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Very helpful info here!!

Posted by Donna F on 5/07/02 at 18:57 (082900)

Hello everyone! This is my first time posting to these boards. I have suffered from PF for a little over 3 years. It seems to be worse in my left foot. I have been treated with all the conservative methods and nothing thus far has worked for longer than a day or two. I am currently in a hard walking cast on my left foot until the 17th of May due to severe inflammation and pain. Some days seem even more painful with the cast than before. My dr. says my next option is surgery. At this point, I am all for it as nothing else seems to be helping. But I am a bit apprehensive after reading some of the posts on these boards. I'm not entirely sure what to expect after surgery and some of the horror stories on here scare me to death! Can anyone offer any advice as to how I am supposed to get around the first week or so? That seems to be the hardest time from everything I've read. I have carpal tunnel in my right wrist and it is very weak so I am afraid that I will not be able to use crutches or a walker to help me out. Has anyone else ever been faced with this problem? You guys seem very supportive of each other and I feel like I've come home since I discovered these message boards. I thought I was the only one who suffered in pain with my feet all the time and it's good to know that I'm not alone! I have a wonderful husband who helps me out a lot on my really bad days but sometimes I think he thinks I am exaggerating about how bad the pain is. Any advice anyone can offer will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!

Re: Very helpful info here!!

Pam B on 5/07/02 at 19:17 (082904)

Hi Donna, my name is Pam and I am happy to meet you :) if support and info is what you are looking for you sure have come to the right place....we all know how you feel....myself, I just had surgery in Feb for PF and the excision of a spur...I am doing pretty well as far as my heel goes...I had other issues with my foot before surgery and still may need more surgery in the future but for now we are doing the PT thing....I have been all down the roads you have traveled right down to the cast which the doc said was the last ditch effort to try to give it time to heal as it was also very inflamed and I had severe pain....I know you will read lots of horror stories about surgery but you have to remember that all surgeries are not failures...if you research the procedures available to you and retain a good doctor, surgery can be a god sent...it was for me and if I had to make the choice again, I would do it all over again...I think that many people go into this surgery thinking it will cure them but you will never be totally like you were before you had PF...and if you are, you are very lucky...you dont see as many postings here from people that were successful as I believe they get on with their lives and we just never hear from them again...but I do know that if you decide to do the surgery, it has to be your decision based on the information you arm yourself with...as far as getting around afterwards, it is not that bad really...yes there is pain, but the pain for me was less than before surgery...I had a cast at first and crutches...but was only allowed to the bathroom and the rest of the time I was in a position with my foot elevated at all times for at least three weeks...then after the cast came off I did pretty much nothing for another three weeks and used crutches...I too have problems with my wrist but the crutches were not so hard since I was not really allowed to do anything anyway....so just to get around the house, it was not a problem....then I graduated to a CAM Boot for a couple of weeks...and then to my shoe finally....I would never tell anyone to have surgery all I can do is tell you that if you have tried everything else with no success and ESTW is not an option for you due to insurance an money, surgery can bring relief if you do exactly as the doc tells you to do...but make sure you educate yourself before you make that decsion....you can email me if you like at (email removed) anytime...you can also ask anyone here and they will help or support you in anyway they can.....good luck to you and welcome to heelspurs.com :)

Re: Very helpful info here!!

Necee on 5/08/02 at 00:45 (082937)

