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Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Posted by Gwen B. on 8/12/01 at 00:04 (056391)

Hi all,
I just found this website and was amayzed at all the negative reports on PF surgery. I'm a 40yof with a 4yr old injury to my right foot and frequently in pain. The worst of it occurs when I've been at work and on my feet for 12hrs. Thats right, 12hrs!(I'm in the medical field and work in a busy ICU) I've tried everything. Shots, ice, Pt/stretches, and on occassion arch supports with little releef. Next week I go back to a new Ortho/Pod Dr. What do I ask for? I don't know if I should decide on surgery. I'm not scared of the pain because my pain tolerance is very well. It's the overall recovery time. (PS I do like the BERKINSTOCK idea...)

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Dan L on 8/12/01 at 10:33 (056433)

Glad to have you on board at this website. I think so many of us come here because we don't know what to do with the pain ourselves. Many of us are just looking for some kind of answer or glimmer of hope. I've had PF approx 5 years. I had bilateral partial release surgery well over a year ago...and am so much worse now. You can stand for 12 hours????? My limit is now approx 5 minutes. Then the pain becomes so intense I HAVE to sit down...no choice. I (like you) found this website prior to my surgery and the postings scared me a bit. But I had the 'it'll work for me' mind set. I wish I had paid attention to the mnay good people on this site. But instead I listened to a doctor that sold me hope. He said QUOTE...'Within about 3 weeks after surgery you'll have less pain than before.' It sounded GREAT so I let him cut on my feet. Anyway, best wishes to you!!!!

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Julie on 8/12/01 at 11:26 (056439)

Hi Gwen

I understand that in an ICU you need to be on your feet, and you probably love your work - but wouldn't it be possible for you to be switched to desk duties for a time? There isn't much that will cure PF or even relieve the pain when your feet are taking that kind of punishment, and you're going to find it very difficult to heal if you continue to work 12-hour standing shifts. I would guess, though I don't know, that that would be true even if you decided to have surgery.

When you see the new doctor, ask for a full evaluation of your standing and walking: you may need custom orthotics to correct any biomechanical faults. You should also be able to expect a full comprehensive treatment plan. You've tried a lot of things, but for how long, and in what combination?

ESWT is an option to consider before surgery: it is non-invasive and has a good record of success - and if it fails, there is always surgery.

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

John h on 8/12/01 at 11:45 (056440)

Gwen: i did not see you mention the use of Birkenstocks. They have been of much help to many of us. My last visit to the hospital i noticed a number of the nurses wearing birks. i do not know your hospital rules but they do make a white Birkenstock airizona model as well as some other non static white professional shoes. on your feet 12 hours a day your shoes are going to be very important. scott has the URL for a Birkenstock website where you can veiw he shoes.

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Julie on 8/12/01 at 12:46 (056454)

Gwen, I agree with John that Birks could well help you on the job. You can get to the site to view them by clicking on the Birkenstock link in his post or this one, but you'd be wise not to order them until you've been fitted in a store and are sure of your size and of the style you like. They don't suit everybody, so even though the German website's prices are about half the retail price, it would be worth your buying a store pair in real-time first. They need to be broken in gradually, and your feet need to get used to them. Once you know they're all right for you, you can save lots of money by ordering them on line.

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

BrianG on 8/13/01 at 10:00 (056554)

Hi Gwen,

Could you share some of that high tolerance to pain, with me. Mine has always been very low, hence I'm a 'pain wimp'.

Is it possible to ask your administators to put some anti-fatigue mats in your work area? I just put two in my house, and I'm liking them already.

BCG

PS I too had failed surgery, EPF style.

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/13/01 at hrmin (056575)

Gwen:
You do need to realize that the reason you are reading a lot of negative information on surgery is because a lot of the posters on this site have had surgery or other treatment that has failed--it is not a true sampling of all plantar fasciitis sufferers.

That being said, surgery for plantar fasciitis is something to do when conservative treatment fails. Conservative treatment works better than 90% of the time--it needs to be done skillfully, applying the right treatments at the right time, under the right set of circumstances.
Ed

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Gwen B on 8/13/01 at 14:11 (056583)

Sorry guys, can't switch to a desk job. It doesnt' pay the bills, and not within my scope of practice. However, I do have a apt with the ortho/pod Dr next week and I will be asking for orthotics and nightspits.. and maybe ESWT. Thanks

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Gwen on 8/13/01 at 14:16 (056585)

Thanks for the advice. I will check out the website and maybe even find a local store here in SanDiego that sells them.

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Andrea R. on 8/14/01 at 10:37 (056705)

Gwen,

I can't say for sure that my surgery was a complete success as it was only 3 months ago but I keep getting better. I have had good and bad days but I actually made it through the grocery store on Sunday and didn't go home in pain.

My doctor did surgery on his surgical nurse. She was back to work in six weeks and still works with him.

Working in ICU you should be able to check the reputations of the doctors in your area who do foot surgery.

I'm glad I had the surgery. We tried conservative treatments and they just didn't work. My doctor kept reminding me that recovery can take up to a year and that there will be ups and downs.

Best of luck to you.

