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Please Help Me!

Posted by Amanda B. on 8/24/02 at 21:39 (093438)

I'm am sufferring from Plantar Fasciitus. I gave birth to my daughter in February. Shortly after, I noticed a dull ache in my right heel, sort of like a bruise, particularly in the morning and late evening. It wasn't necessarily painful, but after three months with no improvement I decided to seek help, thinking it was a heel spur. The pdiatrist told me it was fasciitus. I asked him if it had anything to do with being pregnant/giving birth and he said no. I was given three injections in my foot, ws prescribed Celebrux, and had my foot taped on several occasions, before being told I needed orthotics. He told me that as long as I wore them 70% of the time, I would no longer have any problems. I paid $400 for custom-made orthotics, and once I began wearing my orthotics religiously, the pain went away for a time.

Three weeks ago, the pain flared up again, only this time it was worse, and instead of pain only in the mornings it became constant. I went back to the doctor, and subsequently rec'vd 2 more injections, whereupon he told me I would be unable to recieve anymore for at least three months. I was put in Bextra this time, and again have had my foot taped. After two weeks of no improvement, I went to him for a follow-up and he told me that I was running out of options and that surgery may be my only recourse. He said recovery was lengthy. I asked what the success rate was and he would only say that he had seen some good results.

I've been reading what little I can find on fasciitus, and have read that it is not uncommon for new mothers to develop fasciitus. I've also read (on this site) that it is rare for a doctor to give more than three injections in a year! Needless to say I've exceeded this number. And I do not want surgery! Nor has this doctor ever said anything to me about stretching exercises or icing (more info I have found on this sight!). And I do not want surgery, especially if the recovery is long and painful.

I am 24 years old and I am terrified of being plagued with this the rest of my life. I'm tired of dealing with the pain and lack of improvement. I am so tired of limping, and I am scared of the image of my daughter running around with her decrepit mommy hobbling after her! I like this doctor, but am unsure now if he is offering the best treatment in my case. What is your opinion? Could this be a result of my pregnancy and/or birth? Should I seek a second opinion from another doctor?

Thank you in advance for your advice and suggestions! I am really at a loss as to what my next step should be.

Re: Please Help Me!

Dr. Zuckerman on 8/25/02 at 09:43 (093463)

I have seen fasciitis due to pregenacy many times. You have had too many steriod injections. ESWT is an excellent option for you . This is the non-invasive, non surgical procedure that allows you to recover without being off your feet. If you would like additional informatinal please e-mail me at (email removed). I would be very happy to have an ESWT packet sent to you.

Re: Please Help Me!

dan on 8/25/02 at 10:15 (093470)

Or, as an alternative to responding to a sales pitch, you could get a second opinion from a good, reputable podiatrist.

Re: Please Help Me!

Amanda B. on 8/25/02 at 10:46 (093474)

Thank you for responding. Although I am interested in learning more about EWST, I will in fact be going to my general practitioner this week and seeking a referral to a more reputable podiatrist.

Re: Please Help Me!

Julie on 8/25/02 at 11:04 (093476)

Hi Amanda

Surgery is certainly not your sole remaining option: don't even think the word until you have seen another podiatrist. You haven't even begun to explore the wide range of conservative treatments available for plantar fasciitis, and I hope the new podiatrist will have rather more to offer you than the first one. I'm glad you're seeking a second opinion, and I hope you'll be luckier this time.

Meanwhile, read the heel pain book for background and self-education, so that when you've had a proper evaluation and diagnosis you can participate actively and knowledgeably in your healing. Most cases of PF resolve with conservative treatment within months. If yours is one of the stubborn cases that doesn't, ESWT is definitely the option you should consider, leaving foot surgery as your very last resort.

I would certainly take Dr Z up on his offer to post an information pack. He is doing just that: offering information, not throwing a sales pitch. You are new here, so you may not know that he has been giving his time generously to these message boards for several years, and is not only one of the most respected people here, but also one of the most experienced practitioners of ESWT in the States.

Re: To Amanda Please Help Me!

Pauline on 8/25/02 at 11:13 (093478)

Before you rush into any surgical procedure for Plantar Fasciitis please read Tracey's post earlier on this board. Do your homework and lots of it. I think she'd be the first to tell you to avoid surgery if possible.

Re: To Amanda Please Help Me!

Dr. Zuckerman on 8/25/02 at 11:23 (093479)

This board has alot of information and alot of people including doctors who can guild you and offer advice from their personal experience. Very important to take an active role in your choice of care and your choice of doctors.

Re: Please Help Me!

Dr. Zuckerman on 8/25/02 at 12:24 (093483)

Second opinions are always a good option when in doubt about any type of treatment. Education about all treatments are very important. If you call offering information about about an excellent treatment called ESWT selling then so be it. By the way the definition of selling is giving excessive service. Anyway back to trying to help people in doubt and in pain

Re: Please Help Me!

Amanda B. on 8/26/02 at 20:48 (093618)

Thank you Dr. Zuckerman, and thank you everyone else for your responses. I've made an appointment with my general practitioner to discuss my concerns, and will be seeking out another podiatrist to talk to. I don't belief my current doctor was willfully trying to mislead me, however I just don't think he's up-to-date on current procedures. And by educating myself I now know that the number of steroid shots I've rec'vd is excessive, and hopefully has not caused permanent damage. I also know their are other options for me out there besides surgery, and that includes (possibly) EWST.

