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3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Posted by Tonya R. on 5/30/02 at 23:25 (085872)

I am three weeks post-op from having open fascia release. Just had the cast and stitches removed yesterday. So far my experience has been a good one. I had dealt with PF in both feet for approx. 6 years. I went through all the conventional treatments including physical therapy. After having the cast removed yesterday, it did not take long for the swelling to begin. In the little bit that I have been up moving around from couch to restroom and such, i have noticed that the outside edge of my foot aches. I feel that this is due to the fact that the swelling is turning my foot outward. Has anyone experienced this too? I feel that my doc did a very good job at making me aware of just how long the healing process can be, and what to expect in the next months ahead. He said as long as 9-12 months before relief of pain. I feel that this is well worth it if the end result is being able to walk normally. I am looking for advice from other facia release patients as to what aided them in their healing. I have been icing several times a day and am still taking my anti-inflammatory. The best advice my doc gave to me was to listen to my foot, which I whole heartedly plan to do. I am just interested in the experiences of others have been through it.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Karen G. on 5/31/02 at 10:32 (085896)

Hi Tonya, I had the open PF Release And the TTS Release on March 4th of this year. I'm almost 13 weeks post op and find that I still have bouts of severe pain, depending upon how much time I spend on my feet. My doc said healing time could be 4 months to a year. I have the same thing in my right foot which is getting worse all the time. Once I know the outcome of the left foot I can think about the right. I have another follow up visit on June 11th. Will see what he says about the pain. Good Luck and yes, listen to your poor little foot!

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Dee on 5/31/02 at 13:39 (085911)

Tonya, Thanks for the positive info about your surgery. I am facing the same surgery on Monday and all I seem to read on these boards is negative feedback. Like you, I have PF in both feet with my left foot being the worse of the two. I too have tried every possible conservative treatment known to mankind with no good results. I am at my wit's end here. Since my health insurance does not cover the shock wave therapy treatment (yes, I checked) then my only other option is to have the surgery. Actually, even though the thought of surgery does scare me, I am looking forward to it. When you have known nothing but pain for so long you will grab at anything available to help. I realize that there have been failures when it comes to surgery, but I feel as though I have no other option left open to me at this time. I know that any surgery is a risk but what other choice do I have besides living with constant pain? I appreciate the concern of people on these boards but right now I feel as though I am being looked at like I don't have good sense just because I am choosing to have the surgery. So once again, thanks for your post. It makes me feel somewhat better about my decision. Hope your pain diminishes soon. Take care.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Tonya R. on 5/31/02 at 14:29 (085913)

Dee, Which surgery are you having? Are you having the open or endoscopic release? I had the open release, because it is what my doctor felt was best for my situation. Most of the negative responses on this board have been from people who have had the scope done. Which ever proceedure you are having done, remember that everyone is different, and the posts on this board are of only a small percentage of patients. I know first hand how difficult the decision to have surgery can be. I actually quit seeking treatment about four years ago because my old podiatrist recommended surgery. Last November I once again sought treatment from a new doctor, because I was in agony. I have gained considerable weight, because I can't be on my feet long, hence becoming less active. I also have three daughters under the age of 11, and they too were being affected. Mom could not get out and do things with them. Although, this is an elective surgery, it has become a necessity for me. I cannot live with the pain any longer. Suffering from PF, I am sure you can relate to this. What I am trying to tell you is do not beat yourself up over your decision. Yes, it should be a well thought out, well informed decision. Only you and your doctor know what is best for you. I wish you the best of luck.
As for my pain, I actually put my regular shoe on today!!!! I was so happy. It feels a bit tight, but the post-op shoe that I was given the other day does not offer any support. My foot still feels that it being turned out a bit, but I have my orthotic in my shoe, and it feels much better. Again Dee, good luck. Please post again soon and let us know how your proceedure went.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Dee on 5/31/02 at 14:37 (085915)

Tonya,
I am having the open release with bone spur removal. I have also been having some shooting pains running from my arch up the back of my foot so he is going to do a nerve decompression also. This is all quite overwhelming for me but I am hoping and praying that surgery is the answer. I have a 9 year old son who is my pride and joy and he doesn't really understand why I can't get out and ride bikes with him or play ball with him. So I know exactly what you mean about this mess affecting your daughters. I am very lucky that I have a wonderful husband who doesn't complain when dinner takes forever to get ready or when the laundry piles up. He works about 10-12 hours a day at his job but when he gets home, he is always willing to help me out around the house if I'm having a bad day. My Mom is also coming to stay at my house with me next week to help out after the surgery. So I am very thankful to be blessed with a wonderful supportive family.

