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painful mheel spurs

Posted by Barb on 3/14/00 at 00:00 (017259)

Mh dad has very paiknful heel spurs, and surgery is not an option. He is quadrapalegic from a car accident. We were advised that surgery will be move harmful for him. What can we do to relieve the pain for him. We have the foot apparatus for him to sleep in, is there anything else we can do?

Re: painful mheel spurs

Rick R on 3/14/00 at 00:00 (017273)

Barb,

I share Kim's curiosity regarding your father. Did he have spurs prior to his unfortunate accident? Having had the real McCoy, not just PF, I can guess perhaps that as things tighten up from disuse there is a tension that is pulling the tendon across a spur. Seems to me removing the spur might work if is was an option, but stretching might also work. How about Physical Therapy during the day, or even the stretching devise during the day as well as at night? I think I'd try pulling those feet back as much as I could.

My dad has MS and has been in darned lousy shape for a long time. My heart goes out to you for what that does to the whole family.


Re: painful mheel spurs

dang dave on 3/15/00 at 00:00 (017301)

IMO: the 'spurs' don't cause the pain, it's PF that does it. PF 'is' heel spurs with the pain. Heel spurs are just a result of PF, not the other way around. Heel spurs unless accentuated can be lived with and perhaps most of the adult (middle aged) population has some form of heel spurs if they were x rayed... I've got 'em but the pain comes and goes, even if the boney protubrances stay the same. As the standard definition of heel spurs, they are the heel's boney structure's way of dealing with PF.... growing longer to adapt to a shorter, tighter plantar fascia which is a result of 'stressful' living.

Surgery is only recommended in the most extreme cases and Poditrists and Orthopeadic surgeons, some of them, are only cutting to make money in the removal of 'spurs' and side effects can be devastating. Like carpal tunnel, symptoms can reoccur even after expensive surgery if the underlying causes of PF aren't dealt with: bad shoes, stress, too much use of certain postures, etc.


Re: painful mheel spurs

Rick R on 3/15/00 at 00:00 (017304)

Dave,

What bones to best is react to trauma and grow more bone. I have been the beneficiary of this phenomenon far too many times. No doubt the trauma of excessive stress on the plantar fascia due to tightness, injury or whatever will initiate bone growth and eventually generate a spur. Although the spur was a initially a secondary effect of PF, once it's there I believe it gets more complicated.

I believe depending on the size and shape of the spur, stress in the plantar fascia that would not be excessive for a normal person, can cause inflammation and further damage to the person with spurs. This is why I think it is so important to stop the inflammation and trauma post haste. Getting that plantar fascia stretched out once a major spur forms is a very touchy proposition.

We are on the same page regarding surgery. As I have posted before, I consider surgery treating the symptom and not addressing the cause. If you don't find a way to make the changes needed to eliminate PF prior to surgery then why wouldn't your condition return. Then if you find a way to eliminate PF why have the surgery? For me after 13 years of spur growth the envelope I had to live within to avoid PF became unacceptable. Certianly the PF caused the spur but I believe the spur closed the envelope. Good luck, hope PF leaves you alone!

Rick



Re: painful mheel spurs

Rick R on 3/14/00 at 00:00 (017273)

Barb,

I share Kim's curiosity regarding your father. Did he have spurs prior to his unfortunate accident? Having had the real McCoy, not just PF, I can guess perhaps that as things tighten up from disuse there is a tension that is pulling the tendon across a spur. Seems to me removing the spur might work if is was an option, but stretching might also work. How about Physical Therapy during the day, or even the stretching devise during the day as well as at night? I think I'd try pulling those feet back as much as I could.

My dad has MS and has been in darned lousy shape for a long time. My heart goes out to you for what that does to the whole family.


Re: painful mheel spurs

dang dave on 3/15/00 at 00:00 (017301)

IMO: the 'spurs' don't cause the pain, it's PF that does it. PF 'is' heel spurs with the pain. Heel spurs are just a result of PF, not the other way around. Heel spurs unless accentuated can be lived with and perhaps most of the adult (middle aged) population has some form of heel spurs if they were x rayed... I've got 'em but the pain comes and goes, even if the boney protubrances stay the same. As the standard definition of heel spurs, they are the heel's boney structure's way of dealing with PF.... growing longer to adapt to a shorter, tighter plantar fascia which is a result of 'stressful' living.

Surgery is only recommended in the most extreme cases and Poditrists and Orthopeadic surgeons, some of them, are only cutting to make money in the removal of 'spurs' and side effects can be devastating. Like carpal tunnel, symptoms can reoccur even after expensive surgery if the underlying causes of PF aren't dealt with: bad shoes, stress, too much use of certain postures, etc.


Re: painful mheel spurs

Rick R on 3/15/00 at 00:00 (017304)

Dave,

What bones to best is react to trauma and grow more bone. I have been the beneficiary of this phenomenon far too many times. No doubt the trauma of excessive stress on the plantar fascia due to tightness, injury or whatever will initiate bone growth and eventually generate a spur. Although the spur was a initially a secondary effect of PF, once it's there I believe it gets more complicated.

I believe depending on the size and shape of the spur, stress in the plantar fascia that would not be excessive for a normal person, can cause inflammation and further damage to the person with spurs. This is why I think it is so important to stop the inflammation and trauma post haste. Getting that plantar fascia stretched out once a major spur forms is a very touchy proposition.

We are on the same page regarding surgery. As I have posted before, I consider surgery treating the symptom and not addressing the cause. If you don't find a way to make the changes needed to eliminate PF prior to surgery then why wouldn't your condition return. Then if you find a way to eliminate PF why have the surgery? For me after 13 years of spur growth the envelope I had to live within to avoid PF became unacceptable. Certianly the PF caused the spur but I believe the spur closed the envelope. Good luck, hope PF leaves you alone!

Rick