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Has anyone had heel cord lengthening along with heel spur/pf surgery?

Posted by Nicole on 6/21/00 at 12:07 (022160)

Hello,
I am newly diagnosed with PF, I've had the heel and arch pain for six months now and just recently had a referral to my POD. He took x-rays, and found I have a huge heel spur on my left heel and a little one on my right. He said the left one must have been growing for over 20 years to be the size it is (I am 30 years old). When I was a baby, I had to wear the foot brace to turn my feet out, and family members have had foot problems as well. My POD tried taping and giving me Voltaren-xr, but neither worked. I bought some super feet at REI to try those before ordering prescription orthotics (my health insurance won't pay for prescription orthotics). I am in a lot of pain day and night, with a lot of edema in my feet and ankles and told my POD I am looking for a permanent solution. I am going to try the night splints this week, but am thinking surgery is going to be the answer for me. I am active but have not been able to run pain free since last year so I took up swimming last week.
My POD explained how my heel cords are so tight that they are the cause of my PF. Genetics is a factor with my situation. He said if he lengthens them at the same time I have the heel surgery done, the it's going to be more of a permanent solution. He explained how he believes the heel surgery on the bottom of the foot is more effective and has a longer track record of success of the newer surgeries which claim folks can be up walking the next day. He said he would remove the bone spurs at the same time, but they are unlikely to be the cause of the PF. He has done hundreds of these surgeries, and I am most likely planning on scheduling the surgery, but since this is such a big surgery, I asked my PCP for a referral to an Ortho for a second opinion. I have had lower back pain for years, and within the last six months have developed knee pain and my hips are tighter than usual. I believe everything is all related to one another, but it's a matter of are my foot problems causing the others or visa versa?

If any of you have had these surgeries or know someone who has, I would really appreciate your feedback. The heel cord lengthening surgery is a big one as I will now have some minor athletic limitations, but the trade off is that it is more of a permanent solution and I don't want to have the heel surgery done again in 10 years. My goal is quality of life in the future!

Thanks everyone, this is my first time reading this website with your comments and it's so nice to know that I am not the only one who is going through this. The support felt here at this comment board is great!

Take care,
Nicole


Re: Surgery - heel cords

wendyn on 6/21/00 at 13:21 (022167)

I didn't even know that heel cords could be lengthened (mine are short too). How do they do that?

At the risk of offending Dr Z and other podiatrists (nothing personal) I think you are very wise to seek a second opinion from an orthepedic surgeon. You are talking about MAJOR surgery on your feet, and any time you're considering surgery for anything - it's always wise to seek a second opinion.

I used to think my podiatrist walked on water..he seemed to know everything and was very attractive too! When I developed TTS, he and his partner (also not hard to look at) rushed to inject me with cortisone and said surgery was next. I was uncomfotable with their refusal to discuss cortisone shot complications, and their lack of interest in the real 'cause' of my TTS. I never went back to either one of them. Their refusal to discuss the shot was the clincher - I was insulted that they seemed to think I was too simple or immature to properly weigh potential risks vs potential benefits.

18 months later - my feet are greatly improved. I got out of the orthotics the pod had me in and into Birks. An orthpedic surgeon has found much more wrong with my feet than the pods identified - their surgery would have been a waste of time and money becasue it wouldn't have addressed the underlying problem. If anything I may have been much worse off.

The bottom line is - you really need to do your homework and get other opinions. Weigh all the facts and then you'll have to decide for yourself how you want to procede.

A lot of us here have backpain/hip pain etc. When your feet aren't working properly - it throws everything off. I share your frustration with not knowing which is aggravating the other (sort of a chicken/egg thing).

When do you see the other doctor? Please let us know what happens - we all learn a lot here from other folks experience.


Re: Has anyone had heel cord lengthening along with heel spur/pf surgery?

john h on 6/21/00 at 17:01 (022179)

nicole: i would be concerned about heel cord surgery to cure your PF. i do not think i have ever seen any post or read anywhere about this as a cure for PF. a number of us have low back pain to go with our PF. so far no doctor has indicated a relationship in my case. the night splint is a good idea as will be iceing, massage, and some of the other things you read on this board. also try birkenstock sandals as shoe wear for a while. there is no quick cure for your problem. patience and knowledge are your keys. get a second opinion.

Re: Surgery - heel cords

john h on 6/21/00 at 17:03 (022180)

wendy: glad to see you finally spilled your guts about the 'attractive' pod. no more grief from you about my accupuncturist.

