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bob76farmer
@bob76farmer

Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 04, 2018

Weakness, fatigue after foot surgery

Posted by @bob76farmer, Mon, Dec 3 8:45pm

I had foot surgery 7/25, screw put in a stress fracture and torn tendon on top of same foot reattached. Cast from toes to knee for 8 weeks with no weight bearing on that foot. Since cast was taken off I have felt very weak and fatigued, both legs and all of my body. Had a blood test, all numbers look good except Testosterone, lost 100 points, down to 213 from 313 10 months ago, could this be the problem? I'm 76 years old and very active or at least I was. Any help would be appreciated.

REPLY

Hello @bob76farmer, welcome to Connect. I'd like to invite @lioness, @mamacita, and @techi to share their experience with recovery from foot surgery. Although they may have not had the same reasons for having the foot surgery, they may have some similar experiences with recovery.

@bob76farmer, I have also had surgeries (ankle fusion, knee replacement, and most recently a rotator cuff repair) that involved long periods of not using a joint that resulted in weakness. The ankle fusion left everything in my foot weak, the worst of which was the actual bones on the bottom of my fee that softened and had to be retrained on how to handle the weight of my body (was like stepping on glass every step!). However, I did experience a bit of fatigue overall as the time spent being sedentary during recovery greatly diminished my stamina and cardio overall. It took a long time to get back. It is good that your numbers look good besides your testosterone being low. Does your provider think the testosterone is the issue for the fatigue? Is it possible that having to sit around for 6 weeks affected your system overall? How is your foot feeling pain wise?

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @bob76farmer, welcome to Connect. I'd like to invite @lioness, @mamacita, and @techi to share their experience with recovery from foot surgery. Although they may have not had the same reasons for having the foot surgery, they may have some similar experiences with recovery.

@bob76farmer, I have also had surgeries (ankle fusion, knee replacement, and most recently a rotator cuff repair) that involved long periods of not using a joint that resulted in weakness. The ankle fusion left everything in my foot weak, the worst of which was the actual bones on the bottom of my fee that softened and had to be retrained on how to handle the weight of my body (was like stepping on glass every step!). However, I did experience a bit of fatigue overall as the time spent being sedentary during recovery greatly diminished my stamina and cardio overall. It took a long time to get back. It is good that your numbers look good besides your testosterone being low. Does your provider think the testosterone is the issue for the fatigue? Is it possible that having to sit around for 6 weeks affected your system overall? How is your foot feeling pain wise?

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Hello Justin
Thanks for responding to my post, I appreciate very much being able to hear of others experiences, sounds like you've been through a lot. I will see my Doctor next week about the low testosterone number. I'm sure that having a cast on for 8 weeks affected my overall system, but the cast has been off for 12 weeks now and I don't see much progress in improved stamina and strength. I did a 2 mile walk yesterday and I felt like I had run 20 miles. I've had very little pain in my foot even immediately following surgery. I've had swelling and what I would call discomfort.

@bob76farmer

Hello Justin
Thanks for responding to my post, I appreciate very much being able to hear of others experiences, sounds like you've been through a lot. I will see my Doctor next week about the low testosterone number. I'm sure that having a cast on for 8 weeks affected my overall system, but the cast has been off for 12 weeks now and I don't see much progress in improved stamina and strength. I did a 2 mile walk yesterday and I felt like I had run 20 miles. I've had very little pain in my foot even immediately following surgery. I've had swelling and what I would call discomfort.

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Hi, @bob76farmer, welcome to Connect. This is Mamacita, I am 66 years young, and am in my tenth week following foot surgery for Hammertoes. I used to think that it was pure vanity to want my feet to look more normal. But when I started having sharp pain alternating with numbness, I researched the condition more thoroughly. Turns out, Hammertoes will affect ones balance, and will worsen back issues. The surgery was not without pain, even with the obligatory pain medication. I am no stranger to pain, having had three back surgeries and lived with worsening Fibromyalgia since I was a teenager. I was ordered to wear a special boot when I absolutely had to get up off the sofa. I used a walker to get around for at least a month. The swelling bothered me, and the black and blue discoloration was a bit scary looking. But i knew it was all for the best, and my doctor is top notch. So, I plan to have the other foot done very soon. Just get it over with! So what if i won't get back to the gym until spring? This time around I will have meals frozen ahead and lay in a suppy of my favorite books, soda, and water. I will know what to expect and just be done with it! My energy level is so much better now that I am walking more properly. Feet flat on the ground, like they are supposed to be. Well, one foot, anyway. I suspect that you will have just as good results in the future.A two mile walk? You should be proud of yourself! Keep in close touch with your doctor. Make sure you stay hydrated and have fresh food to eat. Try to get out of the house every day, even if it is just to go to the mailbox. These are all suggestions. Having surgery throws a kink into our schedules, and that slows us down, physically and mentally. But time will tell. Be gentle on yourself. Take plenty of time to recover and know that there are much better days ahead. Please let me know how you are doing. We can compare notes!

Mamacita

Good morning, @bob76farmer, it occurred to me as I was waking up this morning that I left out one very important piece of information from my post yesterday. My daughter, who is a licensed PTA would have my head if I failed to bring up the importance of physical therapy after your recovery. It is such an important part of the whole recovery process, I feel. My toes were stiff and numb, and I could not move them independently after surgery. Until I started manipulating them according to my daughter's directions. Be very careful when you "hire" your PT team. Try your best to get a group with excellent recommendations, from friends, family, your doctor, etc. All PT groups are not run the same. Some appear to be in the business only to rake in as much money as they possibly can. Others get it right. They actually work with the patients to get better movement. Good success to you , sir!

