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re: Recovery after surgery

Posted by Jorge F. on 3/21/00 at 00:00 (017604)

I've had PF since the summer of 1997. After a month or so of feeling this unusual heel pain I went to an orthopedic doctor. He did an x-ray and diagnosed me as having a heel spur. He explained to me all the options: drugs, injections, foot strapping, and eventually surgery. He started me on 1600 milligrams of ibuprofen. After 2 weeks the pain went away.
But, unfortunately, 12 months later the pain returned. I decided to go to a podiatrist this time. This was about February of 1998. He took an x-ray and came up with the same diagnosis (heel spur, plantar ficillus). But this time he started me on cortisone injections (Those needles really F*****G hurt!). And he gave me stretching exercises to do. He also made a cast of my feet and made me supports to put in my shoes. He also prescribed me naproxen (anti-inflammatory). I started to feel better the first couple of weeks. I started to excersize. But the pain returned-now even more intense. The doctor told me that the only option left was to get surgery. He explained that the surgery would be simple. He'd go in and make an inch long incision on the side of my heel and cut away the inflamed fascia(ligament) and that would take care of the pain. He said that I'd be able to return to work in two weeks. Yeah right! I began to get suspicious of this 'doctor'. I noticed that other patients were getting whirlpool, and ultra-sound therapy-he didn't even give me those treatments.
So I decided not to go to this quack, anymore. I continued to excersize despite the pain. I was told that if I lost some weight it could relieve some or all of the pain. I dropped about 30 pounds, before the pain became too unbearable to workout anymore. My job didn't make it any easier on my poor foot (left foot, that is). I work in a computer center and I have to be on my feet constantly. I had notified my supervisor of my problem and even gave him a doctor's note to notify him of my condition. Did he take pity? No.
In July of 1999 I went to a new podiatrist. This time they wrapped my foot, gave me whirlpool therapy, gave me ultra-sound. The doctor was more professional than the last quack I visited. I started to feel relief, once more. But, slowly, the pain crept back. The doctor started me on cortisone shots and prescribed naproxen. I continued this till December of '99. The pain was more intense and I was fed up. I gave the doctor the ok for the surgery. At this point, I felt that I tried everything possible for the last two and a half years.
On December 22nd the doctor operated on me. He removed the heel spur, removed the fascia, and removed a damaged nerve. He told me the recovery time could be four to six weeks. Well, it's almost three months to the day, and I'm still in pain. The stitches healed up, but I can't walk for more than five or ten minutes at a stretch. I use a cane if I'm planning to be on my feet for any length of time. The entire heel area is very sensitive. I wake up at times during the night because I'd accidentally bump my heal. I'm still on disability from work and have no idea when I'm going to return.
To put it bluntly, my foot hurts more now than before. Unbelievable!
Sometimes the cure can be worse than the problem.
The doctor seems to be perplexed about this. I can tell that he gets a little nervous around me. Now, he sends me to a physical therapist, because I complained that my left leg felt weak. He wants me to go for four weeks. He scheduled my next till next month. I guess this is a way for him not to confront me. What does he expect-a miracle cure at the hands of the physical therapist?
I know I'm not alone in this. I've read other testimonials on this website that eerily sounded like mine. Doctors need to be more honest with their patients.
Hopefully, this healing process is a matter of alot more time. And time I have plenty of.