Andrea

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

susan b on 8/23/01 at 14:33 (057691)

First time post, but visited the boards before. I have had PF for about 18 years and I believe I have tried every type of treatment but surgery. Night splits, Cast, injections, rest, ice, nsaids, tape orthodics, etc, all together they provided some relief, but nothing like rest, but afterwards I am right back to where I was before. I have had xrays which showed no bone spurs and little arthristis. So my question is: How much rest do I need for this to heal properly? I was in a cast for 6 weeks and when it came off I was pain again. The docs always refused to do surgery because (even upon my insistence) of my high arch and the low success rates.

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Dan L on 8/12/01 at 10:33 (056433)

Glad to have you on board at this website. I think so many of us come here because we don't know what to do with the pain ourselves. Many of us are just looking for some kind of answer or glimmer of hope. I've had PF approx 5 years. I had bilateral partial release surgery well over a year ago...and am so much worse now. You can stand for 12 hours????? My limit is now approx 5 minutes. Then the pain becomes so intense I HAVE to sit down...no choice. I (like you) found this website prior to my surgery and the postings scared me a bit. But I had the 'it'll work for me' mind set. I wish I had paid attention to the mnay good people on this site. But instead I listened to a doctor that sold me hope. He said QUOTE...'Within about 3 weeks after surgery you'll have less pain than before.' It sounded GREAT so I let him cut on my feet. Anyway, best wishes to you!!!!

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Julie on 8/12/01 at 11:26 (056439)

Hi Gwen

I understand that in an ICU you need to be on your feet, and you probably love your work - but wouldn't it be possible for you to be switched to desk duties for a time? There isn't much that will cure PF or even relieve the pain when your feet are taking that kind of punishment, and you're going to find it very difficult to heal if you continue to work 12-hour standing shifts. I would guess, though I don't know, that that would be true even if you decided to have surgery.

When you see the new doctor, ask for a full evaluation of your standing and walking: you may need custom orthotics to correct any biomechanical faults. You should also be able to expect a full comprehensive treatment plan. You've tried a lot of things, but for how long, and in what combination?

ESWT is an option to consider before surgery: it is non-invasive and has a good record of success - and if it fails, there is always surgery.

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

John h on 8/12/01 at 11:45 (056440)

Gwen: i did not see you mention the use of Birkenstocks. They have been of much help to many of us. My last visit to the hospital i noticed a number of the nurses wearing birks. i do not know your hospital rules but they do make a white Birkenstock airizona model as well as some other non static white professional shoes. on your feet 12 hours a day your shoes are going to be very important. scott has the URL for a Birkenstock website where you can veiw he shoes.

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Julie on 8/12/01 at 12:46 (056454)

Gwen, I agree with John that Birks could well help you on the job. You can get to the site to view them by clicking on the Birkenstock link in his post or this one, but you'd be wise not to order them until you've been fitted in a store and are sure of your size and of the style you like. They don't suit everybody, so even though the German website's prices are about half the retail price, it would be worth your buying a store pair in real-time first. They need to be broken in gradually, and your feet need to get used to them. Once you know they're all right for you, you can save lots of money by ordering them on line.

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

BrianG on 8/13/01 at 10:00 (056554)

Hi Gwen,

Could you share some of that high tolerance to pain, with me. Mine has always been very low, hence I'm a 'pain wimp'.

Is it possible to ask your administators to put some anti-fatigue mats in your work area? I just put two in my house, and I'm liking them already.

BCG

PS I too had failed surgery, EPF style.

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/13/01 at hrmin (056575)

Gwen:
You do need to realize that the reason you are reading a lot of negative information on surgery is because a lot of the posters on this site have had surgery or other treatment that has failed--it is not a true sampling of all plantar fasciitis sufferers.

That being said, surgery for plantar fasciitis is something to do when conservative treatment fails. Conservative treatment works better than 90% of the time--it needs to be done skillfully, applying the right treatments at the right time, under the right set of circumstances.
Ed

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Gwen B on 8/13/01 at 14:11 (056583)

Sorry guys, can't switch to a desk job. It doesnt' pay the bills, and not within my scope of practice. However, I do have a apt with the ortho/pod Dr next week and I will be asking for orthotics and nightspits.. and maybe ESWT. Thanks

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Gwen on 8/13/01 at 14:16 (056585)

Thanks for the advice. I will check out the website and maybe even find a local store here in SanDiego that sells them.

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

Andrea R. on 8/14/01 at 10:37 (056705)

Gwen,

I can't say for sure that my surgery was a complete success as it was only 3 months ago but I keep getting better. I have had good and bad days but I actually made it through the grocery store on Sunday and didn't go home in pain.

My doctor did surgery on his surgical nurse. She was back to work in six weeks and still works with him.

Working in ICU you should be able to check the reputations of the doctors in your area who do foot surgery.

I'm glad I had the surgery. We tried conservative treatments and they just didn't work. My doctor kept reminding me that recovery can take up to a year and that there will be ups and downs.

Best of luck to you.

Andrea

Re: Tired of the pain. Surgery sounds too risky

susan b on 8/23/01 at 14:33 (057691)

First time post, but visited the boards before. I have had PF for about 18 years and I believe I have tried every type of treatment but surgery. Night splits, Cast, injections, rest, ice, nsaids, tape orthodics, etc, all together they provided some relief, but nothing like rest, but afterwards I am right back to where I was before. I have had xrays which showed no bone spurs and little arthristis. So my question is: How much rest do I need for this to heal properly? I was in a cast for 6 weeks and when it came off I was pain again. The docs always refused to do surgery because (even upon my insistence) of my high arch and the low success rates.