Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Why wait?

Posted by Trish C on 7/21/01 at 00:03 (053878)

I'd like to know why one should wait so long in pain, if the heel ends up having to get surgery done anyway? My foot has been in pain for a little over a month and a half, and I have tried everything, but shots or surgery; and still everyone thinks I should try this or that, when my foot is in constint pain, I believe I should have surgery done, and get it over with, don't you? I work in a factory on concrete floors and can't always be on a sat down job, I want my old stand up job back, and I can't do it with all this pain. I think I should be able to get the surgery and be done with it all.

Re: Why wait?

Julie on 7/21/01 at 02:34 (053890)

Trish, I'm not a doctor, but no, I don't believe you should have surgery and get it over with. And most heels don't end up having to have surgery. Most cases of plantar fasciitis respond well to conservative treatments, especially those that have been diagnosed early, like yours.

What treatments have you 'tried'? A month and a half is no time at all. With most treatments, and there are many, it takes a while to see know whether they work or not. Foot surgery is really the last resort, and I doubt that any reputable foot doctor would consider operating before all conservative treatments have been tried and proved unsuccessful for at least six months.

Surgery for PF does not have a particularly high success rate, and apart from the risks generally associated with any surgery, you are risking complications that could leave you in worse pain than before, and even more immobile.

What you need to do now is educate yourself so that you can get actively involved in healing yourself, so read the heel pain book. Also, read the message boards. There are lots of us out here who have 'been through it' and have learned about it and can help you.

For starters - you need to know that rest is the first line of treatment for PF. Yours has been diagnosed early, so you have a very good chance of getting better quickly (by which I mean possibly months, not years - and not weeks, either). If you rest now, you will probably be able to avoid long-term chronic pain. Be thankful that your employers have found sit-down duties for you, and reconcile yourself to sitting for as long as it takes. If you go back to the standing job too soon, you'll be constantly re-injuring yourself, and you'll get worse.

Do you have a foot doctor - someone who has specialized knowledge of feet? A podiatrist/orthopaedist/sports medicine doctor? If so, what has he or she recommended you do? Has your gait (walking style) been evaluated for possible biomechanical faults? If you over-pronate (foot turning in too much) you may need orthotics.

Taping, icing, suitable non weight-bearing stretching, night splints, can all help.

What about your shoes? Do you wear good, supportive shoes or fashion shoes? A too-flexible shoe cannot give your arches the support they need; a too-high heel can contribute to the shortening of the Achilles tendon and calf muscles that in turn contributes to the heel pain. Oh - and never go barefoot. Did you know that? Sometimes it's not so much a matter of what you 'do', as of what you avoid doing.

All these things need to be considered before you even think about surgery. And if they ALL fail, which I very much doubt they will, there is ESWT to consider - non-invasive, non-harmful, and with a good success rate, apparently. There is plenty of info on this website.

Stick around and ask questions - you'll get plenty of support here.

Re: Ditto

Glenn X on 7/21/01 at hrmin (053916)

Trish: Good for you landing on this site so soon into this condition. You're already ahead of most people with this condition.

This will NOT get better quick. Don't expect it to. Listen to Julie (and so many others here). They know better. Stick with the reasonable accommodation your employer seems to be making. Rest and learn.

Surgery is a very last resort. I'm three and a half years with this and surgery isn't even on my radar screen.

Re: Ditto

Dr. Zuckerman on 7/21/01 at 12:15 (053921)

With aurgery you can have more problems then you started with this is rare but true. You could be out of work for six months plus.

IF you are having alot of pain then a re-evaluation and getting off your feet is important. Stretching stretching no bare feet and rest are my big three.

Re: Why wait?

skyhawk on 7/21/01 at 16:47 (053930)

Trish,
I waited over a year before I had surgery eight years ago. This web site was not available or I would never have had it. I am now a lot worse off than before surgery with scar tissue that pulls worse than before. So please read this web site carefully and heed their advice. I was out of work for 5 months with fascia release and now can only stand a couple of hours before I get to my pain limit. BE PATIENT!!!!!!! You can't expect to try something for a week and it will help. This is a long term recovery, if you try what you read on this web site. DO NOT HAVE SURGERY!

