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6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Posted by ABBY on 12/06/00 at 22:45 (034370)

Just wanted to let everyone know how pleased I am with my surgery after 6 1/2 weeks. For the first time since the surgery I don't think about my foot just before I get up - waiting for the pain, the internal swollen feeling seems to have disappeared and today I did Christmas shopping for most of the day. Those of you SUFFERING really should consider the surgery as a way to permanently eliminate this pain. I know this site means well, but sometimes I think they push ESWT (shock wave therapy) too much, as if this is an advertising site - it's only a temporary solution if you have a heel spur. THINK ABOUT IT! This therapy does not remove the heel spur or the tissue that is being aggravated and that's the reason we have this PAIN. EPF release does! At first I was reluctant, then I educated myself on the heel spur problem and consulted with my podiatrist. I felt secure in the fact that he had already done thousands of EPF procedures on patients before me. Shop around and find the right doctor for you - ask about their experience. The week before my surgery I couldn't even walk, my foot felt swollen from within - it wasn't noticable, I had terrible pressure in my heel when I picked my foot up - I couldn't function at all. Look at all your options and don't let this pain get you down - there is a solution. I wish for all of you to have the same good results with your heel pain that I have had because noone should have to suffer with this debilatating foot ailment.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

john h on 12/07/00 at 09:39 (034401)

abby: the heel spur is a symptom of the PF problem and rarely the source of the pain. many people have heel spurs with no pain and most orthopedic surgeons do not remove the heel spur when performing a PF release. The success rate for surgery has been noted by various people to be between 50-75% and in some cases have made people worse. ESWT is almost risk free,painless,no cutting of tissue and nerves. it seems liked a very viable options prior to surgery. i have had surgery and ESWT.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Julie F on 12/07/00 at 10:22 (034409)

Abby, I really don't think it is fair to say that ESWT is being 'pushed' on this website. Yes, Dr Zuckerman is offering it, but isn't it obvious to you that he is a caring doctor who wants to help people with foot pain, and is able to offer a technique that can help? ESWT - and I have nothing to gain by saying this - is non-invasive and, apparently, without side effects. In principle, such a technique, whatever the problem, should be tried before surgery, which is not always successful, which always carries risk, and often has undesirable effects.

As Dr Z has explained, a heel spur is not the problem, or the cause of pain, but the body's response to the tear in the fascia: it lays down bone in an attempt to heal the tear.

But I'm very glad that your surgery has been successful, and that you are feeling better.

Julie

Julie

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Abby on 12/07/00 at 10:58 (034412)

Yes, I do think Dr. Z is a caring doctor and if ESWT was offered here in my city I may have tried this therapy, however, it was not recommended by my podiatrist. Here is how it was explained to me by my podiatrist: First of all, he tried shock wave therapy in his office with not very good results and the data that he read showed only temporary relief in the patient's where it did some good. These patient's probably didn't have a heel spur just the inflammation from PF. Secondly, the heel spur is a piece of bone and calcium, formed as you have explained, that digs a hole in the fascia tissue. Upon rising in the morning or after sitting for a long period of time, the hole has a change to close up or swell. When the person starts to walk after rest, the heel spur makes a hole again, causing pain until the hole is created and this process is repeated over and over. Something has to be done to the heel spur, THE CAUSE OF THE PAIN. Either surgically removing the fascia band that is being aggravated (mine was on the inside of my heel) or removal of the heel spur. Recovery, however, takes alot longer when the heel spur is removed and the patient is on crutches for 6 - 8 weeks and not everyone can be inconvenienced by the crutches. Also the bone doesn't always heel properly. If Dr. Z or B do not agree with my podiatrit's assessment I would like to know. It seems that there are different schools of thought or learning when it comes to PF and the treatments recommended.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Barbara TX on 12/07/00 at 14:48 (034421)

Abby - I am glad that you're surgery went well, and we are happy for you. But I'm not happy when you dismiss the experience of other people who have had awful experiences with the same kind of surgery that you had. What would you be saying to us if you fell into that rather ample percentile? How do you know that your 'cure' is permanent, as you say the cure from ESWT is not? ESWT has been used on plenty of folks who relapse after getting their fascias cut. If you could, please tell us what kind of machine (high or low power) that your doctor used, how many patients he has treated, and where he is located. I think we would all find the answers very interesting.

