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Should I have surgery?

Posted by Susan J. on 8/28/03 at 23:58 (128336)

I began experiencing heel/arch pain after a hike at the Grand Canyon. The pain contimued for over a month before I saw a podiatrist. He first gave me a steroid shot and 'Powerstep' arch supports. I never felt any relief from the shot. The pain became worse with the arch supports so a few days later he wrapped my foot for about two weeks. I iced my foot as well as rolled a golf ball around. I stopped walking as exercise the entire time, although I continued my usual work routine. I'm a teacher so am on my feet quite a bit. After two weeks from first seeing the podiatrist, I felt no less pain. He has now recommended plantar fascial release surgery. He has examined my foot each office visit (3), but there have been no xrays, MRI's or anything else. He says I will have to remain off my feet for three days after the surgery, but can then return to teaching wearing a special shoe. He says that the healing process will take 4-6 weeks and then I should have no problems. I cannot walk as exercise during the whole healing process. After reading the information at this site I'm wondering if the surgery is too hasty. But I really want to have the problem taken care of as quickly as possible. Please advise. Thank you.

Re: Should I have surgery?

Steve G on 8/29/03 at 00:17 (128337)

Susan - I am not a doctor, but this is too early to consider surgery. Although it's hard to get a time frame from your note, it does not sound like you have had the full treatment, nor an adequate amount of time to judge whether conservative treatment will be effective. You need to read the heel pain book and make sure that you are doing everything you can to get better. If, as 6 months or so, you are not any better, I would look into ESWT. Surgery is a LAST resort and can lead to additional problems down the road.

Re: Should I have surgery?

Tricia on 8/29/03 at 13:17 (128367)

I have to agree - go see a sports doctor that is recommened. I had the same thing. I went to my sports doctor (he's a foot/ankle orthopedist). He put me in a soft cast for 3 weeks after my X-Ray showed no stress fracture (I'm a runner). I go to physical therapy for stretching, ultrasound & they tape my foot. It is slowly getting better. For your doctor to suggest surgery without even an X-Ray is crazy.

Good luch

Re: Should I have surgery?

Ed Davis,DPM on 8/29/03 at 15:05 (128381)


Surgery is too hasty. Read Scott's Heel Pain Book to better understand the full scope of treatment for this condition. Consider seeing a different practitioner.