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Maybe Going for Surgery - any information??

Posted by Becky R. on 2/05/00 at 00:00 (015516)

Saw my doctor today. He is saying I need surgery. My plantar fasciitis has improved only minimally after 6 months. I have had physical therapy, night splints, been off my feet, stretches, injections, etc. I have had two doctors tell me this. I am very scared to have this surgery for fear it will leave me crippled for life. At least now, I can walk some up to an hour. My doctor says most patients have great results. I know many people that post here are long term sufferers and maybe have stubborn cases, but do you know anyone that is a success story with surgery? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks. Becky

Re: Maybe Going for Surgery - any information??

Lori S on 2/05/00 at 00:00 (015525)

See my message to Laura under 'surgery'
Lori in AZ

Re: Maybe Going for Surgery - any information??

BJC on 2/05/00 at 00:00 (015526)

Becky, this is a hard decision which only you can answer, but one which we all face. I had surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago, and to be truthful the info from this board scared me to death! But I had to ask myself: can I live like this for the next 40-50 years? NO! Since all other conventional treatment did not 'cure' me, I felt I had to try surgery. Ask lots of questions of your dr (my surgeon is a podiatrist). Find out first of all what he thinks is wrong: fascia, bone spurs, nerve entrapment etc. If he doesn't know for sure via xrays, etc. see someone else. In my case xrays were negative for bone spurs, and I had no other symptoms that would justify MRI, EMG, etc. Surgery (EPF) revealed thickened fascia, which we suspect was due inpart from a couple of foot injuries. My dr. does not advocate EPF when bone spurs are present, and thus the surgery and recovery is much more extensive if you have to go that route. I feel I am doing very well, and I can really feel a difference between my left and right foot post surgery (my rt/surgical foot feels 'normal', while my left foot which also has PF usually has a 'tingly' sensation, which I used to experience with my right). I suppose each dr. has their own course of recovery, but beware of high promises. Be prepared to stay off your feet for a while...I could only take care of personal needs the first week (shower, toilet, to the dinner table). As I'm in my third week, I'm supposed to be on my feet for only 20-30 minutes at a time, and if I stick to that I can walk pretty well in my tennis shoes. My scar is minimal, and with time will be invisible, slight black and blue remains, no swelling, no lumps, no sore spots when I walk (as others have reported). Some slight tremors at times when I extend my toes way back to stretch, and some muscular pain in various parts of my foot at times, which resolves with heat. When I touch a certain part of my ankle I get a 'zinger', which is from the injection of the local anesthetic for surgery, and will get better with time. I had not a lot of pain after surgery, and used only 3 pain pills (percoset). All in all this has been so much better than I anticipated, and I will probably have the left foot done sometime in the future. I believe the success of your surgery depends on the skill level (experience) of your doctor, so ask him if he could let you talk to someone else he operated on. I also got really good feedback about my doctor from the hospital personnel, but this is a very small town, and word gets around fast! I really wish you the very best, and hope you make a decision that is right for you. GOOD LUCK!!!

Re: Maybe Going for Surgery - any information??

Colleen G on 2/05/00 at 00:00 (015528)

Becky,

I had the traditional release and nerve release. I also got two opinions. The doctor that performed the surgery was a podiatrist. I also spoke with my primary physician who also specializes in sports medicine. He agreed that surgery was the best option.

I was in a boot for three and half weeks. No weight baring for three weeks and then four days of minimal weight baring. Both doctors told me to expect to be in pain for up to six months. I have pain going up the outside of my ankle which feels like a sprain and sometimes some severe pain on the back portion of my heel. He gave me an injection almost two weeks ago to get the surgical inflammation down. Since then I have had virtually no pain.

I was starting to think that the surgery didn't work and that my podiatrist was full of s---. I spoke to my primary physician and he told to relax and that what I am experiencing is normal.

Also be aware that when the surgery is being performed that the nerves end up being cut. There is no way around this. You will have numbness around the incision area. At first the bottom of my foot and big toe were numb. Now I have numbness just at my heel. It's not major numbness. If I scratch the numb area lightly I can still feel it. It just feels kind of wierd. I still should get more feeling back because some of the nerves regenerate themselves.

I know I have some posts where I'm thinking about going to see someone else, but I received an email from Sandy and she experienced that same thing that I am. Her post is on the surgery guest book. Don't read too much because some of the posts will scare the hell out of you. It's not a big deal. I didn't need any pain killers. And I am the biggest chicken. My DPM had to give me tranquilizers to calm me the week before the surgery. Don't worry.

If you want to know anything else feel free to email me.

Colleen


Re: Maybe Going for Surgery - any information??

john h on 2/05/00 at 00:00 (015531)

i think the conventional wisdom among doctors is wait at least a year before trying surgery.