And as for the theory about the spur 'poking a hole' in and out of the fascia, Drs. Z and B, might be kind enough to speak to this. I thought that the bone spur was right in the middle of the lateral band, not poking in and out of it. The majority of DPM's now do not believe that the spur is THE CAUSE OF THE PAIN (as you describe it) but micro-tears in the fascia itself. That's why fewer and fewer of them remove spurs. There are plenty of people out there who are walking around with heel spurs that cause them no pain. Some people have pf pain with no spurs at all. I have spurs on both heels and only one heel hurts. Why?

Abby, some of us have done our research as well, and we have very good reasons for avoiding surgery. Please read Jimbo's post for little taste of how surgery can mess up a man's life for a year. And Karen too. To most of us it makes perfect sense to start with less invasive procedures and work our way up to surgery. After surgery, there's no going back.

And please don't accuse a man who has worked very hard GIVING AWAY treatments and reading MRI's gratis, and answering medical inquiries without being paid for it, of ADVERTISING. That really makes me angry.

But I am very glad that you're better ;) B.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

john h on 12/07/00 at 16:55 (034431)

of course i am not a doctor but i have never heard of a heel spur digging into the fascia. the spur is created when the fasica tugs on the heel and would not be in a postion to dig into the fascia. there are several opinions as to the cause of plantar pain. 1. microtears in the fascia (2) an inflamed fascia pressing on the baxter nerve (3) inflamed fascia created by host of other things. ultimately what counts is how you feel and if you feel great then you are fortunate as many of us have tried everything from surgery,ESWT,meds,shots,etc. the doctor may have given you some sort of electrical thearpy but it would be nothing akin to ESWT because there is nothing even similar to this procedure unless it is a lipotriptor for the crushing of kidney stones via shock waves. hope your recovery contines to be great and congratualtions.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Jeriann on 12/07/00 at 20:03 (034440)

Abby, glad to hear something positive about epf, I am having it done on my right heel in 2 weeks.....my doc says I will be back in shoes in 3 days and back to work in 2 weeks. Wish me luck! I am on my feet all day, 6 days a week and I am ready for some relief. Jeri Ann

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

wendyn on 12/07/00 at 20:17 (034444)

Interesting. But your doctors explanation of PF pain is contrary to EVERYTHING I have ever read or been told about it. Do some of your own research (from a variety of sources) and let me know what you find.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Abby on 12/07/00 at 22:37 (034456)

Barbara in Texas and John H. are you two doctors? What qualifies the two of you to think you know so much about EPF and the treatment of it? I see you names alot on this site answering questions.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Julie F on 12/08/00 at 03:13 (034468)

Abby, I think what's going on here is that you've had a surgical treatment, which fortunately for you seems so far to have been successful, and you're anxious to defend it and to spread the word. That's fine, and I think we would all understand it. I do, but I'm not at all happy when your defense takes the form of knocking others - first those who make information about ESWT available (and the procedure itself), and then those who attempt to explain their understanding, which in the case of Barbara and John is based on experience and research.

As everyone has said, we are all very pleased for you and hope your recovery continues and leaves you pain-free forever.

All the best, Julie

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

abby on 12/08/00 at 08:39 (034476)

hello i am glad the surgery went well i am also getting the surgery done on the 19 of dec and go next week for pre-op i have been suffering for over 3 years and have tried everthing i am in the army and i can not fuction but with the surgery i will hopefuly will be back to my old self hey if it worked for you it will workk for me please keep us informed of the results.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

wendyn on 12/08/00 at 08:53 (034478)

Sorry Abby - I don't want this to sound like 'we' are ganging up on you or your doctor. As everyone else has pointed out - it's awesome that you're having great results from surgery, and I hope all continues to go well for you (and everyone here for that matter).

Nevertheless.

If you do any of your own research on PF, you will find that surgery is always considered a last resort - may help - but still a last resort. For many many good reasons - not the least of which is that PF can go away without it (and often does).

As or your doctors explanation of PF and how it causes pain....

I sincerely hope that this is just a big misunderstanding of what he actually said. I have never heard anything like this before (and I've spent years researching TTS and PF for my own information). But - don't take my word for it, or Barb's or John's or anyone else's for that matter. Go find a medical book somewhere, or do some research anywhere on the net. If you can find anything supporting this theory of 'the spur poking a hole in the fascia and causing pain' - I'd be more than willing to review and consider (and learn from) what you find. Everything I've read and heard supports the theory that the heel spur is actually a result of the constant pulling on the fascia. The PF causes the heel spur - but people can have PF and no spur (and LOTS OF PAIN) OR the spur - but absolutely no pain. I still have spurs - but I do not have heel pain.

