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Choosing between a pod and an ortho

Posted by Nancy N on 11/14/00 at 15:49 (032732)

Hi, everybody. My mother has recently found out that she, too, is now a warrior in the battle against PF. She went to her GP and saw one of his associates, who diagnosed her and gave her all the usual advice, and suggested she try some OTC supports to start. She got a pair of SAS Freetimes and some Birk inserts and seems quite happy with them and says she could live with things they way they are if she has to, which I take to mean that, overall, she is feeling pretty good. She is certainly better than when she was first diagnosed.

My dad, on the other hand (who has no medical training) is convinced that this is taking too long to heal and that she needs to see a specialist. The GP she saw originally told her it could take a year or so for it to heal, but Dad doesn't believe that could be possible. (I love my dad dearly, but there is a precedent for him deciding that he knows better than the experts.) He keeps telling her she should be better by now. I suspect he is just frustrated that they can't go for their morning walks anymore, etc, and is convinced that there must be an easy solution. How he could know that I've been battling this for over a year and still think that Mom should be A-OK in 6 weeks is beyond me, but that's my dad. The only good thing about her problem is that now I finally get some respect for mine.

So....Mom is going to see her regular GP in a few weeks and informed Dad that he is coming along so that he hears these words coming out of the doctor's mouth, which I think is wise. But this guy is a GP, not a pod or an ortho, which is who Dad thinks she should see. I am not sure how to advise her on whether she should see a podiatrist or an orthopedist--I am afraid that a podiatrist will take one look at her and tell her she needs expensive orthotics, and having been through all that myself, I'm not sure that should be her first plan of attack.

I know this varies greatly from doctor to doctor (for instance, I wouldn't have any qualms at all about sending her to Dr. Z or Dr. B, and I know they are both podiatrists), which makes it even more confusing.

Do any of you have any suggestions about which route she should take? Or should she just ask her GP to recommend someone and be done with it? Since she is in the early stages, I hate to see her do something that could make things worse and end up with it dragging on forever like mine.

I appreciate any suggestions you have. Thanks in advance!

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho RE Nancy N

Laurie R on 11/14/00 at 16:22 (032734)

Hi Nancy,
Frist of all , I am so sorry to hear your mom now how's PF. You are right about one thing ,your mom and Dad will take your PF very serious now . I think with most people ,they just don't understand what PF is all about unless they there self have had it. Makes sence because ,how would they understand everything without experiencing it their self.

Also I think your mom probably had to go to her GP first before a Pod due to insurance .Maybe after her next appointment if she is not happy with the treatment plan then she can ask for a referal to a Pod.

Nancy ,how did your mom get PF?? Did she fall or twist her foot? Or did it just come on?

I sure hope she does not have to go through what we have gone through. My very best to both of you. I am sure she will get the right doctor for her.

Laurie R

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho RE Nancy N

Nancy N on 11/14/00 at 17:05 (032736)

Laurie--

I'm not sure how she got PF. She and my dad have a few houses that they've renovated and rent out, and I know she said a year or two ago, Dad asked her to hold a window or some drywall or something while he measured it, and she felt her arches 'go.' I'm not sure exactly what she means by that (it couldn't have been too bad since it was a good long while before she really got the PF), but I'm sure it didn't help. I suspect that some of my dad's denial is because, until she heals, there's a lot of stuff they won't be able to do.

I didn't get the impression that she had to go to the GP for a referral. I don't think her insurance requires one. I think she decided to go to the GP because she wanted to make sure a specialist was necessary and to get any more information she could from him. Not a bad idea at all--especially if she drags Dad along so that he believes what she's been telling him.

I do hope she can make some more progress rather than have it turn into a chronic case like so many of us have endured. I am trying to give her advice and get her to tell me what's going on, since she doesn't seem to want to take advantage of the boards here. That's why I decided to ask the pod/ortho question for her.

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho

Dr. Zuckerman on 11/14/00 at 18:26 (032745)

Have the family 'your dad' read Scott's online book. My personal feeling is that so long as the doctor treats alot of pf and doesn't just do surgery then that's who you should go to whether pod or orthopod. Usually the front desk receptionist will know better then the doctor who you should go see. just ask her.

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho

Dr. Zuckerman on 11/14/00 at 20:50 (032759)

Sports medicine is another good doctor to take a look at .

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho

Nancy N on 11/14/00 at 21:21 (032761)

Now that you mention it, there are quite a few people on this board who see sports med folks, aren't there? I'll have to suggest that one to her.