Re: I've had it a month and a half also

Carmen H on 7/21/01 at 18:38 (053933)

Hi Trish. I share your impatience COMPLETELY. I totally understand how you feel and I have had it only a month and a half as of today. I am SO frustrated as well. I fortunately got on this site a week and a half AFTER I went to the POD (5 days after it started aching ONE day after it REALLY HURT). So it has been very helpful. I am trying as hard as I can to find 'the lesson' with this thing. I need to start listening to my body more. If I were you I wouldn't have the surgery and I would NOT go back to a standing job. Not even after my feet got better. I had a standing job (14 hours a daY) on concrete floors and I had to wear 'dress' shoes that I constantly replaced becasue they got ruined so easily. THAT was the start of my problems.
This is a toughy isn't it?
I hope you listen to your feet....take care of them. EVERY DAY.

Re: Patience, realism, learning

Julie on 7/22/01 at 02:42 (053949)

Trish, it's good that Carmen, whose experience matches yours so accurately, has spoken to you. I'm sure you will listen to her and to what others have said, and not rush into surgery.

You're both at the start of the 'PF learning curve', and maybe these observations will help you to you look a little further down the road.

At the start of any life problem - an illness, a physical disability, a painful condition of any kind - all we can think of is 'When is this going to stop, when can I 'get back to normal'.' That is natural: it's natural to want everything to 'be as it was'. 'I want my life back' is a frequent cry on these message boards. Of course we do. And pain IS hard to tolerate; it's natural to want it to go away as quickly as it came.

Then, as we come to understand that we're dealing with something that's probably going to take longer than w'd hoped, we become unhappy and frustrated and angry. That's natural too: we're having to 're-arrange' ourselves, re-think our life, change our daily routine, our recreation, maybe even our work. We're having to change, and few of us like change.

But at this point we start to take control: we decide that we're going to do our best to inform ourselves, take care of ourselves, and heal, however long it takes, using all the help we can get from our medical helpers, our friends, and what we learn here on heelspurs.com.

Something else happens too: we come to acknowledge our situation, and accept it. We learn to face and accept reality, 'the thing as it is'. That doesn't mean we give up, and become fatalistic. It means we stop fighting with reality so that we can move forward. We become realistic. We know what we're dealing with, and we deal with it. From that point, we start moving ahead.

This can be a tremendous learning experience, if we let it be - an opportunity for good changes in our life. We can come to see it as a challenge, rather than a disaster. A stepping-stone, rather than an obstacle.

We 'learn the lesson', as you put it, Carmen, whatever it is. Every experience we have contains a lesson for us; our job is to find out whatever the lesson is, and learn is. From that, we grow: good things happen. For me, the lesson was - patience. It wasn't easy. But it has made a good difference in my life.

There was another gift. I got really interested in this problem, which so many people share. So I've learned quite a lot about feet and the problems they are vulnerable to - and what I've learned has enlarged what I'm able to share with other people, here and in my teaching. That's something we can all do: use some of our time to learn about what's going on for us, so that we can hold out a helping hand.

That's what this website is for. Be glad you've found it - I am!

Re: Why wait?

john h on 7/23/01 at 09:37 (054015)

Surgery might make you worse! Waiting and rest might make you better!

Re: Why wait?

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/23/01 at hrmin (054070)

Surgery is not inevitable. The vast majority of people with plantar fasciitis are cured via conservative means with little or no time lost from work. You state that you have tried 'everything' but please list what you have actually tried. It is not always how many things you have tried but trying the 'right' things at the 'right time.' I hope you are seeing a doctor who is knowledgeable in this area and is providing you with good advise and answering your questions.

Re: Why wait?

Julie on 7/24/01 at 01:25 (054081)

...and for a sufficient length of time. I often have the feeling that people 'try' a technique, and when it doesn't have an instant effect, discard it in favour of something else, so that nothing ever really gets a chance to work.You need to be consistent - and patient.

