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post-foot surgery pain medication

Discussion in 'Ask your questions here' started by gumbii2662, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. gumbii2662

    gumbii2662 Guest

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    I had a big foot surgery to repair a bunion on my right foot. The doctor actually had to shorten the first metatarsal and fuse it with the bone behind it... Complicated and I'm not even exactly sure what he did. But anyway, I had that done and had the tailor's bunion on the same foot removed as well. I'm in a hard cast for 6 weeks and cannot bear weight on it for that whole time.
    My question is, how long should I expect to be taking the prescription pain meds? I'm on day 7 post-op and still needing them, though finally not needing them around the clock anymore. I'm getting low on my prescription but wonder if I should call to request a refill or if I should expect that by the time the meds run out I won't or shouldn't need them anymore. Is this type of surgery something that will be painful for weeks more, or will I start healing more rapidly soon?
    Thanks in advance, I just don't want to even bother calling the doctor to ask if they're going to tell me I shouldn't need anymore meds, you know?
  2. FootDoc

    FootDoc New Member

    There is so much wrong with this picture that it is difficult to know where to start. First of all, it is totally incomprehensible to me as to why anyone would allow a doctor to perform a surgical procedure without his/her having a complete understand of precisely what was to be done, and, frankly, it is the duty and responsibility of the surgeon to make certain that such is the case. Secondly, any and all questions and concerns regarding a recently performed procedure should be immediately directed to the surgeon who performed the procedure. I just cringe when I hear that a patient does not want to "bother" his/her doctor by asking questions which will make him/her (the patient) cope better with the doctor's treatment. I trust that if a refrigerator repair person or an auto mechanic had just "fixed" your refrigerator or automobile and it was not doing everything you had expected immediately afterward, you would have no such similar compunction in "bothering" him/her with a question or complaint. Why is your foot and its care provider no less important than your utilities and repair people? I would think that it would be the opposite, unless you perhaps care more for your utilities than yourself.

    The degree of pain following surgery is a totally subjective matter, but some pain is generally a normal accompaniment to surgery, and the type of analgesics and the length of time they need to be taken varies from patient to patient. But the precise nature, degree and quality of post-operative pain can be an important diagnostic tool for the surgeon. So not to discuss this directly with your him/her does both you and him/her a disservice.

    My advice then is to pick up the phone and have your doctor EARN his/her fee by providing you the service for which you are paying, no-doubt well. Post-operative care is an essential part of a surgeon's service and should not be considered a "bother," even if your concerns are unfounded.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  3. gumbii2662

    gumbii2662 Guest

    I guess I misspoke when I said I didn't exactly know what he did... What I meant was, I understand that to fix my particular bunion problem, it was not just a straightforward, shave-the-bump and re-position the bone direction. My bunion was caused by the fact that my first metatarsal was longer than it should be (longer than the second, which is apparently supposed to be longer than the first in a normal foot). What I meant to say was that I'm not sure of the exact surgical procedure but know the reasons and the basic procedure. But because I'm not a doctor and did not remember exactly how he described it, I am not able to describe it here accurately. I do understand what he did and why though. He definitely explained the procedure to me well, which is why I felt comfortable and confident in him to perform my surgery. As a former dancer, I do take issues with my body (particularly my feet) seriously.

    I just thought I'd ask on here for advice because I wanted to hear others' experiences with surgeries similar to mine so I could get a gauge for what might be considered "normal".... Sorry for bothering. I will call my doctor in the morning, and won't be asking anything on here anymore, since apparently all I'll get are harsh responses insinuating that I'm naive and stupid for wanting to get advice from other people before calling my doctor. Sheesh...
  4. FootDoc