Re: Has anyone had heel cord lengthening along with heel spur/pf surgery?

john h on 6/21/00 at 17:57 (022184)

i have had two friends (both doctors) who had surgery on their achilles tendons. it was big time surgery and both were down for some time. it was not for lengthening the heel cord but for something else. both had it done by an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in foot surgery. they were both down and out for some time.

Re: This "newbie" would consult an ortho dr./Wendy: "easy on the eye"

Beverly on 6/21/00 at 18:09 (022185)

Hi Nocole:

I'm still a newbie (3.5 months), but from my own experiences thus far and from my avid reading of this board, I would definitely go to an orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion. No offense to Dr. Z, but I personally would never let anyone but a MD do major cutting on me, and I'd want a specialist. Hang in there. I have found this board to be a real lifeline (as recently as last night)!

Hey Windy, on the nature of 'easy on the eye.' Before my foot got so bad that I had to give up my workouts, I had a few upperbody sessions with a trainer who was VERY EASY ON THE EYE. The guy looked like he needed to be 'boxed' into a Ken and Barbie doll set... a living Ken doll. Needless to say, I was not always using my noodle as he encouraged me to 'do more' ... went home on ice. In the end, I tried a middle aged and rather frumpy looking woman (an aging areobics instructor) who seemed to understand that a 40 year old woman (who is carrying around a few injuries) needs to move slowly... take it nice and easy. If only I could have cloned his body into her mentality! Oh well, I've spent all my money on shoes, gadgets, and inserts so when I feel up to doing weights again, I don't have to concern myself with 'Ken' vs. the nice older woman. On the other hand, the doctor did suggest water therapy for my current predictament.... hum, Ken in a swimsuit...
Beverly



Re: This "newbie" would consult an ortho dr./Wendy: "easy on the eye"

alan k on 6/21/00 at 19:13 (022188)

Please try to limit your comments to their feet.

alan k

ps sorry scott


Re: This "newbie" would consult an ortho dr./Wendy: "easy on the eye"

Nancy S. on 6/21/00 at 21:51 (022191)

Agree with Alan, limit those lustful comments to their feet. My husband is quite easy on the eye, but the only physical attribute I mentioned in our wedding ceremony by the lake was his 'big handsome feet.' (True anecdote, pre-PF.)
--Nancy
p.s. Sorry Scott.

Re: I'm sorry. I was just kidding.

Beverly on 6/21/00 at 22:16 (022195)

I'm sorry. I was just kidding. I didn't mean anything by it.
I only meant it like a cartoon character. Anyway, point taken.
It was really out-of-character for me. Most of my friends would probably say I'm 'too serious.' Given that I said it, it is far more ridiculous than you could possibly realize.
I'll be good,
Beverly


Re: I'm sorry. I was just kidding.

Nancy S. on 6/22/00 at 06:04 (022202)

Beverly, no apologies needed -- I was kidding too! Actually, I was happy to see the lightheartedness in your post. The attractiveness topic has been sort of an ongoing occasional joke brought up by Wendy and even more often by that rascal John h. No reason you can't make use of it too.
Besides, I think something said or done out of character, if it hurts no one, can be good for that character. So please feel free, and do not worry, and have a great day.
--Nancy

Re: Good looking pods

wendyn on 6/22/00 at 08:40 (022209)

Hey - I've been honest about my motivation for this doctor right from day one. Most of my doctors have been young and very attractive.

Useless - but attractive.


Re: Relax Alan

wendyn on 6/22/00 at 08:48 (022210)

No need to be jealous. We've spent plenty of time here commenting about YOUR 'magnificent body'.

Unfortunately, the physical attractiveness of the doctor (IMHO)seems to be directly related to how much they know. The better looking, the less helpful. Of course this is not realistically the case - but I've found it somewhat amusing that it's seems to be my consistent experience. If I walk in and see the Hunch Back of Notre Dame I'll know I've found my man.

How are your feet? Your wife was having trouble with hers - is she any better? On yoga, apparently the kind I'm doing is Hatha yoga. We learned shoulder stands the other night - feels like 'real' yoga now!. Guess we'll be standing on our heads and twisting ourselves into pretzels next.


Re: Surgery - heel cords

Pauline on 6/22/00 at 10:17 (022214)

Surgery is always easiest on the person performing it. Your Pod makes
it sound so simple---thats his job. I like Wendyn think a second and possible third opinion is necessary here. My bet is that your Pod
makes mega bucks from his heel cord procedure leaving you to suffer
the consequences.

