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What now - after surgery!?

Posted by lisa e. on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017871)

Hi
This is my first posting after having read this message board for 6 months. I have had PF in both feet, for just over a year, done the shots, done the casts, done PT,and opted for my first surgery on one foot seven weeks ago. I am now going to PT for 3 wks to try to get some post surgery relief. I have to say I have yet to feel ANY relief from this surgery and am very discouraged. My surgeon had said that there was a 10% chance that the surgery would not work and another 10% chance that the condition could worsen. I went ahead because I didn't feel I had a choice and needed some relief, but now I'm not sure. Can someone share an POSITIVE after-surgery experiences to give me a little hope? Thks. Lisa

Re: What now - after surgery!?

Barb T on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017877)

I too had PF surgery 7 weeks ago. I also had pain for a little over a year, tried everything, and decided to have surgery because I was sick of not being able to do anything. Well I'm coming along. Not as well as I had hoped. I still have bad days, can't walk any great distances, still am not back to work, and still have a great deal of pain with those first steps. From the people I hear who have had successful surgery, this is a long healing process. I don't think I have heard anyone say that they were as good as new in a few months. Hang in there, hopefully things will get better. I am scheduled for surgery for the other foot next week. It's pretty scary at this point. I do have hope though.

Re: What now - after surgery!?

john h on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017881)

most doctors will say 6months to 1 year for final results. keep doing your stretching,iceing,etc. Most results i have read are around 70% success rate for PF surgery. I have never read where there is a 10% chance surgery would make it worse. I am not sure i would accept those odds. had surgery in august. somewhat better but not as better as i hoped.

Re: What now - after surgery!?

BJC on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017888)

Lisa: I am so sorry you are not doing better. I had EPF 2 1/2 months ago (Jan 18), and feel that I am doing great. Not 'cured' yet, but OK. I don't mean to make you feel bad, but perhaps something to gauge your progress by: I can shop for 3-4 hours, walk for 2-3 hours without shoes on, garden for 2-3 hours. Gardening was the hardest for me pre-op, and one thing I'm looking forward to. I did overdo it last week, we unloaded 3 pick-up loads of mulch in 24 hours! The hill is at a 60 degree angle and slippery, and I shouldn't have done it! It's much better now, although not as good as before last Wed. I continue to do exercises to strengthen my ankles and feet, and use heat because it feels so good! My orthotics need to be re-done, and I can't find my Spenco's. Tomorrow I will be going to Nashville for a very long day with a lot of walking, and I am a little nervous! My dr. says it will take 6 months to be back to normal. I have no restrictions at this time. Good luck, and hang in there. Everyone heals differently. Remember, rest is best!

Re: What now - after surgery!?

Dr. Zuckerman on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017893)

It can take six months or more for plantar fasciotomy surgery. I tell patients that some will take a week some will take a month and some will take up to six months. It can be a very long and at times painful healing process. Never go without shoes, not even one step
Make sure you stretch the achilles tendon. Sometime PT can speed this up. Some times low dye strapping will reduce the pain.
You may need to placed into a boot cast ( removal. It is the patients that take a long time that made me look into ESWT. I have performed ESWT on three patient that were in their four month of painful healing and this completely resolved all pain. Don't give up it can get better.

Re: What now - after surgery!?

Nancy M on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017894)

Lisa, my heel pain first started in September/October 1997. I first went to my PCP and after anti-inflammatories from him and then a shot I went to a podiatrist. When I first saw my 'friendly foot doctor' as I call him, I had several things going on in my left foot PF, neuroma, and a stress fracture. I was in a soft cast for the stress fracture for about 7-8 weeks and during that time my PF didn't brother me that much, but I think that was because my foot was in the soft case. After the soft cast came off for the stress fracture the pain was back in my heel.

After trying all the usual stuff - shots, anit-inflammatories, PT, orthotics, taping and having pain for about a year we decided to do my first EPF 1/3 release surgery (right foot)in September 1998. After surgery I was in a hard cast up to my knee on crutches with no weight for one week. Stitches out in one week and then wearing tennis shoes.

My second EPF 1/3 release (left foot) was March 1999. The second surgery I was in a cam boot after surgery and able to walk the same day. Stitches out in one week and in the cam boot for about another 6 weeks and then tennis shoes. I asked my doctor why the difference - he changed his procedure.

I've also had 3 neuromas removed (2 left foot, 1 right foot). These surgeries went well too. I do notice the numbness more in the left foot than the right, but I believe it's because I've had two removed from that foot one between the second and third toe and one between the third and fourth toe. My first neuroma surgery was June 1998 left foot. The second neuroma surgery was July 1999 both feet. That one was fun.

So, in the last 2 1/2 years I've had surgery on my feet 4 times and I'm glad to say I'm 100% pain free from the surgeries. My latest adventure is an inflammation of a nerve in my left foot. I had a shot the beginning of February before my 'friendly foot doctor' went on vacation for two weeks and that worked for about 4 weeks then the pain was back. Had an other shot last Wednesday and this one is not helping at all. I go back April 5th. I think my next option is to have a bone scan done - we have talked about it, so we'll see.

