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complications after bone spur surgery

Posted by J. owens on 6/08/02 at 20:00 (086803)

My husband had surgery about 7 mos ago for heel pain due to a bone spur. Since then the pain has shifted to another part of his foot [the side], but is just as debilitating. We have also noticed that the shape of his foot has changed. Now the big toe is separated from the rest of the toes by a significant space. The doctor says it is possible that the surgery made the foot too 'loose'.By the way, he has flat feet. It is devastating to me to realize that he probably never should have had the surgery, and that now permanent and debilitating damage has been done to the foot. He is only 42 and now he can't play and run with our kids without suffering great pain. Is it possible to do a reversal of the surgery or anything else to help him?

Re: complications after bone spur surgery

Pauline on 6/08/02 at 23:25 (086819)

I'm sorry to say that I've read many other postings very similar to yours on this surgery board. It's so difficult because people just don't realize how complicated the foot actually is and how each small part contributes to the functioning of all the others.

Once surgically cut the major support of the foot is forever altered and physicans then resort to Orthotics to try and replace what God provided. Without its natural support other areas of the foot are given the challenge to support ones total body weight. They are not capable of doing this thus the pain shifts to other areas as the person tries to compensate for the lack of support.

I often think if patients thought of their feet with the same respect as they think about their eyes many physicians would have a difficult time conviencing them to have part of it cut.

I don't know of any reversal or reattachment surgery offered to repair your husbands condition, but I'm sure there is a physician willing to offer one. My suggestion is that before you embark on another surgery to repair the first you first try all the conservative methods possible to eliminate his pain. The last thing you need is for him to have what I call 'snowball surgeries' each one larger and more complicated than the last.

I wish you luck and will pray that you find a good physician who can provide some relief without a surgical answer.

Re: complications after bone spur surgery

BrianG on 6/09/02 at 13:22 (086842)

Hi J. Owens,

You didn't mention if your husband wears orthotics? When I had foot surgery, my doctor told me that I would probably have to wear orthotics for the rest of my life.

Good luck
BrianG, not a doc

Re: complications after bone spur surgery

J. owens on 6/10/02 at 10:43 (086933)

Pauline-
I really appreciate your truthful and sad response and especially your prayers. This situation makes me feel desperate for God to do a miracle.At this point only He can heal my husband's foot. We have 4 children and we are all praying for a miracle. I would love for God to be glorified through this situation and especially that my children would experience His healing power as they see their prayers be answered. Would you join with us in praying that God would 'tighten up' my husband's foot supernaturally and heal him of the pain? This thing puts such a damper on our lives. My husband is one of the pastors in a church of about 700 in the inner city. God is really using his life.
Also could you tell us how to go about finding a really top notch doctor?

My husband's present Dr. said that physical therapy might help. Do you agree? What conservative measures do you recommend?

Re: complications after bone spur surgery

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/10/02 at 14:51 (086961)

It may not take a miracle, just some good follow up care. Most individuals who have heel spurs removed need an orthotic afterwards (even more than before) to help stabilize the foot since a supporting structure was removed. Has you husband been fitted with custom orthotics?
Ed

Re: complications after bone spur surgery

Pauline on 6/10/02 at 22:25 (087043)

Since the main support of your husband's foot was cut he certainly needs to try to replace what was lost. As Dr. Davis suggested most physician's fit their surgical P.F. patients with orthotics following this surgery. Patients either have them prior to surgery and they are adjusted afterwards if necessary or new ones are made following the surgery. They usually must wear them for life. The problem comes in if the Orthotics cannot be tolerated, or does not relieve the pain.

If you like your current physician stick with him, and ask about orthotics, but remember you always have the option to go elsewhere for help. Many times major medical centers have Orthopedic Surgeons who's speciality is in Foot and Ankle who can also be very helpful too.

Above all keep the faith, your in my prayers. May God continue to bless you, provide you with strength and guide you to a physician that can provide your husband with understanding and care. Wishing you the very best.

