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my first Ossatron treatment

Posted by michael s on 11/01/99 at 00:00 (012231)

On Friday my left heel was treated in Toronto (where I live) by Dr. Gordon. It was loads of fun. My take on the procedure was that the freezing was the most painful part. He stuck that needle in there four or five times. Near the ankle bone it wasn't bad, but when he injected directly into the plantar fascia it was excruciating. I swore and yelled and wished I had a bullet to bite. He paused a few times to give me a break, but he also moved the needle around (sorry, folks) once or twice while it was in my heel. He was apologetic but said that it was a case of my thick fascia (8 mm) making it difficult to get the needle in deep enough.And perhaps my flinching told him that the area was very inflammed and needed plenty of freezing. Or it told him that I'm a wimp. It's interesting that I've not read anyone else complaining much about the freezing, but the assistant James said that for many people it's the worse part. (Maybe he was just being nice.)It is I guess not unlike a cortisone shot, though I tried those in '90 and '91 and have forgotten a fair bit how they felt. This is worse, I think.
I found the actual shockwave treatment unpleasant but quite bearable. It's a large machine with an arm that has a plastic cone on one end. Inside the cone is water and a sparkplug. Pretty basic stuff, really. You lie flat on a bed with one leg bent at the knee so your frozen foot is up in the air, held by the doctor and pressed against the cone. Before the freezing your foot is quickly probed and pressed to try and find the sorest spots,and then during the procedure the foot moves in a very small circle to make sure those spots are hit by the shockwaves.The machine makes a loud slapping noise - loud 'pops' over and over again, which is pretty strange. I found two things difficult. The thigh of the leg being worked on quickly got very tense and I thought it was going to cramp up. It was pressed firmly against the bed for the fifteen minutes of treatment and I had to concentrate to keep the muscle relaxed. Very uncomfortable. Secondly, though I found it was only every fifth or so 'pop' that brought pain (the rest of the time it just felt like my foot was being slapped fairly hard), after the first pain I felt tense the rest of the time waiting for the next shot of pain to come. Those shots of pain felt very electric and took my breath away, but as I say they did not come often. If I understand correctly the pain comes when the shock hits the most inflammed areas of the fascia. Also, as James warned might happen, I felt one wave go up the outside unfrozen part of my foot. That really hurt.
I've had pf for almost twelve years, so what was really nice was the time after the treatment when my left foot felt absolutely fantastic. That, of course,was because it was frozen... An hour later the first tingling and burning sensations started. That night it was definitely difficult to sleep - the foot was dancing with little sparks of pain and felt bruised. Here it felt very much like post-cortisone injection, I think. It also felt very tight and stiff, much like it did after surgery (I've tried surgery twice). For about a day the treated area was swollen and very hard to the touch. Now it's more flexible. But at rest it stiffens up fairly quickly and needs to be stretched often. I'm still limping a little even after a good stretch, but only occasionally is there a strong pull or much pain, and so I can walk okay.
I'm going to write more later once I've stepped outdoors for a moment to enjoy this last great day of autumn, but I'll add this right now. I know the Ossatron procedure has gotten a tremendous amount of positive press at this website lately, but I for one am going into this with a large dose of skepticism. As I mentioned I've had this rotten condition for just about as long as anyone, and besides custom orthodics, without which I don't believe I could walk at all, there's really no treatment I've found effective. Some things are soothing, nothing comes close to a cure. Unfortunately, even Dr. Gordon expressed his doubts about the Ossatron working in my case.In part because I'm diabetic, and though I'm in very good health as a surgeon he's seen too many diabetics with joint and muscle problems to be optimistic. As well, he said straight away that the fact surgery had failed for me greatly lessened my chances with the Ossatron. James was more positive on that last point, but as I say, I hold strong doubts.

Re: my first Ossatron treatment

Kris C on 11/01/99 at 00:00 (012235)

Thanks for the informative message about what you experienced. I had know idea what the Ossotron involved and it sounds very painful. I too have tried everything but that and surgery and am really quite frustrated with the whole thing. I hope you feel better soon.

Re: my first Ossatron treatment

john h on 11/01/99 at 00:00 (012245)

one of the officers at Healthtronics told me the facility in Mexico (Montery i think) perfoms the Ossatron treatment in a hospital setting and puts you to sleep for about 10 minutes while the procedure is done. This facility as I understood him is like a 4 star hotel so you might as well take a vacation if you go there.

I have read various articles in medical journals about ESW and the fact is they really do not know how it does what it does. There were some speculations which were very medically complex but they are just that-speculations.

I have had the surgery both Tarsal Tunnel and PF release and chelictomy on my left foot. The pain experienced by me seems much less than what is posted here. I am just over two months post surgery so do not yet know the final results of my recovery. I am certainly no worse and hope and pray that by about 4 month from now I can say the surgery was successful. When it comes time for my other foot I hope to see the results of the FDA testing which is more than just a sampling of what we see posted here. I was supprised to read that that Dr Galea has only done 100 procedures. Does the Canadian health system cover this procedure or do they consider it experimental?


