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Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

Posted by Karen S. on 7/08/00 at 18:49 (023039)

I just found this board a couple days before my surgery which was on June 29th, 2000. I was diagnosed with PF and a heel spur last May. I work on my feet all day and it got to the point where I could barely walk. I already decribed all the treatments with physio before which included most of which almost everyone on here has described. Ice, stretches accu-puncture, ultra sound, taping, rest, orthotics, deep friction rubs,laser etc. etc. etc.

I personally found that most of these treatments aggrevated my condition and didn't give me any kind of relief. Not even a cortisone shot helped me.

I'm just wondering why some people on this board say they were walking in 3 days and in normal shoes in a week. My heel was cut open along the side where the docter did a muscle release and removed the heel spur which I did not know he was going to do. I wasn't even put to sleep, which I didn't like. It was an orthopedic surgeon that did mine. My foot was bandaged up and I was told I couldn't put any weight on it at all. I go back on July 13th to have the stitches and staples removed, then have a cast on for 6 weeks. Still now walking on it.

I really just wonder why things are so different for what I thought was the same problem for everyone. I live in Ontario, Canada.

Thanks for any insight you can give me. All I know is I hope this works for me.

Thanks Karen


Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

Karen S on 7/08/00 at 18:54 (023040)

spelling error in the part with getting the cast on...it should have said still NO walking on it.

I also have alot of numbness in my whole foot with a pins ans needles feeling. Is this normal after this type of surgery?

Thanks ....Karen


Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

BJc on 7/08/00 at 19:57 (023043)

A lot depends on the type of surgery you have done, and the preferences of your dr. I had endoscopic surgery - a much smaller incision for a pf release, but no spur removal. While I was not supposed to do much walking after surgery, I could walk to the bathroom, shower, etc. I was back in tennis shoes in a week, no casting. Your doctor has to make the final evaluation of your condition and procedure, and recommend what he has been successful with. Your recovery will depend on your cooperation. I found initially my recovery went really well, then seemed to slow down more than expected. After almost 6 months I still have some nagging residuals where the fascia wasn't released, but it is managable. I am able to do every activity I want, although right now I still wear tennis shoes with orthotics. My dr. (podiatrist) has been GREAT, and still hopes to make me even better than I am. So, enjoy the recovery as best you can, and think positive thoughts. YOU WILL BE BETTER!!

Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

Nancy S. on 7/08/00 at 20:10 (023044)

Karen, I hope your surgery works for you too! Plenty of people have been helped by it, and chances are you will be in that category.
I haven't had the surgery, so I can't speak to specifics about that. But I think there are countless reasons why you find people on this board whose treatments and surgeries are so different, ostensibly for the 'same' problem:
* No matter what the problems have in common, every case is individual (lifestyle that led up to PF, the straw that broke the camel's back, our genetic makeups, etc.).
* There is 'standard' PF, lasting 3-6 months I gather, which responds to standard treatments (the person takes it a little easier, gets orthotics and maybe a night splint, and poof, it's over in a short time). Then there are the nonstandard, longer-term cases, like many on this board, and those of us who have longer-term cases need to experiment and try both standard and nonstandard treatments, so you will see a lot of variation in solutions for people in that category.
+ Some people on the board have not only PF but other complicating factors (such as tarsal tunnel syndrome, degenerative conditions, and so forth), so their treatments and progress are bound to be, and sound, more complicated than those for someone with a 'simple' case of PF (apparently not being a standard quick case, I just about choke writing 'simple'!).
My impression from reading about surgery is that on doctor's websites, they will claim that patients will be up walking around and resuming normal life in a very short time. In reality, though, it seems to take quite a bit longer than claimed on those websites. There are people here who are very happy they had surgery, but I think few of them would say they were up the next week and life was back to normal. It's a process, like everything else, and like every other kind of surgery on the body I've heard of. And perhaps your heel-spur removal was more invasive and will take longer to heal; I wouldn't be surprised.
So don't be discouraged -- this is bound to take time. I hope those who have had the surgery will respond specifically to your concerns (it's a weekend, so it may take them a few days). Don't rush, take it slowly, and stay positive. Also, have you searched the message board and archives and other places on Scott's site for info. on surgery and post-surgery? You might want to. There are failed cases, but there are successes as well -- I'd recommend learning as much as possible from reading about them. Good luck to you.
--Nancy

Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

KAREN S on 7/08/00 at 20:26 (023045)

THANKS TO BOTH BJc AND NANCY FOR YOUR RESPONSE. I HAVE BEEN FEELING DOWN THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS, BUT ITS ONLY BEEN JUST OVER A WEEK SINCE SURGERY. IT'S JUST THAT WHEN I READ HOW FAST SOME PEOPLE ARE ON THEIR FEET, I WONDER WHY I'M SO DIFFERENT. I KNOW IT WILL TAKE A WHILE TO GET BACK TO NORMAL OR NEAR NORMAL, ITS JUST SOMETIMES HARD TO COPE WITH. I DON'T KNOW ANYONE AROUND ME WITH THIS PROBLEM, AND I FIND THAT PEOPLE DON'T BELIEVE JUST HOW MUCH PAIN I'M IN, INCLUDING MY OWN FAMILY.

THANKS AGAIN...KAREN


Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

Laurie R on 7/08/00 at 20:47 (023046)

Hi Karen,
First of all you will get better from your surgery.Everybody heals different and it does depend on what your doctor did.I understand your pain believe me,I didn't even have surgery on my foot yet and my pain is through the roof.Just don't give up hope because if you do than you have lost. I hope your doctor gave you something for the pain.Even if you do not like to take pills take them until the pain goes down. I have to take pain pills if I didn't their is no way I could deal with this at all ,no they don't take the pain away but they do help a little bit.

I will tell you we understand your pain so you did come to the right place,hang in there things will get better. My very best to you Karen....Laurie R


Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

Pauline on 7/08/00 at 21:07 (023048)

Hi Karen
I think you are a brave individual because it takes courage to have any type of surgery. Follow your doctors instructions. Your
open heel surgery is certainly different in size from the endoscopic type and therefore may taker longer to heel and have different restrictions attached to it.

We all heal at different rates even if we had identical surgeries
there could still be differences. Keep the faith---you may be on
the road to a cure faster than the rest of us who did not have surgery.


Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

SuzanneK on 7/08/00 at 22:19 (023050)

Hi Karen! I had traditional pf release and spur removal on June 1. The operation was performed by my pod under general anesthesia. I left the outpatient surgical clinic about 3 hours after the surgery began, on crutches, with no weight-bearing. 4 days later I went in for a check - he rebandaged my foot and lower leg in what he called a soft cast - layers of ace bandage and cast padding. I was able to start putting as much weight as I could tolerate after that. At first, that was very little. 10 days later I went in and had the stitches removed. I was able to wear my birks and tennis shoes then. I used the crutches for a good 3 to 3 1/2 weeks total. I am now walking well, but with pain after I am on my feet a couple of hours. However, this is not the same pf pain, more a tiredness- soreness from fatigue. When I went back to the pod June 28, he said I was doing better that he had hoped!

Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

Nancy S. on 7/08/00 at 22:32 (023052)

Karen, it's hard when friends and family don't understand what this thing does to your life -- I think most of us have experienced this to some degree. I've posted this before (but not to you) -- I recommend having your family read some of this message board and read all of Scott's PF Book. Reading Scott's book made a world of difference in my husband's understanding of PF, and home life has been easier ever since. If they still don't get it, you can always ask them politely to walk on nails, stomp their feet into them, and then start expressing how it feels to live like that for months or years! Just remember you are not alone, whether or not the people around you understand. But I hope they come around, at least as far as people who haven't experienced this can. --Nancy

Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

JudyS on 7/08/00 at 23:20 (023054)

Hi Karen - congratulations on your surgery. From what I've learned here and elsewhere, your post-surgery experience is not unusual. The reason so many seem different is that every case,foot, method, doctor is different. I remember slightly that last week Dr. Z said here that the numbness and tingling is normal for post-surgery due to the cutting/healing nature of the procedure - and that it will pass. Good luck - hope you update us regularly!

Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

caryne on 7/10/00 at 09:08 (023096)

Hi , my surgery was March 30th. I was in a cast for two weeks and then on crutches for about another two weeks and then I used one crutch just to help get around for another two weeks off and on.I'm doing a lot better and can walk some now but still get a little sore after a couple of hours...it's nothing like the pain before the surgery. I'd do it again if I had too. Eventually it should clear up. My question is I still can't wear my orthics in the surgery shoe.Need to call pod. and see if that will be a problem further on down the line. hang in there

Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

Karen S on 7/08/00 at 18:54 (023040)

spelling error in the part with getting the cast on...it should have said still NO walking on it.

I also have alot of numbness in my whole foot with a pins ans needles feeling. Is this normal after this type of surgery?

Thanks ....Karen


Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

BJc on 7/08/00 at 19:57 (023043)

A lot depends on the type of surgery you have done, and the preferences of your dr. I had endoscopic surgery - a much smaller incision for a pf release, but no spur removal. While I was not supposed to do much walking after surgery, I could walk to the bathroom, shower, etc. I was back in tennis shoes in a week, no casting. Your doctor has to make the final evaluation of your condition and procedure, and recommend what he has been successful with. Your recovery will depend on your cooperation. I found initially my recovery went really well, then seemed to slow down more than expected. After almost 6 months I still have some nagging residuals where the fascia wasn't released, but it is managable. I am able to do every activity I want, although right now I still wear tennis shoes with orthotics. My dr. (podiatrist) has been GREAT, and still hopes to make me even better than I am. So, enjoy the recovery as best you can, and think positive thoughts. YOU WILL BE BETTER!!

Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

Nancy S. on 7/08/00 at 20:10 (023044)

Karen, I hope your surgery works for you too! Plenty of people have been helped by it, and chances are you will be in that category.
I haven't had the surgery, so I can't speak to specifics about that. But I think there are countless reasons why you find people on this board whose treatments and surgeries are so different, ostensibly for the 'same' problem:
* No matter what the problems have in common, every case is individual (lifestyle that led up to PF, the straw that broke the camel's back, our genetic makeups, etc.).
* There is 'standard' PF, lasting 3-6 months I gather, which responds to standard treatments (the person takes it a little easier, gets orthotics and maybe a night splint, and poof, it's over in a short time). Then there are the nonstandard, longer-term cases, like many on this board, and those of us who have longer-term cases need to experiment and try both standard and nonstandard treatments, so you will see a lot of variation in solutions for people in that category.
+ Some people on the board have not only PF but other complicating factors (such as tarsal tunnel syndrome, degenerative conditions, and so forth), so their treatments and progress are bound to be, and sound, more complicated than those for someone with a 'simple' case of PF (apparently not being a standard quick case, I just about choke writing 'simple'!).
My impression from reading about surgery is that on doctor's websites, they will claim that patients will be up walking around and resuming normal life in a very short time. In reality, though, it seems to take quite a bit longer than claimed on those websites. There are people here who are very happy they had surgery, but I think few of them would say they were up the next week and life was back to normal. It's a process, like everything else, and like every other kind of surgery on the body I've heard of. And perhaps your heel-spur removal was more invasive and will take longer to heal; I wouldn't be surprised.
So don't be discouraged -- this is bound to take time. I hope those who have had the surgery will respond specifically to your concerns (it's a weekend, so it may take them a few days). Don't rush, take it slowly, and stay positive. Also, have you searched the message board and archives and other places on Scott's site for info. on surgery and post-surgery? You might want to. There are failed cases, but there are successes as well -- I'd recommend learning as much as possible from reading about them. Good luck to you.
--Nancy

Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

KAREN S on 7/08/00 at 20:26 (023045)

THANKS TO BOTH BJc AND NANCY FOR YOUR RESPONSE. I HAVE BEEN FEELING DOWN THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS, BUT ITS ONLY BEEN JUST OVER A WEEK SINCE SURGERY. IT'S JUST THAT WHEN I READ HOW FAST SOME PEOPLE ARE ON THEIR FEET, I WONDER WHY I'M SO DIFFERENT. I KNOW IT WILL TAKE A WHILE TO GET BACK TO NORMAL OR NEAR NORMAL, ITS JUST SOMETIMES HARD TO COPE WITH. I DON'T KNOW ANYONE AROUND ME WITH THIS PROBLEM, AND I FIND THAT PEOPLE DON'T BELIEVE JUST HOW MUCH PAIN I'M IN, INCLUDING MY OWN FAMILY.