My husband and I would like to begin trying for a second child, but that cannot happen until my foot is healthy and on the mend! Can you imagine carrying all of the extra weight with this sort of problem? I can't!

Another quick, silly question: I belong to the gym, but haven't been since the recurring pain three weeks ago. Would pedaling a stationary bike be too much strain on my heel?

Thank you once again, I appreciate any and all advice! I'll be sure to update everyone after I see a new doctor. ~Amanda

Re: Please Help Me!

Julie on 8/27/02 at 03:14 (093632)

Amanda

A quick thought in response to your (not silly) question. If you're in a good deal of pain, I would guess that pedalling the stationary bike may not be a very good idea. Just my opinion. I know some people have done it and survived, others have found it ok. Until you see your new podiatrist perhaps it's better not to take any chances?

At one time a couple of years ago there was a lot of discussion about stationary biking, and several people thought that a recumbent bike was better than an upright one.

If it's aerobic exercise you're missing, swimming is the best bet - totally non-weightbearing, excellent cardiovascular workout, and the best possible all-over stretch.

Re: Please Help Me!

Dr. Zuckerman on 8/25/02 at 09:43 (093463)

I have seen fasciitis due to pregenacy many times. You have had too many steriod injections. ESWT is an excellent option for you . This is the non-invasive, non surgical procedure that allows you to recover without being off your feet. If you would like additional informatinal please e-mail me at (email removed). I would be very happy to have an ESWT packet sent to you.

Re: Please Help Me!

dan on 8/25/02 at 10:15 (093470)

Or, as an alternative to responding to a sales pitch, you could get a second opinion from a good, reputable podiatrist.

Re: Please Help Me!

Amanda B. on 8/25/02 at 10:46 (093474)

Thank you for responding. Although I am interested in learning more about EWST, I will in fact be going to my general practitioner this week and seeking a referral to a more reputable podiatrist.

Re: Please Help Me!

Julie on 8/25/02 at 11:04 (093476)

Hi Amanda

Surgery is certainly not your sole remaining option: don't even think the word until you have seen another podiatrist. You haven't even begun to explore the wide range of conservative treatments available for plantar fasciitis, and I hope the new podiatrist will have rather more to offer you than the first one. I'm glad you're seeking a second opinion, and I hope you'll be luckier this time.

Meanwhile, read the heel pain book for background and self-education, so that when you've had a proper evaluation and diagnosis you can participate actively and knowledgeably in your healing. Most cases of PF resolve with conservative treatment within months. If yours is one of the stubborn cases that doesn't, ESWT is definitely the option you should consider, leaving foot surgery as your very last resort.

I would certainly take Dr Z up on his offer to post an information pack. He is doing just that: offering information, not throwing a sales pitch. You are new here, so you may not know that he has been giving his time generously to these message boards for several years, and is not only one of the most respected people here, but also one of the most experienced practitioners of ESWT in the States.

Re: To Amanda Please Help Me!

Pauline on 8/25/02 at 11:13 (093478)

Before you rush into any surgical procedure for Plantar Fasciitis please read Tracey's post earlier on this board. Do your homework and lots of it. I think she'd be the first to tell you to avoid surgery if possible.

Re: To Amanda Please Help Me!

Dr. Zuckerman on 8/25/02 at 11:23 (093479)

This board has alot of information and alot of people including doctors who can guild you and offer advice from their personal experience. Very important to take an active role in your choice of care and your choice of doctors.

Re: Please Help Me!

Dr. Zuckerman on 8/25/02 at 12:24 (093483)

Second opinions are always a good option when in doubt about any type of treatment. Education about all treatments are very important. If you call offering information about about an excellent treatment called ESWT selling then so be it. By the way the definition of selling is giving excessive service. Anyway back to trying to help people in doubt and in pain

Re: Please Help Me!

Amanda B. on 8/26/02 at 20:48 (093618)

Thank you Dr. Zuckerman, and thank you everyone else for your responses. I've made an appointment with my general practitioner to discuss my concerns, and will be seeking out another podiatrist to talk to. I don't belief my current doctor was willfully trying to mislead me, however I just don't think he's up-to-date on current procedures. And by educating myself I now know that the number of steroid shots I've rec'vd is excessive, and hopefully has not caused permanent damage. I also know their are other options for me out there besides surgery, and that includes (possibly) EWST.

My husband and I would like to begin trying for a second child, but that cannot happen until my foot is healthy and on the mend! Can you imagine carrying all of the extra weight with this sort of problem? I can't!

Another quick, silly question: I belong to the gym, but haven't been since the recurring pain three weeks ago. Would pedaling a stationary bike be too much strain on my heel?

Thank you once again, I appreciate any and all advice! I'll be sure to update everyone after I see a new doctor. ~Amanda

Re: Please Help Me!

Julie on 8/27/02 at 03:14 (093632)

Amanda

A quick thought in response to your (not silly) question. If you're in a good deal of pain, I would guess that pedalling the stationary bike may not be a very good idea. Just my opinion. I know some people have done it and survived, others have found it ok. Until you see your new podiatrist perhaps it's better not to take any chances?

At one time a couple of years ago there was a lot of discussion about stationary biking, and several people thought that a recumbent bike was better than an upright one.

If it's aerobic exercise you're missing, swimming is the best bet - totally non-weightbearing, excellent cardiovascular workout, and the best possible all-over stretch.