Let's continue this in the form of good debate - we all learn from that.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Barbara TX on 12/08/00 at 09:42 (034481)

Abby - You don't have to be a doctor to relay factual information to others about the physiology of the human body. YOU sound more like a doctor when you definatively pronounce that surgery is the best way to cure pf. I am still curious about your doctor, and his experience with ESWT though. I am beginning to remember you from the board previously and I recall asking you this question, and recall also that you never answered it. Why? As soon as your doctor makes his results publically available (as Dr. Z. has) I will consider his evidence. If not, it stays in the realm of heresay. Share your joy here about your recovery, but don't think us all fools or masochists for not trying EPF. B.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Chris W on 12/08/00 at 09:44 (034482)

Thansk for your post op update. I saw my podiatrist yesterday and my foot too is starting to feel better since posting my message. My foot is healing up just perfectly! I am very optimistic now about having had the EPF. My doctor even gave me the ok to start an exercise program but advised me to take it slow. However, I probably won't do running or jogging just yet.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Chris W on 12/08/00 at 09:58 (034484)

Sorry I should have read everyone's responses before I posted my last message. For record I had surgery on my right foot with no heel spur and tons of pain. I do have a tiny heel spur on my left foot and I have had no pain at all and my left foot was fine afer my first cortisone injection and has been for a whole year now. My right foot went through all other methods of treatment before finally having the surgery. I have never heard of the ESWT until reading about it on this site so I really don't know anything about it.

I do enjoy reading about everyone's experiences and their advise. It's nice to know that we are not alone.

Thanks

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

abby on 12/08/00 at 19:27 (034518)

i had surgery for tts,pf, and a chelictomy on my left foot in august 1999. I had ESWT treatment twice the latest in Sep 2000.. I have seen at least 5 poditrist, 3 othopedic foot and ankle surgeons with fellowships in foot and ankle surgery and tried accupuncture,cortisone shots, many medications, physical thearpy,etc,etc. i cannot imagine anyone having done anymore research on this problem. i have had bilaterial Pf of seven years. i am not a doctor but some of the doctors i have visited were not even aware of ESWT. Some suggested releasing the entire fascia. Others had suggestions for treatment that were clearly not recommend by medical articles. Not all doctors are equal and anyone who has surgery for anything better be skeptical, ask question, become informed, get second opinions because it is your body that is going under the knife. i never 'tell' anyone what kind of treatment to get but will sure give them the benefit of my experience. Statistics speek for themselves and scott has amassed an enormous amount of stats to help anyone considering various types of treatment. I lean vary heavily on the information i have gleamed from people with personal experience with this disease and some of them seem to no more about the treament of PF than some doctors i have seen.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Darrel H on 12/09/00 at 19:18 (034563)

Abby, Your message really stirred the nest. You know, the best thing about this site is the variety of information and experiences of other heel pain sufferers. I appreciate candid opinions based on personal experience then, develope my own course of action. This is a nice site and all the writers have always been very caring, but to all those who seem to have slammed you, I say go ahead and fall for whatever you want to, I'm glad Abby allowed us to consider the other side to this issue.

Re: Spur and ESWT

Nancy S. on 12/09/00 at 21:56 (034568)

I didn't see anyone here completely discount surgery.
Many of us see it as a last resort, and I think rightly so. (For starters, what's the percentage of people with PF who ultimately need surgery because nothing else helped? 5%?) Any surgery, on the foot or the head or the hand or the nose or wherever, carries risks. I feel rather strongly about the issue as it pertains to PF, because my ex-pod tried to railroad me into EPF surgery after 6 months of almost no conservative treatment. No PT, no foot or gait evaluation, no shoe evaluation, no advice to rest, no proper orthotics, not even any stretching regimen.
If a PF patient has exhausted conservative remedies, and remains in a lot of pain after months and months -- I've gone a year and a half myself -- then I think considering ESWT and surgery is in order. I'm finally getting better, so the need to consider these things has receded. But if I weren't getting better and I turned out to be a candidate for ESWT, I'd sell my windows and my clothes and my rugs and anything else I had to in order to try ESWT before surgery. (And that would probably happen after trying to win Dr. Z's free-ESWT lottery!). Then if I had to go with the risks of surgery, so be it.
Some people here have had success with surgery, and I'm as happy as can be for them, as happy as I am for people who have successful surgery for any other horrible condition. Some people have had unsuccessful PF surgery, and my heart goes out to them. Thankfully, they still have ESWT to try!
Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I think of heelspurs.com as being characterized by many, many qualities -- and advertising is far down the list.
Nancy

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

THE REAL ABBY on 12/09/00 at 23:29 (034576)

