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Unsure of what to do now

Posted by Phil W on 4/04/01 at hrmin (043637)

I Have Had Heel Spurs on both feet now for around 18 months to 2 years, and during the early months I had cortisone injections on 5 or 6 occasions with no relief. So I was referred to a consultant who put me on physiotherapy and gave orthoptic inserts for my shoes. None of these gave any noticeable relief. So I have been past on to orthopaedic consultant with the possibility of having surgery, And after reading some of the messages on this message board I am unsure of what to do.

I work as a machinist, which involves standing for up to 10 hours per day, and with having this condition I am unable to do my job. I have been off work for over six weeks now and have another 7 weeks to wait to see the new consultant. So in this time I am getting very unsure of what to do.

(i.e. have the OPP or carry on with other alternatives)

Re: Unsure of what to do now

Dr. Marlene Reid on 4/04/01 at 21:37 (043645)

TRY ESW!!!

Re: Unsure of what to do now

Paula G. on 4/05/01 at 09:04 (043681)

Phil, from my reading of this message board I have found that there is no one thing that is a guaranteed help. It is as if each thing works for some but not others....
Maybe that is why the process of getting well is so drawn out and long. Like going up steps. Each treatment to the next.
Inserts work for some but not others. They made my foot worse. I am seriously thinking of surgery only because it is my last option. I have tried everything else. Don't get discouraged. Use what works. I have an ace wrap tightly around my ankle and foot for support then wrap that in a flex aid. I can walk with more minimal pain at least.
This board is such a great source of information from others. I don't know what I would do without it.
What tests have you had done? I am concerned when I get these diagnoses from doctors that have an x-ray of mine that is over a year old and nothing else to go by. Isn't that why tests are done???

Re: Unsure of what to do now

Susan U on 4/05/01 at 12:40 (043715)

Didn't the dr. tell you heel spurs don't cause the pain? I've been told by 3 drs. that the pain is the tendon, not the spur. I think you should go ahead and see the orthopedic dr. I can't believe you have to wait 7 weeks though. Is this the only dr. your insurance covers? That seems like an awfully long time to wait, especially if the pain is SO bad you are not working. I am scheduled for surgery next week, 4/11, and I can't wait. I've had this pain on and off since 1992. Talk to the dr. Have x-rays. Read this board, then make an informed decision. Good luck!

Re: Unsure of what to do now

Julie on 4/05/01 at 17:19 (043738)

Paula, I've been meaning to ask for the last few days how your orthotics were casted, and if whoever made them for you made the adjustments that were obviously needed. (Sorry if you've explained all this - it's sometimes hard to keep track of who said what.)

I've been lucky with orthotics, but I'm very aware from reading posts about this knotty problem for several months, that others have had to try two or three times to end up with a pair that helps. There are a number of factors contributing to success or non-success, and I'm just wondering if you shouldn't have another go at getting fitted for a pair that would really help you. If you need the kind of support a properly made pair could give (for instance, if you have a biomechanical problem) it would probably be worth persevering with.

Richard has been very helpful to several people - perhaps you might like to do a search under his name and read his past posts.

Re: TESTS DONE SO FAR

PHILIPW on 4/05/01 at hrmin (043763)

THE ONLY TEST I HAVE HAD DONE TO DATE, WAS X-RAYS BACK IN JAN 2001.
WHICH SHOW THAT THER IS A SPUR ON BOTH HEELS (THE LEFT IS WORSE THAN THE RIGHT.

Re: Not sure if ECWT is available in the UK yet

PHILIPW on 4/05/01 at 20:26 (043765)

I AM NOT SURE BUT MOST OF THE OTHER USERS OF THIS MESSAGE BOARD SEEM TO COME FROM THE US, CANADA ECT. BUT AS I COME FROM THE UK I AM NOT SURE AS TO WHAT TRETMENT IS AVAILABLE OVER HERE, BUT I WILL BE SURE MENTIONING IT WHEN I NEXT SEE THE CONSULTANT IN MAY.

Re: Things seem different in the uk to over there

PHILIPW on 4/05/01 at 20:32 (043767)

With me living in the UK we have a long waiting list on the National Health Service, so unless I see a consultant privately this was the earliest appointment I could get

Re: Don't know if esw is available in the uk yet!!!

Phil W on 4/05/01 at hrmin (043777)

As I live in the UK I don't know what the differences are in the procedures over here. I was given x-rays back in Jan. They showed spurs present on both heels. Since then I have had 4 or 5 different types of physio, electric shock treatment (electrodes under heel and toes to contract foot), ultrasound, and another treatment (something short-wave).
This short-wave treatment gave a little help (this machine looked like a lamp but didn't give off any light).

Re: Don't know if esw is available in the uk yet!!!

Julie on 4/06/01 at 09:27 (043800)

Hi Phil, and welcome

I'm in the UK too. I had a feeling you might be when I read of your 7-week wait to see the orthopaedic consultant! That really is too long to wait, and even when you see him you may find that all he has to offer are steroid injections and surgery.

Could you afford to consult a podiatrist privately? That is, a foot specialist who knows about feet and ankles I think they usually have a better grasp of conservative treatments than orthopaedic specialists. Good ones aren't easy to find, but with luck you may land one who will know all about the various conservative treatments for plantar fasciitis and will work with you to get better.

Where in the UK do you live? If you like, I can ask mine if he knows someone in your area (or knows how to find one).

