them to be of little use. After experimenting with the positioning of the pad on a piece of foam backing I managed to get tremendous relief. However strangely enough the relief varied depending on the type of shoe I was wearing. Could not wear dress shoes at all, only trainers but at least I was in very little pain.

Sorry about the ramble but getting bored sitting about the house waiting for the pain to go away.

Hope all you fellow sufferers get better soon. It's not fun having pain in your feet.

Barry

Mary said...

Hi, I'm now just over 4 weeks post op and am doing well. As mentioned before, my surgery was via the top of my foot which I guess probably heals better than having the incision on the sole.

I'm now driving again and it's comfortable, though I would not like to have to do an emergency stop!

I am walking fine in flat shoes but my foot tells me when it's had enough. It then feels like there is no padding under the foot if that makes sense. It's not painful as such, more of a bruised feeling.

I have another appointment at the hospital in a week's time and expect to be signed off from them then.

As for high heels, I was originally told that it would take around 6 weeks before I should try using them again. Having slipped my foot into a shoe with a heel a couple of weeks ago, I could tell straight away that it wasn't right yet. I guess it will just take time! I too dread not being able to wear heels again!

The scar itself is healing well. I'm now using bio oil to reduce the appearance of the scarring. I wasn't told to deep massage though - I too would like to know how to do that - is it applicable if surgery has been from the top of the foot?

This is a really useful blog! I don't personally know anyone else who has had this very uncomfortable condition so it's nice to be able to compare notes with fellow sufferers.

Thanks again

Cassia said...

Thank you...I am having surgery on Monday on both of my feet. I'm freaked out about the surgery, yet I'm more worried about my family...we have 2 small children that I care for. Anyway, the pain that I've experienced over the past year has been excruciating. I have had to stop working out like I used to. It's been difficult to even do things with our children, run errands, etc. That's how bad the pain had gotten. It is comforting to read your blog! Thank you!!!!!!

watsonb01 said...

Cassia

Think very carefully about having it on both feet at the same time. My surgeon suggested it to me but I decided to just do my left foot to see how it went. Glad I did otherwise I would now be housebound 6 weeks post op and I don't think I would ever be able to drive again.

Other people at the same surgical clinic had 2 feet done at the same time and 8 days post op appeared to be doing well. They only had one removed from each foot whereas I had two removed from the one foot so maybe that makes a big difference.

My foot is probably around 30 times more painful than it was before the operation. I cannot even wear my old metatarsal pad in my shoe due to the pain. I think it must be sitting under the nerve that was cut (I suspect it was not correctly tucked away in a muscle as it is supposed to be). I just cannot walk through the shooting pain it causes. I am also worried that increased pressure on it will cause a stump neuroma to form. Never ever had a limp before but now I cannot imagine ever getting rid of it.

Also do a lot of reading about stump neuroma before going ahead. I did not, but since the operation I have found from reading that stump neuromas ALWAYS form after the operation, it's just a case that if the cut end of the nerve is implanted deep into muscle tissue then there will be less pressure on the stump and therefore it may be asymptomatic.

Ensure that your surgeon will be implanting the nerve into the muscle. This is a MUST. Just ask him.

Don't know what size your neuromas are but if they are large you will probably benefit short term but there is a good chance they may come back to haunt you anyway in the future probably even more painful than before so don't take it for granted that it is a permanent fix.

If you are able to get about relatively pain free with the use of met pads or something else at present then I would avoid the surgery at all costs. I wish I had.

I had one large neuroma prior to surgery which I had fixed using sclerosing injections. They were very sore and expensive but they fixed that one in around 3/ months without the risk of a stump forming and with no numbness either.

Sorry if I frighten you with this post but I felt pressurised into getting the surgery done and my surgeon indicated that it was fairly safe.

One thing I will finish with is that one of my friends had a neuroma removed 13 years ago and has not had a problem since. So obviously everyone is different. However all I am saying is once it is done there is no going back and you may live with the fear of more painful neuroma occuringing in the future.

I wish you all the best if you go ahead on Monday and know how afraid you must feel. I may just have been unlucky and maybe 6 months from now I will be better. However even if I am better in 6 months I will still be worried about the possibility of a stump forming which I understand can take years.

Good luck on Monday.

Please post how you get along. Would love to hear good news from someone who's had surgery.

Barry

Anonymous said...

Please, please read up about radiofrequency denervation (thermonuerolysis) before having surgery - it seems that it's not widely known about in the States, but is a minimally invasive therapy for MN - I've tried to highlight this in two previous comments on this blog - it can also help people with stump neuromas.

I live in Australia and had the treatment last week for MN in my left foot and will be going back in a month for the right. It takes about a month to see if it's been effective, but you can walk straight away (foot's numb for around 24 hours)

See the link to the outcome of a US scientific study on this therapy in my previous comment here on Chris's blog?

