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Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Posted by Liza T. on 10/10/02 at 15:37 (097251)

To whomever may answer,
I was in a car accident back in Febuary of 2000. I was 8 months pregnant at the time and had no foot pain nor had I had foot pain before. During the accident the only two things I remember (besides worrying about my soon to be born child.)Is the sudden shooting pain from my left foot.(I was driving a manual, and slammed my left foot into the clutch.) and my head and hand taking out the driver side window.I was placed in the hospital over night to watch for placenta abruption, and also put on bed rest until date of birth. I had a c-section and was then unable to walk much anyways. I had been to the doctor at that time, although because I was being treated for other injurys and I was told my foot pain was just bruising and that it would go away. I finally realized it was not going away and I was diagnosed almost a year later. I was given orthodic inserts and told that it would be a long healing process. My question is, is it common for a car accident to cause plantar fasciitis? And if not, then could it be another type of injury caused by the accident? If there was a tear in the plantar fascia due to the accident and with me being on bed rest and not walking too much after the cesarian could the tear have healed incorrectly and caused plantar fasciitis?

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME,
Liza T.
Seattle,WA

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Carole C in NOLA on 10/10/02 at 15:52 (097252)

I'm not a foot doctor, but I would imagine that it's possible to get plantar fasciitis in a car accident. We've had people here who have gotten it in quite a variety of ways.

I'm very curious, though... What did the doctor who examined your feet and diagnosed plantar fasciitis say was the cause of it? Maybe you need a second opinion if you're not sure his diagnosis was correct.

Carole C

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Liza T. on 10/10/02 at 17:46 (097268)

Thank you Carole for responding,
I was told that a cause was not possible to diagnose with PF. I was told that no one knows what causes it. Because there are so many ways people have gotten it that pointing to one cause was not possible. I was also told that a car accident causing it was unlikely (off the record), and that while they couldn't say it was caused by the accident that they also could not say that it was not caused by the accident. I feel as though this paticular office is scared to put their diagnosis out in the open. (Does that make any sense.)And it has made me search for a second opinion.

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Carmen H on 10/10/02 at 18:54 (097275)

What are your symptoms and where is your pain?

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Carole C in NOLA on 10/10/02 at 18:59 (097276)

It does sound like your doctor was concerned about having to swear in court to something about which he could not feel 100% certain. I would expect that absolutely determining one cause often is not possible. It sounds like he really didn't think the accident had much to do with it, though, and that's helpful information. Did he elaborate on what he thought was most likely, and if so did it seem possible to you?

My doctor told me that my PF (plantar fasciitis) was probably due to my exercycle, which I had started riding shortly before PF came on. Like your doctor, he didn't say he was 100% sure of that, but that was his best guess and he was 'pretty positive' that that was the cause. He said that some other possible causes that I asked about were less likely because of the sudden onset of PF in my case.

At first I didn't believe him about my new exercycle. I was mad and argued with him rather hotly in his office. I didn't find out until I arrived at these message boards, that I was doing some really dumb things on the exercycle (riding barefoot at the highest tension, and more). So, he was right and I was wrong.

I doubt it would help to insist on getting a 100% certain cause. It might help to discuss likely causes.

But the other thing about your post that concerns me, is that from what you said you thought perhaps it wasn't PF. Sometimes PF is pretty easy to spot, but some of us have PF that's different from the usual, 'classic' PF. I would guess from what you are saying that your symptoms are not those of classic PF.

My suggestion on that is that if this is the case, to see another doctor or podiatrist, who can physically examine your feet and do whatever tests are needed, and give you a second opinion on that diagnosis. It will be a more reliable diagnosis than you can get on the message board, and I really think you need a very reliable one if it might be some other type of injury that needs to be addressed. When the second doctor examines you, you can discuss with him what might be the most likely cause or causes.

I hope this helps. I too have suffered with this pain, and I definitely sympathize/empathize with your situation.

Carole C

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Carole C in NOLA on 10/10/02 at 19:02 (097277)

As usual, you went right to the important point, Carmen! If we know the symptoms maybe we can help to figure out if it's 'classic PF' or if the symptoms are more nebulous.

Carole C

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/10/02 at 19:49 (097284)

Yes. It is common for car accidents to cause plantar fasciitis especially with the scenario you describe.

It is also very common for plantar fasciitis to be overlooked under such circumstances as the symptoms are not readily apparent and because doctors are focusing on the more acute and serious injuries at the time.