I will keep you informed as to how the surgery turns out. Thanks for listening to me rant and rave!! Take care.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Missy B on 5/31/02 at 14:53 (085919)

Tonya - I had PF/TT release surgery on 1/11/02 after suffering on and off for 6 years. The outside of my foot also aches at times but this did not begin for me until 2 months after my surgery. I am waiting on my custom orthotics to arrive, as my pod feels this will help alleviate the soreness I am experiencing. He, as well as the few people I could find to talk with who have had this surgery, all said what your doctor did - up to a year for healing. His advice is good as it is the same I have gotten many times - listen to your foot, have patience, and take it easy for the next few months. I am no longer taking any anti-inflammatories but I often soak my foot in cold water for relief; I also use a gel rub called BIOFREEZE, which I buy from my pod. It is a form of cryrotherapy and I love to put it on foot before I go to bed. My physical therapists used it on me after every session and I found it really helped relieve the soreness.
The best for me is that I can now put in a days work at the hospital and not come home in tears because of my foot pain. I can walk again with a normal gait, although not as fast as I used to several years ago before this all began.
So hang in there and REST, REST, REST. Avoid any stressful physical activity for the next few months. I also had the tarsal tunnel release, so my surgery is a little more extensive than yours. Since I have to work, I plan on carefully choosing my activities this summer to minimize the time I spend on my feet. While I do not experience the severe pain I had before my surgery, I do still have a fair amount of soreness, so I am trying to rest my foot as much as possible but still doing my stretching exercises to keep my muscles and ligaments strong but also limber.
I hope you continue do well; please keep us posted as to your progress. Missy B.

Re: Dee - good luck on Monday; I wish you the best

Missy B on 5/31/02 at 15:55 (085929)

Dee,
I wish you all the best with your upcoming surgery. I did not find this website until after my PF/TT release surgery last January. I know there are a lot of negative stories here, but there a lot of positive outcomes posted here also - you have to kinda sift thru all the messages on the different boards to find them. As Tonya said, those of us who post here are just a small percentage of those patients who have suffered or are currently suffering with foot pain. I would guess that many of those who have good outcomes return to more active lives and don't always have the time to sit down and read the messages and reply. The few people I was able to talk with prior to my surgery were not even aware of this site - I found it by accident while I was recuperating from my surgery. I sure wish I had found it earlier, as I could have used the support from so many of the wonderful people who post here.
While I don't have any small children as you and Tonya do, I did have a very active life until my foot pain took over. Like you, I exhausted all the non-invasive treatments and since ESWT was not an option for me, I was left with literally re-arranging my whole life, including a job change, living with pain meds, or having surgery. I was to the point of dragging my leg sometimes just to avoid putting my weight on my foot.
So do not feel that you are being judged wrong for choosing surgery. That is a choice that each person must make based on individual needs and hopefully, good counseling from a reputable doctor. I found a few people in my area that had great outcomes and only one who did not - so I figured that was about average. I have a good pod who has performed my type surgery with a good success rate but he made well aware of the complications that could arise afterwards. Only after my nerve conduction test came back positive, did he discuss the sugical option, and then he let me make my decision in my own time.
And I still feel this was the right decision for me at this time in my life. I am middle age, but too young to sit out the rest of my life. I am guardedly optimistic that my surgery is a least a partial success and will make the best of whatever outcome I have. While I still have a good bit of soreness, I do not suffer from the severe pain I had prior to my surgery and can now make it thru my work day without tears and have even returned to doing some low impact exercising to help me shed the extra pounds I gained from my inactivity over the past few years.
So, KEEP AN OPTIMISTIC ATTITUDE - it has been shown many times that patients with a positive attitude rebound much better and quicker from illness, injury and surgery than those who do not. I work in a hospital, so I know this can be true. You have a wonderful family who will be there with lots of support to help you thru the rough days --- and don't forget your family here on the boards. We are here for you any time - to offer support, suggestions that might be helpful, or just to listen if you need a place to vent.
I have posted several times on the various boards with my post-surgical progress, so if you are interested in my ramblings, you can search back thru to find them while you are recuperating. Feel free to ask me any questions you may wish. I am not a doctor or a nurse, so I speak only from my own personal experience - but that is what these boards are all out - personal pain, personal experiences, and most of all - support.
Best of Luck to you on Monday and in the coming weeks. Please keep us posted. I'll be thinking of you. Missy B.

Re: 3 wks.To Dee

Laurie R on 5/31/02 at 16:27 (085934)

Dear Dee , I would like to wish you all the luck in the world on your surgery . I am also 3 weeks post opp , tt release and PF release . it was an open surgery . I have one pretty long insicion on my inner ankle and another one on the bottom of my foot on my fascia . I also had a groth removed ....

I am feeling pretty well. Things seem to be going good so far. I am still non weigth barring ... I see my Pod this Wed . The thing with me , I also have RSD so I was very high risk to have the surgery to begin with ...

My best advise to you is , PLEASE stay off you foot . Let your mom and who ever else take care of you . I have done nothing but rest since my surgery . I want the best out come I could have. I waited so very long for this . All my foot troubles started 3 years ago , and the pain has been terrible . I started out with only PF and it went into 5 different things ...

I know you will get bord , but just think this won't be forever ...

Again I wish you all the best and please keep us posted .....

Laurie R

Re: Dee, we really are pulling for you !!

