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Contemplating Surgery

Posted by Tina R. on 6/12/01 at 12:07 (050520)

I have been afflicted with heel pain for 2 1/2 to 3 years. I have had 3 injections, rigid and non-rigid orthotics, and PT (stretching, Ionotophoresis with acetic acid and steroids, and ultrasound). I also had EMG and nerve conduction studies which revealed mild TTS. I had lab work to rule out Rheumatoid Arthritis and several auto-immune disorders. I also had an MRI of my lumbar spine to make sure a problem there was not causing the heel pain. I feel like I have had a thorough work-up to determine PF as the probable cause of my heel pain. The pain comes and is horrible when at its worst, but is sometimes less and manageable. I have found no correlation as to why it is intermittent. The orthotics are helpful when I am wearing them, but I usually have pain when they come off, even when I am just sitting. I first saw a DPM for this and he did the injections, 3 over the course of about a year and a half. Relief is temporary with these and the last offered very brief relief. It was also a terribly painful experience that I will not repeat. He offered only the rigid orthotics, and never mentioned anything else except introducing the idea of surgery. I then went to an orthopedic surgeon. He ordered all the testing I have had and feels surgery is a good option for me. He plans an open partial release of the PF as well as the TT release. I work only part-time and the recuperation period would be easier for me than most. Though I realize the healing can be slow and arduous, I don't want my foot to feel like this forever. Currently the pain is not at its worst level, but my foot now just doesn't feel normal. It feels as though I have a heating pad wrapped around it when I go to bed, all hot and slightly tingly. It makes going to sleep a more difficult task. I have twinges of the heel pain when I am sitting and the foot is elevated.

I would welcome opinions and advice from readers. I have already scheduled the surgery, as I have a small window of time to have it before my family and I take a trip. I will be able to rest easily on the trip, as we rent a cabin on a lake for 2 weeks and just take it easy. We drive and have a vehicle I can easily keep my foot elevated in. I feel like I do not have inaccurate expectations regarding the surgery, and if 6 months of taking it easy is necessary I think that would be a fine exchange for the heel pain. I of course don't want to be crippled as a result of the surgery, but who does.

Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Re: Contemplating Surgery

BrianG on 6/12/01 at 21:46 (050564)

Hi Tina,

If your mind is made up to have surgery, I think you made the right choice. Do you have time to ask your doc for names of patients he can refer you to. It would be good to hear from his patients who had the same procedure, for basicly the same pain you have. If you can, try to talk to some one who was injured about the same amount of time that you have been suffering. Go luck. With your time available for recovery, you should do fine. Just remember, it could take well over 6 months to heal.

BCG

Re: Contemplating Surgery

Adam C on 6/15/01 at hrmin (050742)

Tina,

I concur with Brian's response. Be prepared for the possibility of a long recovery with possibly little to no relief. If you feel you have exhausted your options and you just can not live with the pain and limitation, than this may be your only option.

I have had PF for over ten years. I went through every test and every treatment option available. Finally, like you, I just could not take it any more and had surgery on both heels. This was 16 months ago and I am back to the same level of pain and disability. I am only 32 years old and not overweight. I am now contemplating a second surgery.

Tina, the reason I mention this is that you must be fully prepared for 6 or more months of recovery with no guarantee of positive results.

Re: Contemplating Surgery

BrianG on 6/12/01 at 21:46 (050564)

Hi Tina,

If your mind is made up to have surgery, I think you made the right choice. Do you have time to ask your doc for names of patients he can refer you to. It would be good to hear from his patients who had the same procedure, for basicly the same pain you have. If you can, try to talk to some one who was injured about the same amount of time that you have been suffering. Go luck. With your time available for recovery, you should do fine. Just remember, it could take well over 6 months to heal.

BCG

Re: Contemplating Surgery

Adam C on 6/15/01 at hrmin (050742)

Tina,

I concur with Brian's response. Be prepared for the possibility of a long recovery with possibly little to no relief. If you feel you have exhausted your options and you just can not live with the pain and limitation, than this may be your only option.

I have had PF for over ten years. I went through every test and every treatment option available. Finally, like you, I just could not take it any more and had surgery on both heels. This was 16 months ago and I am back to the same level of pain and disability. I am only 32 years old and not overweight. I am now contemplating a second surgery.

Tina, the reason I mention this is that you must be fully prepared for 6 or more months of recovery with no guarantee of positive results.