Mamacita

@bob76farmer Thank you Justin for inviting me to let Bob know about foot weakness This is Lioness I had a fracture on my left foot and after I wore a boot for awhile the Dr had me do some P T which I needed as the foot was stiff after being in the boot Later I had surgery on my right foot after each one I felt weakness from my feet. The surgery a bunion removed took alot out of me but P.T. as mamacita said is very important using an ice pack on the feet helps keeps inflammation down also Epsom salt soaks after the foot is healed from surgery helps but all this helps to get rid of the weakness.

Hello Mamacita and Lioness, Thank you both for you're responses. You both put great emphasis on doing PT. The surgeon did not order any PT, I don't know why, unless it was to protect the re-attachment of the torn tendon. I see him next week (it's a 200 mile round trip) and that will be my first question to him. I still think I have something else that is causing my weakness and low energy. Blood test eliminated anemia as a potential cause but did show a low testosterone number, see doctor tomorrow to discuss that. Going to try to walk more, I've always believed that walking and running heal.

@bob76farmer

Hello Mamacita and Lioness, Thank you both for you're responses. You both put great emphasis on doing PT. The surgeon did not order any PT, I don't know why, unless it was to protect the re-attachment of the torn tendon. I see him next week (it's a 200 mile round trip) and that will be my first question to him. I still think I have something else that is causing my weakness and low energy. Blood test eliminated anemia as a potential cause but did show a low testosterone number, see doctor tomorrow to discuss that. Going to try to walk more, I've always believed that walking and running heal.

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@bob76farmer Your welcome glad your walking that is a start maybe when you see the surgeon he will then order P.T.this is so important for you to get well if you don't your muscles will atrophy Good luck yes first question.

What is muscle atrophy?

@pjss48

What is muscle atrophy?

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@pjss48 Its own he wasting away of the muscle because of lack of movement so P.T.gets the muscles moving left alone you,ll not be able to move

@pjss48

What is muscle atrophy?

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As @lioness said, muscle atrophy occurs when you are unable or don't use a muscle for a long period of time. Typically, people experience muscle atrophy (loss) post surgery because you are unable to move a body part until you are healed. From my own experience, not following a PT's guidance on recovery plans can accelerate atrophy and make recovery harder than it needs to be. Also, for me, dealing with the loss of muscle from surgeries is one the hardest things I struggle with, both physically and mentally.

@bob76farmer

Hello Mamacita and Lioness, Thank you both for you're responses. You both put great emphasis on doing PT. The surgeon did not order any PT, I don't know why, unless it was to protect the re-attachment of the torn tendon. I see him next week (it's a 200 mile round trip) and that will be my first question to him. I still think I have something else that is causing my weakness and low energy. Blood test eliminated anemia as a potential cause but did show a low testosterone number, see doctor tomorrow to discuss that. Going to try to walk more, I've always believed that walking and running heal.

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@bob76farmer, my Podiatrist did not order any PT either, possibly because there are simple things I can do on my own to build up strength and flexibility. Insurance won't cover an unlimited amount of PT visits, at least, mine does not. As for the Testosterone level, that seems to be a going thing around here. A male friend of ours was taking pills for low Testosterone ( He was in my age group also) and it seemed to do him a world of good. Wishing you well on your visit with your doctor and hope that all is sorted out for you soon!

@JustinMcClanahan

As @lioness said, muscle atrophy occurs when you are unable or don't use a muscle for a long period of time. Typically, people experience muscle atrophy (loss) post surgery because you are unable to move a body part until you are healed. From my own experience, not following a PT's guidance on recovery plans can accelerate atrophy and make recovery harder than it needs to be. Also, for me, dealing with the loss of muscle from surgeries is one the hardest things I struggle with, both physically and mentally.

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Hi Justin, The last line of your post really hit home with me, you said you struggled both" physically and mentally". How can you measure the mental impact on your physical body of not being able to do your thing. You said you played sled hockey and golf. I have been a runner for 35 years. When you take the thing out of your life that defines who you are it takes a toll on your body just as great if not greater than an atrophied muscle. Thanks for letting me put my thoughts into words.

@bob76farmer

Hello Mamacita and Lioness, Thank you both for you're responses. You both put great emphasis on doing PT. The surgeon did not order any PT, I don't know why, unless it was to protect the re-attachment of the torn tendon. I see him next week (it's a 200 mile round trip) and that will be my first question to him. I still think I have something else that is causing my weakness and low energy. Blood test eliminated anemia as a potential cause but did show a low testosterone number, see doctor tomorrow to discuss that. Going to try to walk more, I've always believed that walking and running heal.

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Hello, @bobfarmer, and you are most welcome! It occurs to me that the foot surgery that was performed on you was way more extensive than my piddly little hammertoe surgery. Ergo, longer time for healing, and more attention to staying off the healing limb. PT must be done at the optimum time and circumstances. Immediately after surgery is not usually prescribed. Just a thought.

Liked by lioness

Start slow and build up as for the exercise. The 100 lb weight loss, although probably needed, would be my concern. I don't know what time frame that was in, but that is a lot of weight. Sounds like a lot of bloodwork is in order to rule out other health issues. Please see a doctor who can order you some labs right away. Physical therapy may be helpful. Also, look into restoring your gut. I'm sure with the surgeries, came antibiotics and other medications which have probably caused issues in your gut. 70% of your immune system is in your gut, so read up on gut health. Hope you feel better soon. I had 2 foot surgeries within 5 months. The second one was a year ago and am still having issues with pain in my ankles, achilles and swelling…

@bob76farmer , did you say that you lost one hundred pounds in ten months? Somehow I missed that.

Mamacita

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