BrianG on 5/31/02 at 21:21 (085957)

Hi Dee,

I admit that I'm one of the people here trying to warn posters about the dangers of surgery. I can assure you that no one is looking down on you, for your decision. What I'd like people to think about, is how good is your doctor? If you've done your homework, feel certain he can help you, and he has been totally honest and forthcoming, then you have to go for it. I'm just trying to get people to think, before they act. We have so many people here, that just went in and got the PF surgery, it was a failure, so lets try the TTS surgery!! This is when people have gotten into trouble. There is so much information here, and I know it's hard to sort through it all, but you have a major advantage compared to the people who need surgery, and do not have this forum for information and advice. What has happened to some people here, is criminal. I'd just like to make sure everyone is doing everthing they can, before the surgery. Laurie is a perfect example of someone who has done her homework. I'd have to believe her odds for success will be greater than someone who just goes to the doctor down the street, and hopes for the best.

I don't mean to stress anyone who is about to have surgery. I just want them to know they have a big advatage by reading these pages. Good luck Dee,

BrianG, who wishes he knew about this web site before his failed EPF !

Re: Dee, we really are pulling for you !!

Tonya R. on 5/31/02 at 22:38 (085969)

Brian, Although I had a different procedure from you, I must say that I totally agree with you on the aspect of making sure that you are well informed before you make the surgical decision. Although I am only three weeks out, I am thankful that I had the open release. I did a lot of homework on both the scope and the open procedures, and I must tell you that although the open procedure is a bit more evasive, I think it was the best route to go. Time and time again I came across stories posted on the net and on this board of people who were not satisfied with the results of the scope. One of the main complaints of people are that they have to return for the open procedure. It is my understanding that sometimes the scope does not always offer a good view of the fascia. When I questioned my doctor about this he said that with the scope, he felt there was more of a chance for nerve damage. Thus is why we opted for the open release. My doctor also told me that with either procedure, the healing time would be a long process. I guess, according to a lot of these posts, my doctor was the exception. I think he has been excellent, and he was by no means hasty in recommending the surgery. The first time I seen him, he told me that all conservative therapy would be exhausted before he would even consider it. The last thing that he said to me at my post-op appointment was that this was an elective surgery, and I could back out at anytime. Everything in me told me that I need to give this a shot. As I said in my first post, i am at this point, very satisfied with how my surgery and healing have gone thus far. It is still way to early to tell if it was a success, but I was to the point it was a chance I had to take. I had exhausted all treatment.... tapings, strappings, cortizone injections, stretching, icing, night splints, and modality treatments. Surgery should always be the last resort, and for me it was. Ultimately, our feet are our livelyhood. Constant pain can wear you down. I just feel sorry for the individuals that had such high hopes upon having the surgery only to find it did not work and in some cases made things worse. I pray that I not be one of them. As for you Dee, I hope that everything goes well for you. Again, please keep us informed.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Tonya R. on 5/31/02 at 22:47 (085970)

Dee, It sounds like you have everything covered. My mom came to help me to for the first two weeks. Let me tell you that you will need her. It also helps that your husband is also understanding. As is mine. Just take it slow, and I'll warn you now, stock up on books and magazines. I swear I won't watch TV for a year. I finally got out of the house a bit today, and it felt so good. You miss so much when you don't go much past the couch :). I had to sit my girls down and pretty much tell them that mom was out of commission for a while, and we could either work together or the house was just going to have to fall down. Fortunately, they have not been too bad. I know the decision for surgery has been overwhelming for you. Just listen to what your gut is telling you. If it does not feel right, then don't do it, but if you, like I, feel that this is a last resort, then it's all you can do. I'm sure that you will be fine. It sounds like you have a wonderful support network. Good luck!!

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Tonya R. on 5/31/02 at 22:52 (085971)

Missy, Thanks for the advice. As for the BIOFREEZE, do you find it is more comfortable to use than ice? The icings are the only thing I have to complain about. I almost have to force myself to keep it on for 20 min. Again, thanks for the advice and input. I am hoping that I have the good days that you are speaking of in the months to come.

Re: Brian G. - good advice

Missy B on 5/31/02 at 23:48 (085973)

Hi Brian - like you, I discovered this website after I had my surgery - while I was sitting around recuperating. I wish I had known about it before my surgery - although I probably would not have changed my mind, I certainly would have been better informed as to both good and bad outcomes. And I sure could have used the support, since a lot of my friends just thought I was being over-melodramatic about my foot pain. Those who have not been there just cannot understand what we are experiencing.
You are so right when you say that finding the right doctor is so important. I work in a hospital and have seen some medical nightmares in my 32 years there. It is also important to find one who will work with you thru all the non-invasive treatments and doesn't try to rush you into surgery. Those of us who have been thru the surgeries need to keep the word out there for those contemplating surgery that they do indeed need to do some homework before proceeding. And if someone decides that surgery is for them, they can also find a lot of support here.
I have come to admire many of the posters in the few short months I have been coming here. There are many out there who have been thru so much more than me and still try to keep a positive outlook - they have my utmost respect. Missy B.

Re: Dee, we really are pulling for you !!

