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HELP!! Sorry it's long

Posted by Aimee on 4/12/99 at 00:00 (006112)

I'm not sure whether or not to get surgery on my PF. I can't tell you how fruterated I am dealing with the pain of this. I am college athlete and being injured is a hard blow to my life. I am just a freshmen in college and I'm on an athletic scholarship, so I need to recover. I've seen two different doctors and one told me that surgery would be a good choice, and the team orthopedic surgeon told me that I shouldn't get surgery. The ortho said that I will have to take 8-10 months off from athletic activity, and then still risk the problem coming back. 8-10 months runs into my season. I am doing everything to try to get better. I even took a month off from track in order to try to heal. I've been on 3 different anti-inflamitory drugs. Every day I get taped and heat before I go to practice. When I get back I have my feet massaged by the trainers, and then I ice. I roll my foot over a tennis ball, and I stretch my feet every morning and during class. I've had PF since September, and it's only getting worse. Is there any hope?
Aimee

Re: HELP!! Sorry it's long

Paula on 4/12/99 at 00:00 (006129)

Hi Aimee - I'm sure you may get all different advice from this web-site, and everyone's PF is of a different degree, so read as many of them as you can to help you with your problem. I sufferred 9 months with PF and finally after trying everything like you, I had the surgery. My PF pain is gone, but my foot is taking a long time to heal. I can't picture going back to sports if I had done it before. Talk to your school about your scholarship, since if you were to have the surgery, you may not be able to play for quite a while. Some people claim they felt 100% better right away. Maybe you would be one of the lucky ones since you are young and in shape, I'm sure. But it is a gamble that you may feel worse, or you may recover in short time. It's hard to give a black & white answer to your situation. All I can say is trust in one of the doctors you see and follow their advice. Keep reading on this site, though. You'll get a lot of ideas. Good luck

Re: HELP!! Sorry it's long

Hank on 4/13/99 at 00:00 (006139)

Aimee,
I'm much older am not on an athletic scholarship but understand
completely your angst. My triathlon season for this year looks
to be in jeopardy due to a 10 month stint with pf. I've decided
to bag running completely until I have zero pain (am getting there).
A very kind female triathlete sent me email detailing her
experiences with pf - she's now training for an ironman and that
gives me alot of hope.
If you're a distance runner I would suggest deep water running as
a substitute. Boring but it allows healing. You can get a running
vest for the pool at many sports shops. If you must run (I don't
advise it) then do it on soft surfaces and keep your feet low (i.e.
marathon 'shuffle'). You may very seriously consider going on the
DL (disabled list) this season and make your top goal getting healthy.
Be careful not to let the pf get you down mentally. Hopefully the
adversity will make us stronger and wiser in the long run.
best regards and good luck
Hank

Re: HELP!! Sorry it's long

Polly on 4/14/99 at 00:00 (006152)

Aimee, I too am a serious athlete that HAS to heal. Unfortunately this is not a quick fix condition. If you get surgery you're still not fixing the reason you initially got PF in the first place - and I suspect it would come back relatively soon with your extensive activity.

As painful (mentally) as it is to get away from your sports for a while you need to put as much effort into your healing as your training at this point. Your Plantar is inflamed and you need to get off it and let it heal THOROUGHLY. It takes a long time - it's frustrating - but I agree that next season you can come back with a vengence.

The kind of doctor that finally helped me was a chiropractor that specialized in athletes and sports medicine. He gets to the root of the problem and with a lot of PT and realignment has REALLY helped me get on my feet again. We've conquered the ROOT of the problem so it won't come back again. (Hopefully)

I might add that staying off your feet doesn't mean you have to become a couch potato. I still do a lot of weight training and learned to swim. (I figure that's the good that came out of this for me).
I'm becoming a strong swimmer and although it's not my original sport of choice I feel really strong. Good luck and let us all know what happens with you.


Re: HELP!! Sorry it's long

sue on 4/14/99 at 00:00 (006159)

Polly, what did you and your chiropractor find the root cause of your pf to be??? Please let us know, so others can look into this.
thanks!