Meanwhile, please read the heel pain book for information about your condition and ideas about treatment. Icing helps to reduce inflammation; taping is good for supporting the arch (part 2 of the book has a section on taping). Rest is really the first line of treatment, and as you're off work (which must have contributed to your problem) you've made a good start on that!

You'll find the message boards a real help as far as information goes - and support, too, in this difficult time. So keep coming and keep asking questions.

All the best

Julie

Re: Unsure of what to do now

Dr. Marlene Reid on 4/04/01 at 21:37 (043645)

TRY ESW!!!

Re: Unsure of what to do now

Paula G. on 4/05/01 at 09:04 (043681)

Phil, from my reading of this message board I have found that there is no one thing that is a guaranteed help. It is as if each thing works for some but not others....
Maybe that is why the process of getting well is so drawn out and long. Like going up steps. Each treatment to the next.
Inserts work for some but not others. They made my foot worse. I am seriously thinking of surgery only because it is my last option. I have tried everything else. Don't get discouraged. Use what works. I have an ace wrap tightly around my ankle and foot for support then wrap that in a flex aid. I can walk with more minimal pain at least.
This board is such a great source of information from others. I don't know what I would do without it.
What tests have you had done? I am concerned when I get these diagnoses from doctors that have an x-ray of mine that is over a year old and nothing else to go by. Isn't that why tests are done???

Re: Unsure of what to do now

Susan U on 4/05/01 at 12:40 (043715)

Didn't the dr. tell you heel spurs don't cause the pain? I've been told by 3 drs. that the pain is the tendon, not the spur. I think you should go ahead and see the orthopedic dr. I can't believe you have to wait 7 weeks though. Is this the only dr. your insurance covers? That seems like an awfully long time to wait, especially if the pain is SO bad you are not working. I am scheduled for surgery next week, 4/11, and I can't wait. I've had this pain on and off since 1992. Talk to the dr. Have x-rays. Read this board, then make an informed decision. Good luck!

Re: Unsure of what to do now

Julie on 4/05/01 at 17:19 (043738)

Paula, I've been meaning to ask for the last few days how your orthotics were casted, and if whoever made them for you made the adjustments that were obviously needed. (Sorry if you've explained all this - it's sometimes hard to keep track of who said what.)

I've been lucky with orthotics, but I'm very aware from reading posts about this knotty problem for several months, that others have had to try two or three times to end up with a pair that helps. There are a number of factors contributing to success or non-success, and I'm just wondering if you shouldn't have another go at getting fitted for a pair that would really help you. If you need the kind of support a properly made pair could give (for instance, if you have a biomechanical problem) it would probably be worth persevering with.

Richard has been very helpful to several people - perhaps you might like to do a search under his name and read his past posts.

Re: TESTS DONE SO FAR

PHILIPW on 4/05/01 at hrmin (043763)

THE ONLY TEST I HAVE HAD DONE TO DATE, WAS X-RAYS BACK IN JAN 2001.
WHICH SHOW THAT THER IS A SPUR ON BOTH HEELS (THE LEFT IS WORSE THAN THE RIGHT.

Re: Not sure if ECWT is available in the UK yet

PHILIPW on 4/05/01 at 20:26 (043765)

I AM NOT SURE BUT MOST OF THE OTHER USERS OF THIS MESSAGE BOARD SEEM TO COME FROM THE US, CANADA ECT. BUT AS I COME FROM THE UK I AM NOT SURE AS TO WHAT TRETMENT IS AVAILABLE OVER HERE, BUT I WILL BE SURE MENTIONING IT WHEN I NEXT SEE THE CONSULTANT IN MAY.

Re: Things seem different in the uk to over there

PHILIPW on 4/05/01 at 20:32 (043767)

With me living in the UK we have a long waiting list on the National Health Service, so unless I see a consultant privately this was the earliest appointment I could get

Re: Don't know if esw is available in the uk yet!!!

Phil W on 4/05/01 at hrmin (043777)

As I live in the UK I don't know what the differences are in the procedures over here. I was given x-rays back in Jan. They showed spurs present on both heels. Since then I have had 4 or 5 different types of physio, electric shock treatment (electrodes under heel and toes to contract foot), ultrasound, and another treatment (something short-wave).
This short-wave treatment gave a little help (this machine looked like a lamp but didn't give off any light).

Re: Don't know if esw is available in the uk yet!!!

Julie on 4/06/01 at 09:27 (043800)

Hi Phil, and welcome

I'm in the UK too. I had a feeling you might be when I read of your 7-week wait to see the orthopaedic consultant! That really is too long to wait, and even when you see him you may find that all he has to offer are steroid injections and surgery.

Could you afford to consult a podiatrist privately? That is, a foot specialist who knows about feet and ankles I think they usually have a better grasp of conservative treatments than orthopaedic specialists. Good ones aren't easy to find, but with luck you may land one who will know all about the various conservative treatments for plantar fasciitis and will work with you to get better.

Where in the UK do you live? If you like, I can ask mine if he knows someone in your area (or knows how to find one).

Meanwhile, please read the heel pain book for information about your condition and ideas about treatment. Icing helps to reduce inflammation; taping is good for supporting the arch (part 2 of the book has a section on taping). Rest is really the first line of treatment, and as you're off work (which must have contributed to your problem) you've made a good start on that!

You'll find the message boards a real help as far as information goes - and support, too, in this difficult time. So keep coming and keep asking questions.

All the best

Julie