Hi Donna,
I'm so glad that you found us here. If its support your looking for then you came to the right place. There are some wonderful and caring people here.
I was diagnosed with a heelspur a year ago. After shots, therapy, ultrasound and buying Birkenstock shoes, I think I can cautiously say that I'm getting better. For several months I would walk in severe pain and because it was so painful I began walking on the side of my foot which presents its on problems.
The first Dr that I went to was eager to do surgery only after seeing me 3 times. I didn't want surgery, so I seeked the advice of 2 different ortho surgeons. I was told by both that I shouldn't have the surgery. They said to simply give it time. It was important to learn proper stretching and icing techniques, as well as wear proper support shoes.
I must admit that I'm not 100%, and I doubt that I ever will be, but at least I'm better off now than I was a year ago! And if it wasn't for finding this website and the many friends that I've made here...I don't know what I would have done.
So don't give up Donna, keep in touch with us here, ask questions, vent your frustrations or just whine if you so desire. You will find a wealth of information, and caring people eager to help out in anyway that they can.
We all know and understand exactly what your going through, you are not alone.
Happy Trails to you....
Necee

Re: Very helpful info here!!

Julie on 5/08/02 at 02:08 (082952)

Hi Donna, and welcome

Before consider surgery, you should investigate ESWT, a non-invasive treatment that many doctors, including some of those who help us here, believe will eventually replace most surgeries. If you are a candidate for it, it may be the answer for you. If you aren't a candidate, or if you can't afford it (few insurers pay, so far) or if in the unlikely event you have it and it doesn't work, surgery is still there as an option.

I suggest you post another message on the 'Ask the Foot Doctors' board (I don't think they read the Social board). And also read the section on ESWT. And read (if you haven't already) the heel pain book for lots of information. Oh - and stick with the website, where you will meet lots of interesting people. :)

Re: Very helpful info here!!

Donna on 5/08/02 at 04:44 (082966)

Thanks for the great responses!! I have checked into ESWT and as of right now, it is not an option for me due to the expense. My insurance will not cover it. Maybe in the future but not right now. I have read the heel pain book and did learn a great deal of information from it. I really believe that surgery is my only option right now but I don't want to jump into it so I'm taking all this info I've learned from this site and making a HUGE list of questions to take with me to my next appointment. My dr. will probably run away screaming by the time I get through my list!! Actually, I have a very good dr. who keeps me very informed about what we can and cannot do to fix my PF (if you can really ever fix it!). So I'm sure that he won't be offended by my research. I am usually not a passive person but when it comes to doctors I've always pretty much just done what they have told me to do and not really questioned anything much. Boy, are those days over!! Anyway, I forgot to tell you guys that I do actually have spurs on both heels in addition to the PF and I will find out if he intends to remove the one on my left foot when I go back next Friday. Pam, how long did you have to wear your cast after the surgery? Was it a hard cast like the one I'm wearing now or was it one of those air casts? Did you have the open procedure or the endoscopic? You may have answered this already and if so, please forgive the repeat! Thanks again for all your great advice and support.

Re: Very helpful info here!!

Pam B on 5/08/02 at 07:21 (082984)

Hi Donna, I was supposed to wear my cast for three weeks however, the cast was not quite right on the bottom as it was a walking cast......so when I put my foot down it hurt extremely bad and my foot was also swelling....so I went back to the doc for my one week follow up and when he examined me, he removed it to replace it....when he took it off he told me he could tell by looking at the incision that I was doing as he was telling me to do so he told me if I continued to do nothing he would give me crutches to get to the bathroom with....it was a hard cast which as you know complicates life, so I snapped up on not having it put back on....

I had the open procedure because like you, I educated myself and found that the failure rate is very high......I dont know if it is the inability to see everything or the patient not resting enough afterwards as it seems that most people I have chatted with or know that have had it done were back to work in like a week or so.....I discussed it with my pod and he agreed that his success rate patients were higher with the open procedure so that is what I had done.....and I think I told you before if I had it to do all over again, I would without a doubt.......

Also, I have found that by arming myself with as much knowledge as possible like you are doing, doctors seem to apprecitate my being pro active in my care plan.....I also went to each appt with paper and questions in hand :) I think doctors respect patients more when they are educated as much as the layman can be.....

