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Dr Z or B--I need some straight talk on what to do. Boards are scaring me!

Posted by Krista in MD on 10/28/00 at 13:20 (031522)

I've had heel pain since April (I injured myself running and continued to 'run through the pain' for a few months--Dumb I know!) All conservative treatments have failed (cortisone, Vioxx, rest, massage, orthotics, stretching, taping, night splint) to some degree--that is to say--my pain has improved about 70 percent but has not disappeared and is aggravated by exercise of any kind.

I'm continuing to use my orthotics, night splint and the Vioxx. I no longer run and even an energetic spinning class can be painful. So, my doctors have recommended EPF surgery and I was set to go until I started reading so many stories with bad outcomes here. Now I'm really nervous and fearful this may not fix my problem.

What is the actual recovery time? When can I start running and doing step aerobics again? Will I require additional treatment? I'm not really an athlete, but exercise is very central to my well-being. I figure, it's already been six months of problems--six weeks of recovery won't be so bad. But is that an accurate prognosis? (BTW, I have a small heel spur but the doctor does not feel that to be the source of the problem.) I don't like taking Vioxx long term but am doing it because it helps somewhat. What is your recommendation?

Re: Dr Z or B--I need some straight talk on what to do. Boards are scaring me!

Barbara TX on 10/28/00 at 13:45 (031525)

Krista - Truth be told, the boards about surgery scare me too. Like you, I tried everything conserative (I mean, literally everything) and nothing worked. Mine started in last September and 'went acute' in April. The stories about failed surgeries make me too scared to try surgery. I know there are lots of good stories too, but I don't want to take a chance - I'm not a particularly lucky person! That is shy I tried ESWT. You can read more about it on the main page. It is my last-ditch effort before surgery. I just had it, and I'll be posting the board as to the outcome (too soon to tell). Good luck to you! B.

Re: Dr Z or B--I need some straight talk on what to do. Boards are scaring me!

Beverly on 10/28/00 at 13:46 (031526)

Krista,

I am not a doctor, only a patient. I can't give you any medical advice.
But I can give a bit of encouragement. If you hurt your foot in April, that is very close to when I hurt my feet in March. In that amount of time, if I had reached 70% improvement, I would be very encouraged.

Most of us on the Board are 'chronic' sufferers. Not your average PF patient. To give you a contrast, compared to when I first hurt myself on an indoor track, I have gotten worse... periods of better, but mostly worse.

So, if you are 70% improved, that is encouraging. My orthopedic sports medicine doctor told me it frequently takes 6 months and up to a year and a half for this to resolve with 'hard' cases. So, for myself, even though I am in bad shape, I am still trying to exhaust all conservative measures, plus giving my feet the power of time. I have decided that before I ever resort to surgery, I will try EWST first.

Best of luck
Beverly

Re: Dr Z or B--I need some straight talk on what to do. Boards are scaring me!

Dr. Zuckerman on 10/28/00 at 16:30 (031536)

Hi,

The posts before are very clear. In my office in 98% of the cases we do ESWT for chronic heel pain that 'conservative treatments don't work. EPF isn't the best foot surgical procedure in use today. Miminial incision heel spur surgery acording to the most recent reports in Podiatry Today gives you the best patient safisfaction sucess. I have performed close to one thousand heel spur via mis with very good results. The problem with surgery is that there is always the chance of serious complications and permanent pain left in the foot. There no chance with ESWT. If you want additional information about ESWT just call my office and speak with Katie my ESWT coordinator at 1-856-848-3338 . You will find her an expert in the field of ESWT in addition a very caring person.

Re: Dr Z or B--I need some straight talk on what to do. Boards are scaring me!

Barbara TX on 10/28/00 at 17:11 (031540)

Yes, Beverly... I forgot to comment on that. 70% is wonderful! I wish I were at 70%!!!! B.

Re: Dr Z or B--I need some straight talk on what to do. Boards are scaring me!

Barbara TX on 10/28/00 at 13:45 (031525)

Krista - Truth be told, the boards about surgery scare me too. Like you, I tried everything conserative (I mean, literally everything) and nothing worked. Mine started in last September and 'went acute' in April. The stories about failed surgeries make me too scared to try surgery. I know there are lots of good stories too, but I don't want to take a chance - I'm not a particularly lucky person! That is shy I tried ESWT. You can read more about it on the main page. It is my last-ditch effort before surgery. I just had it, and I'll be posting the board as to the outcome (too soon to tell). Good luck to you! B.

Re: Dr Z or B--I need some straight talk on what to do. Boards are scaring me!

Beverly on 10/28/00 at 13:46 (031526)

Krista,

I am not a doctor, only a patient. I can't give you any medical advice.
But I can give a bit of encouragement. If you hurt your foot in April, that is very close to when I hurt my feet in March. In that amount of time, if I had reached 70% improvement, I would be very encouraged.

Most of us on the Board are 'chronic' sufferers. Not your average PF patient. To give you a contrast, compared to when I first hurt myself on an indoor track, I have gotten worse... periods of better, but mostly worse.

So, if you are 70% improved, that is encouraging. My orthopedic sports medicine doctor told me it frequently takes 6 months and up to a year and a half for this to resolve with 'hard' cases. So, for myself, even though I am in bad shape, I am still trying to exhaust all conservative measures, plus giving my feet the power of time. I have decided that before I ever resort to surgery, I will try EWST first.

Best of luck
Beverly

Re: Dr Z or B--I need some straight talk on what to do. Boards are scaring me!

Dr. Zuckerman on 10/28/00 at 16:30 (031536)

Hi,

The posts before are very clear. In my office in 98% of the cases we do ESWT for chronic heel pain that 'conservative treatments don't work. EPF isn't the best foot surgical procedure in use today. Miminial incision heel spur surgery acording to the most recent reports in Podiatry Today gives you the best patient safisfaction sucess. I have performed close to one thousand heel spur via mis with very good results. The problem with surgery is that there is always the chance of serious complications and permanent pain left in the foot. There no chance with ESWT. If you want additional information about ESWT just call my office and speak with Katie my ESWT coordinator at 1-856-848-3338 . You will find her an expert in the field of ESWT in addition a very caring person.

Re: Dr Z or B--I need some straight talk on what to do. Boards are scaring me!

Barbara TX on 10/28/00 at 17:11 (031540)

Yes, Beverly... I forgot to comment on that. 70% is wonderful! I wish I were at 70%!!!! B.