I received fat transfer to my feet not for...
I received fat transfer to my feet not for cosmetic purposes but because I had destroyed the fat in my feet with multiple steroid injections I received for Morton's Neuroma. MN is an inflammation of the nerve between the toes which often occurs to women over 40 who run or wear high heels. Without fat on the bottom of my feet, I could barely walk barefoot the distance from bed to bathroom. Without fat on the top of my feet, it was painful to curl my toes under. I am posting this because there are people out there who may benefit from both the cosmetic and the medical benefit of this procedure, if it works. This is especially true for aging folks who have discovered that with age, they experience fat pad atrophy, making walking in anything but Birkenstocks impossible.
I received this procedure from Dr. Alesia Saboeiro, who (as the protege of Sydney Coleman) is among the finest fat grafters in America. The recovery has involved not walking on my feet for -- so far -- 10 days. I suspect it will be another 10 days before this is possible. I am trying to be vigilant about not putting weight on my feet, because I am aware that the pressure can kill the newly transplanted fat. It will be weeks until I know if this procedure has improved the pain from the loss of fat or if this has in any way helped mitigate the pain from the morton's neuroma.
2 week post surgery
It is now 2 weeks after my surgery and I am still unable to walk or stand on my own two feet. The doctor grafted 45 cc of fat to each of my feet, this includes to the top and the bottom. When I have tried to gently test my foot by placing it on the ground and pushing down a little, my feet feel like water balloons that are being squeezed on one end -- as if they are going to pop. The pain level is similar to how a bruise feels if you press into it deeply. I find that moving about with a wheelchair is tough because the feet feel best when elevated above the heart. In addition, I have found that crawling around on my knees and hoisting myself up all the time with my arms is starting to give me minor overuse issues in my elbows and wrists, as if I have tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome.
So for anyone who considers doing this, please note that the recovery will be quite long.
Alas, status quo on my feet situation. I will post an update when there has been a noticeable change one way or the other.
As of today, I can walk up to a mile. But I do so while in pain -- and slowly. Standing for longer than a few minutes starts to hurt my feet. Most of swelling is gone. But if I walk a bunch, the swelling comes back. Trying to beat back the worrying voice in my head that fears this won't get better.
A little progress
As of May 6th, I can walk short distances, about a mile, and I can also stand for 5 or so minutes in MBT or rocker type shoes without too much pain. But walking or standing without shoes is a bit painful. I wondered if this was just a factor of the surgery to the bottom of the feet, but the tops of the feet, where I also had fat transfer, is also a little tender to the touch if I press firmly. On the positive side, about a month or so ago, it would have been impossible to press or massage the feet with more than a feather light touch.
18 Aug 2014
5 months post
I am walking, hiking and exercising, with the help of MBT shoes. (Rocker type shoes.) I can walk in bare feet without pain. The fat transfer went perfectly. My feet look 20 years younger. But that wasn't the reason I had this done. I hoped the fat transfer would make my feet feel better from the damage done by the steroid injections for the morton's neuroma.
The Morton's neuroma is still there but not as bad as before, which might be because I spent a month in a wheelchair and have been walking in these special shoes. I still can't wear flats or sandals for very long but I can for a short period of time. I no longer have the symptoms and issues on top of the feet that I had after the steroids dissolved the fat that was there.
One unexpected outcome of this procedure is that I no longer have dry, cracked heels. When we get older, apparently, having dry, cracked heels is normal. But the fat that was placed in my heels has now eliminated this issue, which neither I nor the doctor had anticipated.
Fat still there
14 Dec 2014
9 months post
Here is a photo of the top of my feet today, Dec 15 2014. I am purposely standing on a line in the tile to show you about where the fat transfer on my feet began on the top. (I didn't want to take a pen and draw on the top of my feet.) The fat was placed from that line to the base of my toes. Above that line towards the ankle and where the veins become more pronounced is where no fat transfer was done. It looks completely natural. No one would know I had done anything. Now I wish I had asked her to place fat all over my entire upper foot.
The fat on the bottom of the feet is another story. I think some of it stayed and it is better than before but either I needed a lot more fat to be transferred there, or perhaps I destroyed much of the fat that was there from walking on it too soon. (Pressure necrosis, it is called)
14 Dec 2014
9 months post
For those who are considering this, the recovery would have been dramatically shorter and less uncomfortable had I not done the bottom of my feet. IF I had just done the top, I could have been back to work and walking around in about in a week or two. There was never pain after the surgery except when I tried to walk and then it was more a weird sensation from the swelling on the bottom of my feet. So for those who want a cosmetic improvement to the top of the feet, I'd highly recommend doing this with my doctor.