Wow! I think a number of you need to re-read my first statement about EPF surgery. First of all I was NOT accusing the doctors on this site of advertising ESWT - I said it was AS IF they were advertising here. And yes, Barbara in TX, I have written here when I first had my surgery - I have not questioned my podiatrist about his findings or what type of machine he used - I took his word for it. At the time, the FDA had not even approved this procedure, so I figured he was doing a trial study. Maybe he lied - but why would he? Secondly, I did not misunderstand his explanation of the pain from the heel spur. My husband was there and confirms this explanation he gave. My podiatrist did explain how the heel spur was formed as John describes here on the message board, but I never disputed this explanation as someone else on the board accuses me of doing - I never even mentioned this in my first statement on the message board. I only described why you get the pain. It's interesting that so far noone else has heard or read about this poking into the tissue thing. Maybe I went to a quack for a doctor. He does fine surgery though. I have that to be thankful for. I have read the horror stories and do feel very fortunate. I certainly don't think that any of you are stupid for not going for the surgery - I know it's a last resort. For me it was. I crawled for one week before the surgery after trying heat, ice, whirlpool baths, 2 cortisone injections, even staying off my feet all day. All I'm trying to get across is don't rule out surgery. If ESWT therapy is offered where you live and you can afford it - go for it. I would have. This is a terrible pain to be suffering and it seemed to me that by what I read here, some people were suffering needlessly by trying therapies that were not permanent solutions. I was unaware that there was a chance you could live with a heel spur that caused no pain whatsovever, without doing EPF surgery or heel spur removal. My podiatrist told me this was the next step in alleviating my pain - so, I did it. Would love to here from the doctors here to see what they think of my doctors explanation of the heel spur poking into the tissue. It made sense to me! A piece of bone/calcium, pointing downwards, digging into the tissue, making a hole and while at rest, the hole closes due to swelling and when you walk on it, it pokes a hole again but hurts for a short time as you walk further and further till the hole is fully made, then there is no pain until you rest again. So, the doctor removes the tissue that was being poked, instead of the heel spur - less invasive. I don't THINK I'm a doctor. I listened carefully to what my doctor said. Went home and thought about which course of action to take. Read about the problem I was experiencing, tried the less invasive steps first, then I opted for the surgery. Believe me, I was a nervous wreck. I trusted my doctor. I think he did a good job. Unfortunately we're not all so lucky. Some of the readers here sounded so desperate - their jobs depended on them standing for hours and they were miserable and desperate. I was too - I have felt their pain. Go for the surgery but only after trying the therapies, and if you're lucky enough to have tried ESWT, without success, then find a good doctor and go for the surgery. Why keep suffering. I JUST WANTED TO SHARE MY POSITIVE EXPERIENCE WITH THOSE PEOPLE - THAT'S ALL!

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

john h on 12/10/00 at 12:05 (034589)

that is what the is board is mostly about 'sharing experiences' and yours is much appreciated. Our board is probably skewed as most on this board have had this problem for years and tried everything from surgery to accupucture. Fact is 90% of the 6 or so million cases of PF each year are cured with conservitive methods and are never heard from again. all of us are looking for positive outcomes because it provides hope. if i had read this board when i first developed pf i have no question in my mind i would be running marathons today. i spent 2 years doing all the wrong things in partticular running through the pain. I hope your progress continues. Best of luck.

Re: Spur and ESWT

john h on 12/10/00 at 12:08 (034591)

scott: you may declare this site an advertising site but to me it is more like an old friend to turn to for support and information.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/10/00 at 18:27 (034612)

Hi,

I missed this discussion. I don't want anyone to think that there is only one treatment for any type of condition. I have done alot of pf releases and heel spurs procedures. There are are hundreds of patients that I have helped with pf surgery. It helped to build my practice over the last twenty years. Mininial incision heel spur and or pf release has given and will give my patients alot of pain relief now and in the future. I haven't stopped doing mis heel spur surgery. I will leave up to the patient if I think that the mis procedure is the right procedure for that patient. The patient always has the final say. in what is going to be done to them.
ESWT has been around for over ten years. It does work and should replace alot of heel spur surgery in the future

The most important thing that I can tell Abby is this . Please don't over due yourself because you are feeling great. Just by knowing that you are post six weeks means that the procedure did work but still rest and no bare feet. Proper shoes.
I am glad that you are doing great. I just want to be able to offer my patients all the options that they can have. There have been patients in the past few months that i have done mis heel spur surgery on and did know that I could do ESWT. I did the mis heel spur surgery because they knew that it could take up to six months to heal and that the pain in a very small amount of cases can be worse. If my wife had heel spur pain. I would do ESWT first and then mis heel spur second if I could make the decision, but she makes all of the decision in my family. No just kidding.
I am just glad that you are doing well and well be a pain free heel pain human being So Go Abby Go

Re: Spur and ESWT

Kate on 12/12/00 at 09:37 (034755)

Scot,
I'm in this conversation a little late, but you are right. While ESWT is a great alternative to surgery, we have had three patients (out of 150) who did not respond to ESWT and became surgical candidates with gret results. Longer healing time, but the end result was good. I think the fact that our fees are all inclusive , and include MIS if the patient doesn't respond, makes it even a better.