I hope I have helped you with a few of your questions and as I said before, if not, or you need someone to vent your frustrations too.....please feel free to email me at (email removed)

Good luck Donna, and please dont be a stranger :)

Re: Very helpful info here!!

lisa k on 5/09/02 at 04:07 (083179)

Welcome Donna ,sounds so familiar,my hubby althogh usually very supportive and famiy didnt(couldnr) understand the limitations and the pain, but they came around especially after talking with the dr.&when put in cam walker cast 24/7 for up to 8 wks( for tear deatachment)(almost complete rupture)......ive used a cool cane with designs to avoid weight bearing during this recuperation time,asked family for help ,do not drive,do not go downstairs....realize the possiblity of YOUR foot HEALING is so worth it, even on the crazy days God bless You, and take care Lisa k.

Re: Very helpful info here!!

Pam B on 5/07/02 at 19:17 (082904)

Hi Donna, my name is Pam and I am happy to meet you :) if support and info is what you are looking for you sure have come to the right place....we all know how you feel....myself, I just had surgery in Feb for PF and the excision of a spur...I am doing pretty well as far as my heel goes...I had other issues with my foot before surgery and still may need more surgery in the future but for now we are doing the PT thing....I have been all down the roads you have traveled right down to the cast which the doc said was the last ditch effort to try to give it time to heal as it was also very inflamed and I had severe pain....I know you will read lots of horror stories about surgery but you have to remember that all surgeries are not failures...if you research the procedures available to you and retain a good doctor, surgery can be a god sent...it was for me and if I had to make the choice again, I would do it all over again...I think that many people go into this surgery thinking it will cure them but you will never be totally like you were before you had PF...and if you are, you are very lucky...you dont see as many postings here from people that were successful as I believe they get on with their lives and we just never hear from them again...but I do know that if you decide to do the surgery, it has to be your decision based on the information you arm yourself with...as far as getting around afterwards, it is not that bad really...yes there is pain, but the pain for me was less than before surgery...I had a cast at first and crutches...but was only allowed to the bathroom and the rest of the time I was in a position with my foot elevated at all times for at least three weeks...then after the cast came off I did pretty much nothing for another three weeks and used crutches...I too have problems with my wrist but the crutches were not so hard since I was not really allowed to do anything anyway....so just to get around the house, it was not a problem....then I graduated to a CAM Boot for a couple of weeks...and then to my shoe finally....I would never tell anyone to have surgery all I can do is tell you that if you have tried everything else with no success and ESTW is not an option for you due to insurance an money, surgery can bring relief if you do exactly as the doc tells you to do...but make sure you educate yourself before you make that decsion....you can email me if you like at (email removed) anytime...you can also ask anyone here and they will help or support you in anyway they can.....good luck to you and welcome to heelspurs.com :)

Re: Very helpful info here!!

Necee on 5/08/02 at 00:45 (082937)

Hi Donna,
I'm so glad that you found us here. If its support your looking for then you came to the right place. There are some wonderful and caring people here.
I was diagnosed with a heelspur a year ago. After shots, therapy, ultrasound and buying Birkenstock shoes, I think I can cautiously say that I'm getting better. For several months I would walk in severe pain and because it was so painful I began walking on the side of my foot which presents its on problems.
The first Dr that I went to was eager to do surgery only after seeing me 3 times. I didn't want surgery, so I seeked the advice of 2 different ortho surgeons. I was told by both that I shouldn't have the surgery. They said to simply give it time. It was important to learn proper stretching and icing techniques, as well as wear proper support shoes.
I must admit that I'm not 100%, and I doubt that I ever will be, but at least I'm better off now than I was a year ago! And if it wasn't for finding this website and the many friends that I've made here...I don't know what I would have done.
So don't give up Donna, keep in touch with us here, ask questions, vent your frustrations or just whine if you so desire. You will find a wealth of information, and caring people eager to help out in anyway that they can.
We all know and understand exactly what your going through, you are not alone.
Happy Trails to you....
Necee

Re: Very helpful info here!!