    FootDoc New Member

    In a "words only" medium, I have to take one at his/her word, and so, if you misspoke, any misunderstanding of what you might have meant is on your shoulders, not mine. But if you think that asking for unknown public help from those who do not know the specifics of your situation in determining whether you have a problem immediately after surgery instead of checking first and immediately with your doctor, is not, as you put it, naive and stupid, then apparently you ARE as YOU assert I claim. It would therefore probably be better that you go elsewhere where "naive and stupid" answers are offered. On the other hand, you might have taken my comments as enlightenment as to how to obtain better and more effect medical services for yourself in the future, but I doubt that will be the case. I am always amused and bemused as to how sound advice, especially when it involves the notion that a patient has a certain degree of responsibility for obtaining his/her own quality medical care is taken as have you. Instead of focusing on complaining that my rebuke was "harsh" you might have simply learned from the valid principle of my message. Sometimes folks need to be shaken before then will listen.
  5. gumbii2662

    gumbii2662 Guest

    Funny, I thought doctors were supposed to have bedside manner as well as knowledge.
    Instead of sharing any real advice with me, you jumped to the immediate conclusion that I had made an uninformed and blind decision to have my foot cut open, and told me to "call your doctor." I thought this forum was here to discuss with peers about foot health and problems. As you are so obviously above the rest of us, being that you have a medical degree, why don't you ride off to some doctors forum where you can all congratulate one another on being so much smarter than the rest of us? I'm certainly glad you're not MY doctor, because it's doctors like you who make patients shy away from calling with possibly unimportant questions.
    FYI, I did call my own doctor and have gotten all the information I need as well as the assurance that I can call anytime with any questions I may have. If you think that asking to hear about others' experiences with foo surgery is so naive and stupid, why do you bother coming here at all? isn't that what this place is about??
  6. FootDoc

    FootDoc New Member

    I did not respond to your original post in order to argue with you, but to offer you advice which I deemed to be of value. What I shared with you were sound recommendations which would serve you well for future occasions should you chose to accept them. My response, in which you already admitted that you had misspoke was predicated on YOUR OWN WORDS and not my proprietary and unsupported inferences. If what you were looking for was anecdotal lay information from patients who are untrained to offer you responsible answers, and whose knowledge regarding the matters about which you inquire is limited generally to one experience which may or may not be similar to yours, and even if it were, what was done or advised for them may not be appropriate for you, then that "stupid and naive" characterization which YOU interjected and was YOUR characterization seems not to have missed the mark. Take note of the fact I am not here to be YOUR doctor and you have no right to consider that I might have a responsibility to act as if I were. If you had indeed called your own doctor prior to posting your question here, then I would have to question why you apparently had so little confidence in that doctor such that you felt need to confirm his/her response here. If you have called your doctor since, and perhaps as a result of my response to you, then I have done my job here. But at no time in your original question did you suggest that you wished to hear the comments of untrained persons regarding the issues of concern to you about your foot surgery, and any perusal of previous posts would have given you good reason to believe that that was not going to occur.

    Perhaps the following re-post of a previous response of mine will inform you as to what my purpose is and is not in coming here:

    Forums such as this are appropriate for GENERAL information, which might include discussions of normal and pathologic foot function, the general nature of common foot problems problems, methods of diagnosis and generally available treatments, along with their relative success rates, side effects and drawbacks. In addition, information offered here might serve to help clarify or explain or give the patient greater insight into an aspect of his/her doctor's diagnosis or treatment or treatment recommendation which had not been made entirely clear to the patient. What they are NOT appropriate for is addressing most individual problem and individual situations, as meaningful answers on which the questioner might rely most always require far more specifics of the case than can be presented here by a lay person, and most times requires a hands-on examination. One would NEVER expect even one's own doctor to offer definitive recommendations regarding a problem which he/she had never personally evaluated. Although, very often a questioner will deny that a diagnosis offered here will be acted upon by them without further doctor consultation, I would have to believe such would frequently not be the case, and thus there is inherent danger. Finally, before researching on the Internet or posting questions to those in whose trust you should not have so easily acquired, the simplest and most effective answer for many if not most of the questions posed here from patients who are currently under treatment, is to consult their own doctor. If that doctor cannot be trusted for an accurate answer, then one should find another doctor.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2009
  7. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    hey your highness foot doc surely you have something better to do with your time
    NO one likes you and it's probably like that in real life that's why you're here obssesivly insulting people with diatribes
  8. gumbii2662

    gumbii2662 Guest

    Thank you to the anonymous poster for stating in no uncertain terms that "Footdoc" is coming off as pompous, arrogant and insulting.