Re: my first Ossatron treatment

joan on 11/01/99 at 00:00 (012256)

What a post! I hurt just reading it. You sure you're not Stephen King posting just out of sheer boredom between novels? OUCH! I will probably get the orthotripsy in the future, but after reading this, I am sure I am going in with my eyes wide open. Ow, ow, ow! I hope this DOES work for you. Lots of luck. (And please put a PG' rating on your next post--for 'Pretty Gruesome'!).

Re: my first Ossatron treatment

kellyc on 11/03/99 at 00:00 (012305)

Michael, were you in the room with me when mine was done?????
I felt that the whole procedure was very downplayed by my
dr. vs. what it was actually like. I couldn't stand to walk
on my foot for 3 days.

I'm 2 weeks and 1 day out. There's improvement but nothing drastic.
New just today is a very sharp, stabbing pain in the very bottom of my heel 'deep'. It catches your breath and is over just as quick.
Doesn't matter if I'm standing or not. I wonder if this is just part of the healing process.

I'm optomistic though. I've put up with this for 8 years. I'm 35 years old and wayyyyyyy to young to have to put up with sore feet for the rest of my life. I can't wait for it to be approved in the states so that I can get the other foot done. Word on the street is that they're shooting for January, 2000.

Yea Baby!


Re: my first Ossatron treatment

MarthaB. on 11/03/99 at 00:00 (012309)

Be patient Kelly-8yrs.of pf has to be awful!!18 months was all I could take before I headed to Canada Sept. 17.My other PF foot has settled down since I had left done.Don't want to depress anyone but word on the street told us that Ossatron should have been in the States byJUNE 99.Didn't happen. There is still a study going on in Houston and the results will take awhile even after all testing is done.

Re: my first Ossatron treatment

Kris C on 11/01/99 at 00:00 (012235)

Thanks for the informative message about what you experienced. I had know idea what the Ossotron involved and it sounds very painful. I too have tried everything but that and surgery and am really quite frustrated with the whole thing. I hope you feel better soon.

Re: my first Ossatron treatment

john h on 11/01/99 at 00:00 (012245)

one of the officers at Healthtronics told me the facility in Mexico (Montery i think) perfoms the Ossatron treatment in a hospital setting and puts you to sleep for about 10 minutes while the procedure is done. This facility as I understood him is like a 4 star hotel so you might as well take a vacation if you go there.

I have read various articles in medical journals about ESW and the fact is they really do not know how it does what it does. There were some speculations which were very medically complex but they are just that-speculations.

I have had the surgery both Tarsal Tunnel and PF release and chelictomy on my left foot. The pain experienced by me seems much less than what is posted here. I am just over two months post surgery so do not yet know the final results of my recovery. I am certainly no worse and hope and pray that by about 4 month from now I can say the surgery was successful. When it comes time for my other foot I hope to see the results of the FDA testing which is more than just a sampling of what we see posted here. I was supprised to read that that Dr Galea has only done 100 procedures. Does the Canadian health system cover this procedure or do they consider it experimental?


Re: my first Ossatron treatment

joan on 11/01/99 at 00:00 (012256)

What a post! I hurt just reading it. You sure you're not Stephen King posting just out of sheer boredom between novels? OUCH! I will probably get the orthotripsy in the future, but after reading this, I am sure I am going in with my eyes wide open. Ow, ow, ow! I hope this DOES work for you. Lots of luck. (And please put a PG' rating on your next post--for 'Pretty Gruesome'!).

Re: my first Ossatron treatment

kellyc on 11/03/99 at 00:00 (012305)

Michael, were you in the room with me when mine was done?????
I felt that the whole procedure was very downplayed by my
dr. vs. what it was actually like. I couldn't stand to walk
on my foot for 3 days.

I'm 2 weeks and 1 day out. There's improvement but nothing drastic.
New just today is a very sharp, stabbing pain in the very bottom of my heel 'deep'. It catches your breath and is over just as quick.
Doesn't matter if I'm standing or not. I wonder if this is just part of the healing process.

I'm optomistic though. I've put up with this for 8 years. I'm 35 years old and wayyyyyyy to young to have to put up with sore feet for the rest of my life. I can't wait for it to be approved in the states so that I can get the other foot done. Word on the street is that they're shooting for January, 2000.

Yea Baby!


Re: my first Ossatron treatment

MarthaB. on 11/03/99 at 00:00 (012309)

Be patient Kelly-8yrs.of pf has to be awful!!18 months was all I could take before I headed to Canada Sept. 17.My other PF foot has settled down since I had left done.Don't want to depress anyone but word on the street told us that Ossatron should have been in the States byJUNE 99.Didn't happen. There is still a study going on in Houston and the results will take awhile even after all testing is done.