Re: Why wait?

JudyS on 7/24/01 at 01:31 (054082)

Good Morning, Julie

Re: Why wait?

Julie on 7/24/01 at 02:46 (054088)

Good night, Judy. What are you doing up so late?

Re: Why wait?

Julie on 7/21/01 at 02:34 (053890)

Trish, I'm not a doctor, but no, I don't believe you should have surgery and get it over with. And most heels don't end up having to have surgery. Most cases of plantar fasciitis respond well to conservative treatments, especially those that have been diagnosed early, like yours.

What treatments have you 'tried'? A month and a half is no time at all. With most treatments, and there are many, it takes a while to see know whether they work or not. Foot surgery is really the last resort, and I doubt that any reputable foot doctor would consider operating before all conservative treatments have been tried and proved unsuccessful for at least six months.

Surgery for PF does not have a particularly high success rate, and apart from the risks generally associated with any surgery, you are risking complications that could leave you in worse pain than before, and even more immobile.

What you need to do now is educate yourself so that you can get actively involved in healing yourself, so read the heel pain book. Also, read the message boards. There are lots of us out here who have 'been through it' and have learned about it and can help you.

For starters - you need to know that rest is the first line of treatment for PF. Yours has been diagnosed early, so you have a very good chance of getting better quickly (by which I mean possibly months, not years - and not weeks, either). If you rest now, you will probably be able to avoid long-term chronic pain. Be thankful that your employers have found sit-down duties for you, and reconcile yourself to sitting for as long as it takes. If you go back to the standing job too soon, you'll be constantly re-injuring yourself, and you'll get worse.

Do you have a foot doctor - someone who has specialized knowledge of feet? A podiatrist/orthopaedist/sports medicine doctor? If so, what has he or she recommended you do? Has your gait (walking style) been evaluated for possible biomechanical faults? If you over-pronate (foot turning in too much) you may need orthotics.

Taping, icing, suitable non weight-bearing stretching, night splints, can all help.

What about your shoes? Do you wear good, supportive shoes or fashion shoes? A too-flexible shoe cannot give your arches the support they need; a too-high heel can contribute to the shortening of the Achilles tendon and calf muscles that in turn contributes to the heel pain. Oh - and never go barefoot. Did you know that? Sometimes it's not so much a matter of what you 'do', as of what you avoid doing.

All these things need to be considered before you even think about surgery. And if they ALL fail, which I very much doubt they will, there is ESWT to consider - non-invasive, non-harmful, and with a good success rate, apparently. There is plenty of info on this website.

Stick around and ask questions - you'll get plenty of support here.

Re: Ditto

Glenn X on 7/21/01 at hrmin (053916)

Trish: Good for you landing on this site so soon into this condition. You're already ahead of most people with this condition.

This will NOT get better quick. Don't expect it to. Listen to Julie (and so many others here). They know better. Stick with the reasonable accommodation your employer seems to be making. Rest and learn.

Surgery is a very last resort. I'm three and a half years with this and surgery isn't even on my radar screen.

Re: Ditto

Dr. Zuckerman on 7/21/01 at 12:15 (053921)

With aurgery you can have more problems then you started with this is rare but true. You could be out of work for six months plus.

IF you are having alot of pain then a re-evaluation and getting off your feet is important. Stretching stretching no bare feet and rest are my big three.

Re: Why wait?

skyhawk on 7/21/01 at 16:47 (053930)

Trish,
I waited over a year before I had surgery eight years ago. This web site was not available or I would never have had it. I am now a lot worse off than before surgery with scar tissue that pulls worse than before. So please read this web site carefully and heed their advice. I was out of work for 5 months with fascia release and now can only stand a couple of hours before I get to my pain limit. BE PATIENT!!!!!!! You can't expect to try something for a week and it will help. This is a long term recovery, if you try what you read on this web site. DO NOT HAVE SURGERY!