    Footdoc- the quote from a "previous post" that you added to the end of your last response states that coming to sites like this is for "GENERAL INFORMATION," which was all I was really asking for to begin with. You blew my entire question out of proportion and focused on the wrong part. All I wanted to know was, in GENERAL, how long do foot surgery patients need pain medication. Plain and simple. It's a question that truly could have been answered either by a "general, average" response either by you or by anyone else who knew a ballpark answer for me. I did NOT call my doctor at first because it seemed like quite a simple question that I thought could be answered more quickly and easily on a forum such as this than by placing a call into my doctor's office and waiting for a call back on something so simple. Thanks to your complete disregard to my question, I just called my doctor's office and asked them.
    Apparently unlike you, I have a degree of politeness to my personality and didn't want to take up time of my doctor's when I could hopefully find the answer elsewhere. My doctor is a very patient and caring doctor who doesn't seem to mind answering any and all questions I have, whenever I have them; but because I know he is just as patient and caring with all his other patients, I'd prefer not to pester him with little questions when I can help it.
    I stumbled upon this site, which looked to me like a forum for regular "lay people" (not doctors) to share their own personal experiences and lay knowledge of foot issues, and thought that perhaps someone on here might have a ballpark answer for me. It wasn't like I was asking one of them to perform a surgery on me, nor was I asking an urgent medical question. You obviously don't see me as intelligent, but I do know enough to know what kind of medical questions should really only be answered by medical professionals. I also know that, as much as doctors may know, plenty of regular Joes out there do take the time to understand their own medical issues and procedures and that sometimes their knowledge is as good as a doctor's.
    I have to wonder why, if you're a foot surgeon, you have so much time on your hands to verbally bash people who come on here looking for simple answers to simple questions. Are you retired? If so, I'd think twice before taking any advice you have to offer anyways because the chances that you're up-to-speed on medical practices is low... And if you're currently practicing, you must not have many patients. Or perhaps you don't bother to take as much time as good doctors like mine do, to answer all his patients' questions even if it means working more than the bare minimum. Again, I'm glad you're not MY doctor...
  9. FootDoc

    FootDoc New Member

    First of all, thankfully you are NOT my patient and I am not your doctor. But if I were, I can assure you that you would have called ME first, and then not have needed to post your question of an Internet forum to folks about which you have no idea as to their qualifications to answer responsibly. You would have known, because I would have TOLD you so, and that I am to be your source of information both before and after the surgery, and that I am never TOO busy to respond to your concerns in short order, no matter how menial you believe they are or how busy you think I am or how much less you fantasize I might think of you for your concerns. (which I would not)

    It would appear from your subsequent statements that you STILL haven't talked to your doctor about this, as what you have subsequently posted was that you called your doctor's office and spoke to THEM . . no doubt getting your answer from some secretary or receptionist. That would NOT happen in MY office.

    Your question was NOT one of GENERAL information . . It was a question to which you wished an answer which would pertain to YOUR SPECIFIC CASE, and as such, is best answered by a doctor who knows you, knows what was done for you, and has, as all surgeons should, assessed your tolerance for pain, your general psychological makeup and your propensity for either a smooth or rough post-operative period.

    Contrary to what you now say, it was not I who blew your question out of context, but what I offered to you was:

    1. That your admission that "I'm not even exactly sure what he did," would either indicate that your doctor didn't due his due diligence in explaining it as he should, or you didn't bother to listen.

    2. That you should not consider that your doctor would be "bothered" by performing part of the duty for which he is being well paid.