Kevin I on 6/01/02 at 01:28 (085982)

Dee, I'm 1 month Post-Op. All your feelings and thoughts are normal. You've lived in pain w/out relief over many trials. You've weighed the the risk versus the possible reward (probably many times over). Do not feel guilty about your decision. I don't want to sound arrogant, but I had all the feelings you had except it didn't even cross my mind about what anyone else thought. I reached a point where I knew this is what I had to do. My family has been very supportive. My poor wife has been having to cut the grass twice a week and haul the kids all over, along with all the other things she normally does. Believe me, she sees me recovering and is as excited as I am. I only upset her once when I threw her cheap worn tennis shoes (that she's been using in the yard)in the trash. I've bought her 2 pairs of Nike and 1 New Balance that sit in the closet most of the time. I told her to pick one of them to 'get dirty' in. A few months from now I know we'll be laughing when the pay back list comes out. I wonder what she's going to throw in the trash of mine???

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Missy B on 6/01/02 at 01:42 (085983)

Hi Tonya - In the first weeks following my surgery I did the icing to help prevent or reduce swelling. I used an ice bag at first, then a physical therapist gave me a suggestion, which was ok'd by my pod and made my 'icings' easier. I took a smooth plastic bottle with water in it ( I used a regular store bought bottle of water) and put it in the freezer. When it was time to ice, I sat in front of the TV or here at the computer and rolled the bottle of frozen water back and forth with the bottom of my foot. This provided the 'icing' effect and made the time go a lot quicker. My foot was tender at first, but for me it worked. But it is best to ask your doctor first. After 18 weeks, I still use the bottle if my foot is aching - or I do a cold water soak.
The BIOFREEZE was first used by my physical therapists at the end of my sessions - it is a form of cryrotherapy and provided cooling relief after my workouts. I found out that I could buy it from my pod (it is not available in stores as far as I know) so I asked him if I could use it at home - especially after I got home from work and sat down to rest my feet for awhile. It DOES NOT replace 'icing', but now that I am not icing on a regular basis, it is, for me, another form of relief from the soreness I still experience from time to time. If I use it at night before I go to bed, I think it helps me rest better because it is soothing. It is a great rub for other arthritic joints and sore muscles too. But only your doctor will know if it is something you can try at this stage of your post-op.
I hope you continue with your good progress. Now that your surgery is over, you need to take some time to pamper yourself a little in-between trying to return to a normal life. You seem to have a very understanding family, so let them know that MOM needs some time-off periods in the next few months. I know a year seems a long time for healing, but you can do it. You are early in your recovery, so rest a lot with the foot up and try not to do anything that will retard your healing just because you want to make the most of a 'good day'. Listen to your doctor and ask plenty of questions if something does not seem right. And above all, as a poster here on these boards told me weeks ago - Listen to your foot - it is the best indicator of how you are doing. Stay in touch with us. Missy B.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Dee on 6/01/02 at 12:11 (086003)

Thanks everyone for your wonderful words of encouragement. I do feel like this is the right thing for me and I am going into it with a positive attitude. I will let everyone know what happens. Thanks again!!

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Joe S on 6/02/02 at 20:25 (086114)

The pain on the outside of your foot is not uncommon. It is usually transient. The lateral column of your foot has to now take more pressure so to speak than prior to the surgery. This is usually well treated with a soft, accommodating orthotic with gentle arch support.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Tonya R. on 6/02/02 at 20:30 (086115)

Joe, Thanks for the advice. I have a good pair of orthotics in my shoes, and for the past two days I have pretty much worn them continuously. It does help with the outer foot pain.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Jan A. on 6/10/02 at 12:05 (086948)

Just wanted to put my two cents worth in. I had open release with heal spur removal one year ago this month. Let me tell you honestly it has been a long hard year. The one thing i encourage you to be is patient. When the doctor tells you it can take up to a year to heal, he isn't kidding. I missed 4 months of work, I am a supervisor in a major toy store, on my feet all the time, especially during the christmas season. Keep on your pain medication, rest as much as possible, take all the help you can, and be PATIENT! It is hard, and you will become depressed, but keep positive. It has been a year and i now can walk for four miles at a time. I have pain off and on and when i do , i rest. My son got me a footbath for my birthday in January and I love it, it really helps me alot after a day of work, also massaging my foot works wonders. One of the best pieces of advise i have is to get good walking shoes. I use the new balance walkers with a good insert, it really helps. Don't walk around barefoot, believe me. The only problem i have now is that there is still a 'dead' feeling around my instep back to half way to my heel. The doc said it may never go away. But it is nothing compared to the previous pain. Good luck to you! Remember be patient!

Re: A question based on Jan's post

Pauline on 6/10/02 at 16:48 (086991)

Would cutting the nerves that directly affect the Plantar Fascia eliminate the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis? I appreciate that no physician would take this approach, but since Jan speaks about a 'dead' feeling around her instep isn't it possible that one of her nerves or more than one was injured or cut during the procedure---thus the dead feeling similar to the feeling left behind after neuroma surgery where the nerve is purposely cut.

Could a damaged nerve that would normally provide feeling in the P.F. thus help to eliminate the pain. In Pam's case, could it be a contributing factor?

Pam feels the trade off was a good one. Is the 'dead' feeling she describes typical, and can patients always expect a trade off that goes with this surgery?