Re: I've had it a month and a half also

Carmen H on 7/21/01 at 18:38 (053933)

Hi Trish. I share your impatience COMPLETELY. I totally understand how you feel and I have had it only a month and a half as of today. I am SO frustrated as well. I fortunately got on this site a week and a half AFTER I went to the POD (5 days after it started aching ONE day after it REALLY HURT). So it has been very helpful. I am trying as hard as I can to find 'the lesson' with this thing. I need to start listening to my body more. If I were you I wouldn't have the surgery and I would NOT go back to a standing job. Not even after my feet got better. I had a standing job (14 hours a daY) on concrete floors and I had to wear 'dress' shoes that I constantly replaced becasue they got ruined so easily. THAT was the start of my problems.
This is a toughy isn't it?
I hope you listen to your feet....take care of them. EVERY DAY.

Re: Patience, realism, learning

Julie on 7/22/01 at 02:42 (053949)

Trish, it's good that Carmen, whose experience matches yours so accurately, has spoken to you. I'm sure you will listen to her and to what others have said, and not rush into surgery.

You're both at the start of the 'PF learning curve', and maybe these observations will help you to you look a little further down the road.

At the start of any life problem - an illness, a physical disability, a painful condition of any kind - all we can think of is 'When is this going to stop, when can I 'get back to normal'.' That is natural: it's natural to want everything to 'be as it was'. 'I want my life back' is a frequent cry on these message boards. Of course we do. And pain IS hard to tolerate; it's natural to want it to go away as quickly as it came.

Then, as we come to understand that we're dealing with something that's probably going to take longer than w'd hoped, we become unhappy and frustrated and angry. That's natural too: we're having to 're-arrange' ourselves, re-think our life, change our daily routine, our recreation, maybe even our work. We're having to change, and few of us like change.

But at this point we start to take control: we decide that we're going to do our best to inform ourselves, take care of ourselves, and heal, however long it takes, using all the help we can get from our medical helpers, our friends, and what we learn here on heelspurs.com.

Something else happens too: we come to acknowledge our situation, and accept it. We learn to face and accept reality, 'the thing as it is'. That doesn't mean we give up, and become fatalistic. It means we stop fighting with reality so that we can move forward. We become realistic. We know what we're dealing with, and we deal with it. From that point, we start moving ahead.

This can be a tremendous learning experience, if we let it be - an opportunity for good changes in our life. We can come to see it as a challenge, rather than a disaster. A stepping-stone, rather than an obstacle.

We 'learn the lesson', as you put it, Carmen, whatever it is. Every experience we have contains a lesson for us; our job is to find out whatever the lesson is, and learn is. From that, we grow: good things happen. For me, the lesson was - patience. It wasn't easy. But it has made a good difference in my life.

There was another gift. I got really interested in this problem, which so many people share. So I've learned quite a lot about feet and the problems they are vulnerable to - and what I've learned has enlarged what I'm able to share with other people, here and in my teaching. That's something we can all do: use some of our time to learn about what's going on for us, so that we can hold out a helping hand.

That's what this website is for. Be glad you've found it - I am!

Re: Why wait?

john h on 7/23/01 at 09:37 (054015)

Surgery might make you worse! Waiting and rest might make you better!

Re: Why wait?

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/23/01 at hrmin (054070)

Surgery is not inevitable. The vast majority of people with plantar fasciitis are cured via conservative means with little or no time lost from work. You state that you have tried 'everything' but please list what you have actually tried. It is not always how many things you have tried but trying the 'right' things at the 'right time.' I hope you are seeing a doctor who is knowledgeable in this area and is providing you with good advise and answering your questions.

Re: Why wait?

Julie on 7/24/01 at 01:25 (054081)

...and for a sufficient length of time. I often have the feeling that people 'try' a technique, and when it doesn't have an instant effect, discard it in favour of something else, so that nothing ever really gets a chance to work.You need to be consistent - and patient.

Re: Why wait?

JudyS on 7/24/01 at 01:31 (054082)

Good Morning, Julie

Re: Why wait?

Julie on 7/24/01 at 02:46 (054088)

Good night, Judy. What are you doing up so late?