Morton's Neuroma Surgery: 4 Years, 1 Month Later
I've been asked repeatedly to give an update on my long term results and I try to respond in the comments when asked. But I know I have probably neglected to respond every time. And when I recently passed the four year mark, I started to think that perhaps I should write a whole new blog post just to bring those readers up to date.
The reason I originally wanted to share my MN journey was because most of the people who had gone online and shared information about MN at the time were those who had bad experiences. I found one person who had blogged helpful and reassuring information about his recovery and I wanted to do the same. I went into the procedure expecting to have good results and to do everything in my power to heal properly.
I was told by some people that this was an excruciatingly painful surgery with a difficult recovery; that often the results were not worth going under the knife. But my surgeon told me most of his patients had good results and that he expected a good outcome for me as well. I reasoned that the sooner (and younger) I had the surgery, the better results I would probably have. I was so confident in the outcome, I had surgery on both feet on the same day. I figured if I was going to have to sit around with one foot up, taking pain meds, I might as well sit around with both feet up and not have to go through the whole process twice. I have never regretted my decision.
For details on my preliminary recovery, my original posts and progress reports are still accessible on my blog. To make it easy for you, here are the links:
I have answered a lot of specific questions in the comments under my posts; especially the first post. So please forgive me if I don't answer the same questions repeatedly. The answers are there if you take the time to read the comments.
Four years out from surgery, I'm doing just fine. You can barely even see my scars. And most of the time my feet don't bother me. I have not, so far, ever developed another neuroma. I am able to walk on my treadmill, use my elliptical, ride my recumbent bike and do other forms of exercise without pain. I have never been a runner, nor do I ever plan to be.
I still don't tolerate shoes well that put a lot of pressure on the balls of my feet, like high heels. I can wear heels for limited time periods without discomfort. But if I'm on my feet a lot while wearing them, or try to wear them all day, I will suffer some consequences. The pain is not as severe as the neuromas were. But my feet let me know that they don't like being abused in the language of aching and soreness. When this happens, I know I'm paying the consequences of my own choice to wear heels for too many hours. And I don't do it very often. I'm almost 57 years old. I know a lot of people my age (and younger) whose feet hurt when they're on them all day. Most of them have never had neuroma surgery. I've read that we lose the fat pads in the balls of our feet as we age. So I have no way of knowing if I'm managing a post-neuroma surgery issue or if I'm just getting older. I don't notice any swelling anymore, even when my feet are sore. But I will tell you that eating gluten does affect my feet in the form of inflammation. When I remove gluten, my feet rarely bother me. When I am eating gluten regularly, my feet are far more sensitive and achy. And I have other symptoms of gluten sensitivity, even though I am not allergic and I don't get sick.
Before my surgery, I could't even wear tennis shoes comfortably. I couldn't tolerate any shoe that put even a slight squeeze or pressure on my foot. Any fit at all triggered nerve pain. I was limited to Croc sandals (rubber soles) and Merrells. I still love Croc sandals with rubber soles. They make cute sandals these days; not just the clogs everyone is familiar with. The sandals I'm wearing in this picture are Crocs. But I also wear boots in the winter and tennis shoes comfortably now. No nerve pain. I choose my boots, sandals and shoes for comfort but I don't wear ugly shoes. It's no longer hard to find cute shoes and sandals that fit well and feel good.
When I see those extremely high heels and platforms, I cringe. I would never think of wearing shoes like that again. I used to. And that's probably what caused my neuromas. I would advise younger women to prioritize the health of their feet over high-heel fashion. I am not even tempted by outrageously high heels at this point because I've forgotten how to walk in them. I would hurt more than my feet if I tried to go back to those styles.
My mom has been gone since 1987. But before her cancer diagnosis, I remember a day when we were at the mall together and she was looking at shoes. I made fun of her. I was in my twenties and she was in her forties. I'll never forget her telling me, "Shari, you will also choose shoes for comfort one day." I wish I could tell her how many times I reflect on her words and wholeheartedly agree. She was actually right about so many things. And I wish often that we could laugh about the aging process together.