I know she has read the PF book, but I am not sure if my dad has read it. Even if he has, he might not believe what it says until he hears it from a doctor, and even then he might not want to accept it. This is a man who was convinced I could teach myself calculus the summer before I went to college, using just the college text. This despite the protests of two mathematics professors whom he held in high regard. The fact that I ended up in tears from frustration didn't help, either. This story is what I meant when I referred to his precedent for thinking he knows better than the experts, and is why I think he needs to hear it from at least one medical professional--preferably as many as possible!

Thanks much for the advice. I'll recommend the sports med doc. Can you look them up in the phone book under Sports Medicine, or is there another designation for them?

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho

Dr. Zuckerman on 11/14/00 at 23:11 (032763)

I would go on a recommendation. In my area there are the big university sports doctors that are good but alot of what they learnes is when they took Scott online plantar fasciitis course. Start with Scott Roberts book. good physical therapy program from a sports doctor looks like the best approach for your mother.

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho RE Nancy N

Dr. Biehler on 11/15/00 at 11:59 (032775)

Did the GP ever order x-rays of your moms feet. If her history includes feeling' her arches go', she might have some kind of dislocation in her feet with or without the other soft tissue involvement. Dr. B.

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho RE Nancy N

Laurie R on 11/14/00 at 16:22 (032734)

Hi Nancy,
Frist of all , I am so sorry to hear your mom now how's PF. You are right about one thing ,your mom and Dad will take your PF very serious now . I think with most people ,they just don't understand what PF is all about unless they there self have had it. Makes sence because ,how would they understand everything without experiencing it their self.

Also I think your mom probably had to go to her GP first before a Pod due to insurance .Maybe after her next appointment if she is not happy with the treatment plan then she can ask for a referal to a Pod.

Nancy ,how did your mom get PF?? Did she fall or twist her foot? Or did it just come on?

I sure hope she does not have to go through what we have gone through. My very best to both of you. I am sure she will get the right doctor for her.

Laurie R

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho RE Nancy N

Nancy N on 11/14/00 at 17:05 (032736)

Laurie--

I'm not sure how she got PF. She and my dad have a few houses that they've renovated and rent out, and I know she said a year or two ago, Dad asked her to hold a window or some drywall or something while he measured it, and she felt her arches 'go.' I'm not sure exactly what she means by that (it couldn't have been too bad since it was a good long while before she really got the PF), but I'm sure it didn't help. I suspect that some of my dad's denial is because, until she heals, there's a lot of stuff they won't be able to do.

I didn't get the impression that she had to go to the GP for a referral. I don't think her insurance requires one. I think she decided to go to the GP because she wanted to make sure a specialist was necessary and to get any more information she could from him. Not a bad idea at all--especially if she drags Dad along so that he believes what she's been telling him.

I do hope she can make some more progress rather than have it turn into a chronic case like so many of us have endured. I am trying to give her advice and get her to tell me what's going on, since she doesn't seem to want to take advantage of the boards here. That's why I decided to ask the pod/ortho question for her.

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho

Dr. Zuckerman on 11/14/00 at 18:26 (032745)

Have the family 'your dad' read Scott's online book. My personal feeling is that so long as the doctor treats alot of pf and doesn't just do surgery then that's who you should go to whether pod or orthopod. Usually the front desk receptionist will know better then the doctor who you should go see. just ask her.

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho

Dr. Zuckerman on 11/14/00 at 20:50 (032759)

Sports medicine is another good doctor to take a look at .

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho

Nancy N on 11/14/00 at 21:21 (032761)

Now that you mention it, there are quite a few people on this board who see sports med folks, aren't there? I'll have to suggest that one to her.

I know she has read the PF book, but I am not sure if my dad has read it. Even if he has, he might not believe what it says until he hears it from a doctor, and even then he might not want to accept it. This is a man who was convinced I could teach myself calculus the summer before I went to college, using just the college text. This despite the protests of two mathematics professors whom he held in high regard. The fact that I ended up in tears from frustration didn't help, either. This story is what I meant when I referred to his precedent for thinking he knows better than the experts, and is why I think he needs to hear it from at least one medical professional--preferably as many as possible!

Thanks much for the advice. I'll recommend the sports med doc. Can you look them up in the phone book under Sports Medicine, or is there another designation for them?

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho

Dr. Zuckerman on 11/14/00 at 23:11 (032763)

I would go on a recommendation. In my area there are the big university sports doctors that are good but alot of what they learnes is when they took Scott online plantar fasciitis course. Start with Scott Roberts book. good physical therapy program from a sports doctor looks like the best approach for your mother.

Re: Choosing between a pod and an ortho RE Nancy N

Dr. Biehler on 11/15/00 at 11:59 (032775)

Did the GP ever order x-rays of your moms feet. If her history includes feeling' her arches go', she might have some kind of dislocation in her feet with or without the other soft tissue involvement. Dr. B.