Re: HELP!! Sorry it's long

Hank on 4/15/99 at 00:00 (006160)

Polly,
I also would be very interested in what you found from your
chiropractor. I must admit that I am a little skeptical of
those guys. I am crow footed (i.e. toes naturally point outward)
and have high arches. My left foot especially points outward and
is the one with the pf. A friend of mine (1st year med student)
thinks that the crow foot has contributed to tightening the
tendons in the left leg and consequently placed a strain on the
fascia. Not being able to run and do triathlons has given me
another enemy: depression. A frustrating thing with pf is that
for a few days it will feel as if it's almost over and then wham
the next day it will flare up again. Sorry for venting
but I'm looking for anything that will help solve this problem
as are many people.
best regards, Hank

Re: HELP!! Sorry it's long

Paula on 4/12/99 at 00:00 (006129)

Hi Aimee - I'm sure you may get all different advice from this web-site, and everyone's PF is of a different degree, so read as many of them as you can to help you with your problem. I sufferred 9 months with PF and finally after trying everything like you, I had the surgery. My PF pain is gone, but my foot is taking a long time to heal. I can't picture going back to sports if I had done it before. Talk to your school about your scholarship, since if you were to have the surgery, you may not be able to play for quite a while. Some people claim they felt 100% better right away. Maybe you would be one of the lucky ones since you are young and in shape, I'm sure. But it is a gamble that you may feel worse, or you may recover in short time. It's hard to give a black & white answer to your situation. All I can say is trust in one of the doctors you see and follow their advice. Keep reading on this site, though. You'll get a lot of ideas. Good luck

Re: HELP!! Sorry it's long

Hank on 4/13/99 at 00:00 (006139)

Aimee,
I'm much older am not on an athletic scholarship but understand
completely your angst. My triathlon season for this year looks
to be in jeopardy due to a 10 month stint with pf. I've decided
to bag running completely until I have zero pain (am getting there).
A very kind female triathlete sent me email detailing her
experiences with pf - she's now training for an ironman and that
gives me alot of hope.
If you're a distance runner I would suggest deep water running as
a substitute. Boring but it allows healing. You can get a running
vest for the pool at many sports shops. If you must run (I don't
advise it) then do it on soft surfaces and keep your feet low (i.e.
marathon 'shuffle'). You may very seriously consider going on the
DL (disabled list) this season and make your top goal getting healthy.
Be careful not to let the pf get you down mentally. Hopefully the
adversity will make us stronger and wiser in the long run.
best regards and good luck
Hank

Re: HELP!! Sorry it's long

Polly on 4/14/99 at 00:00 (006152)

Aimee, I too am a serious athlete that HAS to heal. Unfortunately this is not a quick fix condition. If you get surgery you're still not fixing the reason you initially got PF in the first place - and I suspect it would come back relatively soon with your extensive activity.

As painful (mentally) as it is to get away from your sports for a while you need to put as much effort into your healing as your training at this point. Your Plantar is inflamed and you need to get off it and let it heal THOROUGHLY. It takes a long time - it's frustrating - but I agree that next season you can come back with a vengence.

The kind of doctor that finally helped me was a chiropractor that specialized in athletes and sports medicine. He gets to the root of the problem and with a lot of PT and realignment has REALLY helped me get on my feet again. We've conquered the ROOT of the problem so it won't come back again. (Hopefully)

I might add that staying off your feet doesn't mean you have to become a couch potato. I still do a lot of weight training and learned to swim. (I figure that's the good that came out of this for me).
I'm becoming a strong swimmer and although it's not my original sport of choice I feel really strong. Good luck and let us all know what happens with you.


Re: HELP!! Sorry it's long

sue on 4/14/99 at 00:00 (006159)

Polly, what did you and your chiropractor find the root cause of your pf to be??? Please let us know, so others can look into this.
thanks!



Re: HELP!! Sorry it's long

Hank on 4/15/99 at 00:00 (006160)

Polly,
I also would be very interested in what you found from your
chiropractor. I must admit that I am a little skeptical of
those guys. I am crow footed (i.e. toes naturally point outward)
and have high arches. My left foot especially points outward and
is the one with the pf. A friend of mine (1st year med student)
thinks that the crow foot has contributed to tightening the
tendons in the left leg and consequently placed a strain on the
fascia. Not being able to run and do triathlons has given me
another enemy: depression. A frustrating thing with pf is that
for a few days it will feel as if it's almost over and then wham
the next day it will flare up again. Sorry for venting
but I'm looking for anything that will help solve this problem
as are many people.
best regards, Hank