Re: A question based on Jan's post

john h on 6/10/02 at 18:03 (087007)

in many cases nerves regenerate after surgery. after my neck surgery I experienced numbness in an area of my neck. the doctor said it would eventually go away as the nerves regenerated. he was correct. i suspect cutting of a major nerve would lead to big time problems. i have never had any hand problems to go with my PF. i have read of some surgery (not foot) to cut a major nerve to alleviate intractable pain in cancer.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Karen G. on 5/31/02 at 10:32 (085896)

Hi Tonya, I had the open PF Release And the TTS Release on March 4th of this year. I'm almost 13 weeks post op and find that I still have bouts of severe pain, depending upon how much time I spend on my feet. My doc said healing time could be 4 months to a year. I have the same thing in my right foot which is getting worse all the time. Once I know the outcome of the left foot I can think about the right. I have another follow up visit on June 11th. Will see what he says about the pain. Good Luck and yes, listen to your poor little foot!

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Dee on 5/31/02 at 13:39 (085911)

Tonya, Thanks for the positive info about your surgery. I am facing the same surgery on Monday and all I seem to read on these boards is negative feedback. Like you, I have PF in both feet with my left foot being the worse of the two. I too have tried every possible conservative treatment known to mankind with no good results. I am at my wit's end here. Since my health insurance does not cover the shock wave therapy treatment (yes, I checked) then my only other option is to have the surgery. Actually, even though the thought of surgery does scare me, I am looking forward to it. When you have known nothing but pain for so long you will grab at anything available to help. I realize that there have been failures when it comes to surgery, but I feel as though I have no other option left open to me at this time. I know that any surgery is a risk but what other choice do I have besides living with constant pain? I appreciate the concern of people on these boards but right now I feel as though I am being looked at like I don't have good sense just because I am choosing to have the surgery. So once again, thanks for your post. It makes me feel somewhat better about my decision. Hope your pain diminishes soon. Take care.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Tonya R. on 5/31/02 at 14:29 (085913)

Dee, Which surgery are you having? Are you having the open or endoscopic release? I had the open release, because it is what my doctor felt was best for my situation. Most of the negative responses on this board have been from people who have had the scope done. Which ever proceedure you are having done, remember that everyone is different, and the posts on this board are of only a small percentage of patients. I know first hand how difficult the decision to have surgery can be. I actually quit seeking treatment about four years ago because my old podiatrist recommended surgery. Last November I once again sought treatment from a new doctor, because I was in agony. I have gained considerable weight, because I can't be on my feet long, hence becoming less active. I also have three daughters under the age of 11, and they too were being affected. Mom could not get out and do things with them. Although, this is an elective surgery, it has become a necessity for me. I cannot live with the pain any longer. Suffering from PF, I am sure you can relate to this. What I am trying to tell you is do not beat yourself up over your decision. Yes, it should be a well thought out, well informed decision. Only you and your doctor know what is best for you. I wish you the best of luck.
As for my pain, I actually put my regular shoe on today!!!! I was so happy. It feels a bit tight, but the post-op shoe that I was given the other day does not offer any support. My foot still feels that it being turned out a bit, but I have my orthotic in my shoe, and it feels much better. Again Dee, good luck. Please post again soon and let us know how your proceedure went.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Dee on 5/31/02 at 14:37 (085915)

Tonya,
I am having the open release with bone spur removal. I have also been having some shooting pains running from my arch up the back of my foot so he is going to do a nerve decompression also. This is all quite overwhelming for me but I am hoping and praying that surgery is the answer. I have a 9 year old son who is my pride and joy and he doesn't really understand why I can't get out and ride bikes with him or play ball with him. So I know exactly what you mean about this mess affecting your daughters. I am very lucky that I have a wonderful husband who doesn't complain when dinner takes forever to get ready or when the laundry piles up. He works about 10-12 hours a day at his job but when he gets home, he is always willing to help me out around the house if I'm having a bad day. My Mom is also coming to stay at my house with me next week to help out after the surgery. So I am very thankful to be blessed with a wonderful supportive family.

I will keep you informed as to how the surgery turns out. Thanks for listening to me rant and rave!! Take care.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Missy B on 5/31/02 at 14:53 (085919)

Tonya - I had PF/TT release surgery on 1/11/02 after suffering on and off for 6 years. The outside of my foot also aches at times but this did not begin for me until 2 months after my surgery. I am waiting on my custom orthotics to arrive, as my pod feels this will help alleviate the soreness I am experiencing. He, as well as the few people I could find to talk with who have had this surgery, all said what your doctor did - up to a year for healing. His advice is good as it is the same I have gotten many times - listen to your foot, have patience, and take it easy for the next few months. I am no longer taking any anti-inflammatories but I often soak my foot in cold water for relief; I also use a gel rub called BIOFREEZE, which I buy from my pod. It is a form of cryrotherapy and I love to put it on foot before I go to bed. My physical therapists used it on me after every session and I found it really helped relieve the soreness.
The best for me is that I can now put in a days work at the hospital and not come home in tears because of my foot pain. I can walk again with a normal gait, although not as fast as I used to several years ago before this all began.
So hang in there and REST, REST, REST. Avoid any stressful physical activity for the next few months. I also had the tarsal tunnel release, so my surgery is a little more extensive than yours. Since I have to work, I plan on carefully choosing my activities this summer to minimize the time I spend on my feet. While I do not experience the severe pain I had before my surgery, I do still have a fair amount of soreness, so I am trying to rest my foot as much as possible but still doing my stretching exercises to keep my muscles and ligaments strong but also limber.
I hope you continue do well; please keep us posted as to your progress. Missy B.