THANKS AGAIN...KAREN


Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

Laurie R on 7/08/00 at 20:47 (023046)

Hi Karen,
First of all you will get better from your surgery.Everybody heals different and it does depend on what your doctor did.I understand your pain believe me,I didn't even have surgery on my foot yet and my pain is through the roof.Just don't give up hope because if you do than you have lost. I hope your doctor gave you something for the pain.Even if you do not like to take pills take them until the pain goes down. I have to take pain pills if I didn't their is no way I could deal with this at all ,no they don't take the pain away but they do help a little bit.

I will tell you we understand your pain so you did come to the right place,hang in there things will get better. My very best to you Karen....Laurie R


Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

Pauline on 7/08/00 at 21:07 (023048)

Hi Karen
I think you are a brave individual because it takes courage to have any type of surgery. Follow your doctors instructions. Your
open heel surgery is certainly different in size from the endoscopic type and therefore may taker longer to heel and have different restrictions attached to it.

We all heal at different rates even if we had identical surgeries
there could still be differences. Keep the faith---you may be on
the road to a cure faster than the rest of us who did not have surgery.


Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

SuzanneK on 7/08/00 at 22:19 (023050)

Hi Karen! I had traditional pf release and spur removal on June 1. The operation was performed by my pod under general anesthesia. I left the outpatient surgical clinic about 3 hours after the surgery began, on crutches, with no weight-bearing. 4 days later I went in for a check - he rebandaged my foot and lower leg in what he called a soft cast - layers of ace bandage and cast padding. I was able to start putting as much weight as I could tolerate after that. At first, that was very little. 10 days later I went in and had the stitches removed. I was able to wear my birks and tennis shoes then. I used the crutches for a good 3 to 3 1/2 weeks total. I am now walking well, but with pain after I am on my feet a couple of hours. However, this is not the same pf pain, more a tiredness- soreness from fatigue. When I went back to the pod June 28, he said I was doing better that he had hoped!

Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

Nancy S. on 7/08/00 at 22:32 (023052)

Karen, it's hard when friends and family don't understand what this thing does to your life -- I think most of us have experienced this to some degree. I've posted this before (but not to you) -- I recommend having your family read some of this message board and read all of Scott's PF Book. Reading Scott's book made a world of difference in my husband's understanding of PF, and home life has been easier ever since. If they still don't get it, you can always ask them politely to walk on nails, stomp their feet into them, and then start expressing how it feels to live like that for months or years! Just remember you are not alone, whether or not the people around you understand. But I hope they come around, at least as far as people who haven't experienced this can. --Nancy

Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

JudyS on 7/08/00 at 23:20 (023054)

Hi Karen - congratulations on your surgery. From what I've learned here and elsewhere, your post-surgery experience is not unusual. The reason so many seem different is that every case,foot, method, doctor is different. I remember slightly that last week Dr. Z said here that the numbness and tingling is normal for post-surgery due to the cutting/healing nature of the procedure - and that it will pass. Good luck - hope you update us regularly!

Re: Why are everyones treatments and surgeries so different?

caryne on 7/10/00 at 09:08 (023096)

Hi , my surgery was March 30th. I was in a cast for two weeks and then on crutches for about another two weeks and then I used one crutch just to help get around for another two weeks off and on.I'm doing a lot better and can walk some now but still get a little sore after a couple of hours...it's nothing like the pain before the surgery. I'd do it again if I had too. Eventually it should clear up. My question is I still can't wear my orthics in the surgery shoe.Need to call pod. and see if that will be a problem further on down the line. hang in there