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Conservative Treatment

Posted by Darlene W. on 10/09/99 at 00:00 (011604)

Although my left foot had been hurting me for some time (almost a year), I did not go to a dr until the end of August. I work as a bookkeeper in a grocery store (8 years)and stand 32 to 40 hours per week on concrete. I am also very flat footed. X-rays were taken of both my feet and bone spurs were evident on both feet. Actually the bone spurs were worse on my right foot, but that foot does not hurt.
Since the first visit, I have had two cortisone shots, wear custom made orthotics, take an anti-inflammatory, and presently am going through ultrasound therapy.
I have been off work since then. If needed, I have 26 weeks of sick leave. Before I went to the drs in August, at the end of a work shift, I couldn't stand on my left foot and when I sat down, it hurt worse, like my heel was falling off. Now, in October, I can manage the pain by keeping off my feet. But if I walk or stand constantly for two hours or more, it hurts terribly. I wear the orthotics faithfully but sometimes when the pain starts I can't stand to have anything touching the back of my heel.
The one thing that I can do and I call it my freedom, is ride my bike. I sometimes ride 3 or 4 miles a day and it does not hurt at all. That amazes me.
I asked my dr about surgery and he said that since I was making some progress, he would not consider surgery until I have followed 6 months of conservative care. He also suggested that perhaps I might want to consider changing jobs to one that I would not be standing all day.
Although I have the sick leave and my job is secure, I hate to be out longer than necessary. But I do not want to go back too soon and make it worse. And if I do change jobs, I wouldn't want to do it until I get this condition under control. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions. Do you think I am doing all that I can? Do you think there are any other medical tests I should have. Thank you so much.

Re: Conservative Treatment

Nancy D on 10/09/99 at 00:00 (011606)

It's very difficult when you are in so much pain and the doctors tell you to wait. I even had one dr. tell me I would have to live with it! At that point I was only about 28 years old. Thats a long time to 'live with it'!
Have you tried Birkenstock sandals or shoes yet? Some plantar fasciitis sufferers don't find and relief from them yet others, like myself swear by them. I work in a long term care facility and have been there for 16 years. Every job I have had there has been on my feet, so I know how you feel.
About 1 1/2 years ago, I bought my first pair of birks for work. They were expensive so I was a little concerned that I was wasting my money. After wearing them for a few days, I couldn't imagine wearing anything else!
I'm still on the same pair of shoes and they are holding up well except I had to have them re-soled. I swear that they are the only thing that kept me working up to the time that I had my surgery in Feb. of this year.
I will be the first to admit that they did not erase the pain, but certainly made work tolerable! I couldn't afford to take time off so I was glad that I had them!
Try not to get too discouraged. It took me almost 10 years to finally convince someone to do something for my feet. It took 6 months following my surgery to have any relief, but I am happy to report that I can now walk without a limp most days and can actually wear normal shoes to go for a walk - without orthotics! I still have some pain following the walks but last year at this time, I had a hard time getting through work let alone going for a leisure walk!

Re: Conservative Treatment

Sandy K. on 10/10/99 at 00:00 (011609)

My hat if off to you working people with this condition. I am retired and altho I am an active senior (housekeeping, cooking, and lots of gardening) I find it difficult to keep up with the 'basics' while trying to follow the recommendations of: limit activity, stretch, ice, ect.

Trying to keep up the spirits and a good mental attitude is a big battle also. At least for me. Keep up the efforts, you good people.


Re: Conservative Treatment

wendy w on 10/10/99 at 00:00 (011615)

You didn't mention stretching exercises or ice! Sure hope that is in your conservative treatment, cause that is something I think we all agree is an absolute necessity.

Re: Conservative Treatment

Jane N on 10/10/99 at 00:00 (011616)

Have you had a bone scan? It may be a stress fracture and those can't usually be seen on a regular x-ray film.

Re: Conservative Treatment

Jennh on 10/10/99 at 00:00 (011619)

Look into a blood test to rule our rheumatoid arthritis. I also had a nerve test to rule out tarsal tunnel syndrome(similiar to carpel tunnel). In addition to the bone scan.

Re: Conservative Treatment

Nancy D on 10/09/99 at 00:00 (011606)

It's very difficult when you are in so much pain and the doctors tell you to wait. I even had one dr. tell me I would have to live with it! At that point I was only about 28 years old. Thats a long time to 'live with it'!
Have you tried Birkenstock sandals or shoes yet? Some plantar fasciitis sufferers don't find and relief from them yet others, like myself swear by them. I work in a long term care facility and have been there for 16 years. Every job I have had there has been on my feet, so I know how you feel.
About 1 1/2 years ago, I bought my first pair of birks for work. They were expensive so I was a little concerned that I was wasting my money. After wearing them for a few days, I couldn't imagine wearing anything else!
I'm still on the same pair of shoes and they are holding up well except I had to have them re-soled. I swear that they are the only thing that kept me working up to the time that I had my surgery in Feb. of this year.
I will be the first to admit that they did not erase the pain, but certainly made work tolerable! I couldn't afford to take time off so I was glad that I had them!
Try not to get too discouraged. It took me almost 10 years to finally convince someone to do something for my feet. It took 6 months following my surgery to have any relief, but I am happy to report that I can now walk without a limp most days and can actually wear normal shoes to go for a walk - without orthotics! I still have some pain following the walks but last year at this time, I had a hard time getting through work let alone going for a leisure walk!

Re: Conservative Treatment

Sandy K. on 10/10/99 at 00:00 (011609)

My hat if off to you working people with this condition. I am retired and altho I am an active senior (housekeeping, cooking, and lots of gardening) I find it difficult to keep up with the 'basics' while trying to follow the recommendations of: limit activity, stretch, ice, ect.

Trying to keep up the spirits and a good mental attitude is a big battle also. At least for me. Keep up the efforts, you good people.


Re: Conservative Treatment

wendy w on 10/10/99 at 00:00 (011615)

You didn't mention stretching exercises or ice! Sure hope that is in your conservative treatment, cause that is something I think we all agree is an absolute necessity.

Re: Conservative Treatment

Jane N on 10/10/99 at 00:00 (011616)

Have you had a bone scan? It may be a stress fracture and those can't usually be seen on a regular x-ray film.

Re: Conservative Treatment

Jennh on 10/10/99 at 00:00 (011619)

Look into a blood test to rule our rheumatoid arthritis. I also had a nerve test to rule out tarsal tunnel syndrome(similiar to carpel tunnel). In addition to the bone scan.