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chronic bilateral p.f. and undiagnosed problems- HELP

Posted by Melissa B. on 3/19/02 at 17:23 (076866)

My husband has p.f. and chronic pain. He's been to many doctors and not been diagnosed with anything other than p.f. so far, but he has excruciating pain, often needs to use wheelchairs when we shop (and he's only 38), etc. Here are his stats:

38 y.o. white male, 190 lbs, generally good health. Has had flat feet his entire life. Standing has hurt him, he always tries to elevate his feet to at least his heart level, and gradually over the last several years has interfered such that he uses a cane, wheelchair, etc to avoid standing. He also sometimes 'ties' his feet at the arch with a band, to cut off the circulation, which makes his pain subside temporarily.

He's been treated by podiatrists (with orthotics that only exacerbated his problem), an orthopaedic doctor who isn't sure what is wrong with him, had an MRI which didn't show anything, acupuncture which briefly helped his pain, and most recently, a vascular doctor who ruled out any vascular problem with a doppler test. He has not had a ncv to my knowledge, and the only thing he's ever been diagnosed with is plantar faciitis (sp?). No heel spurs, no morning-only pain, just general, constant pain in his arch made worse on standing (but not so much on walking).

What type of doctor should we try now? Is there a 'guru' we should go see? Anyone have any thoughts whatsoever????? THANKS!

Re: chronic bilateral p.f. and undiagnosed problems- HELP

Julie on 3/20/02 at 01:21 (076943)

Melissa, first let me say how sorry I am about your husband's pain. Next, three suggestions:

Re-post your message on the 'Ask the Foot Doctors' message board. This one is generally used for matters pertaining to the website itself, and not everyone reads it. You need a response from one of the doctors, who are more likely to see your question on 'their' board (where you'll probably get input too from fellow-sufferers).

Find a new podiatrist. If orthotics that made things worse are the only treatment he has had, the one(s) he did see haven't really done much of a job.

Read the heel pain book on this website (click on the blue link here) for more information about PF, and about conservative treatments.

REST (what is your husband's job? If it requires him to stand a lot, that will make healing much harder)
Never go barefoot.
Always wear stable, supportive shoes that bend only at the ball of the foot, not at the arch.
Taping helps to support the arch as well as relieve the pain.
Icing reduces inflammation.

There's lots you can do, but the care of a skilled podiatrist is really essential, to get a proper diagnosis of the cause and then address it with a well-co-ordinated package of treatments.

Re: chronic bilateral p.f. and undiagnosed problems- HELP

Julie on 3/20/02 at 01:23 (076944)

I see you have reposted your message further down - sorry.

Re: chronic bilateral p.f. and undiagnosed problems- HELP

Lara T on 3/31/02 at 20:30 (078128)

Sounds like my history and I was eventually diagnosed with Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome - confirmed by a NCT.

My podiatrist - who specializes in sports podiatry and has many serious athletes and at least one Olympian - says that treated PF that lasts over a year is probably Tarsal Tunnel. Wouldn't want to diagnose you, but might check it out.

Re: chronic bilateral p.f. and undiagnosed problems- HELP

EKC on 4/10/02 at 17:28 (079121)

I agree w/Lara T. Get a good neurologist to see if he has TTS.
Your husband's symptoms sound similar to mine. I have PF/TTS.
My MRI and bonescan showed nothing.
Standing/Walking are very difficult for me. I've used a wheelchair
more than I care to admit. I had a failed EPF and am now headed
for a full PF/TTS release.

Dont count surgery out - if you can find someone good. I've gotten
on the phone and called ~10 doctors to talk to them directly as to
who is the best person in your area who can treat it.
Suprisingly, many podiatrists are willing to talk to you on the phone
and give 2nd opinions.

Go to Dr. Dellons' website, http://www.dellon.com , and either email, or
call his office and ask to find who in your area has the Neuro equipment
that Dellon sells. That test confirmed my TTS (as well as an NCV).
Ask Dellon if he has trained anyone in your area.

Finally, when you do find a doctor, ask for patient references!
If a doctor refuses, walk away. Otherwise Call and talk to his patients.

You can even email your state's podiatry board and get doctor reccomendations there (as well as info on their licenses!)
Good luck. Don't give up. Don't quit looking for Dr. Right.

Re: chronic bilateral p.f. and undiagnosed problems- HELP

Julie on 3/20/02 at 01:21 (076943)

Melissa, first let me say how sorry I am about your husband's pain. Next, three suggestions:

Re-post your message on the 'Ask the Foot Doctors' message board. This one is generally used for matters pertaining to the website itself, and not everyone reads it. You need a response from one of the doctors, who are more likely to see your question on 'their' board (where you'll probably get input too from fellow-sufferers).

Find a new podiatrist. If orthotics that made things worse are the only treatment he has had, the one(s) he did see haven't really done much of a job.

Read the heel pain book on this website (click on the blue link here) for more information about PF, and about conservative treatments.

REST (what is your husband's job? If it requires him to stand a lot, that will make healing much harder)
Never go barefoot.
Always wear stable, supportive shoes that bend only at the ball of the foot, not at the arch.
Taping helps to support the arch as well as relieve the pain.
Icing reduces inflammation.

There's lots you can do, but the care of a skilled podiatrist is really essential, to get a proper diagnosis of the cause and then address it with a well-co-ordinated package of treatments.

Re: chronic bilateral p.f. and undiagnosed problems- HELP

Julie on 3/20/02 at 01:23 (076944)

I see you have reposted your message further down - sorry.

Re: chronic bilateral p.f. and undiagnosed problems- HELP

Lara T on 3/31/02 at 20:30 (078128)

Sounds like my history and I was eventually diagnosed with Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome - confirmed by a NCT.

My podiatrist - who specializes in sports podiatry and has many serious athletes and at least one Olympian - says that treated PF that lasts over a year is probably Tarsal Tunnel. Wouldn't want to diagnose you, but might check it out.

Re: chronic bilateral p.f. and undiagnosed problems- HELP

EKC on 4/10/02 at 17:28 (079121)

I agree w/Lara T. Get a good neurologist to see if he has TTS.
Your husband's symptoms sound similar to mine. I have PF/TTS.
My MRI and bonescan showed nothing.
Standing/Walking are very difficult for me. I've used a wheelchair
more than I care to admit. I had a failed EPF and am now headed
for a full PF/TTS release.

Dont count surgery out - if you can find someone good. I've gotten
on the phone and called ~10 doctors to talk to them directly as to
who is the best person in your area who can treat it.
Suprisingly, many podiatrists are willing to talk to you on the phone
and give 2nd opinions.

Go to Dr. Dellons' website, http://www.dellon.com , and either email, or
call his office and ask to find who in your area has the Neuro equipment
that Dellon sells. That test confirmed my TTS (as well as an NCV).
Ask Dellon if he has trained anyone in your area.

Finally, when you do find a doctor, ask for patient references!
If a doctor refuses, walk away. Otherwise Call and talk to his patients.

You can even email your state's podiatry board and get doctor reccomendations there (as well as info on their licenses!)
Good luck. Don't give up. Don't quit looking for Dr. Right.