Re: Dee - good luck on Monday; I wish you the best

Missy B on 5/31/02 at 15:55 (085929)

Dee,
I wish you all the best with your upcoming surgery. I did not find this website until after my PF/TT release surgery last January. I know there are a lot of negative stories here, but there a lot of positive outcomes posted here also - you have to kinda sift thru all the messages on the different boards to find them. As Tonya said, those of us who post here are just a small percentage of those patients who have suffered or are currently suffering with foot pain. I would guess that many of those who have good outcomes return to more active lives and don't always have the time to sit down and read the messages and reply. The few people I was able to talk with prior to my surgery were not even aware of this site - I found it by accident while I was recuperating from my surgery. I sure wish I had found it earlier, as I could have used the support from so many of the wonderful people who post here.
While I don't have any small children as you and Tonya do, I did have a very active life until my foot pain took over. Like you, I exhausted all the non-invasive treatments and since ESWT was not an option for me, I was left with literally re-arranging my whole life, including a job change, living with pain meds, or having surgery. I was to the point of dragging my leg sometimes just to avoid putting my weight on my foot.
So do not feel that you are being judged wrong for choosing surgery. That is a choice that each person must make based on individual needs and hopefully, good counseling from a reputable doctor. I found a few people in my area that had great outcomes and only one who did not - so I figured that was about average. I have a good pod who has performed my type surgery with a good success rate but he made well aware of the complications that could arise afterwards. Only after my nerve conduction test came back positive, did he discuss the sugical option, and then he let me make my decision in my own time.
And I still feel this was the right decision for me at this time in my life. I am middle age, but too young to sit out the rest of my life. I am guardedly optimistic that my surgery is a least a partial success and will make the best of whatever outcome I have. While I still have a good bit of soreness, I do not suffer from the severe pain I had prior to my surgery and can now make it thru my work day without tears and have even returned to doing some low impact exercising to help me shed the extra pounds I gained from my inactivity over the past few years.
So, KEEP AN OPTIMISTIC ATTITUDE - it has been shown many times that patients with a positive attitude rebound much better and quicker from illness, injury and surgery than those who do not. I work in a hospital, so I know this can be true. You have a wonderful family who will be there with lots of support to help you thru the rough days --- and don't forget your family here on the boards. We are here for you any time - to offer support, suggestions that might be helpful, or just to listen if you need a place to vent.
I have posted several times on the various boards with my post-surgical progress, so if you are interested in my ramblings, you can search back thru to find them while you are recuperating. Feel free to ask me any questions you may wish. I am not a doctor or a nurse, so I speak only from my own personal experience - but that is what these boards are all out - personal pain, personal experiences, and most of all - support.
Best of Luck to you on Monday and in the coming weeks. Please keep us posted. I'll be thinking of you. Missy B.

Re: 3 wks.To Dee

Laurie R on 5/31/02 at 16:27 (085934)

Dear Dee , I would like to wish you all the luck in the world on your surgery . I am also 3 weeks post opp , tt release and PF release . it was an open surgery . I have one pretty long insicion on my inner ankle and another one on the bottom of my foot on my fascia . I also had a groth removed ....

I am feeling pretty well. Things seem to be going good so far. I am still non weigth barring ... I see my Pod this Wed . The thing with me , I also have RSD so I was very high risk to have the surgery to begin with ...

My best advise to you is , PLEASE stay off you foot . Let your mom and who ever else take care of you . I have done nothing but rest since my surgery . I want the best out come I could have. I waited so very long for this . All my foot troubles started 3 years ago , and the pain has been terrible . I started out with only PF and it went into 5 different things ...

I know you will get bord , but just think this won't be forever ...

Again I wish you all the best and please keep us posted .....

Laurie R

Re: Dee, we really are pulling for you !!

BrianG on 5/31/02 at 21:21 (085957)

Hi Dee,

I admit that I'm one of the people here trying to warn posters about the dangers of surgery. I can assure you that no one is looking down on you, for your decision. What I'd like people to think about, is how good is your doctor? If you've done your homework, feel certain he can help you, and he has been totally honest and forthcoming, then you have to go for it. I'm just trying to get people to think, before they act. We have so many people here, that just went in and got the PF surgery, it was a failure, so lets try the TTS surgery!! This is when people have gotten into trouble. There is so much information here, and I know it's hard to sort through it all, but you have a major advantage compared to the people who need surgery, and do not have this forum for information and advice. What has happened to some people here, is criminal. I'd just like to make sure everyone is doing everthing they can, before the surgery. Laurie is a perfect example of someone who has done her homework. I'd have to believe her odds for success will be greater than someone who just goes to the doctor down the street, and hopes for the best.

