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recently had bone spur surgery

by Susan
(Bennington, Oklahoma USA)

Back in April I had a bone spur removed from my ankle I did exactly as the doctor said and I was NWB for at least two months and I was cautious and careful and here it is almost January and I think I have more pain now and at times it feels like me foot is burning and it has sharp pains going through it. I just don't understand I thought the surgery was supposed to help and at times I kinda have my regrets and wished I hadn't had the surgery cause I wasn't in this much pain then. I just need some relief.


RESPONSE

Hi Susan,

I am sorry to hear that your surgery was unsuccessful. I hope prior to making the decision to have surgery you thought through the pros and cons of this elective surgery.

I also hope your surgeon gave a balanced presentation when discussing the proposed surgery and that it was pointed out to you that there was a real possibility that you could actually be worse off after surgery. In answering questions from many readers, more often than not, they were not given an honest discussion to the fact that they could actually end up in worse shape then before the surgery.

In any event you are now left with an ankle that is more painful then it was prior to surgery.

If you only had a bone spur removed, that is generally a straight forward procedure. Essentially an over-growth of bone is removed and the incision is closed up. Depending where on your ankle the bone spur was located could be a precipitating factor in that certain parts of the ankle are harder to reach surgically than other parts.

So there are two potential issues here. The first would be the possibility that the bone spur was only the tip of the iceberg and there was actually a larger problem going on in the ankle and it was missed.

If I knew where the spur was located or had been able to see an x-ray I could be of more value to you, but I do know that many bone spurs are caused by an underlying problem and this underlying problem can be causing issues that are beyond the visible bone spur.

The second issue is the surgical dissection issue. Because of the nature of the ankle it can be difficult to reach certain parts of the ankle. The reason for this is because all the tendons and vessels that affect the function of the foot pass through the ankle and in an effort to get to the "bone spur", these structures must be protected.

To this point there is a chance that there may have been some damage done to the surrounding structures that were near the bone spur.

For example, during the surgery there may have been some damage done to the nearby structures. Damaging a tendon or nerve perhaps could leave you with ongoing pain, possibly worse than the original issue.

The other potential problem may have occurred when the incision was closed. Many times if excessive scarring occurs, this too could adversely affect the outcome, as those structures I just mentioned can get trapped in the scar tissue, causing pain when you try and walk.

I believe you when you say you followed your surgeon's instructions, being non-weightbearing, etc. and this should have reduced chances of scarring.

One thing you could consider trying is physical therapy. You do not mention having had any and in general the earlier you start physical therapy, the more effective it is. So that would be one thing to consider as it is non-invasive and you basically have nothing to lose.

If you are not interested in trying physical therapy, the only other suggestion I could give you would be to get a second opinion by a doctor in your area. An MRI might be very helpful to see what you are left with (after the surgery).

The problems that you are left with as a result of the surgery, may or may not be fixable. If you get a second opinion and more surgery is recommended, before you consent to further surgery, get a third opinion. The worst thing you could do is have more surgery that might actually leave you in more pain than you have now. Be very careful about further surgery.

Marc Mitnick DPM
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Jan 01, 2015
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My surgery
by: Susan

Well I can say that it was at the back of my foot and it had something wrapped around it that he had to cut and then bridge back together. But he said it was all successful. Only it doesn't feel that way.

Like I stated previously, see about getting a second opinion and then weigh all your options carefully.

Marc Mitnick DPM

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