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thinking surgery

Posted by Chris B on 9/27/00 at 17:35 (029271)

I have put up with this pain for 2 years and 4 months. My podiatrist again said yesterday that with a little bit of trouble, my heel pain would be gone. He has talked to me about it before, but I have been very resistent. I teach school, try to exercise, wear Birks most of the time, take Vioxx when needed, and wear a boot at night. I think that I am ready.
My questions are: How long would I need to be out of school; how long before I could drive; how bad is recovery pain? He would be doing the release and smoothing the spur on my right only. He also mentioned 3 weeks on crutches, but some get off quicker. We didn't really go into specifics because I wasn't interested yet. Today I am worse than usual and am taking the Vioxx. I'm sick of this. Any help would be appreciated.

Re: thinking surgery

Pat M. on 9/27/00 at 20:23 (029283)

Chris B,
I teach school, also. I had surgery on left foot on August 2, 2000. School began on August 7. I didn't miss any time. I used a wheelchair while at school and crutches at home. Admittedly, I didn't do anything else. I got up each morning, went to school and then came home and hit the bed. It was very tiring. The thing is, I did it and I am pretty much a wimp. I was completely nonweight bearing for three weeks on my left foot. The only time missed was the day after I began to walk again. My calf was so sore the next morning that I couldn't stand up. That went away within a few hours, though.
At this time, I am able to do much more than I could before surgery. For me, surgery seems to have been a help. I understand that I still won't really know for another few months. I do have pain, but not the same kind.
For the first week, pain was pretty intense. I was lucky to have that week before school started. So maybe a week off from school..??? That's what it would have been for me.
I hope some of this helps. Everyone is different, but for me this seems to have been the right decision.
Pat M. 2nd Grade Teacher in Texas

Re: thinking surgery

john h on 9/28/00 at 18:27 (029361)

chris: is he doing open,minimal invasive, or endoscopic surgery?

Re: Have you tried orthodics?

T. Hurst on 9/28/00 at 20:36 (029368)

Maybe the docs can back me up on this (maybe not)...but I think you should give custom orthodics a try before you get surgery. Until the cause of the pf is addressed, it will never be resolved. A well-fitted pair of orthodics may alleviate much of the pf. In my case, I got fitted properly very late in my treatment & although they helped significantly, I could not avoid surgery as too much damage had been done. But orthodics are a very important/mandatory post-op measure - so if they don't save you from surgery, you will need them after surgery! Something to think about.

Re: thinking surgery

Chris B on 9/30/00 at 11:06 (029510)

He is doing open on the right foot and also shaving down a spur. There will be 2 incisions.

Re: thinking surgery

Chris B on 9/30/00 at 11:13 (029511)

Thanks, that is what I was thinking- about a week. He said crutches for 3 weeks and no driving. I have lots of support at the school, but I know it is going to be a long haul. I have been through so much with this problem that I think I will be able to handle the time for recoup. It's just so hard to finally give in- which is what I feel like I'm doing when I opt for surgery.

Re: Have you tried orthodics?

Chris B on 9/30/00 at 11:18 (029512)

I have orthodics that didn't help at all. I also have about 8 different types of cushioning pads for foot and heel that I switch around daily. The Birks still are the best bet for any time that I will be walking any distance. I also just got a pair of Naturalsports that I can tolerate for about 3-4 hours. I wore the orthodics religiously at the beginning for about 11 months and finally decided to experiment with some others. He checked them for fit and thought they were fine.

Re: thinking surgery

JudyS on 9/30/00 at 11:46 (029513)

Oh Chris - I hope you can rethink that 'giving in' feeling. When I read your post, I didn't think you were giving in at all, my immediate thought was that you were taking charge in a very progressive manner. Good for you - be sure to keep us 'posted'!