I don't mean to stress anyone who is about to have surgery. I just want them to know they have a big advatage by reading these pages. Good luck Dee,

BrianG, who wishes he knew about this web site before his failed EPF !

Re: Dee, we really are pulling for you !!

Tonya R. on 5/31/02 at 22:38 (085969)

Brian, Although I had a different procedure from you, I must say that I totally agree with you on the aspect of making sure that you are well informed before you make the surgical decision. Although I am only three weeks out, I am thankful that I had the open release. I did a lot of homework on both the scope and the open procedures, and I must tell you that although the open procedure is a bit more evasive, I think it was the best route to go. Time and time again I came across stories posted on the net and on this board of people who were not satisfied with the results of the scope. One of the main complaints of people are that they have to return for the open procedure. It is my understanding that sometimes the scope does not always offer a good view of the fascia. When I questioned my doctor about this he said that with the scope, he felt there was more of a chance for nerve damage. Thus is why we opted for the open release. My doctor also told me that with either procedure, the healing time would be a long process. I guess, according to a lot of these posts, my doctor was the exception. I think he has been excellent, and he was by no means hasty in recommending the surgery. The first time I seen him, he told me that all conservative therapy would be exhausted before he would even consider it. The last thing that he said to me at my post-op appointment was that this was an elective surgery, and I could back out at anytime. Everything in me told me that I need to give this a shot. As I said in my first post, i am at this point, very satisfied with how my surgery and healing have gone thus far. It is still way to early to tell if it was a success, but I was to the point it was a chance I had to take. I had exhausted all treatment.... tapings, strappings, cortizone injections, stretching, icing, night splints, and modality treatments. Surgery should always be the last resort, and for me it was. Ultimately, our feet are our livelyhood. Constant pain can wear you down. I just feel sorry for the individuals that had such high hopes upon having the surgery only to find it did not work and in some cases made things worse. I pray that I not be one of them. As for you Dee, I hope that everything goes well for you. Again, please keep us informed.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Tonya R. on 5/31/02 at 22:47 (085970)

Dee, It sounds like you have everything covered. My mom came to help me to for the first two weeks. Let me tell you that you will need her. It also helps that your husband is also understanding. As is mine. Just take it slow, and I'll warn you now, stock up on books and magazines. I swear I won't watch TV for a year. I finally got out of the house a bit today, and it felt so good. You miss so much when you don't go much past the couch :). I had to sit my girls down and pretty much tell them that mom was out of commission for a while, and we could either work together or the house was just going to have to fall down. Fortunately, they have not been too bad. I know the decision for surgery has been overwhelming for you. Just listen to what your gut is telling you. If it does not feel right, then don't do it, but if you, like I, feel that this is a last resort, then it's all you can do. I'm sure that you will be fine. It sounds like you have a wonderful support network. Good luck!!

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Tonya R. on 5/31/02 at 22:52 (085971)

Missy, Thanks for the advice. As for the BIOFREEZE, do you find it is more comfortable to use than ice? The icings are the only thing I have to complain about. I almost have to force myself to keep it on for 20 min. Again, thanks for the advice and input. I am hoping that I have the good days that you are speaking of in the months to come.

Re: Brian G. - good advice

Missy B on 5/31/02 at 23:48 (085973)

Hi Brian - like you, I discovered this website after I had my surgery - while I was sitting around recuperating. I wish I had known about it before my surgery - although I probably would not have changed my mind, I certainly would have been better informed as to both good and bad outcomes. And I sure could have used the support, since a lot of my friends just thought I was being over-melodramatic about my foot pain. Those who have not been there just cannot understand what we are experiencing.
You are so right when you say that finding the right doctor is so important. I work in a hospital and have seen some medical nightmares in my 32 years there. It is also important to find one who will work with you thru all the non-invasive treatments and doesn't try to rush you into surgery. Those of us who have been thru the surgeries need to keep the word out there for those contemplating surgery that they do indeed need to do some homework before proceeding. And if someone decides that surgery is for them, they can also find a lot of support here.
I have come to admire many of the posters in the few short months I have been coming here. There are many out there who have been thru so much more than me and still try to keep a positive outlook - they have my utmost respect. Missy B.

Re: Dee, we really are pulling for you !!

Kevin I on 6/01/02 at 01:28 (085982)

Dee, I'm 1 month Post-Op. All your feelings and thoughts are normal. You've lived in pain w/out relief over many trials. You've weighed the the risk versus the possible reward (probably many times over). Do not feel guilty about your decision. I don't want to sound arrogant, but I had all the feelings you had except it didn't even cross my mind about what anyone else thought. I reached a point where I knew this is what I had to do. My family has been very supportive. My poor wife has been having to cut the grass twice a week and haul the kids all over, along with all the other things she normally does. Believe me, she sees me recovering and is as excited as I am. I only upset her once when I threw her cheap worn tennis shoes (that she's been using in the yard)in the trash. I've bought her 2 pairs of Nike and 1 New Balance that sit in the closet most of the time. I told her to pick one of them to 'get dirty' in. A few months from now I know we'll be laughing when the pay back list comes out. I wonder what she's going to throw in the trash of mine???