Re: complications after bone spur surgery

J. owens on 6/11/02 at 12:47 (087119)

Thank you so much for your concern and time. Yes,my husband does have orthotics now. They are helpful but he still does experience a lot of pain especially if he runs around with the kids. Will activity like this cause more damage to the foot or just pain? Also, what were your thoughts re:physical therapy? Is there anything else that will provide support to the foot besides orthotics?

Re: complications after bone spur surgery

Pauline on 6/08/02 at 23:25 (086819)

I'm sorry to say that I've read many other postings very similar to yours on this surgery board. It's so difficult because people just don't realize how complicated the foot actually is and how each small part contributes to the functioning of all the others.

Once surgically cut the major support of the foot is forever altered and physicans then resort to Orthotics to try and replace what God provided. Without its natural support other areas of the foot are given the challenge to support ones total body weight. They are not capable of doing this thus the pain shifts to other areas as the person tries to compensate for the lack of support.

I often think if patients thought of their feet with the same respect as they think about their eyes many physicians would have a difficult time conviencing them to have part of it cut.

I don't know of any reversal or reattachment surgery offered to repair your husbands condition, but I'm sure there is a physician willing to offer one. My suggestion is that before you embark on another surgery to repair the first you first try all the conservative methods possible to eliminate his pain. The last thing you need is for him to have what I call 'snowball surgeries' each one larger and more complicated than the last.

I wish you luck and will pray that you find a good physician who can provide some relief without a surgical answer.

Re: complications after bone spur surgery

BrianG on 6/09/02 at 13:22 (086842)

Hi J. Owens,

You didn't mention if your husband wears orthotics? When I had foot surgery, my doctor told me that I would probably have to wear orthotics for the rest of my life.

Good luck
BrianG, not a doc

Re: complications after bone spur surgery

J. owens on 6/10/02 at 10:43 (086933)

Pauline-
I really appreciate your truthful and sad response and especially your prayers. This situation makes me feel desperate for God to do a miracle.At this point only He can heal my husband's foot. We have 4 children and we are all praying for a miracle. I would love for God to be glorified through this situation and especially that my children would experience His healing power as they see their prayers be answered. Would you join with us in praying that God would 'tighten up' my husband's foot supernaturally and heal him of the pain? This thing puts such a damper on our lives. My husband is one of the pastors in a church of about 700 in the inner city. God is really using his life.
Also could you tell us how to go about finding a really top notch doctor?

My husband's present Dr. said that physical therapy might help. Do you agree? What conservative measures do you recommend?

Re: complications after bone spur surgery

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/10/02 at 14:51 (086961)

It may not take a miracle, just some good follow up care. Most individuals who have heel spurs removed need an orthotic afterwards (even more than before) to help stabilize the foot since a supporting structure was removed. Has you husband been fitted with custom orthotics?
Ed

Re: complications after bone spur surgery

Pauline on 6/10/02 at 22:25 (087043)

Since the main support of your husband's foot was cut he certainly needs to try to replace what was lost. As Dr. Davis suggested most physician's fit their surgical P.F. patients with orthotics following this surgery. Patients either have them prior to surgery and they are adjusted afterwards if necessary or new ones are made following the surgery. They usually must wear them for life. The problem comes in if the Orthotics cannot be tolerated, or does not relieve the pain.

If you like your current physician stick with him, and ask about orthotics, but remember you always have the option to go elsewhere for help. Many times major medical centers have Orthopedic Surgeons who's speciality is in Foot and Ankle who can also be very helpful too.

Above all keep the faith, your in my prayers. May God continue to bless you, provide you with strength and guide you to a physician that can provide your husband with understanding and care. Wishing you the very best.

Re: complications after bone spur surgery

J. owens on 6/11/02 at 12:47 (087119)

Thank you so much for your concern and time. Yes,my husband does have orthotics now. They are helpful but he still does experience a lot of pain especially if he runs around with the kids. Will activity like this cause more damage to the foot or just pain? Also, what were your thoughts re:physical therapy? Is there anything else that will provide support to the foot besides orthotics?