    3. That, as pain is generally subjective and varies from patient to patient, your question should be answered by your own doctor, not a doctor who knows nothing about you and certainly not a lay person who, by virtue of inexperience lacks sufficient basis for an opinion.

    It was YOU, not ME, who characterized those statements of fact to you as implying that you are "stupid and naive." But as is often the case when folks hear that they too have a responsibility in the doctor-patient relationship and are ill-advised to place their own doctors on the sort of pedestal upon which they would place no other provider of service, it is then that THEY become rude and abusive with the messenger. We both know that no matter what your doctor had said to you or how little service he gave you, or how long you had to wait for it, though you might express your disdain to others or in a forum such as this, you would act as a meek and disobedient child before him, and not have the intestinal fortitude to complain as you do in your anonymity here because your expectations were not met.

    My individual situation which allows me to offer my services to this forum while maintaining a high-level and specialized practice has been iterated by me many times on this forum, and can be found here by searching. But please be more discerning in your reading then when, upon "stumbling on this site" you inferred that most of the posts were responses from lay persons. A further perusal will reveal that most all of the medical questions are responded to by me, the vast majority well received, and that the relatively few lay posts are mostly in the nature of . . "Gee, that sounds exactly like my problem. Let me know if you find a cure for it."

    It's been really nice corresponding with you, but I think that, unless you demand otherwise, we have reach a point where we should both know each other's point of view and it likely needs no rehashing.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  10. Earth

    Earth Guest

    Earth to Footdoc Earth to Footdoc: YOU answered YOUR insults here. Gee imagine WHY people are INTIMIDATED by their own doctors when YOU are RUDE and ABUSIVE in YOUR ANONYMITY. YOU chastise for asking questions ON the internet? And YOUR SCREAMING CAPS further betray your hatred.
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I am a Registered Nurse as well as a patient that is 2 days post-op from a 'Right calcaneal osteotomy, 1st metatarseal osteotomy and repair of ruptured peroneal tendons X2'. I work in the operating room and consider myself to "know more than the average Joe". That being said, I too came to this website looking for support and the opportunity to hear about other's experiences. When I read the responses by "FootDoc", I was shocked. His/her responses were uncalled for and insulting. I was looking forward to becoming a member of this forum so that I could have a place to share my recovery experience but now I will not. I think the mediator of this forum should step in and take charge of their insulting, rude members.
  12. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I cant see what the fuss is about? I believe gumbii's original post to be rather vague and he/she is extremely silly to ask the opinion of the general public and then complain about a reply from a doctor. Footdoc is just trying to make him/her see that if your car etc was fixed but wasnt right, you would go straight back to the repair man and get them to put it right. Surely your health is more important???? All footdoc was trying to do was make gumbii see that he/she should be going back to see the surgeon, after all thats what the (probably large) fee is for. In fact i see it that footdoc was actually trying to stand up for gumbii and give strong advice.
    When all is said and done, if you dont like what the doctor writes, why argue? Just move on to the next thing and leave it!!
  13. FootDoc

