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bilateral heel pain

Posted by Mike B. on 3/05/03 at 08:47 (111843)

I have been battling left heel pain since October 2001. I was training for my 3rd marathon (first in three years)and following a very conservative training program of increased milage of no more than 8% per week for three weeks and then a 15% reduction for one week. I started experiencing left heel pain with every run that was at its worst in the morning getting out of bed. I started self treatnent of cutting back milage and increased stretching. After a month of no reliel and increased pain I saw a podiatrist who injected the foot with cortisone and diagnosed the problem as plantar faciatis. The shot offered some relief but after two weeks it was back. I then decided to take two months off from running. The pain subsided and my running was restarted at about 50% of my pre injury level (15 miles a week). Within three weeks the pain was back but this time it was both feet. Back to the DPM and injections in both feet. Relief for a couple of weeks, no running, and stretching exercises. Started minimal ruunning again and was able to go for about 2 months before pain returned. Started PT with stretching, ultrasound, electronuic stimulation, and finally Iontophoresis (6 treatments). There was no resolution of the pain wioth no running and the completion of all PT actuivities -- pain was decreased but returned within a week of resuming minimal running. I am now seeing an orthopediac specialist who started talking surgery on the left foot after an x ray showed a large spur at the heel. My questons are, is it possible to have bi-lateral repairs at the same time; why do I have pain all the time and not just in the morning; should I request a cast before opting for surgery; can I get back to running after having the surgery (everything I am reading is very negative and has a tendency to put a lot of fear in the patient)?

Thank you for your time and response,

Michael Bandru, RN
(email removed)

Re: bilateral heel pain

SteveG on 3/05/03 at 13:09 (111883)

Mike - just in case the doctors don't respond to your note you need to a) stop running. This is one of the reasons you have not been able to heal. you need to find a non-weight bearing exercise -swimming, biking, etc. b) read Scott's heal pain book to see if there is any other treatment option you need to try. c) only consider surgery as an absolute last resort. Has you pod talked to you able ESWT. This is a non surgical option that has help many people with chronic PF. I would try multiple treatments with ESWT before I even considered surgery.