I learned a long time ago, no surgery is without risk and when a Doctor suggest surgery it's a signal for you to slow down-
get his procedure in writing and head for a second opinion. My choice would be with an Orthopedic Dr at a large medical center. Perhaps one that dones leg lengthing. They would know if you need your heel
cords lengthened and the consequences you may suffer.
Good Luck



Re: I'm sorry. I was just kidding.

john h on 6/22/00 at 10:56 (022218)

you ladies now say you were all kidding! sure! you bet! what you read is what you get! have a nice day. i like your spunk.

Re: Relax Alan

I WAS JUST KIDDING TOO! on 6/22/00 at 11:00 (022219)

I was just kidding, or are you all just kidding about not understanding that I was kidding? How confusing!

See, we are supposed to talk about feet so if you are going to admire a man or woman you have to limit it to how nice their feet are. Get it?

Oh well...

sorry to everyone for bad joke...

alan

ps We are going to the beach for a few days so I'm not away being mad or anything. See you all soon.

Oh, about us and yoga and things, the phsyical aspect is called Hatha Yoga, and then there would be different varieties within that category, so we do Hatha Yoga too, of the variety called Astanga, which is lots of continuous jumping around and very vigorous. We are not completely better, and suspect nerve damage. Science has not fully determined how permanant that is and under what conditions. Other types of yoga involving meditation would be more likely to be effective on nerve damage, but in fact Hatha yoga is not completely separate from that either-- the different aspects of yoga are interelated rather than mutually exclusive.

You are likely to benefit greatly from the yoga, wendy.


alan


Re: Easy on the eye?

JudyS on 6/24/00 at 15:37 (022333)

How is it that every time I go out of town I have to get you guys back in line upon my return? We're talkin' FEET here! Now, about that 'easy on the eye' thing. Hmmmm, it's true, my POD is WAY easy on the eye with a personality to match. I wonder if that's why my PF has such longevity?

Re: Thank you-Re: Surgery - heel cords

Nicole on 6/25/00 at 10:12 (022366)

Thank you so much to everyone who replied to my message. I appreciate your feedback! I was able to make an appt. with and ORTHO who specializes in foot and ankles. Since he's so busy (probably a good sign), my appt. isn't until July 20th.

Wendyn, the heel cord lengthening surgery my POD told me about, consists of lengthing the gastroc muscle via a tongue-n-groove procedure. From what he told me, the tight heel cords being the cause of my PF, it makes sense to have this done so the PF doesn't come back. However, it is a serious surgery being there will be some limitations as a result of it. Since I hope I don't have to have this done, I've been very diligent about stretching out my ankle and leg muscles every day in hopes of stretching out the muscles myself. Also, self massage daily, professional massage 1xweek, icing daily and attempting to elevate as much as possible. I will try another pair of Birks (I had a pair 13 years ago but they hurt my feet too much to wear them), hopefully the newer styles will be better for my feet.

Thank you all for your support, I wish you pain-free days ahead!

Take care,
Nicole


Re: Thank you-Re: Surgery - heel cords

wendyn on 6/25/00 at 19:18 (022402)

Thanks for your info Nicole. Please let us know what the ortho says. Also, if you can get the name of the procedure that's used to lengthen heel cords- I'd be interested in doing some more research on it.

Re: Surgery - heel cords

wendyn on 6/21/00 at 13:21 (022167)

I didn't even know that heel cords could be lengthened (mine are short too). How do they do that?

At the risk of offending Dr Z and other podiatrists (nothing personal) I think you are very wise to seek a second opinion from an orthepedic surgeon. You are talking about MAJOR surgery on your feet, and any time you're considering surgery for anything - it's always wise to seek a second opinion.

I used to think my podiatrist walked on water..he seemed to know everything and was very attractive too! When I developed TTS, he and his partner (also not hard to look at) rushed to inject me with cortisone and said surgery was next. I was uncomfotable with their refusal to discuss cortisone shot complications, and their lack of interest in the real 'cause' of my TTS. I never went back to either one of them. Their refusal to discuss the shot was the clincher - I was insulted that they seemed to think I was too simple or immature to properly weigh potential risks vs potential benefits.

18 months later - my feet are greatly improved. I got out of the orthotics the pod had me in and into Birks. An orthpedic surgeon has found much more wrong with my feet than the pods identified - their surgery would have been a waste of time and money becasue it wouldn't have addressed the underlying problem. If anything I may have been much worse off.

