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Had enough, so I had EPF surgery

Posted by BJC on 1/27/00 at 00:00 (015175)

After 19 months of progressively worse pain, I made the decision to have EPF surgery. I have been working with a knowledgeable podiatrist for more than a year, and have tried all reasonable treatment (anti-inflammatory drugs, custom orthotics, taping, cortisone, heat, ice, stretching, etc) with only temporary success. I figured I have at least 40 more years to live, and could not compromise my lifestyle any longer. My surgery was 10 days ago, and I am already delighted that I have less pain in my right (surgical) foot than my left. I must say that the messages on this board were disconcerting to downright scary, but I found a doctor I put my trust in. I did not have heel spurs, which made me a candidate for EPF. During surgery the doctor found that the fascia was greatly thickened, which probably was causing my pain. He cut approximately 50% of the fascia. My post-op course has been relatively pain-free, and I'm following his advice to stay off my feet as much as possible. I am now able to walk with my tennis shoes on without any more discomfort than the surgical boot. Each day is a little better. I use heat and ice, and stretching exercises. I have had little/no swelling, and am just a little black and blue at the incision site. The doctor and I both feel that I will make a complete recovery. I will not hesitate to have the left foot done in the future. While I still have a way to go, I still don't know what the reluctance is for some who appear so debilitated to consider surgery. Quality of life is so important, how can you go on for so many years in a limited capacity? Any surgery is a risk, but I feel one worth taking. Good luck to all of you, I know what it's like. I'll keep you posted as to the rehab.

Re: Had enough, so I had EPF surgery

Nancy S. on 1/28/00 at 00:00 (015195)

The reluctance is in the statistics and in the many surgery-failure experiences that have been posted here and that some of us have met personally away from this board. (I met one myself in the grocery market. She is in a wheelchair. Permanently. Her feet are a mess.)
Congratulations to you for what sounds like it might be a successful surgery. You are very fortunate if that is the case.
I have a question for you. My podiatrist, who tried only a few treatments on me and taught me no conservative measures to be using at home, had me scheduled for EPF surgery after I'd had PF for 8 months. I have a heel spur. You say that because you had no heel spur, you were a candidate for EPF. Is it your understanding that people with heel spurs are not supposed to have EPF? I'm wondering why my podiatrist had me scheduled for it, when I do have a spur. -- Nancy S.

Re: Had enough, so I had EPF surgery

Lucy M on 1/28/00 at 00:00 (015203)

I don't know when a spur matters in regards to EPF? I did have EPF done last Thursday and I do have a spur. Could it have something to do with the size and position of the spur? Anyhow, my surgery seems to have gone well. My podiatrist is very pleased with it. I do have some pulling on the bottom of my foot, adjacent to the medial band of the plantar fascia that was cut. I've been doing non-weight bearing since Tuesday (I was doing partial weight bearing with a surgical boot and crutches) and it seems to be getting better. It is certainly getting less tender by the day. There is barely any swelling and just some bruising around the incisions. My arm is more bruised from the IV than my foot is from the surgery!!!! My arch is definitely less tight from the release. I go for another check-up today. Maybe I'll get to go back to partial weight bearing. I certainly hope so - crutches aren't all that easy.

Re: Had enough, so I had EPF surgery

john h on 1/28/00 at 00:00 (015206)

the largest group of Poditrist in my city have dropped EPF surgery in favor of minimal invasive surgery. they did a lot of endoscopic surgery and i do not know why they stopped using that procedure but they did.

Re: Had enough, so I had EPF surgery

BJC on 1/28/00 at 00:00 (015231)

He commented that it was more difficult to visualize the heel spur and remove it, and so preferred the more invasive treatment when a spur was involved. I didn't ask more questions because it wasn't pertinent. Today I am walking comfortably, albeit slowly in my tennis shoes with orthotics. I even think I'm beginning to use a little heel strike. I can stretch my toes back about as far in both feet without pain. As to crutches, my dr. did not recommend them, so I didn't use them at all. I did feel that I could have used a little assistance to get around, but then maybe if I had something I would have walked more instead of resting per recommendation. Good luck to all of you!

Re: Had enough, so I had EPF surgery

Nancy S. on 1/28/00 at 00:00 (015195)

The reluctance is in the statistics and in the many surgery-failure experiences that have been posted here and that some of us have met personally away from this board. (I met one myself in the grocery market. She is in a wheelchair. Permanently. Her feet are a mess.)
Congratulations to you for what sounds like it might be a successful surgery. You are very fortunate if that is the case.
I have a question for you. My podiatrist, who tried only a few treatments on me and taught me no conservative measures to be using at home, had me scheduled for EPF surgery after I'd had PF for 8 months. I have a heel spur. You say that because you had no heel spur, you were a candidate for EPF. Is it your understanding that people with heel spurs are not supposed to have EPF? I'm wondering why my podiatrist had me scheduled for it, when I do have a spur. -- Nancy S.

Re: Had enough, so I had EPF surgery

Lucy M on 1/28/00 at 00:00 (015203)

I don't know when a spur matters in regards to EPF? I did have EPF done last Thursday and I do have a spur. Could it have something to do with the size and position of the spur? Anyhow, my surgery seems to have gone well. My podiatrist is very pleased with it. I do have some pulling on the bottom of my foot, adjacent to the medial band of the plantar fascia that was cut. I've been doing non-weight bearing since Tuesday (I was doing partial weight bearing with a surgical boot and crutches) and it seems to be getting better. It is certainly getting less tender by the day. There is barely any swelling and just some bruising around the incisions. My arm is more bruised from the IV than my foot is from the surgery!!!! My arch is definitely less tight from the release. I go for another check-up today. Maybe I'll get to go back to partial weight bearing. I certainly hope so - crutches aren't all that easy.

Re: Had enough, so I had EPF surgery

john h on 1/28/00 at 00:00 (015206)

the largest group of Poditrist in my city have dropped EPF surgery in favor of minimal invasive surgery. they did a lot of endoscopic surgery and i do not know why they stopped using that procedure but they did.

Re: Had enough, so I had EPF surgery

BJC on 1/28/00 at 00:00 (015231)

He commented that it was more difficult to visualize the heel spur and remove it, and so preferred the more invasive treatment when a spur was involved. I didn't ask more questions because it wasn't pertinent. Today I am walking comfortably, albeit slowly in my tennis shoes with orthotics. I even think I'm beginning to use a little heel strike. I can stretch my toes back about as far in both feet without pain. As to crutches, my dr. did not recommend them, so I didn't use them at all. I did feel that I could have used a little assistance to get around, but then maybe if I had something I would have walked more instead of resting per recommendation. Good luck to all of you!