Kate

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

john h on 12/07/00 at 09:39 (034401)

abby: the heel spur is a symptom of the PF problem and rarely the source of the pain. many people have heel spurs with no pain and most orthopedic surgeons do not remove the heel spur when performing a PF release. The success rate for surgery has been noted by various people to be between 50-75% and in some cases have made people worse. ESWT is almost risk free,painless,no cutting of tissue and nerves. it seems liked a very viable options prior to surgery. i have had surgery and ESWT.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Julie F on 12/07/00 at 10:22 (034409)

Abby, I really don't think it is fair to say that ESWT is being 'pushed' on this website. Yes, Dr Zuckerman is offering it, but isn't it obvious to you that he is a caring doctor who wants to help people with foot pain, and is able to offer a technique that can help? ESWT - and I have nothing to gain by saying this - is non-invasive and, apparently, without side effects. In principle, such a technique, whatever the problem, should be tried before surgery, which is not always successful, which always carries risk, and often has undesirable effects.

As Dr Z has explained, a heel spur is not the problem, or the cause of pain, but the body's response to the tear in the fascia: it lays down bone in an attempt to heal the tear.

But I'm very glad that your surgery has been successful, and that you are feeling better.

Julie

Julie

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Abby on 12/07/00 at 10:58 (034412)

Yes, I do think Dr. Z is a caring doctor and if ESWT was offered here in my city I may have tried this therapy, however, it was not recommended by my podiatrist. Here is how it was explained to me by my podiatrist: First of all, he tried shock wave therapy in his office with not very good results and the data that he read showed only temporary relief in the patient's where it did some good. These patient's probably didn't have a heel spur just the inflammation from PF. Secondly, the heel spur is a piece of bone and calcium, formed as you have explained, that digs a hole in the fascia tissue. Upon rising in the morning or after sitting for a long period of time, the hole has a change to close up or swell. When the person starts to walk after rest, the heel spur makes a hole again, causing pain until the hole is created and this process is repeated over and over. Something has to be done to the heel spur, THE CAUSE OF THE PAIN. Either surgically removing the fascia band that is being aggravated (mine was on the inside of my heel) or removal of the heel spur. Recovery, however, takes alot longer when the heel spur is removed and the patient is on crutches for 6 - 8 weeks and not everyone can be inconvenienced by the crutches. Also the bone doesn't always heel properly. If Dr. Z or B do not agree with my podiatrit's assessment I would like to know. It seems that there are different schools of thought or learning when it comes to PF and the treatments recommended.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Barbara TX on 12/07/00 at 14:48 (034421)

Abby - I am glad that you're surgery went well, and we are happy for you. But I'm not happy when you dismiss the experience of other people who have had awful experiences with the same kind of surgery that you had. What would you be saying to us if you fell into that rather ample percentile? How do you know that your 'cure' is permanent, as you say the cure from ESWT is not? ESWT has been used on plenty of folks who relapse after getting their fascias cut. If you could, please tell us what kind of machine (high or low power) that your doctor used, how many patients he has treated, and where he is located. I think we would all find the answers very interesting.

And as for the theory about the spur 'poking a hole' in and out of the fascia, Drs. Z and B, might be kind enough to speak to this. I thought that the bone spur was right in the middle of the lateral band, not poking in and out of it. The majority of DPM's now do not believe that the spur is THE CAUSE OF THE PAIN (as you describe it) but micro-tears in the fascia itself. That's why fewer and fewer of them remove spurs. There are plenty of people out there who are walking around with heel spurs that cause them no pain. Some people have pf pain with no spurs at all. I have spurs on both heels and only one heel hurts. Why?

Abby, some of us have done our research as well, and we have very good reasons for avoiding surgery. Please read Jimbo's post for little taste of how surgery can mess up a man's life for a year. And Karen too. To most of us it makes perfect sense to start with less invasive procedures and work our way up to surgery. After surgery, there's no going back.

And please don't accuse a man who has worked very hard GIVING AWAY treatments and reading MRI's gratis, and answering medical inquiries without being paid for it, of ADVERTISING. That really makes me angry.