Re: Maybe Going for Surgery - any information??

john h on 2/06/00 at 00:00 (015544)

i had both the tts and pf open surgery. i experienced minimal pain and have had no numbness. i am better than before surgery but not improved as much as i hoped. i am 5 months post surgery and doctor says wait a year for final results. i had no problem making a decision. 5 years of pain and having tried absoulutely everything i could read about. if there was a chance (most stats show about an 80% success rate) that a pf release would help my problem then i was going to do it.

Re: Maybe Going for Surgery - any information??

Lori S on 2/05/00 at 00:00 (015525)

See my message to Laura under 'surgery'
Lori in AZ

Re: Maybe Going for Surgery - any information??

BJC on 2/05/00 at 00:00 (015526)

Becky, this is a hard decision which only you can answer, but one which we all face. I had surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago, and to be truthful the info from this board scared me to death! But I had to ask myself: can I live like this for the next 40-50 years? NO! Since all other conventional treatment did not 'cure' me, I felt I had to try surgery. Ask lots of questions of your dr (my surgeon is a podiatrist). Find out first of all what he thinks is wrong: fascia, bone spurs, nerve entrapment etc. If he doesn't know for sure via xrays, etc. see someone else. In my case xrays were negative for bone spurs, and I had no other symptoms that would justify MRI, EMG, etc. Surgery (EPF) revealed thickened fascia, which we suspect was due inpart from a couple of foot injuries. My dr. does not advocate EPF when bone spurs are present, and thus the surgery and recovery is much more extensive if you have to go that route. I feel I am doing very well, and I can really feel a difference between my left and right foot post surgery (my rt/surgical foot feels 'normal', while my left foot which also has PF usually has a 'tingly' sensation, which I used to experience with my right). I suppose each dr. has their own course of recovery, but beware of high promises. Be prepared to stay off your feet for a while...I could only take care of personal needs the first week (shower, toilet, to the dinner table). As I'm in my third week, I'm supposed to be on my feet for only 20-30 minutes at a time, and if I stick to that I can walk pretty well in my tennis shoes. My scar is minimal, and with time will be invisible, slight black and blue remains, no swelling, no lumps, no sore spots when I walk (as others have reported). Some slight tremors at times when I extend my toes way back to stretch, and some muscular pain in various parts of my foot at times, which resolves with heat. When I touch a certain part of my ankle I get a 'zinger', which is from the injection of the local anesthetic for surgery, and will get better with time. I had not a lot of pain after surgery, and used only 3 pain pills (percoset). All in all this has been so much better than I anticipated, and I will probably have the left foot done sometime in the future. I believe the success of your surgery depends on the skill level (experience) of your doctor, so ask him if he could let you talk to someone else he operated on. I also got really good feedback about my doctor from the hospital personnel, but this is a very small town, and word gets around fast! I really wish you the very best, and hope you make a decision that is right for you. GOOD LUCK!!!

Re: Maybe Going for Surgery - any information??

Colleen G on 2/05/00 at 00:00 (015528)

Becky,

I had the traditional release and nerve release. I also got two opinions. The doctor that performed the surgery was a podiatrist. I also spoke with my primary physician who also specializes in sports medicine. He agreed that surgery was the best option.

I was in a boot for three and half weeks. No weight baring for three weeks and then four days of minimal weight baring. Both doctors told me to expect to be in pain for up to six months. I have pain going up the outside of my ankle which feels like a sprain and sometimes some severe pain on the back portion of my heel. He gave me an injection almost two weeks ago to get the surgical inflammation down. Since then I have had virtually no pain.

I was starting to think that the surgery didn't work and that my podiatrist was full of s---. I spoke to my primary physician and he told to relax and that what I am experiencing is normal.

Also be aware that when the surgery is being performed that the nerves end up being cut. There is no way around this. You will have numbness around the incision area. At first the bottom of my foot and big toe were numb. Now I have numbness just at my heel. It's not major numbness. If I scratch the numb area lightly I can still feel it. It just feels kind of wierd. I still should get more feeling back because some of the nerves regenerate themselves.

I know I have some posts where I'm thinking about going to see someone else, but I received an email from Sandy and she experienced that same thing that I am. Her post is on the surgery guest book. Don't read too much because some of the posts will scare the hell out of you. It's not a big deal. I didn't need any pain killers. And I am the biggest chicken. My DPM had to give me tranquilizers to calm me the week before the surgery. Don't worry.

If you want to know anything else feel free to email me.

Colleen


Re: Maybe Going for Surgery - any information??

john h on 2/05/00 at 00:00 (015531)

i think the conventional wisdom among doctors is wait at least a year before trying surgery.

Re: Maybe Going for Surgery - any information??

john h on 2/06/00 at 00:00 (015544)

i had both the tts and pf open surgery. i experienced minimal pain and have had no numbness. i am better than before surgery but not improved as much as i hoped. i am 5 months post surgery and doctor says wait a year for final results. i had no problem making a decision. 5 years of pain and having tried absoulutely everything i could read about. if there was a chance (most stats show about an 80% success rate) that a pf release would help my problem then i was going to do it.