Recovering From Foot Surgery: What it was Really Like

Exactly one year ago, my husband and I had just gotten back from taking an 11-day trip to Japan for our 10th anniversary. That was where my foot problems had started – about halfway through the trip my left foot began hurting so much that it began to be difficult to walk very much. After months and months of wearing foot braces and walking boots, it was finally determined that I would need surgery.

I had surgery on February 4th of this year – it’s been a little more than 15 weeks now. I would say I am about 85% recovered. There’s still a long way to go on building up my leg and foot muscles since they were out of use for so long, and I still don’t have quite the same range of motion that my other foot has, but I expect that over time it will continue to improve.

I had never had any sort of surgery before, so I really didn’t know what to expect. For those who may be in similar situations, or are just genuinely interested, I thought I would write a bit about what the whole experience has been like. Each person is different and heals at different speeds, but the following is what it has looked like for me.

***I won’t include any pictures until the end – there are some who may not want to see them – THIS IS YOUR WARNING, there are post-surgery foot pictures at the end of this post***

Feb 4 – Day of surgery – I was most nervous about being put under anesthesia since I had never experienced that before. It was an outpatient procedure, I went in early that morning and was supposed to be home by the early afternoon. For those who are wondering, this surgery was to address my posterior tibial tendon, which is a tendon that supports the arch of the foot and connects to the calf muscle. (I have flat arches and the arch was “collapsing” so that my foot was not supporting me correctly.) The technical name of the surgery was super long, and the only thing I remember about it was the word “osteotomy,” which involves cutting into the bone and for my situation, placing metal grafts in two places in my foot. I ended up coming out with four incisions, three on my foot and one higher up on my calf (they had to do a calf muscle lengthening procedure).

I remember them wheeling me back to the operating room and seeing those big lights above me. I expected them to ask me to count backwards from 10, but as soon as they put the mask over my nose and mouth, I remember nothing else except waking up in the recovery area. The surgery took between 2-3 hours, and I woke up with a huge splint and wrapping on my foot. I wasn’t in a ton of pain because the doctor had injected a pain blocker into my foot which would slowly wear off over the next couple of days. It was weird not being able to feel my foot or toes, but so far it wasn’t too terrible.

Upon getting home and “walking” into the house (I was using a knee scooter) I suddenly felt extremely nauseous and threw up. I thought it was due to the anesthesia, but I would later find out it was a reaction to the pain pills they prescribed me.

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