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Night splints

Posted by John k on 2/16/02 at 13:36 (073899)

The only thing I have not tried is night splints. My PF has come and gone for 16 years. I have thought about surgery. I am 52 and disabled from other orthopedic injuries. When I do stretching exercises it makes my PF much worse. I don't think there are many options besides surgery for me anymore. What does the group think?

Re: Night splints

Carole C in NOLA on 2/16/02 at 14:35 (073914)

I'm not a doctor. I'm just another heel pain sufferer.

What exactly are your other orthopedic injuries? Do you think that the night splints would affect them?

A lot of people have found night splints to be very helpful, though some say they have difficulty sleeping with them. I do not have them yet, because I started to recover rapidly and so I am putting that off.

The night splints hold your foot at a right angle to your leg. However, some come with wedges to put under the foot and bend it further up. I would think that even with your problems in stretching, just holding your foot at a right angle without the wedges shouldn't be too bad. But I don't know, because I've never worn a night splint! If you can tolerate one, it might do you a world of good since you have trouble stretching.

Carole C

Re: To John Night splints

Pauline on 2/16/02 at 14:49 (073915)

Hi John, I'll be the first to disagree with you on surgery being your only option. I've followed this board for over two years and quite honestly
I have not seen the cure all pain free results that most people seeking surgery are hoping to find.

It sounds like a quick fix, a snip job and your up and on your way, but I think you'll find that no one will guarantee that you'll be pain free even after having the surgery. Surprisely enough many people that post here after surgery have developed additional painful complications or have simply added pain to an already painful foot now located in other areas.

My suggestion is for you to give Night splints a try. It does take time several months to feel some results and you must wear them faithfully. I'd certainly continue with gentle massage and soft stretching after warming your feet. When you do these support the arch with one hand as you move your ankle and toes gently forward and back. Follow with icing and put them up for a rest. I also highly recommend daily taping of your arches. I used the cheap tape from Target because I got enough support but not a lot of damage to my skin when I removed it every night. It's going to take a lot of time with these treatments and you may find that you will still continue to have P.F. on a off.

If you'd like to try something faster then I'd give ESWT a try if you have not already given it a try. Two machines have been approved in the states, the Ossatron and Dornier's Espo Ultra. You can find locations on Scotts site listed under ESwt.

Personally, I'd never give in to surgery, because once your Plantar Fascia
is cut it does not grow back together to give your foot the support it once had. Eventually you will need something to support your arch and whether you can tolerate an orthotic for the rest of your life is questionable and even more questionable is whether you will be pain free and get the relief you seek after the cutting is done.

If you insist on trying surgery, you might consider Dr. Arthur Manoli's M.D. new slide technique which does not cut the foot at all. Instead he addresses the tightness in the calf area which still allows the arch to be fully supported. His techinique was to be presented recently so you can probably find a paper published on this. He also posted on this web site and you can do a search under his name. Dr. Manoli does have a web site too. I don't know it off hand, but maybe someone else posting could help you find it. Perhaps other Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons in your area are also using this technique. This is one I would certainly suggest you investigate before cutting your Plantar Fascia.

Good luck and I hope you will be pain free soon.

Re: To John Night splints

Pauline on 2/16/02 at 15:03 (073917)

John,
I did a quick web search on Dr. Manoli. Here are some numbers if you want to contact him to learn more about his technique and see if he can refer to someone in your area.

Michigan International Foot and Ankle Center
Arthur Manoli II, M.D., Director
44555 Woodward Ave., Suite 105
Pontiac, MI 48341
Phone: 248-858-6773
Fax: 248-858-3921
E-mail: (email removed)
2 Fellowships available

Re: To John Night splints

John k on 2/16/02 at 17:46 (073928)

Thanks for the advice. I am screwed up enough without not being able to walk. I have to have surgery on my wrist in March. I believe you about foot surgery because you stand on your feet all day and I imagine it is hard to heel them.

Re: To John Night splints

Pauline on 2/17/02 at 12:47 (074001)

John,
You got it in a nut shell, that's just it, you cannot stand or begin using your feet after surgery and expect healing to take place. You said you have to address many other health issues. I find it beneficial to prioritize the medical conditions and take care of them one by one starting at the top of the list. By making a list for yourself you and your physicians can sometimes see conditions that overlap and can be taken care of at the same time or close together. Good luck on your wrist surgery, I hope all goes well.