    FootDoc New Member

    My GOD. . there ARE reasonable folks out there. Who-da-thunk??
  14. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Agreed. Good answer foot doc. That post made it seem like they got no info from their surgeon. Laying here in pain on my new blackberry I have also come across this website. I googled pain after foot surgery. My situations a little more specific. I had surgery 2. Mondays ago and habe my 2nd post surgery appt tomorrow. Ever since the surgery I haven't had much pain. Oh yeah, I had a heel spur removed, achilles tendon removed and anchored back with something metal. I also get my stitches removed tomorrow. The one time I saw the incision, it was much larger than I expected. My first post Appt I was told it was healing well. I was also almost pain free. I've been taking naprosen and vicodin. I had 2 left as of yesterday and took one early in the day. Last night was the worst night ever for pain. I was impacted severely by the pain. Now today I took the last vicodin earlier and now am in that same pain. My foots also swollen including my toes. I would ask my doc but I see him tomorrow at 1500 (I'm military) and I'm in pain now. I've been doing some recording of music on my saxes the past few days sitting at a desk and it hasn't been elevated during those times, but when I'm laying down I prop it on a pillow every time. I iced it once today and probably two or three times yesterday. I have driven my car about 10 minute drives a couple times but only after my doc said I could the last visit. He said I could let it rest on the floor from then on but still no weight bearing. I've been getting around on crutches and have slipped a few times landing on the bad foot. The pain is ringing through my whole foot.
  15. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Another thing. I had a visit with my psychiatrist (one of them) and since he knew about the surgery he wanted to see it and unwrapped it, redressing it with a new dressing. Last night when I kept grabbing my foot in pain, I eventually just took off the first layer of bandage. My fiance rebandaged it for me this afternoon. I also didn't leave you with a question. Is this normal? After 2 weeks if Barely any pain and now severe and And swelling?
  16. FootDoc

    FootDoc New Member

    You need to bring this sudden onset of pain to the immediate attention of your surgeon for his/her evaluation.
  17. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Thanks a bunch footdoc. I was seen today and they said I had been doing too much without keeping it elevated and amended my paperwork to make sure my chain of command doesn't have me doing stuff. They don't like to have soldiers not working while they are I guess. My doc also extended my convelescent leave 2 weeks with no weight bearing and prescribed me for more vicodin. I bought a cool little walker (medline ultralight rollator) which I saw when I went to my second place trying to pick up my meds. Its been a big help in the last half hour or so, so doing stuff like brushing my teeth and putting stuff in the microwave are a lot easier. Hope this inFo can help someone. Do you recommend this surgery? They want to do my other foot when I can walk on the other. I can feel the difference pressing on my heel gently from the other. Also, I forgot to ask my doctor how long it will be until the swelling comes down. I'm pretty sure that's what causes most of the pain.
  18. FootDoc

    FootDoc New Member

    Generally, when patients speak of heel spurs, more often than not they are referring to a spur of the plantar tubercle of the calcaneus, often associated with plantar fasciitis. But from the description of your surgery, I would assume that yours was a spur at the posterior aspect of the heel in the area of the insertion of the Achilles tendon. That is a condition which is often difficult to treat conservatively, and the surgery is often advised when conservative measures fail. But I cannot categorically state that I would or would not recommend this surgery for your individual case, as I neither know what else, if anything, had been tried nor do I have the facts necessary to make that judgment.
  19. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Hi Footdoc. I wrote post # 12 and i stand by it. Your post was informative and non abusive as far as i can see!!
    Anyway...I had surgery in September 09 on my right foot after snapping 4th and 5th metatarsals as well as multiple fractures to the talus and navicular. Callous bone growth was removed from the metatarsals and a graft taken from my hip, and there are some neat brackets in there holding things together. Im still getting callous bone growth on the bottom of my foot and walking is very uncomfortable, its like im standing on a large marble. The side of my foot is also very swollen and is much much wider than my left foot. I broke the foot in August 2008 but the accident and emergency team refused me an x-ray telling me nothing was wrong. After a year of complaining i finally had an x-ray and the radiographer told me my foot was a mess.
    Im in the UK so our treatments and facilities will obviously be much different (and i dare say inferior) but should i still be experiencing so much pain and swelling so long after surgery? Also should i complain to the hospital regarding the negligence from the emergency department? Many thanks and happy new year, Steve.
  20. Foot Doc

    Foot Doc Guest

    I really cannot tell you whether or not you should still be having problems with your foot, as, without having examined you, I have no way of knowing the severity of the problem or what I would deem to have been proper treatment. As far as complaining to the hospital, if you were in the U.S. you would probably be seeing a lawyer if you believed that you were denied appropriate treatment rather than wondering if you should complain to the hospital. Doctors here are not held to a guarantee of cure but ARE held to providing an accepted "standard of care" which might differ in the UK.

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