But I am very glad that you're better ;) B.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

john h on 12/07/00 at 16:55 (034431)

of course i am not a doctor but i have never heard of a heel spur digging into the fascia. the spur is created when the fasica tugs on the heel and would not be in a postion to dig into the fascia. there are several opinions as to the cause of plantar pain. 1. microtears in the fascia (2) an inflamed fascia pressing on the baxter nerve (3) inflamed fascia created by host of other things. ultimately what counts is how you feel and if you feel great then you are fortunate as many of us have tried everything from surgery,ESWT,meds,shots,etc. the doctor may have given you some sort of electrical thearpy but it would be nothing akin to ESWT because there is nothing even similar to this procedure unless it is a lipotriptor for the crushing of kidney stones via shock waves. hope your recovery contines to be great and congratualtions.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Jeriann on 12/07/00 at 20:03 (034440)

Abby, glad to hear something positive about epf, I am having it done on my right heel in 2 weeks.....my doc says I will be back in shoes in 3 days and back to work in 2 weeks. Wish me luck! I am on my feet all day, 6 days a week and I am ready for some relief. Jeri Ann

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

wendyn on 12/07/00 at 20:17 (034444)

Interesting. But your doctors explanation of PF pain is contrary to EVERYTHING I have ever read or been told about it. Do some of your own research (from a variety of sources) and let me know what you find.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Abby on 12/07/00 at 22:37 (034456)

Barbara in Texas and John H. are you two doctors? What qualifies the two of you to think you know so much about EPF and the treatment of it? I see you names alot on this site answering questions.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Julie F on 12/08/00 at 03:13 (034468)

Abby, I think what's going on here is that you've had a surgical treatment, which fortunately for you seems so far to have been successful, and you're anxious to defend it and to spread the word. That's fine, and I think we would all understand it. I do, but I'm not at all happy when your defense takes the form of knocking others - first those who make information about ESWT available (and the procedure itself), and then those who attempt to explain their understanding, which in the case of Barbara and John is based on experience and research.

As everyone has said, we are all very pleased for you and hope your recovery continues and leaves you pain-free forever.

All the best, Julie

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

abby on 12/08/00 at 08:39 (034476)

hello i am glad the surgery went well i am also getting the surgery done on the 19 of dec and go next week for pre-op i have been suffering for over 3 years and have tried everthing i am in the army and i can not fuction but with the surgery i will hopefuly will be back to my old self hey if it worked for you it will workk for me please keep us informed of the results.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

wendyn on 12/08/00 at 08:53 (034478)

Sorry Abby - I don't want this to sound like 'we' are ganging up on you or your doctor. As everyone else has pointed out - it's awesome that you're having great results from surgery, and I hope all continues to go well for you (and everyone here for that matter).

Nevertheless.

If you do any of your own research on PF, you will find that surgery is always considered a last resort - may help - but still a last resort. For many many good reasons - not the least of which is that PF can go away without it (and often does).

As or your doctors explanation of PF and how it causes pain....

I sincerely hope that this is just a big misunderstanding of what he actually said. I have never heard anything like this before (and I've spent years researching TTS and PF for my own information). But - don't take my word for it, or Barb's or John's or anyone else's for that matter. Go find a medical book somewhere, or do some research anywhere on the net. If you can find anything supporting this theory of 'the spur poking a hole in the fascia and causing pain' - I'd be more than willing to review and consider (and learn from) what you find. Everything I've read and heard supports the theory that the heel spur is actually a result of the constant pulling on the fascia. The PF causes the heel spur - but people can have PF and no spur (and LOTS OF PAIN) OR the spur - but absolutely no pain. I still have spurs - but I do not have heel pain.

Let's continue this in the form of good debate - we all learn from that.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Barbara TX on 12/08/00 at 09:42 (034481)

Abby - You don't have to be a doctor to relay factual information to others about the physiology of the human body. YOU sound more like a doctor when you definatively pronounce that surgery is the best way to cure pf. I am still curious about your doctor, and his experience with ESWT though. I am beginning to remember you from the board previously and I recall asking you this question, and recall also that you never answered it. Why? As soon as your doctor makes his results publically available (as Dr. Z. has) I will consider his evidence. If not, it stays in the realm of heresay. Share your joy here about your recovery, but don't think us all fools or masochists for not trying EPF. B.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Chris W on 12/08/00 at 09:44 (034482)

Thansk for your post op update. I saw my podiatrist yesterday and my foot too is starting to feel better since posting my message. My foot is healing up just perfectly! I am very optimistic now about having had the EPF. My doctor even gave me the ok to start an exercise program but advised me to take it slow. However, I probably won't do running or jogging just yet.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Chris W on 12/08/00 at 09:58 (034484)

Sorry I should have read everyone's responses before I posted my last message. For record I had surgery on my right foot with no heel spur and tons of pain. I do have a tiny heel spur on my left foot and I have had no pain at all and my left foot was fine afer my first cortisone injection and has been for a whole year now. My right foot went through all other methods of treatment before finally having the surgery. I have never heard of the ESWT until reading about it on this site so I really don't know anything about it.