Julie on 5/08/02 at 02:08 (082952)

Hi Donna, and welcome

Before consider surgery, you should investigate ESWT, a non-invasive treatment that many doctors, including some of those who help us here, believe will eventually replace most surgeries. If you are a candidate for it, it may be the answer for you. If you aren't a candidate, or if you can't afford it (few insurers pay, so far) or if in the unlikely event you have it and it doesn't work, surgery is still there as an option.

I suggest you post another message on the 'Ask the Foot Doctors' board (I don't think they read the Social board). And also read the section on ESWT. And read (if you haven't already) the heel pain book for lots of information. Oh - and stick with the website, where you will meet lots of interesting people. :)

Re: Very helpful info here!!

Donna on 5/08/02 at 04:44 (082966)

Thanks for the great responses!! I have checked into ESWT and as of right now, it is not an option for me due to the expense. My insurance will not cover it. Maybe in the future but not right now. I have read the heel pain book and did learn a great deal of information from it. I really believe that surgery is my only option right now but I don't want to jump into it so I'm taking all this info I've learned from this site and making a HUGE list of questions to take with me to my next appointment. My dr. will probably run away screaming by the time I get through my list!! Actually, I have a very good dr. who keeps me very informed about what we can and cannot do to fix my PF (if you can really ever fix it!). So I'm sure that he won't be offended by my research. I am usually not a passive person but when it comes to doctors I've always pretty much just done what they have told me to do and not really questioned anything much. Boy, are those days over!! Anyway, I forgot to tell you guys that I do actually have spurs on both heels in addition to the PF and I will find out if he intends to remove the one on my left foot when I go back next Friday. Pam, how long did you have to wear your cast after the surgery? Was it a hard cast like the one I'm wearing now or was it one of those air casts? Did you have the open procedure or the endoscopic? You may have answered this already and if so, please forgive the repeat! Thanks again for all your great advice and support.

Re: Very helpful info here!!

Pam B on 5/08/02 at 07:21 (082984)

Hi Donna, I was supposed to wear my cast for three weeks however, the cast was not quite right on the bottom as it was a walking cast......so when I put my foot down it hurt extremely bad and my foot was also swelling....so I went back to the doc for my one week follow up and when he examined me, he removed it to replace it....when he took it off he told me he could tell by looking at the incision that I was doing as he was telling me to do so he told me if I continued to do nothing he would give me crutches to get to the bathroom with....it was a hard cast which as you know complicates life, so I snapped up on not having it put back on....

I had the open procedure because like you, I educated myself and found that the failure rate is very high......I dont know if it is the inability to see everything or the patient not resting enough afterwards as it seems that most people I have chatted with or know that have had it done were back to work in like a week or so.....I discussed it with my pod and he agreed that his success rate patients were higher with the open procedure so that is what I had done.....and I think I told you before if I had it to do all over again, I would without a doubt.......

Also, I have found that by arming myself with as much knowledge as possible like you are doing, doctors seem to apprecitate my being pro active in my care plan.....I also went to each appt with paper and questions in hand :) I think doctors respect patients more when they are educated as much as the layman can be.....

I hope I have helped you with a few of your questions and as I said before, if not, or you need someone to vent your frustrations too.....please feel free to email me at (email removed)

Good luck Donna, and please dont be a stranger :)

Re: Very helpful info here!!

lisa k on 5/09/02 at 04:07 (083179)

Welcome Donna ,sounds so familiar,my hubby althogh usually very supportive and famiy didnt(couldnr) understand the limitations and the pain, but they came around especially after talking with the dr.&when put in cam walker cast 24/7 for up to 8 wks( for tear deatachment)(almost complete rupture)......ive used a cool cane with designs to avoid weight bearing during this recuperation time,asked family for help ,do not drive,do not go downstairs....realize the possiblity of YOUR foot HEALING is so worth it, even on the crazy days God bless You, and take care Lisa k.