Has your case been closed yet?
Ed

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Liza T. on 10/10/02 at 20:03 (097289)

Thank you both,
And to answer your question...The pain is in the arch of my foot where the heel and arch meet.It's the same description most PF patients have given. And prior to the accident I had no pain. I'm just frustrated....He told me he didn't know how I got it since my medical history and even my activities leading up to the accident didn't show any causes for PF. So I feel I know how it happened....It's just getting a doctor to agree with me. And if he/she doesn't agree with me at least tell me I'm wrong. It's terrible not getting information in either direction. i know what it felt like when she hit my car and my foot slammed into the clutch and I know that it continues to feel the same..maybe not as painful as the first time, but at times getting darn close to it. So I know in my heart where my pain comes from, however I doubt that her insurance company will agree.
Thank you for all your help,comments,and suggestions.
Liza T.
Seattle,WA

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Liza T. on 10/10/02 at 20:13 (097293)

Ed,
No it has not been closed. Wanna be my witness..lol Just kidding. So you've heard of cases in which a car accident has cause PF?
Liza

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

BGCPed on 10/13/02 at 21:53 (097446)

Dr Ed is on target. Many times in auto accident the other injuries to the face and chest are more pressing. If the foot doesnt look too bad they label it a non issue. Many times a lis franc fracture occurs in an auto accident from the brake pedal tearing the inside of the foot apart.

People dont relize that ER is for putting out fires. We see many pt that go in for foot pain complaint and are told you are ok ice it rest and stay off it. After a few days or weeks it hurts more and may swell and bruise. They go to a foot specialist that may take different films or have more skill at reading them and they find an injury that was missed.

Most pf is considered an overuse or stress injury but it can be accute or caused from a trauma also. Hope you have good luck with your case

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Liza T. on 10/14/02 at 00:15 (097449)

I'll be happy to find a Doc that knows more about trama PF. I would rather be seen by one who has seen this type of injury before verses being stuck with a Doc who doesn't want to say what caused it. I understand it can't be a 100% answer, but an answer would be nice. Thank you all for all your advice and responses.
Liza T.

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Barbara S on 10/14/02 at 18:45 (097484)

Liza T. I was in a car accident early March 2001. Shortly after I stared having trouble with my right foot. A kid had ran a red light as I was making a left turn. I slammed on my brakes trying to stop but it was too late. When I started having problems with my foot it never dawned on me that the accident might have started something. I was a 4 to 6 mile a day walker. At first I just ignored the pain. I had gone to pod off and on for 3 to 4 months. He gave shots,stared wearing a night splint, rest, ice etc etc. One morning in Aug. When I got up I couldn't stand o my foot. I literally had to crawl the bathroom. Went to see Pod and he ordered a bone scan. The bone scan showed stress facture in ankle and heel area. He but me in a cast for 30days.
Well to make a long story short it didn't work and I have had two surgeries. Although the accident may not be the sole cause it contribute to it. I asked that question of the Chiropractor that I have been seeing for neck and back injuries and that is what he said. I have not settled my claim with the insurance co. I am still having problems.
Good Luck to you. Barbara S.

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Carole C in NOLA on 10/10/02 at 15:52 (097252)

I'm not a foot doctor, but I would imagine that it's possible to get plantar fasciitis in a car accident. We've had people here who have gotten it in quite a variety of ways.

I'm very curious, though... What did the doctor who examined your feet and diagnosed plantar fasciitis say was the cause of it? Maybe you need a second opinion if you're not sure his diagnosis was correct.

Carole C

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Liza T. on 10/10/02 at 17:46 (097268)

Thank you Carole for responding,
I was told that a cause was not possible to diagnose with PF. I was told that no one knows what causes it. Because there are so many ways people have gotten it that pointing to one cause was not possible. I was also told that a car accident causing it was unlikely (off the record), and that while they couldn't say it was caused by the accident that they also could not say that it was not caused by the accident. I feel as though this paticular office is scared to put their diagnosis out in the open. (Does that make any sense.)And it has made me search for a second opinion.

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Carmen H on 10/10/02 at 18:54 (097275)

What are your symptoms and where is your pain?

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Carole C in NOLA on 10/10/02 at 18:59 (097276)

It does sound like your doctor was concerned about having to swear in court to something about which he could not feel 100% certain. I would expect that absolutely determining one cause often is not possible. It sounds like he really didn't think the accident had much to do with it, though, and that's helpful information. Did he elaborate on what he thought was most likely, and if so did it seem possible to you?

My doctor told me that my PF (plantar fasciitis) was probably due to my exercycle, which I had started riding shortly before PF came on. Like your doctor, he didn't say he was 100% sure of that, but that was his best guess and he was 'pretty positive' that that was the cause. He said that some other possible causes that I asked about were less likely because of the sudden onset of PF in my case.

