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Immense foot pain/Can someone help?

Posted by nan s. on 6/27/02 at 08:24 (088575)

My foot pain began a number of years ago and through my rheumatologist's advice I started wearing SAS shoes, the only shoe I could wear all day. I didn't have much pain until the past two or three months when I started having burning heel pain upon walking, mostly in my left foot. I've had some cramps in my foot/feet as well. I've had electric shocks for several years now, too. Any walking over 30 minutes, I am in immense pain. After an hour or so, I start going off-balance and have to grab my husband to steady me. I also discovered after a neurologist visit, that I had very little sensation of cold on my feet/lower legs. I can rub an ice cube up and down my feet and lower legs and feel almost nothing.

I also have cervical spondylosis and severe degenerative disk, both cervical and lumbar so I wonder if any of that can cause what I'm experiencing.

I've been to two or three neurologists: 1) for both legs collapsing without warning (three years ago) 2) for pain in my feet 3) for bouts of dizziness, off balance. (several years ago) I've had MRIs of everything and several EMGs, which are all right.

Does this sound like Tarsal Tunnel? I'm being sent to an othopedist for just that. I'll be seeing him next week.

Any help is appreciated.

Re: Immense foot pain/Can someone help?

Sharon W on 6/27/02 at 09:00 (088577)

Nan,

I'm not a doctor but I really doubt if Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS) could explain all of your problems. The burning heel pain and electrical shocks COULD be TTS, though, and perhaps that is why you are being sent to an orthopedist for TTS.

I hope the one you're going to is an orthopedist who specializes in foot and ankle, though; a 'general' orthopedist simply may not be all that knowledgable about problems of feet and ankles. Other patients have come across that problem before... If you decide you don't like this doctor, you might ask for a referral to a podiatrist next time.

Good luck to you, and keep in touch! I'll be watching for how it all turned out with the orthopedist.

-- Sharon

Re: Immense foot pain/Can someone help?

nan s. on 6/27/02 at 09:24 (088581)

Sharon,

Thank you for the advice. I went to a podiatrist after my family doctor. The podiatrist thought plantar fasciatis with something else going on, thus my trip to the neurologist, who is now sending me to the orthopedist.

You know, I've always wondered why they call them 'practicing physicians,' guess it's cause they're just practicing.

Seriously, I just want someone to help with this pain. It's very difficult just to go grocery shopping and my husband always has to come help.

Thanks again,
Nan

Re: Immense foot pain/Can someone help?

Missy B on 6/27/02 at 14:52 (088608)

Nan - has any of the neurologists that you have seen ever run an nerve conduction velocity test on your foot/ankle for the foot pain. If so, did it indicate nerve entrapment in the tarsal tunnel; if they have not run this test, you might as your doctor why no one has ever ordered this for you.
Missy B.

Re: Immense foot pain/Can someone help?

nan s. on 6/27/02 at 15:06 (088611)

Yes, they did an EMG and I'm pretty sure they did the nerve conduction as well. But it was done on my lower left leg. I don't think I had anything done on my foot, per se. I'll be seeing an orthopedist on Tuesday and hopefully, I'll know more.

Nan

Re: For the pain

BrianG on 6/27/02 at 19:56 (088628)

Hi Nan,

I counted at least twice where you were looking for relief from the pain. Have you talked to you doctor about this? There are many people here that take daily pain meds, just to get along with life. You can start with this page for some basic information. I have others if your interested. http://www.pain.com

Good luck
BrianG

Re: For the pain

nan s. on 6/28/02 at 05:31 (088651)

Brian,

Thank you for your response. No I haven't told the doctor, actually I thought if I just waited it out, it would get better. It's not, in fact, it's getting worse. I question if I should be taking any pain meds before I find out what the problem is. I don't know. I just know I want to walk in relative comfort again. I never realized how important your feet are. Boy, I'll never take them for granted again!!

Re: For the pain

BrianG on 6/28/02 at 11:05 (088678)

Hi Nan,

In my case, I found it's always best to be totally honest with my doc. When my feet hurt, you better believe I kept him up to date. When it finally came time to begin the daily pain meds, my case was well documented. In fact, I think it will help me in my quest for SSD, as I can no longer work. Good luck

BrianG

Re: For the pain/Dont fear a pain pill if it is taken for real pain!

