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Has anyone had a neurectomy?

(87 Posts)
FeetStreet Thu 25-Jul-13 22:13:59

Hi, I'm booked in for a foot neurectomy and have been told it will be very painful... I'd be really grateful to hear anyone else's experiences as it's come along quickly and I'm nervous!

Footle Sat 03-Aug-13 10:46:12

Sounds as if it could be, doesn't it ? But there's a lot you can do by changing shoes, getting orthotics ... and sorry to say it but maybe finding something to take the place of running ? Surgery is the last resort.

orangeflutie Sat 03-Aug-13 22:56:58

Hmm not sure about surgery being a last resort. It depends whether you feel happy living with restrictions. I couldn't accept not being able to run. I had to stop running whilst waiting for surgery and tried cycling, going to the gym and walking. However eventually it all became too painful and I felt quite depressed as exercise was something I really enjoyed and helped with stress.
I don't know if you feel the same about exercise Jochocchip? My surgeon was also a keen runner so I think he understood.

orangeflutie Sat 03-Aug-13 23:02:31

Sorry jchocchip.

Footle Sun 04-Aug-13 07:53:08

Isn't that how everyone feels about exercise ?
Surgery is the last resort because it doesn't always have the desired effect, and it's irrevocable ( and expensive , whoever's paying the bill).

orangeflutie Sun 04-Aug-13 13:12:17

Footle not everyone feels the same about exercise. Some people hate it even though it has benefits.

Agree that surgery is not always successful and expensive. However each case is different. Where surgery has a high success rate it moves further up the list. Also for many people surgery isn't the last resort, it is often the only option if they want to carry on living.

Apologies to OP for hijacking.

Footle Sun 04-Aug-13 15:09:57

Sorry, I just meant surgery for Morton's N has been explained to me as the last resort, following steroid injection ( made it worse ), shoe-swapping, orthotics, and just waiting-and -seeing, which I have definitely come to the end of ! I desperately need it to work ,and I'm very encouraged by your story.
Thanks again for posting about it.

orangeflutie Sun 04-Aug-13 21:12:51

You're welcome and I hope all goes well for you x

FeetStreet Mon 05-Aug-13 08:57:28

Hello, I'm back! Interesting to read your situations and feelings about surgery. I'm having a wobble about it because (and I know how silly this might sound at this stage, three days pre-op) I'm worried it's been diagnosed as the wrong thing. The thing is, when I had my first ultrasound, the sonographer immediately said, "Ah, the problem here is that you have a ruptured plantar plate" and when I came home and read about that it did seem to fit my symptoms. I saw that you mentioned a weird clunking toe, footle? That's my biggest problem. If I walk straight, my fourth toe does a kind of snapping/clunking/crunching thing which startles me and then goes as quickly as it came. Is that anything like yours is? However, when I've seen the podiatrists since, they've said that the tenderness underfoot is classic Morton's neuroma, and that with a plantar plate the toe would be up in the air more, not fixed down. When I went to the doctor first time around I said that I'd go as far as to have my toe removed, I was so sure that the problem was in the toe!

Interested to see what your gp says, jchocchip. Mine is in the area where there is bursitis too, although I'm a bit unsure about what that is.

Like you all say, having surgery is a massive thing, and it could either change life for the better (I've been going through this for nine years now, so I'm pretty desperate to be able to walk freely once again - something I thought I'd never do again only a year ago, before diagnosis) but there is a chance it will make things worse...

Footle Mon 05-Aug-13 12:39:36

Hi FeetStreet , hope you had a good week.
I know nothing about plantar plates but if the ultrasound shows a ruptured anything, presumably the surgeon will un-rupture it as far as possible ( I'm picturing china plates and superglue, or those little lines of staples you get on antique serving dishes ) and also look for other damage in the area ?
You should get a chance for a quick chat with the surgeon before s/he starts the day's operation list, and you could repeat what the sonographer said.
I'd hope the surgeon would act on whatever looks as if it could be giving you problems.
By the way, my hospital instructions say healing may be quicker if you take 1g vitamin C tablet every day afterwards for 6 weeks. You might like to try it - I'm going to.

FeetStreet Mon 05-Aug-13 16:12:04

Hi Footle, yes, lovely thanks. Last chance for a break for a while!

That's great advice, thanks. I wasn't told anything about Vit. C, but it makes sense. I'll get some this evening when I stock up the house.

I'm sure the operation is just as you describe it grin. The podiatrist had in the past said that I should be hoping it's a neuroma as it's a simpler op, going through the top of the foot rather than the bottom, as they have to do for a plantar repair. I spoke to the surgeon about it briefly and he said that my foot doesn't look like it has a major plantar rupture. It's just the feeling in my toe, like it's not joined on quite right which makes me worried about it. How does your toe 'clunk' as you put it? Is it when you walk and it is extended as you push off? And what kind of pain is it? Sorry for all the questions - I just would love to know if this particular thing really is neuroma pain and whether it's likely to be fixed. I have a whole ton of issues in this foot (arthritic bunion, small plantar rupture, bursitis, neuroma all diagnosed) and I'd love to have some idea of what might feel better post-op.

A nurse relative of my husband's said that I should start taking painkillers the night before the operation to get them into my system, so that the pain does hit too hard when the anaesthetic wears off. I don't know if this is something your hospital mentioned?

I hope you've had a good week and are feeling more settled about your op than I am!

