Day 28 Post MN Surgery: Exercising!
I had surgery four weeks ago tomorrow and I'm doing great. When my stitches were removed, the nurse urged me to give my feet a lot of rest for a full four weeks; no matter how good they felt. I've done a fair amount of walking (even shopping) this past week. But I decided not to exercise for the full four weeks. So this morning was my first time on my semi-recumbent bike. And my feet did not bother me at all. My incisions are already a fine line! (The darker marks you see are either black marker that hasn't completely disappeared or from the stitches.)
The one thing that has been a bit of a surprise to me is that my feet feel the most sore first thing in the morning. I would have expected them to feel their best after a full night of rest. When I'm out and about, walking in comfortable shoes, they feel better. It's as if I have to break them in daily. When they first hit the floor in the morning, they still feel tender. And sometimes they are a bit sore at night. But there have been times, the last couple of days, when I will suddenly realize a period of time has gone by and I haven't even thought about my feet. That's a big turning point in recovery. Initially and for the first two to three weeks, there isn't a moment in the day when you are unaware of your feet. I am still very conscious about protecting them whenever another person is near me. The possibility of my foot being stepped on is a concern. And it probably will be for a while.
I am so glad I had this surgery. Since the pathology of both removed nerves was positive for Morton's Neuroma, I'm anticipating a successful outcome (no more neuroma pain) when my feet are fully healed. There is no indication otherwise so far. And the recovery has been smooth and steady. I would be so mad at myself right now if I had chickened out and only done one foot. I can't tell anyone else what they should do, but for me it just wasn't that bad. The pain was not intense. And having to be off my feet for a while was just inconvenient; not a hardship. Even if the outcome was not 100% successful, I would not regret the surgery - because you never know if you don't try.
I do believe choosing the right surgeon is a key factor in not only the surgical success, but the recovery. Also, each person heals differently and I would assume that every neuroma is different. The size of the neuroma and its placement would obviously create differing degrees of trauma to the foot. Some people have more than one neuroma per foot. I think I shared this previously, but in the first week especially, I wondered why I felt the right incision more than the left. Just more stinging. Not severe pain. After the bandages were removed, it was obvious. He had to make a longer incision in my right foot than in my left. It's probably only another quarter inch longer, but just that little bit more resulted in a little more pain. But nothing a little hydrocodone couldn't control! I was prescribed 5 - 10 mg. Lortabs as needed and I never had to take more than one 5 mg. tablet every four to seven hours. I think I may be a little tougher than I give myself credit for, but I really don't consider myself to have a high pain tolerance. I hate pain. So I would tell you the truth if I considered the pain severe. I had frozen shoulder for the second time recently and THAT is severe pain.
I'm doing so well that I'm tired of talking about my feet. This may be the last update. But I did want to share my experience on my blog for the sake of other patients who are looking for personal experiences with this surgery. And I will say again that if you are anywhere near Nashville, TN, make an appointment with Dr. James Yu at TOA. He's a nice guy and a wonderful surgeon with an excellent reputation!