I will post my outcomes here in a couple of weeks.
Thx

Teresa said...

Hi All! This blog has been wonderful, it really helped me to prepare for the MN surgery and recovery process. Thank you!

I am currently 9 days post op MN surgery on my L foot. I am still limping around with my surgical boot. I cannot put pressure on the ball of my foot yet. The only day that was really rough for me was the 2nd day post-op. I was nauseated from the meds and was unable to put any pressure AT ALL on my foot. Since then, I have been able to get around when necessary, but would my foot would swell up if I did too much. So taking it easy.

I was wondering if there was anyone who works on their feet, walking, standing etc... I am a nurse and can't see working a 10 hour day (4 times a week)in the near future (7-8 hours on my feet). I have been off since Jan 2nd, and am due to go back to work on April 2nd (4 weeks post surgery), not sure if I will be able. Can anyone tell me when they were able to spend an extensive amount of time on their feet after MN surgery?

Thank you again to everyone!!

Emily said...

I tried to massage my foot to break up scar tissue. My foot has hurt for the last 5 days since doing that. I'm 10 weeks post-op, so I'm wondering if it was too soon. I'd love to hear what y'all have done.

MichaelPalmDesert said...

Chris, thanks for a great post... For those facing this issue, thought I would add my 2 cents. I am a 42 male, 5-8 145 and am still a competitive runner. Had issues for about 2 years tried ice, rest, injections, orthotics...all limited success. So 5 days ago I had the surgery between 3rd and 4th metatarsal. I was scared out of my mind.

Happy to report its been 5 days... Surgery itself lasted 30 minutes, total time in hospital was 4 hours, in fact I was out of there 2 hours after they started surgery. I was able to walk few steps on my own from wheelchair to car (I'm in a walking boot-shoe thing post surgery)...

To date zero norco, though I have had 4 ultram which are much lighter in nature than norco. By 3rd day I was walking around in the shoe boot thing a bit and on day 5 took trash out and drove about 10 minutes.

I share this because I was freaked out and while I know everyone reacts differently it was much easier than I thought so far... I go to get stitches out in 2. More days than real work begins to be able to walk normal, fit normal shoes, reduce swelling, break up scar tissue and hopefully resume running soon.

Bottom line... Keep your head up, think positive... Know it could be bad but might work out a bit better!

MJ said...

Hey, it's MJ again...

I went to the specialist yesterday, what my doctor had seen has 1 neuroma on the MRI is in fact 3!!! I got the cortisone injection yesterday, I have no idea how long it should take to work, but I don't see much of a difference this morning. I finally got used to my Orthotics, but other than holding my foot better, it didn't take the pain away. I now have to decide if I want the things taken out or try something else. I think I am just trying to delay getting surgery because I am so tired of the pain that I don't want more of it....

Anonymous said...

Hi MJ

My name is Kaz - before you decide on surgery, ask your specialist about radiofrequency denervation treatment for MN - It must be available somewhere in the States because this scientific study was done in the Stares

http://www.jfas.org/article/S1067-2516(11)00572-2/abstract

I had the procedure done last week here in Australia on my left foot and am walking on that foot and have already had relief from some of my symptoms, although it does take a month to see if it's been completely effective. They can also repeat the procedure if the symptoms have not completely resolved.

The procedure involves inserting a probe into the bifurcation of the nerve between the affected toes and burning the nerve to effectively kill it. The way I understand it is that the nerve dies within its nerve sheath, so if it regenerates (I believe there is a 7% chance of this happening) it regenerates within the nerve sheath and does not form a stump neuroma as can happen with a cut nerve after surgery. Also, if it grows back they can repeat the procedure. The success rate of t his procedure in Australia, anecdotally, is around 80% - currently it is performed in Melbourne and Cairns. As I have tried to highlight in previous comments on this blog, it is worth a try before going to surgery.

Best of luck
Kaz

MichaelPalmDesert said...

MJ, this is MichaelPalm Desert, I am now 7 days removed from surgery... Got clearance to go from surgical shoe to a croc shoe today, yes those crocs... Other than learning lesson hard way I need to keep the ball of foot and arch wrapped to keep some compression in the area, I am very happy with the progress.

Today I got my pathology results... My neuroma was 7/10ths of a CM which is about same as small frozen pea. I would say 95% of the time since my surgery I have had less pain than what I had with the neuroma.

Stay strong but I gotta say, I am excited about where I may be in another 2 or 3 weeks!

Anonymous said...

Emily,

I'm 8.5 weeks post surgery and I'm having the same problem. My dr told me to use my orthodics and keep massaging. I just starting wearing my orthodics so I don't know if they're helping yet. I still have a marble! Deb

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