Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Paroneal Tendon Repair

Well, after a year and a half of living with a swollen, painful right ankle, my podiatrist finally figured out what was going on!  My paroneal tendon (the one that goes behind your ankle) was slipping out of place, causing it to tear lengthwise.  There was no injury that caused this to occur; it just started happening one day!  After a few months in a boot, the swelling decreased drastically, which allowed the tendon to slip out of place even easier!  So surgery was the only answer.

When the doctor got in there and took a look at my tendon, he was surprised just how long the tear was.  It was a beast!  He was surprised that I wasn't in more pain than I was.  He said it was like a hose sliced down the side and laid open like a hot dog bun.  So he stitched that up.  He also made the groove in my bone deeper where the tendon sits.  While he was at it, he noticed two separate spots where I had an extra (and unnecessary) muscle attached to my tendon, called a "muscle belly," and they were helping to pull my tendon out of place.  So he detached and cauterized those.  All in all the incision was about 5 inches long!  He said it was a mess in there, but he's happy with how it all turned out.  I hate hearing that things were worse than expected, but it is nice to have a confirmation that surgery really was the best choice.

The day of surgery 

One week post-op.  He was quite alarmed at the degree of swelling I had!

Normal, skinny toes vs. sausage toes.

Two weeks post-op.  Swelling was improved, but a bit of the incision looked like it might have opened up...most likely as a result of me trying to carry the baby while hopping on one foot.  I lost my balance and had to use my bad foot to catch myself.  That was my first time attempting to handle the baby's nap on my own, and I have since realized that I can't do it without help!  Thankfully I've had a lot of people offer to help, and I've humbled myself enough to accept their offers!

I'm now almost three weeks post-op and I had my stitches removed today.  In two weeks I'll go in for an ultrasound to see how well things are healing.  If everything looks good, I'll be able to start putting weight on my foot, walking with a boot!  Wouldn't that be exciting!

The pain was well-controlled for the first week, but after that it seemed like meds weren't making a difference.  There are times when the pain is pretty bad, but for the most part I can ignore it.  I've been told to expect that it will take a full six months before I feel completely healed, but it'll be worth it to not be in pain forevermore!  There's a super good chance that my ankles are symmetrical, so I just have to hope that the same thing doesn't ever happen to my left ankle!

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