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Missy B on 6/01/02 at 01:42 (085983)

Hi Tonya - In the first weeks following my surgery I did the icing to help prevent or reduce swelling. I used an ice bag at first, then a physical therapist gave me a suggestion, which was ok'd by my pod and made my 'icings' easier. I took a smooth plastic bottle with water in it ( I used a regular store bought bottle of water) and put it in the freezer. When it was time to ice, I sat in front of the TV or here at the computer and rolled the bottle of frozen water back and forth with the bottom of my foot. This provided the 'icing' effect and made the time go a lot quicker. My foot was tender at first, but for me it worked. But it is best to ask your doctor first. After 18 weeks, I still use the bottle if my foot is aching - or I do a cold water soak.
The BIOFREEZE was first used by my physical therapists at the end of my sessions - it is a form of cryrotherapy and provided cooling relief after my workouts. I found out that I could buy it from my pod (it is not available in stores as far as I know) so I asked him if I could use it at home - especially after I got home from work and sat down to rest my feet for awhile. It DOES NOT replace 'icing', but now that I am not icing on a regular basis, it is, for me, another form of relief from the soreness I still experience from time to time. If I use it at night before I go to bed, I think it helps me rest better because it is soothing. It is a great rub for other arthritic joints and sore muscles too. But only your doctor will know if it is something you can try at this stage of your post-op.
I hope you continue with your good progress. Now that your surgery is over, you need to take some time to pamper yourself a little in-between trying to return to a normal life. You seem to have a very understanding family, so let them know that MOM needs some time-off periods in the next few months. I know a year seems a long time for healing, but you can do it. You are early in your recovery, so rest a lot with the foot up and try not to do anything that will retard your healing just because you want to make the most of a 'good day'. Listen to your doctor and ask plenty of questions if something does not seem right. And above all, as a poster here on these boards told me weeks ago - Listen to your foot - it is the best indicator of how you are doing. Stay in touch with us. Missy B.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Dee on 6/01/02 at 12:11 (086003)

Thanks everyone for your wonderful words of encouragement. I do feel like this is the right thing for me and I am going into it with a positive attitude. I will let everyone know what happens. Thanks again!!

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Joe S on 6/02/02 at 20:25 (086114)

The pain on the outside of your foot is not uncommon. It is usually transient. The lateral column of your foot has to now take more pressure so to speak than prior to the surgery. This is usually well treated with a soft, accommodating orthotic with gentle arch support.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Tonya R. on 6/02/02 at 20:30 (086115)

Joe, Thanks for the advice. I have a good pair of orthotics in my shoes, and for the past two days I have pretty much worn them continuously. It does help with the outer foot pain.

Re: 3 wks. post-op open fascia release

Jan A. on 6/10/02 at 12:05 (086948)

Just wanted to put my two cents worth in. I had open release with heal spur removal one year ago this month. Let me tell you honestly it has been a long hard year. The one thing i encourage you to be is patient. When the doctor tells you it can take up to a year to heal, he isn't kidding. I missed 4 months of work, I am a supervisor in a major toy store, on my feet all the time, especially during the christmas season. Keep on your pain medication, rest as much as possible, take all the help you can, and be PATIENT! It is hard, and you will become depressed, but keep positive. It has been a year and i now can walk for four miles at a time. I have pain off and on and when i do , i rest. My son got me a footbath for my birthday in January and I love it, it really helps me alot after a day of work, also massaging my foot works wonders. One of the best pieces of advise i have is to get good walking shoes. I use the new balance walkers with a good insert, it really helps. Don't walk around barefoot, believe me. The only problem i have now is that there is still a 'dead' feeling around my instep back to half way to my heel. The doc said it may never go away. But it is nothing compared to the previous pain. Good luck to you! Remember be patient!

Re: A question based on Jan's post

Pauline on 6/10/02 at 16:48 (086991)

Would cutting the nerves that directly affect the Plantar Fascia eliminate the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis? I appreciate that no physician would take this approach, but since Jan speaks about a 'dead' feeling around her instep isn't it possible that one of her nerves or more than one was injured or cut during the procedure---thus the dead feeling similar to the feeling left behind after neuroma surgery where the nerve is purposely cut.

Could a damaged nerve that would normally provide feeling in the P.F. thus help to eliminate the pain. In Pam's case, could it be a contributing factor?

Pam feels the trade off was a good one. Is the 'dead' feeling she describes typical, and can patients always expect a trade off that goes with this surgery?

Re: A question based on Jan's post

john h on 6/10/02 at 18:03 (087007)

in many cases nerves regenerate after surgery. after my neck surgery I experienced numbness in an area of my neck. the doctor said it would eventually go away as the nerves regenerated. he was correct. i suspect cutting of a major nerve would lead to big time problems. i have never had any hand problems to go with my PF. i have read of some surgery (not foot) to cut a major nerve to alleviate intractable pain in cancer.