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GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!! (or "HMOs suck") LONG!

Posted by Laura on 8/03/99 at 21:09 (009434)

I went to see an orthopaedic surgeon today. I found his name on the AOFAS website, and since he is at University of Texas Health Science Center, I decided he'd be a good pick. First he took a brief history of my PF, when I started wearing the walking brace, when I stopped, when I got my cortisone injections, whether they helped, when I got my orthotics, when I started wearing the night splint, what exercises I was doing and how many, whether I took an meds for it, and finally, whether I was any better. (Yes! I am.) Then he examined me, 'push your toes up towards your face, now down, now left, now right...does THIS hurt?' YYYYYEEESSS. Of course, he put his finger right on the spot. Then, he looked at my previously taken side-view, non-weight-bearing x-ray. After I replaced my shoes and socks, he leaned back, got comfortable, and we talked. The first thing he said was this, 'The single most important thing I can tell you about this condition is that it will go away.' 'What?' I asked incredulously. He said that the one thing that podiatrists don't tell their patients is that the condition normally resolves itself in 1-2 years. Amazing. I then asked, 'You mean even if I was to do absolutely nothing?' Yes. Even if I was to do absolutely nothing. Basically, he said that the key here is to treat the symptoms so that the person suffering with the PF can live and function until the condition resolves itself. Then he told me that in the past 12 years, he has seen probably 5-10 patients a week with PF, and he has only used surgery TWICE!!! Also amazing. He said that surgery to release the tendon does more damage than good, usually. He also confirmed what I had read that PF and heel spurs are TOTALLY unrelated. Then he said that he doesn't give injections more than twice in any year and that, since I've already received two, I shouldn't get any more. (HALLELUJAH!) I asked him if the exercises I was doing (that I got off the AOFAS website) were adequate, and he said that they were - that any heel-stretching exercises is what I need to do. He said that I should do what works for me. Night splints, exercises, NSAIDS, orthotics, special shoes, etc., don't always work for everyone. He said that if I got worse, his next step would be to put me in a plaster cast for 6 weeks, to completely let the tendon heal. He said that the Ossotron is currently undergoing clinical trials here in the U.S., and that it may someday be available. Also, I asked him about the Piroxicam cream. Bad news here...he said he had not heard anything about it and would not write me a prescription for it. Oh well. I think I can live without it. What I'm doing is working for me.
People, I just can't tell you how happy I was to hear all of this. I walked out of there on 'Cloud 9'. All the research paid off. I can now tell my doctor to stuff his treatment and refuse to see the lousy podiatrist ever again. (I hope)

I'm feeling really good about this, and I wanted to share all the information with you, my fellow sufferers. I feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel...I can live with this because now I know that it will end. It may not end for another 18 months, but that's better than never!

Laura (feeling a little lighter on her feet tonight!)


Re: GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!! (or "HMOs suck") LONG!

Martha B. on 8/04/99 at 12:41 (009452)

I live in Texas and would appreciate info on the Dr. you saw and where he is located. I have an appt. for the ossatron in Canada in Sept.What were his feelings on it? Best wishes to you-all you PF sufferers!!!!!!!

Re: GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!! (or "HMOs suck") LONG!

Laura on 8/04/99 at 14:06 (009454)

Martha,
Just so you know, the appointment cost $167.00. Not bad for peace of mind, I'd say!

James D. Heckman, M.D.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER
7703 Floyd Curl Dr
Dept ORTHOPAEDICS
San Antonio TX 78284-6200
210-567-5125

By the way, there are 8 others listed here in San Antonio if you look at the AOFAS.org website.

Good luck!
Laura


Re: GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!! (or "HMOs suck") LONG!

MaryAnneinMaine on 8/05/99 at 07:36 (009475)

Laura, I've had PF for 8 years! I've treated the symptoms, I've ignored it; I've reduced my activities and consequentely am overweight (but not obese); I've seen doctors/surgeons (no surgery); I have related lowback pain. This is my life. It did not resolve itself!

Re: GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!! (or "HMOs suck") LONG!

Laura on 8/05/99 at 16:13 (009487)

I'm sorry...

Re: GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!! (or "HMOs suck") LONG!

Janet on 8/11/99 at 14:08 (009638)

Thanks for your upbeat post Laura!!! I needed to hear some good news. Hang in there everyone.

Re: GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!! (or "HMOs suck") LONG!

Martha B. on 8/04/99 at 12:41 (009452)

I live in Texas and would appreciate info on the Dr. you saw and where he is located. I have an appt. for the ossatron in Canada in Sept.What were his feelings on it? Best wishes to you-all you PF sufferers!!!!!!!

Re: GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!! (or "HMOs suck") LONG!

Laura on 8/04/99 at 14:06 (009454)

Martha,
Just so you know, the appointment cost $167.00. Not bad for peace of mind, I'd say!

James D. Heckman, M.D.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER
7703 Floyd Curl Dr
Dept ORTHOPAEDICS
San Antonio TX 78284-6200
210-567-5125

By the way, there are 8 others listed here in San Antonio if you look at the AOFAS.org website.

Good luck!
Laura


Re: GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!! (or "HMOs suck") LONG!

MaryAnneinMaine on 8/05/99 at 07:36 (009475)

Laura, I've had PF for 8 years! I've treated the symptoms, I've ignored it; I've reduced my activities and consequentely am overweight (but not obese); I've seen doctors/surgeons (no surgery); I have related lowback pain. This is my life. It did not resolve itself!

Re: GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!! (or "HMOs suck") LONG!

Laura on 8/05/99 at 16:13 (009487)

I'm sorry...

Re: GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!! (or "HMOs suck") LONG!

Janet on 8/11/99 at 14:08 (009638)

Thanks for your upbeat post Laura!!! I needed to hear some good news. Hang in there everyone.