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random thoughts from my life & the universe

2 years post surgery for PTTD

A post shared by Stephanie (@woodlandsprite) on

When I left off, I mentioned I’d be getting some followup x-rays to assess whether or not my calcaneal non-union is stable or if there are any changes happening with it – (Also it seems I got totally distracted and never did post this a year ago when I started writing up this draft – I had a couple recent email exchanges with people who have had the surgery recently which made me realize I left off my updates to my blog!)  Anyhow, a photo is worth a thousand words or so they say – I was somewhat astonished to observe that it seems my non-union may be righting itself – it’s impossible to confirm for sure without a CT, but it certainly looked that way from my followup 2-D x-rays.

Where am I today 2+ years post surgery?  I’m still asymptomatic for the most part for anything related to my non-union, and I’m still regaining strength – it’s challenging with a sedentary job and a general dislike for the gym.  I was even able to take a hiking vacation earlier this year where I was able to cover some decent mileage on off-camber slickrock!

Am I completely pain free? More or less – as long as I don’t overdo it and pay attention to what my body is trying to tell me.  I tend to wear minimalist zero-drop footwear most of the time, though sometimes I get some joint pain in the 2nd metatarsal region – I think it’s because my foot just doesn’t have the normal flex due to the fusion that was done at my first metatarsal and my gait might still be kinda wonky due to bad habits developed during rehab (pay attention to your gait while relearning how to walk post surgery!).  My calf sometimes winds itself pretty tight, and the only way I can get it to release is to do some myofascial massage (stretching does nothing for it).   When I start having pain, I wear a more supportive shoe, I take care to ice and rest my foot, and when needed, I wear compression socks.

Am I footwear limited? Not really – For the most part, I can get into all the shoes that I was able to wear before I started having serious problems and was stuck with a brace.  The foot that was surgeried is more prone to inflammation, so I am careful to pay attention to how shoes fit in relation to the top of my foot.  For shoes that put pressure on the top of my foot, I purchased an instep shoe stretcher (or you can take your shoes to a cobbler) to help relieve pressure – the shoe stretcher works best on leather shoes, and when stretched slowly – it was a slow and iterative process, but I was able to salvage even my Danskos, which I thought I would have to sell since I couldn’t even get my foot into the shoes any more due to the fusion that was done.

Do I still have numbness? There are some areas, especially near incisions where I feel I have reduced feeling – but for the most part, I have recovered from most of the numbness that was induced as a result of the surgery.

How about those scars? Overall, my scars have faded – they are still visible, some more than others, but they aren’t super pigmented and could easily be covered with concealer if I was so motivated (I’m not).

I’ll try to remember to add to this post if I get additional questions from people – if you have questions about my experience with this surgery, please leave me a comment and I’ll answer as best as I can.


  1. Greatly appreciated your blog. Just had PTT and heel osteotomy 13 days ago. You gave me hope that things will get better. Thank you.

    • Shelley, I’m glad you have found my blog helpful and hopeful. I wish you a swift recovery! -Stephanie

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