Tammie on 6/28/02 at 20:48 (088723)

Pain meds are not the evil, it is the person who abuses them for play or for a high. I have learned a new respect for the talented people who have dirived thease wonderful medications the can really take the pain away, or most of it anyways. Abuse is the issue not the pain medication, if supervised by a medical Dr. and used as how he perscribes things are supposed to be fine. So far I am fine, I may already be addicted per say to my meds ? but I can say I have less pain and more sleep I do not ever take more then I am allowed.

I am one of those people who thought no way will I ever ever take a narcotic. I am and I feel ok about it /My dr. assures me I am fine and he is the dr. who treats nothing but pain so he knows. I dont want to ramble on and on but I do want you to feel safe with finding pain relief! I found this Pain management at the hospital and it was the best thing I did out of so many dr.s I have been to in the last 2 yrs.He heard and he listened he set testing up and started the treatment for pain, he said this si a part of plan does not mean forever. Take care

Re: For the pain

nan s. on 6/29/02 at 07:40 (088749)

Hi Brian and Tammie,

Thanks for your posts. I just happened upon another of your posts that
I hadn't considered. My foot problem could be from my mild to sometimes moderate rheumatoid arthritis. It has hardly bothered me in the past few years and I've remained on anit-inflammatories. Of course, it could also be from my severe degenerative cervical or lumbar disk disease. Who knows? Maybe this orthopedist can help. I'm at least asking about pain medication thanks to all of you. I'm especially thankful for Sharon for taking the time to explain much of this to me.

Nan

Re: Narrowing the search

LaraT on 6/29/02 at 09:52 (088758)

I've gone to three pods and three orthopods. Three knew TTS (but one was a complete jerk so I wouldn't go back) and 3 didn't have a clue. All came highly recommended. Two of the orthopods focused on ankle/foot (one was a jerk, as mentioned above, and the other didn't know TTS despite doing ankle/feet), but the 3rd orthopod (who doesn't focus on ankle/feet) has been the best. I think a lot (of good, competent) doctors still don't know about TTS. I went to the med school library at one point, to the textbook section, and looked at the books on ankle/feet. The book was probably 11 x 15, and a few inches thick. I looked in the index for references on TTS - there was less than a page on TTS. My point is that TTS is relatively new and many doctors, even those who focus on ankle/feet, don't know about it and apparently not much is being taught in med school still.

I think Sharon is right, that your chances are better with an orthopod that does ankle/feet, but TTS is still sufficiently new that a lot of doctors still aren't familiar so don't count on them knowing and stay aler and ask questions. I've also found luck by trying to find a doctor (orthopod or pod) that treats a lot of athletes/sports injuries. That's how I found the 1st doctor (a pod) who finally diagnosed me accurately after about 2-3 years and being told 'it's in my head' 'quit researching so much and scaring yourself' and 'it's diabetes' (despite blood work to the contrary). As Scott said 'Lazy people don't get tarsal tunnel'.

Re: Immense foot pain/Can someone help?

Sharon W on 6/27/02 at 09:00 (088577)

Nan,

I'm not a doctor but I really doubt if Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS) could explain all of your problems. The burning heel pain and electrical shocks COULD be TTS, though, and perhaps that is why you are being sent to an orthopedist for TTS.

I hope the one you're going to is an orthopedist who specializes in foot and ankle, though; a 'general' orthopedist simply may not be all that knowledgable about problems of feet and ankles. Other patients have come across that problem before... If you decide you don't like this doctor, you might ask for a referral to a podiatrist next time.

Good luck to you, and keep in touch! I'll be watching for how it all turned out with the orthopedist.

-- Sharon

Re: Immense foot pain/Can someone help?

nan s. on 6/27/02 at 09:24 (088581)

Sharon,

Thank you for the advice. I went to a podiatrist after my family doctor. The podiatrist thought plantar fasciatis with something else going on, thus my trip to the neurologist, who is now sending me to the orthopedist.

You know, I've always wondered why they call them 'practicing physicians,' guess it's cause they're just practicing.

Seriously, I just want someone to help with this pain. It's very difficult just to go grocery shopping and my husband always has to come help.

Thanks again,
Nan

Re: Immense foot pain/Can someone help?

Missy B on 6/27/02 at 14:52 (088608)

Nan - has any of the neurologists that you have seen ever run an nerve conduction velocity test on your foot/ankle for the foot pain. If so, did it indicate nerve entrapment in the tarsal tunnel; if they have not run this test, you might as your doctor why no one has ever ordered this for you.
Missy B.