Re: thinking surgery

Pat M. on 9/30/00 at 21:08 (029539)

I felt the same way, Chris. (giving in) However, I needed to get something done. I went through last year of school in total pain. When your feet hurt, nothing seems to go right. My memories of last year are pretty much a blur of pain. I really only went through a few months of treatment before my Doc offered surgery. Like I said, for me it seemed to be the way out. A lot of people here have been through a lot more than I have. I certainly applaud their efforts and for many it is working. I simply didn't have what it took to go through everything that they have. So, once again surgery was the best way for me to go. I do not regret it for one second. (well, maybe a few seconds during that first week.) You have to do what you think is right for you. I listened to everything that was said here on this board and by many others and chose what was right for me. I no longer consider it giving in. It seems that I have done well for myself. Some people don't seem to have such good results. I guess it is individualized.
I am wearing 'normal' shoes for the first time in well over a year. This I consider success.
Good luck, Pat

Re: thinking surgery

caryne on 10/01/00 at 07:18 (029546)

I too teach and had surgury done last march 30th. I was able to enjoy my summer and can take long walks again. I was in a hard cast for two weeks (along with crutches) then just crutches for a week or two. So glad i had the surgury.

Re: thinking surgery

Kelly D on 10/03/00 at 12:18 (029680)

Chris - be sure you get a second opinion before you do an open release. Mine was endoscopic and the recovery seems to be much quicker. Also - find a doctor who has done LOTS of whichever procedure you choose - not just a few here and there.

Re: thinking surgery

dianej on 10/19/00 at 05:19 (030820)

chris , i had spur removed by orthopedic surgeon, i would not think of a podatrist touching it.well in australia anyway, i dont know how qualified youre podatrists are in usa,
i had a half caste plaster for some weeks, needed crutches had much pain, could not drive a car for weeks, walked in water to strengthen foot daily when able,could not go to work for weeks, i was told i would be back at work in six weeks, i wasnt able to achieve that. i needed the op done again a year later, had good result for about 3 -4 years, now foot collapsed and need triple fusion of some bones in same foot, am in dreadful pain, im on my feet daily as im a nurse.
im left with no choice , i cannot tap dance anymore, i have amazingly strong tendons ,, apparently. i dont want to put you off, what im trying to say, is if in pain get heaps of opinions, have a M R I done. check all out first, with positive tests, not heresay, good luck

Re: thinking surgery

chrisj on 10/19/00 at 14:56 (030848)

I had surgery on 10/06 and will get my stiches out on Friday. I only had bandages. I was walking without crutches and only a protective shoe. I am having very little pain and can move it pretty good.

Re: thinking surgery

Pat M. on 9/27/00 at 20:23 (029283)

Chris B,
I teach school, also. I had surgery on left foot on August 2, 2000. School began on August 7. I didn't miss any time. I used a wheelchair while at school and crutches at home. Admittedly, I didn't do anything else. I got up each morning, went to school and then came home and hit the bed. It was very tiring. The thing is, I did it and I am pretty much a wimp. I was completely nonweight bearing for three weeks on my left foot. The only time missed was the day after I began to walk again. My calf was so sore the next morning that I couldn't stand up. That went away within a few hours, though.
At this time, I am able to do much more than I could before surgery. For me, surgery seems to have been a help. I understand that I still won't really know for another few months. I do have pain, but not the same kind.
For the first week, pain was pretty intense. I was lucky to have that week before school started. So maybe a week off from school..??? That's what it would have been for me.
I hope some of this helps. Everyone is different, but for me this seems to have been the right decision.
Pat M. 2nd Grade Teacher in Texas

Re: thinking surgery

john h on 9/28/00 at 18:27 (029361)

chris: is he doing open,minimal invasive, or endoscopic surgery?

Re: Have you tried orthodics?

T. Hurst on 9/28/00 at 20:36 (029368)

Maybe the docs can back me up on this (maybe not)...but I think you should give custom orthodics a try before you get surgery. Until the cause of the pf is addressed, it will never be resolved. A well-fitted pair of orthodics may alleviate much of the pf. In my case, I got fitted properly very late in my treatment & although they helped significantly, I could not avoid surgery as too much damage had been done. But orthodics are a very important/mandatory post-op measure - so if they don't save you from surgery, you will need them after surgery! Something to think about.