Re: Night splints

Carole C in NOLA on 2/16/02 at 14:35 (073914)

I'm not a doctor. I'm just another heel pain sufferer.

What exactly are your other orthopedic injuries? Do you think that the night splints would affect them?

A lot of people have found night splints to be very helpful, though some say they have difficulty sleeping with them. I do not have them yet, because I started to recover rapidly and so I am putting that off.

The night splints hold your foot at a right angle to your leg. However, some come with wedges to put under the foot and bend it further up. I would think that even with your problems in stretching, just holding your foot at a right angle without the wedges shouldn't be too bad. But I don't know, because I've never worn a night splint! If you can tolerate one, it might do you a world of good since you have trouble stretching.

Carole C

Re: To John Night splints

Pauline on 2/16/02 at 14:49 (073915)

Hi John, I'll be the first to disagree with you on surgery being your only option. I've followed this board for over two years and quite honestly
I have not seen the cure all pain free results that most people seeking surgery are hoping to find.

It sounds like a quick fix, a snip job and your up and on your way, but I think you'll find that no one will guarantee that you'll be pain free even after having the surgery. Surprisely enough many people that post here after surgery have developed additional painful complications or have simply added pain to an already painful foot now located in other areas.

My suggestion is for you to give Night splints a try. It does take time several months to feel some results and you must wear them faithfully. I'd certainly continue with gentle massage and soft stretching after warming your feet. When you do these support the arch with one hand as you move your ankle and toes gently forward and back. Follow with icing and put them up for a rest. I also highly recommend daily taping of your arches. I used the cheap tape from Target because I got enough support but not a lot of damage to my skin when I removed it every night. It's going to take a lot of time with these treatments and you may find that you will still continue to have P.F. on a off.

If you'd like to try something faster then I'd give ESWT a try if you have not already given it a try. Two machines have been approved in the states, the Ossatron and Dornier's Espo Ultra. You can find locations on Scotts site listed under ESwt.

Personally, I'd never give in to surgery, because once your Plantar Fascia
is cut it does not grow back together to give your foot the support it once had. Eventually you will need something to support your arch and whether you can tolerate an orthotic for the rest of your life is questionable and even more questionable is whether you will be pain free and get the relief you seek after the cutting is done.

If you insist on trying surgery, you might consider Dr. Arthur Manoli's M.D. new slide technique which does not cut the foot at all. Instead he addresses the tightness in the calf area which still allows the arch to be fully supported. His techinique was to be presented recently so you can probably find a paper published on this. He also posted on this web site and you can do a search under his name. Dr. Manoli does have a web site too. I don't know it off hand, but maybe someone else posting could help you find it. Perhaps other Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons in your area are also using this technique. This is one I would certainly suggest you investigate before cutting your Plantar Fascia.

Good luck and I hope you will be pain free soon.

Re: To John Night splints

Pauline on 2/16/02 at 15:03 (073917)

John,
I did a quick web search on Dr. Manoli. Here are some numbers if you want to contact him to learn more about his technique and see if he can refer to someone in your area.

Michigan International Foot and Ankle Center
Arthur Manoli II, M.D., Director
44555 Woodward Ave., Suite 105
Pontiac, MI 48341
Phone: 248-858-6773
Fax: 248-858-3921
E-mail: (email removed)
2 Fellowships available

Re: To John Night splints

John k on 2/16/02 at 17:46 (073928)

Thanks for the advice. I am screwed up enough without not being able to walk. I have to have surgery on my wrist in March. I believe you about foot surgery because you stand on your feet all day and I imagine it is hard to heel them.

Re: To John Night splints

Pauline on 2/17/02 at 12:47 (074001)

John,
You got it in a nut shell, that's just it, you cannot stand or begin using your feet after surgery and expect healing to take place. You said you have to address many other health issues. I find it beneficial to prioritize the medical conditions and take care of them one by one starting at the top of the list. By making a list for yourself you and your physicians can sometimes see conditions that overlap and can be taken care of at the same time or close together. Good luck on your wrist surgery, I hope all goes well.