The bottom line is - you really need to do your homework and get other opinions. Weigh all the facts and then you'll have to decide for yourself how you want to procede.

A lot of us here have backpain/hip pain etc. When your feet aren't working properly - it throws everything off. I share your frustration with not knowing which is aggravating the other (sort of a chicken/egg thing).

When do you see the other doctor? Please let us know what happens - we all learn a lot here from other folks experience.


Re: Has anyone had heel cord lengthening along with heel spur/pf surgery?

john h on 6/21/00 at 17:01 (022179)

nicole: i would be concerned about heel cord surgery to cure your PF. i do not think i have ever seen any post or read anywhere about this as a cure for PF. a number of us have low back pain to go with our PF. so far no doctor has indicated a relationship in my case. the night splint is a good idea as will be iceing, massage, and some of the other things you read on this board. also try birkenstock sandals as shoe wear for a while. there is no quick cure for your problem. patience and knowledge are your keys. get a second opinion.

Re: Surgery - heel cords

john h on 6/21/00 at 17:03 (022180)

wendy: glad to see you finally spilled your guts about the 'attractive' pod. no more grief from you about my accupuncturist.

Re: Has anyone had heel cord lengthening along with heel spur/pf surgery?

john h on 6/21/00 at 17:57 (022184)

i have had two friends (both doctors) who had surgery on their achilles tendons. it was big time surgery and both were down for some time. it was not for lengthening the heel cord but for something else. both had it done by an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in foot surgery. they were both down and out for some time.

Re: This "newbie" would consult an ortho dr./Wendy: "easy on the eye"

Beverly on 6/21/00 at 18:09 (022185)

Hi Nocole:

I'm still a newbie (3.5 months), but from my own experiences thus far and from my avid reading of this board, I would definitely go to an orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion. No offense to Dr. Z, but I personally would never let anyone but a MD do major cutting on me, and I'd want a specialist. Hang in there. I have found this board to be a real lifeline (as recently as last night)!

Hey Windy, on the nature of 'easy on the eye.' Before my foot got so bad that I had to give up my workouts, I had a few upperbody sessions with a trainer who was VERY EASY ON THE EYE. The guy looked like he needed to be 'boxed' into a Ken and Barbie doll set... a living Ken doll. Needless to say, I was not always using my noodle as he encouraged me to 'do more' ... went home on ice. In the end, I tried a middle aged and rather frumpy looking woman (an aging areobics instructor) who seemed to understand that a 40 year old woman (who is carrying around a few injuries) needs to move slowly... take it nice and easy. If only I could have cloned his body into her mentality! Oh well, I've spent all my money on shoes, gadgets, and inserts so when I feel up to doing weights again, I don't have to concern myself with 'Ken' vs. the nice older woman. On the other hand, the doctor did suggest water therapy for my current predictament.... hum, Ken in a swimsuit...
Beverly



Re: This "newbie" would consult an ortho dr./Wendy: "easy on the eye"

alan k on 6/21/00 at 19:13 (022188)

Please try to limit your comments to their feet.

alan k

ps sorry scott


Re: This "newbie" would consult an ortho dr./Wendy: "easy on the eye"

Nancy S. on 6/21/00 at 21:51 (022191)

Agree with Alan, limit those lustful comments to their feet. My husband is quite easy on the eye, but the only physical attribute I mentioned in our wedding ceremony by the lake was his 'big handsome feet.' (True anecdote, pre-PF.)
--Nancy
p.s. Sorry Scott.

Re: I'm sorry. I was just kidding.

Beverly on 6/21/00 at 22:16 (022195)

I'm sorry. I was just kidding. I didn't mean anything by it.
I only meant it like a cartoon character. Anyway, point taken.
It was really out-of-character for me. Most of my friends would probably say I'm 'too serious.' Given that I said it, it is far more ridiculous than you could possibly realize.
I'll be good,
Beverly


Re: I'm sorry. I was just kidding.

Nancy S. on 6/22/00 at 06:04 (022202)

Beverly, no apologies needed -- I was kidding too! Actually, I was happy to see the lightheartedness in your post. The attractiveness topic has been sort of an ongoing occasional joke brought up by Wendy and even more often by that rascal John h. No reason you can't make use of it too.
Besides, I think something said or done out of character, if it hurts no one, can be good for that character. So please feel free, and do not worry, and have a great day.
--Nancy

Re: Good looking pods

wendyn on 6/22/00 at 08:40 (022209)

Hey - I've been honest about my motivation for this doctor right from day one. Most of my doctors have been young and very attractive.