But I do want to say again that I am 100% pain free in my heels from the surgery.

Hope I've help and please feel free to ask question.

Nancy in AZ


Re: What now - after surgery!?

Barb T on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017877)

I too had PF surgery 7 weeks ago. I also had pain for a little over a year, tried everything, and decided to have surgery because I was sick of not being able to do anything. Well I'm coming along. Not as well as I had hoped. I still have bad days, can't walk any great distances, still am not back to work, and still have a great deal of pain with those first steps. From the people I hear who have had successful surgery, this is a long healing process. I don't think I have heard anyone say that they were as good as new in a few months. Hang in there, hopefully things will get better. I am scheduled for surgery for the other foot next week. It's pretty scary at this point. I do have hope though.

Re: What now - after surgery!?

john h on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017881)

most doctors will say 6months to 1 year for final results. keep doing your stretching,iceing,etc. Most results i have read are around 70% success rate for PF surgery. I have never read where there is a 10% chance surgery would make it worse. I am not sure i would accept those odds. had surgery in august. somewhat better but not as better as i hoped.

Re: What now - after surgery!?

BJC on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017888)

Lisa: I am so sorry you are not doing better. I had EPF 2 1/2 months ago (Jan 18), and feel that I am doing great. Not 'cured' yet, but OK. I don't mean to make you feel bad, but perhaps something to gauge your progress by: I can shop for 3-4 hours, walk for 2-3 hours without shoes on, garden for 2-3 hours. Gardening was the hardest for me pre-op, and one thing I'm looking forward to. I did overdo it last week, we unloaded 3 pick-up loads of mulch in 24 hours! The hill is at a 60 degree angle and slippery, and I shouldn't have done it! It's much better now, although not as good as before last Wed. I continue to do exercises to strengthen my ankles and feet, and use heat because it feels so good! My orthotics need to be re-done, and I can't find my Spenco's. Tomorrow I will be going to Nashville for a very long day with a lot of walking, and I am a little nervous! My dr. says it will take 6 months to be back to normal. I have no restrictions at this time. Good luck, and hang in there. Everyone heals differently. Remember, rest is best!

Re: What now - after surgery!?

Dr. Zuckerman on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017893)

It can take six months or more for plantar fasciotomy surgery. I tell patients that some will take a week some will take a month and some will take up to six months. It can be a very long and at times painful healing process. Never go without shoes, not even one step
Make sure you stretch the achilles tendon. Sometime PT can speed this up. Some times low dye strapping will reduce the pain.
You may need to placed into a boot cast ( removal. It is the patients that take a long time that made me look into ESWT. I have performed ESWT on three patient that were in their four month of painful healing and this completely resolved all pain. Don't give up it can get better.

Re: What now - after surgery!?

Nancy M on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017894)

Lisa, my heel pain first started in September/October 1997. I first went to my PCP and after anti-inflammatories from him and then a shot I went to a podiatrist. When I first saw my 'friendly foot doctor' as I call him, I had several things going on in my left foot PF, neuroma, and a stress fracture. I was in a soft cast for the stress fracture for about 7-8 weeks and during that time my PF didn't brother me that much, but I think that was because my foot was in the soft case. After the soft cast came off for the stress fracture the pain was back in my heel.

After trying all the usual stuff - shots, anit-inflammatories, PT, orthotics, taping and having pain for about a year we decided to do my first EPF 1/3 release surgery (right foot)in September 1998. After surgery I was in a hard cast up to my knee on crutches with no weight for one week. Stitches out in one week and then wearing tennis shoes.

My second EPF 1/3 release (left foot) was March 1999. The second surgery I was in a cam boot after surgery and able to walk the same day. Stitches out in one week and in the cam boot for about another 6 weeks and then tennis shoes. I asked my doctor why the difference - he changed his procedure.

I've also had 3 neuromas removed (2 left foot, 1 right foot). These surgeries went well too. I do notice the numbness more in the left foot than the right, but I believe it's because I've had two removed from that foot one between the second and third toe and one between the third and fourth toe. My first neuroma surgery was June 1998 left foot. The second neuroma surgery was July 1999 both feet. That one was fun.

So, in the last 2 1/2 years I've had surgery on my feet 4 times and I'm glad to say I'm 100% pain free from the surgeries. My latest adventure is an inflammation of a nerve in my left foot. I had a shot the beginning of February before my 'friendly foot doctor' went on vacation for two weeks and that worked for about 4 weeks then the pain was back. Had an other shot last Wednesday and this one is not helping at all. I go back April 5th. I think my next option is to have a bone scan done - we have talked about it, so we'll see.

But I do want to say again that I am 100% pain free in my heels from the surgery.

Hope I've help and please feel free to ask question.

Nancy in AZ