I do enjoy reading about everyone's experiences and their advise. It's nice to know that we are not alone.

Thanks

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

abby on 12/08/00 at 19:27 (034518)

i had surgery for tts,pf, and a chelictomy on my left foot in august 1999. I had ESWT treatment twice the latest in Sep 2000.. I have seen at least 5 poditrist, 3 othopedic foot and ankle surgeons with fellowships in foot and ankle surgery and tried accupuncture,cortisone shots, many medications, physical thearpy,etc,etc. i cannot imagine anyone having done anymore research on this problem. i have had bilaterial Pf of seven years. i am not a doctor but some of the doctors i have visited were not even aware of ESWT. Some suggested releasing the entire fascia. Others had suggestions for treatment that were clearly not recommend by medical articles. Not all doctors are equal and anyone who has surgery for anything better be skeptical, ask question, become informed, get second opinions because it is your body that is going under the knife. i never 'tell' anyone what kind of treatment to get but will sure give them the benefit of my experience. Statistics speek for themselves and scott has amassed an enormous amount of stats to help anyone considering various types of treatment. I lean vary heavily on the information i have gleamed from people with personal experience with this disease and some of them seem to no more about the treament of PF than some doctors i have seen.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Darrel H on 12/09/00 at 19:18 (034563)

Abby, Your message really stirred the nest. You know, the best thing about this site is the variety of information and experiences of other heel pain sufferers. I appreciate candid opinions based on personal experience then, develope my own course of action. This is a nice site and all the writers have always been very caring, but to all those who seem to have slammed you, I say go ahead and fall for whatever you want to, I'm glad Abby allowed us to consider the other side to this issue.

Re: Spur and ESWT

Nancy S. on 12/09/00 at 21:56 (034568)

I didn't see anyone here completely discount surgery.
Many of us see it as a last resort, and I think rightly so. (For starters, what's the percentage of people with PF who ultimately need surgery because nothing else helped? 5%?) Any surgery, on the foot or the head or the hand or the nose or wherever, carries risks. I feel rather strongly about the issue as it pertains to PF, because my ex-pod tried to railroad me into EPF surgery after 6 months of almost no conservative treatment. No PT, no foot or gait evaluation, no shoe evaluation, no advice to rest, no proper orthotics, not even any stretching regimen.
If a PF patient has exhausted conservative remedies, and remains in a lot of pain after months and months -- I've gone a year and a half myself -- then I think considering ESWT and surgery is in order. I'm finally getting better, so the need to consider these things has receded. But if I weren't getting better and I turned out to be a candidate for ESWT, I'd sell my windows and my clothes and my rugs and anything else I had to in order to try ESWT before surgery. (And that would probably happen after trying to win Dr. Z's free-ESWT lottery!). Then if I had to go with the risks of surgery, so be it.
Some people here have had success with surgery, and I'm as happy as can be for them, as happy as I am for people who have successful surgery for any other horrible condition. Some people have had unsuccessful PF surgery, and my heart goes out to them. Thankfully, they still have ESWT to try!
Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I think of heelspurs.com as being characterized by many, many qualities -- and advertising is far down the list.
Nancy

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

THE REAL ABBY on 12/09/00 at 23:29 (034576)