Useless - but attractive.


Re: Relax Alan

wendyn on 6/22/00 at 08:48 (022210)

No need to be jealous. We've spent plenty of time here commenting about YOUR 'magnificent body'.

Unfortunately, the physical attractiveness of the doctor (IMHO)seems to be directly related to how much they know. The better looking, the less helpful. Of course this is not realistically the case - but I've found it somewhat amusing that it's seems to be my consistent experience. If I walk in and see the Hunch Back of Notre Dame I'll know I've found my man.

How are your feet? Your wife was having trouble with hers - is she any better? On yoga, apparently the kind I'm doing is Hatha yoga. We learned shoulder stands the other night - feels like 'real' yoga now!. Guess we'll be standing on our heads and twisting ourselves into pretzels next.


Re: Surgery - heel cords

Pauline on 6/22/00 at 10:17 (022214)

Surgery is always easiest on the person performing it. Your Pod makes
it sound so simple---thats his job. I like Wendyn think a second and possible third opinion is necessary here. My bet is that your Pod
makes mega bucks from his heel cord procedure leaving you to suffer
the consequences.

I learned a long time ago, no surgery is without risk and when a Doctor suggest surgery it's a signal for you to slow down-
get his procedure in writing and head for a second opinion. My choice would be with an Orthopedic Dr at a large medical center. Perhaps one that dones leg lengthing. They would know if you need your heel
cords lengthened and the consequences you may suffer.
Good Luck



Re: I'm sorry. I was just kidding.

john h on 6/22/00 at 10:56 (022218)

you ladies now say you were all kidding! sure! you bet! what you read is what you get! have a nice day. i like your spunk.

Re: Relax Alan

I WAS JUST KIDDING TOO! on 6/22/00 at 11:00 (022219)

I was just kidding, or are you all just kidding about not understanding that I was kidding? How confusing!

See, we are supposed to talk about feet so if you are going to admire a man or woman you have to limit it to how nice their feet are. Get it?

Oh well...

sorry to everyone for bad joke...

alan

ps We are going to the beach for a few days so I'm not away being mad or anything. See you all soon.

Oh, about us and yoga and things, the phsyical aspect is called Hatha Yoga, and then there would be different varieties within that category, so we do Hatha Yoga too, of the variety called Astanga, which is lots of continuous jumping around and very vigorous. We are not completely better, and suspect nerve damage. Science has not fully determined how permanant that is and under what conditions. Other types of yoga involving meditation would be more likely to be effective on nerve damage, but in fact Hatha yoga is not completely separate from that either-- the different aspects of yoga are interelated rather than mutually exclusive.

You are likely to benefit greatly from the yoga, wendy.


alan


Re: Easy on the eye?

JudyS on 6/24/00 at 15:37 (022333)

How is it that every time I go out of town I have to get you guys back in line upon my return? We're talkin' FEET here! Now, about that 'easy on the eye' thing. Hmmmm, it's true, my POD is WAY easy on the eye with a personality to match. I wonder if that's why my PF has such longevity?

Re: Thank you-Re: Surgery - heel cords

Nicole on 6/25/00 at 10:12 (022366)

Thank you so much to everyone who replied to my message. I appreciate your feedback! I was able to make an appt. with and ORTHO who specializes in foot and ankles. Since he's so busy (probably a good sign), my appt. isn't until July 20th.

Wendyn, the heel cord lengthening surgery my POD told me about, consists of lengthing the gastroc muscle via a tongue-n-groove procedure. From what he told me, the tight heel cords being the cause of my PF, it makes sense to have this done so the PF doesn't come back. However, it is a serious surgery being there will be some limitations as a result of it. Since I hope I don't have to have this done, I've been very diligent about stretching out my ankle and leg muscles every day in hopes of stretching out the muscles myself. Also, self massage daily, professional massage 1xweek, icing daily and attempting to elevate as much as possible. I will try another pair of Birks (I had a pair 13 years ago but they hurt my feet too much to wear them), hopefully the newer styles will be better for my feet.

Thank you all for your support, I wish you pain-free days ahead!

Take care,
Nicole


Re: Thank you-Re: Surgery - heel cords

wendyn on 6/25/00 at 19:18 (022402)

Thanks for your info Nicole. Please let us know what the ortho says. Also, if you can get the name of the procedure that's used to lengthen heel cords- I'd be interested in doing some more research on it.