Re: thinking surgery

Chris B on 9/30/00 at 11:06 (029510)

He is doing open on the right foot and also shaving down a spur. There will be 2 incisions.

Re: thinking surgery

Chris B on 9/30/00 at 11:13 (029511)

Thanks, that is what I was thinking- about a week. He said crutches for 3 weeks and no driving. I have lots of support at the school, but I know it is going to be a long haul. I have been through so much with this problem that I think I will be able to handle the time for recoup. It's just so hard to finally give in- which is what I feel like I'm doing when I opt for surgery.

Re: Have you tried orthodics?

Chris B on 9/30/00 at 11:18 (029512)

I have orthodics that didn't help at all. I also have about 8 different types of cushioning pads for foot and heel that I switch around daily. The Birks still are the best bet for any time that I will be walking any distance. I also just got a pair of Naturalsports that I can tolerate for about 3-4 hours. I wore the orthodics religiously at the beginning for about 11 months and finally decided to experiment with some others. He checked them for fit and thought they were fine.

Re: thinking surgery

JudyS on 9/30/00 at 11:46 (029513)

Oh Chris - I hope you can rethink that 'giving in' feeling. When I read your post, I didn't think you were giving in at all, my immediate thought was that you were taking charge in a very progressive manner. Good for you - be sure to keep us 'posted'!

Re: thinking surgery

Pat M. on 9/30/00 at 21:08 (029539)

I felt the same way, Chris. (giving in) However, I needed to get something done. I went through last year of school in total pain. When your feet hurt, nothing seems to go right. My memories of last year are pretty much a blur of pain. I really only went through a few months of treatment before my Doc offered surgery. Like I said, for me it seemed to be the way out. A lot of people here have been through a lot more than I have. I certainly applaud their efforts and for many it is working. I simply didn't have what it took to go through everything that they have. So, once again surgery was the best way for me to go. I do not regret it for one second. (well, maybe a few seconds during that first week.) You have to do what you think is right for you. I listened to everything that was said here on this board and by many others and chose what was right for me. I no longer consider it giving in. It seems that I have done well for myself. Some people don't seem to have such good results. I guess it is individualized.
I am wearing 'normal' shoes for the first time in well over a year. This I consider success.
Good luck, Pat

Re: thinking surgery

caryne on 10/01/00 at 07:18 (029546)

I too teach and had surgury done last march 30th. I was able to enjoy my summer and can take long walks again. I was in a hard cast for two weeks (along with crutches) then just crutches for a week or two. So glad i had the surgury.

Re: thinking surgery

Kelly D on 10/03/00 at 12:18 (029680)

Chris - be sure you get a second opinion before you do an open release. Mine was endoscopic and the recovery seems to be much quicker. Also - find a doctor who has done LOTS of whichever procedure you choose - not just a few here and there.

Re: thinking surgery

dianej on 10/19/00 at 05:19 (030820)

chris , i had spur removed by orthopedic surgeon, i would not think of a podatrist touching it.well in australia anyway, i dont know how qualified youre podatrists are in usa,
i had a half caste plaster for some weeks, needed crutches had much pain, could not drive a car for weeks, walked in water to strengthen foot daily when able,could not go to work for weeks, i was told i would be back at work in six weeks, i wasnt able to achieve that. i needed the op done again a year later, had good result for about 3 -4 years, now foot collapsed and need triple fusion of some bones in same foot, am in dreadful pain, im on my feet daily as im a nurse.
im left with no choice , i cannot tap dance anymore, i have amazingly strong tendons ,, apparently. i dont want to put you off, what im trying to say, is if in pain get heaps of opinions, have a M R I done. check all out first, with positive tests, not heresay, good luck

Re: thinking surgery

chrisj on 10/19/00 at 14:56 (030848)

I had surgery on 10/06 and will get my stiches out on Friday. I only had bandages. I was walking without crutches and only a protective shoe. I am having very little pain and can move it pretty good.