Re: Immense foot pain/Can someone help?

nan s. on 6/27/02 at 15:06 (088611)

Yes, they did an EMG and I'm pretty sure they did the nerve conduction as well. But it was done on my lower left leg. I don't think I had anything done on my foot, per se. I'll be seeing an orthopedist on Tuesday and hopefully, I'll know more.

Nan

Re: For the pain

BrianG on 6/27/02 at 19:56 (088628)

Hi Nan,

I counted at least twice where you were looking for relief from the pain. Have you talked to you doctor about this? There are many people here that take daily pain meds, just to get along with life. You can start with this page for some basic information. I have others if your interested. http://www.pain.com

Good luck
BrianG

Re: For the pain

nan s. on 6/28/02 at 05:31 (088651)

Brian,

Thank you for your response. No I haven't told the doctor, actually I thought if I just waited it out, it would get better. It's not, in fact, it's getting worse. I question if I should be taking any pain meds before I find out what the problem is. I don't know. I just know I want to walk in relative comfort again. I never realized how important your feet are. Boy, I'll never take them for granted again!!

Re: For the pain

BrianG on 6/28/02 at 11:05 (088678)

Hi Nan,

In my case, I found it's always best to be totally honest with my doc. When my feet hurt, you better believe I kept him up to date. When it finally came time to begin the daily pain meds, my case was well documented. In fact, I think it will help me in my quest for SSD, as I can no longer work. Good luck

BrianG

Re: For the pain/Dont fear a pain pill if it is taken for real pain!

Tammie on 6/28/02 at 20:48 (088723)

Pain meds are not the evil, it is the person who abuses them for play or for a high. I have learned a new respect for the talented people who have dirived thease wonderful medications the can really take the pain away, or most of it anyways. Abuse is the issue not the pain medication, if supervised by a medical Dr. and used as how he perscribes things are supposed to be fine. So far I am fine, I may already be addicted per say to my meds ? but I can say I have less pain and more sleep I do not ever take more then I am allowed.

I am one of those people who thought no way will I ever ever take a narcotic. I am and I feel ok about it /My dr. assures me I am fine and he is the dr. who treats nothing but pain so he knows. I dont want to ramble on and on but I do want you to feel safe with finding pain relief! I found this Pain management at the hospital and it was the best thing I did out of so many dr.s I have been to in the last 2 yrs.He heard and he listened he set testing up and started the treatment for pain, he said this si a part of plan does not mean forever. Take care

Re: For the pain

nan s. on 6/29/02 at 07:40 (088749)

Hi Brian and Tammie,

Thanks for your posts. I just happened upon another of your posts that
I hadn't considered. My foot problem could be from my mild to sometimes moderate rheumatoid arthritis. It has hardly bothered me in the past few years and I've remained on anit-inflammatories. Of course, it could also be from my severe degenerative cervical or lumbar disk disease. Who knows? Maybe this orthopedist can help. I'm at least asking about pain medication thanks to all of you. I'm especially thankful for Sharon for taking the time to explain much of this to me.

Nan

Re: Narrowing the search

LaraT on 6/29/02 at 09:52 (088758)

I've gone to three pods and three orthopods. Three knew TTS (but one was a complete jerk so I wouldn't go back) and 3 didn't have a clue. All came highly recommended. Two of the orthopods focused on ankle/foot (one was a jerk, as mentioned above, and the other didn't know TTS despite doing ankle/feet), but the 3rd orthopod (who doesn't focus on ankle/feet) has been the best. I think a lot (of good, competent) doctors still don't know about TTS. I went to the med school library at one point, to the textbook section, and looked at the books on ankle/feet. The book was probably 11 x 15, and a few inches thick. I looked in the index for references on TTS - there was less than a page on TTS. My point is that TTS is relatively new and many doctors, even those who focus on ankle/feet, don't know about it and apparently not much is being taught in med school still.

I think Sharon is right, that your chances are better with an orthopod that does ankle/feet, but TTS is still sufficiently new that a lot of doctors still aren't familiar so don't count on them knowing and stay aler and ask questions. I've also found luck by trying to find a doctor (orthopod or pod) that treats a lot of athletes/sports injuries. That's how I found the 1st doctor (a pod) who finally diagnosed me accurately after about 2-3 years and being told 'it's in my head' 'quit researching so much and scaring yourself' and 'it's diabetes' (despite blood work to the contrary). As Scott said 'Lazy people don't get tarsal tunnel'.