Footle Tue 06-Aug-13 19:45:11

Painkiller the night before sounds like a good idea, especially because if they put local anaesthetic in around your ankle before doing the GA, it's not pleasant. I don't know if they will do this but had it before the bunion op. But realistically, will there be much paracetamol or whatever left in your system by the time of the surgery ?

My toe clunks badly with the first few steps I take out of bed. It feels as if it has come loose , and there's some sharp pain. After a bit it seems to swell and become a better fit.

I hope yours is just a neuroma so he can leave the sole of the your foot well alone. I had my pre-op but the nurse had no info at all on likely recovery time. You asked if I have someone to look after me : yes , my DH is brilliant , much better than I am if he needs looking after. He hates being ill so much that I tend to keep my distance if possible.

Sorry your feet are already such a problem. I'm much older than you but am lucky to have minimal arthritis so far. I will be travelling tomorrow so this may be goodbye till after your operation. I hope you'll post again as soon as you can ; all ops are different and other people's experiences can only take you so far. I'll be looking to see how you're doing.

jchohcchip , have you got any further with your diagnosis ?

Footle Thu 08-Aug-13 09:57:32

Good luck for today, FeetStreet. Hope it all goes well and you recover quickly.

FeetStreet Thu 08-Aug-13 20:06:30

Hi footle, so sorry to have disappeared; I got this new wireless gadget in preparation for the bedrest and in setting it up I burnt out our modem (top tip - only ever use the 9v plug which came with the product...).

Thank you so much for your well-wishes. I had the op today and it went better than I could have hoped for. The initial knee-block I had put in was unpleasant - they send electric shocks through your leg for what seems like an eternity- but you might be familiar with that already. Then the actual operation took 10-15 minutes. They had 80's soft rock music in the background and a lovely nurse held my hand and talked enough to distract me from the light tugging I could feel. After they'd finished they showed me a sample pot with two bursas in it- the surgeon said that they just popped out on doing the incision so not as much nerve may have come out because they will have caused the greatest problems.

I'm glad you've got a brilliant dh. I've realised how important that is at a time like this. How long is it until your op now, footle? Sorry if this is long/waffly/full of mistakes: it's the combination of new gadget and not worn off sedative! Speak soon.

Footle Thu 08-Aug-13 20:32:23

How exciting ! I don't know about knee blocks, in fact never heard of them. I'm having a GA - would have preferred not to, but he insisted that it would be less complicated and should mean I'm sure of getting home the same evening. This coming Monday.

Is a bursa a kind of bobble of fluid that has been pressing on the nerve/s ? They hadn't identified those with ultrasound had they ? maybe mine will turn out to be the same and pop out easily too.

I'm quite nervous, not really of the op but in case I end up less mobile than I am now. I walk very well but only for a short time before it gets too painful.

The modem sounds exciting too. You could have wired it up to do your own knee-blocking ... Enjoy your bed rest while you can , it doesn't happen often while the children are small.

FeetStreet Thu 08-Aug-13 23:40:28

Yes, it was kind of exciting in that I felt like something pro-active was happening, at last! It does feel very odd having this bedrest too. I haven't had an hour like this for five years! However, I'm nervously awaiting the end of the anaesthetic... I would much rather have gone with GA too, but I was told that the podiatry clinic I go to is much better at these neurectomies than the general hospital, and you can only have sedation at the clinic (which set in an hour after the op, strangely enough).

Anyway, I'm glad you're all set up, and yes, you might find you have surprise bursas too. The looked like white stringy sort of balls of bacon fat. The surgeon says they were attached to the nerve so causing pain. I'll be interested to hear how yours goes too and what they find. Take care.

orangeflutie Fri 09-Aug-13 13:12:24

FeetStreet good to hear your op went wellsmile Make sure you get plenty of rest and wish you a speedy recovery x

FeetStreet Fri 09-Aug-13 13:52:35

Thanks orangeflutie! I'm having a good rest smile

FeetStreet Fri 09-Aug-13 13:53:02

x

Footle Fri 09-Aug-13 17:43:07

Are you in much pain ?

FeetStreet Fri 09-Aug-13 19:32:35

No, nothing like the pain I was expecting. I think it'll be a different matter when I'm moving around, but when I'm lying down (all the time) it just feels like my toes are being pulled apart. I'm taking co-dydramol. You'll be pleased to hear that one of the nurses who'd had bunion surgery said that a neurectomy wouldn't be as bad as that for healing.

Footle Fri 09-Aug-13 21:54:12

Thanks for that, it is what I was expecting, what with bunions involving sawing bones etc.
The pulling toes thing sounds unpleasant but doable, on the understanding that it will get better before too long.
Stay in bed as long as you can. There were some French courtesans known as Les Grandes Horizontales ..

FeetStreet Fri 09-Aug-13 22:10:08

Aha yes I've read the book called 'les grandes horizontales'. That's me for this week, but with a bit less excitement (and a lot less syphilis thank God)!

You should breeze this, having had bunion surgery wink

Footle Sat 10-Aug-13 21:16:22

How is Day 2 ?

FeetStreet Sat 10-Aug-13 23:39:47

Day two better in some ways- less pain in foot- worse in others- back ache and tired of lying in bed! Sounds silly but I feel a bit claustophobic not being able to put my leg down and move. When I do, for showering etc. it does become quite painful. Still, small price to pay if it does fix things in the end. How long until your op, now, footle?

Footle Sun 11-Aug-13 06:59:51

Tomorrow afternoon. Yesterday was a bad foot day : reminded me why I'm doing this.
I know what you mean about feeling trapped.
Get well.

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