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surgery a viable option?

Posted by Lisa G on 3/28/02 at 16:52 (077866)

I started having heal pain about 8 years ago when I was in basic training and the shoes the army forced me to wear did not offer enough support for my very high arch.

The army treated my pain with motrin, very flimsy inserts and strengthening exercises. When I got out of the army I saw a pod who recommended orthotics and stretching...I am now on my second set of orthotics, have been stretching several times daily for 7 years, have done all the exercises I can possibly do, have had ultra sound and electric stim, been on celebrex for over a year now, have had cortizone injections, only wear tennis shoes or ugly tie shoes, am not overweight...have been told by a second pod to just get used to the pain, and just yesterday saw a new pod who recommeneded surgery immediately. I am just looking for other opinions on surgery...what kind of surgeries are out there...this new guy said it was a newer procedure...took about 5 minutes each foot...walking out pain free that day...

I have been dealing with this for 8 years...I am 28 and basically feel that my life has been...well...ruined might be too harsh of a word...but drastically changed by this. I am not the same person I was, I cannot work, it has affected my marriage...EVERYTHING...we would like children but right now can't even bear the thought of adding all that weight to my feet...I'm frustrated, fed up...and would do just about anything to fix this!

thanks for listening and responding...sorry if this is too long...

lisa

Re: surgery a viable option?

BG CPed on 3/28/02 at 18:17 (077883)

Walk or RUN as fast as you can from the last guy if he really said that. What area are you in? If you have a true high arch foot then you can go through many pairs of orthotics because too many people dont understand how to make them for that foot, at least the best possible way.

Let us know

Re: surgery a viable option?

Julie on 3/29/02 at 02:41 (077930)

Lisa, I'm not a doctor, but would like to help if I can.

BG is right: the first thing to do is find another doctor. There is NO such thing as pain free 5-minute surgery, and anyone who tells you there is simply after your money.

Before you consider surgery, please investigate ESWT, a non-invasive treatment that has worked for many people. It's expensive, but if you are a candidate for it, and you can afford it or your insurance will cover it, it should definitely be tried first.

Read the heel pain book for information and ideas.

A warning bell rang at your description of 'stretching several times daily for 7 years' and 'all the exercises I can possibly do'. What exactly have you been doing? Weight-bearing exercise is not a good idea for PF, and (depending on what you've been doing) you may be re-injuring yourself every day. Stretching should be non weight-bearing, consistent, and long-term - you may find a night splint helpful, as it holds the foot in a dorsiflexed position and gently lengthens the calf muscles and achilles tendon (shortening through this complex of muscles and tendons strains the plantar fascia and is a major cause of PF).

A final thought: while you're still in so much pain, you may find that taping your foot gives some relief. Taping rests the fascia and gives it a chance to heal as well as relieving pain. See the instructions in the heel pain book.

But most important: find a podiatrist who will be compassionate to a case of chronic PF, who will evaluate you, correctly diagnose the cause of your problem, and put in place a comprehensive, co-ordinated treatment plan.

I am sorry you are have had so much pain for so long, and hope that you'll now get the help you need.

Re: surgery a viable option?

Susan m on 4/02/02 at 03:07 (078232)

I had so much heal pain it effected my life. People don't understand what it does to you to take every step in pain. I tried everything, orthodics, night splints, physical therepy, shots etc. I did have surgery by a military doctor who was very kind and understanding. I posted a letter to say I have a few problems and the reply I got was it was a healing process. It was not easy for me being on crutches and it was not pain free. Not as easy as this guy said. I would not do two feet, one at a time.I only have a problem with one foot. Yes you should try everything before surgery, it took me a long time to decide but now I am glad I did it. Make sure you find a good doctor. Hope all goes well for you.

Re: surgery a viable option?

BG CPed on 3/28/02 at 18:17 (077883)

Walk or RUN as fast as you can from the last guy if he really said that. What area are you in? If you have a true high arch foot then you can go through many pairs of orthotics because too many people dont understand how to make them for that foot, at least the best possible way.

Let us know

Re: surgery a viable option?

Julie on 3/29/02 at 02:41 (077930)

Lisa, I'm not a doctor, but would like to help if I can.

BG is right: the first thing to do is find another doctor. There is NO such thing as pain free 5-minute surgery, and anyone who tells you there is simply after your money.

Before you consider surgery, please investigate ESWT, a non-invasive treatment that has worked for many people. It's expensive, but if you are a candidate for it, and you can afford it or your insurance will cover it, it should definitely be tried first.

Read the heel pain book for information and ideas.

A warning bell rang at your description of 'stretching several times daily for 7 years' and 'all the exercises I can possibly do'. What exactly have you been doing? Weight-bearing exercise is not a good idea for PF, and (depending on what you've been doing) you may be re-injuring yourself every day. Stretching should be non weight-bearing, consistent, and long-term - you may find a night splint helpful, as it holds the foot in a dorsiflexed position and gently lengthens the calf muscles and achilles tendon (shortening through this complex of muscles and tendons strains the plantar fascia and is a major cause of PF).

A final thought: while you're still in so much pain, you may find that taping your foot gives some relief. Taping rests the fascia and gives it a chance to heal as well as relieving pain. See the instructions in the heel pain book.

But most important: find a podiatrist who will be compassionate to a case of chronic PF, who will evaluate you, correctly diagnose the cause of your problem, and put in place a comprehensive, co-ordinated treatment plan.

I am sorry you are have had so much pain for so long, and hope that you'll now get the help you need.

Re: surgery a viable option?

Susan m on 4/02/02 at 03:07 (078232)

I had so much heal pain it effected my life. People don't understand what it does to you to take every step in pain. I tried everything, orthodics, night splints, physical therepy, shots etc. I did have surgery by a military doctor who was very kind and understanding. I posted a letter to say I have a few problems and the reply I got was it was a healing process. It was not easy for me being on crutches and it was not pain free. Not as easy as this guy said. I would not do two feet, one at a time.I only have a problem with one foot. Yes you should try everything before surgery, it took me a long time to decide but now I am glad I did it. Make sure you find a good doctor. Hope all goes well for you.