At first I didn't believe him about my new exercycle. I was mad and argued with him rather hotly in his office. I didn't find out until I arrived at these message boards, that I was doing some really dumb things on the exercycle (riding barefoot at the highest tension, and more). So, he was right and I was wrong.

I doubt it would help to insist on getting a 100% certain cause. It might help to discuss likely causes.

But the other thing about your post that concerns me, is that from what you said you thought perhaps it wasn't PF. Sometimes PF is pretty easy to spot, but some of us have PF that's different from the usual, 'classic' PF. I would guess from what you are saying that your symptoms are not those of classic PF.

My suggestion on that is that if this is the case, to see another doctor or podiatrist, who can physically examine your feet and do whatever tests are needed, and give you a second opinion on that diagnosis. It will be a more reliable diagnosis than you can get on the message board, and I really think you need a very reliable one if it might be some other type of injury that needs to be addressed. When the second doctor examines you, you can discuss with him what might be the most likely cause or causes.

I hope this helps. I too have suffered with this pain, and I definitely sympathize/empathize with your situation.

Carole C

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Carole C in NOLA on 10/10/02 at 19:02 (097277)

As usual, you went right to the important point, Carmen! If we know the symptoms maybe we can help to figure out if it's 'classic PF' or if the symptoms are more nebulous.

Carole C

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/10/02 at 19:49 (097284)

Yes. It is common for car accidents to cause plantar fasciitis especially with the scenario you describe.

It is also very common for plantar fasciitis to be overlooked under such circumstances as the symptoms are not readily apparent and because doctors are focusing on the more acute and serious injuries at the time.

Has your case been closed yet?
Ed

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Liza T. on 10/10/02 at 20:03 (097289)

Thank you both,
And to answer your question...The pain is in the arch of my foot where the heel and arch meet.It's the same description most PF patients have given. And prior to the accident I had no pain. I'm just frustrated....He told me he didn't know how I got it since my medical history and even my activities leading up to the accident didn't show any causes for PF. So I feel I know how it happened....It's just getting a doctor to agree with me. And if he/she doesn't agree with me at least tell me I'm wrong. It's terrible not getting information in either direction. i know what it felt like when she hit my car and my foot slammed into the clutch and I know that it continues to feel the same..maybe not as painful as the first time, but at times getting darn close to it. So I know in my heart where my pain comes from, however I doubt that her insurance company will agree.
Thank you for all your help,comments,and suggestions.
Liza T.
Seattle,WA

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Liza T. on 10/10/02 at 20:13 (097293)

Ed,
No it has not been closed. Wanna be my witness..lol Just kidding. So you've heard of cases in which a car accident has cause PF?
Liza

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

BGCPed on 10/13/02 at 21:53 (097446)

Dr Ed is on target. Many times in auto accident the other injuries to the face and chest are more pressing. If the foot doesnt look too bad they label it a non issue. Many times a lis franc fracture occurs in an auto accident from the brake pedal tearing the inside of the foot apart.

People dont relize that ER is for putting out fires. We see many pt that go in for foot pain complaint and are told you are ok ice it rest and stay off it. After a few days or weeks it hurts more and may swell and bruise. They go to a foot specialist that may take different films or have more skill at reading them and they find an injury that was missed.

Most pf is considered an overuse or stress injury but it can be accute or caused from a trauma also. Hope you have good luck with your case

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Liza T. on 10/14/02 at 00:15 (097449)

I'll be happy to find a Doc that knows more about trama PF. I would rather be seen by one who has seen this type of injury before verses being stuck with a Doc who doesn't want to say what caused it. I understand it can't be a 100% answer, but an answer would be nice. Thank you all for all your advice and responses.
Liza T.

Re: Can car accident be cause of plantar fasciitis?

Barbara S on 10/14/02 at 18:45 (097484)

Liza T. I was in a car accident early March 2001. Shortly after I stared having trouble with my right foot. A kid had ran a red light as I was making a left turn. I slammed on my brakes trying to stop but it was too late. When I started having problems with my foot it never dawned on me that the accident might have started something. I was a 4 to 6 mile a day walker. At first I just ignored the pain. I had gone to pod off and on for 3 to 4 months. He gave shots,stared wearing a night splint, rest, ice etc etc. One morning in Aug. When I got up I couldn't stand o my foot. I literally had to crawl the bathroom. Went to see Pod and he ordered a bone scan. The bone scan showed stress facture in ankle and heel area. He but me in a cast for 30days.
Well to make a long story short it didn't work and I have had two surgeries. Although the accident may not be the sole cause it contribute to it. I asked that question of the Chiropractor that I have been seeing for neck and back injuries and that is what he said. I have not settled my claim with the insurance co. I am still having problems.
Good Luck to you. Barbara S.