Wow! I think a number of you need to re-read my first statement about EPF surgery. First of all I was NOT accusing the doctors on this site of advertising ESWT - I said it was AS IF they were advertising here. And yes, Barbara in TX, I have written here when I first had my surgery - I have not questioned my podiatrist about his findings or what type of machine he used - I took his word for it. At the time, the FDA had not even approved this procedure, so I figured he was doing a trial study. Maybe he lied - but why would he? Secondly, I did not misunderstand his explanation of the pain from the heel spur. My husband was there and confirms this explanation he gave. My podiatrist did explain how the heel spur was formed as John describes here on the message board, but I never disputed this explanation as someone else on the board accuses me of doing - I never even mentioned this in my first statement on the message board. I only described why you get the pain. It's interesting that so far noone else has heard or read about this poking into the tissue thing. Maybe I went to a quack for a doctor. He does fine surgery though. I have that to be thankful for. I have read the horror stories and do feel very fortunate. I certainly don't think that any of you are stupid for not going for the surgery - I know it's a last resort. For me it was. I crawled for one week before the surgery after trying heat, ice, whirlpool baths, 2 cortisone injections, even staying off my feet all day. All I'm trying to get across is don't rule out surgery. If ESWT therapy is offered where you live and you can afford it - go for it. I would have. This is a terrible pain to be suffering and it seemed to me that by what I read here, some people were suffering needlessly by trying therapies that were not permanent solutions. I was unaware that there was a chance you could live with a heel spur that caused no pain whatsovever, without doing EPF surgery or heel spur removal. My podiatrist told me this was the next step in alleviating my pain - so, I did it. Would love to here from the doctors here to see what they think of my doctors explanation of the heel spur poking into the tissue. It made sense to me! A piece of bone/calcium, pointing downwards, digging into the tissue, making a hole and while at rest, the hole closes due to swelling and when you walk on it, it pokes a hole again but hurts for a short time as you walk further and further till the hole is fully made, then there is no pain until you rest again. So, the doctor removes the tissue that was being poked, instead of the heel spur - less invasive. I don't THINK I'm a doctor. I listened carefully to what my doctor said. Went home and thought about which course of action to take. Read about the problem I was experiencing, tried the less invasive steps first, then I opted for the surgery. Believe me, I was a nervous wreck. I trusted my doctor. I think he did a good job. Unfortunately we're not all so lucky. Some of the readers here sounded so desperate - their jobs depended on them standing for hours and they were miserable and desperate. I was too - I have felt their pain. Go for the surgery but only after trying the therapies, and if you're lucky enough to have tried ESWT, without success, then find a good doctor and go for the surgery. Why keep suffering. I JUST WANTED TO SHARE MY POSITIVE EXPERIENCE WITH THOSE PEOPLE - THAT'S ALL!

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

john h on 12/10/00 at 12:05 (034589)

that is what the is board is mostly about 'sharing experiences' and yours is much appreciated. Our board is probably skewed as most on this board have had this problem for years and tried everything from surgery to accupucture. Fact is 90% of the 6 or so million cases of PF each year are cured with conservitive methods and are never heard from again. all of us are looking for positive outcomes because it provides hope. if i had read this board when i first developed pf i have no question in my mind i would be running marathons today. i spent 2 years doing all the wrong things in partticular running through the pain. I hope your progress continues. Best of luck.

Re: Spur and ESWT

john h on 12/10/00 at 12:08 (034591)

scott: you may declare this site an advertising site but to me it is more like an old friend to turn to for support and information.

Re: 6 1/2 WEEKS POST EPF SURGERY & REALLY FEELING A VERY POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/10/00 at 18:27 (034612)

Hi,

I missed this discussion. I don't want anyone to think that there is only one treatment for any type of condition. I have done alot of pf releases and heel spurs procedures. There are are hundreds of patients that I have helped with pf surgery. It helped to build my practice over the last twenty years. Mininial incision heel spur and or pf release has given and will give my patients alot of pain relief now and in the future. I haven't stopped doing mis heel spur surgery. I will leave up to the patient if I think that the mis procedure is the right procedure for that patient. The patient always has the final say. in what is going to be done to them.
ESWT has been around for over ten years. It does work and should replace alot of heel spur surgery in the future

The most important thing that I can tell Abby is this . Please don't over due yourself because you are feeling great. Just by knowing that you are post six weeks means that the procedure did work but still rest and no bare feet. Proper shoes.
I am glad that you are doing great. I just want to be able to offer my patients all the options that they can have. There have been patients in the past few months that i have done mis heel spur surgery on and did know that I could do ESWT. I did the mis heel spur surgery because they knew that it could take up to six months to heal and that the pain in a very small amount of cases can be worse. If my wife had heel spur pain. I would do ESWT first and then mis heel spur second if I could make the decision, but she makes all of the decision in my family. No just kidding.
I am just glad that you are doing well and well be a pain free heel pain human being So Go Abby Go

Re: Spur and ESWT

Kate on 12/12/00 at 09:37 (034755)

Scot,
I'm in this conversation a little late, but you are right. While ESWT is a great alternative to surgery, we have had three patients (out of 150) who did not respond to ESWT and became surgical candidates with gret results. Longer healing time, but the end result was good. I think the fact that our fees are all inclusive , and include MIS if the patient doesn't respond, makes it even a better.

Kate